Introduction

In this article, we have explored a series of evocative poems by D.H. Phoenix that delve into the complexities of love and loss. From the poignant introspection of “I Cannot Say I’m Falling for You” to the hopeful optimism of “Let’s Dance and Run,” Phoenix’s work speaks to the universal experiences of navigating relationships, grappling with heartbreak, and striving to find meaning in our lives.

Throughout these poems, Phoenix employs rich language and vivid imagery to convey the emotional depth and complexity of the human experience. Whether exploring the pain of a broken heart, the longing for a lost love, or the hope of a new beginning, Phoenix’s work is both poignant and resonant, inviting readers to reflect on the power of love to shape our lives.

I Cannot Say I’m Falling for You

Introduction:

Dive into the depths of emotion and the complexities of love with D. H. Phoenix’s thought-provoking poem, “I Cannot Say I’m Falling for You.” This raw, honest piece of poetry touches on the human experience of love, pain, and the struggle to acknowledge one’s true feelings. Phoenix paints a vivid picture of the inner turmoil experienced when facing the undeniable pull towards another person, while at the same time resisting the vulnerability that comes with admitting it.

I Cannot Say I’m Falling for You

I Cannot Say I’m Falling for You
If all this pain is real 
Then my heart is gone
My chest is a cave
Where shadows live
And echoes brave
That sound of silence

If all this pain is real
Then tell me why age and die
If any moment is alive
Why would we stop, why
too close to hell 
two steps away from paradise

I cannot say I’m falling for you
I cannot say I’m still thinking
My heart just stopped
My eyes not blinking
Seeing everything I’ve lived for
Just starting back

I cannot say I’m falling for you
I cannot say it’s true
I’m not wondering what it feels like
To kiss you or to simply touch
That ocean, that light fading, that sound
I have long been drowned

Paraphrase:

When faced with this genuine pain, my heart has disappeared, leaving an empty space filled with darkness and echoing silence. If pain is indeed real, why do we age and die, instead of embracing each living moment? We find ourselves teetering between torment and bliss. I can’t confess my love for you, nor can I admit that I keep thinking about you. As my heart ceases to beat, I witness everything I’ve ever wanted just out of reach. I can’t say that I’m falling for you or that it’s true, nor can I imagine how it would feel to hold you close or explore the depths of your being, as I have already succumbed to the overwhelming waves of emotion.

Literary Analysis:

In “I Cannot Say I’m Falling for You,” D. H. Phoenix masterfully conveys the complex emotions related to love and vulnerability. The poem begins with a sense of loss and emptiness, as the speaker grapples with the reality of their pain. This pain is juxtaposed with the question of life’s fleeting nature, urging the reader to consider the true purpose of existence.

The poem’s structure and repetition of the phrase “I cannot say” emphasize the speaker’s internal struggle to communicate their feelings. This struggle is further accentuated by the juxtaposition of imagery related to heaven and hell, suggesting the overwhelming duality of emotions experienced in love. The vivid description of the ocean, light fading, and sound, coupled with the admission of being drowned, highlights the speaker’s surrender to the intensity of their emotions.

Overall, Phoenix’s poem explores the human experience of love, vulnerability, and the challenge of self-expression in a deeply moving and evocative manner.

Curly

Introduction:

D.H. Phoenix’s poem “Curly” is a poignant and emotive reflection on lost love and missed opportunities. Through vivid imagery and evocative language, the poet explores the enduring power of memory and the complex interplay between dreams and reality. The poem invites the reader to consider the ways in which the past continues to shape our present and how the specter of lost love can haunt us for a lifetime.

Curly

I have always loved curly hair before I knew what curly meant—
a heart so sent into the wild looking for the treasure back home!
The eyes I searched for in every face, like perfect diamonds,
too perfect to fit any other necklace; my arms too cold to warm
around any other neck. To think I have taken any road, I’m back
to the very first poem I wrote and the very first girl I met;
I thought the road had taken me way beyond that first step,
here I am— stuck like my feet had never moved and I had been 
sleepwalking in my dreams but it’s finally time to wake up. 
I have loved that curly hair that curled my heart a maze; it takes 
the architect to know the way around—I have been lost all my life. 
Today I woke up with a thought— could these twenty-five years 
be but an illusion in a dream and now awake I seem ready
to live my life back? Could there be a more generous god
to let me feel like twenty-five years passed to see you back,
and learn from that long dream to whom once I turned my back;
rewind it, like watching an old tape; I can barely wait for it to rewind back.
I want it reset and chances reborn and you in a cozy corner all alone—
like that day when I left and words never made it and were stuck on the road, 
today I clear my throat, and say I will never leave again, but life
is a masterpiece of no second chances, and dreams are born 
and dreams are buried under piles of years remembered as only numbers. 
I have loved that curly hair winding up my pen giving me hints
to write in a foreign tongue on a foreign land; I have lived long enough
to impress you, to lose that scent, to hold on to that childish memory 
to grow up to be that big child you have left eternal in me; 
It was all until yesterday I thought I was a happy man; 
now that I ‘ve seen you, I know, I’ve never been one—
That child has never grown up, never has he grown out of your love. 
I have lived long enough to know that I have truly loved, but once, 
I have truly loved and that curly hair showing on my screen telling me
I have not lived, for once I had, but now drowned in old memories
I have truly loved, but once, yet I have never truly lived.

