Insipid

The world is bored with the grey on your eyelids.
Floating down to cover us in an avalanche of despair.
Those tearing blacks that rip through your eyes when they shut.
Filling your soul in the soup of soured dreams.
Stewed and stuffed in our age of apathy.
It grows weary.
It spins and turns over, melting the poles and freezing the pacific to see where the birds will fly to at winter.
Or if they fly at all.
Dizzied and covered in the flakes of sorrow you proffer.
Give us the rains. Ones to wash away the rainbow hue of a dream that never flew.
Take it from us like an ice cream from a child.
This notion of static. The none moving motion you freeze yourself in.
Cracked like the world’s crust, oozing like the yoke of birth.
Seal your eyelids with the starry saliva of the angels.
Who whisper times of change as they lick at your ear.

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.

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?

Oh Deer

She lived her life in seclusion.
Away from the world beyond.
Lost in a forestry delusion.
In a time that’s long since gone.
With a wounded heart and stolen child.
She fed and ran with her kind.
Hunted for her meat so mild.
Life and death so intertwined.
Despite it all, she raised her young.
On her own and with no other.
Help from a male, and though it stung.
She did her best to be a good mother.
A quiet creature, rarely seen.
Yet magical to the eye.
Fur so soft, and eyes of green.
T’was a shame she had to die.
On that snowy day, when the men with guns.
Were hunting, and being hunted.
And other beasts were forced to run.
Two worlds collide, and then were shunted.
For a wolf you see is not so aware.
Or prone to live in fear.
And this is why, she fell and died.
Trampled to death by the startled deer.

Spectator to the storm

That storm inside rises.
Growing high like the heat of the dead.
A multitude of atoms, releasing their own chaos.
Chasing tails and stolen sunbeams.
Within this languished heart a quell resides.
But it will not come.
The dam will not break to let you in again.
Causing such consequence.
Your holy war against all but which you call divine.
Once awed breath, that now freezes on my hearts windowpane.
A forgotten wisdom, lost in the jungle of your mind.
So travel, not under my door, but down the valley.
Into the sweet flowers of spring.
That turn your repetitious gales into a gentle breeze.
That tickle the hairs on the back on my hand.

Revenge

In the dying light, and turning time.
When all around had slept.
She covered herself in turpentine.
And out the door she crept.
She made her way to the darkened wood.
Shivering in the snow.
And found the den, which outside she stood.
Waiting for the wolf to go.
Out to hunt and catch its prey.
To rip apart another creature.
And when saw the fur of grey.
She planned to add it another feature.
To its snarling mouth and matted fur.
Her knife she slid out from her pocket.
She pounced and ran in a hasty blur.
And plunged the blade into its socket.
The wolf snarled and snapped and howled in pain.
Pouring blood onto the woodland floor.
Yet struggle and fight were all in vein.
For to kill the beast earlier she had swore.
To do it that day, upon finding her child.
Taken last night while she slept.
The poor infant so small and ever so mild.
Eaten they’d said, so she’d wept.
And then formulated a plan, to go kill the beast.
While the others did little or fight.
And now it was done and the wolf was deceased.
She prayed to god and set herself alight.

 

Instinct

These poisonous measures that bring such illuminating visions.
The kind of thoughts you expect around decay.
Or any other day.
It’s like the fox who gnaws his own foot to fill his stomach.
It’s the bird that flew home for winter, missing the snow.
Lunacy.
Albeit well placed. Camouflaged by desperation.
And that deep desire to be happy.

Sleep will wait

And all these little thoughts, the ones that take you away;
will rest on my shoulders, like your head full of flowers.
Heavy and soft.
Those airplane moments, in transit between these states.
Will come down in time, and wait.
Rose coloured sheets, and trouble ahead the neon threatens.
Unless I’m me. Unless this is us.
Safe and worth coming home to.
Such original sensualities. Laughing over sexuality.
Kisses over cornflakes and coffee cups.
If you need time, I don’t mind. I like where this is heading.
Risking, and whisking me away as you hold onto this.
Tied up in ribbons of joy that we walk between, as we walk over;
sheets of snow and sun kissed wonder.
Goodbye foolish fear. So long picesaen uncertainty.
Adieu gemini fairy tales done before.
Take my hand and dance with me on the tip of this strange lunar day,
flying high above the earth in black feathers.
A place which we must return but where sleep can wait.

