polymyalgia rheumatica (mother’s side.)

polymyalgia rheumatica (mother’s side.)


the door’s caught somewhere between here and there,
caught in amongst debris of oft-forgotten vices,
habits stripped and consoled, afterwards.
dementia, rheumatism, cerebral ataxia,
acronyms, initials that spell a.c.d.i. | A.D.
(afterwards) caught in amongst
lolling, gagged, drawn,
sought after. the door still caught, you can’t open it.

whether it matters or not what’s on the other side.
the phrase, ‘P.T.G.’ — months’ worth.//
six minutes in. seven years prior.
it doesn’t reflect like it did. less a mirror
than acting mud.

your hand rests on the burnished glass
of the door handle. you’ll only wake up again anyway.

seven years, now. how many times will we say that until it becomes clear? still can’t bring yourself to kick it ajar. nothing so simple. murmuring static and voices on the other side. six minutes in. she’d gone deaf. seven years prior. couldn’t hear a thing. close the door on another slumping year. leaning on all fours against the wall, blood trickles down from the hole in the side of your head. something’s growing down there.

no surprise when the screaming starts.
you’d said not to look. you can’t be the only one responsible.
now she’s caught somewhere between the door
and the colossus of wrapping paper, soup cans,
beer cans, bottles, and cardboard boxes.
presents. check your watch. neither hand signs out.

the feeling recedes. you jump back into your body.
it’s not so hard now. in fact, it’s all so easy.
the knife is still stuck in there, somewhat deep.
not so hard. flashback. a memory. seven years prior.
still the door won’t open. caught between.
in amongst. then, more acronyms. check them off the list.

|o.c.d.// a.d.d.// a.s.d.|
|a.c.d.i.// A.D. (father’s side.)|
just another minute; convergence.
:gridlock—:
year when#, check it off the list,
along with other nonsense rhymes and dots, loops.

it hardly reflects at all. you’re growing. it all came so easy.
stroke the key backwards. retardation: stalled; atrophic,
and the like. note: polymyalgia rheumatica (mother’s side.)

sift through the glass hilltops, your hand still caught,
little gifts placed under a certain tree, the night before.
there she is, groping through the darkness,
only the blue light flicker that claims ownership
over the scattered vocal intonations and incessant hum
to guide her step, but unlike you she isn’t caught
on the threshold. her burgeoning body casts a shadow
somewhere between your own learnt present
and her disrobing present — your future—
naked in the eye of ever-after, and the like.

your hand still grasping that burnished glass,
no reflection, consideration.
screaming stops. no sound now. deafened.
then, two simultaneous thuds, her knees on the plain wood;
might leave a bruise.
and there you are, as usual:
on all fours, hands in the dirt and glass shards,
caught at the barrier, crawling to the threshold.
but to get there, you have to reach halfway first.
no chance. you’ll be there forever.



Note: This MAY be the last poem I publish for a while, as I am starting to send my work to indie lit journals. I will continue to post any poems I think are best suited to this blog, as some I write with Scribbles in mind. Many thanks for all the support!

why do they leave?

why do they leave?


her eyes are drawn.away when.
they drift close.and shift as if
they never once beheld.your
own.and why?(a simple
conundrum)
for each will.leave.yes.gone
[why do they leave?]
did i at once conjure.a.
n.illusion?“those years before,
when we were young, or thought
we were, when eyes amet upon
the grass, and shared in we were
rumoured wrongs, a conundrum
too simple for one like”

“i know you not,” she says.
her.eyes ar;e drawn away; when
they drift too close on.a gentle
breese.wind.in my greyish hair:
“no, i know not you nyther,” i say,
“and i am not sure i ever did.”
afforded inside my venge.ful skull’s hole
that from ’leaks grey.oozing;brain.
down my lapel.

your eyes. why do they leave?
why do they always leave?
and were they ever there to begin?