I have truly loved, but once, yet I have never truly lived.

Paraphrase:

The speaker has always been drawn to curly hair, even before they knew what it meant. They have spent their life searching for someone with the perfect eyes, like diamonds that don’t fit any other necklace. They have taken many roads but have ended up back where they started, thinking about the first girl they ever met. They realize that they have been lost all their life, and it’s time to wake up. They wonder if the past twenty-five years have been an illusion and if they can go back to the beginning. They long for a chance to start over and be with the one they love. Despite having lived a long and eventful life, they feel unfulfilled because they have never truly lived without their lost love.

Literary Analysis:

“Curly” is a powerful and emotive poem that explores themes of lost love, memory, and the passage of time. The poem is structured around a series of vivid images and metaphors, such as the search for perfect diamonds and the maze-like quality of curly hair. These images create a rich and evocative world that draws the reader in and helps to convey the speaker’s deep emotional state.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of language. The language is rich and lyrical, with a musical quality that reflects the speaker’s inner turmoil. The poem is also notable for its use of repetition, which serves to emphasize the speaker’s sense of longing and regret. For example, the repeated line “I have truly loved, but once” underscores the speaker’s belief that they have missed out on the one true love of their life.

The poem is also notable for its exploration of the relationship between dreams and reality. The speaker wonders if the past twenty-five years have been an illusion and if they can go back to the beginning. This suggests that the speaker is struggling to reconcile their memories and dreams with the reality of their current situation. The poem also raises questions about the nature of memory and how it can shape our perceptions of the world around us.

Overall, “Curly” is a beautifully crafted poem that explores complex themes with skill and sensitivity. Through its vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem invites the reader to reflect on their own experiences of love, loss, and memory, making it a truly resonant work of literature.

I Need to Hate You

Introduction:

D.H. Phoenix’s poem “I Need to Hate You” is a raw and emotional exploration of the aftermath of a failed relationship. The speaker grapples with the difficult and conflicting emotions that arise when trying to move on from a past love. Through vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem speaks to the universal experience of heartbreak and the struggle to let go of someone who still lingers in the mind and heart.

I Need to Hate You

I need to hate you— 
I could never love 
with your ghost 
stalking my living day; 
I need to plant a knife
dig up the last shred of you
infecting me like spring—
everything is supposed to die,
I keep blooming in!
I have to kill you…
Yet if I do, 
you will always be there;
it’s already oozing
your wound
deep within my heart.

Paraphrase:

The speaker is haunted by the ghost of a past love and feels the need to hate them in order to move on. They want to rid themselves of the last remnants of their former lover, which feel like a disease infecting their life. However, they acknowledge that even if they succeed in killing their feelings for their ex, they will always carry a wound that reminds them of the past. The speaker is caught in a difficult and painful struggle between love and hate, unable to fully let go and move on.

Literary Analysis:

“I Need to Hate You” is a deeply personal and emotive poem that explores the complex emotions that arise after the end of a relationship. The poem is structured around a series of powerful images and metaphors, such as the idea of a ghost stalking the speaker’s living day, and the sense of a wound deep within the heart. These images create a vivid and visceral sense of the speaker’s emotional state, conveying the depth of their pain and the intensity of their struggle.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of language. The language is raw and unflinching, with a brutal honesty that cuts to the heart of the speaker’s emotional turmoil. The repeated phrase “I need to hate you” underscores the speaker’s desperation to rid themselves of their feelings for their ex, while the metaphor of the wound highlights the lasting impact of the past on the present.

The poem is also notable for its exploration of the conflicting emotions that arise after a relationship ends. The speaker feels the need to hate their ex in order to move on, but at the same time, they acknowledge that killing their feelings will not erase the past. This tension between love and hate is a common theme in literature and speaks to the universal experience of heartbreak and loss.

Overall, “I Need to Hate You” is a powerful and emotive poem that captures the complexities of the human heart. Through its vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem speaks to the universal experience of love, loss, and the struggle to move on. The poem invites the reader to reflect on their own experiences of heartbreak and the difficult emotions that arise in its aftermath, making it a truly resonant work of literature.

