Furious love

I caught you sleeping, while the city burned.
Napping, through the rappings of my beating heart.
How could slumber take you, when I have you here?
Locked safely in my soul for eternity.

Untold are the stories of my past.
Furious, like the waves you smash me across.
I pull you in close to me, to kiss the face I detest.
Those spinning sapphire eyes that cut me like diamonds.

There is fury in heaven, each time I touch you.
Words of regret encase me like a twisting vine.
Drink. Drink and love me how you should.
For the world will know; you only hate the ones you love.

All your talk of righteousness. Of Angels and men.
Keeps the light above burning, and my eyes to the door searching.
Leave, and let me love you from where I can.
Stay, and watch me hate you in every other way.

Then to snuff out that breath, is my gift to you.
To slit the sweet throat I’ve kissed a thousand times.
To swim in that crimson stream where your sirens dwell.
Is where my thoughts of redemption now reside.

Be quick, for the time is upon you.
And my sleight of hand has made its move.
I can love you for the next thousand years.
Sitting on that stone that marks where you lay.

I will find you in heaven, where the angels dwell.
Don’t look for me there, we’ll be burning in hell.

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Flowers for Harold Jones

Sunken, like thoughts of survival.
Down deep where the waters darken.
A purple bloom that summons your winter.
We lay the flowers over you.
Hoping the petals rot into your bones.
Bringing a colour and beauty, to your sweet decay.
The irises glisten still in your eyes.
Reflecting a dull glimmer, from the hospital sad fluorescence.
Your golden sparkle, now alchemized to ruby red.
We’ll cast your soul out on a sea of lilies.
Keeping your head above the serpentine reef.
Floating above those sunken ships of youth.
And poppies will adorn our flesh.
Pricking and pinching our skin.
Remembering the pain you were in.
As the opium tickles our minds.
And we see you laughing, once again.

Harder to fly

The coffee had spilt over his leg. He noticed that now, a dark brown patch like a cancer spreading on his trousers. The material clung to his skin as he moved, like a small wet hand pressing on him. His cup was broken of course. His favourite mug. The pieces of which lay off somewhere under his desk. Broken and useless now. Maybe good enough to put pens in if he was lucky. He would remember to get it next time. Next time he was at his desk working and typing. Listening to Grace at the desk opposite talking to her mother on the phone. She’d been ill a while, in and out of the hospital. Her kidneys giving up on her. He’d catch Grace tearing up sometimes, long frustrating conversations to the carers, to then hang up the phone and return to the emails, the have tos, the work that filled her day. Disappearing to get a coffee and to cry no doubt in the bathroom stalls.

He couldn’t see Grace now. Her desk was empty, but then the smoke was filling the office fast and it was hard to make anyone out. Bodies moved in the miasma like shadows and the yells and screams of the unknowing were constant. Daniel lay near the stairs, he’d stumbled across him as he moved towards the exit signs that illuminated like little green eyes in the haze. A dark wound had haloed on his head and he was pretty sure he was dead already. He’d never liked Daniel. The little shit was always passing other people’s ideas off as his own. He checked to see if he was breathing as people jostled passed him to the stairwell. He closed Daniel’s eyes and gently moved him to one side like a sleeping child being put to bed.

The impact had been deafening. It had shorted out the electronics on his floor and his computer had exploded with a glistening rain of sparks. Fires raged sporadically, little hot pockets all around him with the devil licking flames. He had his phone in his pocket, but he did not reach for it. He noticed the coffee stain once more as he looked down to the floor, making his way into the stairwell. The screams were hard and fast, and he could see the fires raging below. The thick smoke hung and moved like a malevolent ghost, consuming everyone it could. Casey passed him, coughing and spluttering like a seventy year old smoker. The smoke had stained her blonde hair to a dirty tarred colour, and she moved about feebly with her eyes barely open, groping for a way and a slither of hope.

He coughed a little himself as he watched the flames reflect in the computer screens all around him. He’d never heard anything like it before. The sounds that scratched and attacked his ears. The pity and the pain, the desperation. He loosed the top button on his shirt and made his way over towards Bobby’s desk. She’d always claimed she could see her house over the Hudson from her chair that faced west towards Newark. The glass had stained now, the black smoke bellowing up into the ceiling and blocking out the light from the outside. The widows looked like black teeth in a row against the walls, a rotting site of decay. Bobby was nowhere to be seen and a lot of people were scrambling around the centre of the building looking for a way through. He heard phones ringing out, and momentarily reached for his own in his pocket. His fingers touched the tip before retracting hastily. He couldn’t do that to them.

