Something to stay awake for

Eiko Tanaka sits on her porch sipping her tea. The wind is low and it gently ruffles the shrubs and the hanging golden ash trees that line the boundaries of her little property. So little it seems, barely much room for anyone. Yet hers is a seemingly amble garden on a street so squashed and encroached by looming tower blocks. She is proud of her garden, knowing it blooms brightly in the grey field of city.

She is waiting patiently, as she does most days. She is waiting for her granddaughter to visit after school is finished. She comes by every day. She comes to help her. Eiko doesn’t need help in the usual sense, she has gotten around perfectly fine for years. She adapted well after the incident, but people worry. They care and worry, as her Nanoko tells her. Her granddaughter, only fourteen; yet knowing the many twisted ways of the world. And she is right, there is care mixed with the worry; she can tell. As her own bones are getting more tired and her body is struggling, simple things are not always so simple. Being blind now is only half the battle. The people who visit her always note on her living by herself, always quick to offer some horrendous situation where she’ll meet her end. All because she can no longer see.

It hadn’t always been that way of course. She had lived for years alone in that little house with no problem. Just her and her dog Aio. Then it happened, and though she wished she could erase the memory of that terrible day, she had gotten through the worst of it. The insomnia came later, wreaking such havoc over her little life, disturbing her soul.

Nanoko had been a blessing. Eiko hadn’t wanted any fuss herself, but her granddaughter had done what she could to help her. Eventually she confided in her that she could no longer sleep, she spared her what she saw in her mind when she tried to calm it and be still. So Nanoko had started a blog for her, telling her story to the world, hoping to get some advice and see if anyone else was going through anything similar. She wanted to help her grandmother, she wanted her to be happy after the trauma.

What happened next surprised both of them. Along with similar stories and messages of support, people had responded to Eiko’s problematic sleeping and began to send in short stories for her; something to entertain her through the vast sea of struggle. The first had come with instructions for Nanoko to read out the story to Eiko, seeing as she had lost her sight and was there to help her. This led to Nanoko recording her stories for her grandmother to play back time and again, as she never bored of listening to tales. More people began to send them in, each one fanciful or romantic, scary or thrilling. They would both have fun as Nanoko would act out the story, and she would also post them on the blog for others to enjoy also. It brought them closer, and brought an extra bit of light into Eiko’s darkened world.


My name is Eiko Tanaka and I am 74 years old. I live with my dog Aio, who is always getting into such mischief, despite his age. We are both ageing cheekily and gracefully. I am blind, but not as a result of the shifting clock of time which is unrelenting. I was blinded in an incident which changed my life forever. My granddaughter Nanoko is the light in my darkness. She is there to steady my soul when it wobbles and falls. I love to hear stories and fables, and as such; I thought I best if you read mine, courtesy of my granddaughter.

My story is much like anyone’s….

Click to continue…..


 

Leave us where we lay

His heart, now the colour of his wife.
Ashen grey and broken.
The urn smashed, scattering them both across the clouds.
Little flecks of life stuck on the window of the world.
As the volcanoes rumbled and the gods groaned.
Down they both came in the rains.
Licked up by the wood spirits and the humans below.
Pooling in the heart of the world.
Cells and shells, finding the seabed of the soul.
Undulating to sound of time.
Those tears of the gods which fell in this passing.
Are drunken only by the sinners, like sweet wine.

Wish the end

Simple words say more in silence.
Like the break between heartbeats.
Like waves hitting the sand.
To swim or drown in your fiery light.
You cover your eyes with intent.
Stealing the beauty away.
Keep us trapped.
Keep us safe.
Locked into your skin like DNA.
Longing after life’s mystery.
Build the pyre from your bones and burn me inside out.
Collapsing into your cells.
A martyr for your majesty.
Burning the past away, leaving only the gold.
Tasting sweat and love with each gulp of air.
The salt from your waves.
Here is where you’ll find me.
Here is where I wish to end.

Nothing lasts forever

Heaven begins to collapse.
Those words begin to relapse.
And these pockets of affection slip back into your soul.
For without them you can’t feel whole.
My love is not enough it seems.
To break the skin, and split the seams.
These wings cannot comfort, in the oncoming storm.
Now this connection becomes unborn.
And you slip away in the dark when the night covers.
Lying to yourself, and others.
That you are only what you need.
When it’s the love you begin to recall.
And with it, angels falls.

Falling into the sky

What burns, are just the remains.
Stupid parts, not protected.
Cells that claim to be free.
Yet remain divided.
It’s so easy to escape, but then it will all be over.
Covered in dust and wonderment.
The skin of a dead society.
Strip away the flesh, make me someone else.
Threaded with distaste and apathy.
A patience wains and cuts a last strand.
The scars of life will never heal.
This breathing makes me weak.
Put your eyes on my memory.
And see why I must depart.
This spirit has been overcome.
The sky calls me home.

