Excerpt for Cadence by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

A collection of poems

By Eduard Joseph

Published by Eduard Joseph

Smashwords edition

Copyright 2007 - 2017 Eduard Joseph

Front cover design by Eduard Joseph

Author's official Facebook Page

This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are

not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. Any resemblance to any person or

persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All Rights Reserved

The right of Eduard Joseph to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him under the South African Copyright Act of 1978 (as amended).



Volume One: Love

Last Days of Summer

I'll Come Running


Devil's Wing

Volume Two: Longing & Heartbreak

Dreaming of Affection

Better Love Next Time

I Walk Alone

Hell of a Night

Man on the Run

Dear Cougar

Volume Three: Odd Bits & Pieces

Living Dead Boy
Don't be afraid of the dark

You're in the Army Now


To celebrate a decade of writing, I’ve decided to compile a collection of poems that I’ve written over the years. Some of them were written as lyrics while others were written as poems in various times of my life.

I’ve been wanting to do the collection for a while, but it was only when I was contacted by a poet who read some of my fiction that I decided it was time to publish my poems as well.

Here’s to ten years of writing – may there be many more to come.

voLume oNe: love

1. Last Days of Summer

I don’t know what to expect
in my dying days,
but I know one thing for sure;
you and I will still be dancing in perfect grace.

Dancing like we always have –
under the light of the moon
as bright as a midnight sun.
Looking in your eyes and drowning in your soul
I knew during that first dance that you were the one.

I want to continue our dance
if only the years will give me a fighting chance.
During our last days of summer
you’ll be dancing next to me;
sliding along the razor’s edge of life
we can truly be free.

Published 2007
“Reminiscence: Anthology of African Verse”
Poetry Institute of Africa

2. I’ll Come Running

Lovers’ faith is dying –

And there are winters

that chill us to the bone.

We haven’t seen the sun for weeks

And that’s far too long…

Emptiness inside

And loneliness all around –

Emotions will play tricks on your mind.

When the pain multiply

Making your tears take flight

And you feel like letting go –

I’ll come running to save your soul

When your world falls apart

And there’s pain in your heart

All of my strength and all of my courage

Will lift me up;

And I’ll come running to save your soul.

Condensed from Litnet lyrics.


3. Dragons

I made you a promise

once when we were young –

I would pluck all the stars from heaven

Because you made me feel so strong.

You made me a promise

once that when we grew old

You’d tell the story of our love –

It would be the greatest story ever told.

We stick together like paper and glue;

There’s nothing on earth that I wouldn’t do.

I’d keep you in my arms and never let you go.

My thoughts get confused when it comes down to you

But there’s only one thing that I know:

When the gates of hell spew out their fire

you’ll be my heart’s only desire.

As long as our love is going strong

you’d better believe that what I am saying is true…

I’d slay dragons for you

If that’s what you want me to do.

I’d walk until the end of time;

across the fires divine

if it meant that your kiss would be mine.

I’d slay dragons for you until the end of time

with your love that is mine –

if it meant that you would be…

Right here beside me.

Condensed from Litnet lyrics.


4. Devil’s Wing

Give into your sin.

Let the darkness get in.

Walking down this darkened thoroughfare,

just take my hand –

you have nothing to fear.

We’re almost there.

Let them wash over you; my flames of desire –

Let aspiration take you higher.

The inferno inside of me can no longer be detained.

Let your skin touch my sin and let it be stained.

If you were dark

and I were light.

if the sun was a black hole

and the stars were black acne in the blaze of night.

If we repented your good deeds

and took pride in our sin –

then you my dear, would be darker than the feathers on the devil’s wing…

If a raven’s wings were brighter than tin

Would you wear your crime written down all over your skin?

If love was a sinister thing

Would you allow the fangs of love to wear you thin?

Follow me now to a land of dreams.

There we can truly be free

as nothing is what it seems.


voLume two: loNging & HeArtbReAk

5. Dreaming of Affection

I’ve seen you there;

All alone on your own.

And I wonder of you can feel me

Like I feel you in my soul?

My urge is to touch you;

wrap my body with yours.

