Exhumed (again)


EXHUMED

Underneath and in the ground.
Buried deep without a sound.
Lies my body, its shell and bones.
Under layers of rocks and stones.
A tyrannosaur heart that roared at first.
But all too soon, swelled and burst.
You killed me once with your flaming comet.
Across my sky, your departing sonnet.
Our love, which first, defied distinction.
All too soon embraced extinction.
It could not survive the battles we raged.
Like warring beasts, housed in a cage.
You bit, and snapped and left me dying.
A fallen giant, cold and crying.
And so my flesh transformed to oil.
The precious black gold beneath the soil.
And you evolved and then migrated.
Our DNA of trust abated.
This amber love was thus entombed.
Waiting in time, to be exhumed.

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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.

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.

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.

Dissolve

On my fingertips, dancing like a tiger.
The tip of my tongue, growling like a beast.
Naming you, shaming you and falling under.
My fingertips now tingle.
Blood and sweat dripping down like melting galaxies.
You fold away the past, and dissolve the future.
Streaking my colours into a frantic version of now.
Washing away the grey.
This good life you prophesize, I want to know all about it.
As I swirl round and round in the delusional dream.
Fizzing and floating on falling stars, while I wave goodbye to the lonely.
These cells break down and collapse.
This earth shakes underneath.
A ballet of our isotopes, that merge and fall with each of your heartbeats.
I cling to you, for fear of disappearing completely.
Of wanting to be lost in you.
This sweet gigantic resolve, the chaotic dissolve of mergence.
As you love me, for me.

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.
When you had nothing to lose.
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 the day.
Which threatens to stain us like the ones before.
When we were lonely.
And afraid.

Octopus

Cracks in the colossus.
Licking time across new wounds.
Limping and lumbering back into the ocean of your eyes.
Taking lifelines.
That little notepad you kept in your desk.
Right behind your mind.
Scribbling a sonnet for thine truth to break.
And a storm to release.
Sweeping up all the worries and the fish from the bottom of the sea.
I bottled up these sea storms.
The swell in your day.
But you pick and poke at the cork and the corrections.
To then complain that you are soaking wet.
What fable lives now in that oily deep?
What treasures do you covert, claw at and keep?
For in my mind too swim a thousand sharks.
Tasting blood in the water.
Now, no longer able to swim.
A tangle of troubles, the octopus crawling underneath the waves.
Occupying my deep.

Lost in the faraway

The conjuring dreams.
Of moments in time.
Love lost on your lips.
Your hand in mine.
Kicking this cactus heart around.
Fresh like mint on my tongue.
Calling you out of the clouds.
Out of my bones that feel as heavy as China.
One of those falling dreams.
Like you’re here.
But still gone.

Raining underneath

Underneath. Down here where it’s calm.
Where the black beauty of the abyss touches my feet.
All is quiet.
All is still.
I’m entombed as if in a coffin.
Locked forever in my own space
Controlling the promise of my ever after.
And then you came.
Pelting my world.
Hurtling across like a comet in my stretching blue sky.
You bring the change, flowing through like a weather system.
Flourishing my eyes open like a new season.
Calling sub-oceanic flowers to bloom within me.
Aquatic forest pines that reach up to touch the surface.
To reach and touch your face.
My hands branch to catch the light you dazzle.
A sudden rush you instill within me like heroin bubbles in my blood.
Coming up too soon, bending my compression that has kept my heart safe.
Heading for the bends.
I’m a fish not born to fly with you.
High where the birds and angels soar.
Hidden in these depths for reasons.
For sins that keep me drowned.
Now it rains under water, puddling the pool of the sea that parts us.
And I drift in the stream of sorrow.
Knowing that the rain on the surface, is really your tears.

So central

This illuminating version.
Drifting.
Loving, only when the time is right.
When it’s uncalled for.
Who knew?
Who cared?
A scorched soul while the film played on.
And all roads led to the same.
Your heart curdled up tight.
Wearing out my mind.
Melting the plastic of the world we once inhabited.
Central now.
Gaining control of a need that was needed.
Crazy, only to know we were always driving.
Using our knees to steer.
Hoping to crash and burn.
In a beautiful, all consuming fire.
So central to our survival.

Drive

You wanted to make me believe in love.
Taking my hand and leading me down the highway.
Past the car crashes of former entanglements.
The scars ever present on my mind.
The road stretches ahead, but I’m caught in the pull.
Of trying to glimpse at the dead.
You’re trying to make me believe again.
Showing me peace on the horizon.
But my palm is sweaty, and the fuel is empty.
I wonder if we’ll make it.
But I push my foot onto yours.
And I climb inside your soul.
The pedal pushes and we fly, deep into the night.
Down the road of good intentions.