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By Tony Farnden

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2019 Tony Farnden

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Table of Contents





I think I can see you Trickster

clearer now than ever before.

Clear through to the lying heart of you.

I have been tracing your effects

from then until now,

your effects on my life.

Yes Trickster,

I can see you behind the mask,

the mask of everyone else’s face.

You are cruel Trickster.

Just when I think you are being kind

you turn away.

You take away your love

and smile on some

other willing victim

Will you twist their hearts

as you did mine?

Will you whisper sweet lies

into their attentive ears?

Will your kisses break

down their defences?

Will you gorge yourself

on their naked flesh?

Will you come back to me

when you have had your way

or must I become you

and go looking for a victim

of my own?

Yes Trickster, you are cruel.

I can see you still, behind the mask,

the mask of my own face.


looking being

seeing doing

watching living

approaching noticing

planning avoiding

advancing considering

manoeuvring stalling

preening watching

schmoozing blushing

touching responding

whispering replying

embracing embracing

talking talking






tiring expecting

excusing allowing

apologising believing

repeating weeping

avoiding waiting

blaming accusing

explaining hoping

denying blaming

leaving losing

ignoring grieving

looking recovering

prowling avoiding

How Deep?

How deep does this cold go?

I've searched far and the end is not in sight.

What did you do to me when you smiled my way?

What did you think I would feel when you left?

Did you mean to take the warmth I treasured so?

Did you stop to think it might be all I had left?

I'll keep looking even though my bones are chilled.

There must be something more than all this cold.

I'll search every cave and every ruin for another warm smile.

There must be someone else to share this loneliness with.

Tell Me

Someone tell me that love

will last for evermore

Someone say it is true

Someone somewhere somewhen

just live like it is true

Trace Me

Trace my paths of light

Trace my tunnels of dark

Follow my bright moments

of overflowing eyes

of dreams

of success

Follow my dull moments

of empty eyes

of drudgery

of failure

Trace my crystal outline

my vague visions

Trace my black days of isolation

Trace my easy days in Valhalla

Trace the origins and obituaries of me

Peripheral Relationships

People you smile at

People who smile at you

People you smile with

People who nod

people who ignore you

people you ignore

People who spoke once

people who might speak

people you might answer

People you like to watch go by

people you like to see looking at you

people you sort of know

Snow Flame

The thing you cannot touch

the thing that holds your heart

so fast then so loose

you think you'll fall

you'll swoon

you'll vomit.


and laughter

are its essence

and its treasures,

things you cannot hold,

things that touch your heart.

I never went looking.

I never went blindly.

I saw the thing sparkling

I heard its song

I watched it enfold me,

vanish into me.

Now it holds me

fast and loose.

The tears and laughter

are ours to give

where they are needed

to share with those in need.

Who can hold a snowflake

for long without it melting.

Who can hold a candle flame

for long without it burning.

But they hold us

and they bind us.


it's the quiet moments

that get you

wring your heart

and tear you

you can smile and laugh

be what you call being yourself

but it's the quiet moments

that get you

fill your eyes

and drown you

When I sleep

when I sleep curled up with you

the sleep is so deep

the dreams are so complete

but when I wake I am afraid

to see whose face you wear


Pale green moth, its camouflage near perfect,

motionless on a sycamore leaf.

We do not hide our love as well.

It near bursts forth and reveals us.

I want to hold you,

so close I want to hold you.

I want so much

just to caress you,

to touch your face.

But like a pale green moth

we try to hide before their eyes

and hope we won't be eaten.

I danced last night

I danced while I slept last night

I was whirled across the floor by you

I whirled across the floor with you

I touched you

You touched me

We smiled at each other

I danced with you while I slept last night

I only slept alone last night

I should have danced with you last night

I could have slept with you last night

I only slept last night and dreamt

That you danced with me last night

Trickster Training

Ah, I am learning.
Kiss me again, feather soft.

I will get it right.

Again and again.

See I am a keen learner,

test me now and see.

Loki’s World

So it is you, Loki, I suspected as much

This is now your world and we are yours to trick

You trick us into love

You trick us out of love

You trick us into tricking each other

You are so good you do it in your sleep.

How you laugh and how you howl

There is some wolf blood in you

Anyone can see it, smell it, taste it

There is more than a touch of ice

In that twist of muscle, your heart

That shrivelled lump of gristle

So it is you Loki, and there is nothing

Anyone of us can do but bow and scrape

At your whim, when you heat our blood

Tweak our nipples and pat our bums

Whisper sweet nothings in our ears

And mess with all that is good in us

How you laugh and how you howl

When we dance to your tunes

But we are learning, though slowly

To bend your song to other beats

We will dance and sing our own songs

In your ancestral home, all ablaze with lights

Doubt - a dark triptych


Doubt is my star and it lights my way, though dimly

Doubt keeps me in balance

Doubt to balance truth

Doubt to balance belief

Doubt to balance trust

Doubt to balance hope

Do not doubt my belief in you

Trust me when I say we will not be crushed

When you fail me, when I fail you

Anger will not take over

When truth fails us both

Doubt is there to calm us

The sword Denial will deflect all blame.

