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…..


 

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.

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.

Manifest the everyday nightmare

Partie un:

You motioned for me to quietly enter the room. I could feel the tenseness of the air. The walls seemed to contract and wrap themselves around me. You sat there with no expression on your face. That face, the one I had touched so many times. Kissed it, smelt it, longed to be near enough to it to count your eyelashes. Now it glared back at me like an empty pool. The lights began to flicker, stuttering out their watts in a rhythm I can only attune to the beat of your heart. The gun didn’t bother me, it was aimed at my head throughout but I knew this was all leading to something. The beginning of the end.

(I noted that it was aimed here and not my heart…maybe you’d finally figured out, there wasn’t one in this body of mine)

This part of the Jeykll and Hyde, this side of crazy. You asked me to sit down, the first time you’d spoken. Little daggers aimed at my ears, rushing with the blood and fresh thoughts to my head. You were so cordial, yet each word spat at me like kids on a council estate. I chose to stand, my one last defiance in our petty war. You told me there was something for me on the table, I looked down to see a wooden box.

You told me to open it.

This was not what I expected. Your look gave nothing away. Nothing except hurt burning from your eyes and an anger that could not by concealed. The box lay in a pool of blood, thick and viscous, floating on this horrific sea.

Deuxième partie:

Your eyes dared me to ask you what it was, like I didn’t know. The deluded pleas of the guilty, while all around the judges think of what punishment would be best fitting. The dying cat of curiosity rose and fell within me, and I turned away. I could not look, I could not commit to the ending so willingly. The metal felt cool against my temple, though it was your smell that made me aware of what you were doing. It crawled over me like the scent of the sea.

The gun clicked. I felt your soul near and shut my eyes, longing for you to turn my head and kiss me. Those days were long gone. A quick stab in the back. The knife that had, but till a moment ago, seemed mysteriously absent sent the tiny nerves in my body cascading like fireworks. Your mouth came close to my ear and you whispered the words I never believed you would utter. As if pulled from a dream.

(Truth is, you never said these three words with any conviction that would render it believable in the past, yet something told me this was the cold hard truth that my mind was digesting).

The sound of birds filled the room, and forced me to open my eyes. I turned and saw you there, eyes aflame and a soul locking its door forever on me. Never to be seen again by my pathetic searching pupils. Feathers fluttered down upon us as the ceiling filled with vultures, gathering and yearning with their hungry beaks. Their black hisses and calls split my ears. The box on the table flew open and out poured the remaining blood that flowed towards us like sticky lava. The contents bobbed on the surface momentarily before submerging into the crimson depths.

I sighed, you grabbed me and kissed me full on the mouth. You then sighed as I turned the gun and shot us both.

Partie trois:

No reasons, all feelings. Moving in a spaced state devoid of structure and responsibility. Bloody and weeping like the tears of a god. Wounds can split like the red sea. A hatred is awakened. After this, just indifference.

You watch as the violence hangs in the air. Feathers fly like tuffs of snow. Little teeth roll in my head like a stone in a can. A jingle like Christmas bells. The red of the season. How many times had you pulled that trigger? Which one of us started the fight? A rage had descended months ago. Welcomed in to the cold like a long lost cousin.

(If you were to ask me if love was still a figure in this theatre, I would have nodded a reply that confirmed my sad loyalty to the romance of death. Still, love can save the day right? Love is a weapon of choice.)

The room feels small and crowded. The bodies on the floor gasping for air and space. What died there that day, was only hope. Lust would always remain. Tragedy was the best re-frame for boxing that moment in our history. I pulled you off my skin, and spat out the tooth that had pierced my tongue. Like many words that came off as daggers, the tooth had left its bloody mark.

The box remained, the contents gone. Washed away in the crimson chaos. I would find it again, I was sure of that. But for now, agony and pain were to be swallowed and sanctified.

And as our ghosts left the room, stained in red, their heads hung down. Pulled by shame and gravity, wondering where it all began. Two little shadows quietly wept in the corner. Is this you and me, is this all the good that is left? Broken and crumbling in sad pathetic tears?

