Dissolve

In the moment we fade, into shadows and dust.
Corroded and broken, like heartache and rust.
For time is motion, both forward and back.
And into the darkness, our minds birth the lack.
Of knowing limitations, of body and mind.
That we all fade away, over spread golden time.
Once oh so pretty, that the angels despaired.
How a dream would unfold, how souls ceased to care.
And the ghosts swirled around in a sad misty dance.
Where the passage of fate, and time took their chance.
To rob them of hope, to turn night out of day.
Where love and of beauty, will dissolve away.

Run

These leaves, they cover and smother me as my mind claws and scrapes at the end.
Called down to the lake, past the rotting trees.
No one came looking for me.
Broken bones and a honeycomb heart that heaves to an old tune.
Tasting tears, and welcoming fears to consume and throttle me.
Adrift along that quiet sea of loneliness.
Watching the lighthouse of hope slip beneath the sky.

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.

Foxy and Faux

Off the tracks and deep in the trees.
Charlie fell down to his knees.
It was getting dark and he was tired.
Lost in the forest of Bagley Byard.
His little feet could take no more.
That’s why he collapsed onto the floor.
But through the trees and through the tears.
He came upon one of his fears.
For there before him stood a fox.
His teeth protruding, like small sharp rocks.
He knew that foxes could be quite vicious.
Despite their fluffy tails, they were most capricious.
And could snap and tear at poor Charlie’s throat.
Releasing a scream and his final death note.
So Charlie stood, and stared and prayed.
Hoping the small fox, would just go away.

It was getting late and he was hungry,
But past the point of being angry.
It was tough to be a vegetarian fox.
While the others chewed on rabbit and ox.
Little red spent hours searching.
For wild asparagus and all things nourishing.
He’d wandered now beyond the borderline.
And though it sent a shiver down his spine.
To be so close to the human track.
His stomach pushed him on, not back.
And then he saw the young boy ahead.
He stopped and froze, and cocked his head.
And hoped he hadn’t seen his fur.
His freighted eyes, his tiny stir.
For little red hoped as his legs now were jelly.
To not end up, in that boy’s belly.

Into stars

Bury us where we fall.
Let the pillars of salt tumble, washed away in the monsoon rains.
Stain our souls with an oil of an age.
Squeezed from the ruby fruit swallowed by God.
Bones break and winds change.
Breathing a new time and vision to assemble.
Unpack the dreams that were lost to us.
Glow them out like phosphorus diamonds in our minds.
Let us turn and change in the weather.
Weathered too many storms and cracked by too many winters.
Lay down into the ivy and close the eyes of the young.
Speak tender words of softened touches and understanding.
Leave us to fade into time, our sorrow to crumble like stone.
Speak our names as we finally disappear.
And turn back to stardust

Lift

Gold dust fades on a broken apology.
Lifting away from these dreams, burying the night.
Cut strings and porcelain.
Drifting away from such demons.
Escaping the snap of nightmares and reality.
Those wishes were heavy, pulling down my soul.
Lift into a neon blue, a heady place where dreams have died.
Part truth, part ghost.
Rosaries spin on the motor heart, forcing me upward.
Sky west and crooked.
Linking into the distance within your eyes.
My heart went out to you, threatening heaven.
Promising to belong, two steps out of this world.
Blurring into a memory and rolling down the windows.
Rolling into the arms of love.
Stuck somewhere in between.

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.

Lap of the Gods

His brow, wet from the rain, cast skyward.
A heart yearning for explanation and soothing.
His climb monumental, each step a weight of a world.
The spirits plucked his heartstrings like a lyre.
Coursing a music in his soul.
The mountains surrounded him, closed in like monsters teeth.
A wife held close still.
Tiny grey fragments on his skin, parted only by an urn and disbelief.
Soldiering on, he watched Apollo bury the light for another day.
Darkening his journey and settling into his bones.
Light air and fables coiled around him as he reached the summit.
The fates had been wrong, he was to die on the ascent.
Strangled in the thin air and half-hearted inclination.
Here’s mud in their eyes he thought as he looked beyond the clouds.
A flickering light, and eye to mystery.
Shimmering into view like many untold stories spat from a fire.
The great mount, the seat of all and the divine rose into view.
His heart melted into honey as the sight expanded in his eyes.
Before it turned to stone, unable to stand the wonders before him;
knowing the climb had just been steps towards the sacred.
Tiptoes on the precipice at the edge of the world.

