All posts by Paul Ransom

Love letter # 28

I am no saint; I know there were days when bitterness almost had me by the throat. I would listen to my fellow divorcees and I would share their complaints. But not for long – because I could not forget that things in our house were never that bad.

Yes, we ended. Yes, we bled. But no – we did not use the knives.

And now, years down the track, when certain things trigger me, I recall you with a warm buzz.

So much of me is you in trousers. The things I do, the food I buy, the bed I still sleep in. All that time we had – it didn’t just fade to nothing. Okay, so I no longer sport that band of gold – but I know where it is and some nights I hold it in the palm of my hand just to honour everything.

You married a boy but you left a man. In some ways I almost owe you my adulthood.

And of course, the biggest lesson was the end. Had to be really; because I took you for granted. I assumed you would always be there to open the door. I sure learned.

The empty hallway, the crushing quiet when I clicked out the light, the freezing cold space beside me. I thought some terrible things in that abrupt and awful vacuum.

Maybe now I’m wearing rosy glasses, forgetting the shit we both tried to deny, but I’d rather that than carry round a heart made of stone.

I’m not writing to woo you back or any such foolishness; I’m writing to honour you. To say a simple, if somewhat poetic thank you. The fact that we had it all, (or deluded ourselves that we did), keeps me from the common sourness.

You showed me the world in your eyes, in your incredible tenderness, and in doing so, you cut the chains.

I can but pray that I gave you something half as wonderful.

Love letter # 81

I know it shouldn’t – but the thought of you still bursts me open.

Officially I’m over it – it’s on the public record. I shouldn’t be thinking of you like this. I should have sweated you out by now. So why am I here again – writing it down in this ridiculous fashion?

It’s greedy of me really – blurting it out like this. If only it wasn’t singing inside me, making me swoon, literally taking my breath away. I try to hold down the tide with sensible thoughts, with those thousand and one damn reasons, but still I flock to the well.

I wonder sometimes if this is poison. Or inspiration. I have never felt so naked. Or divine.

To be humbled by love is to be open to life. All my old masks – they are unwearable now. Today I am barefoot and glad of the ground. Maybe I don’t have so far to fall now.

Perhaps without meaning to you have set me free. That fire you lit – it made ashes of my pretence but left the truth outstanding. Thank you.

Love letter # 13

When I look back now I can see how I made it hard for you. I didn’t mean to; but still.

You were telling me all along but I was deaf to everything except what I wanted. You warned me and I acted like a child in reply.

I know you weren’t perfect. I know you cheated. I know you lied – often. I understand how you played me for a lovesick fool – which was exactly what I was. But even taking all that on board, I was the one who fucked it up.

I hoped against hope that you would change, that you would want me in a way you never said you would. It wasn’t just foolish, it was arrogant. No wonder you junked me.

For all my fine words I was trying to control you with my so-called love, to wear you down with sheer, bloody minded affection. Sometimes, the poets are the tyrants.

I can say now that I didn’t love you. I just desired you. Not merely in body, but in spirit. I thought that if I could get you to love me that the awful space inside me would close up. I was shopping for security in your eyes. Suffice it to say, I never found it.

My friends think you broke my heart but I’m starting to believe I broke yours. You tried to have faith in me but I was a false idol. I turned out to be a man after all. Stupid, stupid man.

I’m not sure you ever felt guilty about the way it all broke down – but if you did – don’t. None of this is your fault.

And so today … today I pray for you; for if the angels pay attention to such tiny little voices, you will learn to fly and you will have the light.

Love letter # 57

When you’re around, there is no one else. I’ll admit to being a little bit blinded by you. This electricity is fuzzing my head. It’s almost like being nowhere. Only thing left is the crush – y’know, that thing.

It’s like a hot wire – and my spine is on fire.

Forgive the corny rhyme, babe … but at least now you know you’re driving me wild. That’s gotta feel good. Sure does from my end.

If you want the sensible explanation – it’s like rediscovering the real beneath all the practised, careful half truths of everyday. Here am I – mature, thoughtful, blah, blah, blah – and all I wanna do is take you by the hand. Maybe kiss that mouth.

So what do you reckon … shall we dance?

Love letter # 62

Someone asked me what it was like and all I could think to say was: we slept in the sky.

I know that every lover thinks that but that doesn’t make it shine any less. Our adventures were ordinary but they were wonderful. We drank; we sang along, we made love outside. We stalked the wee hours – they were ours. We saw the dawn together and ignored the rest of the world.

Every couple has their golden age. Ours was just another. And now …

I know, you’re expecting me say ‘tired’, ‘bored’, ‘going through the motions’. Hell no. Now we can have something much richer than romance. We can have wine. We can have the rest of time.

Let’s not surrender – except to each other. Be next to me, my beautiful love and I will be next to you.

And then even when it’s cloudy, we can still wake in stars.

Love letter # 3

This morning I woke to find that sorrow had turned back to sweetness. And now – with all the rowdy gatecrashers gone home – my love remains in quiet triumph. The room is cleared of wreckage and the song we used to dance to plays softly in the newly calmed space; the sound of tenderness – uninterrupted after all.

The noisy drama of heartbreak, the messy entanglement of separation – it was temporary. But my love for you … did I not say it was forever?

Though I can number my faults in the thousands, I am grateful for my two lone virtues – for I have learned to give without asking and love just because.

So now I can breathe – and it is joy – and my heart is free at last to beat out the rhythm of your name without bleeding. The things I remember – they are music once more.

Be free, my angel – set the stars on fire.

And always know, whenever, wherever, no matter what – here in the beautiful corner – that light … that light … that light.

Love letter # 99

My friends think I’m mad – but really I’m just stripped. All the bullshit layers have been blasted away. All the smug, self satisfied, middle class, male posturing has been shown to be a lie. My so called strength – it was just the bravado of weakness.

There was a castle wall; it is now rubble. There was a front; it is now last year’s comedy.

When you looked at me like that, when you sighed that sigh, I was weak. I was free. I was pitched out of the aircraft.

Yes, I was out of control. I apologise – but I had never cared so much. Never been so irrational. So immediate. So alive.

When you were in the room I was all electric. All my control mechanisms failed. I was like the river – bound for the sea.

I know it seemed ridiculous – how do you think I felt? I don’t blame you for leaving – but God I wish you hadn’t.

I miss you tonight. The space where you would have been is filled with silence – so loud. Sometimes I am deafened by your absence.

A little voice inside me says I shouldn’t be writing this. But it helps to say it. Please forgive me. I only loved you.

And maybe that’s what this is all about. I know that beautiful words won’t get you back – even if I wish they would – but I refuse to yield to the standard issue bitterness. Your leaving is not a disqualifier. I love you because there is a beauty inside you – not just because I wish you were my girl.

My friends can say what they like. I know they mean well. But I will say only this: for you my love, almost anything.

Including silence.