Diagnosis


DIAGNOSE

All this bubbling inside my veins.
Feels like angels spitting in my brain.
A feverish swoon overtakes me now.
The silent prayer and misplaced vow.
That swirl and flick of the finger of god.
Dilutes this blood to something odd.
More like a lick from roaming devils.
Who cough and sniff, and silently revel.
This outbreak which defies prognoses.
And nudges for spiritual diagnoses.
For though my body and mind is sick.
Inside the soul this illness licks.
And leaves me now mere bread and wine.
My soul and spirit, drenched in turpentine.

MORE VIDEO ART HERE


Taken from Everyday Nightmares – out now

EVERYDAY NIGHTMARES MIRACLES


 

Applications become the same

This Monday morning evaporates the weekend.
A horrendous hue of change.
Your absence now in my bed, as our bodies break.
Twisting the world apart.
The world, now on show for bright eyes and coffee headaches.
Stretching out the happiness as the day rolls into grey.
For without you next to me, I find it harder to breathe.
The eye blinks of necessity struggle under the weight of it all.
I do not mean to be a burden, of self-serving theatrics.
This production creeps out of the stage you set.
For each time you go, and the curtain closes.
I’m left picking popcorn and ticket stubs off my dirty heart.
Rushing once more for the weekend, to be first in line.
This heart a needle, in your hay.

Soft like a sigh

Sleep speckles these eyes.
Leaving dreams like fingerprints on my eyelids.
I break that vision of you down, prismed and scattered.
Tasting like crystal.
When the fragrant sound of your voice touched me.
I unfurled like a bud awakening to the morning song.
The sheet of love hangs across my heart, pounding like the rain.
You step inside, feeling the walls to my lungs while you breathe new life in.
Breath like ocean spray and the hint of gladioli.
I mark this dream, for it’s the only place I can find you.
The only place I trust you to be there.
Collected and kept like a shell on a mantlepiece.
Placed for my own enjoyment, and a sign of a well-travelled bones.
Yet the possession bothers you not, for you rise like the moon in daytime.
Defiant against the sun.
Casting long reaching shadows that follow me throughout my day.
Cooling my skin where I touch upon them.
Touching part of your soul, those bits you let escape.
It must be a waking dream that haunts and carries me.
Keeping me contacted and close.
Cuddled against the consternation of being alive.
Being of being, with you so far away.

Forever winter (Part 22)

The Story so far or Listen to this episode


Before the flood

She knew they were underground. She didn’t need to open her eyes to feel the oppressive nature of the soil all around them. It was hot, stuffy and smelt terrible. Though her snow gave a chill in the bones, there was something very different to being surrounded by earth than the feathery white flakes from the sky.

She was tied up, and the knot was tight around her hands, she could barely wriggle them behind her. Both she and Ezra were bound, separately but just as securely down in an underground vault not far from the Mondol stone. A candle was spluttering around the corner to the area they were being kept in, no bigger than her larder back at the cottage. The candle’s little light danced shadows around the place, but she could see Ezra bound on the other side. He was still unconscious, his head lulled forward like a drunk outside a tavern.

Her heart was racing, a mix of the confinement and the toxin the gentlemen of the boxes had used on them both. She could see nor hear him now, and aside from the little candle spluttering she heard nothing, as is the case underground. Quiet as a tomb.

Her legs were bound also, but not as tightly as her hands, and she was able to thump them a little in Ezra’s direction. After a few tries, she managed to knock his feet, but he didn’t stir at all. She kept on, quietly calling to him to wake, which he eventually did.

“That old bastard!” Ezra boomed into their small space.

“Shhhh, I don’t think he knows we’ve come around yet. I’m not sure where he is.” The lady of the jars hushed, her eyes desperate to peer around the side.

“Come around? I’ll make him come around and back and down and all over the place. That nasty old….” But she cut him off.

“Ezra, shush. We have to think to get out of here. They’ll be time for retribution later.” She hissed. At this Ezra smiled and nodded to her.

“How tightly are you bound there?” He asked her. He wriggled his own hands behind him.

“It’s very taut, he’s a whizz at knot tying it seems.” She said.

“Well, what else is there for the old fart to do all day sat underground! Right, let’s sort this out quickly.” He said, and with that he banged his feet up and down on the ground three times.

A crackling sound came from around the corner, and she saw the candlelight dim suddenly before the small sound of insects began to buzz. A throbbing light came pulsating into their little space, strobing a yellow light around them. The point of the light then broke off into two dots, one going over to Ezra while the other found the lady. They were little fireflies, born in the candle flame and now finding their way to the rope that bound their hands. They rested only for a moment before the ropes burnt away, the singeing smell filling the air momentarily. With a little snap the fireflies disappeared, extinguished now of their little magic flowers.

“Wonderful!” The lady said, rubbing her wrist involuntary and getting to her feet. Ezra stood too, ducking his head slightly in their confines.

“So, what do we do now?” he asked her. The lady looked around, but the place was bare of anything of use for them. She knew the gentleman of the boxes had taken everything off them.

“Well, we need to find out the extent of this underground place. We know that he wants the girl, but what he plans to do with us I no longer know.” She said.

“Well, he hates your weather, we know that. Sorry, but he’s had it in for you for ages now.” Ezra said.

“Well, it’s not my fault he can’t appreciate the beauty of winter.” She added.

“You’ve had it coming for a while, it’s all I’m saying. I know you’d be my downfall.” He said. She frowned at him.

“When I go, you go. You know that!” She huffed.

“We’ll see.” He said and made his way towards the corner of the room, poking his head around.

“There’s a long tunnel, that candle is almost out. How long do you think we’ve been down here?” He asked her.