THE NATURE OF THE NIGHT

It had only been twenty minutes, and already I was sick of being in the car. The heating had taken ages to kick in, so I shivered in the cold and frosty conversation. The argument had begun on the way back to the carpark. It didn’t matter what it was over, it never really did. These miniature versions of global wars, shrunk down to my own proximity; petty power plays and name calling could be over anything. We traveled home in silence and I watched the woods from the window as they slipped into a green blur before me. Within, numerous animals and tiny lives played out in the canvas of trees. Thronged within the forest’s bulging beauty.

Though it was freezing, the wet rain had begun to pelt the car. Icy splashes attacked the window like a rapping inside my skull. I glanced across to the driver’s seat, watching their movement. The quick flow to turn on the wipers, the gear shift to go slower and the change of the playlist. It all seemed synchronised, as if in some way it had all been planned. The sky above was dark and ominous now, mirroring the mood between us that sped down the road faster than I would care for in the rain.

I took off my shoes, not to annoy them, but because my feet ached. We had been walking most of the day and the confines of my old boots had rubbed and grated on me, reminding me not only that they were old, but also of my lack of outdoorness recently. I hadn’t really been out of the house for weeks, curled up into the fetal position watching old movies of hunched over my laptop. Watching the world always through screens, either on my computer, the television or my phone. I had ridden my day of all of these things once. Switched off my phone and left my computer untouched and ignored as I let my life and world return. But it had only been a passing fancy. The desire to feel productive or recognised as alive, even if only by a machine had overwhelmed and succeeded.

My feet stunk a little, so I kept them on the floor. I would usually rest them on the dashboard or bring them up to the seat. I sometimes sat crossed legged on long journeys. Doing nothing for my blood flow but perhaps self-nursing my own comfort, replaying childhood thoughts of sitting crossed legged on the school floor back in primary school. If I were feeling more inclined to be irritating, I would have put them up on the dashboard, but I couldn’t be bothered. The argument had already sapped most of my energy and inclination, and now I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. Yet I knew already, as they put on the music they knew I didn’t like, that we would have some go through when we go back. The civil remarks asking if we wanted a drink or use the bathroom first would chip away at the snowy exterior that had rose in the time of driving back. Making way for the falling glacier to tumble into the oncoming night.

They checked their phone, reading some message that buzzed through illuminating the car in a moth like glow. I turned away, watching the trees slip into farmer’s fields and small farmhouses off in the distance. I could see some lights over on the hill, a tall house with the brightest glow like a lighthouse in a sea of farmland. The view in the day must be lovely from up there I thought.

The phone was returned to its cradle, the track on the playlist skipped to something more bassly irritating and they reached then for the cigarettes. I held my breath as they puffed out the first exhale which always filled the car unnecessarily, before rolling down the window. The car sped on and the rain flew in from all angles, soaking their shoulder and blowing the smoke further deep into the car and my senses.

I watched as other cars pass by, less frequent than before the further out we came; but still busy for this time of the night. Their lights would glow off in the distance like trapped creatures caught in a static sea. I would let their lights burn into my eyes as they passed, allowing the white haze to flood my brain and x-ray my soul slightly. I could see no taillights however, which I always liked to see, especially in the rain. It made me think of a red eyed beast lurking off on the horizon, threatening to rise up and attack the car. Fleeing some mythical creature gave the drive a much more interesting flare. But no so tonight.

The smoke was irritating me now, but I noticed the cigarette was almost done. Soon to be tossed out into the dark. Used, burned and thrown away and never thought about again. Looked on by anyone who would find that charred thing as an annoyance and sign of the times. Another car zoomed past, washing in the splashy sound of the road that held a lot of water after the sudden downpour.

Sometimes I would imagine leaning over and forcing the steering wheel to jerk to the right, slamming our car into another’s and obliterating our lives forever. Throwing us perhaps through the windshield or crumpling us both into a bloody mess of bone and loss. I knew if we crashed I would never survive, not if I knew that was what fate held in store. My heart wouldn’t be in it to cling on, live through any deliberating injuries or even roadside assistance. I would listen to them try to keep me conscious for a moment, just to see if they really cared, and then slip away into the sweet relief of death.

