Salvaged in mid winter

I look for you, like a full moon rising.
Turning the tide on my sunken sullen state.
Each hour drips away, like a painting of regret.
Washed away in the fresh rains you bring to a crumbling soul.
You hold me carefully like a bruised apple.
The bloom of happiness spreading in my heart.
I hold your heart, like a precious artefact.
With tears that have now begun to retract.
Because of the light you shine on our patch of earth.
Those seeds sown in September, break through tough winter soil.
Finding new life from the Christmas lights that sparkle.
Dancing on the leaves, like frost in the morning.
Peppering our steps with a carpet of wonder.
This song will remain, and I will know its tune by heart.
Etched into these bones until time fades.
The harvest of hope in the winter cold.
A chance to dance once more into the future.
With you right by my side.

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Stalling

A rusted heart, worn by tears.
Breaking down, in a broken town.
This heartbreak city of shattered dreams.
The water got into the fuel.
The hate got into the love.
Churned and exhausted all.
How long were we running on empty?
As the metal flayed and tore into our flesh.
Juttering to a stop, a stalling of hearts.
Roll down the windows of our eyes, and see where we have ended up.
A place I hate to be, detoured and gotten lost.
The wheels are coming to a stop.
Stalling, and likely to forever remain.
Or to corrode in your acid rain.

Border-lining-absent

She waited in the rain.
Caught between do or die.
Flee or fight.
Choking on decisions, each one bitter.
She watched as the world collapsed.
As the people fragmented into another time.
Small pockets of clouds like hurried breath in the cold.
Her feet were once rooted to the ground.
But he chopped that tree of life down.
Digging out all that treasure she had buried when she was young.
And now she alone and penniless.
Older and empty.
Not for what was stolen, but for what he had left behind.

Reaching roots

How deep do these roots need to burrow?
While the wind of the world shakes and batters.
Down deep, past dinosaur bones and bits of myself.
Long forgotten memories and names no longer remembered.
Roots of strength, yet they strangle the small and struggling.
Little sprouts of new dreams which begin deep in the dark of my soul.
Waiting, for just the tiniest flash of light.
Yet the roots need to be strong.
For it’s much further to go on.
And this tree is desperate to reach up to heaven.

I suddenly feel it

Under the floorboards it dwelt.
Dipped in diamonds.
Hard as nails.
A love that painted the corner of my planet.
Washed over me like black rain.
You creep into my bones like golden dust.
Strengthening and sturdying my soul.
This past is left in the darken room.
You turned off the light for memories that kept me awake.
No more grave digging in the sunlight.
Stopping instead, to smell the flowers.
Picking eternal daisies in the dirt of time.
Forcing me to be x-static, extreme like violence.
You are the colour in my skin.
Awash with happiness deep within.

Pretty protections

When you summoned your tempest.
And the gods all heard.
Sending shockwaves and blame that came down in floods.
Landing on me like freshly fallen snow.
A target of your manic fuelled rage.
No more.
No longer the substitute for the all the blank spaces.
The vertebras you want to crack and walk upon.
All this egg shell laden land, dulled of the green you promised.
Conjures more towel throwing.
Yet still I remember the days where you fixed my crown.
And only coughed into the night of life.
Yet these frequent occasions  gather like the monsoon rains.
Always on time and unpredictable.
Soaking me through with tears of regret.

Glass

I buried your words in a glass in the garden.
Trapped them like fireflies in the twilight of this trying.
This break, splinter, shatter.
Tucked them all in, away in the dirt.
You look up when you’re not sorry.
Telling me lies long into the night.
Shattering my glass heart and stepping on the pieces.
Complaining of the sound it makes.
Never once indestructible.
The thunder came, the rains fells.
The lightning struck as the storm of you raged on.
Turning my glass heart back to into sand.
Reduced to grains of love.
Leaving it in this new lonely desert.

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.

