Island

He could see the rain off in the distance, across the sea. A huge sheet of it moving slowly across the bay. The grey clouds draped like a curtain, pulled back to reveal the essence of nature. The storms here were intense, but short lived. Like the most intense arguments, they usually ended before they’d even begun. Not that the weather really bothered him today, his mind was set on something deeper than the weather.

The hotel was nestled in Hibiscus Bay, on the south side of the small island. Sadly, the name was a historic element as the hibiscus, and most of the natural fauna had long since disappeared. Replaced by cultivated palm trees and stretching lawns of the hotel which dominated most of the bay. That is not to say it was not beautiful, but it was not authentic. Nature with lipstick. Ironically, the main reception’s flower arrangements did include them in the display, their flowers all flown in from the mainland.

He crossed the cool reception, busy now with guests departing and others eager for the organised tours which the small minibuses outside promised. Sweet lime and jasmine floated from the candles flickering away around the reception desk, tickling his nose, mixed with the sun cream from the bodies before him and the smell of the air-conditioning. He swept through the lobby quickly, making his way to his rental car parked under a huge palm tree. As he stepped outside into the humidity, the rain was just coming to a stop, the clouds above him already being blown into a stretched gauze of grey, the blue threatening to bleed through.

His Jeep took the corner of the hotel resort harshly, clipping the ferns and the greens which peppered the entrance way. He knew where he was going, and he knew it would not take too long; but he had an urgency within him now, now he was here. Here, he’d been here a few days already but now was the moment. He’d tossed and turned in his mind what to do. Back at home he’d roamed his house like a lonely ghost. Now in the tropical surroundings, the issues hadn’t gone away, indeed the equatorial sun had shown them up further, almost blinding him. But he’d got an idea, one which may or may not work; but was something. And something was more than he’d had in a long time.

The road he needed took him off the main one, the dirt underneath now spraying up in dust as the car sped down a deserted track. The palm oil plants bloomed beside him, slowly replacing the sugarcane that dominated the greenery and island. The road began to slope slightly, as if his world was tumbling forward into the ocean which he knew awaited him outside of the green lushness of the plants all around him. A small butterfly, beautifully coloured as they tend to be, fluttered inside the opened cageness of his car. It bobbed before him, threatening to rest on the steering wheel before seeming to change its mind, flying off through the open window on the other side of the car. He watched it for a few moments, before turning the Jeep a sharp left and zooming out of the trees.

It was like a jewel now, the bright twinkling ocean, freshly watered further and now being kissed by the sunshine which streamed down through the clouds. Shadows moved out at sea, the clouds above in their own dance. He’d been here only once before, but he knew this was where he needed to come. He pulled his car up to a stop, the tires rolling slightly onto the damp white sand. He sat, his hands clutched to the steering wheel, supporting him and his thoughts. It was very humid, and despite the drive in which the air stirred him, little beads of sweat trickled by his ears, matting his hair slightly.

“Time”. He said aloud to no one and thumped the steering wheel twice before unbuckling his seat belt and sliding out of the Jeep.

Very few people came here, he did not know it, but he was glad of it. He needed the seclusion. What kept them away, he put if down to the weather, but the small area was known to many islanders as a place of sorrow. The fishing was terrible in this spot, the currents mixing frenziedly just out beyond the rocks, fighting with one another beneath the waves. Though the beach was beautiful, it was inaccessible unless you drove down through the plantations. Most of the other beaches on the island were walkable, and you could roam and enjoy the sandy smiles easily before strolling into a village or back to a resort. Here it was cut off, a huge rocky crescent scraping itself outward into the ocean.

He walked a little on the sand, avoiding the lure of the waters which promised release to many things. He mounted one of the rocks and looked across to see what he wanted. There before him was the tiny island, no bigger than his back garden at home. It sported a few trees, and a giant bird took off from one of them as he watched. This was what he remembered, and what he needed now.

Walking towards it, he listened to the sound of the ocean slapping at the beach and some of the rocks around him. The air was hot still, but there was a slight breeze finding the sweat on his skin. The aftermath of the storm. He reached the edge of the water, the sand rising before him like the body of a sea monster, popping up in patches towards the small island. It was a little causeway of sorts, but some of the sections were quite deep in the water, and as he made his way across, the water of the world made it up to his waist. He carried his shoes above his head, his clothes he knew would dry quickly. His bare feet found a few stray rocks along the way, and he winced once or twice, hoping the skin hadn’t broken. Finally, he came to the other side, and he placed his shoes on a rock and squeezed out the water from his clothes, shaking some of it off like a dog would coming out of the sea.

He looked up at the trees there on the island, the palms seemed to rise up gigantically, bending out and stretching over the ocean. There were more here than he’d thought, the illusion of the far away made it seem less complicated. Now he could see the vibrant plants and life this tiny island held. He turned to face the beach, for some reason checking that he indeed was alone. He was, and he stepped forth into the shade the palms and plants offered him.

