Coming up for air

What lurks beneath your feet, leagues under yet scratching at your back?
Tickling the spine that creaks and cracks.
Drop the things you can no longer carry.
Things to pull you under; the little things.
Tears for a lover lost in the spray.
That cling and pull like lead on your bones.
I tried to breathe under water.
Swimming to the ocean floor, and the depths of my mind.
Grew new skin. Housed within an Atlantis locked in time.
We allow others to wash upon other shores.
To dry in the sun like old bits of seaweed.
Crinkling and cracking as our hearts harden.
I see the sun now, twinkling in its majesty.
Blinking above like a solar eye winking, smiling once more.
Calling me up to the chorus and ring of tomorrow.
I need to come up for air.
To feel the sun and salt on my back again.
To cough out the poison of the deep.
Where nothing but leviathans and despair creep.
I hook a line into your heart, and pull out of the rip tide.
Pulled forth into the breaking waves of gracious adoration, deserving of a quiet day.
Out into the air and the salty miasma of an oceanic dream.
Effortlessly you appear, as I quietly transform.
My saviour in the eye of storm.

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Summer climb

Did you see?
The moon collapse. Sinking into the hazy blue.
Nightsleep shake and eyes wake.
Body rise along with the mercury.
Taste the air like nectarine slices.
A sweet design.
Walk into the softening air of the summer climb.
Sunshine sway on the sand abandon.
The moment lands on the skin like a dragonfly.
Holding out hope for a break from chrysalis.
The time has come. What have you done today?
Laughing as the butter melts on your back.
The midnight sun which never fades.
Uncertain, like talking to strangers.
Burning longer, as the time stretches out onto the horizon.
Catch the rays like the insults.
Thrown our way to re-calibrate our senses to summertime highs.
Watching starfish rise into space.
Et chantez dans les vents solaires.

Halfway there

Simple words have a lot to say.
Like the break between heartbeats.
Like waves hitting the sand.
To swim or drown in your fiery light.
You cover your eyes with intent. Stealing the beauty away.
Keep us trapped.
Keep us safe.
Locked into your skin like DNA.
Longing after life’s mystery.
Build the pyre from your bones and burn me inside out.
Collapse into your cells.
Tasting sweat and love with each gulp of air.
Here is where I want to end.

Erode the ruin

 

The sea was lapping at her feet now, the cold water slithering underneath her toes as the sand pulled away beneath her as the water receded. The waves were small and calm, placid like the mood she was in. It always calmed her coming here, walking down the perilous path that led from rocky outcrop at the top of the cliff. To her they were cliffs at least. Vast walls of rock keeping the sea and the world at bay. White cliffs that crumbled and creaked like the teeth of a slumbering giant.

She watched the little boat off in the distance, floating over the horizon; bobbing on the waves. Wondering what it would be like to be on that tiny vessel. Off to an unknown destination, casting her troubles and life overboard and setting off to the ends of the earth. Her dress flickered as the breeze blew in from the south, a small bit of spray spat at the bottom of the dress, marking her as an object of the ocean. Marking its territory. But she would not be owned, at least never again. She pulled at the flowers in her hand, twisting out the mauve petals from the peony bunch she loosely held in her hands. She squeezed one of them, bruising the skin and releasing a tiny bit of moisture which escaped into the salty air.

She came here for the silence and the solitude, but today she was haunted by the voices. The ghosts of those she knew that had followed her down the tumbling cliffs. They squawked and chattered, soliciting opinions and throwing comments like pebbles into the sea. She closed her eyes, but the sounds increased, twitterings of things she never asked to hear. She would never truly be alone, though it was the paradox of her desire. A wondrous dream that she chased, yet frightful of ever attaining it. Like chasing rainbows, she always came up empty yet surrounded with the multitude of others. Life dripping over her.

Dropping the flowers into the water, she watched as they descended in slow motion. The little helpers she took earlier we beginning to swim their own synchronised dance in her head now. The flowers separated like divorcing couples, sticking to each other while parts seemed to drift away with the tide. From the shore, she would have received respectful stares from passers by. Considerate looks for a soul caught up in a difficult moment, perhaps saying goodbye to a loved, one or remembering a time or a moment in life that had gone, corroded away into space like the rocks on the cliff. But she wasn’t saying goodbye, or thinking about anyone she loved. She was thinking only about herself, and how to unfix herself from the web she felt caught in.

She lifted her feet out of the sand, kicking off some seaweed which had begun to coil around her leg like a snake from the shallows. She looked back to the shore, the virgin sand glistened back at her, untouched today by those who sought out places to oil and tan themselves in the tangerine sun. She loved this place for that reason, that it was a quiet slither of the world that was her own.

