Deciding which is more powerful, the Forward, or the verses of the journal, is subjective. The poems expose the deepest of inner pain suffered by the author over a specific period. The Forward is preparation for the emotional ride.
Relating to ninety percent of Derek’s personal hell may be the reason his words hit home. The poems are moving and evocative. After reading each one, and choosing a favorite, I would change my mind as I read the next entry.
‘The Clown’ is an outstanding piece of writing. A poem that will linger in your heart, as it will forever in mine. I have substituted the word ‘woman’ for ‘man’ and the matching pronouns for personalization. Including the poem in this review, I urge you to do the same to appreciate. After reading ‘The Clown’, there’s no doubt you will crave Loss, Limbo, Life and Love: A Poetic Journal by Derek Haines.
Everybody’s happy, I’m everybody’s clown,
I always wear my smiling face, even when I’m feeling down.
No one sees the tears I shed, every single day,
“Make me smile, I’m feeling sad”, all the world does say.
And so I make them laugh, and warm them from within,
They all think they love the clown, but I let no one in.
My grease paint smile, always there, for that is all they see,
Everybody loves the clown, but no one will love me.
It’s not because some haven’t tried, but they have tried in vain.
I am so unsure that I can love, without causing pain.
The gift of love is the power to hurt, and so hurt, I must be,
That now I flinch in fear almost, when love approaches me.
I crave the warmth a woman brings, as any man would do,
But lying deep within me, is the fear I will hurt you.
So if you want the man that lies beneath the wide smile charm,
Be prepared to bring with you, a very soothing balm.
For it will take a woman, with patience, warmth and care,
To wipe away the grease paint smile, and find me under there.
And when she finds the man I am, and sees the wounds I bear,
Will she have the courage, to take me in her care?
And will I have the strength I need, and trueness to the core?
To return her love and care, and make her all I’ll live for.
I live in hope that just maybe, this special woman lives,
And we can share the happiness, that true love always gives.
Alas, I fear I’ll never find the happiness I seek,
I lick my wounds but always find a reason to be weak.
So anytime I hear the words, “Oh My Clown, I love you.”
I cringe and find my hiding place, then run to somewhere new.
Written by Derek Haines