Still running away

The rain had come as soon as she left the main path. She heard it now pattering on the leaves in the canopy above her. The sheltering forest where all was unsure and forbidden. She never saw it this way, this was always how it was put to her, and this is always how it was made to be. She ran along further, carving her own way through existence. The sun had yet to set, but the rain clouds had smothered the earth in that part of her little kingdom, and the forest now gleamed with a wet twilight.

She had caught herself only a couple of times, hesitant to step deeper within and away from all of what she knew and all that she resisted. Her feet sloshed now in the puddles that had formed on the forest floor. Bits of moss and time made her slip and stumble, but on she flew. Running away, running beyond. Looking for herself again.

She had left the hills and the ruins behind her, blinked them away in a heartbeat as her skin touched the dense air of the woodland and the smell of freshness. A return, a renewal of sorts; though she knew it was not to begin anything again. The sanctuary lay beyond this world now for her. She had seen the darkness, and tasted the decay of life. She had thought about her death time and again. Stored it away in small pockets of her world, only to find it ever present on her horizon. Popping out of the days and the jars she kept in her kitchen cupboards. No one knew of course, she had shuttled from each thought to another in the dizzying malaise of the worn down and woe-begotten. Left to sit and turn in the sun like an unloved pot plant on a window ledge. Her death had come each time in many colours, brilliant reds and blues that would drip down from the sky and swallow her. There was never any pain; that was how it was supposed to be. The ashen taste in her mouth told her it was coming, and all would be done. Pushing through the thicket now, she came to where she was meant to be.

Making her way into the clearing she, the forest heaved and silenced itself, as if waiting for the show to begin. The leaves parting like the curtains of a stage. She stepped out, like tiptoeing onto a dream, making her way to the clump in the middle of the clearing. Her eyes were thick now with water, her eyelashes shaking off the dew of a realisation. Cracking and tearing her way from the chrysalis. Tiny eyes shone out from the trees, the beasts joining her in to taste the end.

The small knife gleamed in the grey light which danced around the clearing, little sparks and souls prancing lyrically on the blade. The ash had begun to fill he mouth as the black sky above had begun to open. Her world was beginning to drown as she felt the skin prickle and the cool metal throb to the vein.

And then she stopped.

At her feet she saw the body, the clumped skin that lay before her like a rug at the end of a bed. She stood frozen, the rain trickling down her face as the sky now heaved and lightened the vista. The dream was begin to rumble, the humming underneath building like a train rumbling underground. She knew what it was before she touched that place, that skin and hair before her which had to be known. She knew already, but she was scared to see. Scared to reach in and feel her way through a thousand lives and know the truth.

Bending down she rolled the body over, the eyes shining back like she knew they world. Reflecting mirrors that caught that dancing light and shone back to her like the waves of the ocean. Her time flowed through her in an instant, a tidal spray of understanding washing over her. She stared at her own body, laying on that cold forest floor. Discovered only by herself and the eyes of the animals now which fidgeted and rustled around her. The blood had dried over her throat, the deep slash made a lifetime ago, yet the crimson stained her skin like a smashed cherry, licking at her neck. Her death had come a gone, many times before.

This was a moment she was discovering now, but it happened all the same each day. Every time she took that knife from the drawer. Each time she turned off her phone and closed the world away. Those moments at work when she wished to be away from everyone. Feeling alone in a crowd while they burned holes into her. Those were the times she died, when she came here to that forest clearing where the sky above swallowed her. These were the moments when her soul cried, and dripped down into that forest on the edge of her life, taking her further and further from god. Further from the light. Blurring her memory into a stain on the window of time.

Amazing shadows

Blink the dark and silence the nightingale.
Two turns on that apology.
Cut the veins of the ghosts and watch them bleed.
Where did you go?
What is that running down your face?
Claustrophobic thoughts of freedom.
Suffocate lungs all drenched in oil.
Such luminous reflections tiptoe across your eyes.
We measure the umbrage that dapples our fears.
From the tree we wish to burn.
Amazing shadows, holding hands into tomorrow.
Making us strangers again.

Crystal trees

Crystal trees ring like a loathing of history.
Vibrating through your bones like a rage of a thousand lifetimes.
Where do you go to, when the day gets dark?
When the glass shatters, and splinters your soul?
Your confetti disposition melts on this tongue.
And floats away in the breeze that comes.
A mountainside gale, blown through snow and alpine air.
Off the twisted roots that spring up like hands pulling you down.
Covering you against the coming storm.
A wandering frost inside these veins, creeps and lows.
Like a tide of shame.
Tinged with the blood rouge of regret.
Whilst you settle on my eyelid like a wandering snowflake.
Offering a glimpse at a thousand dimensions.
And a peek inside my own.
I blink away the sight of you there, covered in attention.
Asking me once more.
Who am I?