I would never know, because you shot them too.

Second sight

Going towards the resolve, the 20/20 equaling higher.
A Fissure in my memory, wraps around the stillness.
I allow the world to hum and clatter around me.
All in its beautiful chaotic busyness.
Your X-rays burn through, avoiding the heart and preventing the cancer.
This realness drifts up towards heaven.
You cherish it all, pulling it close to smell the stench of love.
We are everything.
This blindness no longer fits me, like all of these clothes we shed.
Cast like tears in space.
Swimming in ignorance makes me long for bliss.
Thank god for you. Your bones and skin.
This place where your feet touch the ground is now sacred.
Where you breathe is where I take a picture.
You heart I steal as a souvenir.
Still like the frosted birds and the rocks we climbed upon.
The sand where we walk each year, burying time like a box of treasure.
Refracting in your presence, I see your glory in my second sight.
Your cat eyes shimmer, as I count your nine lives.
Trying to keep up.
As your eyes set sail for the horizon.
Anchoring us to the future.
Blinking away the memory of pain forever.

Buds and bones

If this is the last and the final time.
Then button my eyes and draw the line.
And keep me hidden beneath the ground.
Where earthly secrets and worms are found.
For if you are not the beat of my heart.
Then into death my journey must start.
And silence my mind as it heaves to you.
Kill this love which you’ve broke in two.

Empire

A moment, while the construction lifts.
As the walls do fall, and earth does shift.
I see the world confined in your eyes.
A future tale, where light does hide.
And in that breath you kill completely.
Decaying past, swept up so sweetly.
That now I raise our love much higher.
My new religion. Our new empire.

Apathetic by design

These boys and girls, with hidden smiles and transparent trauma.
Promise nothing of tomorrow.
Selling chalky kisses in crises centres, splattered across the map.
Which you now trace your fingers across.
Finding washed out welcomes in every state.
At least those that you remember.
You phone calls go unanswered, avoided like Monday mornings.
They move away and sigh long lamentful breaths.
Dropping almond eyes to the ground.
Feet shuffling to a sound of a country mourning.
A country held prisoner to the promises of thief.
Now tomorrow feels scary, fluorescent feelings that fold like paper moons.
The tide turns too soon.
And you return once more to the ocean, picking the salt from your eyes.
Counting the tears that drip like a million wishes into a well.
Like the one your cast into as a child.
When everything seemed touched by magic.

Seems forever lost?

We do not fade when you close your eyes.
Etched in stone, carved in lies.
Beneath those words please sympathise.
Something starts, when something dies.

And though it seems we’re miles apart
I commit to god for the pain to depart.
When megaliths fall, freedom starts.
And so will heal, your blackened heart.

Different degrees of destruction

These trailing stars that shatter through our existence.
Leave chaos and beauty in their wake.
Transcended diamonds embedded in our skin.
Fires burning deep within.
What golden light are we trapped beneath.
Such hazel eyes of god.
My soul is a blackness wrapped around your galaxy.
As you pass through like a luminous shooting star.
Leaving varying traces of your continuance.
Vibrating this space with only departure and grace.
Caring not for the planets that fall.

Diverted by distance light

Dreaming hopeful and sifting sand.
A hollowed doubt in a burning hand.
As eyes peel back and strip the moon.
This silent feeling is gone too soon.
We count the days as they fall like birds.
With tarred up feathers and swallowed words.
Two throbbing hearts break forth and run.
Leaving shadows and souls in that dying sun.

Roam

He left the fires burning.
Embers alight still in his eyes.
Yet leave, was his calling.
The gulf of the divide, in a way, brought them closer.
He’d settled under their sky too long.
Scratched and irritated them like an unending itch.
The world called him, the only answer he had; was to leave.
So as the flames licked, he skipped away.
Pulling his bones to soil that was untouched.
Unstained by the smiles of those he loved.
Isolation sleeps with the lonely.
A mind strong, only in grave defiance.
The scars would begin to stretch in time.
As home, became a stranger’s word.
A poison on their tongue.
To roam, in a caravan of one’s own.
Satisfaction for the lonely.
Where his heart could not pull.
But to convulse in spasmodic frets.
Pulling him in all directions.

