December 28

From Ultramarine

 

This is your birthday, whatever happens I can’t forget that and in some sense love never changes. We have had two weddings this year, our children’s weddings, sending us right back to the beginning of it all, smile pasted to my mouth struggling to be graceful in the face of it.

 

Stroke my cheek

pause to see creation

in my eyes: watch the way

your sons they share

the curve of you.

 

Rising unbidden in sleep the swirling waters overtake me, outside the rain slides down the windows as another storm passes over the bay. Now she loves you and you, when you let yourself remember how you love me, and I put it all away, wrap my heart in bandages and leave the corner which was ‘’us’’ mummified for eternity.

 

Stroke my cheek

whisper sweet words to me

the ones you never did.

We walk in resolution

it is a sort of ending.

 

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December 26

From Ultramarine 

 

Dead beat end of year trailing off to Christmas glory and the empty hands of torn wrapping paper. So much fear around the bright lights and underneath the tree, my mother a scarcely lidded boiling pot of resentment set to overflow into full blown violence for the things you could never give her Daddy.

*

Faith, hope honesty

empty packages of grief

salted rivulets of years

down the face of broken promise.

*

Back then I made myself small, curled up invisible I hoped, skirting around the edges of your anger, brushing up the dust of last night’s fight.   Now as the year crashes to its florid close I try to pretend that nothing is wrong, shun the parties and the smiling faces for fear that it will take me right back there again. A useful strategy until I met you.

Sitting down there in your beach blown house the ghost is casting runes and throwing poltergeist dementia at you. Recovery is a big word that I unwittingly threw you with a ……’’get clean or get out ” ultimatum.  Me a magnet for messed up men, drug addicts , love addicts and alcoholics ………..I think I hoped you would just leave : that I wouldn’t have to love you, watch you sweat and shake it out of you………but you didn’t.

So I left as I  always do, survival tactics, if nothing else I have learnt the art of the survivor . So here we are, you with the ghost and the gun, and me with the usual party goers who return after years of silence to tell  me that they love me .

*

 Love is many sided

a coloured Christmas ball

to pack away until the earth curves

the stars align again

take breath & send you

back to me, too late

*

December calls

From Ultramarine ………..a diary of  my self .

 

Honey in my pocket

children’s sweets

heaviness of sleep

held in my chest

held in the earth

like bulbs for spring planting.

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

I’ve followed you both, you father, you mother, through chambers and corridors down dead end alleys to poly-fill the cracks where the rain seeps creating fungus that surreptitiously gnaws at my bones. Now we’re in a land we never visited, we hold conversations about nothing, we continue.  My tree is bare against the grey skyline but in my mind I can see the silver rustle of absent leaves, here the year is on it’s head shoppers maraud the stores like Viking reapers: I remember the aftermath; Christmas wrappers, broken baubles, driftwood bleached by the salt of so many seas.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

The city hums with golden slipper-ed girls, toes red, hair flicked neatly across one shoulder.  She moves between them languidly, no glance to left or right searching the ground for clues, underwater signs as the rain pours down.

 

Liquid love

alms for the lonely.

 

High on Scottish hill you wander holding a tattered map of all that’s gone before, place names snap beneath your fingers you catch the whisper of her name from frozen rivers gritted pathways, reminds you always and forever of before and you wonder stuck  in tousled heather how to heal the welts, seal with charms pronounce some ancient spell.

 

………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

“Between two waves of the sea

Quick now, here, now, always—–“

 

She remembers walking straight across the room, politely shaking hands, beyond the theater lights she feels his eyes, he said his first desire was to stroke her hair, to kiss and keep her safe from harm. She fought him like the bear, tearing his tiger toughness to save her small brown cubs; she was safe until she lay beside him kissed the tiredness from his eyes. Then too late the deed was done.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

The dawn comes with staccato crackle; I didn’t know there were so many birds, condensation on my window, slipped to December frivolities. Children pace the darkened streets, singing carols begging treats and the old man at the corner of the street has lit his hideous sculptured Christmas tree. I’m thinking of orange blossom white beaches anything but this overindulgent opulence. I’m hung with flu full throttle, totter backwards through the years, remember purple velvet trousers, the odd teddy bear, but then blackness, nothing; and now it’s safer that way let all be left for dead.  We write each other electronic love letters, I am pursued from every corner of this city by past and future desires, listen to my life passing by like  a favourite radio show.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

“Whoever thought the old man

would have so much blood in him”

 

You too have sprayed our blood across these years, it’s left us changed.

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

Honey on my lips

kisses we unwrap

like children.

This is all there is

lights, kisses, amnesia

better that way

unraveling into tomorrow.

Clear

From Ultramarine  (coming soon on kindle )

 

At the stationary store the quiet Asian man serves with veiled daughter at his side, and I buying paper to create my symmetry of black on white turned to find psychotic blacked killer wittering at my side.  The air was still between us three, we held our lives like a new-born baby, unable to speak letting fear slide into the concrete floor beneath our feet, felt the wind pass our nostrils, intake of breath, door, street, as mumbling obscenities, he turned to leave.

*

Men buy women

houses

cars

candelabra

perfume

dead animals bred in cold climates,

they stand on the outside looking in

try to tip toe through the maze.

