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.

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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.

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.

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.

 

A Gathering storm

Golden wasted time, frozen in the sand.
Crystallized from a moment with that lightening from above.
Wasting such moments, spinning my wheels around.
There is a gathering storm.
Where the wolves howl and lick at my door.
Itching to get in from the rain.
The hair on my skin rises, the moon tide retreats.
All clicking tongues talk of conditions.
Throwing opinions with such malice.
Static air lifts my eyes, allowing me to see the future.
Down the road less travelled by.
Out of the woods and out of the storm.
Cutting free from the roots and the dangling carrots.
Lest I fall once more to the ground, and drown in the rising waters.
Of the storm that comes whirling out from within.
Born of the idle choices of circumstance.
And the rushing clouds of ruination.

E#

Play me once more, that chamber music of my soul.
Tickling your fingers on my ivory heart.
Such intimate behaviour.
No release.
Like wild roaming beasts.
Trampling through my forest.
Bear me no mind, cause me no trouble.
Such wild bird emotions you set free each time.
That you whisper my name.
That you call to my heart.
Shivering down each vertebrae.
Snap at the heels of my passion.
Feathered in the down of where I lay.
Where you leave me trembling.
Shaking in the thoughts of your behaviour.
Crying out for mother earth to swallow me again.

Endeavoured

Don’t you like this honesty?
This radio station that plays nothing at all.
Just truth.
Echoing in the words dripped form your lips.
I should learn to be thankful.
Where do you run to when my anger shows?
Out of the forest, out the woods?
With unstable ground, mine pocked and hazardous.
Running to find salvation.
Searching for confrontation,
Drill a hole into my soul and let the light in.
Burning white light. Let it wash away the tar.
This tonne of hurt weighted through my veins.
A soul starved of understanding. Just meandering, through this grey world.
Your flesh and bone, covering a soul still unknown.
Asking for directions.
Though strange lands, your heart is still home to me.

An interior rhythm

How to rise, when you’re broken.
Like lofty branches that scratch the sky.
Down here on the forest floor, tangled with the roots.
I feel collapsed. I feel free.
I want to tear it apart.
I had to burn it down.
Pick the thorns out of my bark, the chattel from my teeth.
Swaying with the world now. Rising on its axis.
I swing to a new realm, on the pendulous heartbeat of tomorrow.
I allowed myself to fall apart.
Welcoming the termites of time. Destroying all I had.
Whilst watching the watchers in the wings.
Birds who fly with nightshade plumage.
Cluck their tongues and talk of responsibilities.
Laying eggs for a farmer who will devour their friends.
You don’t know what it’s like. You don’t know what I grew through.
Such hard terrain and unholy winters. Sprouting to my own spring chorus.
You don’t know me, how could you?
I don’t even know myself.

Travel in disguise

Keep out of sight, and don’t talk to strangers.
The things that lurk in the woods!
Curious creatures full of wonder, yet dangers.
Will spirit you off in a blink if they could.
So travel if you must, but travel quickly.
Be like the wolves, as brisk as the wind.
For there’s things that dwell, sweet yet tricksy.
They’ll have your bones out before you are skinned.
So go into the woods, but be careful.
Do not stray from the path or get lost.
Don’t ask for help, be quick and be mindful.
And avoid the children at all costs.

Lonely tree

In the forest, all alone.
My lonely tree feels as cold as stone.
Surrounded everywhere by branches.
That bend and twist to their own advantage.
We shake in the wind, and shiver in sadness.
Sunken in our disturbing madness.
Until one day you came into the woods.
Scared the animals and riding hood.
Yet the wolves they ran, and hid like rabbits.
Convoluted out of their own bad habits.
And into my glade you stepped so proudly.
And struck a match and yelled out loudly:
“Love is a flame that burns us under!”
And as quick as lightening, you lit me like thunder.
So my lonely tree, burned quick and sadly.
And I faded away, into death quite glady.

Gold

I knew you were out there, waiting for me.
Too long have I sat here like a fool, waiting for the world to fall at my feet.
You sparkle and glitter. Midas in the moonlight.
I want you, I want you naked and dripping in gold.
To lick the metal from your pores.
Your precious wealth I humbly beg for.
You offer your heart like an apple to a maiden in the woods.
What price will I pay to handle you, to obtain the unobtainable.
To peak at you silver soul?
I can buy you you know, and hold you.
But I can’t make you do what you don’t want to.
You’re to have, not to hold.

Converging emotions

How did I fall, from my lonely little star?
Forgive this self-pity as I splash dust in my eyes and ice in my hair.
Following the comet, trailing in its wake.  Orbiting your sun.
Set me down, cut these strings that both hold me up and dance to whatever beat you decide.
I brush the mud from my knees and start the trail out of the woods.
Following no path.
Making my way to your heart.
I hear the wolves as they howl and devour things in the night
I see the woods in the trees and the eyes in the light.
Shiny dwelling diamonds with teeth of steel and empty stomachs.
I wander over mountains, I trudge through deserts.
My soul is thirsty and my heart is parched.
The oasis is a kiss, on the edge of your horizon.
The smell of your skin makes me swim in the salty ocean of you..
Until I finally land, bleached liked bones in the sun upon your shore.
Pull me, hold me close and swallow me down into the whale’s stomach of love.
Keep me forever in that tiny cage of your heart, swinging on a perch in deluded bliss.
I will sing us to sleep with a melody of toil and journey’s end.