For a small space, the air was much cooler, and he could feel a dankness, the water dripping in the leaves from the earlier rain. He heard a bird fluttering somewhere, and the clicks and ticks of the insects housed inside the cool space. Going further, he quickly found the very centre of the tiny island and stood there looking both at the trees, then down to the ground. The floor was sandy and soiliy, hard roots tangled everywhere. It reminded him of orchids in plant pots, their strange alien cords in the dusty soil. So many people treating them like roses, over watering.

He dropped to his knees, and feeling like a pirate, began digging with his hands, scooping up sand and soil with his cupped palms. He moved a great heap of earth quickly, pulling up the roots and the rocks which too lay beneath the surface. Not gold, but many grey teeth of the world, each rock precious in their own way, housing millions of moments in time. But he cast them all aside until the hole was big enough for what he needed.

Standing, he brushed the sand from his knees and clapped the excess dirt from his hands. All around him was quiet, the birds that had been their previously displaced and flown from his noisy digging. Just the bugs and shade, the sound of the ocean waves all around, swirling him in a sandy snow globe. He took a moment to gather himself, closing his eyes and speaking in his mind to what he needed.

With his eyes closed he bent forward, retching profusely. Dry and vacant at first, only bits of phlegm finding the ground before him. Then it came, quick and oozing. A black oily treacle poured out from his mouth, globbing down into the sandy hole. A little grey smoke escaped too, lifting off into the nothing as he heaved and coughed, some sticking in his throat. He punched his stomach, smacked his chest and stamped his feet. His heart he squeezed with ghostly hands, evacuating the rotten from within. All of it. He knew how much dwelt inside, and he knew too where it hid.

With a few final retches and coughs he was done. The black oily tar had moulded like molasses in the dug-out hole, balling up like a horrible black marble. The sun caught the ball in a splinter of light, and he thought for a moment he could see a huge eye gleaming at him. He quickly went across and began to kick sand and soil back into the hole, finally back on his knees pushing mounds of it with his hands until it was all covered. He patted it with his feet, careful not to stand too long over it, as if fearing an oily hand might charge up and pull him down. He said something only he and the trees would ever hear, and left the centre of the island quickly, finding his shoes from the rock and charging out into the sea back towards the beach.

He never returned to the small island, or even the larger one which boasted a number of pleasant resorts and attractions. He never saw the Coconut cave or the Belline Waterfall that the island boasts to all the tourists who flood its small little jewel of land in the tropical seas. He would’ve liked to of course, but he knew he could not come back. He could not be so near to something he wanted rid of.

Despite never returning himself, a few people have ventured out to the tiny little island where he dug and buried what he needed to. They came and went with little to report aside the remoteness of the little island, strung out like a pearl at the end of a silver chain. They assumed the purpled plant that grew where he’d buried was a native species to the island, the huge purple flowers crude but intricate, as they stretch upwards for the light. But the truth was no one had ever seen a plant like this before, though many are waiting to grow still; out of the darkness.

Need to come back (Story reading)


The water rippled towards him, a small wave plunging forth in its final effort onto the beach. It coated his feet in a warm embrace. He watched as the water receded hastily, as if it had disturbed him yet eager to do it once more. The ocean inhaled, drawing back again as the great expanse seemed caught between the beach and the horizon.

Somewhere in his mind a clock ticked, indifferent to the relaxing flow and rhythm of the tide…..

Read on


 

Ontogenesis

Eyes emptying themselves of pain.
Little pearls etched on skin.
Human rain.
I honoured my feelings.
(God knows this)
He watched as I stood for love and truth.
But my survival was determined partly by chance events.
The sound of distant drums that called to me.
The paradox of being set free.
And trapped by circumstance.
As you turned away, I turned to you.
It was all I could, to catch my breath.
Like a swimmer turning their head.
The words landing like bombs on my heart.
The silent words, that you never spoke.
Just letting me depart.
Now I breathe deeper.
With this dignity to drape across my soul.
In the quiet solitude I find it fits me well.
Cocooning my deeds.
That will burst forth.
Freeing this butterfly, from its spider’s web.

Furious love


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.

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Rescued by the enemy

Truth hidden in a liar.
Like drowning petals.
Pearls covered in dirt.
Beauty sunken to unfathomable depths.
Those eyes are like black ponds.
Revealing nothing, reflecting all.
Does this light shine back?
Does it tweeze anything from your hidden soul.
You have our love now trapped.
Stored away and silent.
Vanished for all the world not to see.
I know that goodness lies inside your shell.
A bravery that can rise above the fog of this war.
Yet it is impotent and quiet.
Buried in the sand of time passed.
Like those ever-elusive weapons of mass destruction.
It cannot be found.
But I know it’s there, next to your beating heart.
The sea lion awaiting the time to roar.
And break through the waves of this pain.

Island

This fear of limitless emotion.
Washes at the shore of my soul.
I fought a war for our love.
Raging like a storm on the face of time.
And now I fall like an island in the sea.
Alone and bare.
Washed by a tide, a poison of loneliness.
Never more to welcome the sun above.
I can only skim sad pebbled tears out to you.
There on the horizon.
That sight of hope, which will never land on my coast.
I glow, and diminish through this all.
Soon nothing but a shell.
That cannot even echo the sea.

