somewhere in the city

Buildings stretch before me
like endless waves of lives.
It’s not your car,
it’s what it represents;
and how I love the one
cycling by at ten to midnight
underneath the plane,
spinning parallel along
the fault lines of the city.

The buildings almost sink into the ground.
It’s not the bricks and concrete,
it’s what they represent;
a living graveyard,
the tombs in which
we keep the breathing.

We are all just waiting.
My lungs live
to rise and fall,
along the gentle tides of my energy
strong, then strong, then weak again.

This time of the month once more,
but for the first time I am letting go.
This place again,
but this time
my lips would tell you no.

my hand unfurls.

You are somewhere in this city,
alone and dark
not thinking of me.
Your jaw clenches in your sleep.
It’s not your tension,
it’s what it represents;
I would have robbed you of your pain,
if I could.  if you’d let me.
Gripped it tight, palm alight,
jagged sharp and burning bright.

I would not have found my own way
following your downward trail.
I need both eyes upturned,
both arms to clear my path.
And you would have stumbled,
without your burning pain
to light the dark.

My hand may be scarred where
you burnt my loving skin,
but it’s not the grip that matters -
but how far we turn within.

vertigo

I will take you home
when you don’t know which way is up
and kiss your
fingertips,
remind you that breath is life
and you should do more of it
and more of me
and more of you
will become uncovered

the slanted light
sun through my venetians
and my skin will heat you,
or a streetlight and open window and
what if the neighbours see
and stars strewn across the who cares

because I am kissing you
as though I’m searching for something
but needing nothing.
you are kissing me
for all the world as though
I was a perfume manifested
overpowering you,
the high
and the vertigo
right on the edge.

October ’13

The Door

I loved her, in the way
you love things you cannot hold.
the breath before the fall,
the vine that teaches you to climb.

she was a door in unexpected places;
high above the ground
“step”, she said
and I did

on the route beneath the road
hand over hand
further up towards
the fear delicious
she smiled -

a smile stolen from the Devil.
Dirt on my hands
and whiskey in my throat.

Many miles from home,
I watched the cars pass below
from our unseen perch
delinquent birds; or bats perhaps

and wondered
how I would weather this wonder
how to handle the way
my world has widened

and the space between
my magic-makers;
my doors
and my freely-given keys.

Oakland, July 2013

old soul

“old soul,”
you got tired of hearing them say.
you thought you understood
why they came;
your body, your mind
skill or sharpness
one step above the “average”

and you wondered why I stayed.
when you were a closed door,
all thorns and no rose.
all ice and no drink
with words like poison.

I saw the boy beneath the old soul.
your weakness made me love you
quietly, in the dark,
after all the knowledge in the world
was gone
your strength and wit
are beautiful
but only beside
your humanity;
and the glow of wonder
in the eyes of a boy.

8 July 2013

28.6.13 ii

chase the summer, she thought
but found herself
thirteen thousand k’s away,
a withering tree in winter.
the sun means nothing;
only the gingerbread trail
promise of Soon,
soon, I will
touch you again.

June 2013

Tea House Conversations

“Yeah, relationships are interesting,”
he says,
“I never would have thought…”
never would have thought,
my brain continues
that I could be warmed this way
as by a fire
not just within me
but surrounding me
beholds me
fuels instead of burns me
“Haemotoooosis!”
say the studying nurses
joyously
and my memories joy me
as much as theirs.
How ordinary
and extraordinary
this is.

June 2013

28.6.13

Your words come to me
without the slightest warning
and suddenly
my skin is bare
flushed with blood
my veins betray
and I swear
everyone must know

June 2013


Welcome…

I hope you enjoy reading my poetry and prose. This blog is in chronological order from most recent to oldest.

I recommend my Best Of list, which contains the pieces which are, in my opinion, the best I've written. But please! Take your time and have a browse. Constructive critique is actively encouraged!

I am usually singing words as well as writing them. You can find my music at any of the below Tilley links. Enjoy <3

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All content on this blog © Rebecca Tilley, 2003-present

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