The lady put her hand to her head, laying it flat on the top. She twisted it twice in place.

“I would say three hours.” And she joined him by the corner.

“Then who knows what’s become of the girl already.” Ezra said.

“Yes. It’s not looking good. Come on, let’s try and find a way out of this infernal warren.“ And with that she set off down the corridor, grabbing the candle as she went, Ezra marching behind her.

He’d watched her descend, seeing her come down through the clouds. She glowed like a blue ice crystal, the magic from the stone sparking upwards. He thought he’d heard the space exhale as she landed, but it must have been the wind.

The gentleman of the boxes lurked at the edge of the clearing, hidden by the thicket of bushes that clung to the larger trees at the edge. He’d been mindful of the Dimian, which he knew were clustered over by the other side of the clearing. He’d set up a little magical blockade, keeping them contained in the area by the cavern where he was keeping the lady and Ezra. His own magic had evolved significantly in the past few years, and what had seemed so foreign to him at first now came as second nature. What he failed to realise was that he’d slipped further and further into the darker realms of the power. Not fully registering what he had to give away of himself, in return of something only he desired.

He wanted the girl; he knew what she was. He didn’t really see her as a girl at all, his eyes now blinded by the power source that emanated from her. At first, he’d only wanted to end the tormented weather that had blanketed everything, that was his driving force. Then he wanted to teach the lady of the jars a lesson, nothing too bad, but something she would remember. But his thoughts had descended quickly, the little friend now forever by his ear telling him he could have more and more. Why not other things in boxes? Why not bigger and bigger boxes to store things that he didn’t want to see, or that he could keep forever contained. Why does the world tick to a tock that he must follow? Cannot things bend to his whim just for once, after years of being so uncontrolled. When was it his time to succeed?

These short-sighted thoughts had pushed him on, pushed him to do things that many years before he knew were rotten and would not have conceived. He took the lives of the animals before but knew there was a balance in nature. Now he took the lives, because he could, and not just of animals. Now he did the rotten things because he did not see the other side of it any longer. The darkness had spread over his eyes. Perhaps from being too long underground.

The stone sparkled and ran with a magic electricity. Sparking at the points where the girl touched it. She looked around the clearing, searching for the others. He watched as the doubt began to spread across her face. Quickly replaced with pain. He had to wait of course; he could not do anything with the stone. His study had taught him that.

The girl now sat down on the stone, crossing her legs and allowing the flow of energy to course through her. Where she made contact with the stone, it blurred with her own skin, rippling like mercury in a shimmering dance of magic. She placed her hands together and closed her eyes, replaying what had happened there. She saw as the gentleman of the boxes had captured her friends, taking them away to a place not far from where she sat. She watched too how he had ensnared the Dimian, and where they were now caught in a maddening cycle that he had placed over them. She opened one of her eyes and saw him now, crouched and trying to hide at the edge of the clearing. She could see it all, and she could see the darkness that now swelled within him. How his anger had let such negativity inside. The stone had changed him too, powering the thoughts he had, the will he wanted. Energising the darker aspects of himself.

She knew what he wanted, but she also knew that he was not powerless himself. She needed to get her friends back first, then they would deal with him. And she knew exactly what the best lesson would be to teach. She opened her eyes and looked up towards the sky, and with a simple thought she shot up like a rocket, so fast the gentleman barely saw it. Yet she had not gone skyward, but simply burst some energy up into the night while her body had slipped off the stone and made its way towards the Dimian.

It is sometimes forgotten how vast the underground world can be. You can dig for years and still only scratch the surface of the world. The gentleman of the boxes had become a master of underground life. He liked it there, with no weather and no change. He could control his environment, and he knew what came and went. He knew this land and all the cave systems that rooted and veined underneath the feet of those above.

Down deep is where he had put them. Many levels down, in a confusing maze of dead ends and vast rooms. He knew the area of course, and he knew that unless you knew the way out; it was all but hopeless. But the gentleman was no fool, and he also knew that magic was on their side. So, although he’d been quick, he’d placed his own precautions down there underground to keep them contained while he took the girl.

“We’re lost!” Ezra said, exhaustively.

“What, how can we be lost.  We didn’t know where we were to start with.” The lady said, looking down two separate tunnels, gauging which was the better route.

“Well, I know you don’t know where we are or which direction to go.” He said, looking back from where they’d come.

The candle they’d taken was down to a nub, the little light struggling in the overpowering darkness.

“Look, you’re meant to be a help to me. Now, do something with this candle.” She said, thrusting the little wax towards him.

He took the stump and cupped it in his hands, plunging them into darkness. She could smell the extinguished candle, reminding her suddenly of a birthday party. She heard Ezra breathing in loudly, and she watched as tiny sparkling bits of dust began to lift from the side of the tunnel. He breathed them all into the cupped hand, a little light collectively coming together to burn on the ends of the wick.

“Not much down at this level, we must be quite deep.” He said to her, handing the back.

“Please, keep hold of it.” She said, and she began to place her hands on the side of the tunnel. Bits of the earth tumbled away, and she brushed the dirt gently.

“What is it?” Ezra asked her.

“Something. Something is here.” She said, her hands now flat against the wall of the tunnel. “It can’t be……”

“Urm, I think we might have some company.” Ezra said, looking off down the tunnel. He could see a greenish glow, very distantly.

“Dimian!” the lady said. “Come, we must go the other way.” She darted quickly; Ezra was suddenly surprised by her speed as she raced down the other tunnel which led away from the Dimian. With the candle bobbing in his hand like a mushroom glow, he doubled his pace to keep up.

“What was back there, what did you think you felt?” He asked her, he was getting out of breath as she raced like a mole through the tunnels.