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.

 

Too cold for snow

Caught in the teardrop, that’s trapped in time.
Shivering into something unfamiliar.
These bite marks plague me still.
Itching my skin like memories.
If you just let me go.
Watch me walk into that dying star.
Into the fire.
So encased in fear. This icy realm of apathy.
Too hurt to start again.
Too tired of being tired.
Looking at the grey sky in your eyes as you whisper.
It’s too cold for snow.

Down within

Down to the water’s edge.
Beneath the willow and the sadness.
He stopped his world for a while.
No hand to pull him back.
Only invisible fingers pushing him forward.
Reeling in his mind like spinning wheels.
He lay on the cold bank.
Shedding his tears into deeper pools.
Pouring out his misery and loneliness.
Until he drowned the flying fish.
An ice crept across the water.
Licking his bones and sealing his eyes tight.
His heart caught between a beat and a break.
Hurrying this ice-age that would sweep the world away.
Yet he does not dwell unobtainably with the gods.
Or at the end of a book to placed on the shelf.
His small pool of sorrow lies within.
Every time the change of seasons ring.
Each day your body sways and splits..
He aches once more for the shore.

White out

Counting September’s smile.
Through the cracks in her teeth.
The gaps in the earth that let me in.
Bark stripped and predicted.
Rushing memories through me like electrolytes.
Treading sacred steps though time
Within the cells of mother earth.
Help me to the surface, to gulp the air of immortality.
For I choose the waters that I’m in.
Bringing down the reign.
Throwing flowers at the seasons, hoping they stick.
Waiting for winter’s incumbent snow.
Lodged forever in this tender heart.
White out. Breathe.

Broken Glass

As she entered the room, the door scrapped noisily back. ‘’Careful!…’’ I said. ‘’….there’s broken glass everywhere.’’

She looked down in the semi-darkness. Only the noise of the door echoed throughout the spacious room, all the earth was still. Littered across the floor were the remains of light bulbs, thousands of them lay strewn about like casualties of some mass domestic crusade, empty like Christmas carcasses.

‘’I’m sorry for the mess, and subsequent darkness.’’ I said. I tried putting her at ease, but even in the quiet dark I knew what her eyes were saying, and what her head was thinking. “It took me a long time to get here.’’ I added. Again, I tried to lighten the atmosphere and add some normalcy to a most unusual situation. She didn’t speak, I never expected her to.

CRUNCH, as I heard her step across the glass. Slow at first, then with more pace and purpose. The glass was shattering further, broken pieces splintering more into something unfixable. I could smell her and the smoke, coughing quietly in my soul. The noise below her feet conjured the image in my head of a giant stepping over long ago stripped bones. Did Jack ever escape?

‘’I’m sorry’’ I sighed out, starring down to the ground. I couldn’t face her still, would I ever be able to I wondered? She held the moment, captured the silence and suspended the time, forcing me to see what I had done. I started to cry. She did not turn away at this, seeming to ache with each tear she watched splash to the ground. Throughout it all she remained silent.

She outstretched her arm and I could see her hand. I held out mine and we touched. A blinding flash, only for a second and then a glow hung in the air like plasma. The room was a flutter of labels, descending and spiraling down like tiny birds. They mixed at random with the glass upon the floor. Paper and glass like the aftermath of an anniversary.  Thousands of them fell like snow; this early winter ensnared the two of us. Each bore two names, written in old script; nothing more.
My name had been misspelled.

SHORT – ‘雨降って地固まる’ (PT IV–Sinister deeds)

Part IV – ‘Sinister deeds’
(Full story here)

Although the snow that fell made the town look beautiful, it was really an added torture for many. The freezing cold and blanket of toil left many desperate in Hirani. Enko was lucky, she hard worked her way up to be a popular geisha, earning a lot of money for her Okiya which took care of her. She was outgoing and a lot of fun to those who booked her services. Though many closer to her would say she was somewhat reckless, she was known for being eager to try new things and was usually where the most spirited events were in the town.

It wasn’t that she had a particular grudge against Tomoryō. She, like many, were really in awe of her and her beauty. They had studied together growing up, and had known one another for a long time; jumped through the same hoops and mastered the arts as two sisters might. But inside of Enko, there was always fresh seeds ready to sprout, and jealousy was one that was easily watered. It wasn’t just her beauty or success, or even the reverence Tomoryō received. It was that she had something that was far more lacking within Enko. Self-respect.