It always rains in my memory

I never let the weeds grow there, but the vines took hold.
Choked out the light and freedom for us both.
That place, darkening now the harder I remember.
You said you’d always meet me there.
Where the street and the sorrow fell away.
Reach for me you said, and you can touch my face.
The essence of divinity here on earth.
Now you shimmer like a diamond, caught in the empty space of time.
Untouchable, yet desired. Clouded by invisible hands.
I always smiled in these places. These foggy bits of the past.
You did that. You put this thing in me that forced the change.
Drew the happiness out like an antidote to sadness.
The weighting of you, and the love that cocooned.
But you have departed on the winds of indifference.
Blown out to sea, lost forever in the sinking ship of us.
In the darkness which suffocates and strangles.
Leaving me conscious, but only just; to see the wreck I’ve made.
And now, it always rains in my memories.
Blanketing my world in water.
But nothing ever washes away.

Park West and Bethany

Say yes to all.
Fade and fall, mistaken only by the river.
Washed through like summer rain and the thoughts told to make you go away.
Cashing and catching the lights of the big city.
Money in your pocket with children’s teeth.
Rattling.
Looking for a god you needed then, but not now.
Built up your good intentions like the skyscrapers around you.
Spires into your sky, piercing the blue heaven you stuck there with hope and sticky tape.
See this soul, from Jacksonville. Holding out their hand and cup for dollars and sense.
Shiver into those thoughts of home. Idaho Falls and the sound of honey.
Yellow spaceships that hover and take the scenic route back.
If you lived there, you’d be home soon.
Circling the city and the moon.
Transfiguring the trauma to trees to breathe a new air into your lungs.
Lungs holding on, yet crumbling into a Moses dream.
A body holding out for a prophecy.
Killing the kings and setting the soul aflame.
Wait now to be alone once more with god;
to sip from their coffee cup and slip into the copper lake of content.
Bronzed into eternity, never losing your shine.

Tears of the Gods

His heart, now the colour of his wife. Broke apart.
The urn smashed, scattering them both across the clouds.
As the volcanoes rumbled and the gods groaned.
Down they both came in the rains.
Licked up by the wood spirits and the humans below.
Pooling in the heart of the world, flecks of life;
and the cast down tears from Olympus.

You stopped the rain

What becomes of all of us?
Down in the depths, floating on the sea of time.
Who pulls us back? Who throws the ropes of salvation?
She dwelled long and lonely under the waves.
Wrinkling into memory as the salt clogged her bones.
But the dreams wouldn’t fade like a dying star.
The hope threaded around her heart like roots of a tree.
New lips breathed the life back into her.
Tomorrow’s soul and eternity’s hand.
Raised her from her watery grave.
Covering her in love and picking away the scabs of sorrow.
She smiled and laughed as they ignited within the pilot fire.
Which shifted fate, and scared the fish.

Who let the rain in?

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.
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 still, like a sewn up teddy bear.
All glass eyed reflective and 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 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 your mouth.
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.

Her own universe

Tuesdays were always difficult. A problem day. A nothing day. All the things wrong in her life seemed to have occurred on that second day of the week. Second for her at least, some people she knew classed Sunday as the first day. What did they know she always thought? She could always gauge how one Tuesday was to unfold anyway, the motivation of Monday dripped away by the evening, making way for another mediocre book-end of days that collected on the shelf of her life. But this Tuesday was different. Different in a similar sort of way, like driving down a road that you’ve never been down before, yet knowing there will be a dead end.
The rain had done it’s best to encourage her to stay at home that day, the wind whipping up a sizeable storm outside her windowpane to keep her safely tucked inside watching the world come to a watery end. The promise of a good book by her small cosy fire was not enough of a lure it seemed, to keep her from going over to see her mother. She lived on the other side of town, which in itself was not a large body of houses, you could cross to the other side in about ten minutes by car. However, Jackie didn’t own a car and she didn’t drive. She was much too anxious to be let loose in a world where maniacs were given licenses to speed along invisible racetracks.

So that day, the Tuesday day; she braved the weather and made her way to her mother’s house. She was prepared for the storm, and had dispensed on the cumbersome umbrella that would no doubt pick her up and whisk her away to Oz. Instead, she was bundled up so tight and so well she looked like a yeti wading through the small streets, caring not to the cars that splashed by her on their own personal adventures.

