Sunday, September 13, 2015


A trinity
Of letters
By a vowel

A vowel
Confining space
By a line
A circle
Of exclusion

I do
Not like
A God
So bordered
And defined

I will dive
Into that
Its circumference

I will drown
In the silence
The stillness
Of the eternal

I will hang
On currents
Of angels
Wing beats

And fall into
The arms
The empty embrace
Of illusive

© David Kernohan


Saturday, August 15, 2015


She landed
Between birthdays
A lioness cub
Between two Leo’s

Still wearing
Her Vernix
She hadn’t
Changed for earth

Arriving in a hurry
Lungs confused
By water and air
She breathed too soon

She takes her place
Content in the pride
Of women who
Surround her

In her sleep
She recalls
Her talks
With her uncle

She takes her place, between
Those who have gone
Those who are going, and
Those who are still to come
For the birth of my grand daughter

Friday, July 31, 2015

There is

There is a well
Hidden deep
In a crevice
Of my heart

A deep well
Fed from
The river
Of my tears

A river hidden
Behind the fracture
Of my smile
Do not fret;

My smile
Will not falter
I will listen
To your fears

Your triumphs
I will applaud
While I,
I stand, alone

And I raise my glass
To Veritas
While my tears
Seep into my soul

I will not
Pay the ferryman
To ease me across
Across the Styx

I will dive
Into its currents
Carried by the
Songs of sirens

I will long return
To love, having grown
Tired of searching
For love

David Kernohan

© 1 August 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

We Lay

We lay waiting
For our breath
To wash us back
Into this time
Time we had
The burden
Of our isolation
Eased in our embrace

As we
Lay waiting
I wanted
To ask you
What you were
But that was
An intimacy
Too far

I’ll strip myself
Naked, balancing
Your weight
Blanketing me
But the lightness
Of your thoughts
I cannot bear
It is an intimacy

Too far

(c) David Kernohan 14 July 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

That Kiss

The bed is warm
Where you lay
The indentation
Of our histories
Flattening out
In the cooling air

We held each other
Kissing with the
Angry angst
Of those who
May not
Kiss again

And I wonder
What you thought
As held our gaze
Surfacing for air
But we are men
We do not talk

An illicit affair
By dictionary definition
For you were taken
And I was free
But definitions, don’t
Describe our loneliness

Ah, that loneliness,
That exquisitely soul stripping
Do you blame me?
For that kiss

That naked brief kiss

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I almost said them!
Those words
Nearly slipped
Like oil, slicked
On a wet street

But not quite
They teetered
In the chasm of
Space between us

I caught them
As I went to speak
Those words
I almost wish
I could say

I do not wish
I could say
Those words
I said
I almost wish

A subtle difference
Granted, and one
You may have missed
A difference that
Almost isn’t

But almost
Is not enough
It is close
But roughly close
Is not close enough

So while I say
I almost wish
An almost wish
Is roughly half a wish

So do not wait
With baited breath
And puppy-eyed longing
In the fantasies
Of your desire

I have grown
Almost content
To wait to see
If love’s tide
Returns to me

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Was it

Was It

Was it love?
We called it that
Perhaps because
We thought it was
Or perhaps because
We didn’t have
Another name

Was it love?
These barnacles
Of our irritableness
Against our
Starved skeletal

Was it love?
This fantasy of
Swelling fullness
Played in a major chord
Conducted without allusion
To each other, in halls
Of neural emptiness

Was it love?
I doubt it was
Though not for
Lack of trying
It simply was
The absurdity of
Loves disconnect

Was it love?
The arrow shot one
Not two of us, so for whom
Do we shed a tear?
He who was infected
Or he who missed
Loves infection

© David Kernohan

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Once More

Once more
I take my mending kit
And sew this jagged line
I suture it with tears
Threaded as they fall
Into this heart of mine

The scars are deep
The skin is thin
I’ve learnt my trade
To weave the wounds
To intertwine the pain
And heal this heart of mine

