Retreat

I cannot go outside.
They will not see.
I lock the doors and turn the world down.
Set the moon to wake me, so I can dance in the dark.
They cannot know, they should not look.
I came to disappear discretely.
The void is my own.
Yet a consequence is not from a lack.
The love and respect weighs me down more than you will ever know.
But I have to go, I have to depart.
Sailing out on silent ships that leave you all in fog.
Not a death, not a dim.
A recapturing, of self.
Until I’m stronger to hold back the waves of the world.
Stronger, to survive the sun.

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A Heart murmur

A heartbeat static and stick.
Grease the wheels and grease them quick.
Touched and run, in the citrus sun.
Fingers all high fives, thumbs like guns.
The void is waiting, a sickly breathe.
Cold on clinical, the smell of death.
A rumble, stumble, fumble please.
Shake and slither on your knees.
Electioneering, ECG.
Hold your breath.
Drink your coffee.

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.

Red #3: Red like my heart

If I cut myself, will I find you?
Red, like my blood.
Swimming in ecstasy.
When the darkness prevails, you abandon us.
Leaving me alone with such lonely beats.
Of a heart struggling.
Like a clock unwinding.
You think this heart naïve?
It knows, but is unready to act like you wish.
To thump and rise, as you bang then blame.
Or tell it to stop completely.
Naivety makes way for inability.
Of acting against this sabotage.
Yet you are beyond such human fragility.
If I cut you, do you even bleed?
Would you leak a love all over me?
Flooding this space with such sweet honey.
Or should I let you fly.
And find you only in those heartbeats.
That synthesise a disappearing.
A pattern of a death so complete.
That it stains the world forever.
And heard across your universe.

RED #2: Ruddy muddy sleep

Not over, not complete.
Just fading away.
A blissful depression hung up like ruby red apples.
Strung like silly smiles on those too drunk to know.
This moment washes over, the gravity pulls you down.
Chipping out teeth like tombstones yanked from the ground.
Oh the silence that it unearths.
The faded names who hoped the future would be different.
But the future just teaches loneliness.
As a departure descends.
That long goodbye, hard on the ears but softly spoken.
Trembling in time.
Nothing really dies, we all just fade away.
Siphoned into space.
Breathed out on earth’s asthmatic exhale.
Heaving under strain.
Replaced by things we all despise.
How we spin and sigh and scream.
Reduced to floating dust and regret.
Asleep and dormant, waiting for the nothing.

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.

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.

Lifting

Vanishing points appeared on the ceiling.
Little holes in my veins.
These little deer that course through the bloodstream.
Looking for the forest from the trees.
You force me to close my eyes to a world so hung in regret.
Precarious, like a spun sugared spider web.
Catching daydreams and ideas of escape.
That lifting.
Yet submerged in a dream where the walls crumble like chalk.
A hallucinatory step into monumental design.
Copying my name into the book of the dead.
That book that I read, where fate can be altered.
And we can change the path of time.
Which now forever ticks in my head, as I swallow each new morning.
Choking on the aftertaste of yesterday.
Lifting into a dream.

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.

I miss my ocean

Sand. Dirty sand and soil.
Dust in my mouth and coating this skin.
A film of sweat covers me.
Sticky heat and restless.
I miss my sea, the ocean that bore me.
Tranquil and deep like the pools in my mind.
To drift and meander across its aqua stretches.
Calms the blood that torrents through me.
I miss my sea, my ocean.
At times stormy, but full of life.
Threatening to pull me down to the ocean floor.
Where I can be alone, and able to heal.
The arid heat and air of this desert itches my eyes.
Scratches at the very thought of going on another day.
The salty air calls me back.
A maelstrom of reasons directing my compass.
To ride over waves and rise with Atlantis.
Reaching a trident back up to god.
So I shall make my way, and crawl back into the sea.
One which always welcomes and cherishes me.
Washing everything clean, and cooling my soul.
I miss my ocean.
I miss my sea.

Leviathan: Of the soul – Out Aug 25th

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Out Aug 25th

Lurking deep within all of us, even those familiar to the stormy seas, dwells the leviathan. The monster in the soul which takes hold when the sun is so easily burnt out. It is the bringer of the darkness, the chaos and the nightmares. Threatening your little raft of life, cast out into the world.
Journey here out onto the sea of poetry and short stories that explore the waves of emotions, horror and sadness. But keep an eye on the horizon, for that little splinter of hope that breaks from the sky.

‘Leviathan: Of the soul’ is a poetry and short story collection covering topics of death, mental illness, suicide and redemption. Hold on against its onslaught.

joojo (1)

Black snow

The heat will blaze and feel like hell.
A product of some evil spell.
That clings to you like sticky oil.
And all life seems such gruel and toil.
But then the rains will quickly come.
A gentle tapping. A blissful hum.
And wash away that oily mess.
Of anguish and the painful stress.
You soak your soul in calming pools.
Which cleanse the mind like shiny jewels.
But before long, the flood waters rise.
And you’ll see only death in drowning eyes.
For floods wash away the most unfaithful.
And rid the world, quite harsh and wasteful.
And as you sit in quiet despair.
You feel an ember, alight on air.
The end at hand, no ice age coming.
Little demons with their evil drumming.
For though above, it falls as if from below.
The hurried end, in sad black snow.
Which chokes the world and covers discretely.
Your soul and bones for time completely.

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.