These Are Only Words by Stephen Emsley

Poetry is a release, and a guilty pleasure.

‘These Are Only Words’ is a collection of my poetry, written to express many thoughts, memories and dreams from my life, or to release anxieties caused by negative thinking.

Buy my book here.

4 Seasons

Splendidly, the first bulbs wake,
Pushing stealthily through the soil,
Ready to colour the world.
Impressive blooms and delicate petals,
Nodding in the gentle breeze,
Getting ready for warmer days.

Shimmering heat ripples across the sky;
Unique beauty plentiful for all to see.
Moments of summer rain to cool,
Majestic drops as refreshing as ice.
Exciting days basking in sun heat,
Running till you droop with sweat.

Awkwardly, the leaves begin to fall,
Undergoing breathtaking colour changes,
Trodden like firecrackers underfoot.
Until the trees are stark and naked,
Making silhouettes against Autumnal skies;
Nocturnal works of art.

Warming hands by glowing fires,
Icicles hanging from frosty rooftops;
Never forget what is now snow-covered.
Thawing towards the end -
Expecting the splendour of Spring’s return,
Ready to repeat the cycle of wonder.

A Single Flower

A single flower blooms
In the place where you were murdered;
Taken from me so cruelly,
Before your life had truly begun.

Walking home so happily,
Unaware of your fate;
Your life cruelly ended
By the man you trusted most.

Our love affair still blooming;
Fresh and passionate,
Days spent learning all
Of each other's secrets and dreams.

Your family so pleased
You'd found true love,
Accepting me like a daughter;
All but one.

Your brother, so hostile,
Refusing to speak, distant;
But we carried on our lives,
Growing together.

So many plans,
A future to build together;
Until that dark day
When you were torn away.

Your brother walking in the room,
Hands covered in blood;
He'd taken your life
He could not bear us together.

No tears or guilt,
Just relief his pain was over;
Jealous of his little brother,
Not wanting him to live his life.

And now I stand where you were killed,
A single flower blooming,
A single memory
Of two lives ripped apart.

A To Z

Amazingly enough,
Both of you
Count as survivors.
Did either of you realise the
Enormity of the situation?
Forever dreaming of a better life,
Goals seemingly out of reach,
However hard you try.
I realise how tough things are,
Just by looking at your faces.
Knowledge of the future,
Listening to the words
Many others have spoken;
Nobody ever believed the
Outcome would be so tragic.
Putting trust in others,
Questions on your lips;
Revealing secrets and lies,
Shocking and brutal.
Tragedy struck you both,
Unique in this world;
Victory is yours,
Weeping at the place where
X marks the spot;
You both stand united,
Zapped of all energy.

A Writer’s Mind

Your mind a blank,
The words not flowing,
Like a river bed empty
From a summer drought.

No ideas,
No stories,
Just a vacant space
Where your thoughts should be.

Where has the inspiration gone?
Surely something in life
Could spark up a flame,
Get you back on track?

So many stories once in your head,
Now just an empty playground,
No voices, no life,
No imagination.

Tales waiting to be told,
Verses brimming with emotion
Waiting to spill onto the page;
Just hoping for that single spark.

Let's pray for life to return,
To inspire and stimulate;
To reignite the passions
Of a writer's mind.

Always There

Through your darkest times,
I have been by your side,
Watching out for you,
Mending your tortured soul.

When you lost your parents
I was at your side as you
Grieved for them;
Your tears ripping my heart apart.

When your greatest love
Betrayed you with another,
I put my arms around you
And soaked up your sobbing.

When you were violently beaten
By callous thugs in the street,
I was there at your hospital bedside,
Never once leavmg your side.

When you were diagnosed
With that terminal cancer,
I listened as your voiced
Your fears and concerns.

When you stood on the edge
Of that cliff, amazing view,
I stood beside you and watched
As you plunged to your death below.

And now we are once more,
Side by side, reunited;
Your brother who died at birth,
Yet always watched out for you.

And The Rain Falls

And the rain falls,
Cold and gloomy
On the evening pavement,
Washing away
The sins of the day.

I love the sound
Of the drops hitting glass,
The iron smell
Of fresh water
Splattering the thirsty soil.

Looking at the gorgeous trees,
So translucent
In this evening light;
Little lanterns
Made from raindrops.

Delicate petals
Bouncing back,
After being pounded
From above;
Bringing new life.