But I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t force others to be caught up in our crash or our calamity. Our problems were our own, and though the end flickered worryingly close like a butterfly at times; it was our self-made ice-age; and we had no reason to complain of the cold.

Circles around the moon

Wake me when the world ends.
Kill the afterburners and shake me from sleep.
Wipe the dust from my interstellar eyes that have cried, huge cosmic tears.
Flooding the seas.
The dinosaurs within me perished eons ago.
Locked in tar along with childhood dreams of safety.
I staggered lonely in the skeletons of dead monsters.
Picking scales and truths from my worn down teeth.
Fossilised friendships blur past like a comet across my horizon.
Shrivelled on the vine of life, though some plucked too soon.
Dip these eyelashes in turquoise to bejewel our gaze.
Ruby up my mind with a blood of a million dead stars.
Hold a steady distance from the lunar madness.
Carving out cheese for the space monkeys.
Still on the payroll.
I spot you on the surface, with buckets of moon dust and a beckoning hand.
Initiate all power and steer my soul away.
Crying once more as the tears pop around me like bubbles.
Watching the world collapse and the memories fold away.
Locked in the lunar orbit forever.
Making circles around the moon.

Six degrees of disintegration

Paper soul dancing by life’s flame.
Burn again. Born again.
Over and over like a universe collapsing.
Coming to bleed out the dark.
A dangerous dialysis of oil and tar.
Coming here to disappear.
Smearing your soul across the world for all the birds to see.
Nothing could bring you closer.
Shooting at phantoms.
Nothing would bring you down.
Dreaming those dreams in which to lose yourself.
Powered chalk on other’s fingertips.
Dirtying up your memories.
Falling to climb but never finding your wings.
Reconciled the misery with a loss of innocence.
That sweet little heart.
You gathered your bones up to say goodbye.
Breaking at your most beautiful.
And crawling out of your skin.
Leave, hoping for them to take you.
The vanishing calling.

Dusk of the innocent

They didn’t see it coming.
Always bouncing on to something else.
Ignoring the ghosts in their eyes, or the oncoming headlights.
Those April days of innocence.
Flying over schools and mountain tops.
Elasticated minds skimming the Tokyo suburbs.
Never finding time to hear what love sounded like.
Letting it all fall away like a crumbling cliff, on the sea of something.
Were you ever sure what you fought for?
Always in the eye of the storm of your halcyon hurricane.
When April faded to December, what do you cling to now?
Freeze dried promises that never seem to thaw.
Mislabelled and mumbling that nothing seems clear.
Only the icy ground beneath, forcing you in that straight line.
Towards you losing yourself.
And lowering into soil.
Could you ever tell who liked you? Did you ever really care?
Needling the hay to make way for a forgotten tomorrow.
Singing into the dusk of the innocents.

Something for the weekend

Looking for something to do this weekend? Don’t forget, Echoes in Space: Cosmically collapsing poetry is out now in eBook format. Click here to get yours today and spend the weekend wrapped in stars and decaying words.

Looking for something to do next weekend? Don’t forget, Echoes in Space: Cosmically collapsing poetry is out now in paperback. Click here to get yours in the next few days and spend the following weekend wrapped in the celestial bodies and wandering words.

(‘Echoes in space’ is available worldwide…follow your regional amazon moon rabbit.)

For those who have been kind enough to download this already, may I encourage you to write a review on Amazon and Goodreads to spread the word.

Thank you. Here are some freebies:

SHINE

Crushed to Diamond dust.
Inhaled in the right light.
When the moon is bright.
Deep into your vines I travel.
Filling your soul with stars.

 

You stopped the rain

What becomes of all of us?
Down in the depths, floating on the sea of time.
Who pulls us back? Who throws the ropes of salvation?
She dwelled long and lonely under the waves.
Wrinkling into memory as the salt clogged her bones.
But the dreams wouldn’t fade like a dying star.
The hope threaded around her heart like roots of a tree.
New lips breathed the life back into her.
Tomorrow’s soul and eternity’s hand.
Raised her from her watery grave.
Covering her in love and picking away the scabs of sorrow.
She smiled and laughed as they ignited within the pilot fire.
Which shifted fate, and scared the fish.

