Here is a selection of poetry that I've written, stretching back many years to include some quite embarrassing juvenilia. Enjoy!

She’s All Alone.

Everything seems bigger
Her rooms are empty, somehow
Reminders are everywhere
That all is different, now.
His books sit upon the shelves
His scent lingers on the sheets
She wants to drop down on the floor
Crying at defeat
She’s walking from room to room
Touching all the walls
As if that light connection
Will save her if she falls
The seat will always be down now
She remembers with a smile
And that blush of humour
Keeps her going, for a while
But later, when she’s in her bed
Next to a silent telephone
She can’t escape the painful fact
That now, she’s all alone
Now she’s all alone
Living with nothing but regret
Wishing she was still with him
Then wishing they’d never met
Perhaps one day she’ll love once more
When she’s lost her pain
But nothing ever lasts forever
She’ll end up alone again

© 2002 Karl Burnett



Cover me in filth
Cover me in dirt
Tend me when I’m well
Ignore me when I’m hurt
Your words to me are savage blades
Laughing in my face
But when I am gone
Who could take my place?
Endure your torture
Accepting all your lies
Is it possible to love the one
By whom you are despised?
Chew me up and spit me out
Laugh and cry, scream and sho
Stir my ashes, open my grave
Kiss my lips, spit on my face
Touch my body, hold me down
First you smile, then you frown
Confuse me then explain it all
Leave me behind to go to the ball
Piss on me, eat my soul
Bury me in a six-foot hole
Do your best to do me in
Forget it because you can’t win
No, you can’t win!




The day lit sky is darkening
Release ate the dawn
My eulogy is analogy
Sentiment dipped in scorn
Needle teeth grow underneath
To pierce me again
Left drying out and dead
To turn muddy in the rain
Chained within a cardboard box
A sanctuary of fear
Helpless as a kitten
And they are getting near…



Extremes Of Clarity

I’m lying in a bed of hate, my sheets are soaked in blood
I’ve never felt quite so bad, never thought I could
But I’m lying here ruined, torn apart with pain
Maggots crawling in bloodstream, flies hatching in my brain
I’m lying in a bed of sin, my heart is filled with joy
Don’t know if it was a girl, or if it was a boy,
I have to tell the honest truth, I simply couldn’t care less
I just wanted to touch the skin, the flesh beneath the dress
I’m lying in a bed of ennui, the sheets are fresh & clean
I keep having weird dreams, can’t figure out what they mean
I’m waiting for something to occur, but I don’t think it will
Like a marble statue, the world is cold and still



Andrea (My Only)

Let me sing to you of sorrow
Let me sing to you of pain
Let me sing of suffering
Sing of things I’ll never feel again
Every morning the sun rises in my heart
You are brighter than the dawn
As I wake I think of you
To hold you I was born
You made me a man complete
From fragments, something new
I’m happier now than I’ve ever been
Caught in the brilliance of you
You took a broken man
And you held him near
Repaired him with you healing touch
My only, Andrea
You taught me how to feel love
You taught me not to fear
I am whole now I have you
My only, Andrea
I’m proud when you’re by my side
You’ve become a part of me
As I look at you I know
No one more perfect could be
You are an earthly angel
Venus returned to the land
I’m the luckiest man alive
Because I’m holding your hand




Our lives are locked together
Our thoughts are intertwined
Our destination is the same
Two bodies with one mind
I am you and you are me
Together for infinity
Two people with one soul
Two people with one destiny
My heart belongs to you
As yours belongs to me
If this is called captivity
Who would wish to be free?
This is my solemn oath
This is my heartfelt vow
I’ll love you in a hundred years
At least as much as now




Stealing Kisses

Lips move together…
A delicate tracery of veins on your neck
Lingering scent of sweat on your back
Stinging of cuts from your nails
Livid marks on your skin so pale
…tongues explore…
The pain of my love contorts your face
I make you forget your disgrace
Arms around hold each other down
Licking and biting never make a sound
…I have you…
I withdraw my barbs make you keen
From numerous punctures I bleed
Your lust fills me up, makes me whole
I do the same to hear you groan
…I need nothing more
Now I have banished all my shame
Let’s play cat & mouse games
We’ll bleed together, mingle ourselves
The only way we’ll save ourselves




