Posts

Showing posts from March, 2018

Cottage Down the Track

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
Narrator's voice



Cottage Down  the Track
A dog barked from the secluded home tucked between forest and water, protesting at being left while its people set out on the track to the market.
A Spartan dwelling, one might observe, but cosy enough, and very private, away from society's harm. Not for the gregarious, it could suit the hardy and self-sufficient.
On balmy nights the sound of the sea would be sweet reassurance. Although they can't grow all they'd like in sandy soil, they can grow enough. And they fish.


                       *********
The startling reunion began with tentative talk gradually replacing initial mistrust. After all, there had been other loves of the heart, other memories and losses. There's no going back.
What there is, is the action called "going forward". They haven't mastered that art, perhaps won't in whatever time's left. But they have chosen to journey the next part of the adventure together.
Th…

After Long Silence*

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
His Voice 



After Long Silence
"Oh, darling!" I say in my heart, "is it really you? This is a miracle! This is all things marvellous." But out loud it's not like that. No basking in each other's smiles ... or arms.
Her face freezes hard after the first blank surprise, disbelief. She is not the slightest bit glad, but rather, is looking shocked to see me. I start towards her and she recoils. Then she's laughing – but bitterly, thinly, no hearty warmth.
It's clear she perceives me as intruder. "It's been too long," she says in parting. "I don't know you any more." Non-plussed, I pick up a stone, add it to the old cairn. She can't fail to mark the action or it's meaning. She stops, hesitates, then slowly bends to reach for one of her own.

*The title also belongs to a poem by William Butler Yeats about a meeting between old lovers.

Turning My Back

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
Her Voice 



Turning My Back
The burden of solitude can become habit, then preference, then pleasure.
Is it even possible to regurgitate old words of connection long unused?
We'd need to learn each other all over again – and not as before.
He seems earthy, savoury: basic and useful as a root vegetable. A potato, perhaps, or a turnip.
Yet he reminds me too of mahogany, coated protectively with beeswax and turpentine.
I, on the other hand, could use a refurbish, a polishing up. I feel raw, almost crude.
Whereas he has a burnish. How is this old man able to gleam like that? (Despite ropey arms, grizzled hair.)
I am more like a saggy couch, I think, if we're furniture – faded, and probably not even comfortable any more.
Fear is a spur, turning me sharply aside from this ... what? Opportunity? I distrust fairy tales and happy endings.
Yes, a strange coincidence, to meet here of all places. But I'm spurning, not buying it. It's been far too long.


Sharing…

Making a Pilgrimage

For the (fictional) series "Edges"
His Voice 



Making a Pilgrimage

When I would rendezvous with her, it was island, oasis, outside of time,
between the worlds. We were complete in each other, free with each other, uninhibited as creatures of fur or feathers, wild and playful – and happy, happy!
How much further now, to that place deep in the forest, that place where the trees merged, closing out the hostile world? It seemed to be all turning hostile then. I was seventeen, and beginning to burn with passions both political and personal.
On the verge of owning the world (we believed) and planning to remake it closer to perfect, in fact we retreated from it, to each other and to our sanctuary. We raised a cairn of stones back from the surge of the tide, hidden from beach or path.... I know it must be near.

Stones in a Forest

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
Her Voice 



Stones in a Forest

We made a cairn of stones where we used to meet, so as to declare our love forever, fair and square. We thought it could be a kind of signal beacon – a little like sending up flares if we ever lost each other. So we spared no toil or skill to make it lasting – that we could always find and would always return to.
Somehow, we became careless and lost each other anyway, straying too far from our stones and off across the airy blue in different directions. Now at last, decades later, bearing old memories like invisible flowers to leave by a tomb, I come back. Well, I did swear to, then, when this was our secret lair and we were foxes. I need the farewell.


Sharing with Poets United's Poetry Pantry #417.