Turquoise veiled ghosts

Twilight’s child so faithful to the few.
Caught between the space between us.
The strong who stand and the eternal lie.
A joker’s poem of loss.
Drawn to the white winged dove and Moses smile.
A sister to the dying cancer, locked in turquoise eyes of loss.
Starting up conversation with ghosts.
She picked her way through the bones of youth.
Making it out through the death with dignity.
Into willow licked streams of sulphur.
Glowing blue in the night’s sad demise.
Where will she watch the universe now?
Which end will she choose to believe in?
Picking her skin away, waiting for her day in the sun.
Discovering more cancer on the bone.
Finding her mother crying in bed.
Rotting away the light and smiles from her memories.
Illuminated black beauty and rest. Frightened by more feelings.
Captain to a sinking ship.

Arboretum of the mind

Those words they buried.
The thorny ones with discontent.
Maligned manners from blackened hearts.
They rotted in my mind.
In that grey earthy soil.
Those tears they watered.
Digging down deep to the black pit of my soul.
Like potatoes which found the light.
Deep in the dark such acorns of defiance sprouted.
Filling my bones with vines and life.
So now I prune, and potter.
I bask in the shade of a cooling tree.
That borne within me.
My arboretum of solitude.
My tree of life with bark as tough as nails.
And leaves that never turn, despite the season.
Or the early winter you threaten.

Somewhere in this memory

The snow had begun to fall early that evening. Though the sun had long since slumbered down, it was around six o’clock when the few flutters of snow started to whip past his window. Daniel had left the curtain s open like he did most evenings, watching the wild sky drip away beyond the horizon. It had rained lightly that day, and it took a while for the snow flurries to leave any impression on the ground. But as he watched from his small window, his face illuminated by the Christmas lights, he watched as some people came out of their houses to investigate the snow. A few kids ran about under the street lights, already bunching up snow into cold balls to throw at one another. It was shame, Daniel thought to himself, that Christmas had passed already and the snow had waited until after. Another bleak grey day that offered only the magic of the season than from the endless possibilities of the weather.

He went to the kitchen and made himself a spiced tea. The smell of cinnamon and spices hung in the air, warm and inviting. He then went into the main room to where the Christmas tree was, sipping the tea which burnt his lip. He’d put it up alone this year, the first time the ceremony had ever been performed that way. He looked at the huge golden bell that sat a top of the tree; sparkling, like everything else did, in the strung Christmas lights that dotted the place. He couldn’t remember ever buying that bell, yet it appeared every year to tip the tree they always had. He sighed and placed his tea down, pulling one of the boxes towards him. He hated taking the tree down, or the Christmas decorations. As a child he’d always pleaded to his parents to keep them up longer. But they were bound by the laws of the season and the far away court, and all the decorations had to be down by the twelfth night. Why? No one could ever tell him, that was just how it was. Yet this was how things were now, every year it seems. Him, alone taking down the very things that were put up to enliven his life if only for a few weeks.

He started to take off some of the ornaments, some of which he remembered putting on the tree even as a child. These must be so old he thought suddenly; vaguely aware of his own decent now into adulthood. His phone began to hum into life nearby, but he ignored it. He wasn’t in the mood to argue again, and that’s the only thing that phone was offering to him this evening. He placed some of the baubles carefully into their homes, snug in a box that would keep them safe for another year. He turned up the music he had playing, his new tradition; Christmas songs to ring out in the stripping of the tree. In a way, such a violating act. The trauma of the season. He hummed along to some of the carols, there religious message washed away now he thought in the progression of the years. He felt old, and tired. Like his youth had slipped away without him even noticing it. He might as well be boxing up his memories instead of these decorations, freezing all he ever wanted and all he dreamed off in these magical days of Christmas. Spun up like candied sugar and placed away safely, to be removed once a year along with his heart.

He sat down on the rug, patches of glitter peppered the tufts still from the wrapping paper that had been destroyed last week. He closed his eyes as the choir music filled the room, taking him to a place in his memory. He watched as his younger self ran down the stairs, eager to see if Father Christmas had been. His parents, holding hands and smiling as they watched their children tear at the presents that had been carefully placed hours before beneath the silver Christmas tree. Though the tree was fake, over time it had faded and fallen apart, much like the marriage and the moments he now saw in his mind. The presents, along with this love within the family had been torn apart and forgotten about. Thrust up each year like some special spectacle. Packed away when all were done.