I am the darkness of the night
I am the dust-angels in the light
I am the failing second sight
I float and fall and rise again
I am the dream of the earth
I am the mime’s silent mirth
I am more than you are worth
I float…
I am the insects in the grass
I am the shadow in the glass
I am the laugh you hear in mass
I fall…
I am the trickle of your blood
I am the noises in the wood
I am the face beneath the hood
I rise…
I am the sinner’s futile prayer
I am the lover never there
I am adrift without a care
I am the hatred you admire
I am the flicker of the fire
I am the soulless funeral pyre
I float and fall and rise again…




Whispered Death

His hot breath on my ear
Rasping voice in my mind
Words worming in my skull
Changing who I am
Black taint spreading
Pulling at my thoughts
Erasing everything I remember
All I have been taught
Forcing of my hand
I try and hold back
Nothing I do is enough
The strength I need I lack
I am pushed under
I am pulled away
I control nothing I do
Control nothing I say
My bloodied eyes take in sights
I know I should not see
My wracked hands fashion things
I know should never be
I am held down
I kneel at his feet
All in know is I am gone
His victory, complete



Beautiful Disease

As I lie dieing on my bed
I think of you, what you said
Why I loved you, why you left
What you stole and what I kept
You are my beautiful disease
You are my righteous pain
Even as you destroyed me
You made me whole again
The darkness presses down on me
This is where my end will be
You took everything I need
Are you laughing as I bleed
A small placed in mine
A quiet voice as sweet as wine
You didn’t forsake me, you still care
And you’ll miss me when I’m not there
You came to see me die
I can hear you start to cry
I’m happy now and with my final sigh
I can say farewell, goodbye…



Was It Me? (I Don’t Understand)

I don’t believe you want to hurt me
But I don’t understand why you’re doing this
What did I do to make you change?
Or is I me breaking this?
If I can do something to stop this
Please tell me what it is
I don’t want it to end this way
I don’t want it to end any way
And I won’t cry in front of you
But can’t you see the pain in my eyes?
Was everything I held sacred
Built upon one great lie?
I don’t understand it’s not my fault
Something made the horse want to bolt
I’m the only other person in the room
I’m the only person in the room
This is more than I expected
I feel torn up into shreds
I’m reaching out for something
But all I grab is threads
A tear has just rolled down my face
Terrible loss of control
And now you’ll know your words
Pierce my very soul
So now it’s over and gone
I don’t know the reasons why
But I’ve already forgiven you
For breaking up my life
My life has now move forward
Into places I can handle
But if you ever look for me
I’ll be here, holding a candle
Holding a candle for you . . .


A Conspiracy

Dark laid plans in well-lit rooms
Bitter revenge from black vacuums
Acts of sabotage make me lame
We’re thrown like dice in a spiteful game
This is a conspiracy
To hurt and confuse me
This is a conspiracy
To break apart you & me
Condemn my thoughts, words and deeds
Of my destruction you sow the seeds
Come between us like a wall
The greater the love the harder the fall
You succeeded in your evil plan
Now I am a broken man
I you why you spilled this blood
Your answer was ‘because you could’




I want you to confront the darkness within you
I want you to hate the evil you do
I want you to realise this can’t go on
I want you to understand all hope is not gone
Your cold snake eyes despise
Everything you see
Your hollow hate burns at
Everyone you meet
Your anger seems to permeate
Every part of you
You madness is visible in
Everything you do
I have tried every way I know to make you accept your soul
I have tried to give you love so you can feel whole
I have tried to understand what kind of creature you are
I have tried to push my mind out that far
I only have to look in your eyes to see what you’re capable of
I only have to be near you to know you can’t be stopped
I only have to touch you to feel the knives beneath your skin
I only have to kiss you to know the trouble I’m in
I know what it is you’d like to do to me
I know beneath your blankness your rage burns deep
I know if you could you’d kill me with a cough
I know evil is all you’re capable of…