Decaye: An Observation

Decaye: An Observation


(11th December 2019)


There is ne’re a face I stand to see
In the city side-streets, and underground
It’s all the worse, where shades hang
From every wall, and violence begets
Nothing but a slight, disapproving glance.

[Embankment, 6:53am]

A figure slumped at disattent
On the platform; drowned not by onlookers:
Crack pipe — erstwhile bottle — in his lap;
He rolls his own rotten teeth
Around in his mouth like marbles;
Cavernous cracks in his face
Hide nothing.

[Leicester Square, 6:15pm]

Swaths upon swaths and you know the deal—
Like anyone who’s crept the gap could—
Marble Mouth still on his route, gaping eyes
That do not look at me, nor anyone as he
Asks for what I ain’t got that he don’t got.

Go’bless. Go’bless.


A Short Series on Synchronicty

A Short Series on Synchronicity

Empath

A view above the mini-mart
Of the hollow-laden thatch.
Smoke’s in fashion.
A warm, empty bed.

And yet: you know you are not dead,
When arms of experience and sweet-fair
Might shield you.

Inconstant metal hexagonoid carriage
Astray
Drowned in aether
Seeking only a draft for the drought.

Taut love, a transfiguration:
Trade new for one you thought
At rest.

Sought to save: sought to lose
Yourself amongst cursive eyes amongst
Backstreets in post-light entropy
As the jackets huddle

And you seek the seams at the
Heart of the city and yet:
It is you who were taken in
And, for a time, saved.


Walk the End of the Line

An elegance far beyond my early stretch
Excellence in lines of thought
And speaking fears beyond fears
There you are.

How is this?—
Synchronicity of our failure to abide—
Linked, not just in arms,
But in destination
(Here at the end)


Protective Personalities

To get to the root of this coincidence
I asked of God. The answer, of course,
Was yes. A cross by the bedside.
And then we were transmuted:
Bound too quick, and yet,
Goodbye,

(Which we knew)
And which was I to you? Translated
Ecchoed transparent reaching
And clutching: — hands bound, together,
With piano wire; — yet, pleasant.—

(And moments are ever on the go,
Taking their time whilst yours drains.)

We spoke, and kissed, and followed through
On a promise of ‘just four hours’—

Just another hour to sleep.


Symbolic

One last ride, and we’ll be there.


Pillows

Plenty of bowls and vases, made for
Flowers, pot pourri,
Empty.
Queen of Cups: jars and glass ashtrays—
The latter are full.

An embassy far from here is missing you.
But stay.

Let the sheets turn cold, until
Our mouths are overcome
And the bells and whistles
Ring in our wounds
Like a cotton-mouth hangover

So fast we became comrades:

Are you good? she said;
Quite fine, I replied—
No, she said:
Are you good in bed?


A Dialogue / The Aleph

A Dialogue / The Aleph

 

