Dream strata

From Trophy White Bird 

 

 

I fly above forests high into black night.  You and I play our Russian roulette but with toy pistols pacing the distance between us, marking territory in our minds. This growth between us is slow and cellular, you are better at it than I am, more sure of the map, aware of a destination, maybe it’s because I know there is no destination, only broken pathways, disused tracks.  I like to lay my head on your shoulder close my eyes, rock gently while stroking the soft firm flesh of your back.  You drive me insane with your measured phrases, deadlines and designations but your letters written at 4.am. from a whisky brain leave me breathless, page upon page of intimate thoughts and phrases, so intimate my heart turns in my chest leaving an unknown pain. :

I look at you; love is a filter cleaning impurities disguising glaciers. We are old friends now on an angled cliff with the sea jousting in front of us, a New England sea spread with turquoise, you show me the colours of your thoughts and I embrace them, give them form.  There’s nothing to stop us from flying away, in this filtered air, from flying away, running hand in hand through copper woods: except the effigy of time that’s printed an expiry date on my shoulder where you can’t erase it.  We are sitting at a table drinking wine, you are silent, your white shirt crisply pulled down over your slender wrists. Two glasses of red wine, sediment sticks to crystal, tongue holds heaviness of the grape, of sun and rain that grew this.   The scene changes and we are walking hand in hand around a public park, the lake is frozen and sun glints off iced patches of water, crazy paving the surface where fowl slide graciously.  Families perambulate muffled children faces itchy red with the cold.  I remember spending time with you here, wanting the moments to linger into hours and the hours into days when we were not lost to the world.  Now we’re truly lost to the world. The sun is a pale spotlight in the ceiling of a winter sky, if I hold my breath I can see spring poised beneath the harsh earth.  I catch this light; hug it to me to ease the encroaching twilight.

 

 

You asked me to leave you alone until you contact me , but maybe I should leave you alone permanently oh my beloved, before I stumble down the well worn path to dependency. You once said that you didn’t want to be accountable but the smallest atom, split, can destroy a world.   There’s no peace in the night when we are apart, there’s no peace in the night when we are together, and we struggle with the definition of words searching for a meaning each of us caught in our own tunnel vision. 

Morning ride

1.

Rape fields so yellow they hurt my eyes

plough share and blossom spring grows

day by day in the warm air. Last year’s dreams

have disappeared churned in the raw moist earth

buried in the winter sleep and now they’re forgotten:

 

echoes of memory, down a lane I didn’t chose.

 

2.

I wonder do you think of us? All the golden dust

of Autumn in our eyes as we watched you crumble

metamorphose into someone new leaving me behind

I sometimes hear your voice calling through sleep filled dawn

arms around my body then I wake and you are gone.

 

 

3.

Life is better from this high, the back of a breathing

horse we move in unison same pattern same stride

glide across the landscape a visionary bird’s eye

while the world dries beneath us, crumbles into

last year’s dreams while this year stretches  its delicate hands.

 

 

4.

Morning mist sea squall brown foam on the beach line

sand crumbles between cold toes and the dog

makes her way to the brink of each wave, waiting:

waiting to be asked to dive in swim, strong stroke against

the tide, bringing it all back to me; without asking.

 

 

 

Past

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The sky’s a huge talisman

swiping painted garden

we meet in cyberbars

exchange kinetics,

type in adjustments

hope for settlements.

 

 

*

 

Breakfast, where morning glibness is wiped away by two o’ clock shadow, the look of trust in grown child’s eyes as he fleetingly rests beside me to ask for answers.  He is huge, towering above me as we walk the streets; people stare trying to perceive how we fit together.  We are borrowed for each other and somehow with luck and distance have grown beyond the parent child dilemma, we carefully skirt the issues , not because of fear but because there is nothing more to say, distance has resolved anything between us and now there’s just  life to live.  The house is sleeping with my three children beneath an angled roof, they breathe softly in a different dimensions and I’ve been caretaker to movements of DNA.

 

*

So now I gain news third hand, have been obliterated from your map of who to tell.  The dinner parties were always hell however you look at it, the last bastions of English aristocracy never gelled in a room together.  Children were kept out of sight ,fed on leftovers by bonded maids terrorised into keeping them in their place, and the speeches with the hard edged smiles, I was always wearing too little, looked too bright melted in the wrong places.  The other daughters – in – law seemed to be in sync, whether out of pity or right of space in the hierarchy.  I learnt to get through it, shut off at the intellectual conundrums that piled my ears, sneak an odd child onto my knee and never reveal what the champagne dealt.

