You’ll be the first to know when a new poem is posted

I hope you feel at home amongst my words, and I hope you enjoy the important spaces in between them just as much…

Want to hear them read for you? Click here

It would be great to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share them…

Welcome to my thinking out loud…


She is

Posted on 24 January 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

She is

Heaven sent & earth bound
Ethereality in solid form
Present & distant simultaneously
Familiar & unknowable

Like a scent on the breeze

Planted & vaporous
Ephemeral & enduring
Transient & everlasting
Episodic & perpetual

Like a dream in the soul

Seductive & distant
Irresistible & resistible
Timely & out of time
Knowing & silent

Unutterably elusive & inexpressibly definite

Time holds no sway in the sitting room of the soul
Visitors take tea and engage in idle chatter
They are duped by their surroundings
Illusion is the mask on show
Hold the door, freeze the moment
I can no longer breathe in this chamber
I wish to leave, to take the path
Leaden legs may slow my exit
Truth must be the paradigm
Commitment, the vanguard of spirit

The door through which I leave is of the right size
Pathfinder is the spirit of my true soul
Pilgrimage is the quest of my love
Trailblazer to the visitors with tea
Distant horizon to the shoreline dwellers
Forgotten to the narcissistic leeches
For they only feed where the tables are full

The wind knows my name
Understands my storm-born nature
Feels the lightening in my fists
hears the thunder in my heart
Sees the calm in the eye of the storm

She sees me in her mind
She feels me in the sand running through her fingers
She senses my breath on her neck
She feels the breeze of my love on her lips
Her fingers entwine with mine & coalesce

Pure love requires only the souls to embrace

Moments are lifetimes in another dimension
Time is ductile & inflexible as needed
Memories of what is yet to come abound
The past is tomorrows potential for today

I am fire flowing into the waterfall of her eyes

That part of me which is eternal knows you well
Sharing our souls previously in a life yet to come
You know what is, was & will be
Just as you that which might, should & could

All condensing into the emergent now

Shake free the heavy cloak of expectancy
Tribal norms do apply to the seekers
I obey the rules I choose to agree with
not those simply designed to control weak minds

Speak into the wind and let your voice carry
Sing into the night and feel it hold your note
Shout into the void that fears your truth
Recite your soul into the pages of the world

The world has a truth hidden from so many
Observable only through soul connections
Unspoken & voluminous to its scribes
Unbridled in its passions and love

Take the path less travelled to seek communion
Walk the shaded path that is clean of prints
hear the silence that shouts your name
The whisper of “Storm-Born” will dance in your ears

Feel the rhythm of the song with no words
Sense the lyrics that appear in your mind
Syllables, tenses, cadence, and pitch
Align with the instrumental ballad of home

Chasing the diurnal moth, for dark light
Seeking the dry leaves of summer for shade
Exploring rock pools when the tide has come in
Reading the letters of love never posted

Do not wait for me where you know I will be
Wait for me where you now are, I will come
All paths must cross at a point on the line
All tomorrows will be somebody’s ancient history

Life is how you manifest your desires
How you light your pathway
How clearly you see who travels with you
How deeply you know who touches your soul

Today, take the time to remember

I am

          I can be

                               I shall be

                                                    She is…

© Iain Merchant 2020

Then What?

Posted on 21 January 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Then What?

Diamonds fade over eons
Their value reflecting their scarcity

Then what value desire?

Manuscripts perish in the sunlight
Their words lost for all time

Then what value words?

Dreams can dissipate with waking
Losing their substance through forgetfulness

Then what value imagination?

Honesty can be hard to find in dark times
Solitude may slip into loneliness

Then what value friendship?

Players’ may steal your interest & energy
From behind their grotesque mask of platitudes

Then what value trust?

The morning may arrive with dread
Greeted by the tired eyes of the lost & anxious

Then what value sleep?

Tomorrow may seem too far ahead to hope for
Yesterday too far behind to see clearly

Then what value the present?

The eyes may be hard with insincerity
The words cutting like a stiletto

Then what value the smile?

Touching with love may be a distant memory
Being touched with love a distance too far

Then what value hugs?

Everything lost through the shifting of realities
Absence of everything is now all you feel

Then what value life?

Pain suffered in silence behind the mask of okay
Others being put first in the order of interest

Then what value care?

Giving to receive over giving to forget
Neither a value exchange of worth or mention

Then what value altruism?

Evaluating usefulness in the interview of life
What’s in it for me, is the unsaid mantra of most

Then what value self-worth?

Eyes blinded by the many that will drink your soul
Lids closing from the effort to see the signs

Then what value patience?

The butterfly that lands when you are settled and calm
The songbird that sings only when you listen
The presence of love in the soul of the world
The connections that bring a love that tames distance
The hope that one soul transfers to another
The questions all answered in the simplicity of a smile
The care that is spoken between the words heard
The together that is shared across maps of the globe
The pain that is shared with the twinning of souls
The hope that is gifted from living
The promise of certainty that can renovate a heart
The knowledge that you are not alone
The days and nights that merge into bliss
The significance that comes from being seen
The love that is imparted between the lines
The code is the language of the world
The time is always now
That which has past is simply ashes
That which feeds us today is the fire that burns right now

This is your heart

        This is your hope

                 This is your love

                           This is your life

                                      This is your today

                                                This is your choice

                                                    This is your significance

                                                                 This is your certainty

                                                                                 This is your path

This is your value

© Iain Merchant 2020


Posted on 15 January 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment


Ruptured lines of communication
Opposing views of the facts
Psychological debate of motivation
Disputed views of the past

The few from the many quite distinct
The many form another dimension
The discussion of choice over instinct
The result being an internal tension

The weightlessness of joy has departed
The heaviness of sorrow takes its place
The comfort of home soon departed
The agony of loss in its place

The moment once gone, can’t be recovered
Feelings rush in on the tide
A chink in the armour discovered
The spotlight from which you must hide

The sadness that creeps through your soul
And threatens to swallow the light
For a while, you cannot feel whole
An inner darkness that would challenge the night

Where once it would have anger as outcome
Negative energy fleeing through fight
Now only breathing will find inner freedom
Weeping eyes restoring clear sight

To feel what I feel is distressing
To know what I know oft’ too much
Understanding for most is just guessing
I don’t need their emotional crutch

Causing hurt where never intended
Self-perception being challenged by word
Word choices you wish you’d amended
Resulting feelings, you wish you’d deferred

Intensity has its up and its down
Feeling all has its high and its low
Causing pain makes the joy in you drown
Feeling pain this severe is a blow

Toxins slowly leaving the bloodstream
Tension slowly leaving the soul
Memory fading slowly from the internal scream
Weightless joy once again is the goal

There are many times I might wish to be less
When this pain, is the burden I bear
But my innate understanding, I bless
And I know that pain is the outcome of care

So, please forgive my me absence and silence
Whilst I struggle to balance my heart
I must battle the urge for defiance
Which always insists that it must play a part

Wounded warriors should be circled with caution
For the wound makes their temper run short
Soft words and soft looks for precaution
Whilst their inner maelstrom they manage to thwart

Time heals most all that life offers
Love vanquishes all in its path
Care, the medicine a kindred soul proffers
Returning to home, calculation the soul’s math

Venting and breathing, the process
Home and returning, the goal
Do not permit the joyless dark to oppress
Never relinquish any part of the soul

© Iain Merchant 2020


Posted on 11 January 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment


We speak in the common parlance of the veil
Where the skin is thin between the worlds

We hear it on the breeze

We glimpse it in the shadows

We feel it in our bones



                                           Evening Gloom



We have built many words into our language to describe the veil

Light wanes, ebbs, declines, abates, dims, fades
During eventide, gloaming, dusk, crepuscule
Whatever the word, we all know how it feels

Transition of Time

We are on the threshold of an end and a beginning
But between the worlds, the veil is thinnest

You can feel it

Nocturnal inhabitants rouse in the evening veil
Diurnal proclaimers increase their melatonin
There is a shift in the balance of the world
The veil envelopes the Earth in a wave of penumbra

You synchronise with it

Transient limbo
Nothingness & nowhere incarnate
Indifferent oblivion of light
Cyclical amnesia of luminosity

Crepuscular abeyance of time
Fluid solidity of shadows
Obscurity of the day now past
Resigned to the history of the mind

You are swallowed by it

Stay silent in the audible sway of the deepest darkness

             Stand strong as it creeps across your skin

                          Become incandescent in the dark

© Iain Merchant 2020


Posted on 8 January 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
Awakening Poem

Out of place
Discordant timing
Dissonance with most
Crowds are not for me

Solitude is a preference
A cast of two my ideal play
So much to say to the right ones
So little to say to the rest

Platitudes pass for conversation
Forgettable snippets of speech
No interest in pointless small talk
Futile meanderings of wasted breath

The feeling of being alone is heightened in a crowd
Most cannot see past themselves to see you
This cloak of invisibility is a rare gift
You retreat there gladly, & often

Should I not have been here in a different age
Should I not have a different part in the play
I know my value, and I can read yours too
You cannot see mine, you don’t really know me

You know who you think I am
Even though I have told you different
You see only what you can understand
And you do not understand me

Painful pitch of crystal shards

             Agonising tear of hope ripped from the soul

                          Crippling fear of being completely alone

                                       Mask of serenity

                                                    Voice of positivity

                                                                 Hurting healer

                                                                          Considered confident

                                                                                     Assumed okay







We are not in the shadows but are happy in shade
We have a long echo & touch souls’ as we go
We are soul wise and speak earth’s tongue
We have the deepest love, for those that can feel

We keep the dark at bay, in our fight for the light
Warriors of the heart in the mask of normality
We stand long at our guard posts, with keen eyes
We listen carefully & will hear more than is said

We have many names, some you may know
Loner, sensitive & old soul are some
We are connected to the soul of the world
And we feel the pain caused by our species
Through the oppression of truth & love

One day there will be a reckoning
One day we will find each other
One day we will stand for our truth
One day our collective power will be known

So-called history is the story of victors
The vanquished are not asked to write pages
Cultural appropriation is at the root of all cultures
We are not pure breeds, stop fooling yourselves

We are shared histories and shared blood
We are one race with many tongues
We are destined to repeat mistakes we do not learn from
We are a reflection of our thinking & attitudes

The cacophony of life can weigh heavy in the ears of the woken
The misguided hate so easily, and it  makes me weep
But never mistake my care & kindness for weakness
Nor my silence for ignorance or acceptance

My love is my strength
My hope is my armour
My fortitude is my weapon
My soul is my energy source

Maybe we each have one wing, and need another to fly
Then I will wait for an eternity to find my matching feathers
For then my heart will sing in the language of the world
The notes not yet penned by composers

I will experience the sleep of the truly loved
The love of the truly blessed
The blessings of the connected souls
The explosion of understanding of life

Warriors of the light
Stand guard and keep watch
For we are few, but we are mighty

We are…

Sensitive & Powerful

Alone & United

Questions & Answers

Synonyms & Antonyms

Light & Dark

Lost & Found

Right & Wrong


© Iain Merchant 2020

Strange Shorelines

Posted on 5 January 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Strange Shorelines

Torrents flow and carve through stone
Creating valleys that shape our world
Tsunamis’ of potential are waiting to crest,
in the waves of emotion, I swim in

Treading water is not my chosen style
But I feel as if I have been holding my breath
The undercurrents have had me in some trouble
But the waters clearing, as the storms recede

There are times I think I might drown
I am submerged and slowly sinking
There is nothing for me to hold onto,
even though my weightless arms reach out

The underwater rivers have a pull on my soul
They seek my company on the dark nights
They seek my advice in the cold depths
They wait for the last of the bubbles to rise

The desire to sleep can be strong and alluring
But the desire to inhale is growing
My legs are instructed to kick
My arms and hands push the water behind me

I rise

I break the surface between doubt & hope
The surface tension that grades then & now
The calm horizon that is unseen from below
The abundance of light that does not penetrate the deep

I inhale

The sea is calm, and I float & breathe with ease
I came from the water long ago, but I live here no more
I am moved by a different current towards an unrecognised shoreline
I stand on strange land and watch the tide go out

The receding tide whispers…

“Adiós, por ahora amigo”

‘Farewell, for now, my friend’

Each time this happens I must reorient
For the shoreline is strange, but I know I belong
I have to find my way back to me
Find my way back home

Back in my own self, I awake from my inner journey
Voices of life, silent just a moment ago, increase in volume
I am unsure if anyone noticed I had gone
They are so busy just being them

I feel as if I have shifted dimensions

I casually glance at myself to see the soaked clothing
I am dry, and yet I can still feel the wetness all over me
My wet dry skin goosebumps from the breeze of the day
“Are you ok?” someone is aware I am here…

I have been seen

“Yes, fine thanks, why?” I answer to throw them off the scent
“Nothing really, you just seemed miles away”
I was, I was bloody drowning, and all alone” is what you don’t say
“I’ll send you a postcard next time”, is what you do say, and laugh

How can time be so elastic?

You spend a few moments to ensure everyone assumes all is normal
You excuse yourself and head for the bathroom
You look at yourself in the mirror and know that the journey was real
Both of you know it was real…!

You turn on the tap and cup water to your face
Although soft now, it whispers to you again

“Hasta pronto amiga”

‘See you soon friend

Your reflection also smiles the knowing smile of reluctant acceptance
You finish and dry your hands, take a deep breath
The deep breath pushes your shoulders back and raises your head
You feel better, you feel here & you feel now
The world awaits your presence and your input

You await its response

Why do whispers hold only secrets?
Even ones you don’t want to keep
Why does that other place in your mind need to speak
And why does it speak with your voice

The solitude of looking across a glass ocean
The temptation to test the solidity of the surface
The endless horizon that haunts your soul
The conscious effort to stand and appreciate the view

For I am the explorer of strange shorelines

© Iain Merchant 2020

Earn it!

Posted on 1 January 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud

Earn it!

You cannot chastise me
Frowning with displeasure or disdain
Who are you to judge or pass comment?
You are nothing but a legend in your own mind

I seek not to please you or meet your standards
I have my own and they are of greater value
I am no jigsaw piece for you to place
I am not a part of your picture

Do you not see that?

You want me to fit
You try to shape me and fail
You try to lure me into your frame
You present yourself with false interest

You do not want my freedom of thought
You cannot handle my myriad of understanding
You feel naked in the light of my soul
You feel less than in the measuring of honesty

Can you not own that?

You feel unable to compete in the true light
You present as a puzzle to be solved
The bait on the hook that pierces the flesh of the fish
Do you honestly expect me to bite?

Do you genuinely believe your games are unseen?
You convince yourself that you’re the smartest in the room?
Are you aware of your narcissism or would it be a surprise?
Do you know your M.O. is obvious?

You need to wake up to this truth

It takes no courage to present a false face
It carries no empathy when you manipulate to gain
It requires no decency to raise the hopes of a heart
It requires no soul to keep the focus on yourself

Life and love desire connections
Love and living are truthful bedfellows
Promises and follow-through should match reliably
Your word should have an unshakable value

This should be your ‘self-expectation’

Tomorrow is yet to become history
Today is making the transition as we speak
Yesterday is a good library, but a poor home
What you do right now will determine all things

Did you truly seek what you said you sought?
Were those words of any value at all
Were they just appropriate sounds at the appropriate times?
Does what you say have any discernible value as truth?

Have the courage to be who you are!

You certainly fooled me for a while
Until your patterns became clear
Are you aware of it all, I am not so sure?
You may be somewhat lost in your own lies

Non-malicious manipulation is better, but no excuse
I wanted what you pretended to offer, and for a while, I could not see!
The trickle of soothing water softened my heart
Until I realised that acid also flows

You have chosen the darkness over the light

There is only one path to true love
There is no darkness in its landscapes
Soft shadows yes, but no caverns of hate and self-loathing
The light of truth requires no hiding places

I can protect my soul from you, but you need to own yours
The right time is always now!
I don’t know if you have the courage, but time will tell
A future you want lays ahead of you changing

What you desire, comes with the responsibility to earn it…

© Iain Merchant 2020


Posted on 27 December 2020 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment


Leonidas holds no sway here
The Persians hordes did not pass this way
Thermopylae echoes in a different land
The immortals guard no God-King at this spot

Titles can indeed send the mind off in a myriad of directions
Searching for meaning and understanding before reading
Attempting to unpick the poets’ mind
To steal a yard of comprehension

Move Xerxes from your thinking
The God here is natural, not titled
Mother nature casting a spell
That bound a young boy’s heart forever

The map here is in my mind and engrained on my soul
The location is no secret, but the secret is a location
If you are genuinely cared for, it will have been shared
For it is now your church too

It is teacher and student, classroom, and playground
It is listener and speaker in the language of the World
Tomorrow will always be in its field of view
The past is forgiven, and the soul is loved

Quantifying its importance would be an exercise in futility
Some things are meant to be and are best accepted as such
The science of ‘HOW’, is not always required
The power of NOW is the key to unlocking the treasure

I have faith in certain people
I have faith in certain places
I have faith in my own essence
I have faith in the soul of the world

Imaginary deities hold no sway in my sight
Controlling, subjugating, dogmatic asphyxiators of truth
Natural beauty requires no manufactured support
When you touch the soul of the world, you need no guide

We are the Universal dust of ancient supernovas
We are the amalgamation of time and chance
We are the eyes of our own existence
We are proof that we are here

Stand at 300 and witness love
Hope at 300 and witness chance
Cry at 300 and witness empathy
Love at 300 and witness life

When my time comes, and I transform into the echo of me
The ashes of life moved by the smallest of breezes
I want no marker of stone, no location carved in words
Those that know me well, also know where to visit

I will be invisible to most, just as in life
I will be available to those I love forever
I will be waiting for you by the wall of truth
I will be 300

© Iain Merchant 2020

Unadorned Honesty

Posted on 26 December 2020 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Unadorned Honesty

Naked truth cast in sharp light

Mirrors reflection does not flatter

           Soul is faced with facts, not hopes

                     There is no relief, respite nor excuse

You and your truths are alone

Walk through the flames with your head high

Walk the road you own with vigour in your step

You are never alone… Your shadow is your mimic

Consider yesterday

Engage today

Sculpt tomorrow

© Iain Merchant 2020

Tide’s Out!

Posted on 24 December 2020 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud

Tide’s Out!

Right place, wrong time
Right time, wrong place
Right words, wrong rhyme
Right skills, wrong face

Right goal, wrong move
Right move, wrong goal
Right beat, wrong groove
Right face, wrong soul

Right day, wrong minute
Right step, wrong way
Right push, wrong limit
Right minute, wrong day

Right coat, wrong cover
Right feet, wrong shoes
Right love, wrong lover
Right punch, wrong bruise

Right thought, wrong action
Right question, wrong clue
Right drive, wrong traction
Right colour, wrong blue

Right Country, wrong town
Right language, wrong word
Right smile, wrong frown
Right intended, wrong occurred

Right thinking, wrong thought
Right phrases, wrong tone
Right rescinded, wrong sought
Right number, wrong phone

Right aspiration, wrong aim
Right target, wrong shot
Right truth, wrong blame
Right rope, wrong knot

Right light, wrong sky
Right stars, wrong night
Right care, wrong lie
Right shine, wrong light

Right stare, wrong eyes
Right volume, wrong shout
Right intention, wrong surprise
Right lips, wrong pout

Right arms, wrong cuddle
Right absence, wrong miss
Right confusion, wrong muddle
Right person, wrong kiss

Right hope, wrong sorrow
Right silence, wrong say
Right planning, wrong tomorrow
Right need, wrong today

Right second, wrong emotion
Right instant, wrong word
Right attention, wrong devotion
Right quarter, wrong third

Right silence, wrong mime
Right polish, wrong chrome
Right instinct, wrong time
Right angel, right home

© Iain Merchant 2020

All Images © Iain Merchant  2021
All Rights Reserved
  Tel: (0)7745 331613
Photographer / Artist / Author Leicestershire UK