She’d had the ominous feeling since breakfast, that something was out of sync that day. The weather was the first warning, the second being her hands which had been shaking since she had tried to spoon the cornflakes into her mouth for breakfast. The tiny pieces of cereal had fallen all around her bowl like tiny bits of cardboard on a craft mat. She’d taken a pill and all had seemed fine, though she couldn’t shake the feeling. It stuck to her like the film of milk left on an emptied glass.

She thought more of it now, watching a black cat dart out from under someone’s parked car on the side of the street. Unaccustomed to being out in the wet weather, it glared at her as it made its way to the safety of a porch of the house she passed. The feeling was itching away at her insides now, and she quickened the pace towards her mother’s house.

“Mum, it’s me” She called into the small little cottage. Her mother never locked her doors, refusing to believe she was living in the 21st century, still half expecting friendly neighbours to pop in to see how she was doing and borrow sugar. She closed the door and locked it firmly behind. “Mum?”. But there was no reply. The house wasn’t quiet though. It groaned and shunted in the storm, and in the rooms away some pipes gurgled into their own orchestral concert. She took off her jacket, hanging it up on the coat hook by the front door. She passed by the picture of her father, nestled into a neatly polished silver frame, greeting anyone who entered her mother’s kingdom with a smile and a look of knowing.

At her feet she felt Apollo brush past her, gliding through the hallway like a streak of fur. Her mother had had her since she was a kitten, given to her by one of the ladies she played bingo with down at the village hall. She’d always said she was more of dog person, but she secretly, Jackie suspected, adored that cat; who took great pride of place throughout her mother’s well organised life. Apollo meowed noisily and scuttled off towards the conservatory.

“Mum, you about?” she called out again. Holding back the alarm now that had convened on her feeling of ill and dreed since the morning. She followed the cat to the back of the house, the rain thundering hard down onto the conservatory roof, tining and thundering through the back room.

There she saw her mother, slumped on the side of her high backed chair. A stranger would have guessed she was sleeping, but Jackie knew her better than that, and though she couldn’t help it, she hung back for a moment, bracing her emotions for the tidal of grieve that was to come.

There was a slow rumble of thunder coming from outside, the ferociousness of the storm was waiting in the wings still, about to set forth it’s lasered dance of lightning and noise. She brushed the loose hair that had fallen over her mother’s face, the greying sight of age that hung loose and lifeless. Her eyes were closed she noticed, and a huge part of her was relieved to think that she had felt no pain.

She was sat in the centre of the conservatory just by her huge astromic telescope that she had bought herself a few years ago. Anyone who came to the house always thought it was decorative. The type of thing high end department stores sell for obscure aesthetics to those with more taste than knowledgeable inclination. One look around to spot the kitschy frog ornaments and dusty fake flowers would be enough to tell you it wasn’t one of those. This was an actual telescope, and her mother simply adored star gazing. She would sit out here, and sometimes in the garden on the warmer nights, and gaze up into the heavens. She knew all of the constellations of course, and would set Jackie’s niece Angela on her lap when she came over and try to find the planets for her, even in the day.

Her mother sat there now, an empty shell in that high back chair, her hand on her notepad with some scribblings of her night’s recent gazing. Apollo jumped up and sat on her lap, wafting the smell of her perfume up into Jackie’s nostrils, flaring up memories and loss. She cried there then, for about twenty minutes, her hand in her mother’s as she said her goodbyes. She wondered what to do after, going over to her mother’s phone in the kitchen to ring her brother to tell him what had happened. Seeing in her mind’s eye the next 24hrs unfolding in a terrible depressive snapshot of time.

She put the phone back in its cradle and instead went to the kettle and made herself a cup of tea. She sat with her mother for the rest of the day, until the sun slipped out of the sky and darkness descended. The storm had long ago blown itself into oblivion, making way for the tranquil stillness that comes after a hurricane. Jackie had done the same, allowing the moments and thoughts of despair to be swept away in the stormy waters.

