Atone & combust

This truth ignites within.
Smouldering for the time it takes to live and be born again.
The leaves that turn on the tree.
The sun that orbits my solar system.
Knowing when the time is right.
Grab a hold the crystal mouth of god and kiss upon the divine.
Lips as sweet as a morning chorus in the spring.
As the winter recedes.
And the darkness fades.
Go, into the new light with a sword truth.
A certainty of the path you wish to follow.
On stones of good intentions.
And time never borrowed.
Your eyes will burn in the radiance of knowing.
But there will be no pain.
For in the end, we have returned.

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The Pumpkin man

Every year, when the leaves turn brown.
The pumpkin man, comes to town.
He straddles confidently into the square.
And steals the first child sitting there.
And though this may seem mean and frightful.
We’ve come to terms, and find it delightful.
For the pumpkin man, like the Krampus in winter.
Knows which boy or girl is a sinner.
And punishes them for their terrible ways.
For their nasty manners and idle malaise.
But fear not, for he brings them back.
A little wiser, in that pumpkin sack.
But for his trouble, we all bequeath.
For him to keep the child’s teeth.
For a pumpkin man, though true and dandy.
Must go through all that Halloween candy.

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

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.

 

Coconut ice & candied eyed

These thoughts entertain me, for the hundredth time this week.
Dropping into my mind like pennies into a well.
I swing between actioned and complacent.
As you swing me back to forth in time.
This pendulum of your love.
Happy in the tinsel of us you deck me in.
Yet unrequited feelings of doubt then crawl in like a frost.
No doubt blossoming at Christmas time.
Fearful of the joy you offer.
Mindful of my usual self-destructiveness.
I cover you in cotton wool and hide you in the Christmas stocking.
Away from the mice and my thoughts of decay that would nibble away at you.
These hungry moths in my mind.
I swallow these feelings down.
Learning to live; not for tomorrow, but in the moment here with you.
Biting off only as much as I can chew.
As I wash away the taste of my usual foot.
Let me substitute for sweet candied swells.
Catching in my soul like coconut shavings.
Licking you clean of the sugar you must be covered in.
Savouring the delicious center of your love.

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.

 

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.

Conker teeth in the harvest moon’s smile

Flutter on this finger while you dance your dance.
Spiraling in your swan song.
October drips down in its turpentine sigh.
Cracking open the door for old man winter.
He heaves and sighs.
Shaking the roots, inverting my natural disposition.
Weigh me down in the setting sun, as the call of another day harkens an exit.
On sticky toffee wings you do fly, casting your shadow across the moon tonight.
Tickle these lips with a seasoned kiss.
Tuck me in like a bear in a jar.
All fury encased in glass.

28

That day we all remember.
Covered in lust and tragedy.
Spinning each world on our finger, while the galaxy sighed.
Creeping my way to heaven.
Those bread crumbed hearts the devil left out.
Leading a trail to beds of graves, such frozen landscapes ahead.
That hunkering down for the winter.
You were so scared of girls.
Asking for answers from no-one there.
Just an empty call in a lonely forest.
A tiny touch of lunacy.
Brought on by the moon and the rising blood.
Shackled to thoughts of someone else.
Another’s dreams. A place only they could call home.
How you hoped to kiss away that sin.
Wondering if this was how it felt.
How it felt to be wanted.
Needed for a moment in time.
Crawling on the ceiling of resistance.
Clawing at the hands of fate.
Forgetting girls always kiss and tell.

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.

Numbed by nostalgia

What trance am I under, what spell has been cast?
My morning woken by tiny earthquakes. Little voices from the past.
Bouncing off the thoughts in my brain, sweeping into memories.
Exploding on my Thursday morning.
Silent all these years, then back with such ferocity.
But then, those birds circling had to some day land .
Slipped into precious hallucinations, running after the rain.
Who would have thought it would still affect me, that I could not wash it away?
Stay with me, settle in for the cold winter ahead. Treat me to tales of tomorrow.
Put a gun to the head of grudges, smash the face of anger.
My heart suggest ghosts, my brain tells me friends are knocking at that door to my soul.
Coughing up golden stardust and remorse.
As I search for silver linings.

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.

04:45 Tomorrow

Though the dawn sings out a new chorus, I cling to the night.
It is in the dark we dwell now, secure in our insecurities.
A post-blue anesthesia.
Slipping down from the dopamine shell.
The tiniest crack, the smallest splinter.
Down to the floor where we freeze like winter.
The swan song of our lifetime, yet only 26.
Clickety click.
I dug my own grave with you last night. You did the same, yet watched me do the heavy lifting.
The look away and the tiniest frown, makes me feel incapacitated.
Resting on a gravestone, stroking a soul.
Licking words that you toss my way, crunching on the crumble of forgiveness.
We build the tomb, and plant the seed.
Blacked eyed beans and coffee kernels, salty tears that stain.
Who is she anyway to you?
I go home as the night slips into dawn, erasing the loneliness and feelings of terror.
Come seek me where I dwell, scrap off the shells and dying roots.
Tell me you love me, and mean it. Please believe it.
Sinking into tomorrow, today.