Altitude

The thinned air drifts through me.
Up on this mountain.
Where the pine trees and promises grow.
It’s such a long way down from here.
That great expanse below, the past and a world without you.
I hold a thought, like I hold you in my arms.
Carefully, and cautiously.
Smothered in love.
A little drop of wonder which coats my mind.
That thought of joy breaking out of a dream.
Solidifying into my snowy reality.
Up here on the mountain.
I follow your path, and watch you watch the world from here.
Counting the moments we have and your eyelashes when you sleep.
Holding down the universe for you.
Yet when the distant thunder rumbles, shaking what we have built.
I confess, my heart trembles.
The snow turns black, and in my dreams fear tumbles our love.
Crumbling, like a plane into a skyscraper.
Covering the land with dust and sadness.
But this thunder does not last.
Quickly it is banished to the darkest parts of sleep.
For now I wake and walk the mountain, inside this wakened dream.
Collecting all of you, like fallen leaves from the trees.
Keeping them in my pocket.
Up here, on our mountain which grows further from the sea.
Raising up to meet god and pierce into heaven.

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This decision is mine

Try not to breathe, don’t let them see the fear in your eyes.
Trap those voices in formaldehyde, while you hope to swim away.
Try not to cry, they have never even thought of escaping.
Trapped in a prison of smiles, and a thicket of shadows.
You are the deer, so close to the earth.
They are the rocks that they sometimes throw.
Hoping to hit, scrape and bleed you.
Try not breathe, they will never hear through the distance you speed.
Crashing through the forest of fears.
Rising into the light.
Leaving tears in your path, only for the years you wasted.

Reaching roots

How deep do these roots need to burrow?
While the wind of the world shakes and batters.
Down deep, past dinosaur bones and bits of myself.
Long forgotten memories and names no longer remembered.
Roots of strength, yet they strangle the small and struggling.
Little sprouts of new dreams which begin deep in the dark of my soul.
Waiting, for just the tiniest flash of light.
Yet the roots need to be strong.
For it’s much further to go on.
And this tree is desperate to reach up to heaven.

Toujours en fuite?

Vous souvenez-vous, quand vous étiez jeune?
Les battements de coeur dans un infini.
Une seconde sur les lèvres de Dieu.
Pouvez-vous sentir la forêt?
Es-tu fuyant?
Disparu dans les arbres.
Quelle partie d’entre vous ne dort jamais?
Pour toujours rêver dans un monde où règnent les cauchemars.
Portez votre couronne.
Asseyez-vous, et lavez-vous dans les larmes cosmiques.

Skyward pines

Under the trampled feet of the ghosts of the forest.
We lay in the soil, safe for a century.
Soaking the world in.
We turn away from forever, looking into the eyes of life.
Shooting skyward.
Oceans away from the city of conformity.
An exquisiteness that waivers every day. At the whim of the winds.
We are the pines.
Skeletons in season, breaking beauty as we trail the atmosphere.
Still as the tomb of tomorrow.
We watch the forest shiver and shake to a human beat.
Still with a taste of god in our mouths, breathing in his breath.
Dancing in the darkness as the world sleeps.
These pines.
Waiting once more to be cut down by those seeking our answers.
To get at the truth, down in our roots.

Crystal trees

Crystal trees ring like a loathing of history.
Vibrating through your bones like a rage of a thousand lifetimes.
Where do you go to, when the day gets dark?
When the glass shatters, and splinters your soul?
Your confetti disposition melts on this tongue.
And floats away in the breeze that comes.
A mountainside gale, blown through snow and alpine air.
Off the twisted roots that spring up like hands pulling you down.
Covering you against the coming storm.
A wandering frost inside these veins, creeps and lows.
Like a tide of shame.
Tinged with the blood rouge of regret.
Whilst you settle on my eyelid like a wandering snowflake.
Offering a glimpse at a thousand dimensions.
And a peek inside my own.
I blink away the sight of you there, covered in attention.
Asking me once more.
Who am I?

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 snow started to whip past his window. Daniel had left the curtain s 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 watched as some people came out of their houses to investigate the snow. A few kids ran about under the street lights, already bunching up snow into cold balls to throw at one another. It was shame, Daniel thought to himself, that Christmas had passed already and the snow had waited until after. Another bleak grey day that offered only the magic of the season 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 tip the tree they always had. He sighed and placed his tea down, 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 decent 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. 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. 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 his 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 thrust 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 in that moment. Frozen for that blink in the eye of god.

 

We come in pieces

I wander up from my youth.
Into this skin.
This life I now reside within.
Piled upon bones, this memory of time.
My bark of remembrance cracks. Splinters out a sap.
You were there at the beginning. Siphoning stars and melancholy.
You’ll be there at the end. Counting the receipts.
Adding up to the most magic number.
Sit me down by the stream and watch our lives drift by.
Baking under that hellish sun.
Pull the fingernails from my hands and spirit my soul off to another land.
Fold me into your wings of resurgence.
Build me up for another day.
I came to you in pieces. Forged form hands as light as feathers.
You weigh me down. You make me fly.
You count the eyelashes while I sleep.
You creep under my skin each day. Legoing out a body and mind.
One that leans towards you like a plant to the sun.
Photosynthesising your love from your light.
Every part, every cell. Each atom is stacked in your favour.
Circles and squares, and pieces of you.
Building up a dream.

An interior rhythm

How to rise, when you’re broken.
Like lofty branches that scratch the sky.
Down here on the forest floor, tangled with the roots.
I feel collapsed. I feel free.
I want to tear it apart.
I had to burn it down.
Pick the thorns out of my bark, the chattel from my teeth.
Swaying with the world now. Rising on its axis.
I swing to a new realm, on the pendulous heartbeat of tomorrow.
I allowed myself to fall apart.
Welcoming the termites of time. Destroying all I had.
Whilst watching the watchers in the wings.
Birds who fly with nightshade plumage.
Cluck their tongues and talk of responsibilities.
Laying eggs for a farmer who will devour their friends.
You don’t know what it’s like. You don’t know what I grew through.
Such hard terrain and unholy winters. Sprouting to my own spring chorus.
You don’t know me, how could you?
I don’t even know myself.

Twisting the twine

I sit on the string of this, above the chasm.
Watching the wind.
Watching the emotions.
The vastness between us and the closeness in my cells.
Each blink and heartbeat vibrates on this wire.
With no safety net.
With no one there to catch us if we fall.
Only our arms outstretched together, in the loving embrace of the plummet.
But we walk.
We tiptoe. On the egg shelled stained thread of love.
Ever closer to Eden and the tree in my mind.
We’ve loved and lost, then loved again.
Around in the circle of our souls.
Blinded by bitterness and the sting of the self-righteous.
But now the fog of war has lifted.
The spoils are swept away as we welcome the tangerine sky of dawn.
Bringing in the light that burns our eyes, after so long in the dark.
Hold me, don’t ever leave me. Love me on this tightrope forever.