 

I’m alone in my midnight shell

listening to the whisper of the sea

listening to angels voices

calling me down and beyond.

I’m a white tiger in an English village street

watching with curiosity

searching for luxuriant undergrowth

to stretch and snarl in.

 

I’m alone in my own skin

watching the brusque chopping of the waters,

watching.

 

*

On the edge of infinity the great wastes of the galaxy stretch beyond our comprehension, if I wait that long on a clear night I might find you waiting.

 

*

Winter solstice

From Ultramarine December 

 

Letters and explanations in the post flown from windy corners of the earth to stagnate on my mantle piece.  Morning comes with light, bright, flickers the odd leaf still waving briefly on boned branch, roads are empty children scouting newly won trophies and I’m alone with the beating of my heart.  Shock of the new, shock of the old year rumbles to it’s toes monotonous grey by day images of you on me and the beating of a fragile wing within my body.

When coming home is never the same as going away, when a day can make the difference of a lifetime, all urgency disappears, water to clouds to drop once more on misted windows. You’ve an urgency to capture a lifetime in an hour, leaving bruised membrane, blood, exhaustion as deep as a last breath, all I can do is give in or run. Distance holds no hostages, the glitter of a sequin from the night before, sweat dried to salt.

We journeyed through the woods lashed to a Roman road straight to horizon, a wonderland of hung sky, pheasants and small red deer browsing the yellowed grass, windmills and miles upon miles of flat fields to a scudded sea.  We talked once more of love and life, those that’d left , and us, the left behind, ate Christmas lunch in a lorry park. Everything flowed with ease passing one to the other, an unseen tapestry where reality ceased to be and again we whirled and spun in the event horizon of eternity. Dinner was like the first , brown eyes across a table divulging secrets, gentleness the theme.  Later lying on separate beds :

 

My heart is a darkroom

you pass through it

black and white images

I cut you into size

and paste a collage.

 

My dreams are of flying over rivers, Missouri rivers deep green flecked with tangled weeds, I stare into the water and see nothing.  You are the other side of me you leave me calm and healed.

 

I become a seed

blown by an unseen wind.

 

I turn to you and listen to the riddle, only the waves make no noise as they slap the flat shingle, passers by stare at us;

 

we whittle the air

into spirals of incense.

 

Burning wind on my skin, take a brush to brush you with, you a fawn covered in gold downed hair.

 

The voice is the carrier of the soul

all those stars branded across Milky way.

 

How many heavens can we see tonight?  Lying on my back with the sea at my feet watching the domed amphitheatre of gas that is this planet.  In my dreams I walk the tawned leafed woods, where children play.

 

It is an end and a beginning you ask for.

Heart

Can you hear the breaking

of my heart? See the shiny shards

of shattered glass, brittle glitter

in a silver stream to the ocean

of our make believe.

 

All those things we promised

we would do, fly like paper houses

in a storm: & those famous nights

you held me close engrained on skin

& stamped on soul

 

in the annals of forever.

 

Can you hear the patter of my tears

on the window pane of seven years?

While you wandered off to find your truth

leaving me a wedding path of youth

to squander.

 

So darling when you call me now

& say you love me right out loud

the place where once my heart stood still

is vacant as the years you’ve filled

with others.

 

Can you hear the breaking

of my heart? See the shiny shards

of shattered glass, brittle glitter

in a silver stream floating to the land

of ‘’might have been’’

 

together.

 

 

Generation

 

From Ultramarine

Back and forward

like a duel edged sword

the small boy travels

making sense

of his cut clean world.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Circles climb to spirals, here we meet face to face, the room is glowing from Californian water colours, Indian tapestries, lovers drawings, the table neatly pegged with manuscripts. Your dead wife sits below the mantelpiece her self-portrait radiating the blonde crowned face of the angel she was to you. Writer , painter, two by two you stalked the confines of a world too small to bare you both, both bare in your coming together creating a new world which reverberates now with your small blonde grandson, stirring and re-stirring the embers. We always talked of many things; maybe I fell in love with you, the father and married the son, maybe there was always hope of what he might become. The thread runs deep between us to the earth’s core, you are frail, fragile, lame with time’s harsh paring down of bone upon bone, the marrow in your bones has turned against you. You’re brave and brilliant with your stories, bright as the unknown cluster in an unseen sky, we ponder the meaning of light, can only find an answer in reflection, talk about the untellable,  sealing wax on contracts non decipherable in the darkness of time.   You’ve become a warm presence in a room created by and from love and we hold carefully the things that divide us.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Small boy climbs the stair

unaware of stately generations

deviations, he will find

in picture postcards of the past

signed with his name.

 

Mind flakes

 

( for my Grandmother  1904 -1986 )

 

Tea pots & what not’s

forget the words

so absurd the tricks

time plays with memory.

 

Last night’s spotlight

fades to morning sky

years gone by stretch

to chewing gum thin

 

snap as memory

won’t let me in.

 

Tight band around my heart

an iron glove squeezes as

clock tick tocks time

I erode like cliff top

 

Here she is, the one and only

kiss me quick  this one no name

sparkles in her eyes pretty girl

my last goodbye to my world

 

now time and memory have lost

the knot that ties me.