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Tim Hickson: Quiet Thoughts

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 08.07.2023.

Roger, Go at Throttle Up

I reached this place under a waning moon, and cannot go on

I am so sorry to have been so much trouble

I shall never forget what you have been for me

in those days I was one who wished to make a god of myself

say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president

and say goodbye to yourself

all the damn fool things you do in life you pay for

somebody’s got to care

I am bored of it all

we coped with the sadness

we wait for death from one moment to the next

one never knows the ending,

although Catholics have their high hopes

the Godfather, my archnemesis!

my anchor is well cast

t don’t kiss me; it is the sweat of death

I see black light

ssThe fog is rising

It is done


so one who

Pat got have their

My archnemesis but don’t it is the

I see the is rising it is

Note: every line in this poem is taken from a different person’s last words.

A Thousand Kinds of Silence

the silence when

we listen for the first heartbeat

one-two, one-two, the start of a dance

a hundred sleepless nights

crying, howling with the wind

one-two, one-two

you sleep soundly for the first time

we stand there on the precipice, afraid to wake you

in and out, in and out

your first tantrum

a grocery store, a friend’s house

‘I’m so sorry, ignore her,’ we say

[stanza continued]

in and out, in and out

you wait by the letter box

your girlfriend pulls up in a sleek chevy

like your dress, the perfectly ironed sheen of a first impression

one-two, in and out, take a deep breath

refusing to eat dinner

looking out the window

hoping that sleek chevy pulls up


I can’t hear the thousand quiet thoughts

in your head that I once did

I hear the clock, the time to let you go

tick-tock, tick-tock

moving to distant meadows

where the grass is greener

scaling skyscrapers

of opportunity we could not give

chasing horizons we cannot see

knives and forks scrape across the dinner plates

your mother’s chewing, my intermittent cough

I can hear my own heartbeat against the wind

one-two, one-two

the phone doesn’t ring

you’re busy, we know

flying above the monoliths

refusing the touch the ground

remember to breathe, okay?

the air is thin up there

in-out, in-out

wheels grind gravel

we hear footsteps at the door, shuffling and nervous

you have your own key, but you knock

you take me in your arms, coiling in

I feel your heartbeat against mine

one-two, one-two

your breathe in the thick air

into the crook of my corduroy sweater

in-in-out, out-out-in, in-out-out, in-out, in-out, in and out, in and out

the same clock that presided over your cot sounds out the hour

tick-tock, tick-tock

there is never time to return home, but always space to

About the Author: Tim Hickson spends his days tucked away in the little corner of the world some would call New Zealand, where he enjoys writing about existentialism and mental health, the concept of the self, and the problem of consciousness. His work has appeared in Utopia Science Fiction, Orion's Belt, Apparition Lit, and more. His work has a following of 1M online where he is sometimes better known as 'Hello Future Me' on YouTube. You can follow him there or at @TimHickson1 on Twitter.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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