“I’ve read about it of course, and it would make sense for it to be here if anywhere. But I’m sure I felt the vibrations; it was so clear to me. It came into my head like a picture.” She said, not the least bit out of breath herself.

“Well, what is it?” Ezra gasped.

“The other Mondol stone.” She said, glancing back at him.

“You’re kidding me. Now there’s two?” He said, tripping slightly over a big rock on the floor.

“There were actually three to start, at least that was what is written. But it’s always been assumed from the current texts we only have the one. The others lost or destroyed. But it’s here Ezra, I felt it and saw it!” She said, an excitement in her voice.

“So, what does that mean?” He asked her.

She stopped suddenly, he almost smashed into her.

“It means we have a bit of leverage on our side, and I might be able to live through all this after all”. She said with a smile.


snowflake up close

Tender, the grass of war

A bloody dust covers the eyes of the onlookers.
The voyeurs of life’s sad pageant.
Cattled and rattled they sing the song of war.
A sweet lullaby to mark their intent.
The flag sticks in a body not long departed.
Stretched and lined like the marks of policies.
The bow broke and spilled them into the trenches.
Dirtied their bones and wet the bed.
What cared for them as their moon-skulls broke?
Separated out into the dark sea of regret.
Scaring away the tigers.
Cutting out and counting down.
Piece by piece we cut away the fabric of life.
Stitched into a patchwork of redesign.
Peace and thoughts maligned.
Meet me in the sandbox, the playground, the gulf.
Help me destroy the things I do not understand.
Recess, regress. God bless this mess.
A boy lost in a man’s disappearing world.

Stolen Sky


STOLEN SKY

Watching high from miles above.
A silent watcher, like a mourning dove.
Sees the world bend and sway.
As he cranks the moon to life each day.
And so he watches as the world turns over.
In dusty pools, while supernovas.
Crash and burn his aching heart.
For a world he loves, he sees torn apart.
Which leads him down into despair.
While comets and stars alight the air.
And move on in time with disregard.
Of his moment here, or collapsing heart.

MORE VIDEO ART HERE


Taken from Everyday Nightmares – out now

EVERYDAY NIGHTMARES MIRACLES


 

Indignities of war

Now the world sounds better without you.
The sound of rust and avoidance.
And the chatter of indifference.
A pin of change, held in thy hand.
Explosions in their eyes, are merely the dying stars of hope.
As they drop bombs on everything you see.
All that once glittered was sold.
Packaged and peeled like your skin on the cross.
And we taste the regret each day.
And we forget each pain and stay,
Locked in a world of static.
Explaining each miracle away.
It once felt like home.
Until the sands rose and the waters melted.
And we looked once more in the back of our skulls.
Picking away at you on the roof of our mouths.
The tourniquets we place over the lands now fray.
The crumble and crack of reason.
The pain is the only thing we’re happy to hear.
As we martyr those who walk your walk.
And silence those, with that familiar talk.
Of love.

Are you there?

Pretty memories slip inside these veins.
Washing you through my blood stream.
You lay over me, thick and heavy.
While I sleep and when I wake.
I hoped to crumble you out of my heart.
Yet you clung on like cancer.
Haunting me.
You evaporate the time when you shook me away.
Dipping our past in acid to burn off the unflattering.
Now you come to me with selective amnesia.
Telling me you love me still.
I smell the alkaloid tinge to those words.
A bruised motive lies underneath.
You were there all along, but failed to hold me.
To reach out when I fell.
When the dogs ripped apart my soul.
Are you there always, watching me?
What did you feel when I cried in the dark.
When the little razor drifted across each wrist like storm clouds.
Would you have moved to mop up the red rain?
Or are you only there for the summer time?
When shadows are your own making.

Nothing Lasts Forever

He spun the coin, watching it take off in its own little orbit. Whizzing and chasing itself as it spun around. It usually took a few seconds, it never happened right away. At least not yet. The blurred smudge of the coin slowly began to take shape as it slowed down. It was a pound coin, the closest thing to gold he could find. The year embossed on the metal was 1989, that was very important, though few would ever see the date.

The blurring lines of the coin began to slow, but as they did, they stretched outwards, spreading across the surface like a wave. He’d seen it a few times before of course, but each time he did it seemed to entrance him. The waves grew wider and wider as the coin began to slow. The blurred waves taking on an oily shine, catching rainbow marks as they swam outwards like the tide.

And then the coin stopped spinning, it hung there on it’s side static and humming slightly as the waves that had spread stopped everything. Time was his now, and he moved in towards the coin, the waves forcing him in slow motion. He felt the tightness in his lungs, but he pressed on, like trudging through water. He reached out, his fingers finding the way towards the coin. When they touched, a radiating light exploded outward in the room, blinding him in an instant.

This was the part he always had trouble with.

June 23. 2014. June 23 2014. June 23 2014.

He repeated it in his mind over and over like a mantra. He’d been told to visualise the numbers, but his mind always struggled with that part. It would make things easier if he did, but he was used to difficult.

With a rush of air and collapsing of light, he was thrown into something that he could never quite describe. He was always thankful to land the other side though, his eyes and his hands always burning for some reason. But his lungs thankful for the air on the other side. The air back in 2014. A simpler time.

It was for him at least. Which is why he usually came back to then. Back to here.

He looked around now, the familiar softly warming his heart. There were different approaches to his time jumping, it had been explained to him. He could land in a different place, anywhere in the world if he chose. He wasn’t restricted to when or where, or if he’d ever set foot on that part of the earth. But these steps always required more, and he was only really interested in this place, this time. It brought him a comfort that the present and the future no longer held.