People called her a witch because Tomoryō didn’t do all the things that were asked of her, especially from men. She had bucked the system and carved her own living through being a Geisha, which she clearly found some happiness within. A circumstance really more than a calling. Enko had been thrust into this life, and though she messily navigated her way through with bad decisions, she was angry that she herself could not be as strong willed as Tomoryō.

To see Tomoryō brought down to everyone else’s level, would give Enko the satisfaction that being where she was, doing what she is told to do, is how it should be.

But it was more than that.

And it was more than that that she had suggested to Unoko. Did she really mean to have Tomoryō killed? Well, it would remove her completely, destroy the beacon of individuality that she had cultivated, which really had no place in the world of Geisha. There had not been much back and forth in her mind whether it was wrong to have Tomoryō murdered. Enko, reckless as ever, had launched to that conclusion by the time she had left Unoko’s. Guilt was not something Enko dwelled too much on, and it was a lot cleaner than merely teaching her a lesson. It was this sinister side within her that had grown when she was a child. Competing with the other children to have the best toys, the most attention. It was this side of her that had tricked the little girl when she was only five years old herself to go down the well near her childhood home, and to leave her there for two days. It was always there really, ready to spring to action like a crouching mantis. Enko could be a lot of fun, but she was also very conniving.

She had dispensed with the moral debate in her mind by the time she had reached the small house. Mindful of the time, as she did not want to be late for her appointment with the businessman, so she knocked hastily on the door. She had come to one of the more shabby areas of Hirani, with the small line houses squeezed up against one another like crooked teeth. Enko, in her Kimono looked out of place in the bleakness of her surroundings, like a lotus flower on a sea of mud. She knocked again sharply, louder this time until the door slid open. A small woman stood there, her eyes narrowed on a face that snarled back at her.

“You’re far from the garden little flower.” The older woman said. She held a pipe in her hand, and puffed the smoke towards Enko.

“Oh knock it off Madoka, and let me in.” Enko said, barging her way into the small entrance room. The room smelled of fish that was likely bubbling away on a stove nearby. But she didn’t plan to stay too long, so she endured it.

“What do you want?” Madoka asked her, looking her up and down.

“I want you to do what you’re best at.” Enko said, retrieving some money from the inside of her sleeve. She handed it over to her, mindful not to touch Madoka’s hands which were stained with black and ash from her pipe.

“And who’s the lucky soul this time? Some fisherman who couldn’t keep his mouth shut?” Madoka said, enjoying the moment. She liked to antagonise her. Her own defence against being bought by some silly geisha with more style than brains. But bought she was, for very specific services.

“Oh, someone you know pretty well. That’s only half of what you’ll get you see, the rest will come when the job is complete.” Enko said, wiping the smirk off her face. Madoka looked again at the money, realising now how much she’d been given.

“Who?” she said, faintly now with unease.

“Tomoryō.” Enko said, eager to see her eyes when she understood who it was.

“Keep it.” She said, throwing the money back towards her where it landed on the floor. Enko’s smile waivered slightly, she stared at the money now on the dirty floor. She nudge some of it with her foot, looking at the ground she said.

“You’ll do it Madoka, and you’ll do it quickly and quietly. Unless you want me to lead everyone to your other misdemeanours.” She said sweetly. Most people knew how much of unsavoury character Madoka was, it was not a huge secret that she was not to be trusted. But there were many things they didn’t know, things that were a lot more serious than petty theft; and Enko knew them, she knew all of them.

And Madoka knew she knew.

She lowered her eyes as if in shame, but it was merely to look again at the money on the floor. She bent down to pick it up.

“Any requests?” She said, putting the money in her pocket and puffing again on her pipe.

“Make it look like she did it herself, and do something about that pretty face of hers.” Enko said, turning around and kicking the money that lay on the floor. She slid the door open and disappeared off into the snow, a walking plum on a sea of white rice.

Madoka watched her depart up the road, cursing having let her in today, and fearing what she had to do.
 