Ask Me to Stay

Introduction:

D.H. Phoenix’s poem “Ask Me to Stay” is a poignant and emotive reflection on love and commitment. Through vivid imagery and evocative language, the poem explores the complexity of relationships and the importance of trust and communication. The poem invites the reader to consider the power of love to shape our lives and the choices we make.

Ask Me to Stay

Ask Me to Stay
Ask me to stay,
and I’ll be yours until eternity,
one more time.
We talk and argue,
then your head
rests on my shoulder
like the wind on a wheat spike—
you bend me, yet break me not;
like a stem that bears a flower,
I was born to carry you
never a day as a burden.
Without you, I may still be strong,
but bare like a wasteland—
too vast but empty from within;
too bold like eyes bulging
out of a dead smiling skull—
I was born to carry you
and one day, you will do.
The ether will tell the story
for generations to come,
at the time of storms
we both in each other, hide;
Ask me to stay,
and I’ll never let go.
 
Be silent like a grave,
then don’t expect me not
to leave my heart and all;
I know who I can live for,
I’m ready to die for no one.
A breath will come,
a breath will go,
each time I don’t know
if it will ever come again;
what good a fuel well stored
deep down your cellars
with no ignition, no burning,
no crazy jumps out of control;
to reach the top of the world,
you will need a crazy jump;
keep stomping the ground beneath,
the earth will not shake with your stomp.
 
Keep digging a hole in your place,
courtesy of making the foundation sound,
what holds you upright
is only your spine
with all its shimmers and chills;
it talks life into you;
all you need to do
is talk back.
Trust it grows stronger on the move,
perishes statically in place and time—
like a passion fruit
stayed for too long on its tree,
it dried, lost all its appeal,
as no one noticed when it died.
Speak to me,
ask me to stay,
and I’ll be yours
until eternity.

Paraphrase:

The speaker is willing to stay with their loved one if they are asked to. They compare their relationship to the wind on a wheat spike, which bends but does not break. The speaker believes that they were born to carry their loved one and that without them, they would be empty and barren like a wasteland. However, they also emphasize the importance of communication and trust in a relationship. The speaker encourages their loved one to talk to them and to trust in the strength of their love, which grows stronger through movement and communication.

Literary Analysis:

“Ask Me to Stay” is a powerful and emotive poem that explores the complexities of love and relationships. The poem is structured around a series of vivid images and metaphors, such as the wind on a wheat spike and the spine that talks life into the body. These images create a rich and evocative world that draws the reader in and helps to convey the speaker’s deep emotional state.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of language. The language is rich and lyrical, with a musical quality that reflects the speaker’s inner turmoil. The repeated phrase “Ask me to stay” underscores the speaker’s willingness to commit to their loved one, while the metaphor of the passion fruit highlights the importance of movement and growth in a relationship.

The poem is also notable for its exploration of the importance of communication and trust in a relationship. The speaker encourages their loved one to talk to them and to trust in the strength of their love, emphasizing the need for open and honest communication in a healthy relationship. This theme is a common one in literature and speaks to the universal experience of navigating the complexities of love and relationships.

Overall, “Ask Me to Stay” is a beautifully crafted poem that explores complex themes with skill and sensitivity. Through its vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem speaks to the universal experience of love, commitment, and the importance of communication and trust in relationships, making it a truly resonant work of literature.

Let’s Dance and Run

Introduction:

D.H. Phoenix’s poem “Let’s Dance and Run” is a powerful and inspiring call to action, urging the reader to break free from societal constraints and embrace a life of freedom and possibility. Through vivid imagery and evocative language, the poem encourages us to pursue our dreams and reject the limitations imposed upon us by others.

Let’s Dance and Run

Come,
let’s dance and run;
be nomadic for one day;
and every day, a new promise;
a new land in our minds born
If barriers try to keep us away—
like Icarus,
we take our dreams towards the sun,
and fly one more time;
no one will remember
how foolish it was what we have done,
but how we’ve got farther than anyone.
 
Come,
let’s shake off the ancient fear
of our worlds tearing apart,
the last house shattered,
Armageddon is near.
What are we afraid of?
We’ve never had more than bricks
covering our minds and choking our dreams
we have never had home—
but in you, but in me,
we have never had home.
 
Come,
let’s sail beyond religions;
let’s hear the wails of those
too afraid of hell,
they live it here and beyond.
Let’s sail beyond all tribes
seeking to preserve pure blood,
not for kings, not for queens,
but the same rotten they’ve used for years
to poison our minds;
to tell us what’s right and what’s wrong.
 
Come,
let us not wait
for no right time will come,
it is here, it is now.
At the very end we won’t ask
what life has done to us,
but what we have done.
 
Come,
let’s dance and run—
like two nomadic birds,
we soar up high
towards the sun;
and when our bodies rot,
buried deep beneath the sand
our souls will never land.