Conflict(ed)

The ticking clock moves my bones.
Vibrating to a new chorus.
Such fear and bravery dogfight within.
Triggering the gunfire in my heart.
Bringing other humans to their knees.
It stains this soul.
Are we cast out of Eden?
Ordered here under the guilt of honour.
Directed there by badges that shimmer in the sorrow.
A broken moral compass, scratched by time.
Left stranded out to sea.
Struck by the passing grief of that tide.
The one that washed over me.
Seeing death in the eyes of those all around.
Feeling hope strangled, feeling fear take hold.
Who really wins the fight, when we lose ourselves in the struggle?
Stretched and stricken, sunk by the force of your hate.
Every tear here brings the ocean higher.
With every cry, a family welcomes in a stranger.
A void, the blackness. The stories to tell a generation.
Of the great fight, that felt so wrong.

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.

Sirens

Like a ship lost at sea.
Suffering in circumstance.
Battling the waves.
The tempest explodes and soaks each bone.
Weighted already by lack and distrust.
Yet in the surf the song swells.
A calling, rippling over the wounds.
Run away, if you were to listen closely.
But the beauty forgoes all sense of reason.
What was really meant for you and I?
Seems fallen from the perfect sky.
And dances now in the sea, for we; crying into ecstasy.
They touch us deep, and lick the skin.
An immodest turn that welcomes the watchers.
Hungry eyes devour each weakness.
Humility is placed in dirty pockets.
Like an apple, in the mouth of the fallen.
These sirens call, with whispers and smoke.
Consuming the threads of morals, which catch in their throats.
They will have their way, and destroy all before them.
Collapsing in a sweet undoing.
As we fall to the bottom of the sea.
And they retreat, to shadows and forest of opportunity.
Silence there, and nothing more.

‘Nothing but I am’ – New novel

COMING SOON

She left the earth how she wanted, walking into the ocean as the stars above sparkled in their preciousness. She hoped to join them, to transform into something that burned with a power a millions miles away from here. Her departure may be one of sadness, but it was by her own choosing. It was her own way to transform.

‘Nothing but I am’ follows the life of Eleanor, as read through her journal in her final days on the planet. It washes over her hopes and dreams, loves and despairs at the hands of fate and the disturbance of states that begin to corrode her life. Her death imprints itself on a police officer trying to unpick meaning in her demise as she goes through her words and thoughts left in her journal.

A hybrid poetry and fiction novel, marrying poems with journal entries surrounded by a story of departure.

To be lost, was how she found her soul. Cast away on that tiny little craft of self. On no-one’s tide. Swallowing only her own light. This is how she hoped it could be All loss of time and space, never found. And s


 

Elevated point of view

In those eyes, there came a knowing.
A glance and fall, like a candle blowing.
Within that heart I felt a tear.
A wounded bird, tumbling mid-air.
And though tears cannot blur from view.
The rushing ground or distance from you.
I feel a heaven in my heart.
A glowing love struggles to depart.
So I close my eyes and hold my breath.
Into your eyes, I meet my death.

Je Suis Désolé

Down deep, beyond the rib-cage and the flecks of pride.
Lies a guilt, heavy like the tear from god.
It sits silently, weighted by time.
How many grudges have been held?
Placed on this mantel, pride of place.
These bones, once hollow, fill now with coal.
Snap them, and dust will fill your lungs.
Worse than tar, the blackness invades.
It blankets my body inside and out.
Layering over the precious stone of apology.
Sorry.
What a treasured word.
Seemingly too short, it should feel longer.
Spoken like a heavy prayer that presents its importance.
I am sorry.
Now with ownership and agency.
For time is precious, as are these tears.
Bled out in true remorse.
I am sorry for you, what has been done.
Sorry that the past cannot be un-spun.
An apology that starts with me, back in the beginning.
Rolling back time like pages in a book.
Each one filled with the ink of the soul.
And this apology ends with you.
For what is to occur next, in a breath of a life waiting to exhale.
In the unwritten, yet contrite touched pages of my skin.
That keep my sorrys within.

Constraint

Traded in for bruises that fade.
Caught between fists that flurry.
But if you could see yourself.
What control has been sacrificed?
Rolled over into shame.
Mastered nothing but regret.
This secret life, lost in your dreams.
What does any of this mean?
Domestic in the normalising.
Abused yourself by remaining.
Worried now, they know it all too well.
Pull the blind down and shut your eyes.
Count to ten.
As the clock ticks closer to midnight.
And you look a little more worried.
A solitary cry in the night.
From a boy mirroring the wolves.
At your door.