SHORT – ‘雨降って地固まる’ (PT III)

Part III – ‘Omens & Origami’
(Full story here)

Despite sleeping late, Tomoryō woke just after midday, her stomach lurching to the lack of food the day before. She dressed quickly and went to the kitchen to make herself and Aitarō something to eat. Aitarō followed her, jumping up onto the small stool she had by the back door. She’d had such strange and cursed dreams, and she knew what they meant to her. Change was coming, something ominous that would challenge her and require all her strength.

She knew the theatre had come to town, she’d known before anyone else. Travelling back from a small function the previous night, the caravan and her own transport had crossed paths. She’d sensed something before about the day in the early morning, when she’s noticed the wind had suddenly changed direction. She was mindful of such omens. Though shocked, she was not surprised. And she slipped away without anyone noticing her.

Tomoryō operated alone, and though this was not how she liked it, it was how it was. She was kind and helpful to whomever she came in contact with though, and looked for the best in people. Hoping others would do the same. She’d been forced to leave her Okiya a few years ago under a shadow of scandal and mystery. The death of her older ‘sister’ had been hushed up as best as it could be, as best as money could hush things up, but word had gotten out that Tomoryō was involved. Though this wasn’t really the whole truth. The Okiya’s mother had been a cruel and tyrannical woman, and though many of the Geisha in the town had boarded there, few believed that she herself had not been involved in some way. Knowing the close calls in the past that many had had with her. Yet, with smoke there is always fire, which was why there was a suspicion towards Tomoryō, but not complete belief that she was a witch. Many had turned against her, those who were jealous of her beauty and talent, and those who were superstitious thought it was bad luck not to think she was a witch. Err on the side of caution.

Tomoryō was forced back to her family home, which she turned into a small compound, shutting herself away as much as she needed to, to protect herself. Before long, she had re-emerged and began her geisha duties once more. She was truly the most beautiful woman in the region, and though many kept their distance, many men could not resist. She worked well with those travelling through the town, or those who came back for business. Outsiders who did not know or care to know her history in the small time they spent with the forbidden flower. Her isolation gave her too her independence, and she was able to charge the most for her services, ones of which she had more choice over. She never burned bridges with the other geisha in Hirani, or their Okiya, but there was always a wall there, one sometimes hard to scale.

She made some tea and went upstairs to the small reading room she had at the top of her house. Aitarō followed, licking the drips of tea that fell from the cup which had a small crack in the bottom. She should throw it away, but couldn’t bring herself to. It had been mother’s favourite. She opened the shutters and looked out over the town. From her view she could see the rising mountains off in the distance. The sleeping ojiisan (grandfather), which loomed over the region like an old man in a chair. The day was bright and harsh, the light reflecting off the snowfall. She could see smoke rising from the square, fires from the market and the theatre group no doubt. She placed the tea next to her and took a sheet of paper. Her mother had taught origami when she was a child, and though she enjoyed it, she now used it for more practical purposes. She closed her eyes and muttered some words under her breath as she slid the thick red paper between her fingers, going back and forth a few times. She opened her eyes and began to make the small figure.

She had made a miniature version of the town out of paper. The small houses and shrine, the market place and people of interest we all represented. It had taken her ages, but it was a task that had cleansed her mind and spirit. She finished the red figure and placed it down in the centre of the town square. None of the other figures were done in the red paper, and the figure glared out from the earthy tones of the others and from the small buildings. She stood back and looked at the model, knowing all too well whole the figure was. She had been reluctant to make any quick decisive decision, lest it hurt her reputation, but she had formulated a plan in her mind that would now need some action. She finished her tea, and began to get ready, choosing the bright red kimono she saved for her best performances.

 

 

Give a little, get a little

Today and tomorrow (27th & 28th), the following are free on Amazon:

Drifting in and out of sleep51j5Baft0DL._AC_US160_
Trying to remember where it all began, when I first started to feel this way. Is this real or am I still asleep? The hypnagogic state of uncertainty. Knowing the unfamiliar through the transitional magnitude of moments. Come with me, follow the path through snow covered lands into churches of splendour that play out a life steeped in love and lonely anger. Stay a while, and leave me where you find me; lying in bed and thinking of you, as I drift in and out of sleep…

Charting the spiral and ascension into something beyond, ‘Drifting in and out of sleep’ is a mix of stories and poems which bleed into one another over space, time and mortality. Starting in the snow covered forests of unknowing-ness, it traces the steps that mirror life; through emotional dependence, God, love and coming to the ever reaching self-absorption of space.