His phone rang again, bringing him back. He opened his eyes and looked at his phone on the table, lighting up and convulsing in an epileptic dance. He ignored it again and went back to the tree to finish off. The lights were always the trickiest. It was easier with someone helping, and fun too he thought as he remembered how they had joked around putting the lights over one another, pretending they were trees. The time when one of the fuses had gone and the whole house had been plunged into darkness, not before the sparks had succeeded in frightening them both. Lights were always a pain to put away, but he resigned himself that it would be another year before he had to worry about them, and balled them into the old shoebox he kept; sealing the lid and the doom of the lights till next year. The rest of the decorations found their way into boxes relatively quickly, only a few things were placed around his small house as it was. He nearly forgot about the wreath on the door, only remembering it when he glanced outside to see how the snow was. It had come down pretty heavy now and he thought about going for a walk later when he was finished to enjoy the winter landscape.

He finished his tea and snatched up his phone, looking at the missed calls. He sent a message quickly and then stood back looking at the barren tree, back now to its natural coat. They usually had a fake tree, but this year they had gone for the real thing. It stood now, just a hair smaller than him, shedding pine needles below itself like some defecating potted creature.  He closed his eyes and could smell the aroma of the tree, the fading pine of a dying spirit. He wondered where it had grown, what bird or beast had called it home in the time it grew to its seasonal perfection. To be adorned and beheld for a few weeks only to then be thrust out with the other junk of the season, left to decompose in the street awaiting to be whisked away to somewhere out of sight. In that moment he saw the death and cruelty of Christmas. How things were cherished, only for the moment, then forgotten about and placed away. His phone nearby rung a reply, and he glanced at the preview from where he stood. A small tear appeared, and rolled down his cheek, the air leaving his lungs before a gasping inhale.

Daniel went to the french doors and cast them both ajar dramatically. The cold winter wind swept into the room, and some snowflakes fell onto his carpet. He snatched up the tree by the middle trunk and took it out into his garden. His bare feet sank deeply into snow that had settled already, but Daniel did not care. He went back inside and picked up matches that rested by the Christmas candles. He returned back to the garden and struck three matches at one time, letting the oxygen breathe life into the flame. He threw them onto the tree and lit some more. The snow whipped around both him and the tree, but eventually the flames took and it began to burn. Flames licking the innards of the branches as he stood in the snow that numbed his feet. Drifting from his living room, ‘O Holy Night’ lifted into the air and encased them in that moment. Frozen for that blink in the eye of god.

 

We come in pieces

I wander up from my youth.
Into this skin.
This life I now reside within.
Piled upon bones, this memory of time.
My bark of remembrance cracks. Splinters out a sap.
You were there at the beginning. Siphoning stars and melancholy.
You’ll be there at the end. Counting the receipts.
Adding up to the most magic number.
Sit me down by the stream and watch our lives drift by.
Baking under that hellish sun.
Pull the fingernails from my hands and spirit my soul off to another land.
Fold me into your wings of resurgence.
Build me up for another day.
I came to you in pieces. Forged form hands as light as feathers.
You weigh me down. You make me fly.
You count the eyelashes while I sleep.
You creep under my skin each day. Legoing out a body and mind.
One that leans towards you like a plant to the sun.
Photosynthesising your love from your light.
Every part, every cell. Each atom is stacked in your favour.
Circles and squares, and pieces of you.
Building up a dream.

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.

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.

Twisting the twine

I sit on the string of this, above the chasm.
Watching the wind.
Watching the emotions.
The vastness between us and the closeness in my cells.
Each blink and heartbeat vibrates on this wire.
With no safety net.
With no one there to catch us if we fall.
Only our arms outstretched together, in the loving embrace of the plummet.
But we walk.
We tiptoe. On the egg shelled stained thread of love.
Ever closer to Eden and the tree in my mind.
We’ve loved and lost, then loved again.
Around in the circle of our souls.
Blinded by bitterness and the sting of the self-righteous.
But now the fog of war has lifted.
The spoils are swept away as we welcome the tangerine sky of dawn.
Bringing in the light that burns our eyes, after so long in the dark.
Hold me, don’t ever leave me. Love me on this tightrope forever.