It’s making my mind go crazy

And the blood courses through my veins.

My mind walks in circles

to the beat of my heart –

beating faster and faster into my empty soul.

I am like a love sick puppy

Who’ll follow you anywhere you might go.

If I were condemned to a life of pain

I know the thought of you

Would save my soul again,

because you are everything I’ve been dreaming of.

If dreams could come true

mine would be you

For the rest of my life,

but dreaming never got anything done…

All my life I’ve been dreaming of affection;

Thinking of you every night and day.

But when you glance at me I realize my imperfection

and all hopes slip away

and I know; you could never love someone like me.

For who could ever learn to love a beast?

Partially inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

Condensed from Litnet lyrics.


6. Better love next time

Angels with the devil’s wings

Nothing in this world is what it seems.

Can I have one more kiss from you?

Even though you’re wearing sheep’s clothin’.

Can I have one more night with you?

Even though you don’t know the meaning of love and devotion.

Can I have one more kiss from you?

I know you’re the devil wearing Prada.

Can I have one more night with you?

I know I’m better off trusting Hitler’s armada.

You’re all I’m ever thinking about

And I’ve tried to find another way out.

You’re running through my mind and it makes me want to scream and shout.

And I'll never stop thinking of you;

tossing and turning without sleep.

You made the truth seem so untrue.

I think I've fallen in love – I've fallen in too deep.

And the world seems to revolve around you.

I thought you'd never let me fall.

I'm standing on the borderline again…

It seems you never cared at all.

Better love next time…

Condensed Litnet lyrics.


7. I Walk Alone

I walk alone in this labyrinth of broken dreams and broken steppingstones

lined by the undergrowth of regrets and sorrow;

Wandering along the path of life aided by the lunar light -

dreams of a better tomorrow come and go without putting up a fight.

Lonely raindrops fall from the dark sky,

Cascading with my tears.

Do I take a left or go straight ahead?

Will these walls that surround me lead me to my dark fears

or take me to a comforting place to rest my weary head?

The grub lining the steppingstone

is worth ten times what I am longing to be.

This chastening wind is chilling my soul to the bone –

can someone throw me a lifeline and guidance to somewhere I can call home?

I am a dreamy-eyed child staring up into the dead of night –

seeing the truth and yet longing for more.

Are these grey heavens my destiny once my soul takes flight?

Or will I find the once fabled place of comfort I yearn for?

Each broken steppingstone takes me further from where I long to be.

This promenade is driving me to the edge of my sanity.

Only the touch of factual infatuation can set me free,

but then I find myself

One Step at a time;

Fading away from this world.

One stride at a time;

Giving into the cold.

One rung at a time;

Sliding down life’s slippery hierarchy.

One stair at a time;

Forming part of the everyday anarchy.

I will try and make it on my own;

with this heart of mine that’s turned to stone.

Is that sound I hear the final tolling of my bell?

This mosey journey down the warren of life will hurt like hell.

I will try and make it on my own

with this heart of mine that’s turned to stone.

This is my irrefutable truth:

I walk alone.



8. Hell of a Night

Life is not about how many breaths you took,

But how many moments took your breath away.

I’ll suffocate and fade with the last light of the day

If I can’t breathe you in –

You are my love and my darkest sin.

The old oak tree outside the window

turned naked much too soon.

Its shaky branches danced with its shadow

in the reminiscing light of the moon –

like a child shielding his ears from the fight.

I have a hunger that eats at my heart;

It’s like snow melting in summer –

I feel it every time we’re apart.

I want you to fall down

On your knees and crawl back to me,

Like I do every time you leave.

All hell broke loose last night –

I might have been wrong,

But you sure were not right.

Let’s put all of this behind us, my love.

Because my heart is growing restless like a caged dove.

Oh what a hell of a night.

Condensed from lyrics.


9. Man on the Run

How dare you rob me of my right to love?

You broke my heart but that was never enough.

The nights I spent loving you made me feel so young.

Why the hell did we let it all come undone?

You were the only one who ever understood.

And now I am left wondering how you could?

How could you rob me of my right to love?

You took all of me but that was never enough.