a pound fer yer thoughts — a penny fer the old guy:
           tis been six weeks since the old binter left,
      no more thoughtful than the change
                             in my sickly pockit;
              how bout yerself?
                                                  been reet. been reet.
              just get the feelin that maybe she
              ent really gone;
                                        an i spent long enuf
              thinking about the old binter that
                                        sometimes she’s relly there.
                    The Aleph on the wall comes first:
                    And all around in the room, people
                    Enter and exit, stage this and that,
                    Set up for some song and dance.
                    Times like this I wish I were deaf.
an its not like                                                 she sed nuff’n—
               one day it were all sunny shinin an cutesy
           roun the back an et;                           then she were done,
                                               never did hear
                                               nother word.
                                                                        o I saw er:
                                     i didn’t pay no time ner mind
                                                  no penny fer that old binter
                                 aftah she did’t’yh.
fank, fank. an i wish i were strong’n’like’tha:
                                 but n’i know if the old lass
                                 came round bein crass and showin off
                   i’d be the first to chuck a coin in that old whole’n’all.
           got no self respek. no chance.                     can’ help’n’m’se’h.
                    My eyes are drawn back to the Aleph.
                    It’s the only one here who is solemn:
                    The rest are gargling absinthe, and
                    Sniffing a powder I know isn’t snuff.
                    Sometimes think I could have made
                    A good corpse. Better not to breathe.
notter mention, she’d’a bin talkin too much to that fecker.
      like an’as if I warnt there.                       so much fer love!
                                                 so much fer a state of romanz!
            feck’er. i sed: feck’er.                  which’n fecker
                                      you sed she speakin to?
            fecker’n wi’tha funny eye. ’e got that eye
            tha’s feck’n’d’all.                          an i know the cunt—
            feck’er got a rite ’orn for the lassie.
an i say so.   been thinkin on that one.   cunt’s ’ungry’n’al’f’r’er’fan.
                     jus say f’k’al.    no worth it.   binter’s gon.
       an yer rite. iss’a sham. not a fam no’wort the time.
       eh’s tima’ledditgoh.                     or yer’k’ledditgettay’.
                                        an then yr f’ck’d.
                    In the Aleph is all of spaced time,
                    And only I can see it twisting like
                    Candy cane like epigram like rite
                    To raise the dead. But, no. Then,
                    Yells, I am resurrected to the bells.
                    Seeing my days on crud-encrusted
                    Earth in Technicolor lens and flare.
bezzusarolliewouldyfam. sick us one.                fuckusacig.
                                                            ye.
            y’n’d’a’fag’t’feckaway’t’rancid’n’tha.          all ’em leave.
     y’d need one but mate. think.             ’n tha’s’it.
                 tis wha’td’is.                 ye. but not wha’could be.
                                                yns on the binter still?
           am’n’al. am’n’al.     wha’s’e got’n’tha i dont?
                        an mate its no tha. its no tha.
                        tha’s just it.            tis tha’n’all.
an a but i gave her time.   i gave her my all for two year’n’al.
two year. two year’n’al for her to just turn her eyes away an
two year’n’al for her to treat me like a feck’n’fool. an i am.
                                        a feck’n’jit. fel.
                    All I see is the Aleph. It draws me
                    Quite slowly into its world. And, yet,
                    Even beyond this parlour of aether,
                    This world of fuck’d-up dreams:
                    I am stronger than the Aleph. It haunts
                    My daylight hours, it makes me a
                    Foolish folk in this room of drawl;
                    Even in peaceable, less noisesome
                    Moments, I sit by the Aleph, dreaming
                    Like a drunken butterfly of what time
                    Might be. And it is time to break
                    Such idiocy: for you are just a silly girl,
                    And I am a fool of a man. But even
                    A fool can dance around that which
                    Temptation lies out, like spoiled food,
                    Like a meal of rancid flies and mulch;
                    I am a fool, but I shall dance hereafter
                    And for all time without your sly finger:
                    For it shall not draw me, tho it draw
                    Many a man. The Aleph is my future,
                    All my dimensions contained, withall.
                    My strength, God-gained, peaces
                    The clamour of obsessive pacing;
                    Up and down, tasking and displacing
                    A certain lust turned now to displeasure;
                    And my leisure is not to ascertain
                    This burden’d lust but to contain
                    A nightmare’s seat at the crown
                    Of all dimensional congregation—
                    So in this masterful degradation
                    Of sin of thought I stand affront:
                    The Aleph has enough to confront.
an tha’s my part.                                            an feck’t’al.

 

Any town will do.

Any town will do.

Any town will do, any one at all
All stucco pebbledash concrete
All smoking pipes at breakfast
Any town will do

Any town will stand against the wind
Of lunchtime disaster flood
Of can’t-get-home-it’s-raining
Any town will stand

Any town could be my home
It’s kind of quiet here kind of
It’s kind of boring here kind of
Any town could be

Any town is less than zero
Add up the hours add up the
Add up the days add up the
Any town is less

Any town is quite the beacon
Fulgent dual carriageways at night
Fulgent words in void of light
Any town is quite

Any town I have visited, any one at all
All overcharg’d and oversex’d
All broken hearts and living wrecks
Any town I have

Any town will do, any one at all
All wrong song wrong time wrong face
All birdcage sings at crack of doom
Any town will do.