He was in the apartment he’d just left, but it all looked very different. He felt the lighter atmosphere in an instant. Gone were the heavy furnishings or blinds to trap the light. That precious light was welcomed in, the blinds open and the door to the balcony cast wide as if calling out to the sea. He could hear the see, even though it was quite far below. The crashing sounds of the waves seeming to catch in the updraft and lift the sounds up to the 28th floor. He knew the view well, and much preferred it here in 2014, then in the present. Here he could take their hand and trace the line of the coast off in the distance. In the present it only called him to the rocks below, the sirens that dwelt there luring him to the ends of overwhelm.

He looked at the clock on the wall, and knew they’d be back any minute. He always liked to watch them coming in through the door. That paradox of frustration and relief at coming back from the end of a long day.

And there they were, coming in through the door. He went across to the entrance and breathed in their sweet smell as they walked right through him. He knew his own self would appear any minute, coming out of the shower and greeting them. It pained him not to be able to touch, but he was glad that sight and smell both worked normally. He saw himself then exit the bathroom, tying the towel around himself and coming over to kiss them. He ghostly traced his own steps, merging with himself and following through with the kiss. He closed his eyes despite himself, but quickly opened them and took them in his spirit like arms.

He missed the kisses. He missed their touch. He missed so much of what was now all around him which was why he returned here so often. He watched them both moving around. The kettle now being boiled as the coffee and tea was prepared. Bag dumped on the sofa. He breathed it all in, the preciousness in the ordinary.

He could stay forever if he liked, and indeed he had stayed for long periods of time before. But time being the linear monster that it is, he found he had to wait out the times when they would sleep. He could not sleep here, back in time. His body wouldn’t allow it. It was as if it was constantly battling some force which pushed it on. So, he spent hours watching them sleep, watching them dream. This was always a good time to come, because he loved this day. The 23rd. He knew the evening well and he never got bored of seeing their reaction.

He noticed it then, glittering on the table. And surprisingly, so did they. The coin was shimmering, the sunlight catching the dulled yellow from the pound coin. Then they both went across to the table, he watched them move as if in some strange dream. This couldn’t happen, he could not disrupt the past. But it was happening, nonetheless. Before he knew it, the coin was in their hands, tossing upwards. It landed on the palm, their hand covering it.

Heads or tails?

Try again.

Flick, up in the air.

He reached for it himself but missed and watched as they again hid it under their hand.

His old self grabbed them, both of them laughing. Then they made a dash for the balcony. The joy carrying itself out into the outside to share with the world. Grabbed again, but this time fought back, tugging at the towel to share even more with the world.

He watched this all in a stunned state, as if unable to move. He shook himself back to, but by then it was too late. Another toss into the air and this time the coin spun upwards with such a force it was as if it were being called back by God.

Over the sides it flew, watched by them both and by he himself before he launched himself over the side.

It made no sense. He’d never been told this could happen. They were never able to see the coin before. Or had they just never notice it? He thought suddenly to himself. They couldn’t interact with him, that is what he’d been told. But something was different this time.

He sped towards the coin, himself hurtling down towards the ground, the rocks below coming up fast like pointy teeth. No matter, he would just touch the coin and reset. He could not be hurt back here. He didn’t quite know what would happen if he did land, but it didn’t matter as his hand clenched around the coin.

But it did matter, for his ghostly hand went right on through the solidness of the coin. And those rocks found his body quicker than he could blink.

The pain was real, and instant. In his tumble he had twisted slightly, the jaggered rocks that his body had smashed against had greeted the blood like the ocean spray, disrupting it outward. He lay there for but a moment still alive, looking upwards as he could see the figures on the balcony looking on before disappearing back inside. Back into the lives they would live together for only a couple of more years.

As he passed, he heard the clock ticking and he could see in his mind the coin spinning.

Though he had paid attention to the date of the coin, which was indeed most important, what hadn’t been explained were the little rings of dots that circle the pound coin. A normal coin he’d assumed at first. But each time he had jumped, a little dot had disappeared. The coin, which now lay just below the surface, washed by those south pacific waves, had its last little dot slowly disappear.

Nothing, it seems, lasts forever.

Distance and time

Lost, feeling the way out.
Travelling through the veins of god.
Hearing that global heartbeat.
Washing away in the flow.
I want to swallow the moon tonight.
To feel the tidal shift in my stomach.
To spit out the bones of the past.
And the well-travelled memories.
I touch this earth and it feels like home.
Yet when my eyes blink open.
I am crushed by the weight of this world.
I belong here, but a million miles behind in time.
Waiting for the palm leaves and ferns to sprout in my veins.
I wish to return, and also remain.
Eating forbidden fruit.
Running with the beasts.
Perhaps the change will come from inside.
Washing over me like conscience.
Seeing the divine in all that my eyes lay upon.
This is our home.
It is our only one.
Ninety-two million miles from the sun.

Unravel


UNRAVEL

Pull here she said.
A little chord, so deep.
So red.
And unravelled the great divide.
Pulling down the curtains, the illusions.
What was before, now gone. Faded into time.
She smiled, with a small frustration remaining in her eyes.
Of why it took so long.
All around the walls of the world fell.
No sound but the wind of change blowing through these bones.
Hollowed and weak from the weight of such a world upon them for so long.
Bare she had found us, no clothes, shawl or patience left.
Yet she gave us her hand, and asked us to pull the chord.
That little red twine of hope that dangled from another universe.
She was, after all, another version of ourselves.
Similar yet so different.
Her smiles were genuine.
Generic by such judgement that we cast into the voids of space.
And now she said, make haste.
And burn what lies upon the floor of the galaxy.
Tomorrow beckons, the dust must remain.
So we tugged at the chord, and held our breath.
Through veils, hoods, and blindfolds.
Refusing, at times, to know any different.
And then the souls gave way, falling free to something beautiful.
A painted landscape tied up in selflessness.
Her gift to us, wet with the dew of time.
Wrapped up and contained on our fingertips.
All we needed to do, was unravel and believe.
For to see is to believe.
And our eyes will not betray us again.

