Wings & wounds

Moods that form like ice.
Primitive and wild.
Divide these thoughts one by one.
With the seed of hope lying in the heron’s stomach.
Out of sight, and beyond our boundaries.
The breaks of tolerance have worn away.
And the world calls me now, out into the dark.
Listen.
Dream about the future. The annuals of time.
Plastering over the cracks and the doubts.
But hollow is the past, honeycombed and fretful.
Don’t get lost.
Un-buckle and rewind.
Begin once more as the heron spreads its wings.
Looking up, what does it see?
What do you wish to feel?
Simple ponds and stagnant waters you wish to leave behind.
There’s a calling, from the sea.

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All the room you need

Illuminated, the folds of heaven.
Bitten torn feathers.
With plucked thorns from our skulls.
That you and me.
Bittersweet.
Red, like the veins of a tree in autumn.
Washed in golden light.
Drunk with sacred hymns that sing in your bones.
I see the lotus bloom in your eyes.
I want to hear your temple sing.
These snow covered aspects, higher.
Above the shelf we cannot reach.
Tickled by the zephyr underneath.
No longer the caged bird that sings.
But the sparrow that stole the sky.

Peck

There, can you hear it?
A relentless tapping.
Incessant as the dark which captures the night.
It comes and never leaves. Beating out the marrow of my bones.
Do not shake your head in disbelief, it’s a nightmare for which I seek relief.
Hello, it’s me here the fluttering reminder.
You inside me, what is that sound?
It’s breaking my will and senses down.
I’m the little bird that was on your windowpane.
I came inside when you opened that vein.

And now you tap inside my skull all day?
I’m here yes, and happy to say;
better me than the moths and ghosts.
Who’d nibble at your heart like toast.
If I move to the light, will you follow?
I told you once, your head is not hollow; you know that I am here to stay.
For how long?
Well, I couldn’t say.
I hope my fluttering would lodge that organ.
Of pulsing grey and tangle webs.
Of thoughts and hopes inside this head.
Lodge them why, what do I need?
I am safe alone, without any need;
of impulses that force me out of comfort.
Or being lost, failed abandoned then hurt.
I tap and knock as an irritant reminder.
You’re wasting time here, like a static sidewinder.
An empty column of force and wind.
That’s fading fast, anorexically thinned.

(Sigh)
I know, you’re right, but what can I do?
I had my dreams, but away they flew.
I’ll tell you what, there is tomorrow.
I’ll start it all then, and dreams will follow.
Then I will carry on with my tapping.
To keep you from your easy napping.
I said tomorrow I’ll chase those dreams.
For now please cease these needless screams.
Of forcing me, when I’m feeling forced.
Very well my friend, you steer your course.
But If not today, then tell me then.
If not then why, and perhaps then when?

Set the birds free

Where are you going to?
The voice asks, cold like decision.
To set the birds free.
And act, long forgotten.
It had covered over into memory.
By the tide of life.
What will happen?
I do not know, I replied.
Opening the veins, so god could peek inside.
They did that once before.
And we never forgot.
Yet this now seems strange to you?
Yes, because the birds usually nest in the garden.
Not in your heart.
This morning, I will set them free.
Then do it quickly, for I cannot watch.
Does the action bother you, the flapping of wings?
No, not that.
I cannot stand to see freedom, when I’m still locked inside.
The birds inside you I fear, have died.
Yes, but yours can still fly to heaven.
They will fly free at least.

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.

Climb to the air

Great opportunity led me here.
Sang the bird who sits on my windowsill.
My feathers are worn, and my wings are tired she said.
Watching the shadows cross the room.
How many oceans must she have sailed over I pondered.
What sights to have seen, soaring across bus stops.
Why do you come to me, I queried.
She whistled and cocked her head.
For that worm in your mind of course.
I closed my eyes and watched it slither then.
Oh, I answered; knowing what she meant.
That doubt has grown, and now writhes inside you.
I know. I replied.
So you’ve come to take it away? I asked curiously.
The shadows seemed to retreat now.
She hopped and chirped. That little new friend on my windowsill.
Yes, and to make you fly again?
She flew then into my skull, I could hear her in my head.
Flapping and flailing like a moth by a light.
My soul. My conscience. Trapped inside, for a moment.
How will you make me fly, I wondered.
She heard these thoughts of course.
And she answered, as she gobbled up that fat worm of doubt.
To remind you, you have always had your wings.
You just feared to take off.
Scared to try.

