Craving miracles

She began to lie.
Her fingers clasped in on themselves, feeling the strength and weakness in her grasp.
The church, empty now of all souls except those she had come to talk with.
Tears brimming in the eyes, they stung like the holy water welled in the font.
Singeing the new-borns brought in against their will.
The lies came quick and easy.
Words of living danced from her mind and mouth.
Painting the walls the velvet colour of sin which faith knew all too well.
Her prayers circled her and danced above to illuminate the ceiling of the church.
All gold and crisp like an autumn leave caught in the sun.
Little sparks born from the light that was housed inside of her.
She lied by saying she could cope with this still.
The betrayal to god was that she thought she could go on.
But he knew, and he listened still.
As did all the saints breathing there like ghosts.
She clenched and fumed, crying all the while.
It was hard for her to know someone who knew her better than herself.
But would not wish her well.
For god would not lift a finger in her plight.
He didn’t then, he wouldn’t now.
No matter how many tears flowed in that church.
They would dry all the same.
Those walls would hear his name, again and again.
She lay down, and closed her eyes; using a bible as a small pillow.
Breathing in the dusty time of incense and pieces of flesh.
She waited for the miracle much promised, what better place to wait.
She lies there still, but do not wake her.
For she may still be dreaming.

No sound but escape

The last gasp of a city, stifled through individual disdain.
Strapped to that engine of pain.
The eternal clock that moves everyone forward.
The teacup, that cannot un-shatter.
God’s will, the devil’s plan.
Darkness leaking up out of the drains.
Black balloons to cloud our uneventful skies.
Thoughts like a bruise.
Blooming and fostering more on a delicate mind.
They wait around for the heart to break.
The lies to normalise.
The violence to wrap itself around.
Like fingers of priests, going where they shouldn’t.
You want to leave this place.
Crumble the buildings that warren your life.
Cough out the diseases and the dirt and take a train.
Over tracks on water, the straight edges leading away.
To what, you don’t know.
New spaces to inhabit, to sink a soul into.
Uncertainty, the first sign of freedom.
Lighting fireworks in the mind.
Soon the metropolis an old family member.
Seen only on special occasions.
Lonely in your memory, and very nearly forgotten.

What you find inside

It’s not like they could tell he’d been crying.
Pomegranate tears had evaporated on his cheeks.
Left to circumstance and suspicion.
The usual vulnerability crept in like the cold.
He’d wanted to disappear.
Pull his bones from this earth and take the plane westward.
But that knowing.
That fundamental chorus of doubt kept him seated.
Wounded and defeated.
The table was set for him and god now.
A devil on his shoulder painting the walls in his mind red.
Each word that drifted from his mouth.
Drew out feathered lines of inquiry and distaste.
In the mouths and minds of others.
With that future transparency, walking away again.
It was like, schoolyard mornings and lost mittens.
Passing cares, wrapped in their own silence.
The truer placed words that smelled ugly.
Circling the whole.
An inevitable destination, posing as something great.
Through distinction and the dying light, he now understands.
He was never greater than.

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.

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.

Gravitate to grief

Listen to this episode.


Watching the clouds roll over the sky outside my window, I can’t but think the world is changing to fit my mood. My consciousness seeping out of this skin and manifesting my universe. If only I were that powerful. An alchemic touch to turn the things that are as cold as stone and black as coal, to a wondrous gold.

I touch the place, where my heart used to be. Wondering where this chasm came from. Wondering why it was taken. This wondering keeps me from other things; making copious cups of tea, looking at pictures of you; dancing that kitchen knife across my wrists. (Bury me where you find me)

Nothing has begun to matter. The phone has rung insistently on and off all day. Souls looking for connection. Checking in on me, to see if I’m okay; to check if I haven’t done anything silly. To save me from myself. Silly was always my nature.

I watch the clouds more as they roll on and war with one another. I used to look for things in the cloud patterns. Their bursting explosions that would turn into animals or faces. I don’t see anything there now that I wish to see. Now I only want to tear my eyes out. To stop viewing a world I wish to have no part of. A world without you, is not something I want to be within. It tore my heart out that day. The departure day I have come to know it. Wednesday…. why not?

My skin aches and my head is heavy. I feel gravity’s pull now more than ever. The sad disposition is not my usual sensibility. Hope could always be found by the turning of a page, the rolling of a new day, and beyond the heartache. But someone has drained the colour from my life and washed it with a headache grey. Placed it on repeat.

I pretend to be asleep when they come over. The ones whose phone calls failed to find an audience. Their good intentions on the other side of yesterday grow faint. Like a voice in the distance calling me back. They mean well, and I love them. They have gone through the same, the similar. The maddening familiar. I smile and nod as they place the flowers and rearrange the plates. Not noticing that all the flowers will be scorched now. They do not see that I am breaking away. This recalibration to a life I was apathetic to before, is really me crumbling into something else. Something so selfishly encompassing even God will not forgive.

Sleep. I need this.

You. I want that.

I smash my inner skull open and dive into memories of you. The smell of your collar bone and the way you used to wear me out. A side glance as you cheat at scrabble. Everything there is central. So certain like the rain. This skull begins to crust over, covering those memories with the sickening smell of death. Like being trapped in a tiny kitchen and burning the toast. These memories catch fire and smoulder, choking me and making my eyes water.

They come around again, touching me while I dream and sweeping away the reflections of myself.

