bike, rusty, overgrown

I hate to pretend

I hate to pretend

I don’t miss you

amidst the harsh simmering alienation of silence,

where my eyes scream

to catch glimpses of images of you

carousing through my mind.


I hate to pretend

not to be haunted by your absence;

not to cling jealously to vanishing embers of your smiles

as I savour the effervescent sparkle of your eyes

that once brightened the empty rooms of my heart.


I hate to pretend

not to feel angry at powerlessness

at raucous paroxysms of loneliness,

which force dreams to populate voids

and banish emptiness lingering far too long.


I hate to pretend

we still have robust conversations,

joust in jest,

inveigle language,

tiptoe over words,

and scrutinize phrases for secret meanings;

while your tender laughter

lurked like gracious ghosts,

softening the walls in my heart.


I hate to pretend

you still sit across the table,

ask probing questions,

lounge effortlessly on my eyelids

and to nourish my imagination.


I hate to pretend

to be brave and feign strength;

to shore up the ramshackle scaffolds

erected around my brittle soul,

where battles to keep you alive falter;

while I observe my pain from a distance,

trudging forward like mercenary warriors – no questions asked.


I hate to pretend

that life is fair.

For, it is not.

It will not restore you

or repair my frayed heart.

But having pretended for so long,

I forgot how much I hate to pretend

17 thoughts on “I hate to pretend”

    1. Wendell Lawrence

      Brilliantly done! It captures an aspect of life that is so pervasive but rarely ever acknowledged – pretense. It sometimes goes by other names – diplomacy, tact, discretion subtlety – but a little self examination would quite often reveal it as pretense. But it avoids many hurt feelings, fights and even war. As much as we hate it, imagine a world without some form of pretense.

  1. Absolutely beautiful

    “hate to pretend not to feel angry at powerlessness, at raucous paroxysms of loneliness which force dreams to populate voids and banish emptiness lingering far too long”

    Incredibly powerful

  2. Thanks Kevin, you are the most perfect painter using words like colors are used in a impressionist masterpiece. You have the gift of creation in so many ways… Thank you!

  3. Powerful expression through poetry. So many of us can relate through our different events in life. I can associate with my recent loss. So powerful this piece of art.
    Congratulations Kevin! Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Verbal Photography

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading