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A Triadic Suite of Poems by John RC Potter

White text over a cityscape back ground. A Triadic Suite of Poems by John RC Potter "One Lie Too Many," "So Many Tenses," and "Solitare"

One Lie Too Many


Peace, you have for all too long eluded me

on this journey that is my so-called life;

some lovers professed to have loved only me

but their many lies have brought only strife.


Yet they have all loved me to a certain degree

and the fifth lover perhaps the most of all;

but those dark eyes still hide another life

lived in secret and shame behind that wall.


You wonder aloud why you would lie to me,

the words are sincere but the eyes betray;

you can’t comprehend your words mean less

than the real truths your eyes always convey.


I have seen underneath the attractive veneer

to the troubled soul that hides alone below;

you have lived a double life without the need

but what you will reap is also what you sow.


You may decide to hide away under your masks

so, no one else sees the shadow hidden there;

but the truth will out in the expanse of time

and the facade will first slip and then tear.


I first gave in to you and then I gave you up,

you have won the battle but have lost the war;

if you had only chosen the way up to the light,

together and united we could rise and soar.


But you chose the dark and the maze it brings,

so now I am writing this epitaph for you and me;

although you have now told me one lie too many,

I will be searching for you in everything I see.


So Many Tenses


My future is now calling to me

but I can see you’re not in it;

and I’ve loved you now forever

but I’d leave you in a minute.


My present is beginning to unwrap

and it’s coming apart at the seams;

the truth is beginning to peek out

despite your well-concealed schemes.


My past is just that and it is no more

and I have finished with it for good;

I left you behind with the others

but I can’t forget what I know I should.


The past, the present, the future:

so many times, and so many tenses;

we tend to put up walls of stone

after others break down our fences.




Now be still, my beating heart,

I have taken this journey before.

My feet and heart are aching but

I won’t follow this road anymore.


Now be quiet, my darting thoughts,

I have thought too long ere now.

And those who feel, feel too much;

the lonely and the lost know how.


The road is so very long and hard

for those who feel but then wait.

But the loneliest road is travelled

by those who think but too late.


We journey together on this road,

the love-lonely and the love-lost.

But there will be no hope in heaven

for those who have ignored the cost.


Despair not, it is the price we pay,

feeling and thinking to this degree.

There is no light nor any respite

for those who will not hear or see.


A heart cannot break, it cannot weep,

and a lover cannot love on his own.

But the ones who love the deepest

are those who must live a life alone.


John RC Potter is an international educator from Canada, living in Istanbul. He has been published in a range of magazines and journals, most recently appearing in The Serulian (“The Memory Box”) & The Montreal Review (“Letter from Istanbul”). His story, “Ruth’s World” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His gay-themed children’s picture book, The First Adventures of Walli and Magoo, will be published in 2024.                                    

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