Sinners in church

All I feel, is the blood underneath.
The red torrent that flows the same.
In a look that turns away.
Reaffirms the shame.
Can we be sinners if inside all is pure?
Skin and bone, flesh from him.
Bread that sticks in my throat.
We are sinners in the house of mother earth.
We are angels beneath the floors of hell.
These tears that fell when the walls collapsed.
As the shadows were expelled.
Are the isotopes of God.
Realigning in our cells.
So this sin, I am thankful for.
A difference from the past, pulled from Neolithic teeth.
We are sinners and miscreants.
All the same under the eyes of the blind divine.
Which in turn, makes us holy.

Resplendent consumption

Though the dark spreads doubt and fear.
It is in the light where she creeps near.
For shadows and gloom she leaves in her wake.
With mournful tunes and deathly ache.
The light is what she needs to feed.
A pulsing urge, like a sprouting weed.
She sucks the light like marrow from bone.
And crawls inside that place called home.
She splits the joy and hope in two.
Suckles each like morning due.
Savouring each fantastic pleasure.
That shrivels for you, but to her is treasure.
This dark and heavy visiting member.
Will drain the light to a dying ember.
And leave you feeling almost dead.
While she licks these words inside your head.
That if darkness fades and you feel lighter.
If hope does spread and things feel brighter.
She will return, like a rolling cloud.
To kill the light with her consuming shroud.

Heroin(e)

Fire crack cackle in hushed shadows.
Little fingers about to cut you off.
What you say makes me shudder.
A creeping shiver left at the side of the bed.
A mind now full of kitty litter.
With this life-long looking and an ache to scratch.
Weakness, tossed out like surprise.
Sweetness that came in like a hammer to a glass heart.
Lick me up like spite, with a malice reduced down into silver spoons.
As I fall away from you.
And watch you choke on words not the loneliness.
It moves now in to post-blue passive aggressive tendency.
Feeling the testosterone in our bones.
Angry, because you wanted it this way.
Embattled and emblazed with the world shouting us as well.
Waiting for the silence to once again smother our fires.

Hold on to me

Abandoned in the world to greatness.
Whispers from divine lips.
Go seek the light in body.
Numbly I stumbled, feeling the way.
Watching as the darkness split apart.
The yoke of the world bled out.
Covering me in you.
Shake away those lives before.
Reframe a pleasant memory bubbling to your surface.
I was there with you at the beginning.
We intertwine, your hands in mine.
Stroking my heart as it fumbles to a maddening beat.
Slip inside and crumble like every lie.
Hold on to me, as if we breathe the same.
Hold on to me, as my heart is encased in yours.
Hold on. Just Hold on.

Halfway from home (story reading)


Jasmine, and if he closed his eyes, the sound of the ocean. The smell though was always the strongest, it was what always clung to him. The ghost that gently haunted, touching his heart. It came and went, sometimes intense, taking him to that place where he always felt safe. Always felt them there.

He looked out of the window at the planet below, the strange orb spinning silently in its indifference to him. The purple hues lifted off the surface as if into a dream, blurring and smudging with the swallowing blackness of space.

Jasmine and warm sand….

Read on


Threat

The folds of the future, on a serrated line.
Do not cross the marker. Don’t enter the forest.
A Sound emits from the belly of the earth.
This stirring rumble shakes the pots from the ledges.
Loud is the sound, as it travels under your skin.
Consuming you like tiny bears, fluffy and in your veins.
The forest was always out of bounds.
They knew what awaited.
Yet they built your houses right next to it.
Eye lines and heartbeats finding a mark.
They tell you to keep out, they warned you often.
But they lead you to the tips of the trees.
Tickle you with possibilities.
And so the inevitable.
The forest captures you.
The monster consumes you.
Plucking out the bones to play haunting tunes that drift on the wind.
A threat in the thicket.
The doom in the gloom that drenches like oil.
I found your bones of course.
I always knew.
Having much lingered on the other side of the trees.
Up high, having learned how to climb.
I see the monster, I saw the demise.
I know how it ends.