Typhoid and swans

Summer days with rain.
A tearing at this side.
Spilling petals and ruin.
A Day with the night.
The moon, coming into view pocked and dusty.
Out in the ocean, cast into life.
Waiting for the smile to flow from a sentence.
Communication, then nothing.
Nothing, then communication.
A constant pulse of anxious disregard.
Release now, free of feelings.
Feathers dipped in oil.
Diseases and love that swallow like a lake.
To eat off of chipped china, filling stomachs swollen with greed.
And such need.
To scrub away the blood that stains.
The candy stuck in the tooth.
We are all but sticks floating down the river of life.
Passing through the weeping willows of the world.
Making our way to swamps, not seas.

The World beneath

Hold your breath. Count to ten.
Join the depths of the world beneath.
An inversed galaxy that never ends.
With lotus flower eyes you can see if you listen.
The aquatic hum of a sight leagues beneath your bones.
You are the octopus that crawled back to the sea.
The Sinking ship which will haunt the ocean floor.
Poseidon blood tingles in your veins as you descend.
To the world beneath, the silent watery grave where the weeds dance.
Each wave washes away your grey.
And every day your Atlantis awaits.

Begin the begin

Falling freeways that collapse like thunder.
Splattering dust into my open heart.
The sun shines on.
Blanketing our eyes with dizzying despair.
That road was to the sea.
The ocean that promised such departure.
The great wide expanse that echoed home.
So we look above.
Counting trails and streaks across the sky.
Fighter jets and passengers making their escape.
Crawling, flying and fretting to other cities.
Other sights of wonder.
My mind melts into now and I collect my possessions.
All packed into one golden shell that I carry in my pocket.
It whispers your name.
It breathes your air.
Cinnamon cords that play forever on my lungs.
I crack this pumpkin sky and break on through.
The open road, a littered landscape of longing.
Making my way to you once more.
Stabling the state of mind I’m in.
Begin the begin.

Soft like a sigh

Sleep speckles these eyes.
Leaving dreams like fingerprints on my eyelids.
I break that vision of you down, prismed and scattered.
Tasting like crystal.
When the fragrant sound of your voice touched me.
I unfurled like a bud awakening to the morning song.
The sheet of love hangs across my heart, pounding like the rain.
You step inside, feeling the walls to my lungs while you breathe new life in.
Breath like ocean spray and the hint of gladioli.
I mark this dream, for it’s the only place I can find you.
The only place I trust you to be there.
Collected and kept like a shell on a mantlepiece.
Placed for my own enjoyment, and a sign of well-travelled bones.
Yet the possession bothers you not, for you rise like the moon in daytime.
Defiant against the sun.
Casting long reaching shadows that follow me throughout my day.
Cooling my skin where I touch upon them.
Touching part of your soul, those bits you let escape.
It must be a waking dream that haunts and carries me.
Keeping me contacted and close.
Cuddled against the consternation of being alive.
Being of being, with you so far away.

Nothing Lasts Forever

He spun the coin, watching it take off in its own little orbit. Whizzing and chasing itself as it spun around. It usually took a few seconds, it never happened right away. At least not yet. The blurred smudge of the coin slowly began to take shape as it slowed down. It was a pound coin, the closest thing to gold he could find. The year embossed on the metal was 1989, that was very important, though few would ever see the date.

The blurring lines of the coin began to slow, but as they did, they stretched outwards, spreading across the surface like a wave. He’d seen it a few times before of course, but each time he did it seemed to entrance him. The waves grew wider and wider as the coin began to slow. The blurred waves taking on an oily shine, catching rainbow marks as they swam outwards like the tide.

And then the coin stopped spinning, it hung there on its side static and humming slightly as the waves that had spread stopped everything. Time was his now, and he moved in towards the coin, the waves forcing him in slow motion. He felt the tightness in his lungs, but he pressed on, like trudging through water. He reached out, his fingers finding the way towards the coin. When they touched, a radiating light exploded outward in the room, blinding him in an instant.

This was the part he always had trouble with.

June 23. 2014. June 23 2014. June 23 2014.

He repeated it in his mind over and over like a mantra. He’d been told to visualise the numbers, but his mind always struggled with that part. It would make things easier if he did, but he was used to difficult.

With a rush of air and collapsing of light, he was thrown into something that he could never quite describe. He was always thankful to land the other side though, his eyes and his hands always burning for some reason. But his lungs thankful for the air on the other side. The air back in 2014. A simpler time.

It was for him at least. Which is why he usually came back to then. Back to here.

He looked around now, the familiar softly warming his heart. There were different approaches to his time jumping, it had been explained to him. He could land in a different place, anywhere in the world if he chose. He wasn’t restricted to when or where, or if he’d ever set foot on that part of the earth. But these steps always required more, and he was only really interested in this place, this time. It brought him a comfort that the present and the future no longer held.

