Julian Matthews – The Pitter Patter

Matthews LE P&W 2 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two Nov-Dec 2023.

The Pitter Patter, poems by Julian Matthews

The Pitter Patter

You ask why I write so many “I am sad” poems
And I say my words are earthworms after rainfall
They breathe easier on the surface,
or else they’ll drown with me underground
Some are easy pickings for birds, hungry to serve
Some are in search of deeper graves

I am wary of smiley-happy people
Those who claim to have it all together
The cheerleaders who are only there for the game
But vanish when there’s no applause to be gained
Too chill to understand, too cheerless
to step into their own misery
I rather be real than play pretend
This is the mound I die on

It’s a morbid calling, I know
a failing grail quest, a never-ending path of broken trails
My wallowing is a fall off the wonderwall
Every night I creep down a crypt of deathly hallows
Depression doesn’t take a day off
You can’t catch a break from loneliness
You can’t take sick leave for being just sad
Some days are bad days just because

I no longer want this dread inside me
I put it out there as a salve, a reprieve, a relief
It’s the long goodbye for this unburied pain
My poems are earthworms sensing the storm above
They hear the pitter patter of rain
Then arise to meet their maker
Depression is the dirt they crawl out of
Grief is a shallow grave
and I am its slave


I wish had a fragment of Gaiman’s imagination
An elfin smidgen of Tolkien’s
A mystery crumb of Christie’s
A scary bit of Stephen King’s
A sake shot of Murakami’s
A lyrical wee sip of Atwood’s
A swig of surrealism of Marquez’s
A tiny grain of truth of Orwell’s
A miniscule lick, spittle and sliver of Thomas Harris’
The littlest chocolate chip of Roald Dahl’s
The smallest particle of every novelist I’ve ever loved
To re-constitute and take hold of my addled brain
And flow through my fingers onto this screen
Give me a writing superpower never seen

But then again, that would be obscene
I need to be as original as can be, you see
Picasso, if he said it at all, was only joking:
“Good artists copy, great artists steal”
No A.I. genie around to grant you that deal
Head down, chop wood, fetch water
There are no shortcuts, keep writing still,
it’s the only thing, in the end,
that truly matters

© Julian Matthews

Julian Matthews is a mixed-race poet from Malaysia. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Dream  Catcher magazine/Stairwell Books, UK, in 2022. He is published in The American Journal of Poetry, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Live Encounters and New Verse News, among other journals and anthologies. Julian is a former journalist for The Star (Malaysia), and correspondent for Nikkei Business Publications, CNET, ZDNet and Newsbytes (Washington Post-Newsweek, USA). He is also a media trainer for C-suite executives. Julian stumbled onto poetry by accident in 2017 at a creative writing workshop. That happy accident has turned into a rabid compulsion.  He is still extricating himself from the crash. If you wish to support his recovery,  Paypal him at trinetizen@gmail.com or send him Wordle answers via https://linktr.ee/julianmatthews

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