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.

This is now your lament

Turning to fire in the diamond white sky.
Blaze across our memories like a dying comet.
Let go of disappointments, and feel the ground instead.
Touch my soul and feel your bones shake.
Then feel it in my heartbeats.
Singing out a rhythm as you dance to a heavenly tune.
We watched as you collapsed.
Imploded like a supernova of shame.
Yet do not decay and float away on the solar winds.
Cast you tear stained stars all over our indigo horizon.
Take the strides and tides that rip and pull at us away.
And leave us in the breeze of your wake.
Reaching up to heaven in our own floric ascent.
Like a frozen flower in a meadow of dust.
Locked for eternity, in the pull of your divine gravity.
Shed not a glance at our artic distress.
For we melt on the inside, knowing you are safe.

Kiss me like a stranger

How long had she been driving? The sky above her was threatening the night, while bullet lights of passing cars pierced her eyes. She had left that morning, surprised by so many things that were happening, but no longer surprised by being surprised.

She had packed up things so quickly. Everything swept away with such ease she felt she could be erased from life in a blink of an eye and no-one would notice, no one would care. A part of her doubted she would even go through with it. But down the highway heading out away from town she smiled to herself, a scared secret smile that she was doing the right thing. Not the best thing, this would not make her instantly happy or even make the pain stop. But it was the right thing to do.

She yawned theatrically, and pushed her hair back catching her nail in some of the strands. She opened the car window for the cool air to wake her up a little. Her phone had been switched off since she’d left, she knew there would be endless calls and texts until she was located; talked around and called back. She was happy to silence that. The radio rang out, lifting her spirits as the night closed in on that highway which was getting more isolated. The lights in the distance were getting further apart and she knew she was hitting the ‘Quietlands’, the stretch of road that coursed through a mini desert with nothing of interest on either side of her.

She was getting tired, and she was hot still, even as the day’s heat descended. She felt grubby and sweaty, her back sticking to the seat of the car as she zoomed away from her past. She knew her destination. She had had it planned and etched I her mind for years now. She knew which road to take and how long it would be until she got there, and she planned to drive through the night to make it.  Her eyes were getting heavy though. The lids dropping like a shutter to a store closing for the night.

She took a right turn down a road she knew was wrong almost instantly. The silent highway tarmac gave way to a rough dirt track which snaked around the cactus and mounds of earth. She stopped suddenly, releasing she had gone wrong and put the car in reverse when he spotted some dim lights up ahead. They weren’t moving, and she guessed they were pulled to the side of the road. What a shitty place to break down she thought and put the car into gear and drove slowly up to where the other one was parked.

She pulled alongside the car, which she noticed too was the same model as her own. At least she might be able to help fix it, her own car had given her quite a few problems over the years, and she always carried a spare of everything. The sun had disappeared over the horizon now with the slither of light hanging on to the blue black sky. Though the lights were on, she couldn’t see anyone at first.

“Hello?” She called out, though the open window of her car.

It was then she appeared.

She floated as if on a sea of crimson, her red dress puncturing the sandy track like blood slashed across flesh. She came from the bushes, her hair immaculate with a faraway look in her eye. Jessie was a little taken aback, but she called out again; assuming she had not heard her as she had not replied.

“Hello, do you need some help.”

The woman smiled and carried on over to her car where she knelt on the wound down window.

“Hey. What’s up?” She said, as if meeting on old friend.

Jessie looked at her through the dying light of the day, framed in her car’s window pain. She was everything she had wanted to be once. She looked immaculate, like she was stepping out onto the town. She wore a confidence that married her friendliness well, the two playing out for the audience of anyone.

“Do you need help, is your car broken down?” Jessie asked, smiling encouragingly.

“That piece of shit? It’s old, but it’s working.” The woman replied, giving Jessie the once over.
“Oh, I thought you might be in some sort of trouble?” Jessie asked, making it a question.

“Trouble?” the woman asked curiously, and laughed a little. And with that she turned around and walked back to her car.

Jessie watched her, momentarily unsure of what to do. She then suddenly felt the urge to get out of her own car. She unbuckled her seatbelt and climbed out of her dusty machine which whirled and deflated after the long hot day.

