the climb

This is not a happy ending.
We will continue to climb
invisible mountains,
alongside those who walk
on flat ground and wonder
why we sweat.

I hear there is no peak;
no height of relief to reach
no end point
no attainment
but a lifetime marriage
to the climb.

and sometimes we will feel
so tired; see the road
stretch far ahead and wonder
if we can continue…

but we will

and I know your eyes
are heavy, I know
the leaden feet, the raw lungs
I know

but my darling,
when we weather this work
feel how much stronger we are
for the daily slog we do

and when the clouds clear
we can see
this view.

November ’14


Let your fingers taste my mouth.
maybe I am honey-sweet,
or maybe I bite
like chilli in a chocolate cake.
Let me let you love me
kiss each knuckle on my hand
(it carries more punch
to feel it more than hear it – )
to say that you will fight
alongside or ringside
when I am too tired to swing,
you will carry me gently to bed
and kiss me into softness.
remind me there is another day
to float, and stinging
only drains us anyway.
Love me into singing silence.
Shush my furrows and my brow-knits
that crinkle down my nose and jump,
into my voice.
You are my deepest breath.
I will hold you in my mouth one moment longer
and kiss you, beautiful,
tasting you tasting me.

July ’14


a beautiful silence
resting on your heart
in deafening rain.
curling steam, wet feet
one then two
feeling each tile beneath the towel

you are electrically aware,
a kinaesthetic lightning-rod.

who were you before this touch?
before this vibrant wakefulness
this fervent sensitivity
how could you say, “awake”
and mean anything
prior to this?

beating, pulsing, resonance
nothing compares
to this brightness
this feeling
is infinite

August 2014

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.

May ’14


I will take you home
when you don’t know which way is up
and kiss your
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


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





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


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