Piece by piece they pick me up. I put myself back together. Banging once more on the doors of heaven but turned away. Shivering out the cold of my core. Watching as the bruises heal and the days fade into years. I will not be the ghost that haunts this space. I will not be the body on your hands that weighs you down. I will be the scar on the surface of life, with empty eyes; replaced with tiny pebbles. Taken from the river of remorse.

MORE FABLES HERE

Bord / Edge

Debout sur cette rive une fois de plus.
Sur le bord de l’existence.
Je voussens dans le vent.
Je me sense arrosé dans le marée.
Est-ce que je me vois marcher sur cette plage?
Ou je me sens perdu dans un million de grains de sable.

Stand on this shore once again.
On the edge of existence.
I’m standing in the wind.
I feel watered in the tide.
Do I see myself walking on this beach?
Or feel lost in a million grains of sand.

Lonely tree

In the forest, all alone.
My lonely tree feels cold as stone.
Surrounded everywhere by its branches.
That bend and twist to their own advantage.
They shake in the wind, and shiver in sadness.
Sunken in a disturbing madness.
Until one day you came into the woods.
Scared the animals and riding hood.
Yet the wolves they ran, and hid like rabbits.
Convoluted out of their own bad habits.
And into my glade you stepped so proudly.
And struck a match and yelled out loudly:
“Love is a flame that burns us under!”
And as quick as lightening, you lit me like thunder.
So my lonely tree, burned quick and sadly.
And I faded away, into death quite gladly.

Seahorse

The Saturn rings look like halos above you.
Don’t move, you look divine.
Around your feet the seahorses play, kicking up moon dust memories.
You find me, deep down in the Mariana trench, decaying like an old wreck.
Do not ask me to play hide and seek now, I do not know the universe as well as you.
1, 2, 3, 4…..Comets shoot across my sky, turning the blackness to fire.
I’m blinded and momentarily lost.
You paralyse me with your tongue, licking sweet sensations.
Then flicking me with words that sink in, deep into the bloodstream.
My nakedness parades in full as I stroll across the moon.
Swim to the ocean floor, swim forever more in the sea that seems beyond tranquil.
8, 9, 10….ready or not.
You found me, just north of Neptune wearing my own crown.
You say it suits you better, everything always does.
I diminish in ill-fitting clothes of the emperor. Falling into threadbare solitude.
Will the trident ever be tested? How much blood needs to flow into these craters to satisfy?
Throw me back to the tide and cast your net further afar.
Let the oceans pull you away, so I never let you plunge my Atlantis into dismay.
My pyramids will be forever mine alone, a place I can go to weep and smile.
Watching the earth follow the moon.

Subside & soar

Falling down the waterfall, shaken out of grace.
Sliding, spiraling and collapsing. Leaving nothing but a trace.
Tumbling down speedily, in disgust from your eyes.
Crawling out of this bitter, purgening demise.
Escaping into nothingness, fleeing into dreams.
Tasting the fruit of freedom. Splitting from the seams.
Moving now a certain way, to expand these wings.
Unfurling fraying feathers, precious aerodynamic things.
Falling once again, from ledges beyond time.
Saying goodbye to shadows, and the ghosts that haunt this mind.
Realisation of collapse, braking bark from the knowledge tree.
Not a sad solitary boat of sand, on your egotistical sea.
I fully bow out, take my leave now and resign.
Plunging into tomorrow knowing, I must fall to begin the climb.

Universe to devour

Dreams ignite like a Chagall construction.
You and I, flying over rooftops. Exploding in colour.
I lay you down and crawl into your skin.
Kissing you intimately, feeling my way.
Your body entices and your heart entraps.
Yet it is your soul I’m after.
The bruised, damaged, fraying thing.
Shaking and asking to have life breathed in.
Frantically unable to be cupped in my hands.
It runs from me like a feather on the breeze.
Escaping like a Bharatanatyam movement.
Colours and light, burning my sad lonely grey into nothing.
Love on your fingertips, sticky from the centre of me.
Though this may be transitory, I give in and go under.
Falling for you again as the waves crash over.
Disappearing in such wonder and the perfumed smoke of you.
Coughing up clouds of devotion, and descending like the setting sun.

Apathetic by design

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

Diminish

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

The ballad of Nancy Stokes

Clouds rolled in, all over the small town.
The air alive with the smell of chip shop grease and cheap aftershave.
Saturday night, alive and loud.
But not Nancy.
At least not by the end. Down in the canal.
Left to be found by old Mrs Clarence, off to the shops on a Sunday morning.
Her small dog Terry, sniffing at the banks where poor Nancy rested.
Her head covered in an old Tesco carrier bag.
But that night before, she’d dressed up to the nines.
No Tesco tiara threatened her styled hair.
Scraped back with mouse and anticipation.
For the dancefloor awaited, and the eyes were wet.
Leary sockets soaked in her moves.
The jostles and gyrations of decade old motions learned to entice.
To ensnare.
Those oiled men, with receding hair.
Nancy left her friend, who’d found Jesus in the bottom of a vodka bottle.
And then in the stall of the toilets which stank of desperation and piss.
With sticky kebab hands soiling her jeans and soul.
Where Nancy went, nobody knows.
But they left her her clothes at least.
Soaking in the green waters of the canal.
Where Mrs Clarence found her.
Nancy Stokes. The 40 year old girl who loved to dance.
But never learned to swim.