Washed Up

For the (fictional) series "Edges"
Narrator's voice



Washed Up
They share a story, these two, who were lovers briefly, once, and since then have travelled far. Where they have been, what done, they cannot know of each other – it's been so long. But sometimes, when she combs her hair, does she remember him running his fingers through it, and under its fall on her neck,  before drawing her face gently to his?
Of course she does! And prays to Mother Mary that he is well, wherever in the world he may be. As he too, staring out at the sea, doing his own remembering, fervently wishes that she may be happy somewhere (sigh). A foghorn blares across the bay. He startles out of that old dream, shivering, and puts the memories away.
They see themselves, each of them, as old and wise – poor scared children breathing, separately, the rarefied air of their refuges along this lonely shore. He plays guitar. It's more immediate than the piano he learned as a boy. As for her, when she wants to tear a hole in pr…

Transforming Into Hermit Crab

For the (fictional) series "Edges"
Her Voice 



Transforming Into Hermit Crab

Messy, sporadic, surreal ... you might describe my life so.
For me it has its own music: it is a flute, or a chiming bell.
I hold it sweet and very tender, a small thing I nurture and cherish.
I see in others’ eyes they think me wretched. By this I can tell that they don't see deep.
I am myself. I don't heed their scorn, nor does it damage me or constrain.
I walked out of their world. I meant to. Instead I have this universe here.
It may appear I took a header and fell – it was head-first into Paradise.
My splendid isolation is rich with life, even now scuttling around me unseen.
This inlet is a meld of plants and oh, many creatures; how could I feel alone?
The secret is, I never see myself as aloof, superior, apart from all this.

A Homecoming

For the (fictional) series "Edges"
His Voice 


A Homecoming
I was just a whelp when we first came here, the best part of fifty years ago.
Can I sever this old man from the child I was then, tasting heaven here?
My daily bread suddenly became manna. I still wish we'd never left.
Now that I've found again the exact blend of elements in unchanged perfection –
there is also terror. It's the same I felt then when we went away, lost from here.
I send up prayers to a God I no longer believe in. "Let me stay. Let me keep it this time."

Things I Must Not Say

Things I Must Not Say

He shows me the poem with which he hopes to persuade a beautiful young woman to fall into his embrace.
It's hilarious, even a bit frightening as he threatens, I mean promises  to explode with violent passion.
How can I tell him – what she really wants is someone who doesn't think his dick will drop off if he does the dishes?

Deepest Love

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
His Voice 


Deepest Love

Rinse away the grey from my heart, blue ocean! Tip out the sludge from my soul, upending that as the swift surf tosses me when I'm careless or cocky.
I savour your salty kiss, dear sea! Who needs mistletoe? You give me drowned weeds, intricate shells, the weathered ribs of dead ships, jewel-like fragments of glass with the cutting edge smoothed.
Whimsical, skittish, moody, even downright dangerous – still, you have never hindered me from living my truth. Here with you, I am free to be silly or wise, stormy or placid ...
I am, perhaps, a reflection of you, my true companion. I drink you in, mother's milk. Or am I becoming other? Apparently fish, to disport in the shallows. Then shall I turn, dive, sound the depths?


Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #414

Finger Painting

Finger Painting

Because I had jubilant splashes of wine-red, purple, tangerine, mauve, I could fling them at a page – my hands wet and gushing, my arms dripping, up to the elbow.
Because I had paints made from plants and dyes mixed from various muds, and huge flat leaves and plaited reeds, I could sit or stand or lie full length creating chaos, covering it with patterns.
Alone inside my engagement, enraptured, I swished and swirled and scraped and piled colours on colours, on reed or leaf, shaping them this way andthat with my will, with my hands … like a god.

Prompted by Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Colourand based 
on the poem (at that link) The Art Room by Shara McCallum.

Leaving Singing

For the (fictional) series, "Edges"
Her Voice



Leaving Singing

The one who is missing, the one we are missing, sang her song of goodbye quietly, before dawn when no-one else was awake to listen – except one, and he, misunderstanding,  thought it a piece of flim-flam.
Did she finish, or simply trail off, unwilling to utter the final words, reluctant to fill the space with anything so irreversible? Did she perhaps catch a glimpse of that one dismissive listener, and quail?
No, it was just that her prison doors opened at the moment her song began, and so her spirit lifted off and up, out of the body, immediately: the song's completion hidden, beyond the veil.


Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #413

Saint Patrick and the Snakes

Saint Patrick and the Snakes

So he ran the snakes from Ireland? So they say. A jolly fellow, was he? Raise your glass! We can toast the lovely Saint with happy unrestraint – but as for me believing all that Blarney, no, I'll pass.
Did not the snakes of Ireland slip away? Were all the Druids butchered wantonly? See, I think all that's as maybe, for where the woods are shady, aren’t the Sidhe still roaming wild and free – and aren’t we?
The Pagan “snakes” of Ireland sneak to play between the trees in moonlight, cloaked in grey, and underneath the hill you might hear the singing still – except it’s very secret. But we never went away.

