Not A Bed Of War

Not A Bed Of War

“In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,”*
I see you in that lonely night;
The horrors swirling in your head
As you lie upon that blood-stained bed:

Not a bed of war with bodies
Piled upon the sodden earth;
But still the falling, one by one
Of young men to their early death:

Falling as the world averts its eye
And never deigns to question why
The curse of suicidality
Haunts the men of modernity.

“In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,”
I see you in that lonely night;
Your spectre on that blood-stained bed,
The horrors swirling in my head.

(C) Mary Cochrane 2019

*From ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est (Wilfred Owen, circa 1917-1918)



If I can bypass the body
And feel the ocean churning,
I can gently unravel amidst
The changing colours of the sky.
If I can lose my self in the
Hypnotic stream of lunar light,
I can waver like a pattern
While the world’s mayhem passes by.

If I can reach into your soul,
Beyond convention, norms and all,
We can unlock those heavy doors
Of Huxley’s perceptual rooms.
If I can transfer your essence
Into the core of existence,
We can forego the tedium
Of mortality’s desolate tomb.

© Mary Cochrane 2018

Bright Rays of Truth

Bright Rays of Truth

Mystical Aurora, flashing green,
Dancing spirits on a sky-screen;
Beyond the limits of fragile Earth,
Borne of the sun’s omnipotent breadth.

Red star burning for eternity,
Till I am you and you are me;
Merged with the deep, and companionless;
No life or death as our honoured guest.

And the shipwreck lies with faded blooms,
In the world below, in the lonely rooms
Where wraiths and poets engage in vain thoughts
Of bright rays of Truth that cannot be sought.

© Mary Cochrane 2017

The Portal of Sleep

The Portal of Sleep

It is a new beginning
In which the dawn passes me by
And I sway in the luxury of timelessness:
Swathes of harmony,
Red skies adorned
With the hallowed presence of the moon.

Your spirit-self takes me
To the heart of the dark wood,
Where the ghosts of past lovers
Weave between paths of ethereal lands.
I hear their whisperings
As midnight beckons to the portal of sleep.

© Mary Cochrane 2018




Survival guilt – the parasite
That is never truly sated.
Catastrophic consequence –
Eyes dulled, lifeless,
The body hanging by a thread.

Even the mighty
Are brought to their knees,
Even the shadows retreat in terror.

Bones withered, worn by time,
Existence played out
In a strange, apocalyptic paradigm.

Reprieve in the multi-coloured skyline
That illuminates the vast, rolling sea;
Breathless with anticipation
Of all that lies beyond the self.

© Mary Cochrane 2017

Earthy Aroma of Youth

Earthy Aroma of Youth

It is a rare event these days –
encountering the scent of patchouli.
It was even considered hippyish
when I was wearing the oil
in that summer of 1982.

I used to buy the dark little bottle
of Spiritual Sky
from the exotic shop
not far from our flat
in Glasgow’s West End.

Do you remember it?:
the large, spartan room
with the high ceilings and
poster of Jimi Hendrix
by the window;
your tiny annexe that could only hold
the single bed and rickety chest of drawers;
our flatmates, the African students,
with their bright, flamboyant clothing;
and the strange combined odours
of curried chicken and cannabis.

Do you remember our long strolls
through Kelvingrove Park?;
a chance to breathe in the heady scents of nature
and speak of our dreams for a better future.

You only made it to twenty-six,
your beauty taken from this world by your own hand.
Now, the memories keep me afloat
when I am drowning, and the deep,
earthy aroma of our youth brings me back to life.

© Mary Cochrane 2017

Take Me Home

Take Me Home

When I miss you the world is grey;
There are no hues or scents,
Nothing makes a difference.

I want to scream into the gaping silence.
I want to stretch my hand through the ether
And pull you back onto this earthly plane.

The world is buckling
Under the strain of your absence,
Withering without your love.

The clock ticks its meaningless repetition
And I repeat my meaningless existence
As I wait for you to take me home.

© Mary Cochrane 2017

A New World

A New World

No more words to invade the night;
They scatter and flee from prosaic sounds:
All manner of grating trivialities
That threaten to disconnect from source.

But soon comes the redemption of nature
And its multitudinous intricacies –
Only its ferocious beauty
Can penetrate and soothe the human soul.

Wisdom, subtly embedded in time,
Mobilises behind the scenes.
The visionary turns the key
And a new world comes into view.

© Mary Cochrane 2016



It seems that I should be my self-confessor,
For who can withstand these diabolical topics?
Mirrors of mortality that they are.

I cannot maintain the momentum;
Even the breath of life eludes me,
And the futility of petition screeches
In the vacant internal space,
Wherein the only option is exploration,
Till the glistening treasures appear –

Then I can tell you the secrets
In the midst of the deep, indigo night,
When love has pervaded all kingdoms.

(C) Mary Cochrane 2017