Tom’s 20th, July 2017

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WHAT IS THIS LIFE OF OURS? Where does it lead — ?
Where it goes we cannot say,
All we know, all we care to think about
Are the pathways of the day:
The sun rises, falls; shines, declines.
It is up to us whether we burn or glow;
Do we embrace the heat of this source,
or do we remain unsure and flow
With the tides of the world
And the words that pass
O’er our heads and through our eyes?

It is hard to say: I cannot tell you, I’m afraid.
The current is fast, the waters too wide.
Do not tip in a toe, do not test the temperature —
Submerge your foot completely!
This is no time of hesitation, to be uncertain:
Seize the moments that are fleeting! …


Poem for Holly

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AS MY BROTHER’S GIRLFRIEND,
I didn’t quite expect
To get to know you much
Or do little more than text;
But, I’m pleased to say,
We’ve since shared more than one foray
Into the sunny wilderness,
And out into the day.

Bowling games and Southbank dawdles,
Sharing words as bright as baubles,
Everything you say to me
Has its own
Sort of electricity.
You really do
Talk quickly,
But, saying that,
In my view,
It brings no shortage of
Hilarity.

Upon you I can rely
To bring a smile,
Without question of how or why:
It’s simply who you are,
And it’s who you’ll always be,
Posing little mystery
As to how we’d get along.
I think our friendship started strong
The day you came to see me,
The day you poked your head,
Through my door and past my bed,
To see me sitting at my desk,
To enchant me with your address
That your name was Holly,
That you wished me all the best. …


From the orchestra pit to city hall

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IF, AS EMILY DICKINSON ONCE SUGGESTED, fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate, then it stands to reason that the entertainment industry is a shifty business. In front of or behind the camera, a person can undergo an entire evolution cycle of job roles and titles across the course of their career.

Cinematographers might decide they want to try their hand at directing (looking at you, Barry Sonnenfeld). Sometimes the director might have a go at screenwriting (hello, Mr. …


Tribute to my other half

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I SEE YOU THROUGH A PHONE SCREEN,
I see you in a dream:
Your face is always sunlit,
Your eyes are always green.
I watch you laugh, I watch you talk,
I know the path on which you walk
Is, for now, a lonely one
— For that there isn’t much
To be done —
As we’re kept apart,
As our bleeding hearts
Do little to dissolve
The pain that comes in darts.

The world now seems much bigger,
It really feels quite vast,
Compared to times, not long ago,
(So recently the past)
When all it took
Was a train ticket
For our problem to be solved,
For our plight to be resolved,
And I could come to see you. …


We need to talk about one of my favourite authors

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Over the Christmas holidays, I kept myself occupied by sorting through the assorted crap I had stuffed into storage boxes under my bed. One of my discoveries was the pile of books I had clung to throughout university, coming with me to each of the three different houses I inhabited across my three-year degree.

One of the covers that leapt out at me was the pristine whiteness of Lionel Shriver’s The Mandibles: A Family, 2029–2047, a dystopian near-future narrative so authentically believable that, after reading it, I walked through time and space as though tiptoeing across sugar-glass. It recounts an economic cataclysm triggered by the United States’ decision to totally wipe out every cent of its national debt. …


And here’s how we worked around it

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On December 19th, the UK government announced sudden travel restrictions that instantly grounded a third of the country. These new “Tier 4” restrictions were soon extended to more of the country’s population, but it meant that, just a few days before I was due to collect him from the train station, my boyfriend would have to spend Christmas Day in his cramped, empty university accommodation. …

About

Liam Heitmann-Ryce

Gay writer who will always talk to strangers // Australian, 24 // Keith Haring & classical music // bit.ly/liamhr-portfolio

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