Plastic tubes burrow into every hole
That’s what I’ll never be again
How long will it be before
I’m stripped, strapped down, in pain?
Surgical charts at the end of the bed
Surgical spirits to cloud my head
Surgical procedures to safeguard my life
Surgical scalpels don’t cut through the lies
Face masks, scalpels, suction and blood
The doctor did ‘everything he could’
Rich coppery tang fills the air
Glistening tiles everywhere
Grinding pain tears into my heart
Pale skin pulls around bright red scar
Tissue enflamed from intense trauma
Unwelcome release from enforced coma
Tight white sheets tie me to the bed
I’m too weak to even lift my head
Try to vomit I can’t even spit
Can’t escape the smell of disinfectant and shit
Condescension and pity from fat old men
Who want me to suffer all over again
I can’t blame anyone but myself
For selfishly choosing to have poor health




My eyes the colour of despair
Drowning in black holes
Tears pumped from the heart
All four chambers loaded
Crimson smears on my face
Gashes cuts and grazes
Arms bearing nail marks
Feel the hammer’s weight
Fingers of stripped bone
Ice cold to the marrow
Ribs jut out like rafters
Can’t bear the sight of tomorrow
Sickly sweet smell of death
Invited rot within
Heart hardens in my chest
I’ve nothing left to give.




(Inspired by my wife and I’s visit to Egypt, where we became engaged)

the mighty river flows inexorably
glittering gem within a verdant crown
about her lurk vast dead wastes
disdained by her girdle of green
Ra’s fiery orb hangs always near
the air around syrup-thick with heat
vampiric atmosphere drains all life from the body
and yet the mind is brought to glorious life!
I came unto you in the night
And so did not see your powerful grace
Yet when my morning light I gazed upon you
heartstruck was I by your beauty true
oh wondrous Nile I feel you still
cold water on fingertips touch
holder of secrets civilisations old
no other river is as blessed as you




Worn out
Alone & sad
Never had
It so bad
Been left
Sitting on the side
Something within
Something thin
Has died



the beast

my name is beast
I was born to pervert
black ichors blood swells tongue
never reach truth with such stricture
claim to destroy but create
the fetish of the gun
becoming number one is death
death is our saviour
our saviour is jesus, and jesus
is wrong so
I am right and
I am holy and
I am trinity I am
unity, which is flawed
cracked nails scratch at
and never




leather wraps tight around iron
weight is pain, and pleasure
easy speed, instinct holds the reins
biting tooth spills crimson dust
shoulder complains, and the rain
falls shroud-like over my brow
red fingers slip on hide but
I hold on
how much longer? I ask
myself, I drown in pain
in pleasure, in instinct
in the sword



delicate swaying of grasses
water’s edge hesitantly strokes bank
glimmering surface moves slowly
mirror distorting the shining
moon . . .
in the distance, the croaking of frogs



the second born sun

scabrous feckless torn and blue
your violence etched into you
like a woodblock
fingers peel the sun
away layers come, reveal
bleeding wounds, tender
agonies explode into galaxies
of exquisite and glorious
take me from here and
home is where we are
clamber all over me
until I fall apart and
then I will be
and yet exultant
proud, aware of my
true lineage
child of god, child of god
he was a child of god
he still fell



Haiku Triptych -1

your words divine, build
in me a kind of warmth, the
safety of your love
your love is pure yet
dirty too, your laugh the ring
of all innocence
innocence is gone
when you breathe lustful words
never wanting more



the sweet smell of blasphemy

vague presences in the corners of my eyes
not angels nor demons just lies
it is refreshing to know that
there is nothing to know
no further to travel, nowhere else
to go
vapid utterances of preachers
just invisible vomit upon their lips
so speak your lies and
then you die
you will never know you were wrong
for so long
I have suffered your threats
of damnation and death
it’s time it was said
if your god was ever alive
now he is




knuckles white every sense alert
feeling earth’s pull
chalk cloud explodes silently beneath
fingers, rough as the rock
to which you cling



Withdraw Thy Eye

why set thy hollow eyes upon me?
‘tis as if you had only gained sight
I know it is the sight of me
that births your uncouth stare
aye, freak I am, this is true
but no more freak than you
my soul informs the manner of my attire
the scent of a strange perfume
your scent is locked away
bottled up inside, cancerous
thy censure come from recognition
for who is truly without sin?
not one of us for there were but
two perfect men, they say
both are now dead and if you
don’t wish to be also
withdraw thy eye



All poetry © Karl Burnett

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All text & images © Karl Burnett