 

A Common Evil

A Common Evil


Who’s there?

 

I

Old walls, old cycles.

Old walls—
                 a common evil,
                 divining a daemon.

The castle of a dead empire.
        Lost, for a second.
               Reminded.

Safety in solitude.
               A seventh chance.
               A hidden glimpse.
               An honest smile.

A greeting — old friends,
                        old walls.

Sequestered in liturgy,
        but focus wanders;
        and we return to—

 

II

A building site
            disguised
                      as a temple.

            False history—
          but truth lies
                down the way.

Home
           to the human heart,
religion.                   The self
            cannot survive
without                    your kind glance.

See me, or—
                                 be me,
as I wish that I could be you.

    And then cut away,
    close-up of sweet smirk,
    shadow of hooked hand on wall.

And such small portions

 

III

Shot through ochre—
Brighter than the sun.

Leaning towards restraint,
We cough up mounds of
Grey paste,
That we trudge through
Day by day.

Then,
Under it all—
What is there?

I can tell you:

Several spheres, marked by curious lines,
Connected — and grand eyes,
Watching — soft — lingering—
Obscured and denied.

Alabaster mask,
Connected — and staring out,
Carven features — soft — lingering—

Do you understand?

 

IV

Survival.

               Climbing
            Higher
                  Than the last end,
            The false start.

Survival, day by day.

Trying
Not to repeat
Again, again again—

Survival: this time we move inside old walls,
                Sketchy signal,
                TV flickers.
                Fair features.
                Nobility, eternal history—
                How to engage damage
                And yet still wake up.

And then, morning:

For lo! the wishèd day is come at last

 

V

Differing wavelengths, changed masks.

I have no god—
           but I know He watches.

Silence matters.

Tracks lead to streets aglow,
Great Creator knows my moves:
But approval is ’fuscated.

       Never mind.
       You must find the path—

Chaos differs, but time stays the same.
Shadows again, on the windows shut.

Almighty! what gift—
What look thy give—
Lord! what have I done?

 

VI

Adages can lie—
You cannot simply deconstruct.

You must create,
        and whether it real or not,
        you must foster care.

It is but we who hurt each other.
It is only we who make us bitter.
Jove’s litter, Man—
And we live here, for now.

Verona shewed us light;
            but for now, the Tusks
            dig deep in our ribs,
            and our dying eyes see
            sweet sunlight, borne history, and innocence.

Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d

 

VII

Seven simple statements.
Seven forms of fate.
           Seven muses lie by my bed,
           and dictate solemn the date.

Four sisters of order;
Four days that are shewn.
           Four rules to channel your luck,
           and plead we notice too late.

One kindness is given,
One kindness received.
           Hold breath in reverie silent,
           Before thy great silver gate.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name;
Please hear these words:
We did not choose this—
We did not—

 

VIII

Surrounded now
                                            by angels,
                           another gift.
Lifted by iron wings
                       you know better than I.

Did you see us waiting for you?

Exhumed fluids
                      never
                               never

Insalubrious
                      never
                               never

You entwine two worlds:
All those yet to be
                (and)
             Those who have left.

 

IX

Voices whisper ’round ruins
Tongues never remain, yet
We hear them.

Almost silent—
Catch them, bottle them,
Seal them in writing—

And never speak them again,
For words are stronger
And crueller than you or I.

Let them be,
Or else expect
To hear them — murmuring
Jealousy in your ear at night.

Can you see the face—
It lives in the curtains.
It sinks low on the yellow lace.

 

X

Something has made its way in.

Distorted now, pitched lower,
Childish din, sallow face. Crawling.

Do         you       understand

Lord—release me.
I can’t stop it.
I think it—

             The sun, equidistant, a million miles.
             Reach out — now, green grass, children frolick,
             Water never seemed so fresh.

