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Poetry Corner: HOPE

Introducing a new series of poems by Julian Matthews. Julian is a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet published in The American Journal of Poetry, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Borderless Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Dream Catcher Magazine,  Live Encounters Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and The New Verse News, among others. He is a mixed-race minority from Malaysia and lived in Ipoh for seven years. Currently based in Petaling Jaya, he is a media trainer and consultant for senior management of multinationals on Effective Media Relations, Social Media and Crisis Communications. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and Nikkei Business Publications Inc


by Julian Matthews 

Hope is the cold metal hanger in my heart
where I hang the coat of all my warm memories of you
which I put on to feel your hug,
your firm arms around me

Hope is the candle I light and re-light in my mind
remembering all the ways you glowed
All the ways we melted into each other
I keep the flame lit so I can still feel
the burning longing for you to come home
to see grace in these shadows
Hope is the light I leave on all night, every night
awaiting your return

Hope is a kite on the high wind
I hold on to this unfurling string,
unwilling to let go
even as you get smaller and smaller in the distance
in the blue, blue sky
I shade my eyes as you merge in the lap of the light
Hope is stubbornly willing this line between us
to never, ever snap

Hope is the ship you last boarded waving your goodbyes
from the handrails
Hope is me waving right back at you from the port
my arm hurting as it gets heavier and heavier
and you, further and further
with the passage of time
Hope is your silhouette on the horizon
bobbing on this sea of heartache
Hope is the salty tears I cry on nights like these
that could fill the ocean between us

Hope is this piece of the broken plane
I found on the beach
that you may have brushed against lightly
as you walked down the aisle
This drifted debris I hold in my trembling hands
Hope is placing my ear against it, cheek against shard
to listen to your last message within–

I dreamt again of you last night
like the thousand dreams before
You grinned cheekily, your eyes smiling
as you stepped through the front door
I asked you, nay, demanded:
“Where have you been?!”
And you reached out, pressed your palm
against my chest, my honeycombed heart,
and replied calmly, sweetly:
“Here, always here, my love…”

Hope is knowing that is true
Hope is awakening to that truth
Hope is the only home I know

First published in 2022, in The New Verse News, Bali, Indonesia, Editor: James Penha. In honour of the families of passengers and crew of MH370 on the eighth anniversary of the plane’s disappearance on March 8, 2014.

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