The Downs the Joyous Clarity

After Cerone died and rocket girl blown away
The shutters flickered, and opened; the machine
Drunk on its own dreams clattered to life.
The tempter was gone with its violin. The room stank
Of sweetness and solitude gone stale.

I don’t want to die; I don’t want
To grow old; I don’t want to lie in bed
On Sunday afternoons in the April thaw
And think of nothing but you anymore.
I don’t want to watch the light stream through
The attic window, or see the particles of dust
Fall in its wake, disturbed and shaken
Like the atoms of you stretching in my bones.

The world is noisy outside but empty here.
The airtight heart struggles to beat, and suffocates.
Across my wrist bone and rising the last ghost,
The last image of blue eyes of molten ice and hair
Like wheaten gold, has dropped her basket of blood vessels
And begun to dance out the ruptured vein. She pools
Into the cheap carpet with the rest of the doppelganger damsels,
Lays her head on a fossil of dead sperm cells, and rests quiet.

Is this the real? This grimy den stained in globs of soul,
Littered in balls of paper, the seas of crisp packets
Or coke bottles burning in the shadows? The rising fires,
The jackhammering hearts and aching joy of drowning
Breathless in eyes the depth of seas- where have they gone?

The husk of hollowness remains. Loneliness materializes
And feeds it salt for its wounds from shaking, bandaged hands
But it will not move. The sun blazes but the night is quiet now.
The black worms tremble at the edges of vision. The headboard
Feels soft; limbs do not move beneath tattered dust covers.
Rocket girl smiles from the foot of the bed, eyes sparkling
As they always did. Hope, in a spark; they could not be mere dreams.
Quiet, son. The gentle night beckons, and you must go.

By Joshua Teo



Birdsong and mumbling voices merge,
as wet weight and matted hair clot.
Tiny individual drops sit,
surrounded by individual skins.
Water bubbles waiting to split.
Spitting relief after 100 metres climbed in
200 metres of ground.

Warm arms clasp around my skin
and I lie blanched with sweat and dew
and moss. My hands are clammy
while I wearily grab your shoulders
for a lift.

The dull thud as the rocks
impact and the sun winks
lazily behind streaks of grey and white,
as weight meets moss and mud.

Birdsong and mumbling voices merge,
as wet weight and matted hair clot.
But your arms hold and take me
to relative safety.

By Georgie Tindale


The intoxicated nightmare and awakened clarity

It always returns the never ending pounding in my head.
It’s not my fault I wasn’t thinking straight when I wished I could leave it all behind after all I said.
My thoughts are a mess, like a toddler trying to make a jigsaw.
I toss and turn in the night, never losing my nightmares, every night there are more.
So I drink more, the liquid running down my throat and blocking out the pain until it’s gone.
Until I feel nothing at all but deep down I know it is wrong.
For I am simply fooling my mind and covering my thoughts with a veil of intoxicated lies and false hope.

A brief moment of clarity is rare to me now and so I seek escapism as the only way I can cope.
I’ll find you again one day, and then maybe my life will once again shine.
You used to be so important, but now you’re gone and no longer mine.
I have seen the truth and move towards the future, seeking clarity of who I am. I will know some day in the future I hope.
Until then I will try my best to cope.
Clarity has come at the cost of my pain but at least now I’m not in the darkness of holding onto a false dream.
Maybe now in the future I will find my purpose as now my eyes are awaked and all is not as it seems.

By Alex Dib-Bennett



I hear you breathe,
In and out.
Pressing on my chest,
I feel your life.
For a moment you stir,
In my arms.
Then sleep again,
As I hold you tight.
I kiss your neck,
And I feel love.
From a sleeping warmth,
Lightly pressed ‘gainst me.
Clear in my head, I sigh a little.
Drunk from my dreams,
I smile and squeeze.
Content and clarity
Hold me steadfast.

By Ellys Sugarman


Each week The Student Review publishes a collection of poems about a particular topic or theme. For this week’s theme, or to submit a poem, go here.