My Shop-Soiled Romantic Soul

My shop soiled romantic soul:
A limbless doll in a window,
Climbs through the tangled marsh woods
Of my Staffordshire childhood
As if it were a relationship
In which I have to be alone.
My thoughts the tangled branches;
My feelings the wet muggy clumps of grass;
The sun beats down on my back
As I sit on a dry hill mound
Withdrawn into the coalmine of my mind.

My shop soiled romantic soul:
The flesh pierced by social stinging nettles
The weeping willows hanging from space
In a far away undiscovered sky,
The burnt black nature of my heart
Flaking at the edges,
The candle flame of romance
The midges swarming in the twilight
Room of my dormant mind.

Freedom is not inside me, I realise that now,
Fear and distress have stirred me on a low heat for years,
I pick up the costume of shop soiled romance
But the background doesn’t suit the audition
And I knew nothing about the play.