The memories of a
Long hot summer,
Mixing with the
New freshness of long overdue rain;
Such beautiful contrast.

So overdue, so welcome,
Quenching the thirst
Of Mother Nature;
Cooling the overheated passions
Of one and all.

And Then There Were None

Ten lonely people
Pretending they're fine;
One slashed his wrists,
And then there were nine.

Nine lonely people,
All filled with hate;
One injected too much,
And then there were eight.

Eight lonely people,
Dreaming of Heaven;
One smashed up his car,
And then there were seven.

Seven lonely people,
Reeling from life's evil tricks;
One swallowed some pills,
And then there were six.

Six lonely people,
Struggling to survive;
One drowned at sea,
And then there were five.

Five lonely people,
Craving for more;
One hung himself,
And then there were four.

Four lonely people,
Depressed as can be;
One leapt off a cliff,
And then there were three.

Three lonely people,
With nothing to do;
One burnt to death,
And then there were two.

Two lonely people,
All joy and hope gone;
One murdered the other,
And then there was one.

One final person,
Left all alone;
He blew his brains out,
And then there were none.

As Dusk Descends

As dusk descends,
The horror of the day
Slowly sinks in,
Bleeding into my soul
As I silently weep.

The shimmering heat of the day
Now turns to an icy chill,
As I look down at your body
Lying by my feet.

My blood covered hands shake
As the horror of the day
Plays back through my mind;
No escape,
It's now becoming real.

Why did you have to push me
Past breaking point?
Could you not see
The anger inside growing?

Pushing me past danger point,
Making me snap
And reach for that knife,
My arms a frenzy as I go
Out of my mind.

For I was not me,
I was a stranger, a monster;
Taking control of my body
With overwhelming insanity.

Now, as dusk descends,
I silently weep
At my blood stained hands;
Horror overwhelming me,
Screaming in my ears,
This is you, forever.

As The Tears Fall

As the tears fall,
I take your hand tightly in mine,
Memories travelling back
Over many years of friendship.

Hot childhood summers
Lying in fields full of daisies;
Sound of crickets in our ears,
Scent of lemon in the air.

Long summer nights,
Drinking wine by the ocean.
Waves silently lapping at our feet
As we live for the moment.

Sand between our toes
As we walked across the beach,
Cool, salty air
Refreshing on our faces.

Standing in cornfields
Pitch black of the night,
Faces turned upwards
As heavy rain fell.

Swimming in rivers,
Gasping at icy waters;
Laughing as we splashed,
Sun baking us dry.

Stronger than friends,
We were just like brothers;
Bonded from childhood,
And never apart.

But now, as the tears fall,
And you silently pass away,
Our long life together
Now comes to an end.

And through all of this time
I never told you that I loved you.
You were my whole world
And yet you were never to know.

I loved you more than a friend,
You were always my world;
Yet words remamed unspoken
For fear of rejection.

Forgive me, my love,
For never telling the truth,
But the friendship we had
Was too perfect to ruin.

I'm left with regrets,
But my love keeps me strong.
Our memories so priceless,
As still the tears fall.

Autumnal Bliss

How I love
Autumnal Bliss;
Nature slowly shutting down
For a Winter's sleep.

Trees with their final burst
Of majestic beauty;
Red, yellow and amber
Colours of their leaves.

Last Summer warmth
Meets early Winter chill;
Crisp, golden mornings,
Fresh woodland scent.

Walking amongst
The slowly falling leaves,
Watching them spin
As they drop by my feet.

Catching my breath
As a chill fills the air;
Breath looks like steam
As it releases into the air.

Dream of the warmth
Of a fireside chair;
Cracking logs
Inside dancing red flames.

A fantasy world
As I stroll through the woods,
Magical and breathtaking
As they offer their beauty.

How I love
Autumnal Bliss;
A paradise and retreat,
The wonder of Nature.

Behind The Mask

You wear your mask so well,
But I can see the person
You truly are
Behind the mask.

People see you as
Loving, generous and kind;
But only I know the person
You really are
Behind the mask.

Surrounded by family
And all those friends,
Who worship the ground
You walk on;
Blind to the real person
Behind the mask.

Unable to see the cruelty
In your heart,
The torment you caused me;
Refusing to let me go
When I saw the person you were
Behind the mask.

Relentless brutality
Is how I remember you;
Days of pure bliss
Long forgotten,
As you became the monster
Behind the mask.

