If I were to suddenly evanesce, to flee, to disappear, to run fast and headlong into the bright nothingness of the night, what ruin would find my absence? Would their be sick wailing siren calls of the once was reaching my soul's ears through the nothingness of me? I hope not. Not Wailing over me.... a tear or two will do, followed quickly with a laugh. But I do not wish to know the old world anymore after I am gone. Why dry up and go, if to only to still receive drops of the once-was in a teacup, to simply drink bitterly of. Remember me or don't, for I will not care as I lie afloat amongst the stars, dreaming of new things, new worlds, new excursions to catapult a frayed mind to healing, to repair a ripped soul torn asunder. Cry and smile in the same instant is all I ask of you if you do remember, for I liked to be missed in both respects. So I guess I do care a little at that. I believe in everything and nothing in this Universe and I would miss both aspects were I to finally fall into the abyss of what-not and possibly nothings. I enjoy the Everything of people healing of the cuts they give themselves and get, and its wondrously satisfying to partake in living in that magical epiphany of them I do not enjoy the Nothing, in the sense that they will continually scratch the scabs to bleeding every so often and there is no mop big enough, nor pail of water full enough to ever fully clean it all up. I am tired of slipping in their blood. The Everything of them is wonderful buy sometimes the Nothing of them becomes all too much. By Philip Wardlow Dec, 2021
If you had told me I would have
yearned for a simple handshake,
months from now,
I would have scoffed at such a silly notion.
If you would had said a hug from
a loved one was a distant memory
and that only through dreaming in bed
at night could such an implausible embrace happen,
I would have laughed in your face.
No light touches, no manly shoulder to shoulder hugs,
no holding hands, no fist bumps,
no incidental brushing of skin against
skin in the everyday going on
None of that.
I am bereft and unaware of the warmth
or coldness of a cheek or simple palms of another,
stolen is the smile behind
a mask that might have touched my soul
as they looked my way in the incidental
happenings of a mere
There is a gnawing
threatening to consume
by Philip Wardlow, May 12th, 2020
The flower sits on the table, withering,
it looks tired now. Slumped.
Dead dry leaves litter the ground
Perhaps not watered enough, perhaps
drowned with rotted roots
Perhaps too much sun as it
sat in a hot room,
or were the shades drawn too tight
not allowing enough light?
Choked off in some way
it was, to look so.
Either way it was neglected.
Best just to throw
it way now.
by Philip Wardlow 2019
Of them all,
am I Outside or
Cuz, I feel like
when the Outside
feels like my home
when the Something got their groups
cliques, committees, each
of them knowing the others
Something to call theirs
and theirs alone.
Right or wrong
they got theirs
and theirs are,
the thousands, hundreds, tens
I’m not even looking for all
hell I’ll take just three
like minded souls
similar to me
I am betting nothing
can beat such intimacy
Outside the Something
by Philip Wardlow 2019
Sometimes its tacos and salt rimmed tequilas,
movies and lonely couches,
cold beds and cats, tongue twister
and tying up,
a plethora of pleasures in the grab bag
followed by a deluge
of desiccated numb bodies
dumped on your front lawn.
Sometimes its a magical arc of light
swinging in the breeze
by a delicate hand on a dark path
It’s sweet sugar on your lips
as you slowly, reluctantly
back away from the most
It’s a flurry of heavy punches
to the gut
tickling, because you have been there
before, and you can take it.
Can you not?
So you emit a raucous laugh
at the absurdity
that the day has wrought.
Jaded in your green dreams
you wake to breathe
in new air
to expel the stale.
Grab a Bagel and go out the
as you think of the
that still lingers
on your lips
from the night
By Philip Wardlow 2018
Some days are often dreams
she wakes from,
Tears are given,
taken by a lover far below
the sheer cliff she sits.
He climbs to her,
tears clutched tight
He is a patient man
giving her a full
There is no other
place he’d rather be
For the view is
to the girl
he’s trying to
By Philip Wardlow
I’m a melancholy mind
floating in forgotten winds
free of the damaged
parts that float around,
hard to catch,
hard to see unless
you look deep into me
I want you to, yet
I fear you are too distracted
and I cant blame you
for who you are but
I need you to see.
No one has really
ever found it but
I want you to.
I fear you cant.
The beautiful kid
that is still lost
and needs to find the way back
To run, to laugh,
With a new heart in hand
But this sun is
And home is only
a made up memory
that already set
By Philip Wardlow 2018
I didn’t cry for you when mom told me you had just died. I don’t cry in front of most people. It’s too much to give them of me.
My two brothers had.
I remember my older brother wailing something awful, eyes full of anguish while my younger brother’s eyes filled over, tears flowing down his cheeks like a runaway river in full flood.
Like you, I never showed anger nor did I ever show sadness. But I remember your smile and your silence. Such was I.
Three days later we drove the hour and half to your house in another town to collect your things and attend your funeral. You always felt a world away but you had always been close really.
There it sat, your house, small, non-descript, dull in color.
I recalled as we entered, me visiting you once all by myself staying for a weekend.
I had baked you a nice big chocolate cake because mom used to bake for you and I knew you missed it and I wanted you to smile and be happy because I knew deep down you were not.
I wandered the house slowly taking you in.
In the bathroom your razor still sat at the edge of the sink just waiting for you to come back to pick it up and use it.
The chair you once sat in, still with the noticeable impression from the gravity of your body filling it as you watched television.
My brothers started fighting over something of yours they wanted to keep for themselves. My mom began to complain loudly about something frivolous like she so often did.
There I stood in the middle of the living room. Lost. Thinking of you.
A soft light spilled through the living room window to fall on the wooden floor at my feet lighting upon the dust motes which filled the empty space.
I pictured you there. Like me. Lost . Forgotten while the world worked around you.
A deep welling up of painful pressure begin to rise in me, to think of you perhaps feeling you were not loved in your last years here on earth.
To think you perhaps felt alone in this world at the end of it all, your life coming to a close and no one there to send you off with a held hand, or a kiss or heartfelt word.
Then I silently begin to cry standing there.
I couldn’t have stopped if I had wanted to.
Then mom noticed and pulled me in close with a hug, my brothers turn to me and I didn’t care
For these tears were for you not me.
by Philip Wardlow 2017
There is a dog on a porch
that never gets to be let it in,
His head gets patted,
his belly gets rubbed
He gets told he is a good boy
as his bowl of food is set
his owner jumps
in the car and disappears down the road.
The sunsets are his favorite as
the day departs
and the night entreats
with possibilities to
be found in the roaming…
But the leash restricts.
He can never venture too far.
from this porch.
So he just sits.
by Philip Wardlow 2017
Good Old Jack,
walks in the twilight between our world and what you would
call the other.
Into the out of, on paths that only he can see
with Fool’s Fire held in a hand-carved gourd to light his way.
A Ne’er-do-well if ever there was.
Cursed to wander the earth.
Never to know heaven or hell.
You may see his spook light bob in a graveyard or two as you pass,
especially on All Hallows Eve and on through to all Souls Day.
Wise men say, Old Jack’s looking for a way into heaven or hell
on such nights as these when the veil is thin.
If you see him, it’s best to keep on walking.
He has anger in him, a deep abiding bitterness swells.
like the ebb and flow of time that has trapped him.
He will have no hesitation to collect your soul should
you cross his path.
So beware or you may find yourself dead or a mindless
by Philip Wardlow