Poppy Cooper is 21. She wrote these two poems over the last year, and draws on her experiences at University, and of personal tragedy.

Tenebrous Reality.

Thin and tired, I place you,
On a simple boat with no sails.
You give a gentle pressure of my hand -
A farewell, but an acquiescence too,
An agreement that when medicine fails,
When you most feel the frailty of your life's band
Sometimes it's easier to leave,
To take our love with you and leave yours behind.
Because love, unlike life, won't trickle away like sand
But is unbeatable, unretreatable, like the sea.
And although still green and budding was your earthly band
A new, more tangible one for you we will bind -
An infinite ring will wed your friends below, to you above
Not woven with life, or reality, but with love.

Copyright 2000 by Poppy Cooper

The Wall

He, whom I love, did live
In an apartment next to me,
Door always locked - so secretive,
Now forced open for all to see.

I snuck out in the stifled night,
To his door - 'til now held dear.
For whether it was locked, or just closed tight
It had meant that he was near.

And I stood, suspended, with my ear to the door
Hoping to hear him breathe,
And I woke up early, as before,
Not dressing, 'til I heard him leave.

But tonight, no one moved through his room
And forever, his breath is still
And now the door is of an empty tomb,
And if he moves now, it is not of his will.

So, I stand in the corridor
Which echoes with the sound of his absence,
I will enter, for he can care no more,
And maybe keep him alive with my presence.

From his room; so mysterious, still unseen,
I would rebuild him - the man through his things painted.
A room thick with all that he had been,
And from no other influence tainted.

So, I reached to the knob and held my breath
Defiant in hopeful expectation
As if I could reach him still, through death.
But I couldn't go through with my visitation.

The broken lock was a reminder of his wish
To keep himself from our view
His room best tells of who he is
And to intrude is a thing I can not do.

I wake to a scratching on the wall that we shared
And for a moment I fancy it is he,
For it is a frantic noise, as though he were scared,
A scrabbling hand, reaching - from death - to me.

I walk to his door, left open,
See the window he looked at, the view he saw,
The bed he slept, dreamt, hoped upon
And I couldn't forget that he hopes no more.

Two ladies stood, dusters in hand,
Undoing his life completely.
Ripping him apart, it was more than I could stand
When they looked at me, amidst his stuff, and smiled sweetly.

But, on the wall that we had shared,
That I had leant my head on in love,
He now showed me that he had really cared,
Something I had never dreamt of.

While I was on one side of the division
He had been busy, it seems,
Drawing pictures of me of such passion
Images that agonise my dreams...

Stark, flicking charcoal lines,
Formed, like flames, my face
The same shape so many times -
The scrabbling was from these pictures they were trying to erase.

Raw, passionate, not realistic at all,
But each embodied my expression,
A few hasty ones were scratched into the wall,
Their depth belied the artists aggression.

In one of the pictures some lines were missing, where
My forehead, nose and chin had been rubbed away,
As though some fevered brow had rested there
Then fallen to the floor in helpless dismay.

And now I'm sinking to the floor,
Because it is too late to discover
Secrets you should have told before,
My always loved, too shy lover.

Copyright 2000 by