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 into 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.

Love

Nobody knows what love means to you.
The bud of a rose in your life.
Or the darkness that creeps under the door.
You cannot convey, explain or say how it makes you feel.
As it fills your soul.
Or leaves you suddenly, like a bird taking flight.
Love sinks down into your DNA.
It washes over your desert like a great flood.
Trapping those grains of sand of you beneath its waves.
You will never put into words, how your love makes you feel.
Or when there are only ghostly embers of it, dying in your eyes.
Love, so relative.
And relatively unclear.

The fall will kill us both

Walking on this wire, I see the sea below us.
Cool and deep like the thoughts of mother earth.
Take my hand, there is nothing to catch us if we tumble.
Down into the shark filled ponds of loneliness.
Where our bones will turn to coral.
And you will dig down into the sand.
Foot follows foot as we walk.
Inching along the eggshell laden rope.
Banana skin memories drop like raining frogs.
I profit from my certainty, that these plagues are temporary.
Hold me if I slip, and I will catch you if you stumble.
Walking on this wire. We must be careful.
Because the fall will kill us both.

Coming up for air

All hypothetical disenchantment
How many slaps on the wrist till I get it?
Shaking with my allergic reaction to loneliness.
Call the birds down that circle above.
Peck out the disappointment and the idealistic out of this eye.
Leave to die, locked in a room where the skeletons chatter.
Locked out of heaven with the world before us.
Suddenly I’m turned down to darkness.
The dull flame that burns, struggles in the void.
Come home.
Race back and pull the car from the lake.
Only the headlights glow now under water.
The only sounds you hear are lakey tears.
Silent, in the watery body that covers me.

Sun killing moon

This bird flew too high.
Trapped like bugs in amber, in that tangerine sky.
You called it out to sea, you called me up to god.
Lost in your beauty.
Displaced in your gentle fog.
For that violent sky of yours threatens and thwarts.
Tumbling down rain, lightening and thoughts.
That nip and pluck the feathers of our dove.
Trying to fill the void, of your eternal pillow with love.
But your seasons shift, and our continents divide.
Out into the galaxy; you quit, run and hide.
For you are cold too my touch.
And through my hands you now slip.
Though I want you so much.
We’re just a sad sinking ship.
Cut loose into space, and scuttled way too soon.
For I’m just the sun, in love with the moon.

So deep, so central

Pretty pieces, pretty please.
Tie these moments down to my knees.
Kiss me once and kiss me twice.
Run your fingers through my life.
Rock me to sleep with your cooing words.
Then fly me to the moon on big lunar birds.
Or down to the depths like ocean horses.
Singing softly songs in subterranean choruses.
That drift out of caves, and onto the tide.
Covered in shells down deep where I hide.
Because it’s in your arms, and in your heart.
Where I crawl when things get dark.
And touch your warm skin when mine’s like stone.
For in your eyes, it feels like home.

A Vulgar display of gratitude

From the light, to return to the luminous.
Stuck temporarily in the prison of earth.
But these bars are golden.
These chains are studded with diamonds.
Like frozen tears of god.
We flutter on the eternal, like the birds rustling in the trees.
Leaving feathers of time behind and staining history, reminding the past that we flew.
Soaring, tumbling and splintering the great beyond.
So do not frown at the darkening sky.
But be thankful of the threatening rains to wash all this away.
For we have spent so long in the desert, picking over each grain of sand.
Holding them up to the sun to see the universe within.
The sunlight with signify, capture and purify our days spent.
Marking each on with a rebirth and departure.
As we sail in-between, on a sturdy ships of dreams.
Reaching the never ending shores of the incomplete.
Falling off the ends of the earth.
This earth, this state, this grounded place.
Is here to test the spirit and liberate the soul.
So give thanks to the world that is dark and foreboding.
One which seeps in like oil to the heart.
And bow, and pray and thank the creator.
For giving us the chance to spread these heavy wings.
To soar up and switch on the light.
And bathe us once more in golden fires of the absolute.

Girl/Boy

BOY

Unpicking the threads that burrowed deep into the bones.
A tangled web of untruths.
Wearing boots, to kick the butt of the world.
And raise that two inches higher.
Closer to the sun, to let it catch in your eyes.
Able to cry, only when you’re alone.
Stripped and naked, yet not self-deprecating.
Watching the birds from the nest.
With a numbed skin that creases at the corners.
Wallowing in the shallow waters of a dirty pool.
I cannot keep you safe from the wolves.
I can only save myself from tomorrow.