He was in the apartment he’d just left, but it all looked very different. He felt the lighter atmosphere in an instant. Gone were the heavy furnishings or blinds to trap the light. That precious light was welcomed in, the blinds open and the door to the balcony cast wide as if calling out to the sea. He could hear the see, even though it was quite far below. The crashing sounds of the waves seeming to catch in the updraft and lift the sounds up to the 28th floor. He knew the view well, and much preferred it here in 2014, then in the present. Here he could take their hand and trace the line of the coast off in the distance. In the present it only called him to the rocks below, the sirens that dwelt there luring him to the ends of overwhelm.

He looked at the clock on the wall, and knew they’d be back any minute. He always liked to watch them coming in through the door. That paradox of frustration and relief at coming back from the end of a long day.

And there they were, coming in through the door. He went across to the entrance and breathed in their sweet smell as they walked right through him. He knew his own self would appear any minute, coming out of the shower and greeting them. It pained him not to be able to touch, but he was glad that sight and smell both worked normally. He saw himself then exit the bathroom, tying the towel around himself and coming over to kiss them. He ghostly traced his own steps, merging with himself and following through with the kiss. He closed his eyes despite himself, but quickly opened them and took them in his spirit like arms.

He missed the kisses. He missed their touch. He missed so much of what was now all around him which was why he returned here so often. He watched them both moving around. The kettle now being boiled as the coffee and tea was prepared. Bag dumped on the sofa. He breathed it all in, the preciousness in the ordinary.

He could stay forever if he liked, and indeed he had stayed for long periods of time before. But time being the linear monster that it is, he found he had to wait out the times when they would sleep. He could not sleep here, back in time. His body wouldn’t allow it. It was as if it was constantly battling some force which pushed it on. So, he spent hours watching them sleep, watching them dream. This was always a good time to come, because he loved this day. The 23rd. He knew the evening well and he never got bored of seeing their reaction.

He noticed it then, glittering on the table. And surprisingly, so did they. The coin was shimmering, the sunlight catching the dulled yellow from the pound coin. Then they both went across to the table, he watched them move as if in some strange dream. This couldn’t happen, he could not disrupt the past. But it was happening, nonetheless. Before he knew it, the coin was in their hands, tossing upwards. It landed on the palm, their hand covering it.

Heads or tails?

Try again.

Flick, up in the air.

He reached for it himself but missed and watched as they again hid it under their hand.

His old self grabbed them, both of them laughing. Then they made a dash for the balcony. The joy carrying itself out into the outside to share with the world. Grabbed again, but this time fought back, tugging at the towel to share even more with the world.

He watched this all in a stunned state, as if unable to move. He shook himself back to, but by then it was too late. Another toss into the air and this time the coin spun upwards with such a force it was as if it were being called back by God.

Over the sides it flew, watched by them both and by he himself before he launched himself over the side.

It made no sense. He’d never been told this could happen. They were never able to see the coin before. Or had they just never notice it? He thought suddenly to himself. They couldn’t interact with him, that is what he’d been told. But something was different this time.

He sped towards the coin, himself hurtling down towards the ground, the rocks below coming up fast like pointy teeth. No matter, he would just touch the coin and reset. He could not be hurt back here. He didn’t quite know what would happen if he did land, but it didn’t matter as his hand clenched around the coin.

But it did matter, for his ghostly hand went right on through the solidness of the coin. And those rocks found his body quicker than he could blink.

The pain was real, and instant. In his tumble he had twisted slightly, the jaggered rocks that his body had smashed against had greeted the blood like the ocean spray, disrupting it outward. He lay there for but a moment still alive, looking upwards as he could see the figures on the balcony looking on before disappearing back inside. Back into the lives they would live together for only a couple of more years.

As he passed, he heard the clock ticking and he could see in his mind the coin spinning.

Though he had paid attention to the date of the coin, which was indeed most important, what hadn’t been explained were the little rings of dots that circle the pound coin. A normal coin he’d assumed at first. But each time he had jumped, a little dot had disappeared. The coin, which now lay just below the surface, washed by those south pacific waves, had its last little dot slowly disappear.

Nothing, it seems, lasts forever.

I Miss my ocean (Redux)

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.

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Need to come back

The water rippled towards him, a small wave plunging forth in its final effort onto the beach. It coated his feet in a warm embrace. He watched as the water receded hastily, as if it had disturbed him yet eager to do it once more. The ocean inhaled, drawing back again as the great expanse seemed caught between the beach and the horizon.

Somewhere in his mind a clock ticked, indifferent to the relaxing flow and rhythm of the tide.

Turning, he caught sight of them once more, up on the sand dunes, walking across them like they were the treacherous paths of Everest. Taking giant strides as they struggled against the depts of the sand. He called them over but was waved off by a frustrated hand. Busy.

He smiled and begun to make his way towards them. The wind caught around him and nudged him on, as if the finger of God steered his way.