Paraphrase:

The speaker urges us to break free from societal barriers and dance and run with them, embracing a nomadic lifestyle of constant adventure and new experiences. They compare this to the myth of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, but they encourage us to take our dreams towards the sun, defying the limitations placed upon us by others. The speaker also urges us to reject the ancient fears and tribal prejudices that divide us and instead seek unity and commonality in our shared humanity. They remind us that our time on this earth is limited, and that we must make the most of it by pursuing our passions and dreams.

Literary Analysis:

“Let’s Dance and Run” is a powerful and inspiring poem that speaks to the universal desire for freedom and self-expression. The poem is structured around a series of vivid images and metaphors, such as the nomadic birds soaring towards the sun and the bricks that cover our minds and choke our dreams. These images create a rich and evocative world that draws the reader in and inspires them to embrace a life of possibility and adventure.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of language. The language is powerful and evocative, with a sense of urgency and passion that reflects the speaker’s deep conviction. The repeated phrase “Come, let’s” underscores the speaker’s invitation to the reader to join them in a life of freedom and adventure, while the metaphor of Icarus highlights the risk and reward of pursuing our dreams.

The poem is also notable for its exploration of the themes of unity and commonality. The speaker urges us to reject the tribal prejudices and ancient fears that divide us and instead seek unity and connection in our shared humanity. This theme is a common one in literature and speaks to the universal desire for connection and belonging.

Overall, “Let’s Dance and Run” is a beautifully crafted poem that inspires and uplifts the reader. Through its vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem speaks to the universal experience of pursuing our dreams and breaking free from the limitations imposed upon us by others, making it a truly resonant work of literature.

Unfinished Love

Introduction:

D.H. Phoenix’s poem “Unfinished Love” is a poignant and emotive reflection on desire and longing. Through vivid imagery and evocative language, the poem explores the complexity of relationships and the frustration of unrequited love. The poem invites the reader to consider the power of desire to shape our lives and the choices we make.

Unfinished Love

Every time you stare
With a blank face
and rootless eyes,
I see your fire
quickly burns out,
but smoldering still inside
is my desire.
 
another day,
I give a chance—
the sun what may
and the stars might fall
but the moon is there
waiting alone;
your rays on my skin shine,
That light you say is never mine.
Moonlight is all romance
yet it warms not the bones inside;
every time you light the spark,
I put out the broken fire;
every time you ride me home,
halfway naked you leave—
 
I stumble all my way back
stone by stone I cut my feet;
every time you sail
my vessel to any shore,
you leave me aboard
with nothing but the wind
striping me from my body—
A skeleton for your desires
that can sail every day
allowed to make land
but never ashore.
They’ve all told me not to ask
not to talk
not to speak
to murder my heart
and blunt my desire,
but look in my eyes today,
there is no shame in me—
no shame in a woman wanting more.

Paraphrase:

The speaker is frustrated by their lover’s blank and rootless gaze, but they still feel a strong desire for them. Every day they give their lover another chance, hoping that their love will be reciprocated, but they always end up feeling empty and alone. Despite this, the speaker continues to pursue their lover, even when it leaves them hurt and vulnerable. Others have advised them to give up on their desire, but the speaker refuses to be ashamed of their feelings and their desire for more.

Literary Analysis:

“Unfinished Love” is a powerful and emotive poem that explores the complexities of desire and the frustration of unrequited love. The poem is structured around a series of vivid images and metaphors, such as the burning fire and the vessel sailing to an unknown shore. These images create a rich and evocative world that draws the reader in and helps to convey the speaker’s deep emotional state.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of language. The language is rich and evocative, with a sense of urgency and passion that reflects the speaker’s intense desire for their lover. The repeated phrase “every time” underscores the speaker’s ongoing frustration and disappointment, while the metaphor of the vessel sailing to an unknown shore highlights the uncertainty and vulnerability of the speaker’s situation.

The poem is also notable for its exploration of the theme of desire and its power to shape our lives. The speaker is consumed by their desire for their lover, even when it leaves them hurt and vulnerable. This theme is a common one in literature and speaks to the universal experience of navigating the complexities of love and relationships.

Overall, “Unfinished Love” is a beautifully crafted poem that explores complex themes with skill and sensitivity. Through its vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem speaks to the universal experience of desire and the frustration of unrequited love, making it a truly resonant work of literature.

Conclusion

In the end, D.H. Phoenix’s poems offer a powerful exploration of the joys and sorrows of love. Through its evocative language and vivid imagery, Phoenix’s work speaks to the universal experiences of navigating relationships, grappling with heartbreak, and striving to find meaning in our lives. Whether we are confronting the pain of a broken heart or seeking to embrace a new beginning, Phoenix’s poems offer a poignant and hopeful reminder that we are all connected by the power of love.

<a href="https://englishpluspodcast.com/author/dannyballanowner/" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan

Author

Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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