Tuesday, 15 July 2014


“Which death is preferable to every other? The unexpected.” - Julius Caesar

Poetry Jam this week is looking at the theme of “The Unexpected”. Writers who participate are invited to write “…a poem about the unexpected. This could be an unexpected visit, present or offer. You might want to write about an unexpected object, person, feeling or situation.” Here is my offering:

The Visitor

As I stretched my hand to grab the red balloons,
A visitor entered suddenly – and he was so unexpected…
I let the red balloons fly up to the sky, as he turned,
And I started as I glimpsed his awe-inspiring face.

He had unkempt, black, hair, his wet ringlets
Smelling of earth after the rain;
His green eyes were soft,
Like fresh, moistened moss;
His lips were red as if coloured by
Ripe red, pomegranate seeds;
His hands were white, with long fingers,
As he stretched them towards me.

Outside the rain kept falling,
While indoors there was darkness, silence,
An empty void.
I touched his proffered hand and was surprised
To feel his icy grip.
His arms locked around me
And his embrace was firm, inescapable,
Heavy, as if it were made of wet clay.

Now, he stoops and kisses me, tenderly like a father,
And his red lips freeze the life out of me;
While my last warm breath
Tries to melt the ice of his cold heart,
So that it warms with pity towards me.

Pitiless, he holds my hand and leads me
Out into the falling rain –
We don’t mind its liquid silver drops
And we go ever forward, to be lost,
Never to come back again.

Above the clouds where the sun always shines,
A thousand red balloons
Fly ever upward,
And so far away…


  1. everything changes in an instant...esp when you meet the one you destined to love...
    what a great image of the red balloons there in the end to accentuate this....

  2. Wow! This was chilling and spine-tingling. An unexpected death looking at you in the face is quite a tough thing to come to terms with. The way you personify death and the inevitability of the trip with him is awesome....

  3. chilling indeed but you paint him in soft hue until he touches you...great lines..

  4. As Sumana said, this is very chilling. You created an unexpected situation and left us feeling not only chilled but also frozen....as we view those red balloons rising.

  5. Liquid silver drops - I love this and the way this moves like a silk thread, great poem

  6. Very eerie write, Nick! You wrote about a very unexpected visitor and the image of the red balloons soaring like a soul to heaven added a more soothing touch.

  7. the heat of the red colour of baloons and the coldness of the stranger, quite strange yet resonates the theme of unexpected; have a nice Wednesday

    much love...

  8. Excellent poem on the arrival of the visitor we all know will one day come, but whose coming is in most cases unexpected. Love the illustration of death and the maiden also

  9. so soft yet cold..loved the way you have portrayed the stranger..:)

  10. I like how you started and ended with the red balloons. This could have several layers of meaning I think. Very nicely done.

  11. Excellent imagery and such a lovely way to carry the emotion with the red balloons, another unexpected element :-)

  12. So amazing... The description of death... Death is at times described beautiful... I love the heart warming his cold heart part... Amazing...

  13. Instantly I thought of connections with the story of "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes". She was diagnosed with leukemia from radiation. She had a short time to live and spent that time in the hospital folding paper cranes. A moving piece of writing.

  14. "Tries to melt the ice of his cold heart,
    So that it warms with pity towards me"
    ...One last ditch effort - then...
    "Pitiless, he holds my hand and leads me"
    Beautiful images or ugly?
    Beautifully written either way.

  15. This sent shivers down my spine, Nicholas! Very thought-provoking. "And go ever forward, to be lost, never to come back again" - my favourite part. And I also love the way you have portrayed the visitor. Brilliant!