MORE VIDEO ART HERE


Until my last breath

You hear me breathe.
But you cannot see.
Masked by the skin that makes me.
Inside, a love blooms and flowers.
Rising with the light I see in your eyes.
You are the pull of this tide.
Circling me with your lunar call.
My heart, the lonely hunter.
Howling and yearning for a touch.
For a kiss.
For a word that escapes in embraces.
A love so precious that makes the angels cry.
How you slip inside my mind like truth and temptation.
And you know the worth.
The war that was fought to earn such love.
The battlefield strewn with such bloody parts of this heart.
Now drying in the southern sun.
I want you to keep me forever.
Placed into the pocket of your soul.
Safe and secret.
Dripping with dewdrops of infinity.
Born out of our early morning birth.
I want you to hold tight, squeeze all the love from me.
Hold on to me, until there’s nothing left.

Beauty lost at the heron house (Redux)


BEAUTY LOST AT THE HERON HOUSE

The world collapsed in thirty seconds there.
A beauty aged in a moment while the rose petals died.
Who faded into the future, without the knowledge of the past?
We all did.
We came once to that spot, to watch the herons dance.
To see how they cast their wing’s against a backdrop of stars.
Through tears we watched them fly, soaring along our fingertips.
But we did not know, or care to wonder;
if they’d ever return.
And the days folded into years while the crows walked across our faces.
Milking our eyes to the blurred canvas before us.
Sight dancing into all but silhouettes.
What was destroyed there, at the Heron house?
Was it love? Was it power to hold in the wells of your hand?
Surely love never dies. Love always saves the day.
But beauty was lost forever there.
When it was valued more than gold, in hearts that feared to fly

MORE VIDEO ART HERE


 

Subconsciously motivated to euphoria

Tell me more about this place where the flowers grow.
Darkness, you say, is but a dream spun in fractured states.
That has little place there.
These flowers, they sparkle like crystals under sunlit ponds.
Inviting us to dive for mislabeled treasure.
There was but a crack on my mind.
Nothing really, but would it matter?
If that fracture, grew worse and worse.
Not there you say, that place it heals.
Swaddling all in divine clouds of relief.
Keeping the broken pieces of the shell in place.
And the mind where it belongs.
What use of the heart then?
The heart it seems is praised.
Raised up high like a crown.
The land vibrates under soft understanding.
While love sews tapestries of tales, and memories together.
They are there too, you know they are waiting.
How could an angel not sit at the throne.
Heaven?
No, not yet. The safer place inside your soul.
Where you barely tred.
I don’t want to stain it all with coatings of yesterday.
These things will be washed away, only lessons remain.
Who can go?
All are welcome.
When can I leave?
You’ve already left.

Forever Winter (part 21)

The Story so far or Listen to this episode


TREASURES UNDERGROUND 

She knew they were underground. She didn’t need to open her eyes to feel the oppressive nature of the soil all around them. It was hot, stuffy and smelt terrible. Though her snow gave a chill in the bones, there was something very different to being surrounded by earth than the feathery white flakes from the sky.

She was tied up, and the knot was tight around her hands, she could barely wriggle them behind her. Both she and Ezra were bound, separately but just as securely down in an underground vault not far from the Mondol stone. A candle was spluttering around the corner to the area they were being kept in, no bigger than her larder back at the cottage. The candle’s little light danced shadows around the place, but she could see Ezra bound on the other side. He was still unconscious, his head lulled forward like a drunk outside a tavern.

Her heart was racing, a mix of the confinement and the toxin the gentlemen of the boxes had used on them both. She could see nor hear him now, and aside from the little candle spluttering she heard nothing, as is the case underground. Quiet as a tomb.

Her legs were bound also, but not as tightly as her hands, and she was able to thump them a little in Ezra’s direction. After a few tries, she managed to knock his feet, but he didn’t stir at all. She kept on, quietly calling to him to wake, which he eventually did.

“That old bastard!” Ezra boomed into their small space.

“Shhhh, I don’t think he knows we’ve come around yet. I’m not sure where he is.” The lady of the jars hushed, her eyes desperate to peer around the side.

“Come around? I’ll make him come around and back and down and all over the place. That nasty old….” But she cut him off.

“Ezra, shush. We have to think to get out of here. They’ll be time for retribution later.” She hissed. At this Ezra smiled and nodded to her.

“How tightly are you bound there?” He asked her. He wriggled his own hands behind him.

“It’s very taut, he’s a whizz at knot tying it seems.” She said.

“Well, what else is there for the old fart to do all day sat underground! Right, let’s sort this out quickly.” He said, and with that he banged his feet up and down on the ground three times.

A crackling sound came from around the corner, and she saw the candlelight dim suddenly before the small sound of insects began to buzz. A throbbing light came pulsating into their little space, strobing a yellow light around them. The point of the light then broke off into two dots, one going over to Ezra while the other found the lady. They were little fireflies, born in the candle flame and now finding their way to the rope that bound their hands. They rested only for a moment before the ropes burnt away, the singeing smell filling the air momentarily. With a little snap the fireflies disappeared, extinguished now of their little magic flowers.

“Wonderful!” The lady said, rubbing her wrist involuntary and getting to her feet. Ezra stood too, ducking his head slightly in their confines.

