Ken Cumberlidge /Hollow Did/

Hollow Did

Hollow did as hollow always had and does and will do.
Hollow was as hollow as, nor ever could be not.

With no
beliefs no
memories no
motives of its own,

Hollow
could not sleep, so
every night
dreamt open-eyed

then,

day by daylight
random-planted
in some
brimming stranger’s
mind,

would feed thereat
on mixed emotions
– joys, anxieties, desires,
disappointments,
hoped-for outcomes,
shameful, shallow-buried crimes –

until it had
enough acquired
to fill
the coming night
with dreaming.

Hollow,
being hollow,
had no notion
this was happening:

the only notions
it could have were
those its brain had
parasitic-picked
and,
dreaming,
licked out,
sucked husk-dry
then thrown aside.

Hollow did as hollow always had and does and will do.
Hollow was as hollow as, nor ever could be not.

Afterwards
its hosts would
emerge drained
and not a little lost
for words:

wide asleep, in places
they did
not quite not
quite not quite
recognise,

with no idea
of what they might
have done or said
all day,
but otherwise apparently
unharmed
– vaguely
……sensing
……there had been
……intruders
……in the house,
……but unable to recall
……enough
……to tell if anything of worth was missing.

Hollow,
having dreamed, would
be left sated
and completely lost
for words:

stunned awake, in places
that were
never nearly
not
unrecognised,

with no idea
of what it might
have done or said
all night,
and, contrariwise, transparently
destroyed
– vaguely
……sensing
……there had been
……guests
……staying overnight,
……but unable to recall
……enough
……to tell if anything of them remained.

Hollow did as hollow always had and does and will do.
Hollow was as hollow as, nor ever could be not.

 


Ken Cumberlidge has been writing poetry, prose and song lyrics for 40+ years.  Recent work can be found online at Algebra Of Owls, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Open Mouse and Snakeskin.  Currently he lives in Norwich, UK, where he can be seen muttering and gesticulating in the company of an embarrassed-looking dog.  Don’t worry – the dog’s fine.

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