41UVbJC7ISL._AC_US160_Keep it Together 
The summer of 1977, in the middle of a blazing heat wave, the estranged children of the wealthy and eccentric Van-Blacks all gather at the infamous Nova-Manor to discuss recent family developments over Fourth of July weekend. Their father is dying, and now wishes to build some bridges with his children before he shuffles off the mortal coil. However, things begin to take an unusual twist with the arrival of Miss T., a Jamaican fortune teller who sweeps in under an air of mystery to perform a séance.

Secrets and truths slowly begin to be uncovered, helped along by the butler Mr Perkins, who knows more about the past then perhaps he should. Ghosts, storms and mysteries in the attic all explode over the holiday weekend along with the fireworks. With a body on their hands and new truths revealed, they are all forced to question whether they can live with the knowledge someone they love is a capable of murder. Independence comes at a price, and not everything is what it seems as they try to keep it together.

 

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Transitory

Waking up from one of those stormy dreams.
Dusting off the snow, wringing out the rain. Blinking through and seeing the hereafter.
How does the truth feel? How does my love resonate?
Placing one foot in front of the other, as I tiptoe out of the past.
Blue skies all the way, though I still don’t know which direction to head.
Draining off the artificial sweeteners.
The ones that kept me synthesized, crying out for attention.
I’ll make my way into tomorrow, u the clouds aside; laughing at the rain.
All transitory self-emotion.
Coating myself in war paint.
A Real version of me.
Falling away, soaking up the sun.

Take down the scarecrows

I Stepped into a life, jumped into a lake.
It was deeper than a grave, full of love that was fake.
What did you come for, why did you need me?
Your fingers are freezing, like the snow in your heart.
I know it’s ephemeral, crystal and temporal.
My soul is a fire, so watch how I burn.
I opened those windows to feel how the wind blows.
You’re sure there’s a new scent of spring in the air.
I know it sounds funny, that I am still running.
I left you behind me, now better alone.

Stasis

The smell of pine, the taste of shame.
Feeling the snow below me and all around skin.
Morning Mr Magpie, did you steal my heart today?
Frozen in hibernation until you decide to bring me back to life.
Until you revive it, breathe Scandinavian air into the lungs of us.
Little by little, our love capillary refill.
Stretch skin across the sun, as the bear below waits for a tasty snack.
My eyes vibrate shut, the cool state of not-knowing. Anticipating/antithesis.
Given up the ghosts and ready to live again. Ready to love you again.

Polar warming

You cannot put out this fire, the dreams ignite every night.
Laying here, disappearing into you and loosing myself.
I came from the north, closer to the stars.
Falling down and free to where you find me.
Out of climate, out of touch.
The desire is making a fool of me as I watch the world spin by in a trance like blur.
Put your gun on the table, let us watch the northern lights.
Kiss me quick then blow my mind.
Throw your ice cubes in the sea and save me.
I’m not like the others, this is something you must understand.
I’m everything you’ve ever needed, and everything you’ve never wanted.

When it all falls down

Uninspired and on repeat, clinging to notions like a barnacle on a sunken ship.
What brought it down, what iceberg did I hit?
Sweet frigid love, drifting down from the Aritc. Penguins trapped in ice and resolve.
Yet it was the flames that used to lick at my skin, burning away the dirt and disgust long since decayed.
You sent me up there, loose on strings that you watched fly so high.
This kerosene love, this cocktail of heat and lust.
You let go.
And I began to drift, floating closer to the sun that the wax began to melt and the feathers failed me.
With your hands in your pocket, I know your game. I know you play with the matches.
Dropping them into the gasoline of us, watching us explode with your hidden dynamite.
Deflating and defeating I fold, unable to fight any longer.
Unable to pull you close and promise you we can change.
Your Hindenberg on display. Your dreams going up in smoke.
Now only the monolith of your heart, weathered and scorched by arguments and strain.
I am now the promise you couldn’t keep. You secret shame ready to be hidden away again.
Stitch my eyes and mouth shut, so I no longer see your demise.
I never could stand to see you cry.
Cut my hands so they won’t move to pull you in, or down with me.
My lungs are collapsing, in need of the kiss of life and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Like us.
You stand still, unmoving, watching me burn, blowing smoke into my soul.