So I smile
And hide the tears
I know you think
My heart is hard
It’s not the case with
This heart of mine

Bank your pity
Spend it not
On me
I have learnt to weave
The light with tears
Into this heart of mine

Healing's triple helix
The sacramental trinity
Light and water 
Mixed with grace
Will mend 
This heart of mine

© David Kernohan

Thursday, June 4, 2015


I had a skin
If truth be told
It was more scales
Than skin

Scales sewn together
From shame
To hide myself
But from myself
I could not hide

Snakes can
Shed their scales
But mine?
They stuck and
Nearly strangled me

We met
We hugged
You said
I looked
So happy

I’d lost
My scales
Perhaps, I’d grown
Into my skin

I was east
Or was it west
Of Eden
In the land
Of no salvation

Yet, there still
Was grace
I’d lost my scales
And learnt to live

As myself

Monday, May 25, 2015


Don’t talk
Don’t speak
Don’t let the words
Tumble out
Don’t tell me

Should I care?
If truth
Be told
I don’t
Don’t talk
Don’t tell me

Don’t think me bad
It’s just your words
Shriek across
My mind
Demanding I care
I don’t

Be silent
Be soundless
Unspoken, unvoiced
Let me drink
Till drunk
On quietness

Let me stumble
Into stillness
Let my soul
Be saturated

In solitude

Sunday, May 17, 2015

She Came

She came
Down the hallway
Of my dreams
Resurrected from maggoty dust
Death had graced her
With her beauty back

In this ethereal synapse
She radiated, the warmth
I could not find in life
Perhaps set free
From maternal obligation
She could now like me

Or maybe death 
Is warmer than life
A voice, not hers said
 “Everything will be alright
Once she had passed
From life”

Symbols undecoded
Traced out in the sands
Of my mind, two hearts
Within a circle pierced by an arrow
Secret hieroglyphics erased
With an eyelids flicker

I wonder why
She would cross the Styx
Perhaps to find some peace
For a restless soul
Though of hers or mine

Is still to tell

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I Wonder

I watch them as they walk by
Hand in hand
Some inane comment
Given depth
By love’s allure
And I wonder….

I watch them as they sit
Mobile phones forgotten
Amazed that eyes
Without speaking
Can say so much
And I wonder….

I watch them as they kiss
Lingering and long
The tender excitement
Of passion’s insistence
Love laced with lust
And I wonder….

I wonder at the route
That brought me to this point
Grown tired of love’s obligations
The poet’s, they don’t write of this
They pen of blossoming or
Unrequited love

The symphony
And the tragedy
But for me
It is the ennui
The tedium
Of love’s obligation

It’s not I can’t love
More love’s heart is
Hibernating, so in this winter
Of my love
I am content to

Wonder….I wonder?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Turning

I used to look
For the seasons turning
Green leaves crumpling
Into brown
The air's
Cold kiss, caressing
Goose bumped skin

I used to look
For the turning
When days
Stayed under
Star lit quilts
Taking time
To wake

This year
The turning
Came to me
Those first leaves
Scuffed against me
Jolting me from
My busy slumber

I realised,
Nostalgia tinged
With sadness
I’d missed the turning
But the turning
Had not
Missed me

There is a
Turning, taking
Place in me
A wrinkling, precursor
Of the crumpling
Though pretence
Still works for now

There is a turning
A craving to cease
My busy slumber
And waking,
To watch,
In silence
This turning

To feel again
The still breeze
Of eternity
Flowing through
Time’s transience
To feel it’s kiss

Welcoming me

Monday, March 23, 2015


And the bud
Is a prelude
To the rose

And the rose
Is a prelude
To fading beauty

And fading beauty
Is a prelude
To sleep

And sleep
Is a prelude
To the dream

And the dream
Is a prelude
To reality

And reality
Is a prelude
To possibilities

And the possibilities
Of a kiss?
Love’s prelude?