He sat in Bobby’s chair, the huge thing had been altered progressively, expanding along with her growing little girl she had inside of her. They had all joked it was to be twins. He had seen her making her way in each morning, she would heave across the room like a small elephant. Wheezing in and out of breath. The smoking years catching up on her. The chair felt nice underneath him, plush and cushy; but he was struggling to see now as the smoke was making his eyes sting. Then he was there, stood at the beach with his family only ten years old. The huge bonfire blazing away as the Fourth of July fireworks exploded above him in a rain of colour and patriotism. He’d tripped, or stumbled, never thinking he could’ve been pushed. His ass of an older brother always messing around. Too close to the heat, too close to the flames which screamed and burned into his eyes. He’d always hated smoke, those damn smokers who lurked outside buildings, puffing out their smoky venom which greeted you in a wall as you left. That awful feeling of something grappling inside you.

His eyes were searing now and he coughed profusely as the flames and the smoke rose and fell around him. The building beneath creaked and rumbled. The shouts of help had eerily tailed off, now solemn and sporadic like lonely calls into a distant forest. The horrific realisation perhaps descended that there was no support or rescue from this. The trauma that had fallen from the skies had landed on them completely, suffocating out the fragile hope that only grew like snowflakes. Useless in the face of such fiery hatred.

That great red dragon now breathed and raged around them, spluttering out the smoke that covered them like oil. In its grip, they sweated and froze inside with fear and pain.

The breath now was harsh and coarse. Coming in waves of sickness and coughs. The eyes were burning, transporting him back and forth to that bonfire on the beach and hell of the world around him, where the terrors and the pain of the people he knew where rising and falling like that of the tide. The blistering paint was making it all toxic, and the windows had begun to buckle and bubble in the heat.

He smashed Bobby’s window. He rammed everything he could through the fragile glass, gasping for the fresh air that promised to rush in. At first, only more smoke. The floors below, trapped in their own nightmares bellowed up acrid plumes which flooded in to their admin vacuum. But then light. Sky. The world above and below beckoned like an angelic hand. People flocked towards him, stumbling still like shadowed zombies in the volcanic office. Relief mixed with horror as they once again rationalised in repulsion. He tried not to catch the eyes of those who came. He didn’t want to see the hopelessness in those who he had known for years. The rivalry and solidarity had swung back and forth on that New York pendulum. Trying to get ahead, trying to be good. Now everyone in the room reduced to just being here. How many were loved? How many had dreams simmering inside only for the lights to be turned down. The fires now creeping towards them in their lifeboat in the sky.

He never did reach for that phone. It sailed with him as he launched himself out of the windows. His lungs expanding as the fresh air drenched his body. Life in his lungs once again. He thought of them of course. The people he loved and hoped loved him back. But these were just flashes of images and thoughts that he tried to cling to as he soared into the sky above Manhattan. It was the coffee stain on his trousers and trying to see Bobby’s house that took him away. The anaesthetising process to deal with the horror that it was such a long way down from here.

The rushing wind, the failing debris around him hung like a moment in his descent. Those who followed would have their own moments in time. Their own desperate fight for flight from that blazing inferno. Trapped as they were, the choice of escape was their own. He’d hoped to fold, to slip inside the envelope of heaven while the machine of god rolled on. Hearing his heart beat and skip he closed his eyes, knowing that the take-off was easier than the flight. Feathered and falling. That the birds who sung and soared were marked by a promise to one day return.

Volcano

An island unto thyself.
In a sea of that swims and breaks with waves of discount.
You raise the flag on the mound.
That sword, you bring on down to me.
Yet I build a world around you.
Like a town on a volcano.
Climbing higher for a better view.
Yet a rumbling in the belly of the beast is heard.
Daily, I wait for black rain.
But hope for the sun to shine.
Yet the rumble can be assuaged.
As I climb to the lip and taste the lava.
Kissing your plume of red and dangerous fire.
On high, I can see the turrets of other kingdoms.
Their flags, bound and bright in the tropical sun.
Happy under the banner of the one.
Yet I remain, rooted to the hard cooled magma that is your soul.
Knowing the end, will have me buried like the people of Pompeii.
Frozen in time, in ecstatic pain and awe.

Shroud

Awaiting for the darkness to pass.
For a sting’s throb to relent.
Deep in this cave of uncertainty.
Where the buzz of doubt floods and overwhelms.
Yet there is a peek, a gentle stab at the white veiled sleep.
The sunshine finger of light that inquires into the bowels.
What beneath the shroud is alive or dead?
The smell of decay sits too absently now in the air.
You know what was buried there.
For you killed it with your departure.
Yet as the birds sing their larkening song.
That threatens a spring in winter.
So too the shroud is awakening.
Dropping its ghosts and mangled possessions.
To breathe and live once more.
And taste the April showers and life’s new blooms.