Removed (post luna blue)

She lived up there, where no-one went.
A sparkled silent sky just for her.
And her dreams and diamonds, all well spent.
As she walked through her world in a blur.
For it was on the moon her soul resided.
In lunar craters she crept and hided.
Watching the world from the safely of space.
Removed and distant, from the human race.
And her heart was safe and full of silence.
As the solar winds blew through her soul.
She forgot the tether from us through her highness.
And all the destruction and collapse down below.

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.

Swallow

Make me shiver into a moment.
While this stuff dances on our eyelids.
Fold us away into time dapples of space.
Sleep, and dream of the moment intertwined.
Each minute hung in your mouth like candyfloss.
Every second evaporating the darkness with your neon kiss.
I want to taste you forever.
Licking your soul into nothingness.

Patient embarrassment

This mind approaches this Hebrew.
Recycling memories and social conditions.
The by-products of a life lived in mediocrity.
In normalcy and disdain.
If I pulled a page from my book, what would you read?
For whatever words appear, I would be ashamed.
Everything is dipped in modesty.
All of this, will be forgotten.
Now these letters tell me I can change my future.
The fate, once in the hands of the gods, is now my own.
Such freedom scares my cells.
Shocks and shudders this soul into a new way of being.
Of speaking, words that come now after thinking.
Born in a place more pure than preceding.
Words that would not come before.
Now exhumed from a grave that was buried by the past.
By hands that hoped to lock away the secret.
Oh those sympathetic characters.
Burying such treasures for us.
Those sentinels stand now on our watchtower.
Lighting flames and beacons to guide our path.
Connecting lines now to heaven.
אלוהים יקר, תודה על הסבלנות.

Lest we forget

Trying to steal your future away.
Landing on the moon to paint it blue.
Feeling the floor, years before; where you once imagined dreams may lay.
Now all is gone and the gold is rotten.
We cough out a different path.
Eyes shut wide, pain slips inside; so that I can never be forgotten.

Light

The light in a teardrop, approaching.
Destroying the dark that sits like soil on your cheeks.
A wrecking river of black, dispelled by a single candle.
That single effort of change.
Who knows how small the room is when the lights are off.
When the darkness wins.
Yet each day the universe contracts, birthing out the sun.
Raining down solar tears to burn away the oil.
Speckle me now with Aztec gold hidden in the sky.
A craved warmth and a touch from god.
Too long in the cold and dark, we’ve become skeletons to sadness.
Choking on soot and solitude.
My eyes wish for radiation, to burn away the memories.
Of a time and state that held me prisoner.
We now feel such rapture in the knowing.
That nothing lasts forever.

Dark

A strength needed in the dying days.
Now resided for when the darkness comes.
And night-time hums.
Strangers become friends when the walls close in.
This oil drips inside your shell.
Smeared across outcomes and dreams.
This dark permeates, rotting your teeth.
Blooming in the space where hope usually resides.
Who can see in the dark?
What steps should now be taken?
A fall underfoot looks the same as the bridge to freedom.
Yet how deep is the chasm.
Little oily fingers have found their way to your heart.
Thieving out the gold hidden in memories.
Drinking tea and turpentine in your soul.
When the darkness comes.
And the moon hums.
Closed eyes ignorant…..it’s already here.

A Great unravelling

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.

Tide

How high to stem the breaching tide.
That washes daily into our lives.
A rise and fall, with horrific force.
Split and cut right though our course.
And though at times it seems sublime.
It slowly soaks with turpentine.
A drowning water in our lungs.
Of life’s debris, while Satan hums.
And watches while we slowly sink.
God’s dye is cast, a deep red ink.
Which covers us and pulls us under.
Ripped from mercy, cast asunder.
And so we land in bits and pieces.
Choked on truth, strewn on beaches.
And watch while new shores rise and peak.
A brave new world, in which to wreak.

Wounds

Inherently loved, unheard; yet felt so deep.
Who believes in wounds unseen?
Those wounds, where the light enters.
The scars that are maps to wonderlands.
Whispers of nightmares that generate only in the darkness.
What matters to them, is what matters to me?
Dreams die before they have to.
Bruised into understanding.
Are the places where the flowers grow.
Shiny eyes and metal hearts.
Soft brains torn apart.
Stitched back together by beautiful lies.
Wounds that seep, that darkness deep.
A gold to the soulless who wish to stay rich.
Forgiveness flies on the back of dark doves.
Heading out to sea to die.