Perhaps in the requiem
Of the kiss
There is

The prelude
To love’s

And the resurrection
Is a prelude
To the bud

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Light ripples
Into my room
A burglar who
Breaks no glass

A light wave
From aeons past
Now laps languidly
Against my body

A coastline
Of physicality
Erased to
Shadowy illusion

Form fragmenting
Into silhouette
Boundaries blending
With each breath,

After breath
That carries me out
Past the flickering
Last synapse

That dying
Thought, caught
Half formed, then

While in the
Ripples, reality

And dreams
Dance across
The boundary
Of illusion

Monday, March 2, 2015


They sit in silence
Beauty once succulent
In its fullness, now
Folded into story lines

Black dresses
Mementos to men
Who were never there
Now long gone

Fingers, unadorned
By love’s symbol,
Made inconsequential
By arthritic knuckles

They sit in silence
Love’s sacrament
Sipped in the cup
Of memories

The scent of his
Shaving soap
His sound, when
He spilled his passion

Their aching bodies
Reminisces on
The pain of birthing
Passion’s creation

They sit, knowing
It takes time, and
Silence to age
The lees of love

Monday, February 16, 2015

Can you

Can you navigate
The soul’s landscape
Is there a compass
For the heart

Can you map
The inner cosmos
Or measure
Love’s longitude

I’ve trekked through
Many soulful miles
My heart stamped with
Scores of border crossings

I have seen
Love’s volcanic passion
Cool and harden
To stony rage

I have watched
Desire's fecundity
Dribble into the
Desert of indifference

I have known
The solidity of love’s certainty
Crumble in the earthquake
Of hesitant ambivalence

A cartographer
I am not,
Love’s longitude and latitude
I cannot navigate

More the fool
I slip between,
Love’s callous disregard
For maps and laid out plans

And I wonder
As I stumble through
Love’s landscape
Did I get it wrong?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Once Again

Once again
It is the winter of my summer
No gentle autumnal sliding
Into grieving winter’s arms

Once again
It is the season of endurance
When energy’s flow is frozen
And memory chills the heart

Once again
A year has passed
Six years now
Since you left

Once again,
Would I stand
At Hades gates
And play you out

Would I bring you back,
Back into this time
To satisfy a father’s
Grieving heart?

Once again, I stand
I will not call you back
For I have learnt to endure
This freezing of my heart

Once again
Spring will come
Life will flow again, and
Bring me to you

I am your father
I was there at your beginning
I was there at your passing
You are my son….

Once again
I love you

Next week is the 6th year of my son’s passing.  You never get over grief; you learn to live with it, to befriend it, to make space for it in your life.  Each year it affects me in different ways.  This is to honour a young man, who waits for me on the other side

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ashes spread

The light was bleached
Anaemic whiteness instead
Of golden hued
The image flickered
Then having been seen

I was here
Yet also there
Where seconds elongate
And elements are freer
To transgress the laws
Of our security

She who is not me
Yet still a part of me
Came to me, yet do not ask
Of her beauty or her form
She is she and that
Suffices me

Her epiphany was of her timing
And though I knew she sat next to me
I heard her more than saw her
I had a simple question
A question of one word

Why did I ask why?
I cannot remember
Was it a global why?
I do not know
It could have been a
Specific why

I know I asked why?
And she simply said
It is the ashes
Spread in a
Previous life
I woke

And I am none
The wiser why
Though her words
Still echo
In my mind
Karma in a dream?

Is my life
The ashes of
A previous life
Or is this life
A out growing of the
Ashes of a previous life


I have never tried to put a dream into poetic form before, yet I had a powerful dream the other night that has stayed with me and resonated throughout the day.  This poem is a feeble attempt to give that dream some justice

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Of course

Of course
I love you
She said
As her mouth
Closed round a
Walker’s shortbread

Was it to me?
She spoke
As she read of
While filling
Her mouth

Of course
I love you
I’m your mother
Taking another bite
I shouldn’t really
You know

Was she referring to me?
Or to the other
Walker’s shortbread
Her hand scrabbled
Towards, as a crab
Rushing to catch the tide