It was hot that day, but not unpleasant. The sea breeze found each pore, relieving them from the sun which shone down in it’s burning smile. He carried his shoes in one hand, having taken them off before heading down towards the water. He wasn’t used to the beach lifestyle, but this was what he always did. Taking his shoes off, rolling up his trousers, just in case. He reached them quickly and held out his free hand for them to take. They stumbled slightly over a large mound and almost dove toward him, reaching for him desperately like the edge of a cliff.

“Why don’t you come down to the water, the sand is more compacted there.”

“I don’t want to get my shoes wet.”

He looked down at their shoes, now covered in grains of sand. Dust and damaged, already in need of cleaning.

They kept hold of their hand and they walked on a bit. He slowly begun to steer them towards the sea, but they still kept on the deeper sand trail; his feet digging deep into the cooler parts with each step.

The beach was almost empty. It was a Wednesday, in winter. But winter here was not a winter there. It was hot, and relaxing and exactly where he wanted to be.

His hand was sweaty, and he was conscious of them letting go, but they kept hold of it. Rubbing his thumb with there’s to show affection.

They came to that spot, the spot they knew so well, and which gave them the clearest view of the bay. The beach was a half-moon shape, curving around the bay like a giant force had scooped out the land, letting the sea wash in closer. It was so clear, he could see out into the nothing, as the waves bobbed and churned in their maddening calm. What could’ve been a dolphin poked up further out, gone as quickly as it appeared in the rise and ebb of the sea.

“Why do you always come here?”

He looked at them, the instant sadness appearing there like a ghost.

He gripped their hand a little tighter.

“Don’t you like it here, you love this place.”

“Yeah, I know.”

The wind blew a little stronger, and if he were honest a little colder too.

He kissed them, closing his eyes like he always did. Feeling their lips as he felt the tiny moisture there. He took his hands and ran them up their back and into their hair, cupping them both in the moment. Breathing them in, holding them close, wiping away the tear which had begun to slide so silently down their cheek.

“It’s a place I can always come to when I cannot go on.”

He said this, as tears came to his own eyes. Blurring his image as if the sea had leaked inside of him.

The clock in his head suddenly shuddered, doubling the ticks in rapid progression.

“You know each time you add something. This time I took your hand.”

He looked away suddenly, as if he’d been discovered.

“I like it too, but it’s something I’d never have done.”

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

He watched as the waves hurried in, ignoring them there on the beach. Going about their tidal business. Commanded by the moon.

“There are more of course, but you always come to this one. I guess you’re the happiest here. I was too.”

He pulled them in tightly, scared they were already slipping away. He felt them, heavy and solid and gripping on to him also.

“I can’t unlove you. I can’t undo any of this.”

His tears flowed onto them, the wind stung slightly, catching the dampness there in his sockets.

“I love you still. You just doubt that, which saddens me.”

“I love you.”

“Then in the end, we win.”

Tick.

Tock.

And they both were gone.

Worry is like a prayer for something we don’t want. Our mind, at times, takes us to such dark places beyond that which gives us light. We can choose where our consciousness leads us, right now in the moment. We can choose what is projected on the wall of our mind. But it is our movie, our film which we have a say on how it ends. If you want to change it, change your consciousness and choose happiness over pain, light over dark.

Leviathan (Redux)

LEVIATHAN

You might never know it’s there.
It’s been quiet for so long.
Dormant, but strong like indecision.
Lying in its own blackness, biding its time.
It’s older than you, it came before us all.
Moving and shaping like the clouds across the sky.
It does not seek the calm waters, or the tangerine days of summer.
It comes with the storms, the hurricanes of the heart.
When your bow is breaking, and you’re taking on water.
When you are barely holding things together.
Caught on rocks and the shallows of shame.
It seizes those moments.
Gripping you in its darkened grips of despair.
Blocking out the sun with its inky nightmare.
Pulling you down fathoms gasping for air.
To float forever in the torrid turpentine seas below.

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Taken from Leviathan (of the soul) – out now


Paralyzed

Your tissue and bone, like hammer and stone.
Lay me down with this poison.
Counting heart beats, the frenzied heat of your touch.
Leads to my defensive corrosion.
Strychnine, and baths of turpentine.
Which strip away all doubts,
In a sweet sublime watery grave.
Your kiss. The dangerous list of a vessel.
Aching to be near you. Pumping to please you.
And sinking with your tide.

Origami razor blades

We lost some strength we can’t replace.
The soul was bared, in places unprepared.
Fate slipped across our wrists.
Eternity flashed across our eyes.
But no demise.
Those feelings won’t ever fade.
Memories now scorched into us.
Illuminating our real selves.
I saw what I wanted to change.
And where to now?
What siren call, or ocean tide beckons.
Nothing here wants to remain.
Yet we cannot leave just yet.
Until the broken is repaired.
And the sacred is shared.
We must climb in place.
Plastering the walls with pretty views.
Painting our souls spiritual hues.
Ones that glow a beauty from within.
Showing us fragile and divine.
Folded out of angelic paper wings.
A product once more of god’s design.

