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.

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.

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.

Grace & Josh

It had rained all morning, and a small stream of water now ran down the slope of the playground outside. Miss Carbine stole a look out of the darkened window from the warm classroom to see the water hammering down the pane. She sighed to herself, knowing they would have to have the lunch break inside today. Her class were currently in pairs, going through the text books that she had put out that morning. It wasn’t too big a class, and she was able to manage the five and six year olds reasonably well with her wispy ways and mild manners. They hadn’t yet lost the awe of having a teacher, a special entity there to bestow wonders to them; and many seemed to want to impress still, which she liked.

Grace had been reading her book with Josh, going through the story of Finders the dog and his adventure in the supermarket. She was a good reader, and was able to point out to Josh where she felt he was wrong. Josh was slow, and he didn’t much care for the stupid dog or why it was even in a supermarket. He’d only ever seen one dog there before himself, guiding a man around who couldn’t see. The dog buying cereal seemed dumb to him, and he lost interest quickly and began to pinch Grace as she tried to read. If they had spoken more about the story, Grace would have agreed with Josh. The anthropomorphic antics of Finders seemed stupid to her also, and she did question its applicability to their development, further wondering if Miss Carbine; who was busy checking her phone, had given them the correct course book that morning. But she persevered, and tried to ignore Josh as he pinched her, pushing him away and trying to finish the story for them both.

The rest of the class didn’t seem to have any problems with the book or Finders, indeed some seemed to be enjoying it. Before long though, they had all finished and it was time for lunch. As it would be indoors today, they were allowed to sit on the carpet and have their food. An indoors picnic Miss Carbine suggested, helping them retrieve their lunchboxes from the tidy trays and bags. Grace went to the hallway where her bag was, and retrieved a cup from the side also for some water. Josh had pushed passed her, knocking her into the wall as he attempted to put something down Amanda Hartly’s back. She scowled at him as she steadied herself, a small red mark appearing on her elbow where she’d banged into the wall.

With her lunch and water, Grace sat on the carpet and began to eat. She heard the rain outside their classroom, and watched it drip down the glass like a hose had been aimed at them. Her best friend Michael was not in today, and Miss Carbine had told them he was unwell. She looked at her teacher now, who was helping Robert with his lunchbox that wouldn’t open, missing Michael.

She started to tuck into her own sandwich when she felt water pouring all over her. She momentarily thought the windows had smashed open, the storm breaching the small stronghold their tiny school offered. Then the laughter rose about her, coming strong from behind. Josh stood there, with an empty jug in his hand having poured the contents all over her. His fat face sporting a smile that reached from one chubby cheek to the other.

“Oh, Josh Devonport what do you think you’re doing!” Miss Carbine yelled, stepping the short way across the carpet to where he stood.

“That’s horrible Josh. You’re so mean.” Amy Standhall said, who was sat next to Grace but had escaped the projectile of the water. Grace sat there, the water pooling in her dress as she sat crossed leg. Her sandwich now a sodden, and a cold chill slithered over her body.

“Get over there right now!” Miss Carbine said, ordering the boy away from where the others sat. Miss Carbine, lovely as though she was, was not really prepared for the antics of children. She had the priorities of the situation confused, and though she took action with Josh; she somewhat neglected Grace as she sat there with the water in her knickers and the fat boy laughing on the other side of the room. Amy got Grace to stand up and shake off the water, and she went with her to the bathroom to help her dry off. Grace watched Josh as she left the room, being reprimanded by Miss Carbine, though she doubted he really cared.

A while later Miss Carbine appeared in the bathroom and helped Grace dry off completely, asking her if she was okay and not to worry about her dress; or her lunch for that matter. She would see to it that some food would arrive.

But Grace was no longer hungry. She was wet, and cold and angry at being humiliated.

She returned to the classroom, where everyone had carried on with their lunches. Some of the kids had finished and were playing with the building blocks near the blackboard. Josh had been ordered to get some paper towels, and was mopping up the water that spilt on the floor where Grace had quietly sat waiting to eat her lunch. He smiled at her as she came back into the room.

Teddy Evans came up to her and asked if she was okay, she nodded in reply; thankful that all boys weren’t as horrid as Josh. Miss Carbine whisked herself away to go get Grace some food, despite her protest. While the others played, Grace went to the back of the class where the storage cupboard was. She opened the door quietly and went inside. The small cupboard was stacked high with boxes and games equipment. They weren’t really allowed to go in there on their own, but everything was stored safely and there was no real danger to anyone. Unless you were locked in with the light off perhaps. Grace found what she was looking for quickly, and a few minutes later, slipped out of the cupboard and approached Josh.