“So, what do we do now?” he asked her. The lady looked around, but the place was bare of anything of use for them. She knew the gentleman of the boxes had taken everything off them.

“Well, we need to find out the extent of this underground place. We know that he wants the girl, but what he plans to do with us I no longer know.” She said.

“Well, he hates your weather, we know that. Sorry, but he’s had it in for you for ages now.” Ezra said.

“Well, it’s not my fault he can’t appreciate the beauty of winter.” She added.

“You’ve had it coming for a while, it’s all I’m saying. I know you’d be my downfall.” He said. She frowned at him.

“When I go, you go. You know that!” She huffed.

“We’ll see.” He said and made his way towards the corner of the room, poking his head around.

“There’s a long tunnel, that candle is almost out. How long do you think we’ve been down here?” He asked her.

The lady put her hand to her head, laying it flat on the top. She twisted it twice in place.

“I would say three hours.” And she joined him by the corner.

“Then who knows what’s become of the girl already.” Ezra said.

“Yes. It’s not looking good. Come on, let’s try and find a way out of this infernal warren.“ And with that she set off down the corridor, grabbing the candle as she went, Ezra marching behind her.

He’d watched her descend, seeing her come down through the clouds. She glowed like a blue ice crystal, the magic from the stone sparking upwards. He thought he’d heard the space exhale as she landed, but it must have been the wind.

The gentleman of the boxes lurked at the edge of the clearing, hidden by the thicket of bushes that clung to the larger trees at the edge. He’d been mindful of the Dimian, which he knew were clustered over by the other side of the clearing. He’d set up a little magical blockade, keeping them contained in the area by the cavern where he was keeping the lady and Ezra. His own magic had evolved significantly in the past few years, and what had seemed so foreign to him at first now came as second nature. What he failed to realise was that he’d slipped further and further into the darker realms of the power. Not fully registering what he had to give away of himself, in return of something only he desired.

He wanted the girl; he knew what she was. He didn’t really see her as a girl at all, his eyes now blinded by the power source that emanated from her. At first, he’d only wanted to end the tormented weather that had blanketed everything, that was his driving force. Then he wanted to teach the lady of the jars a lesson, nothing too bad, but something she would remember. But his thoughts had descended quickly, the little friend now forever by his ear telling him he could have more and more. Why not other things in boxes? Why not bigger and bigger boxes to store things that he didn’t want to see, or that he could keep forever contained. Why does the world tick to a tock that he must follow? Cannot things bend to his whim just for once, after years of being so uncontrolled. When was it his time to succeed?

These short-sighted thoughts had pushed him on, pushed him to do things that many years before he knew were rotten and would not have conceived. He took the lives of the animals before but knew there was a balance in nature. Now he took the lives, because he could, and not just of animals. Now he did the rotten things because he did not see the other side of it any longer. The darkness had spread over his eyes. Perhaps from being too long underground.

The stone sparkled and ran with a magic electricity. Sparking at the points where the girl touched it. She looked around the clearing, searching for the others. He watched as the doubt began to spread across her face. Quickly replaced with pain. He had to wait of course; he could not do anything with the stone. His study had taught him that.

The girl now sat down on the stone, crossing her legs and allowing the flow of energy to course through her. Where she made contact with the stone, it blurred with her own skin, rippling like mercury in a shimmering dance of magic. She placed her hands together and closed her eyes, replaying what had happened there. She saw as the gentleman of the boxes had captured her friends, taking them away to a place not far from where she sat. She watched too how he had ensnared the Dimian, and where they were now caught in a maddening cycle that he had placed over them. She opened one of her eyes and saw him now, crouched and trying to hide at the edge of the clearing. She could see it all, and she could see the darkness that now swelled within him. How his anger had let such negativity inside. The stone had changed him too, powering the thoughts he had, the will he wanted. Energising the darker aspects of himself.

She knew what he wanted, but she also knew that he was not powerless himself. She needed to get her friends back first, then they would deal with him. And she knew exactly what the best lesson would be to teach. She opened her eyes and looked up towards the sky, and with a simple thought she shot up like a rocket, so fast the gentleman barely saw it. Yet she had not gone skyward, but simply burst some energy up into the night while her body had slipped off the stone and made its way towards the Dimian.

It is sometimes forgotten how vast the underground world can be. You can dig for years and still only scratch the surface of the world. The gentleman of the boxes had become a master of underground life. He liked it there, with no weather and no change. He could control his environment, and he knew what came and went. He knew this land and all the cave systems that rooted and veined underneath the feet of those above.

Down deep is where he had put them. Many levels down, in a confusing maze of dead ends and vast rooms. He knew the area of course, and he knew that unless you knew the way out; it was all but hopeless. But the gentleman was no fool, and he also knew that magic was on their side. So, although he’d been quick, he’d placed his own precautions down there underground to keep them contained while he took the girl.

“We’re lost!” Ezra said, exhaustively.

“What, how can we be lost.  We didn’t know where we were to start with.” The lady said, looking down two separate tunnels, gauging which was the better route.

“Well, I know you don’t know where we are or which direction to go.” He said, looking back from where they’d come.

The candle they’d taken was down to a nub, the little light struggling in the overpowering darkness.

“Look, you’re meant to be a help to me. Now, do something with this candle.” She said, thrusting the little wax towards him.

He took the stump and cupped it in his hands, plunging them into darkness. She could smell the extinguished candle, reminding her suddenly of a birthday party. She heard Ezra breathing in loudly, and she watched as tiny sparkling bits of dust began to lift from the side of the tunnel. He breathed them all into the cupped hand, a little light collectively coming together to burn on the ends of the wick.