Silence.

             Everything adds up. Food never tasted so good.
             This is the life. Good wine. Red. Like the old days.
             Serenity.

Something crawls up the back of your neck

 

XI

There are ghosts in this town.
There are soft sighs on the breeze.
Summer’s sweet vengeance.
I turn, and cover my eyes.
I am a sundial.

We create beings we can’t control,
Left at the mercy of faceless hives:

But — there are those
Who carry the light.

I have met one,
                          two—
                                     three.

The corrupted corrupt,
Tainted needlessly.

But still live those
Free of the Dark Mother’s grin:
I have seen the beauty inherent in the soul.

 

XII

Barbed claw-blades.
A night gaunt’s tickling talon—
I cannot run, these
              old walls have me
                    paralysed.

I lie vulnerable
As teeth enclose
     around my wrist:

No escape.

 

XIII

         Not every
         offering
         completes
         a ritual.

We are young,
But pain is ever pain.

         Nothing
         is ever
         easy.

What can we do, but try again,
Ad nauseam.

Not every sacrifice calls a god.
Ancient city,             so distant.

Waiting for the rain,
             to drink deep and catch
             a glimpse of the lonely spirit
             as it wanders by.

We were strangers

 

XIV

Such a strange face
            that frames those spheres.
Many decades will pass,
            and lines shall appear
On my face, as well
            as your strange face.

Yes, lines will grow,
            but keep your strange spirit,
Keep it clear and soft,
            like your strange face.

Did I see you?
Did you see me?
Do you underst—

I know what I see.

 

XV

Room umbrageous.
Blackout.
Voices — weal or woe?

Frozen in darkness.
No knock.
Footsteps — by your bed.

Eyes light up.
Seeping.
Laughter — unkind.

Cadence discords.
And so it unravels.

Then, crushing what he chanced to mould in play,
The idiot Chaos blew Earth’s dust away

 

XVI

The serene song of Cherubim,
Strained descant.
Lilting.

Wait for the walls,
Barriers between sight and vacuity.
A never-ending white
Like static in the synapses.

To guide the hand
Like a tutor,
Like a sibling.

You—
But, leave it.
We make our own way.

There is much time
To fret and strut,
To observe the whistle
Of the wind.

We lift each other up,
Words at play.

 

XVII

In the boughs of yellow trees.
Hiding in plain sight.
Conviction.
A simple dedication.
Dedicated eyes,
Cracked alabaster mask,
Trapped outside dichotomy.
Unwavering mark.
Bane.
Wych-hazel,
Sprinkle ingredients
For invocation to
Summon a yellow sprite
From boughs of
Yellow trees.
A subtle mistake—
Now, catastrophe.
And in a foreign town,
In a foreign land,
Many years on:
Something has found you—
Something from which
You hoped to hide.

 

XVIII

Finnegan erupts, and realises
                            he cannot go back
                            this time.
An unmarried mother concocts
                            a tale, and creates
                            himself again.
The half-conscious desire
                            to embrace, to shy
                            away, to care, to
                            shake in dismay.

       To see oneself in a mirror
       and realise:
                            You are the
       voice in your head.
       To see your hair
       grow long,
                            grey, and fall out.

       To begin again, for what it’s worth.

 

XIX

Mist sinks low on hilltop,
Ensconced in coddling cloud.
Move behind glass.

City walls of craggy brick,
Music sets the scene.
Heartbeats, fast and irregular.
Like a foolish boy.

Capture short moment to laugh,
Dancing invisible together.
Just interrupted.

Kind heart sets other aflame,
Simple tongues,
Native,
Missed.