Pulling the plaster off her arm, she folded it twice and popped it into her pocket. She pushed the hair back out of her eyes, securing it behind her ears while she squinted off into the distance. The boat she had seen was much further away now, battling the stronger currents she knew lay towards that area of sea. She looked at her watched, but realised she had taken it off earlier. She had left it on her bedside table. A tiny rebellious act, not to be controlled by time, or space, or matter. She had kept the ring on though, she twisted it now on her finger feeling the cool metal slide back and forth.

Some of the petals licked at her legs now, the approaching tide giving them free movement. One sloshed up her leg, sticking to it like a barnacle on a ship. She folded her arms and began to walk, slowly but determinedly into the sea.

 

Cellophane

This picture of you, drawn out of such a moment in time.
Chiselled out of the clouds and into my eye.
I reached inside of myself, only to find you there.
Setting up a place for us.
A home, deep within the fathoms of my uncertainty.
Placing sticks and rugs over deep old wounds.
Silently you swell.
Sweetly you settle.
Patching holes and broken pieces of the past.
I radiate out a pulse, searching for something to slip away into.
But I’m up strung up in you willowed reaches.
Your horizoned heart.
Your memory beaches.
Ultimately I relinquish and peel off my skin.
The fuselage of fear splinters away and we brace for impact.
Washing ashore of this Elysium dream.

THE FIREFLIES

‘The fireflies will take you there.’

She heard the voice, strong and determined through the muddling noise of her day. It had travelled with her since she’d left her house that morning, echoes on the wind and fingers on the back of her neck.

“Stop that now please.” She said, startling an old lady passing her by. She turned away and hurried up the street, mindful of the ice on the path. The first big winter frost had settled in the night, and the overcast clouds threatened a grey and cold day ahead.

‘Come listen….’

That voice again, buzzing around her head like real fireflies. She stopped in the middle of the path outside a small coffee shop. Her warm breath exhaling in mist around in her in the coldness of the morning.

“I mean it.” she said, though there was no malice in her voice. She turned abruptly, and entered the small shop which was partially filled with people eager for their coffees on their way to work. She stood looking up at the board, her mind in two places. She looked at her watch and realised she was late for her interview. Time for a coffee at least, I’m only human she thought. She approached the counter, smiling at the man behind it; all smiles and eager to take her order. There was suddenly a huge creaking sound as if something were breaking. She looked up to find the entire roof being pulled back, opening like a can of beans.

She gasped as the seams of the room dripped in a starry gold dust, exposing the sky above them. But it was not the bleak winter clouds that she had seen outside, but a glorious sun baked blue haze smiling at her through the opening above. She staggered back from the counter, knocking into the person behind.

“Hey, watch it.” He said, unimpressed with her foot landing on his shoe, and clearly apathetic to the sight of the roof now missing above their heads. She glanced around her, the whole shop casting their confused eyes on her and not the sight above her heads.

“What? Oh Sorry!” she mumbled before flying out of the shop, letting the door smash behind her.

Out into the cold and muddling crowd, she tried to catch her breath. That was a new one she thought as she glanced back inside, watching as the people careful sipped their coffees as their own little world’s continued to turn. She felt their eyes on her still, so she moved off down the road in the same direction she had come.

“The fireflies are waiting.” She heard once more in her ears. Quietly this time, like whispers of a ghost. She shook this off and hurried quicker, making her way as fast as she could back to her apartment.

Inside she locked the door forcefully, though she knew nothing from outside was the problem. She turned around and with a flash of light the floor beneath was transformed into sand. The apartment dripped away, with a sea lapping the shore where her sofa used to be. The sky above exploded in a million sparks as if the stars were coming down from the sky. Fireflies buzzed around her, tingling her skin and whispering in her ear.

“Heena booraa, conallou.” They sung.

She smiled, she couldn’t help herself. The beach at night beneath her feet, the smell of the sea on the breeze that flowed so softly and silently down into her lungs. She walked forward and dipped her toe into the sea, her black work shoes finding a bit of sea foam on the end like a tuft of snow. She dropped her bag on the sand and walked along the beach until she walked into something hard with a loud thump.

“Ow!” she said aloud to the empty apartment which had now appeared in its headache haze around her. She rubbed her head where it had bumped, and sighed. A long deep-felt sigh that weighted with realisation and defeat. She steadied herself by putting her hand against the wall, thankful momentarily it hadn’t turned into a palm tree.

“Come back to us Stacey. We are waiting.” She heard quietly, whispered around her empty apartment.

Her mobile phone broke the silence, echoing from her bag that she had dumped on the floor. She wondered for a second whether to answer it, then quickly found her way to the bag; brushing off the sand on the bottom and retrieved the irritating device from within.