And I’m standing here outside your door –

Should I knock or go?

I still feel for you like I did before,

but are you my lover or foe?

You gave your love to a man on the run

the moment our hearts came crashing down.

I’m crying like the winter’s rain.

How can I ever trust you again?

Condensed from lyrics.


10. Dear Cougar

Words don't come easy to me.
Ever since I can remember,

I've been trying to tell you what I felt inside.

I've tried telling you face to face.

I've even tried to call you up at night, but then I got cold feet and hung up.

So I decided to write it down in a letter.

You were the only boy who wanted my just the way I am,

and therefore I thank you.

You taught me to enjoy the small things in life;

like a cloud in the sky.

Therefor I thank you.

But mostly this letter is to tell you I hate you...

I hate you for leaving me like this.

I hate you for letting me feel so much pain and grief.

I hate you for coming into my life and then leaving me behind.

I hate the fact that you're not here.

But most of all I hate that I love you so much.

I hate you for being the only boy I ever loved. And therefor I thank you.

And when I miss your warm arms in the cold of night,

I see you amongst the stars – looking down from heaven

And I know everything will be alright.

Revised passage from “Freaks want Love”


voLume tHree: oDd Bits And pieces

11. Living Dead Boy

The taste of blood might make you sick

But the taste of human flesh gives him one hell of a kick.

Brought back from death by the sins of lust.

In this tumultuous world who can you trust?

An impressionable child wooed by her darkest sins

One wrong move or decision made wrong

One bite of your flesh and your soul is gone

And that’s when the pandemonium begins…

I used to live without life

Never knowing what it would feel like

Never expecting that a brush with death

would be what it takes

to make me feel alive…

When there’s no more room

In the flames of hell

That’s when the dead on earth shall dwell.

It’s the end of the world so don’t be coy

Or you will find yourself standing face to face

With a living dead boy.

SA Horror Fest Entry.

12. Don’t be afraid of the dark

Come in.

Turn off the light
and lay down beside me.
Embrace the night
and the darkness will set you free.

I let the darkness come and hold me
like every night before.
And I wonder whether you’ve ever told me
Why you
’ve never opened your door?

I’ve tried my best to be there for you,
but how can I be when you have secrets that you don’t tell?
You know there’s nothing I wouldn’t do
I’d be your hero – picked you up when you fell.

Let me embrace you – consume you forever.
Sometimes you think that I’m just a lark,
but I will never stop loving you – this is my endeavor.
So give in, let me in – embrace me; don’t be afraid of the dark.

Written for Cadence.

13. You’re In the Army Now

Both the century and I were nineteen years old;

It was the era of golden movies, Hollywood stars

and the economic boom of gold.

I didn’t want to go, but didn’t have a choice.

“The army wants you.”

Uncle Sam said in his thunderous voice.

When the bus came I kissed my mom goodbye.

I climbed aboard with those uncertain young faces

and forcefully embarked on my new life.

The boy sitting next to me seemed nervous as hell.

He had flaming red hair and his face was covered in freckles.

“Hi,” He said, “My name is Mel.”

“Malcolm is the name, but Mel for short.”

He smiled and held out a hand.

He’s kind of cute, I thought.

Back then it was improper for a man to love another.

It was taboo – something you never speak of.

But all I could think of was making him my lover.

He seemed nice and was easy on the eyes.

He was the kind of boy I’d fall for,

but I hated being something that people despise.

We were dropped off on the army base

and were met by a drill-sergeant.

He hated new recruits – it was written all over his face.

After screaming incoherent orders at us,

we finally realized we had papers to sign.

I missed my mom – I wish I never got on that bus.

We had an early dinner – I think it was at five,

and lights-out in the sleeping quarters was at six.

I’ve never gone to bed so early in my life.

I lay on the top bunker and Mel lay below.

He was hugging the covers like a child –

Putting the muscular contours of his body on show.

I stared up at the dark ceiling; missing mom and tried not to cry.

You’re in the army now, I told myself.

You have to man up and be strong. You just have to try.

I thought I was gonna die when we got up the next day at four.

The Drill-Sergeant burst in yelling incoherencies;

making me tumbled out of bed and fall to the floor.

