A Poem About a Break-Up

The author

My guiding light has been extinguished,

Only a vestige of its glow remains.

From all else it can still be distinguished.

But she’s gone. So why am I held in chains?

Why is it now, solitary and free,

That I can’t move, petrified by freedom?

Why is it now, living only for me,

that to darkness, dread and fear I succumb?

That when I close my eyes I still see

Just her face? And it leaves me numb.


I’m not in life, nor do I want to live,

I’m held fast, in limbo, between you and death.

Where now can I call home, when I’ve given you all I had to give?

My heart to you, your name to my final breath.

I tried to capture those shooting stars for you,

Though they paled beside your beauty.

And I’ve carried all the tears you cried too.

Taking them from you was my proudest duty.

They were as good as mine anyway.

When you felt pain, I would feel agony.


How can you move on when everything reminds you?

How can you move on from the best thing that happened to you?

How can you still love so much someone who caused you such pain?

How can you feel grateful for all the hurt, and welcome it as gain?


Sitting alone in the dark, I don’t know what to do.

Life has become meaningless, time is nonsense.

Counting my breaths, too short and too few,

Counting on nothing: healing; your conscience.

My blood is shed, spilt from a heart still beating.

Dripping where I pray, pooling beneath the pew.

Maybe one day it will grow flowers new.

Here one moment, gone the next, fleeting.

Alighting on everything, reddest dew,

Colourising my life, reminding me of you.


Jamie Murphy is a postgraduate in IR. The skewed rhyme structure was an experiment in conveying the melancholy of the author. If you think it did or didn’t work, feel free to contact the author at zlhv58@durham.ac.uk.

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