Soar & subside

Falling down the waterfall, shaken out of grace.
Sliding, spiraling and collapsing. Leaving nothing but a trace.
Tumbling down speedily, in disgust from your eyes.
Crawling out of this bitter, purgening demise.
Escaping into nothingness, fleeing into dreams.
Tasting the fruit of freedom. Splitting from the seams.
Moving now a certain way, to expand these wings.
Unfurling fraying feathers, precious aerodynamic things.
Falling once again, from ledges beyond time.
Saying goodbye to shadows, and the ghosts that haunt this mind.
Realisation of collapse, braking bark from the knowledge tree.
Not a sad solitary boat of sand, on your egotistical sea.
I fully bow out, take my leave now and resign.
Plunging into tomorrow knowing, I must fall to begin the climb.

Ruin

Blaze the craze which rips through the world.
Such times to be alive.
Born from the birds which fly south for winter.
Pecking at the moon.
Which idea is now spun from younger lips?
For children withhold such commitment.
We welcome you to the future.
Putting your ear to the soil to hear the earth murmur.
A wailing in the wind and the wild.
A sorrow swimming in the sea.
Yesterday holds up such devastation.
Sugar coat that history, open up forever.
Cough out lies across your coffee cups.
But listen to no one.
Wipe the heathens across the walls.
A boy, a girl caught in such crossfire.
Scrub those bloody hands, that crimson mark.
Fading from red to orange.
Another one. Another one, another one.
Falls.
As the world turns and burns.
Points of no return.
And distant in the mirror now.

Everything (in time)

The earth subsides.
Transient thoughts of escape.
Dissipate.
Pick the petals from my mouth.
As the mourners avert their eyes.
Death, was no surprise.
Yet this extension, a spark inside.
Flutters like a butterfly trapped.
The decades wash over me now in waves.
Heady and fragrant.
Crashing coral like beauty through my soul.
Leaving stains like memories in my eyes.
How long was I there, what was left?
Do these bones show rings if sliced in two.
I feel born anew.
Trembling and naked like the first day.
Yet now, covered in the embryonic fluid of knowing.
That tomorrow is just the beginning.

— HARLEY HOLLAND

It was the last weekend before Christmas and this was Gary’s night. Royally pickled from a swivel of beer and shots, he threatened to rip the Jägermeister soaked sleeves from his Christmas jumper clean off. The lads cheered him on in the donor kebab shop. Chanting his name as the cooks gave uneasy glances. All […]

— HARLEY HOLLAND

Hunter

Into your eyes my fate remains.
Locked into that shifting ice.
Beautiful time trapped in glass.
Catching the light in amber eyes.
Hunted while you wait.
A bird in your paw.
Blood on your tongue.
The bones already in your stomach.
As the snow covers your tracks, the love leaked out, marking where we once were. Leaving the trail for others to know our fate, and to never come this way where the wolves are at play.

 

 

Blood is thicker

The red lights blur inside my skin.
Casting reflection on the mood I’m in.
A soured feeling of discontent.
The angry ebb of self-descent.
Yet neon blood flows inside my veins.
A pumping pressure which starts to gain.
Which travels north from my deep south.
And splatters the truth from out my mouth.
Though shock is not my best intention.
Nor pain or hurt, out from this invention.
But to boldly state from strength and love.
That the only thing we share is blood.

Buds and bones

If this is the last and the final time.
Then button my eyes and draw the line.
And keep me hidden beneath the ground.
Where earthly secrets and worms are found.
For if you are not the beat of my heart.
Then into death my journey must start.
And silence my mind as it heaves to you.
Kill this love which you’ve broken in two.

Somewhere in this memory

The snow had begun to fall early that evening. Though the sun had long since slumbered down, it was around six o’clock when the few flutters of winter dusting started to whip past his window. Daniel had left the curtains open like he did most evenings, watching the wild sky drip away beyond the horizon. It had rained lightly that day, and it took a while for the snow flurries to leave any impression on the ground. But as he watched from his small window, his face illuminated by the Christmas lights, he noticed as people came out of their houses to investigate the snow.

A few kids ran about under the streetlights, already bunching up snow into cold balls to throw at one another. It was a shame, Daniel thought to himself, that Christmas had passed already, and the snow had waited until after it had passed. Another bleak grey day that offered only the magic of the season, rather than from the endless possibilities of the weather.

He went to the kitchen and made himself a spiced tea. The smell of cinnamon and spices hung in the air, warm and inviting. He then went into the main room to where the Christmas tree was, sipping the tea which burnt his lip. He’d put it up alone this year, the first time the ceremony had ever been performed that way. He looked at the huge golden bell that sat a top of the tree; sparkling, like everything else did, in the strung Christmas lights that dotted the place. He couldn’t remember ever buying that bell, yet it appeared every year to top the tree they always had.

