you reach out a hand to pull sky down
the stars, yes the heavens themselves
are but bread to you, so break it,
break it all upon the ground, shake this
broken universe until it begs
for release
from the ungodly bass
of your voice; your ego polishes its own
brass to trumpet a truth that none can
fail to recognise, once they are
dead and behind you (the wild wonderings
of a world which did not want
to be owned flash brilliantly, widely
and are gone) for you desired

c. Kate Gough  11/5/19



My own particular brand of bleak
is firm, and unambiguous enough
to recognise our dark as a basic truth:
the world-rending fire of the human soul
is fearsome, yet only another face of the
death seeded so deeply within us.

But bleak is neither black nor white,
only barren — and what is barrenness
but testament to another aspect of all-
extant life?
child, richness, burgeoning and love
are never-not, always
drawing changes toward
fullness and bursting and
birth ~

If you are a realist in
any real way, these things cannot
completely escape you
except by prejudice, ignorance
or despair.

Future is not future, per se,
it does not fix,
or justify,
or do-it-better-this-time-around;
it belongs to none
today, but only to itself, for who
can live in it, truly?

Future is Faith,
no more,
no less.

c. Kate Gough



at the end of days
all days, including today,
I am terrified of tomorrow, as if
every sleep is a death, a
dreamless, black hole that will
drain away and shadow all future
colour and
life ~

I know it not to be so, but
there is knowing and there is
knowing, and until I find the peace
to face this most elemental, daily
all my dreams will be grey and
formless, trailing away like the final
thrashing tail of my hurricane psyche
lost, mad, howling in grief
for things never born,
for the changeless,

c. Kate Gough


Poet (dried).

This is trench warfare. As bloody useless and harrowing as.
No one really gains ground. No one really wins.
Even waiting or withholding takes
one to the grave, one torn
limb at a time, a burning tree
spitting firey sap
desperately – not to live, you understand
but simply to discharge
excess energy.

I could throw some aged work your way
and call this done
suppress the nature of the battle, the pain of
punching through — dub it
progress, stamp the compromise
honourable comportment
in the discharging of duty, but
I would always know, and I would
never again
speak truth, only ever empty
some less vital compartment, a
No Man’s Heart, a space of non-
the place of

Courage, my heart.
Be brave, my soul.

~ Kate Gough