GIRL

A swing between masculine and feminine.
Welcomed into the circus tent once more.
A concrete garden where the clowns come to cry.
My oh my, what a pretty thing. What a pretty scene.
Wearing boots to mark your tread on the earth.
And to raise higher on that pedestal.
Forever wobbling in the winds of change.
Yet how you soar up to the sun.
Licking feathers to keep them packed, aerodynamic.
Keeping the sheen and the shine to show the gold.
And never grow old, for the elephant graveyard never holds your bones.
You only fade into pages of yesterday.

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

Broken pieces

​Uncover the shells, the coins over these eyes.
Floating like the debris of life.
Dug out of god’s pocket, with the lint and consequence, of time.
Falling by.
Clutched in the hand as broken pieces.
Early echoes of a self that I once knew.
Too quickly, it left the room.
The place I had built with much toil and despair.
A sanctuary of solitude, on the edge of uncertainty.
And now, a numbness takes over.
Turns bones to brittle and guards to be dropped.
All slack cut as the mind opens wide.
Am I sorry to myself?
What apology is needed, in the face of evolution?
Of change that throttles and throws us into tomorrow.
I land on my cat feet, without those nine lives.
Just a jumble inside of those broken pieces.
Rattling out a tune, a new version of me.

Love come rescue

Arrived, 4am. Too tired to see the world for what it was.
Slipping into the cracks and shadows that fill my eyes.
Too drunk to notice that I couldn’t notice you.
Standing with arms outstretched like a bird’s wings.
The wren that always had strength to fly.
That slipped into the open wounds and found our hearts.
It patches us up now, flitting inside my skin.
Pulling feathers over broken bones.
But like me, it does not notice the cartilage cage it builds up around it.
It too now needs help. To lift up and soar again.
Love, please come and rescue us all.
Make us fit to fly and leave this place.
With only fallen feathers to show we were here at all.

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.

Caged

A song that rattles deep.
Light, like a feathery touch.
Drifting slowly from my soul.
To break a cage is to break the fear that makes my bones.
Chalky claustrophobic bars that dull the sound.
But do not diminish it entirely.
The bird in me longs to fly.
And like love, should soar into the heavens.
To taste the clouds on its tongue.
Yet entombed it flutters. Making a nest in the nightmare.
A locked up lark who wonders if it’s night or day.
When to sing its morning chorus.
The sun has been stolen, so it sings as the hours fade.
Desperate to soar.
Eager to believe.
Hoping the song will someday be heard.

Distance between blue & yellow

The church bells song of a new dawn.
Accompanies the veneer smear of an autumn sun.
Hazy like the mind that watches.
Trapped in leaf browns and turpentine.
A new day, to take the past away.
Taking flight like fleeting thoughts of love.
Wash over the night like dripping star light into a black hole.
Paint my dying summer the orange of the flame.
The red of the devil licking a new untouched wonder.
And wander, through the conker laced land of another day.
Captured in your memory forever.

Drenched departure

Untied the silence while the rain came.
Blanketing this world is a quiet monsoon.
Layering and prevailing over me, and all I see.
Let it seep into those muddy bones.
Washing everything. Purify and personifying a state of being.
Fresh like holy water.
Stinging the sins like acid.
Drown and choke underneath those silent waters.
A vast tide that you wash over me.
Those days that were always numbered.
The borrowed time and delicious decay of it all.
How sour those words met my mouth when I asked you to leave.
Tying my tongue into confused states.
Separate states and traumatic time zones.
The flight into a new world where the clouds coughed around me.
And the skylarks sung our demise.

Sky stained satin

Your eyes picked out the moon that night.
Reflecting lunar memories and utopia.
I remember the rain on your skin.
And those words you had held deep within.
The goodbye corroded my heart and the lava love.
Those volcanic changes of emotions that shook my soul.
Whispering words you hoped I never heard.
And you shot us down like a low flying bird.
Flicking away the dew drops that had stained your eyelashes.
Flicking away both me and pieces of the past.
You pulled that heart out of me.
Leaving me to breathe underwater in a black lonely sea.
The lights shift. Cracking to burn as you departed.
Lighting your way into a new design.
Somewhere in my memory, that rain never ends.
The moon will shine off your skin like Saturns rings.
And the twilight will stick to my eyelids like sleep.
Somewhere before that I will always be kissing you.
Where the sky is stained purple, and the rain pulls down.
And love still courses through my heart.