 

XX

A call from beyond,
Fathomless notes
             between
                           notes between—

       The peace
       of repetition.
       Sand calls

       Creep between shadows
                  between

                  soft

                  lingering

Cast aside sickness
        (soft)
Get on your goddamn knees
        (lingering)

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

Spit out blood,
        hemorrhage,
                Tusks split bone,
                        return to your death,
It ends here,
        flatline,
                Tusks pierce organs,
                        see your own ghost,

In death’s dream kingdom

Life flashes now,
        annihilation,
                Tusks spear heart,
                        premonition,
Wish you spoke,
        honesty,
                Tusks remind you,
                        better to have loved—

For lo! the wishèd day is come at last—

                and lost—
                speak in your own ear—

And such small portions—

                soft spit, those eyes, I love—

Be all my sins remember’d—

                dead between sheets surrounded
                by old walls—

We did not choose this—

                soft

We did not—

                lingering

My God!—

                spit.

 

Go, bid the soldiers shoot.

 

Alas

Alas

Not to be so rude as to cast a shadow on Man,
There nonetheless comes a time when he sees in himself
The Dane — young Hamlet — and manic in health
Declares his woes to be the tragedy of life—
Sees himself stare back in the cold, silent knife
And quotes on his own what he himself wrote,
When he was Shakespeare lamenting,
Drawn brow, and full of bile in throat.
He deceives in himself a contrivance of fate,
Augury defining his actions, ability to respirate;
But Eliot said he was not Hamlet at all: a mere player
Who danced until the curtain did fall
And then was heard no more.
So when thinking of old Yorick’s skull,
I pitch another young man who held an exhumed brain case’s hull
And held it to the wind in the lines between pages,
Who dug with a brute who recovered in long, delirious stages.
No readiness to speak, no strange oaths to adhere—
This hollow existence led to his mind discohere:
This post-modern man never received his dead Father’s call;
He lay still on the floor, and claimed that was all.
All his speech and physical custom was not as he perceived,
Words came out silent or from behind tortured tears;
Misunderstood man, young and infirm,
No braver than Hamlet, and by no-one believed.
So this is Man — to be eternally capsised, never reprieved
From crushing weights upon the crest; so We bear our cross,
Both young and infirm, caught between youth and adultery’s loss.
We take our blame and cast it forth: for no man hath yet
Taken the frame of the crucifix, not like He—
Man is yet to be.

 

Luanne and the Lost City

Luanne and the Lost City

When all has seen what all has done,
and all to lift and all upon,
the four of thee with two in view:
when death falls from her lips,
the Elder takes the throne.

The boy of young wakes and steals away,
through the streets, away.
To the green, away.
He has done it three times now,
and each time has felt better than the last.
Time to be alone.

The fog clings to his jumper.
The village is desolate at such an hour,
and his footsteps echo into the
morning sky.
Early morning, early.
Still dark.
Rumbling grey skies waiting to break,
winds of vicious velocity.

At the park, she is waiting.
A little bit taller than him,
blonde hair, shimmering eyes,
still small, but to him a giant.
She smiles as he arrives.
He smiles too,
but worse.

She speaks to him, and her voice
lilts on the breeze.
She must be pretty, he thinks,
but he doesn’t really know what that means yet.

‘I want to take you somewhere,’ she says.
He wants to know where.
She nods her head
towards the woods.
He says that he is scared of the woods.
She laughs. It makes him shiver.
‘Don’t you want to play?’ she says.

He does want to play,
but he doesn’t know what to do.
She’s older than him,
so maybe she knows a secret way,
because otherwise they may get lost,
and he hates getting lost.

‘We won’t get lost,’ she smiles.
He trusts her.
It’s in the way she speaks.
So soft.
Soothing,
unlike his mother’s voice.
He takes a chance.

He asks for her name.
‘Luanne,’ she says.
The name bounces across the dew
on the grass.
He follows her, across
the bridge, and up the lane,
the woods high above them,
loomers with twisted arms.

The woods grow as they walk,
and she takes his tiny hand.
‘Little boy,’ she says,
‘you are cold.’
He nods. He is cold, it’s true.
Colder still with every step.

Luanne looks back and smiles at him.
Her shimmering eyes, yes, shimmering—
they seem to hold no pigment,
and even to his tiny mind this seems strange.