“Not much down at this level, we must be quite deep.” He said to her, handing the back.

“Please, keep hold of it.” She said, and she began to place her hands on the side of the tunnel. Bits of the earth tumbled away, and she brushed the dirt gently.

“What is it?” Ezra asked her.

“Something. Something is here.” She said, her hands now flat against the wall of the tunnel. “It can’t be……”

“Urm, I think we might have some company.” Ezra said, looking off down the tunnel. He could see a greenish glow, very distantly.

“Dimian!” the lady said. “Come, we must go the other way.” She darted quickly; Ezra was suddenly surprised by her speed as she raced down the other tunnel which led away from the Dimian. With the candle bobbing in his hand like a mushroom glow, he doubled his pace to keep up.

“What was back there, what did you think you felt?” He asked her, he was getting out of breath as she raced like a mole through the tunnels.

“I’ve read about it of course, and it would make sense for it to be here if anywhere. But I’m sure I felt the vibrations; it was so clear to me. It came into my head like a picture.” She said, not the least bit out of breath herself.

“Well, what is it?” Ezra gasped.

“The other Mondol stone.” She said, glancing back at him.

“You’re kidding me. Now there’s two?” He said, tripping slightly over a big rock on the floor.

“There were actually three to start, at least that was what is written. But it’s always been assumed from the current texts we only have the one. The others lost or destroyed. But it’s here Ezra, I felt it and saw it!” She said, an excitement in her voice.

“So, what does that mean?” He asked her.

She stopped suddenly, he almost smashed into her.

“It means we have a bit of leverage on our side, and I might be able to live through all this after all”. She said with a smile.


snowflake up close

Palpate

To make you consider that what I see is real.
To crack this skin like a mirrored pain.
A reflective love dancing on the wings of happiness.
Clouded and scorched.
Licked and honoured.
A crumpling vision of everything.
Vibrating into trauma.
It’s now tapping now at this skull.
Did I force you to reconsider.
What treasures remain.
Whether it’s me, happy inside you.
Or just a vast ocean of pain.


Taken from ‘Everyday Nightmares – out now

As the city sleeps

Still waiting for the big revelation.
Be prepared for anything, but do you still believe?
Dreaming of big distractions and carbon copied lives.
Left with diamond headaches and pills to make you sleep.
Don’t sleep, dream. Let it in.
Kick start that desire that you are just as good as God.
Good as gold even. Counting zeros on a monthly slide.
A king or queen of comedy.
Hanging on the end of the line.
Hanging onto anything.
Smear the sugar on your lips and catch the bees.
Be prepared for the sting, decompress and sing.
Close your eyes as your tongue lolls over.
Cityscapes and supernovas.
Mercury swinging in to shift the traffic.
Allowing you to arrive more easily.
Computered to your destination.
Yet missing your arrival.
Sleep another day away.
Swimming in medicated decay.
Remember to set that alarm to wake the city.
Not even giving the dead a rest.

Fighting frontiers

It’s when that hunter calls to you.
And you brace for the arrow, the shot to the heart.
Feeling like an animal.
Fighting to be heard and tolerated.
Breathing in new corrosive air that erodes your lungs.
Deeper into the jungle.
You earthquake proof your soul, and it shakes with the rain.
With a look from these eyes and the sound of their name.
Fighting to fly, to keep these wings feathered down and peacock pleasant.
Stretched over time and the eyelids of a stranger.
Keeping it all in, keeping it all safe.
Fighting against the rules you never made.
Fighting frontiers of tomorrow on the soil of yesterday.
Running with the tigers.
Forever fighting to stay alive.


Taken from ‘Everyday Miracles’ out now

I Miss my ocean (Redux)

I MISS MY OCEAN

Sand. Dirty sand and soil.
Dust in my mouth and coating this skin.
A film of sweat covers me.
Sticky heat and restless.
I miss my sea, the ocean that bore me.
Tranquil and deep like the pools in my mind.
To drift and meander across its aqua stretches.
Calms the blood that torrents through me.
I miss my sea, my ocean.
At times stormy, but full of life.
Threatening to pull me down to the ocean floor.
Where I can be alone, and able to heal.
The arid heat and air of this desert itches my eyes.
Scratches at the very thought of going on another day.
The salty air calls me back.
A maelstrom of reasons directing my compass.
To ride over waves and rise with Atlantis.
Reaching a trident back up to god.
So I shall make my way, and crawl back into the sea.
One which always welcomes and cherishes me.
Washing everything clean, and cooling my soul.
I miss my ocean.
I miss my sea.

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Dreaming of entropy

Dreams are never what they seem.
You in diamonds, light pouring from a wound.
Blink.
Breathe.
Repeat.
And when you wake, the world collapses.
A world of grey and full of ache.
Happy to sweep under invisible rugs.
Pushed to the outer borders of a mind twisted into believing the worst.
Not knowing now what has gone before.
Are the plants that grow from the cracks green within?
Or do they cry rubies in the dew drops of dawn.
Born from their charcoal heart.
A particle captures my eye.
Bleeding into wonderous indifference.
The state of being unsure.
Caught within the dream, beneath a reality which goes through motions.
Lies.
Pain.
Acceptance.
Staining my skin like coffee spilt on the bible.
Seeping through sacred cells and existence.
The flower of my heart is scorched.
The edges of my mind feather like angel wings.
Yet it will not fly.
It will not bloom.
It all remains caught, between a dream and that other.
Afraid of time, and of going home.
Strung up and out like broken bones.
Painful to touch, yet eager to feel something.
The chaos is welcomes like a hurricane to my door.
Hoping it rages and blows it all into something new.