Diminish

So eloquent and troubled.
How deep the pool must sink.
The surface never rippled.
Never stuttered.
You never blinked.
And in our hearts we took to you.
Like water from the wine.
As thirsty disciples we followed.
Dedicated.
Yet out of time.
Now as you crumble into nothing.
As the mask begins to fall.
We hold you even higher.
And hang your heart up on the wall.

Fake dawn

The stars are so bright tonight.
It sounds childish, that you want it to last forever.
You see the same in my eyes.
Stretching the night.
Trusting the darkness.
Tomorrow was a failure.
Today is weakened by the sight of it.
That returning thought of Saturn.
Shrinking once more into the horizon.
You marked it there.
It’s easy to hope for the dawn to take you.
Easy to grapple that hand of mine into yours.
Sending postcards and roses to your sixteen year old self.
A secret message that you made it.
It’s harder to wipe the sleep from your eyes.
Harder to beckon in the day.
Which threatens to stain us like the ones before.
When we were lonely.
And afraid.

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.

Take a bow

Nothing to fear, but the beauty unleashed.
As those velvet eyes unfurl for the world to shiver.
This collapse of an age, of a time now expired.
Blown into the dust of yesterday.
How heavy it must sit. The weight of youth.
Trapped in a moment, encased in expectations.
Those lips, sudden to crack like an earthquake.
The tuneful words scratch, like a raven’s song.
Beneath this magnitude, sits the one I love.
Grasping silently for escape.
I promise to take you away.
From here.

The Last day of sanity

You burned the books. Too many pages and insights.
A paper mountain of truths you couldn’t climb.
Ripping out the hearts of those lonely men who confessed everything.
In unintelligible writing.
How you move through us now.
A pulsing fire like the sacking of Troy.
You leave them restless and weak.
Numbed by those empty regions of your mind.
There is a fire in Heaven tonight.
A blaze that the tears of angels could not extinguish.
Yet it floods down here on earth.
A holy water that washes everything clean, but you.
That fire above reflects in your velvet eyes.
An empty pit of pity, where not even the righteous can escape.
But you pay no mind, for there is no mind to offer.
Flashing snow white bones to all who see.
As you move through once more, the Helen of your own making.
Laughing, as the Heavens fall.

Saints (attached)

The blankness of the shadows that pass.
Yet wonders dwell underneath.
Hidden stories that flow like lava mines.
Emotions running deep.
Eyes that meet on the train.
Skin that breathes all the same.
We are each a spark of light.
Glowing intermittently in the cold expanse of now.
Reduced down as the 20th century folded.
The devils may click their tongues, and hide in caves.
Dipping into those darkness pools.
But we are stronger in the sun.
Renewed and burning with a soul-ar flame.
And I move with purpose with an alleviated heart.
Often reminded of the angels I’m among.

Downfall in disappointment

As it comes on with no surprise.
Like the lead in the paint that hangs on these walls.
The disappointment blooms, like you knew it would.
The little teeth of trust you let drop.
Like the milk bones of youth.
I will only disappoint, because you allow me to let you down.
You trap yourself in walls of expectation.
Painting them black and red.
Matching your eyes.
Which follow and watch with such greedy intent.
Drilling the holes in me that allows the dam to burst.
And flood this space with regret.
For these disappointments clink like the ice in your glass.
Unneeded, for you are already chilled to the bone.
Moving through the crowd, placing us like chess pieces.
High up on the pedestal.
Setting us all up to fall.

Sex

Who told you how to do it right?
The love makes you whole as it takes control.
Dipping fingers into seventh heaven.
That goes in there?
That goes with that?
Just close your eyes, and we’ll all look the same.
A naked Jesus. A naked soul.
You say, not to stop it now.
Sliding into another night.
Finding more truth the deeper you go.
Wondering if the others will be touching themselves.
Those other voices.
Watching and unstoppable.
A sigh, is a cry in a prayer that is finding its way.
Just say you’ll stay.
Here.