But she is pretty, or so he believes,
because he has only heard that word,
never really understood it.
His brothers say it sometimes.
From what he’s heard,
there are girls at school that are pretty.
But he wouldn’t know.

He pays so much attention to her face
as they walk,
that before long,
they seem lost. Everywhere
around them: spiralling trees.
He asks her where they are going.

‘We are going to meet the elders,’
she says.
‘There are five of them.’
He fumbles with the sleeve of his jacket.

He asks where they live. The girl
does not answer, instead
she just smiles. A pretty smile.

The trace of morning sun has been
blocked from the sky.
This isn’t his home,
nor should it be,
but why should he not be here, anyway?

Why not walk with this
girl of the woods?
This pixie?
She looks like a full-size Tinkerbell
from Peter Pan.

And after some hours, the woods break,
and he cannot believe his eyes:
there are whole other towns and villages here,
overgrown and sunken,
sleeping.

In the distance he can even see a city,
ancient, deceased,
huge towers reaching up.
Buildings within buildings,
ruined black architecture.

He laughs,
because it must be a dream,
must be.

Luanne stops and they gaze
over the lost buildings.
She turns to him and crouches.
‘This is how it could be.
How it should be,’ she says.
She pokes him in the belly and twinkles a smile,
‘and you’re going to help us.’

He wonders how. How
could he be any help to anyone?
He knows, he knows he is but
a burden, a nuisance.

It’s fine.

And now, he wonders—
how can he help?
For once, he wants to.

The girl leads him down further into the debris.
Trees as colossi, they must be four no five no seven no
eight no a million times bigger than him.
The branches grow persistently, breaking through
each other and joining together in harmony.
It really is peaceful here, he thinks.

They walk inside a house. Luanne
seats him in an old chair
that seems to be made of wax.
She looks into his eyes.
‘Let me tell you about them,’ she says.
He nods.

‘Sing the praises of the old gods,’
says Luanne.

‘We first feel Callaszag, the Soaking Wet.
His presence is signalled by a brewing of clouds
in the north. Once he is ready,
three thunderclaps will sound. And then,
the torrent that lasts for two nights will come,
and with it, there will be arrival.’

The young boy watches
as Luanne’s pupils glisten
with joy.

‘Then we will behold Shath,
the Watcher of Many Eyes.
His arrival is preceded by the One in Blue,
and this arrival is stated by
the taking of virtues.’

The young boy sees a glimmer
of spittle fall from the girl’s mouth.

‘Following Shath is Veliszeth,
the Dirt Beneath the Surface.
We shall know she is here when
we hear:
Weal and Woe,
All Bark Fades,
and Full is the Cup.
Oh, how mean she is.
She covers the eyes.’

Her voice is louder now,
not shouting, just bigger,
more precise,
and he does nothing but watch and listen.

‘Before the end, we meet Lucreczia,
The Tainted Mother.
Her arrival is preceded by the Music.
Tones between tones between tones.
Fragments of melody,
like nothing else.
Her arrival is stated
by the taking of names.’

She lowers her eyes, no longer
staring so wildly around the room.

The young boy meets her gaze,
but there is something different this time.
Her sparkle has dulled.

Luanne holds up four fingers, then
she raises her thumb to create five
and says,

‘When all has seen what all has done,
and all to lift and all upon,
the four of thee with two in view:
when death falls from her lips,
the Elder takes the throne.’

She blinks, and the shimmer is back.
She smiles at him. Pretty.
He stares.

Outside, beyond the borderlands,
in the great depths of the black forest,
the great lost city moaned.

All is Calm

All is Calm

 

I

Five hours, please
   Just enough time to
     Sail away,
                        ride away

Surely a jewelled stallion
     May take my
            Last spot at pasture

Enraptured,
           a gilded crown,
not a frown from the bow

Just luminescent
       Liquid diamond

Goodbye, Old World—
   Would you pray for me yet?