He sighed and placed his tea on the side, pulling one of the boxes towards him. He hated taking the tree down, or the Christmas decorations. As a child he’d always pleaded to his parents to keep them up longer. But they were bound by the laws of the season and the far away court, and all the decorations had to be down by the twelfth night. Why? No one could ever tell him, that was just how it was. Yet this was how things were now, every year it seems. Him, alone taking down the very things that were put up to enliven his life, if only for a few weeks.

He started to take off some of the ornaments, some of which he remembered putting on the tree even as a child. These must be so old he thought suddenly, vaguely aware of his own descent now into adulthood. His phone began to hum into life nearby, but he ignored it. He wasn’t in the mood to argue again, and that’s the only thing that phone was offering to him this evening. He placed some of the baubles carefully into their homes, snug in a box that would keep them safe for another year. He turned up the music he had playing, his new tradition; Christmas songs to ring out in the stripping of the tree. In a way, such a violating act. The trauma of the season.

He hummed along to some of the carols, there religious message washed away now he thought in the progression of the years. He felt old, and tired. Like his youth had slipped away without him even noticing it. He might as well be boxing up his memories instead of these decorations, freezing all he ever wanted and all he dreamed off in these magical days of Christmas. Spun up like candied sugar and placed away safely, to be removed once a year along with his heart.

He sat down on the rug; patches of glitter peppered the tufts still from the wrapping paper that had been destroyed last week. He closed his eyes as the choir music filled the room, taking him to a place in his memory. He watched as his younger self ran down the stairs, eager to see if Father Christmas had been. His parents, holding hands and smiling as they watched their children tear at the presents that had been carefully placed hours before beneath the silver Christmas tree. Though the tree was fake, over time it had faded and fallen apart, much like the marriage and the moments he now saw in his mind. The presents, along with this love within the family had been torn apart and forgotten about also. Thrust up each year like some special spectacle. Packed away when all were done.

His phone rang again, bringing him back. He opened his eyes and looked at his phone on the table, lighting up and convulsing in an epileptic dance. He ignored it again and went back to the tree to finish off. The lights were always the trickiest. It was easier with someone helping, and fun too he thought as he remembered how they had joked around putting the lights over one another, pretending they were trees themselves. The time when one of the fuses had gone and the whole house had been plunged into darkness, not before the sparks had succeeded in frightening them both.

Lights were always a pain to put away, but he resigned himself that it would be another year before he had to worry about them, and balled them into the old shoebox he kept, sealing the lid and the doom of the lights till next year. The rest of the decorations found their way into boxes relatively quickly, only a few things were placed around the small house as it was. He nearly forgot about the wreath on the door, only remembering it when he glanced outside to see how the snow was. It had come down pretty heavy now and he thought about going for a walk later when he was finished, to enjoy the winter landscape.

He finished his tea and snatched up his phone, looking at the missed calls. He sent a message quickly and then stood back looking at the barren tree, back now to its natural coat. They usually had a fake tree, but this year they had gone for the real thing. It stood now, just a hair smaller than him, shedding pine needles below itself like some defecating potted creature.  He closed his eyes and could smell the aroma of the tree, the fading pine of a dying spirit. He wondered where it had grown, what bird or beast had called it home in the time it grew to its seasonal perfection. To be adorned and beheld for a few weeks only to then be thrown out with the other junk of the season, left to decompose in the street awaiting to be whisked away to somewhere out of sight. In that moment he saw the death and cruelty of Christmas. How things were cherished, only for the moment, then forgotten about and placed away. His phone nearby rung a reply, and he glanced at the preview from where he stood. A small tear appeared, and rolled down his cheek, the air leaving his lungs before a gasping inhale.

Daniel went to the French doors and cast them both ajar dramatically. The cold winter wind swept into the room, and some snowflakes fell onto his carpet. He snatched up the tree by the middle trunk and took it out into his garden. His bare feet sank deeply into snow that had settled already, but Daniel did not care. He went back inside and picked up matches that rested by the Christmas candles. He returned back to the garden and struck three matches at one time, letting the oxygen breathe life into the flame. He threw them onto the tree and lit some more. The snow whipped around both him and the tree, but eventually the flames took, and it began to burn. Flames licking the innards of the branches as he stood in the snow that numbed his feet. Drifting from his living room, ‘O Holy Night’ lifted into the air and encased them both in that moment. Frozen for that cold blink in the eye of Jesus, who watched on in seasonal despair.