Denial will hold us strong

And Doubt will hold all in balance


Doubt is my shepherd; I shall not lack balance.

It enables me to lie down with the Trickster on soft cushions.
It leads me through the maze of lies.

It bolsters my soul: it exposes me to spears of righteousness for my soul’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the ranked armies of truth and lies, I will feel no fear,

for doubt and denial are at my side; and their light reveals what is unsaid.

I can sit at life’s table in the presence of my enemies and remain calm.

They anoint my head with unbelief; my cup runs over.

Surely loneliness and acceptance will follow me all the days of my life:

But I will dwell in the safe house of balance forever.


What is doubt?

Doubt is the questioning of everything

Doubt can be a cruel weapon that smashes the lovers' hearts

Doubt can be the lack of trust that keeps us apart,

Keeps us lonely and single in the search for the right one

When there is no right 'right one' but many wrong 'wrong ones'

What is doubt?

Doubt is the questioning of everything

Doubt is a tool of destruction

Doubt is a wrecking ball in the control of a novice

Smashing the edifices of love with a single pass

Cracking the shell of life with a club hammer

Shattering the mirror of possibility with a shrug

What is doubt?

Doubt is the questioning of everything

Doubt is a tool of power

Doubt is a precision tool in the hands of a master

The right sized screw in the right sized hole

Fine tuning the settings with the right sized driver

Holding a lens to check the fine detail

Making the clockworks tick in time with the song of life

What is doubt?

Doubt is the questioning of everything

Questioning others

Questioning oneself

Doubting the questioner

Doubting the answer

Doubting the question

Questioning the question

Questioning doubt

Doubting doubt itself

What is doubt?

Doubt is the questioning of everything

Doubt maybe about moderation

Doubt maybe about keeping things inside

Doubt may end up with a life unlived

Forever watching

Always waiting

Trying to understand

Maybe failing

Forgiving others

Even oneself

Maybe failing

What is doubt?

Doubt is the questioning of everything

Doubt is dark and light

Yin and yang

The moon is its ruler

Waxing and waning

Eclipsing truth and lies

But leaving what in its path?

Doubt these words

Dive into the silver lit pool that is life

Love where you will

The Trapeze

catch hold of my hand

we'll swing out over the bay

and grab hold of the sun

it can light our nights

while we search each others' smiles

for words and shared dreams

Peeling Back the Masks

I take off my mask

only to reveal a fresh one

hidden beneath.

Will I ever be free

of all these me's

I uncover before you?

Is there someone real

hidden behind these sad faces

and the happy ones?

Who do you see

when you survey

this new construct?

Are we both masked?

Is it you I kiss or the you

you show me?


Finding Blue


Just say the word

Blue, blue, what could be simpler

Hard and soft, like a kiss

Blue, such a colour

If I could be a colour would I

Could I be blue?


Being blue,

what would it mean

to be blue

Blue as ice



maybe one hundred thousand years old

or more

pale blue and old

so old

so cold

Blue as night

the night sky


so dark

so vast

Blue as lapis

lapis lazuli

impossibly blue

so blue it hurts

so blue, we gasp

so blue

Place a fragment in a mortar

pick up a pestle

grind it fine

grind it slow

grind it long

do it with love

do it out of love

do it for the love of blue

make it a blue to share

Blue, ultramarine

as blue as blue can be


a colour from beyond the sea

Far far beyond the sea

lies a land where people celebrate colour

where I spray you blue

you spray me blue

like two deities

we chase and play

swim seas

leap islands

cross worlds

make night day

day night

tumble into bed


head to head

toes to toes

and all in between



so close

blue sky upon blue sea

beside the true blue sea

beneath the midnight blue midnight sky

watched by the stars










sharing blue

being blue






Blue Spoken

Let me say the word

whisper it against your neck

feel it on your skin

Blue, like a soft breeze

Blue, a word that says it all

no more and no less

Blue, both hard and soft

like the touch of a feather

like a lover's kiss

Blue, memories full

Blue, brimming o'er with meaning

Blue, a word like love

Summoning the Blue

Calling forth the blue

lying beneath the vastness

that is the wide sky

Calling forth the blue

looking down into the cold

that is the deep sea

Calling forth the blue

watching the Spring buds forming

in their ruffs of green

Calling forth the blue

surging in hands and feet,

the deltas of veins

Summoning the blue

in any form it may take

to feed my hunger

Blue on Blue

blue on blue

sky above sea

I reflect you back

you make me bluer still

fulfilled, just by being you

I give you back my you

reflecting us back

just you and me

blue on blue

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