“What’s your name?” The woman asked her, as if beckoning her over. Jessie made her way over to the car, the same colour as her own yet caked in dirt as if it had emerged up out of the sand.

“Jessie, how about you?” She replied. The woman had jumped up onto the bonnet now, sitting upon it like a kid.

“Where you heading?” she replied, avoiding the question. Though Jessie didn’t feel any danger, she didn’t want to tell anyone where she was headed. She knew once the world knew, it would throw up things to pull her back. Back to the life she never had wanted to live from the start.

“A long way away. Listen, if you do need any help, I’m happy to assist.” Jessie said, listening to the desert around them open to the twilight.

“You running away?” She asked suddenly.

“No.” Jessie replied defiantly. She saw something then flash in front of the woman’s eyes. The same defiance that twisted and churned in her own belly. “No. I’m making some changes for the better is all.” She added.

“What’s so bad that you’re leaving behind?” She asked.

“Urm…listen, if you don’t mind. I need to get going. So if you do need any help, please say.” Jessie said, politely but firmly. She was always one to go along with what people said and wanted, but she was indeed trying to make some changes in her life and now was a good time as any.

The woman cast her eyes down to the ground, while she toyed with the sunglasses she had in hand. As if finding what she was looking for there, she looked up at Jessie.

“Is it Jack?” The woman asked suddenly. Flaring her eyes. Jessie glared at her, not sure of what was happening.

“What?” she asked, a slither of understanding falling down from the sky.

“Or is it slowly seeing the dream you dreamt back when you were only twelve, wither and die like everything out here. Cooked and charred in the sun until it blows away into time?” She said.

Jessie stared at her, sensing something familiar. She looked at the car, the licence plate covered up in dust and dirt. She looked quickly into the passenger seat, spotting a duffle bag and vanity case.

Suddenly the woman jumped off of the bonnet and came towards her, grabbing her face and kissing her quickly on the mouth. Jessie couldn’t help it, but she closed her eyes; tasting the watermelon lips and feeling the hazy intensity. She pulled her in close, cocooning her away from the world in a moment where all made sense to her. Her mind flashed back to her old house, the smell of takeaways and the cheap cologne.

They parted as suddenly as they begun, Jessie knew then what she needed to do. She dropped to the floor and grabbed the largest stone she could find. Picking it up, she launched it over and over again into the woman’s skull, battering her down into a scarlet pulp that matched the inappropriate dress she was wearing. She threw the rock off into the buses near to where the other car was parked and then returned to her own. Her hands were shaking, and blood smeared onto the steering wheel as she turned it around and sped off back towards the main road. As she glanced in her rear-view mirror, she noticed the headlights of the other car had faded, snubbed out like the life of the woman who now lay in the dirt, beaten and crumpled and gone from this world.

When Jessie got to the main road, she turned right, accelerating hard into the direction she had been heading before.

After a few miles, the blood on the steering wheel had faded away and her breathing had now returned to normal. She reached over to her own small bag she had on the front seat and took out her lipstick. She smeared the scarlet shade across her lips, puckering in the mirror as she sped off into the night. Determined more than ever to get away, and to get to the place she had planned to in her dreams for years. Not looking back once.

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.

A Place in the stars

(Not part of, but in conjunction with ‘Echoes in space’)

Lots of people were afraid. Rationale and irrational fears grew like ivy in the cluttered world he lived in. As Jerimiah grew up, he found fear was just a pat of life. His sister had always been afraid of spiders. Snakes too, though spiders were a more every day hazard, bringing out an alarming response from her no matter who was around. He never forgot the day she found one in her bed when she was going to sleep, the screams had echoed down into the street making the dogs in the neighbour’s yard bark. They had shared a bedroom in the old house then, out of necessity more than anything else. It wasn’t until he was five years old that he had a room of his own. Of course, this came with the collapse of his parent’s marriage and he would have traded in a second the large bedroom at his father’s house, for the pokey one he shared with his sister. At least that way they would still be together. But people, like marriages collapse. His sister departing only a year into his larger bedroom life, not from a spider attack, but from the leukaemia that had corroded her from the inside.