Taken from ‘Impermanence of things

Interstellar insights

The world opens, the moon shines down like a second sun.
Highlighting the scars of the earth.
I sense you and smell the enthusiasm.
Every day is mine to win, each interaction a snapshot in time.
It’s not how we fall, but how we stand that matters.
The heart of the matter.
The rub, the centre; the deep filled gooey splatter of time.
Stretching away like a blurring desert.
I step stone towards the unknown, letting go of uncertainty.
Restriction dropping, heart opening foolishness of youth and wisdom.
I pull you out of the cave, bring you into the light.
Dazzled by your brilliance, and mesmerised by sight.
Too long have we lingered on the dark side of the moon.
Freezing in the ill commitment to abstain.
Come, take my hand and let us drink in the solar flares.
Turn the moon to gold.
Get high on the mercury rising and dance into the fire.
Singing our solar song.

Different degrees of devote destruction

These trailing stars that shatter through our existence.
Leave chaos and beauty in their wake.
Transcended diamonds embedded in our skin.
Fires burning deep within.
What golden light are we trapped beneath.
Such hazel eyes of god.
My soul is a blackness wrapped around your galaxy.
As you pass through like a luminous shooting star.
Leaving varying traces of your continuance.
Vibrating this space with only departure and grace.
Caring not for the planets that fall.

Sparkle

In the trees, no; in the sky.
The veins are hiding it.
The light shining like the eyes of God.
It’s there all the time, do you never see it?
No, but I feel it.
Washing in my bloodstream, collecting like wax.
Divine.
Sublime.
Yet I see it now, the great orb above.
We came from it, that far off place.
Its essence coats our skin like angel dust.
A pleasant peppering, are you sure it’s those shores we stole from?
Can you not tell, does the rock in your pocket not breathe like that mountain?
Torn from the mass, yet special in it’s size.
It’s like a pebble in my mind.
Like an egg, beautiful and full of life.
It shines too, like gold.
That is the light, that is what we are.
Then why is it sometimes dark?
Dark you say?
Yes, black sometimes like oil.
That would be your own fears, covering what needs to be free.
Then let it be.
Yes, let it will be.

Death deserves a witness

Quietly, lay me down.
Shutting out the light until the fears vibrate.
Onlookers shuffle, whispering like the clergy.
Greasy eyed and apathetic.
Coughing on incense and strings of my childhood.
God strokes me into calmness.
Tenderly, like a plant struggling to grow.
Needing the care.
I whisper grace, and slit the throat.
Letting the eyes glimmer in the dying light.
The ghosts shudder at the demise.
Fluttering ethereal remembering eyes.
The air turns foul, and I gasp into life.
Sucking in sweet alpine air.
Death spirits away such needless past.
Life offers such beautiful future.
Words tiptoe across my skin like those across a gravestone.
They fade in your light.
And you blink away the past.
Taking my hand.

Conversation with mortality

A pain so dark it blots out the stars.
Rubbing the divine into charcoal.
Left shaking in the wake of skeleton waves.
That snatch my voice into the sea of the selfish.
Loss drips across like oil.
And the reality paralyses.
A bloom of love is choked by the frost of departure.
And my soul is snatched by the shadows of indifference.
The place inside, maybe heaven, beckons.
The mind a hell, at fates unknown.

Apathetic by design

These boys and girls, with hidden smiles and transparent trauma.
Promise nothing of tomorrow.
Selling chalky kisses in crises centres, splattered across the map.
Which you now trace your fingers across.
Finding washed out welcomes in every state.
At least those that you remember.
Your phone calls go unanswered, avoided like Monday mornings.
They move away and sigh long lamentful breaths.
Dropping almond eyes to the ground.
Feet shuffling to a sound of a country mourning.
A country held prisoner to the promises of a thief.
Now tomorrow feels scary, fluorescent feelings that fold like paper moons.
The tide turns too soon.
And you return once more to the ocean, picking the salt from your eyes.
Counting the tears that drip like a million wishes into a well.
Like the one you cast into as a child.
Shining bright like Christmas lights.
When everything seemed touched by magic.