“That wasn’t very nice what you did you know.” She said to him, hoping to find remorse there in those brown eyes. Josh scoffed and pushed her away.

“Buzz off. You smell like a wet dog.” He said.

“Aren’t you even sorry for doing what you did?” she asked him, given him one more opportunity to apologise.

“I said buzz off!” He said again, pushing her hard.

Grace stepped back, he eyes burning a hole through him. Then she smiled and said.

“You know, with Miss Carbine away there’s nothing stopping us getting the footballs and tennis balls out of the cupboard and playing sports. Shame we didn’t get to go outside today, huh?” She said, innocently. She knew Josh wasn’t too stupid, but even at her young age she knew how to manipulate certain people. She had said the magic world too, football.

“Why me?” Josh asked, somewhat suspicious.

“Well, they’re on the high shelves aren’t, I can’t reach them.” Grace replied, hoping the seed would manifest in Josh’s stodgy brain.

“Right, outta the way then.” He said, reaching his own conclusion that the break time indoors was dull and kicking a ball around might just be a fun idea. Grace knew Miss Carbine would be returning any minute, but she watched as Josh went over to the cupboard where the sports equipment was and watched him go in.

It seemed that fate was eager to abet Grace that rainy Wednesday while the other kids played in the classroom, and Miss Carbine chatted absently with one of the other teachers by the school kitchen. Once Josh had entered the small cupboard, the sports boxes had tumbled and the lights had gone out; plunging the whole school into darkness. No doubt the storm had downed a power line miles away, knocking the electricity off and unleashing chaos upon the small primary school. But the skipping ropes had found their way around Josh neck in the tumble of the boxes, and when the power had sprang back to life Grace quietly flicked the switched outside the small cupboard which kicked in the extractor fan which resided within, left over from recent renovations when their classroom used to be part of the old bathrooms.

The ropes worked quickly around Josh, tightening hard around his fat little neck. He lifted slightly off his feet, as the light bulb above him blinked in and out, and the ropes choked him into regret.

Grace returned to the others, pretending to be scared by the lights, and the storm. Smiling to herself.

Unravel into the trees

She fought those tears.
Trembling in her aqua eyes.
Threatening to betray the inner madness.
Her return from Saturn paved such starry ways.
Words were useless now to her.
Her hands she griped onto the planet.
Sinking her fingers into the rich earth beneath her.
To leave and return was worse than never vacating this place.
This spinning globe of talk and toil.
Shaking her head once more she sighed.
She shook the oceans from her ears and the spat out lava like a volcano.
Temperament to sizzle and burn away the unholy.
She never had wings, yet she knew how to fly.
She never saw death, but knew she could die.
Running to the forest, she evaporated into the mist.
Breathed in by the pines, brought down in the next rains.

Let the misery in with the rain

Unpacking the rain. Unboxing winter.
Wringing out the sweat of summer and the misery of me.
Dog eared and delicate.
Gnawed on by ghosts.
So sing me to sleep, with the lullaby of love.
Hold me in honeycomb.
Preserve me forever in your arms like ambers touch.
These simple things make me stumble.
Blind in the room of the forgetful.
Reaching for walls that are never there.
Only see through ceilings.
Promising such sweet delicious skies above.
Sat waiting for the clouds to roll in.
A result of crushed dreams and broken down frowns.
A product of such misery.

Love libarys lost

He skipped to the last pages of the book that he held like a bible in his hands, hands that had privately explored every secret and every page of the story. Words danced out before him, lost in their own rhythm; reaching their exhausting climax. The ending made no sense as usual, and he momentarily searched his thoughts as to why he’d begun it in the first place.

Ahh, that’s right; the cover looked so intriguing.

He placed the book back on his shelf, nestled it in-between an old copy of Harry Potter and his well-presented and orderly kept CD collection. There it was to remain, unopened and unexplored for an age as the dust that collected hung to the tops of the exposed pages like a glossy film. Over time the spine faded and the adventure was forgotten.

From the shelf, as if the characters had crawled from the pages to investigate, it was noticed how a new book was begun and captivated him. Other volumes cried tears of time as they were passed over again and again in favour of the new and intriguing yarn.

Until one day it was no longer present.

Unbeknownst to those who viewed from the shelf; the book was lost on a rainy Tuesday in the month of November whilst travelling on the underground. As is the case of public transport, too many souls shoved together in the tiny tin can, made for distractions and wandering of minds. Making sure his jacket was straight and his phone was buzzing like always, he had left the book on the seat next to him. A careless gesture one might say, like the throwing of a used cup out of the car window; as the residue drips from the inside. But secretly, upon discovery; he did not mind too much as the new book didn’t interest him as much as he had let on. Maybe someone else is reading that story now, on the Hammersmith and city line.