He expected us to jog around the parameter of the base,

but my legs aren’t very good at running –

especially when I’m being chased.

My tired legs dragged on for as long as they could.

I was tired and homesick

and all my mind could think of was food.

Mel helped me stagger to my feet.

“Are you alright?” Mel asked

and gave me a warm smile which unfortunately had to flee.

“Drop and give me fifty, both of you!” I heard the Drill-Sergeant roar.

I gave him a look of confusion

and then he said, “For that you’ll give me fifty more.”

I’ve never been this tired – that night I simply fell asleep.

I barely ate any early supper and when my head hit that hard pillow,

into dreamland I moseyed – I wandered in very deep.

I found myself not only dreaming of mom, but Mel as well.

Their warm and loving smiles

made me forget that I was in the middle of hell.

I woke up in the middle of the night; I was the only one awake.

I heard movement in the bunker below.

Mel was asleep, but I could tell that it was fake.

“Are you awake?” I asked peeking over the edge of the bed.

It took him a while to snap out of his pretend state of sleep.

“Yes, I can’t sleep.” He finally said.

“I miss my mom.” He said, “And I even miss my strict dad.”

I knew how he felt – I hated it here as well.

“We’ll get use to this place.” I said, “It’s not all that bad.”

He gave me a smile and whispered, “You never even told me your name.”

Where were the manners my mother taught me?

“My name is Michael.” I said half ashamed.

I got so wrapped up in all the shit I had to go through,

I completely forgot to introduce myself.

I had to make it up to him somehow – I just had to.

“Nice to finally meet you.” He whispered with a smile,

and with those five words

I forgot where I was if only for a little while.

The army is about repetition; you do everything more than twice.

If it wasn’t for the constant orders and running,

this place could’ve been quite nice.

We get up in the morning and be yelled at;

run around and do some training.

When do we even see any combat?

Shower time is the best part of my day;

seeing Mel all naked and soaped up turns me on –

so much that I have to hide my modesty away.

In a different time and a different place,

we might have been together.

But we’re stuck here – a reality I have to face.

I’d give my all for just a few moments alone with him.

The touch of his skin and the taste of his lips…

just the thought of him makes my heart sing a hymn.

Nine months in the army went by in a blink of an eye.

Mel and I were foot-soldiers

while others lucky enough to learn to fly.

Nine months of stolen glances without a single touch.

I loved Mel from afar and wanted him badly;

I can hardly stand it – sometimes it hurts too much.

Hell finally had a face;

We were finally sent into battle – Mel and I.

At least we were still together – side by side in this forsaken place.

Bombs exploding and bullets flying all around.

The only thing louder than war was my beating heart –

it was a deafening sound.

War was raging

and the enemy was engaging

until there were thousands we were facing.

An explosion went off and it was loud.

I searched for Mel

and found him nearby lying on the ground.

I didn’t hear the battle around me;

All I could see was him as time slowed down.

This is not where I wanted us to be.

We were meant to live in a quiet little town.

He stared up at me with fading eyes.

He ran his fingers down the side of my face;

I wasn’t ready to say our goodbyes.

“I’ve loved you since the moment first saw you.” He finally said.

A moment later he was gone

and I laid him down on his muddy bed.

I sat cradling his lifeless head –

I didn’t care whether we won or lost the war.

All I could think of was everything that went unsaid.

If only I knew sooner he felt the same way

we might have been together.

I would’ve proclaimed my love on our first day.

It’s been sixty years since I lost the love of my life.

I was forced to move on,

so now I have grandchildren and a beautiful wife.

Martha knows nothing about the man I loved so many years back.

I think if she had to find out

she’d probably die of a heart attack.

So I keep it secret – my desperate longing for a life I never had.

I’m reminded of what I have

when the little one’s call me Granddad.

My bones are old, cold and stiff like the artic,

but when the arthritis allows me

I find myself looking at his faded old photo tucked away in the attic.

I’ll never forget him – my freckled face Mel.

He was the first one to say he loved me…

and all of that in the middle of hell.

Published under the pseudonym Edua Erasmus

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