A Funeral of thoughts

An earthy taste in your mouth.
The soil that slips from your lunar lips.
Is a burying of the old.
Broken thoughts grown frail and forgotten.
They’d rambled in your mind like an aged pensioner.
One that no-one bothered to check on.
Whose milk bottles of intent built up on their doorstep.
These thoughts tried to slip away in the night.
Silently and painless in the light of a new day.
In the light you bring.
Those thoughts that are the shadows of self.
From the dark side of the moon of the mind.
Fearful of the sun, that shines from your eyes.
Dirt, on my pillow when I wake.
Burying the thoughts in dreams masked as nightmares.
Finally, dead and buried.

A Calling

This life is a blend of black and grey.
I’ve come here now to take you away.
And hold your hand, in the face of sorrow
You’re wrong to say that, please just go.
There are things here that you will never know.
I always have, the hope of tomorrow.
But tomorrow is now out of your hands.
The pain will come, you won’t understand.
When your heart and soul, will be nevermore.
That’s why I grasped her hand so tight.
We fled right there out into the night.
And she took me away, to unseen shores.

Sky burial

Make way for sad opportunity.
An internal march into time.
Who here has the energy, to battle any longer?
Only kings know when their time is done.
How to lay down forever, which position do we wear?
Tired and tested.
Joyful and sublime.
Making way for time’s sweet blanket.
We do not crawl to the end.
Or lie here waiting for the angels to carry us.
We hurry, back and forth between moments that mean nothing.
In the eyes of god, or the great beyond.

Years subside

Twilight and daybreak intertwine.
Casting shadows and dawn on these eyelids.
People come and talk to me of passion.
Then they linger, and talk to me of death.
I feel stuck inside a moral station.
Watching the trains as I in decide.
I feel a murmur of god, yet the call of the wild.
Battling against the push of gravity.
No longer feeling its pull.
How the years have folded like a napkin in my lap.
Dirty and used.
Yet I wonder. I wonder if I’m hungry still.

Calcination of a dying angel

A flicker in a flame that sets the beat.
Ticking over the tock of a time unravelling.
This flame that scotches the hands that hither.
Trying to love and caress, only to be burnt.
Those feeding fingers that crisp.
The smell of burnt skin and hurt.
Yet a call from within threatens mountainous shifts.
That this life of fire will burn to ash.
And a darkness will follow.
One where we can move without ever being noticed.
For in the dark, we can truly see ourselves.
And I will once again think of running away.

Flowers behind glass

The door to this heart hangs heavy.
Swinging on the ideals of the irrational.
Breathe on this skin, and watch the gold paper flutter.
Lick it down to keep it in place.
They once planted flowers above my head.
Placed little stones over me to mark this grave.
The place where lonely hearts came to die.
Decaying like the rotting buds of spring.
Within, they did not care to ignite.
You touch me but once, and electrify this process.
Kissing me with an electron blue.
Now, as the rains cover my earth, deep within I begin to bloom.
You never left, you stayed to watch the blossoming.
Feeling the florets in you rose petal hands.
And now they watch, behind glass and a stretch of time.
Only snapshots of a love divine.
Walled away and tempered.
While you pick these roses, without thorns.
And garden all through the night.

Short – Folkroot

The crows always gathered in the eastern part of the grounds, the ones that held the giant weeping willow trees that hung mournfully over the grey yawning ponds. The crows would roost and jabber in the trees, squawking up a storm as they watched the silent world of the estate coil around them.
Jeremiah watched them now as he sipped his tea from a chipped mug bearing the hotel’s motif on it, twin trees that sprawled out into veins along the bottom supporting a huge F and R nestled in-between. The pattern was faded on the mug, the royal purple dulled now to a weak lilac like a bloodied gum.

His tea steamed in the cold morning air, the vapour disappearing out of the cup like souls travelling up to heaven. He stood alone by the small utility shed, which itself, was hidden by a large horse chestnut tree. Though he was the groundskeeper for the hotel, Jeremiah had allowed it to grow wild, almost concealing his shed from view entirely. This was his little kingdom, his own place of refuge which he liked to keep hidden from prying eyes.

Not that many of the guests came to this area of the grounds. They were usually drawn to the large manicured lawns where they whiled away their leisurely days playing croquet, or down by the small maze that offered beauty and puzzlement. Still, he did his best to go unnoticed, a notion welcomed by the management who liked to keep the staff out of sight of the guests, yet always close by.