I should be grateful for
Love’s definition
Biology’s compulsion
Yet how could I compete
With missionaries and
Walker’s shortbread, so sweet

Of course, I accepted
Her lie, crumbs of love
Are better than none
And as for shortbread
I don’t eat it

And as for love?
Well she never did
I was her inconvenience
The shameful reminder
Of her husbands

So forgive me
If I don’t believe
Of course I know
You know you love me
It’s sweet
Like mother’s shortbread

Friday, February 6, 2015

Blue Eyes

Surprised by blue eyes,
The awkward novelty of
Two strangers in a bar

Navigating compacted complexities
Reduced to a simple
Hormonal drive

The Horned god
Hoping for a

While ghosts of the past
Drift, absorbing our
Kisses before they meet

Our skin, a compression bandage
Applied over life’s wounds
For brief respite

Sons of our father’s fears
Still seeking salvation in
Elysium’s elusive acceptance

Here, now
In this anonymous bed
We undress the burden of our care

In the covertness
Of our nakedness,
We trace our histories

In the tenderness of touch
On skin, while unseen
Scars open as sea anemones

Only to close
With a sting

When we separate

Monday, February 2, 2015


I stood
For a few seconds
Silently sipping
The beauty
Of the setting sun

Savouring its light
Golden toned, fading
Slipping with
Restful tranquility
Into the arms of night

Amber rouge
Brushed on cheeks
Of clouds,
Kissed with bright intensity
Dwindle into dusk

Seconds stilled,
Not slowed
Beauty’s fragility
Transformed with
Venus rising

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Prayer of the Hypocrite

Forgive me for intruding
I know I don’t believe
It’s more reaction
Than reflection
Habituation than belief

Yet still
I catch myself
Casting prayer
Into the cosmos

For what I’m not sure
Answered prayers?
Quaint relic of past beliefs
God knows they were
Few and far between

God and I 
Arrived long ago
At an understanding
He maintained his silence
And I my disbelief

Yet still
Now and then
I’ll twitter
I’ve accepted
He doesn’t tweet me back

Perhaps I am a hypocrite
Though labels often hide the truth
I think God knows the truth of that

Having often been 
Labelled God

I have often reflected over the past years on my hypocrisy.  I was brought up in the church and taught to pray from an early age, I became a minister of religion and preached on the importance of prayer.  Yet time, silence and my reality as a gay man rusted the bars of belief in a personal God until now I no longer believe.  My hypocrisy lies in the fact that though no longer believing I still find myself casting prayer into the universe, a reflexive habit from my days in the church?  This poem attempts to capture some of that feeling of hypocrisy.

Friday, January 30, 2015


I did penance
In the silence of my soul
The endless repetition
Of mea culpa’s birthing
By steady replication
A stalagmite of desire

Mea culpa
Mea culpa
Mea maxima culpa

In psyche’s vault
I knelt to pray
To heaven, congested
With words piled on words
It was easier to kneel
Before the body of desire

Mea culpa
Mea culpa
Mea maxima culpa

Could not quench
My thirst
No grace
Could lead
Me home

So be it
I rose in the glory
Of desires full bloom
I stood, and
Fell in benediction

I rose, raptured
With a kiss
Cast out from the garden
I came home, to myself
Lusts longing now

At peace

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 2015

She flits with indecent haste
Across times floor boards
As if ashamed
Of new beginnings

Her moments, long
In sensuous sunlight
Slip quickly and pool
Into past days

Is it simply my age?
Times accelerating trajectory
Racing with indecent haste
Blurring boundary lines of moments

Preparing to sling me
Into eternity, for I am
Closer to the beginning
Of the Returning

My days, more
Compressed, compacted
By demands, yapping  
With irritating insistence

Quarrel against
The languid longing
Of desire, to stay
Awhile in this moment

I still enjoy
New beginnings
Pleasure, stroked with the
Wistful knowledge of past endings

But, January has already
Slipped her moorings
While I, I want to stay

A moment longer

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday Afternoon

I remember it well
Though I could never find it now
It stood, somewhere
Out the back of Kerang
Down some corrugated road
Grown insignificant by
Time and neglect