Adeline

Adeline, why do you trouble me so?
Why do you pull down the stars and the moon?
Chalking up these eyes with lunar dust and wonder.
Oh Adeline, do not speak my name.
It crumbles my ground and shakes my resolve.
Moving my inner mantle with volcanic changes of heart
Oh sweet Adeline, keep those lips the distance of the sun.
Rising from my eastern treasure like the dawn.
Blinding if I look that way.
My Adeline, I wish I knew you then.
When my world could make a house for you.
In the forest of fidelity when we were both young.
And hope was still a pearl in our eyes.
Goodbye Adeline, you will always dwell in my hope chest.
Covered in gold at the bottom of the fathoms.
Locked away in time by a key you will never own.

Something to stay awake for – Erode the ruin

Something to stay awake for series

Listen to this episode.

The sea was lapping at her feet now, the cold-water slithering underneath her toes as the sand pulled away beneath her as the water receded. The waves were small and calm, placid like the mood she was in. It always calmed her coming here, walking down the perilous path that led from the rocky outcrop at the top of the cliff. To her, they were cliffs at least. Vast walls of rock keeping the sea and the world at bay. White cliffs that crumbled and creaked like the teeth of a slumbering giant.

She watched the little boat off in the distance, floating over the horizon, bobbing on the waves. Wondering what it would be like to be on that tiny vessel. Off to an unknown destination, casting her troubles and life overboard and setting off to the ends of the earth.

Her dress flickered as the breeze blew in from the south, a small bit of spray spat at the bottom of the dress, marking her as an object of the ocean. Marking its territory. But she would not be owned, at least never again. She pulled at the flowers in her hand, twisting out the mauve petals from the peony bunch she loosely clutched. She squeezed one of them, bruising the skin and releasing a tiny bit of moisture which escaped into the salty air.

She came here for the silence and the solitude, but today she was haunted by the voices. The ghosts of those she knew that had followed her down the tumbling cliffs. They squawked and chattered, soliciting opinions and throwing comments like pebbles into the sea. She closed her eyes, but the sounds increased, twittering’s of things she never asked to hear. She would never truly be alone, though it was the paradox of her desire. A wondrous dream that she chased, yet frightful of ever attaining it. Like chasing rainbows, she always came up empty, yet surrounded with the multitude of others. Life dripping over her.

Dropping the flowers into the water, she watched as they descended in slow motion. The little helpers she took earlier were beginning to swim their own synchronised dance in her head now. The flowers separated like divorcing couples, sticking to each other while parts seemed to drift away with the tide. From the shore, she would have received respectful stares from passers-by. Considerate looks for a soul caught up in a difficult moment, perhaps saying goodbye to a loved one, or remembering a time or a moment in life that had gone; corroded away into space like the rocks on the cliff. But she wasn’t saying goodbye or thinking about anyone she loved. She was thinking only about herself, and how to unfix herself from the web she felt caught in.

She lifted her feet out of the sand, kicking off some seaweed which had begun to coil around her leg like a snake from the shallows. She looked back towards the shore; the virgin sand glistened back at her. Mainly untouched today by those who sought out places to oil and tan themselves in the blazing sun. She loved this place for that reason, that it was a quiet slither of the world that was her own.

Pulling the plaster off her arm, she folded it twice and popped it into her pocket. She pushed the hair back out of her eyes, securing it behind her ears while she squinted off into the distance. The boat she had seen was much further away now, battling the stronger currents she knew lay towards that area of sea. She looked at her watch but realised she had taken it off earlier. She had left it on her bedside table. A tiny rebellious act, not to be controlled by time, or space, or matter. She had kept the ring on though, she twisted it now on her finger feeling the cool metal slide back and forth.

Some of the petals licked at her legs, the approaching tide giving them free movement. One sloshed up her leg, sticking to it like a barnacle on a ship.

She folded her arms gracefully and began to walk, slowly but determinedly into the sea.

SWIM

Easy to go with the tide than fight it.
To smile in a world of knowing grins.
Everyone looks to the sea for beauty.
But she always looked underneath.
Down into the depths where the coral grew.
Where no one was there to force her to smile.
To fit into a circle, forgetting she was a star.
Down deep was where she wished to go.
Out of the pain, she had come to know.
Forever she would be known as the crazy.
Once they dragged her body back up to the shore.
But she would linger within the seaweed.
Exploring the cool deep forever more


MORE FABLES HERE

Heaven is shut/open

The plane took off, soaring into the sky as the sun died on the horizon. All was safe, all parts working. Wheels stored safely as the streaming sound of pressure encased them. He looked out of the window and watched the ground give way. He sighed. He’d hoped for a failure. Maybe later when they were out over the ocean, no chance of rescue there. No one ever survived a plane crashing into the sea.

Closing his eyes, he saw their face. Lost and troubled as the chaos of the street bustled by. The taxi had hurried them, throwing his bags into the boot hastily before cars honked behind. They’d said their goodbyes already upstairs. Held on to each other as the tears threatened. At least he’d held on. He was unsure now how hard they had pulled into them. Deep inside his brain a voice had whispered ‘they want you to leave’.