The crows took flight suddenly, a large sound off into the woods nearby traveling with magnitude over to where they were roosted in the bowels of the weeping willows. He watched them take flight, disappearing off into the grey sky above. Setting his now empty mug down, Jeremiah picked up the shearers that stood idly propped against the side of the door, and set off in direction of the ponds. He checked his watch, noticing it was nearly lunch time, and guessed it would take him around an hour to finish trimming the thicket by the fish pond that had exploded in growth in the last few weeks.

He was glad the crows had departed, he hated their cries and clucks that seemed to echo through the air like cries from another world. They were not the only creatures that dwelled in the grounds at FolkRoot, but they were the most annoying to him at least. He could deal with the rats and mice that found their way into the fruit cellars and the drains. They were easy to deal with. They had two cats on the property, one black one called Sabre and a ginger one called Sphinx which would roam around keeping many of the unwelcomed rodents away and the giving the more tenacious ones a new home.

Sabre was a bit of curiosity with the guests, finding his way into their rooms to surprise them in the middle of the night. They would usually find things missing the following day, small trinkets and shiny things that the magpies usually got the blame for. No-one would ever suspect a cat of spiriting things away to keep nestled under cat eyes and fur. But Jeremiah knew, and he knew where they were to be found; Sabre’s favourite hiding place. Both cats would patrol the hotel, getting into all kinds of nooks and crannies. But they would never come here, never down to the ponds. Which was probably why, he thought to himself, the crows had such domain over the trees that grew here. Weeping mournfully into the pools below, crying leafy tears perhaps to those who failed to float, and now resided at the bottom.

Jeremiah knew of these souls, the ones the crows guarded and longed to peck at. He had seen many go in over the years at the hotel, and he knew many more would join them. As he got closer to the edge of the pond, looking down into the watery waste beneath him, he twisted the wedding ring on his finger idly.

“Morning Sybil. How you doing today my love?”

More short stories here

Weighted

The only explanation, to the thoughts stuck in your mind.
Is that the fairy tales so familiar, are just lies on the end of sticks.
Princess you are not.
Cracked though, like a porcelain doll.
Washed up in the flood of life.
God didn’t want to throw you away.
So you stay.
Married and marred to another, while the butterflies escape.
And the eyes of others, circle like filthy black birds.
Keep your eyes open, and follow the stars in the sky.
For the earth will only replace yours with little lights.
Dull black candles.
While the stardust flutters away.

Funeral bliss

Though the day was cold, the hearts were warm.
Burning like a desert isle.
Gold teeth chattered, catching the light and chewing on well-worn stories.
They plundered the past like pirates.
Each memory a jewel.
Each story a fable.
Colour struck you in the face as the reds and yellows paraded the town.
And as they lowered the body down.
An empty coffin. The flesh had fled hours before.
The soul only lingered out of curiosity.
Enamoured by the tulip dance on the telephone wires.
Long distance.
A shuffling then of souls still breathing
Their own bones twitched to jazz beats and sweet treats.
The partying departure for a man long since dead.
What covering could convey how they felt?
A cotton candied coat to keep him warm in death.
The tiny pebbles they had collected, each one dipped in honey.
Sheltering the coffin in rocks and shells.
No one spoke of goodbyes.
No one’s eyes released a cry.
As the stars above collapsed into fireworks.
And they dyed the sky.

The Signal

A signal came, deep and low.
It really came aeons ago.
But only dinosaurs ever heard the sound.
As they fell and fossilised into the ground.
And in parts, turned to oil.
All beneath this earthen soil.
But that sound now comes, and harkens all.
A subtle warning, an eerie call.
And reverberates deep in your soul.
This brand new road sign, this totem pole.
Which climbs beyond what we think we know.
For as above, then so below.
And with its promise of great revelation.
Also threatens some devastation.
Now cherish each and every moment.
For tomorrow cannot promise more time bestowments.
So be scared, be happy; but please be smart.
For every end, always has a start.

Veiled

Maybe it was all too much.
This veil pulls me down.
This earth pushes me up.
Bones as thin as china.
Will as strong as Russia.
What religion should I wear?
Which god was I trying to please?
Watch me as this orthodox trips into sunlight.
Unbuckled and strewn about like papers on a desk.
Write my name on everything you see.
For I shall own it.
My signature, worth a thousand jewels.
But then maybe, I shall fade away.
Fall into the shadow of time like a sphinx in the sand.
Riddling into my demise and my own lunacy.
Special to only but myself.
A fading queen of the ancients.
A housewife dead beneath a carpet.
Speak well of me while you eat my bread.
Drink the milk I give and choke on the thoughts I offer.
And forgot me not.
For I was there at your beginning.
And will silently watch you dissolve.
A woman. A soul.
Veiled and precious.
Swirling poison in my mouth.