A road much like life
Going on, but who knows where?
We find out when we get there
It stood off this road
Weather board, weather beaten
Foundations gripping the drifting grit
With arthritic tenacity

The faithful gathered, more
From repetition than any great desire
Prayers soggy from sweat
Trickle between the floor boards
At home in dust
Than rising to
Heaven’s vault

I am a bad piano player
It is not a good piano
Ours is a brief, succinct affair
Bashing out off key hymns
As if by noise alone
We can bring
The resurrection

But weariness from the week
And Sunday lunch
Anaesthetise the faithful
And wrapped in heat
They sit, warm cadavers’
By my fathers fervour

By a benediction
They drift away
Through heat and dust
We take that road again
The corrugated road

That goes, who knows where

Sunday, January 18, 2015


It was subtle
Less violent than expected
Anger with a velvet glove
Its tightening grip
Sensually smothering
My words dribble
And pool in unformed

It was the ferocity
Of his certainty
Frustrated righteousness
Fermented, solidified
Into fanatical rage
That conceded no
Dissention, placidly
Choking difference

My difference
He hated
A pacifist by belief
He had learnt to
Strangle by stealth
Secrecy preferred
To maintain the
Mirage of peace

He’s long gone
The imprint of his hand
Disembodied, phantom like
I still feel, but I have learnt
In the sensuous silence
To write what I cannot speak
The doubting whiteness of the page

Refreshing after fanatical rage

Saturday, January 17, 2015


The ending was more
A fizzle
Champagne, long
Gone flat
In fact, for me
This bottled togetherness
Wrapped in colourful disguise
Had never been uncorked

Love expired
Under the weight
Of its astigmatism
Fantasies refracted
With a neural pop
In the unbearable lightness
Of reality

It was an ending
Traces of my presence
Gone with a vigorous clean
My scent removed
With a squirt of
Fresh after-shave
And it was over

Do I grieve the ending?
Oh, yes there’s pain
But grief?
I have grieved for faith
For his final breath
For promises I could not keep
But this?
Shall I grieve for this?

Don’t think me hard,
It’s just I’ve learnt
With pain
And now with more
The endings

Of love

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Desire in the afternoon

We had a pact
For just a few
Brief hours
Ask no questions
Tell no truths
It’s complicated
The unlocked lock
On Pandora’s box
That’s best kept shut

Our bodies pressed
In ravenous embrace
Rivulets of sweat
Pool between us
The tears we cannot cry
For we are men
Must be borne
Dry eyed, wet skinned

Do not belittle
Nor begrudge
This fleeting time
It’s nothing grand
Like that
It’s just the afternoon’s desire

Come, spent, gone

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Kiss me hard and long
With eyes glazed tight
Kiss me with hope
That love will grow
Kiss me long enough
It might

Kiss me soft with
Passion hot
Kiss me
In the illusions
Of your mind
I’ll be what you want

Kiss me when
Hard and hot
When lust strides out
With false intent
Kiss me
I too can pretend

Kiss me and
Keep your mind shut
This room of love
Is swept bare, empty
Kiss me

And seal the lock

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Hello, my old friend
You’ve come to walk
With me again
To pound once more
Memories paths

You know, you’re not
A friend from choice
Would I choose your
Hugs of heartache?
Your searing kiss of pain

Yet you gambolled into
My life with callous disregard
Scattered pain’s unreasonableness
And shattered the sacred
Into shards

And now?
Once more
You come again
But I?
I now know your pain

So come my friend
And dance with me
Let’s waltz these weeks away
And while you lead me into pain

I’ll lead you into life again

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Love's Distraction

Love, a winters’ vine
Survived two seasons, then
Bowed, withered and expired

Love started with a kiss
Then silently and seductively
It strangled

Love promised bliss
Sweet nectar of the gods
But scorched and parched

Love gave companionship
Loneliness banished along
With the self

Searching for another
To distract us from our distraction
We call it love