“Hello?”

“Hello, is this Miss Adams? I’m calling from Stacks Global.” The shrill voice called out from down the line.

“Oh, yes this is she.”

“Well Miss. Adams. We were expecting you promptly for an interview this morning.” The voice stated, hovering in an expectational way.

“Ah, yes. I’m sorry I’ve had a few problems getting in this morning.” Stacey said, noticing now the curtains beginning to shimmer with the gold dust she’d seen before. The woman on the line made a disgruntled snort as if she’d heard nothing so preposterous in her life.

“Miss. Adams, I needn’t tell you what a reputable company we have here. We don’t give interviews her needlessly to fill our time. You are making a very bad first impression and I must stress…” But Stacey cut her off.

“Okay, thanks then. Have a good day”. She said and hung up the phone, placing it on the sideboard. She stood there, no longer in a daze but with a twinkle of determination in her eyes.

“Okay. Okay. I’m coming. I’m sorry it took so long. Hana lowlalei.” And she made a circle with her hands in the air. The ground shock for a second and room burst with a flash of light, raining sparks all around her. She smiled once more and walked across the room to find her laptop. Still with her coat on she logged in, finding the cheap website for flights she had used before. Using her credit card she booked herself a ticket, first class none stop. And only one way.

 

Pieces of time

Have you seen?
Have you seen this life we lead?
Fragments of space locked in time.
I stand on this beach, with each grain beneath my feet.
Ground down from rocks and God grinding his teeth.
This sea has washed a thousand shores.
These tears have dried a million times before.
Did I miss something? The big reveal?
My hands are empty as I forget how this felt.
Closing my eyes I feel it wash over me.
These pieces of time we cling to like driftwood.
Was I wrong to run? Or weak to stay?
(I don’t know so please don’t answer)
I cling faster now, each splinter a memory driving its way to my heart.
You can find me here, holding your hand.
Encircling this moment I wish to stretch out for eternity.
Don’t pity me, I can see that in your eyes.
Let us disappear and fall once again into your own jealousy.
Leapfrogging to another piece of your own space and time.
Alone again.
We watch as the beach rises and the moon turns over.
Capturing us forever in this bottle on the sand.

Fluorescent future

4am as the world whispers me awake.
All is calm, and the night travels in my veins still.
I slept the day away.
Rubbing the tiredness and memories from my eyes.
Half a world away, yet right where I started.
Right where I belong.
The veil is yet to be lifted form my shaded stay.
Talking to me still from the past in a language I slightly recognise.
Talks of entangled vines and harkening songs.
The red land beneath my feet.
Sticking to me like sand on wet skin.
Rub away these English oaks. This chitter of festivity.
Don’t lead me blind with your patriotic stories.
Colour me sunlit gold and let me sleep.
Crying into the night.
Drifting away on the tide.

Sink & swim

Washed up on the tide, scorched in tangerine sun. 
Shipwrecked and cynical, like the pirate in your mind. 
You placed it there, you wore it out. 
Alone in that head the reaches back like a cave. 
Echoing into epochs and the seconds of anxious. 
The most agitated state 
Fondled by that well worn hand that caresses.  
Inside the box of lost and found. 
Stroked like a watermelon. Sucked like a sour feeling. 
Sting the sweet, let it drip on your tongue. 
Rubbing honey across your teeth like a bear. 
Catching bees with bread.  
All deflates, and retracts. 
Sighed out in theatrics and cosmic tears.
Leave it to dry in the sun once more. 
Stretched out like Jesus and the saints in your soul.  
Take the pebbles out of the pockets.  
Replace them with diamonds and blocks of gold. 
Then walk. 
Slowly, and with purpose into the lake of the twinkling now. 

Pull

I dreamt you were lying next to me, caught in my arms against the world.
Eyelids flickering into memories, subterranean thoughts of you and I.
We waivered towards destruction, with every word from our mouths.
Yet I was always tongue tied and twisted, rubbing the past into the floor.
I would write our story in the sand, hoping the waves you made would not crash and blur it all.
Watching the sun dim and be pulled down by tomorrow.
Catching our breaths in the here and now.
But what comes after the sunset?
What remains after the salty taste of the sea on your skin fades?
The shells of you and I in your pocket, the ones forged over time and crushed in a heartbeat.
The summer turns and the mercury rises and seeps into my hands.
Burying it in the sand, as we spit in the eye of everything that is against us.
Sucking on caramels as we kick sand at one another, avoiding eyes and hearts.
I woke up thinking we were safe, yet you escape me. Forever caught in the strands of summer.
Leaving me with only sand in my shoes.