Opening his eyes, he saw the seatbelt sign switch off, the little ‘bing’ sounding all around him but nowhere particular. The plane levelled off and he saw the land corrode into the ocean. The lights from the city behind already blurring into a distant memory. People got up, walking up the gangway as if their restrictiveness demanded a rebellion in movement.

He turned again to face the window, the little tears of condensation streaking backward like the ones in his eyes.

The flight was uneventful, and despite his longing, did not crash into a blazing wreck into the sea. He was somewhat thankful, no need for others to descend into nothingness because of his own wants and needs. The country had changed now of course, and he felt like a stranger in his own land. He felt as if he’d outgrown that little island, when in truth, it had all shrunken into ambivalence.

The next few weeks were a haze to him. He slept longer than his body needed. He ate less than what was required. The maddening howls of loneliness engulfed, playing out a wicked pageant each night. Pagan dances of despair trooped through his mind as he imagined the worst. And the weeks fell away into months. The sun rose and died each day, giving way to the moon which seemed more allusive and tauntful. Appearing and disappearing with differing brilliances.

And nothing changed.

No word came. No celestial movement of fate. He prayed of course, every day. Wishing, hoping, threatening…apologising. Words tumbled from his mouth like a waterfall, lost in the roar of tears that welcomed the rising pool of pain. He was confused and sad. These descriptions falling short of the abject horror that they encompassed.

He got up late one Wednesday. His bed had become a grave, and he pushed away the covers like soil from his skin. The weather was grey, and he saw little movement outside his window. He could hear the birds whistling their busy tunes and saw a couple of collared doves pecking away at the grassy bank at the side of his house. The birds circled, one seeming to protect the other as it scoured the grasses for something.

This was his life he thought there in that moment. The tragedy of nothingness. The on repeatness of filling hours that stretched like days.

Sitting down on his bed, he joined his hands together. They had marks on now of course, bloodied scabs that were struggling to heal. Punches to the ground and walls in frustration. His hands stung when he washed them always, bits of skin pealing off and disappearing down the drain to their own hellish adventures. Mostly he would pray in his head, but this morning the words came forth strong, if not shaky. He prayed for others, for those he loved. He asked why his circumstance refused to alter. He prayed to be sent the needs to change his situation. If god was refusing to give him what he needed, then at least give him the chance to change it for himself. He saw the light, felt the feel of god’s hands upon him and trickle into his heart.

This prayer lasted a long time. The doves had flown away by the time he had opened his eyes again, and a light rain had begun to pepper his window. The house groaned around in its ordinariness. Things were quiet. Things were the same.

He went about the day, holding onto something which he would never tell anyone. Like something stolen and now hidden in his pocket, he buried this secret in his heart which struggled to beat in a comfortable rhythm. The day came and went. The tasks and encounters rose and fell with the usual absurdity.

It wasn’t until the following night when what he had tucked away bloomed again. A flower of thought that had grown from the thick mud of despair. He had played the game of this life, by the rules he never agreed to. He was of service each day, giving and giving; yet never receiving. It never used to bother him for he had much to give. But when you lose everything, you become stricter on what you give away.

Now he felt like the coconut husks in his garden, pecked at each day by the birds of life. Strips of him torn away, revealing nothing underneath. His prayers had gone unanswered. But he stopped that thought then. No, this was not true. His prayers had been answered, when he prayed for others. When he gave and prayed and wanted the best for other people. They got what they needed. Even the rotten ones he was obliged to love. As if blood bound them in an unspoken covenant.

Prayer works. But not for him.

When he wanted…no, needed something. It never came to him. It was as if the gates of heaven had closed to him in a display of much unfairness. Why was he so beyond getting what he needed to make it through the day?

This thought stuck in his head, like food stuck in a throat. Uncomfortable and unpleasant. He was angry at God. But who wasn’t at times? But he felt more than anger, a betrayal almost. He fell asleep that night, not pooled in his own tears like always, but shaking into a fevered dream of reckoning.

He woke early, the rhythm of his heart thundering him awake. His phone was silent, barren. Nothing in the night had sprung forth despite the difference in hours. What were they, seven hours behind? They lived their day while he slept dreaming of them. They dreamt of something else while he navigated through the day thinking of nothing but them.

Rolling out of bed he went to the bathroom to wash his hands. Purifying his body, washing away the dreams and nightmares. He looked in the mirror…..

A: shut

What stared back at him made him weep. A man stood there, but a wasted vision of a human. Sunken eyes, gaunt expression. As if the sadness had spoiled from the inside, wasting away the flesh. He noticed one of his eyes was a milky colour, his once hazel views into his soul fading away into a grey of nothingness.

What to do now, he thought to himself. Brush his teeth, fix his hair. Get changed and through another day for what purpose? The same as yesterday, the same as tomorrow would be. A parade of nothing and inconsequence.