She looked up through the telescope to see the stars dancing above in their diamond beauty, and then she got to work.

She reached up through the telescope and grabbed the black duvet of space. Some stardust sprinkled her hands like glitter off a birthday card. She heaved and pulled and dragged the galaxy down to earth where she and her mother sat in that conservatory on that infamous Tuesday. She tugged and dragged, scaring poor Apollo with her grunts and sighs, who dived behind her mother’s cardigan which she had wrapped around her body, stiffening slowly as she slipped into rigor mortis. When she had what she needed, she drew it around her mother, blanketing her in the sea of stars. The ones she had longed for all her life. Wrapping her tightly like a swaddled child, in a stars and space. Keeping her safe forever in the place she loved.

The Ends of her world

She tried to save him on that day.
That day, when the coffee stained sky folded.
She reached out in her own way.
Only for her hands to turn to stone.
And her mind to dust.
A cruel trick of fate positioned her.
To watch his demise from such a vantage point of safety.
Silenced in an eternal knowing.
While a tempest raged in her eyes and mind.
So she threw it all back in time.
Crouched under her bed until the voices left her.
The thuds on the door and within her heart.
While the vines creeped up around her veins,
she erased all that she knew.
At least she tried to.
And she disappeared into the rains that came after.
Leaving no trail in her wake.
Chasing dragons by the flooded lagoon.

Prophet

Stepping into the church after so many years made him hesitant at first. He lingered in the doorway like an uninvited guest, hovering on the threshold. Some tourists excused themselves in broken English as they brushed passed him, entering the cool relief of the stone sanctuary away from the blistering hot sunshine outside. Holding his breath, he stepped inside; glancing quickly high up to the ceiling as if looking for God.

The church was quiet, despite the added tourists who had passed him and who were now inspecting one of the older tomb covers towards the rear of the nave. He turned in the other direction and made his own way towards the collection of remembrance candles which twinkled out from a small alcove. Despite the sunshine which streamed in through the stained glass windows, the small candles held their own air of magic and brilliance. Tiny twinkling eyes danced together in their own little rhythms. They were why he was here today, the only reason he would ever step inside a church.

He noticed the small donations box propped up next to the candles, the unlit ones lumped together in a small metal box like a collection of teeth.

‘20p per candle’

The sign suggested, though whether this was indeed a suggestive price or intended one he wasn’t sure, either way it didn’t matter. He dropped the £2 coin into the metal coffin and was saddened to hear its solitary ring out from below. Clearly not many people needed remembering today. He picked up a candle from the box and then turned suddenly to the sound of footsteps behind him.

“Good afternoon.”

The old man said, smiling at him as he came towards the stand where the candles were. He wore a trench coat that did not suit the day’s weather, and he carried a hat in his hand as which he held down at his side. He was dressed for November, not the glorious spring Elysium that covered the world outside the door.

“Afternoon.” He replied in return, smiling at him, though annoyed he would have to share his moment with someone else now.

“Lovely day isn’t it?”

The old man had stopped a few feet from him, and seemed eager to engage in a conversation. Though annoyed somewhat, he had no intention of being rude and instead smiled and replied to him.

“It is indeed, a little too warm for me though.”

“This little church provides a nice little oasis from the outside world I find.” The old man said.

He nodded in agreement.

“Yes it does. Sorry, did you need to get to the candles too?” he asked him, motioning out of the way to where the candles lay.

“No, thank you. Please carry on. I didn’t mean to disturb you too much.”

“No trouble. I was just lighting a candle for my mother. It’s her birthday today.”

“I see. I shall leave you to it then. Though I should say, we never truly know what is coming our way, and must always prepare for the worst; but hope for the best.” He said.

He looked at him a moment, unsure of what he meant.

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, just being philosophical. Please, I shall leave you in peace. Enjoy your day.” The old man said, and he suddenly turned and walked away, his loud jacket echoing off the small stone walls as he departed down the church.