 

II

Greetings from my castle,
     a wave from the walls.
Exiled Vixen,
          enamoured and vain.
Confession uncomprehended,
   an apology from God,

Whilst gears tick,
      a trick to keep you stuck.

Your beckoning finger
       Cannot drag me from this villa,
Just as the wind
        Will never encompass
                   The rain.

The prayer is silent.
       Penance can wait.

 

III

The sparrow flies
   beyond four walls;
between the seasons,
               She lies.
Hopping ’cross sand
                    and glass.

A freedom unchained,
      a supreme love,
ungained yet sitting
       like a phantasy
’twixt sweet pollen,
        angles askew,
a perfection unfound
        in even the Tetrahedron.

You seal on a paper heart,
       feel the warm air
            in December.

 

IV

There was a reason:
       To see life.
            Truly.

To live — that
          is it.

Autumn — the first.
     Brown hair.

The fort of dreams.
Godfather to existence.

     Amber glint.
                Lingering spit.

     Truth.
                 Beauty.

 

V

Winter, the last.

The jewelled stallion
         prays for me.

Whilst angels dance
    through blonde highlights,
And rooks knell
     like the church tower’s bell.

Turquoise ripples,
        chattering forms in blue.
A great, slight distance
                       from you.

    Good morning—
             open your eyes,

                 face the end.

 

VI

Weak profile and ragged
       hair — red spells death
Crimson cloth unveils
                  nothing more.
Acceptance.

             No new sight,
             you might say
                  I’m sorry

For rolling through
        and across
Celephaïs’ dreamt walls.

Lying in vulnerable grace
          spread eagle
     torn through by
          ragged arrow tip,
                      descending.

 

VII

The lone drifter must
      feel like Jean Seberg.
Dutch courage to die.

But these thoughts
        worry her not—
            instead,
                a chance smile.

The smile — the
                      very same—
     returns, many
                    years on.

When she thinks of the sun,
      the gentle yet chilling
                               breeze,
the absence of gulls,
       the soft lows of the sea.

 

VIII

Cigarettes and bottles
      of beer are this
           generation’s fossils.

Snow dove on the sand
Clatters into the sought blue,
       far above
           our shared love
                 of this lone moment.

The grace of infinitesimal
         grains, soft as the
     fur of an Andalusian dog.

No blade crosses the solar eye
      as cornflower canvas
           penetrates the self.

      This moment, here to stay.

 

IX

Vision at last returns
    Burns that cast religion
To seek a being
    Worthy of the throne
To sift through callous letters
    Whilst swarthy natives
Know you better
    Than the wall you crash against

Heart menstruation,
      A political demonstration,
               Policeman dressed
                                 in black.

A prayer for the slow
A prayer for the meek
A prayer for the soft glow

   and a prayer for me:
       the weak.

 

X

A return to arms.
A dry, salty beach.
Foreign conversations
            from behind doors ajar.

Exchange of ideals.
      An ever-present dread
  Coming closer,
                 getting further away.

Apologies and hymns.
             Hands held wide
       to let in the new world.

A gift of pain, black tendrils.

A masque of warm rain,
             Sitting innocent
             on a bed of nails.

 

XI

Life can be found in death—
     Without posthumus decay
     there can be no laughter,
     no love, no shared smiles.

Gentle crashing, closed eyes.
     A sweet summer scent
     so far from its home.
     I embrace it.

I remind it gently
         Not to wander too far—
    for even seasons can get lost.

There will always be life—
   Just as death will always
       be with us.

You cannot run — enjoy
    What there is, friend.

 

XII

Castles made of sand and glass,
     Blasted heaps of terror
Loom desolate over my home.

Alone they march,
                 These monoliths,
     Never hiding in Shath’s cellar.

    Right here—
                           Right now.
     I hold my warning.
     Tomfoolery of Chronos,
     Dream-state of Celephaïs.

Whilst gulls return, and
     Stallions stride, and
     Solemn prayers are sung;

We welcome in the new world:
   We shed our cowls of grey.