Need to come back

The water rippled towards him, a small wave plunging forth in its final effort onto the beach. It coated his feet in a warm embrace. He watched as the water receded hastily, as if it had disturbed him yet eager to do it once more. The ocean inhaled, drawing back again as the great expanse seemed caught between the beach and the horizon.

Somewhere in his mind a clock ticked, indifferent to the relaxing flow and rhythm of the tide.

Turning, he caught sight of them once more, up on the sand dunes, walking across them like they were the treacherous paths of Everest. Taking giant strides as they struggled against the depts of the sand. He called them over but was waved off by a frustrated hand. Busy.

He smiled and begun to make his way towards them. The wind caught around him and nudged him on, as if the finger of God steered his way.

It was hot that day, but not unpleasant. The sea breeze found each pore, relieving them from the sun which shone down in it’s burning smile. He carried his shoes in one hand, having taken them off before heading down towards the water. He wasn’t used to the beach lifestyle, but this was what he always did. Taking his shoes off, rolling up his trousers, just in case. He reached them quickly and held out his free hand for them to take. They stumbled slightly over a large mound and almost dove toward him, reaching for him desperately like the edge of a cliff.

“Why don’t you come down to the water, the sand is more compacted there.”

“I don’t want to get my shoes wet.”

He looked down at their shoes, now covered in grains of sand. Dust and damaged, already in need of cleaning.

They kept hold of their hand and they walked on a bit. He slowly begun to steer them towards the sea, but they still kept on the deeper sand trail; his feet digging deep into the cooler parts with each step.

The beach was almost empty. It was a Wednesday, in winter. But winter here was not a winter there. It was hot, and relaxing and exactly where he wanted to be.

His hand was sweaty, and he was conscious of them letting go, but they kept hold of it. Rubbing his thumb with there’s to show affection.

They came to that spot, the spot they knew so well, and which gave them the clearest view of the bay. The beach was a half-moon shape, curving around the bay like a giant force had scooped out the land, letting the sea wash in closer. It was so clear, he could see out into the nothing, as the waves bobbed and churned in their maddening calm. What could’ve been a dolphin poked up further out, gone as quickly as it appeared in the rise and ebb of the sea.

“Why do you always come here?”

He looked at them, the instant sadness appearing there like a ghost.

He gripped their hand a little tighter.

“Don’t you like it here, you love this place.”

“Yeah, I know.”

The wind blew a little stronger, and if he were honest a little colder too.

He kissed them, closing his eyes like he always did. Feeling their lips as he felt the tiny moisture there. He took his hands and ran them up their back and into their hair, cupping them both in the moment. Breathing them in, holding them close, wiping away the tear which had begun to slide so silently down their cheek.

“It’s a place I can always come to when I cannot go on.”

He said this, as tears came to his own eyes. Blurring his image as if the sea had leaked inside of him.

The clock in his head suddenly shuddered, doubling the ticks in rapid progression.

“You know each time you add something. This time I took your hand.”

He looked away suddenly, as if he’d been discovered.

“I like it too, but it’s something I’d never have done.”

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

He watched as the waves hurried in, ignoring them there on the beach. Going about their tidal business. Commanded by the moon.

“There are more of course, but you always come to this one. I guess you’re the happiest here. I was too.”

He pulled them in tightly, scared they were already slipping away. He felt them, heavy and solid and gripping on to him also.

“I can’t unlove you. I can’t undo any of this.”

His tears flowed onto them, the wind stung slightly, catching the dampness there in his sockets.

“I love you still. You just doubt that, which saddens me.”

“I love you.”

“Then in the end, we win.”

Tick.

Tock.

And they both were gone.

Worry is like a prayer for something we don’t want. Our mind, at times, takes us to such dark places beyond that which gives us light. We can choose where our consciousness leads us, right now in the moment. We can choose what is projected on the wall of our mind. But it is our movie, our film which we have a say on how it ends. If you want to change it, change your consciousness and choose happiness over pain, light over dark.

Pain is the only useful feeling

It ripped inside, slashing like a frenzied animal.
Thoughts in pieces, history in tatters.
Reborn now into a new day, into a new lonely state.
Half breathing, barely beating a heartbeat that struggled with each step.
Yet alive.
Pain. It hurt still.
Pulsing and throbbing in his soul.
Licking the walls of his existence like a monster greedy for the dark.
How long must I wander here in isolation.
Blaming fate for my circumstance.
For the clouds I am under.
Yet there was a light.
It grew from his spinal cord, sparking where it snapped.
Growing back something else.
The hope he’d swallowed had bathed it.
In god’s hands he’d craved it, once before.
Lessons learned scratched now across his eyes.
The tears of acceptance washed them clean.
Pain, it seems, was his teacher.
To choose a different way, a different road.
Perhaps less travelled.
Inside his hope chest the latch flipped open.
And flowed a feeling, one of many, which dazzled his eyes like stars.

Beauty lost at the heron house


Beauty lost at the heron house

The world collapsed in thirty seconds there.
A beauty aged in a moment while the rose petals died.
Who faded into the future, without the knowledge of the past?
We all did.
We came once to that spot, to watch the herons dance.
To see how they cast their wing’s against a backdrop of stars.
Through tears we watched them fly, soaring along our fingertips.
But we did not know, or care to wonder;
if they’d ever return.
And the days folded into years while the crows walked across our faces.
Milking our eyes to the blurred canvas before us.
Sight dancing into all but silhouettes.
What was destroyed there, at the Heron house?
Was it love? Was it power to hold in the wells of your hand?
Surely love never dies. Love always saves the day.
But beauty was lost forever there.
When it was valued more than gold, in hearts that feared to fly.

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Taken from Alchemy – out now