How odd, he thought. He watched him go, then turned back to the candles that lay before him. Only a few were still burning brightly, the others dying out and completing their mission and sending the prayers into the sky. He held the small candle by the base and stuck the wick into a bright burning flame. The wick inhaled quickly, bursting into life. He placed it away from the others on the rack, letting it glow in its own lonely beauty. He thought of his mother, who had died a year ago. He watched as the wax dribbled down the side and remembered her quiet tears when she’d heard she was going to die. The cancer that had lain within her which had accelerated with an ungodly speed, to prove salvation impossible. His mother, his rock; gone practically overnight.

He closed his eyes and prayed for her, thinking how devoted to god she was and knowing if anyone were to be in heaven, it would be her.

The tourists who had entered before him had found their way to where he was now. Their foreign tongues licking at his neck signalled him it was time to leave. He turned and left, making his way towards the door, dropping a pound coin in the donations box near the entrance; but never looking down the aisle towards the alter, or taking in the sad pictures of the saints that peppered the walls.

He pushed the huge doors open, shut since his entrance into the small church on St. Collin’s street, and stood just inside the doorway. Nothing divine was calling him or pulling him back. There was no need to sprinkle himself with holy water or skim the bibles in search for a hymn to ease his soul. He stood in the doorway like a kid on a dock, because it had just that second started to rain.

Tears in the chrysalis

Who knew the fury in that silent smile?
Little iceberg teeth bitten by the frost of circumstance.
Does she look to the sky, hurrying the rain to fall?
To wash away the paint on her wedding dress;
the coal in her brain or the handcuffs around her heart?
What song does she hum along to, that drifts in her world.
Staining the air around her, cloaking her against ill intent.
Like a red string around the wrist.
Drawn free from the granite and the prehistoric amber.
The carbon colouring in her eyes that repeats.
All tears mass-produced.
At the sight of the grey shadow in the distance.
The lonely cry of a wolf sent, to scare away the butterflies.

Remembering myself

These days wash through me like the rain.
As this greying world fades.
Earth descending. Blurring off on the horizon.
The winter chill lingers over my future like an old man’s grip.
Choking me into anonymity.
Freezing the hope in my lungs.
How many times must I travel to the lighthouse?
Climbing the rocks that make my feet and heart bleed.
Insurmountable despondency. Wrapped in a sold version of existence.
The reins and remains of the day fall loose in my palm.
Sweating in the fear of losing all I have, and all I will ever be.
Clocking the years as they hurry through me like ghosts on a train.
Feeling like a stranger in my own life.

Prelude to peace

What do you see in those darkening skies?
I clasp my hands to my eyes when the thunder cracks.
Are those tears, or just the rain on your face?
They never saw this storm coming, they dressed for sun that day.
The earth grieves and sighs. Spinning into another time.
Forever spinning on an axis no-one designed.
Vibrating in space, a billions miles of nothing in all directions.
Something changed. A fire was lit.
A swelling sea of distaste and rage.
The circus tiger tied to the ground for too long.
Chewing its leg off to escape.
Fires spread like a spark in the bush. Setting it all to sunder.
Setting things to rights.
Heaven will sigh and the sky will break.
The devil has had its day.
Tearing down the buildings, the houses on the hill.
A rebellion of love, shooting words that comfort.
All this pain, all this hurt; to wake up a nation.
Surviving the eye of the hurricane.
All this was a prelude to peace.

An interior rhythm

How to rise, when you’re broken.
Like lofty branches that scratch the sky.
Down here on the forest floor, tangled with the roots.
I feel collapsed. I feel free.
I want to tear it apart.
I had to burn it down.
Pick the thorns out of my bark, the chattel from my teeth.
Swaying with the world now. Rising on its axis.
I swing to a new realm, on the pendulous heartbeat of tomorrow.
I allowed myself to fall apart.
Welcoming the termites of time. Destroying all I had.
Whilst watching the watchers in the wings.
Birds who fly with nightshade plumage.
Cluck their tongues and talk of responsibilities.
Laying eggs for a farmer who will devour their friends.
You don’t know what it’s like. You don’t know what I grew through.
Such hard terrain and unholy winters. Sprouting to my own spring chorus.
You don’t know me, how could you?
I don’t even know myself.