And as you took the last breath
From my battered body,
I swore that one day
Everyone would finally see
The man you truly are,
Behind the mask.

Behind Your Eyes

Behind your eyes
I see your pain,
And realise the pleasure
I have to gain.

I feed on fear
And your pleading;
And hurting you
Just keeps me needing.

A quick slap here,
A hard punch there.
I wonder how much
More you can bear.

I see you weaken,
Give in to your fate.
So I must step up
Before it's too late.

You start to fade,
Immune to pain.
I need to beat you
Once again.

It feels so right
To be so cruel.
But you disobeyed
And broke the rule.

So now I beat
And now I batter,
And what you feel
Just doesn't matter.

I own you now,
With your final cry.
And such sweet pleasure
To watch you die.

Blue Flame

You came to me in the night,
Life having dealt you
Another cruel blow,
A part of who you were
Forever erased.

With so much pain
In your heart,
You held me so tight,
Mouthing the words
Of an old Disco song.

I looked into your eyes
And saw all of your sadness,
Yet also the glimmer of hope
You felt with me.

So beautiful, so romantic,
And in those moments
My heart opened up
And let love in.

Love, pure and true:
First love,
Never to be forgotten.

Breathing Is A Right

Breathing is a right,
not a privilege,
so I'm stealing it back.

I'm nervous, but not scared.
This is the mission
I've been training for.

You'd better watch out;
Revenge will taste sweet
When I even the score.

You hid me away,
Stealing my life;
I bided my time.

Waited till now,
The time is just right
To snuff out your soul.

Yes, justice is here
As I claim back my life,
And put an end to yours.

Your end will be swift,
A quick slice of a blade
Across your pale throat.

Then I can breathe freely;
No longer a privilege,
But my right now restored.

Broken Spirit

Hazel eyes and velvet skin,
Droplets of water on bare flesh
As he emerges from the ocean,
Sunlight glinting as he moves.

Silent but passionate
He walks across the beach,
Avoiding the eyes of those
Who try to engage him.

Toned and suntanned,
Perfect body and stunning looks,
So many want him in their lives,
But he will never let them close.

His heart still mourns the love he lost,
Swept away by those same waves
That have just embraced his body
As he tries to wash away the loss.

The one so perfect, his other half,
His kindred spirit, his total idol.
A love so strong and totally pure,
Forever in his heart and mind.

For him there will be no other,
But fate decided it could not be;
He carries on with broken spirit,
Never forgetting his one true love.


Sirens blazing,
Police cars screeching past
The house where I am being held;
A body has been discovered.

But the body they think it is
Does not belong to me, they will soon
Discover that their search
Will not be concluded.

I was taken seven days ago,
An unknown captor holding me,
Locking me in a cold, dark room;
Stench of decay around me.

My life now reduced
To newspaper headlines;
"Search for Sara continues"
But so far all in vain.

Fear scratches at my skin,
Unknown forces deciding my fate;
What does my unknown captor
Plan to do with me?

In my pitch black prison
I am deafened by the silence,
Only broken by the scrape
Of metal as the door is opened

To allow stale bread and warm water
To be pushed towards me;
So hungry it now tastes
Like the best meal of my life.

Light blinds my eyes
As he flicks on the bulb overhead;
Blood stained walls and floor,
He has done this before.

A silent prayer I chant
As he lifts me to my feet,
Too weak to stand on my own,
No strength to fight back.

No emotions left to feel
As he presses the cold steel against my throat,
No tears left to shed
As the blade slices my skin.

As my life slips away
And my blood seeps into the floor
I wonder if my story will ever be told,
Or if I will just be forgotten in time?

He lives on to choose another,
It could be you, his next victim,
The next headline;
Your fifteen minutes of fame.

Carry My Love

I taste the saltiness
Of your tears
As they fall upon my lips
For the final time.

Where once was love,
Now just an empty void
As your life carries on
Without me in it.

I gasp my last breath,
Your tortured face
The last thing I see
Before my eternal rest.

Given only 6 months to live
I lasted more than twelve;
The love we shared
Giving me inner strength

Strength to fight this disease,
This silent and ruthless killer;
My body ravaged by illness,
Until it could fight no more.

So now I pass on,
My heart breaking as
I feel all your pain,
Feeling guilty for leaving you.

But you must be strong,
Carry my love in your heart
As your life moves onward;
Braving the days alone.

Be strong and move on,
Turn your pain into new love;
Breathe again the air of life,
But always keep me in your heart.