Tohm Bakelas: 3 poems

Photo by Peter Yost on Unsplash

flicking lit matches at the dark sky

summer storms like old man poems
come so easily these days,
each line written is through tears. 

sleep doesn’t happen too often,
i could blame the kids but that
isn’t fair, it’s my thoughts, it’s
these poems and not poems. 

drunkenness lost its appeal,
the drinks are rarely poured and 
the bar tab has long been paid. 

memories fade like book pages,
the ink no longer holds. 

i don’t recognize my hands
i don’t recognize my face
i don’t recognize these streets

memories fade like book pages, 
the ink no longer holds. 


with ink-stained fingers
i trace pale shadows 
and shake glass at 
night time clouds.
every highway looks the same.
these days it’s harder to get 
the old gang back together.
all my friends are depressed and drunk,
we all talk suicide and laugh it off 
while glancing downward 
at rough floorboards 
soaked in fears. 
there is such sadness behind my eyes
that will never be seen in sunlight,
that will never be shared in these poems. 
i write poetry for the same reason
i go to bars, because i am lonely.
i count mistakes more than praise. 
i sing misfortune more than success.
when the creek runs dry,
poetry will die and i will die. 

these days 
every highway 
looks the same.

these words 
serve a purpose…

september poem

prayers for wings go unanswered,
there is not enough rain here

snow burns my cheek
ice becomes my life

the fire inside my chest 
dies each year,
july keeps getting
colder and colder

i no longer wish wings,
just black nights 
and cool rain
to wash everything
away, to wash

Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 17 chapbooks and 2 collections. He runs Between Shadows Press.


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