He knew he had fallen into a depression. He had hoped to shake it off or fall out of it again. Why was it so easy to get pulled in, and not the other way around? But something extra covered him today, that final magic element of hope seemed to have disappeared as he slept. A rousing song, or prayer usually helped. Taking stock and being appreciative. But no, something was different today. The same grey clouds outside, but something was different there in his bathroom. He could not even hear the birds that usually chattered and warbled beyond the walls.

He took a razor and made two clean cuts, long and deep. It was the kindest thing he could give himself, and the biggest apology.

B: open

What reflected was a surprise to him. A little light glistened in his eyes and more haloed above him. He turned suddenly, hoping to catch a trail of it around his skull. But it seemed to follow him, quick as a flash. He felt it then, a sudden strength lift within his bones like they were being pumped with magical force. He made to pray but remembered suddenly and abstractly that God should not be called upon in a bathroom. Negative spaces.

Running from the room he collapsed onto the landing, the banister casting a ray of light over him like prison bars. He watched as they seem to lift upwards, the sun disappearing behind a cloud. The bars faded, and he closed his eyes.

He pictured the world above in his mind, the ascent of this man who had become so troubled and desperate. Hands guided him; little voices pushed him further until he was at the gates of heaven. With one push, the gates parted. He opened his eyes there and bowed to give thanks. He let the words tumble out, washing appreciation over his life.

How long he remained, he’d not known. The bars of light did not return, but when he stood, he noticed the sun was hovering off in the distance now beyond his window. He wiped the tears away and stood in his new world, just as his phone in the other room began to ring.

Drenched in departure

Through wanderings of a hallowed heart.
Untie the science while the rain comes.
Let the silence smother you.
Or little taps of life, crash on your skin.
Blanketing this world in a quiet monsoon.
Layering and prevailing over all before.
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.
How sour those words met my mouth.
When I asked you to leave.
Tying my tongue into confused states.
Separate systems and traumatic time zones.
A flight into a new world.
Where the clouds coughed around me.
And the skylarks sung our demise.
God raining down sad tears.
That had been building for some time.

愛 (Love)

I dare not touch, a hair upon your head.
Or your skin that falls like rain.
Into my arms I dream you would tumble.
Kissing your lips that welcome me like a traveller’s light.
Burning out of the darkness.
Threatening sweet cherry deliverance.
I would peal back your skull and dive into that sea of thoughts.
Swimming with you in circles.
Hand in hand on a celestial ocean of knowing.
To know you. To touch you.
To take the pain you feel and burn it within my own bones.
I place this pedestal only for you.
Keeping you safe and aloft, closer to the heavens.
Where you belong.

Crawling back to the sea

Did I miss the Milky Way?
Seeping into my bones while I sleep.
Creeping over my soul like a love I can’t keep.
Forgetting how this feels.

If I am nothing but confused, then I know.
I know what I must do.
I welcome in the deportation.
Listening at the water’s edge.

The primitive sound of the sea of tranquillity.
Lapping at my soul.
An ocean of storms.
Propagating emancipation.

So annotate my departure now.
Hang it on your wall and drink it from your coffee cup.
Diminished and exonerated in your eyes unfit for the surface.
They would pop under the pressure of it all.

Like the path I tread. Or the self I give away.
Where is the road I follow? The crater to jump?
I told you before about the universe at my doorstep.
But I know you wanted me to be wrong.

All along.
But you forgot how to swim.
So I shoot myself across this space and walk into the sea.
And you can fall down to your knees.

Baptised by you

That endless world they talk of.
A Drowned world.
It opened in my heart when the starry waves washed inside.
When you looked at me.
With that light of god in your eyes.
And in that moment, like that pebble in your hand.
You grasped at the infinite.
You consumed my soul.
And we would remain forever bound.
Like that pebble in the ferocious stream.
Washed endlessly by the cosmic current.
Until clean.

Who let in the rain?

Underneath that crystal water
Of crushed stars and dreams.
Dwelling like a memory that won’t die.
Lies a soul.
Frayed and tattered.
Filled with thoughts of eucalyptus leaves and saffron.
Tide up in heartstrings and self-made knots.
Tackling the torrents soundlessly.
To drown silently in a rising tide.
This was their gift to you.
Keeping the truth and the pain out of your eyes.
Packing soot and coal into the sockets.
Trembling inside and yet still.
Like a sewn up teddy bear.
All glass eyed reflective.
Placid.
Who let that rain in, to wash the hope away?
Deluged in dopamine and on the brink of decay.
Each drop inched closer.
Under the door and down their spine.
Exploding the sky with a grey that blocked out heaven.
God made the rain, the floods and the tide.
To wash away the sinners, the soulless and already sunken.
Yet she was always destined to float.
Catching stars in pockets and wiping the salvation across our mouths.
But the rain came in.
Straw ladened and camel shaking.
Soaked in misery and shame.
And now she is lost under the surface.
Ripped away in the undertow.
Growing gills and thicker skin.
Crashing on someone else’s shore.