Jerimiah was afraid of one thing, and one thing only. He was afraid of time. How it snuck in on him and those he loved. Snatching away those things, and people he held dear. Turning, tumbling and changing his little world that he would want to keep secret and safe under a bell jar. He would look up into the night’s sky and see the stars blinkering above him. Fixed into position like reliable Christmas lights, always there like the season, waiting to bring joy. It wasn’t until he was much older that he learned the true nature of space. The twirling chaos that attacked the cosmos, with everything in flux. But for that six year boy within him still, he would always see safety and security in the stars. His friends that were always there like jewels in black cement.

Jerimiah though was understanding about people’s fears. He understood why his sister had been afraid of spiders. How her mind would run with a thousand possibilities of what could happen, and the deathly mist that surrounded them and the poisonousness possibilities. Much like he understood people’s fear of flying. He had met an old lady on a flight to Rome once before, sitting in the aisle seat next to him. She was so afraid, her white knuckles had gripped onto the armrest for the duration of the flight, her eyes closed as if in silent prayer to keep her aloft, and to land safely in the eternal city. He had wondered what she was so desperate to live for, what in her life was she so afraid of losing. One’s death being usually a horrible climax of pain and distress, but momentary. What was she so afraid of not completing? What had her life really been about?

He had sat there himself on that small plane, thousands of miles above the French Alps, watching the snow-capped peaks shimmering in the sun. If they were to descend; collapse in a fiery demise and be strewn in wreckage across the snowy landscape, what was he missing out on? What in his life was he left to accomplish or leave behind? He would be missed of course. His partner would be distraught, and tears would be shed. But life would go on, time would cover the hurt up in sand and silence. Changing once more the nature of things.

Time. His biggest enemy.

He had landed in Rome safe and sound, the flight not having crashed like many unfortunate others had. He had quit is job that very day, enjoying a nice little holiday there instead of the work he had come there to do.

If he had known he were to die at the age of thirty three, Jerimiah would probably not have done things much different than he had. He would most likely have avoided a lot more arguments. Those stupid back and forths with people over things that mean nothing to wider universe. He knew time was always against him, under his feet like an escalator he couldn’t stop or slow down. In this way, he lived a full life. He understood the preciousness and fragility of life. He squeezed his partner a bit more when they hugged and kissed. He meant it more when he said I love you. Perfection was not to be a part of his existence on earth, yet Jerimiah saw the bigger picture. It was all a blink in the eye of God, and he knew he had no time to waste.

When at thirty three, he reached the top of the escalator, he glanced over the side to see how far he’d come. It all looked so small and crushable from his vantage point. He was alone, but he wasn’t sad. He could see his friends glittering their celestial magic as diamonds across the inky black. Their luminosity radiant and strong like a million burning suns. And he took his place in the stars, content and happy that the clocks had finally stopped ticking.

Alienation of affection

What takes us higher?
High above the world with soundless intentions.
Watching it all from space.
Feeling the pin pricks from a detached state.
What robbed you away?
Spirited into the shadows like a train into a tunnel.
Hearing the echoing of loss follow like a can around my ankle.
A bell around your soul.
Ringing the chorus of a dawn so open and alone.
A rising sun, tinged with the blood of the night.
My compass spin on indecision, magnetised and hypothesised,
Concluding this circumstance beyond such control.
Our strands unwind, and without you I move at random.
Paralysed into a time that the world built up around me.
Gravity gives in, and we lose our grip.
Shutting down the stars and drifting into a sweet disappearance in space.
The loneliest way to die.

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.

 

Spider webs trapped the sun

In her room where the lamps flicker.
Within the corners, like those in her mind.
A devil does sit. A demon does wait.
Clicking tongues and painting her red.
She pulls away from this earth.
Disconnecting the gossamer thread that keeps her fire a flame.
Pulling her teeth out to give them something they needed.
A token for her pound of flesh.
She clipped her own wings so stay.
Only once, yet she lives with that decision.
Tarred and feathered in her dance of the daisies.
Each one waiting to be plucked.
So when the night draws in and those devils shift their feet.
Around her heart a deathly mist doth coil.
Unprotected.
Dangerously defeated.
Flashing her years before her like signs on a road.
Too late to turn back.
Too late to change the destination.