At "imaginary garden with real toads" the weekend challenge is Blarney Me – anything about Ireland and/or St Patrick's Day. Well, as you see, I have a bit of a quarrel with the saint. Now, I don't have any Irish ancestry that I know of, and have never even been there, so I also don't know if there are any Pagans in Ireland nowadays. But I'll bet my b…

Contemplating My Friend Yasoda

Image
Contemplating My Friend Yasoda

The lady of laughter and practical kindness has gone from sturdy to frail in just a few months.
We think, when we hear, "This many months left to live" that they will be lived as normal. Instead, dying's a progression.
In December I visited her at home, in January at the hospital, and in February the hospice. She was smiling every time.
I gave her a bracelet of honey calcite labelled For Happiness. "A bit ridiculous," I said. "You're the happiest person I've ever known." Then I filled it with Reiki.
Her children thanked me as I left. One of her daughters was cuddled up next to her on the bed. The window view was full of leafy trees. The day was balmy.
Last year we gathered for lunch at the Rainforest Café – at a long table outdoors, twenty or so good friends feasting together on the bank of the stream.
I was sitting directly opposite Yasoda. She threw back her head, laughing free – but later patted her belly, muttering about the hernia she …

In the Presence of Fear

For the (fictional) series, "Edges".
His Voice 



In the Presence of Fear

That first howl, beyond the circle cast by the fire, seemed to crowd or herd us, no-one saying aloud the sudden fear, though all cowering.
The sour smell of our sweat brought us down to the truth. This place, renowned for certain "incidents", shook with power. Out there was no kitten's miaow.
Once we faced our desperation – strange, there came clarity and sudden courage. We built up the fire, huge, and took turns guarding and sleeping all night until moonlight faded and fresh day flowered.


Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #412

That Moment When ...

That Moment When ...

you’re reading a book she’d have liked and thinking, when I’m done I must lend … then it comes back: two days gone, she died.

Another shadorma for dVerse MTB

Haunting

Haunting

What is that phantom I discern through the fog? Can it be…? Yes! It’s that shadowy form (whisper): shadorma.

At dVerse, in Meeting the Bar, we are invited to try a shadorma, a syllabic form with rather mysterious origins. 

Thank-You Letter

Thank-You Letter


My dear friend, I wanted to thank you
You gave me a bookmark, do you remember?
You chose it thoughtfully, especially for me.
In beautiful writing, it says: "My soul is tranquil and at peace."
And I realise, ever since, it has been.
You are a worker of magic! I should have known.
You tell the truth and you give love.
Those are both essential requirements
for good magic that really works.
Bless you! – Love and kisses.

Written in response to Karin's request, at "imaginary garden with real toads", for epistolary ("Dear") poems.

Still Coming For You

Written for the (fictional) series, "Edges".
Her Voice 



Still Coming For You
How is it that they who are younger leave sooner? And look older, too, for years before they go. The loud call, "Look, I've decided I'm elderly now" must be attractive to waiting Death.
I'm not opening my mouth to say any such reckless thing! If children play unheeding, and my vow as guardian is that they be safe and free of worry, this means I too must remain safe.
How proudly so many march over the precipice, wowing each other with their daring – or in some cases resignation – as if there was no crash at the bottom.
The possibility of Death, it appears, cows no-one. Do they think they'll go in a blaze, a shower of beautiful sparks like an exploding rocket ... not grasping how fast it burns out?
We who are left plough the ash back into the earth. At least it's good for something. New crops come up. Clown-faced scarecrows keep guard. Death withdraws, murmuring, "Later".


Shared at Poets U…

Afraid of Grief

Afraid of Grief

It’s late at night (I suddenly notice) but how can I go to bed – to be alone with my thoughts of my friend who is dead?
Instead, I’ve been reading other people’s poetry; I’ve been answering emails and playing on facebook.
Earlier, I watched that show we both enjoyed – stopped short a moment, as this night she wouldn’t be watching with me (in our different homes).
I watched it anyway, and even laughed. I raised a glass of red. “Watching it for you, Nan,” I said. But this time, I couldn't text her.
Then I went back to crying. Then I started reading other people’s poetry, and answering emails and.… It’s late. I can’t go to bed.

RIP Nan Doyle, 26 August 1941 – 14 March 2018