 

Precious pyrite

Feeling it buzzing, throbbing under my teeth.
Down the roots like a power line.
48 hours and it lingers on.
Blown through this life that grips the earth with white knuckles.
Departure.
Caught between states and train tracks.
Finding the marrow within.
This future state promises such gold.
Smashed down from the gods to rain upon me.
Yet I wash away with it all.
Diluted to a comment on the edge of a tongue.
The thought of the after.
Struck out in fools the gold once thought so precious.
Struggling to shine.

Lexicon and lightning storms

Play those words like cards, split from the stacked deck.
Forever in your favour.
I’m tripping, and sticking to the toffee words on your tongue.
You led me here, with poisoned breadcrumbs and the promise of perfection.
Your mouth looks so tempting, as clean as an oven.
I tried to be all for you, without crucifying who I was.
Your spear of our destiny digs in deeper, seeing what’s left inside.
Blood and broken dreams frozen in tears.
Spill me, fill me. No longer thrilling me with thoughts of tomorrow.
The dark clouds roll in and I see your quickening quarrel gather speed.
I put up my umbrella towards the oncoming deluge, fixing the weather vane to my heart.
Swirling in the confusion, the hurricane of you anger.
I let go and drown in the onslaught of your hypocrisy.
Battered against your will, struck by your electric storm.
Drifting in the debris of you and me.

Hover still

As you exhale, as you sigh; we float off into space.
Like feathers in the wind, like vapour on a cold day.
Instantly present then momentarily gone.
We are static.
Caught between the back and forth.
Throwing words like bombs, and hurt like rocks.
You forgot to anchor me, or maybe you never wanted to remain.
We twist and turn with the breeze and the change in weather.
The only pattern I can count on is chaos theory.
Managing the unpredictable, practising my problems.
I entertain the ether to see which way the winds blow.
After the hurricane, after the downpour; I close my eyes and drift away.

Subterranean

Waking up under.
Blinking to, shutting out the light.
All this talk about love, despite the things I tell you.
Diving down into dark wonder, awakening those things that never sleep.
Like mean bats eating moths, these thoughts in my head gather and disseminate.
The good ones are nearly dead.
With the coming storm, the rains of the deep. The belly of this beast.
They’re muddled in their intent, their self-proactive despondence.
But the storm surprises, the hail brings you back to me.
Quietening the earthquake of my soul. Soothing the monsters in the dark.
Those subterranean doubts and needless whispers. Like a poisoned spider.
The rain is like you; everywhere. Washing away the grey.
Shutting down the gloom and stripping the world you will live in.
Covering the cave for eternity.

Magic in the rain

What comes back to me?
Pain and the past, like pebbles in my brain.
The vapour of you descends and slips through my hands.
Just like gasoline.
You stand with your lighter, flicking on and off.
Right and wrong. I wear the sign of the desperate and the face of the easily fooled.
Taking your love for what it is, illusionary spectacle.
All smoke and mirrors.
Running and rushing back for more.
Hands cupped. Then praying.
You make the darkness come and go, giving me shelter form the storm.
I find you suddenly, dancing for the rain, calling forth the hurricane.
It all comes back to me, soaked in the shelter of your love.
Why do you leave me wanting more?

Colour in the rain

Why do you spin the room, and force me to the floor?
The bottle says ‘drink me’, though I know it contains your ignorance.
The ground shifts, and the quake in my bones does not disturb my reasoning.
You split me in two and try to repair me, gluing together bits of sawdust and distaste.
All I do is cough up feathers.
As the shaking subsides, I fall back into breathing; simple systems that keep me going.
I’ve found no you replacement cruxes, yet I feel the air on my skin.
Do not mistake this bow of respect for subservience.
Please do not take my kindness for weakness.
I may have built you up to a pedestal height, but I can rise to the top of the sky also.
Eat me, and I have a number of times.
Felt you in my mouth along with the cold harsh realisation of commitment.
The one armed bandit of being loved.
I am not alone because I am lonely, my solitude is there because it’s lonely at the top.
Push me down and drag my soul through the dirt if it makes a better picture to view.
Erase the parts you don’t like, and place me into the boxes your OCD tendencies have immaculately arranged.
Like a mist I shall seep out, the strong miasma that engulfs then soaked up by the rain.
Watch me come down in colours that stain your soul.