 

*

 

My garden spreads like a beautiful woman wild at the edges, tousled in creases.  I jet a path through the heavy grass unwrap bindweed from its throne: above the sky holds its gloam of grey slate roof. My sleep is scattered with stranger’s faces, long car journeys, I ride the morning like a hunter waiting for my thin wisped prey.  You’ve been hammering at my door like the postman delivering packages, but the packages are empty of everything but blindness.  Soon I’ll make plans to store you, my jam for winter evenings.

*

The past is like a necklace

once beloved, now hanging,

forgotten on my mirror.

 

 

 

 

Weeza

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It was the red dress

I wanted to wear

with high wedged sandals

flanking slight slim ankles

like the curve of Venetian wine glass

 

 

*

In memory of Louisa

………and you were my golden girl like a painting on a Greek urn, I used to come back and find you asleep in my bed blonde hair on pillow clutching dreams like heroin.  We would stay up all night sharing poems listening to overhead flights of jumbo jets from Abyssinian desert. We took trains to the New forest and crept around your grandmother’s house hallucinating on large quantities of LSD. We sat hunched on kitchen ray burn watching the midnight creatures crawl across the floor, made wild dashes for the mirror as our twin faces turned to green beneath the twitching of the drug.  You were my echo on harsh Yorkshire moor where we splashed fat ponies across swollen streams following a mythical hunt which was always a field a hedge and a barbed wire fence away.  Your demented mother was never far behind urging us onward like the general of a foreign legion, we took it in turns to deal with her until she succumbed to Alzheimer’s and was sectioned, but that was later long after.  We’d met in a pretty Oxford cottage both our boyfriends’ best friends and maybe they preferred stroking each other to stroking us so we talked and talked. We shared everything but men, and your lightning mind twisted them in knots left you cold on a heap of depression sent you running again and again to the bottle.  Babies, mine at least, (you just had terminations,) babies pulled us apart I couldn’t hold you up any more, couldn’t keep healing the same scars, listen to the same stories. Bound by blood ties as no sisters ever were, did something snap in me when you jumped, blurred and drunken not even hitting the water but lying broken on the railway bridge below.  I’m still seeking miracles finding them in shafts of sunlight, children’s kisses but you were my golden girl.

 

 

*

 

It was your red dress

I wanted to wear

fluid on sun blond skin

shadows of an Oxford afternoon

and the insects rubbing.

 

 

 

April

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April is here with

handfuls of pink blossom

dove calls, summer talk,

babies on park benches

Iris pushing from winter glom

April is here this year

with memories of you.

 

Nothing stirs in the darkness

sentry of night

full bodied with the moon

she walks on  empty city street

finds him listening

Spanish eyes, dreadlocks to his waist,

kissing him feels fine

she looks him through and through to find

a heat wave of amnesty

sugar in his pocket,

unpeeling from his arms a dusty drive

alone again she dreams of red stirred fires

alone again she dances.

 

April brings recognition

her senses roll into

a temple of desire

she opens the door

lights incense,

brings perfumed offerings.

 

This moment sunlight glints from leaves

acid green buds bursting into living

rake tilling, small child singing

light shut off with clouds Sunday sounds

the garden is a myth of future flower

earth simple richness

lilacs, fuchsia for her hair

grass like tormented wicker

and the white doves calling.

 

 

At the corner of the waste ground amongst the tin cans and sheared debris of other peoples parts you light a match for change.  Around you nature tends its carnivorous garden, Venus fly traps devour passing insects, and weeds grow rife to camouflage florid flowers: at the corner of the waste ground amongst the tin cans and other lifetime’s debris you light a match.

Sprite against a white sky you stood for some kind of justice, words spume, speckled spittle chapped lips, frozen voice, tight with your meanders desire branded on your brow nothing cleansed.  Ashes fly into a fickle wind, a dead match flares in no man’s land: in the corner of the waste ground I watch you turn and flicker, gather other peoples debris raise your face to a cold wind and with no expectation of conclusion, you light a match.

 

 

 

Promises

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Well there you are as you said you would be, that life ago as we walked a slim Irish beach leaving footprints and heart pickings, and I remember you saying that you’d never leave unless I came too, but I’d had half a lifetime, and you had so much to lose.  Here I am and your poetry curls a scarf around the coil of autumn.

 

 

I’m writing

I’m tired

I could talk.

 

 

You outside my window like a crested robin, vibrant in the pale dusk with leaves putrefying on the pavement and my heart an empty cadaver. Shall I go on talking in symbols or just leave you to the warm flesh and pure cotton delight of a young girl’s skirts on your shoulder. I can watch you in that American fall, an Englishman in University halls with the girls falling underfoot and the mother’s crooning at the elegance of your Adam’s apple.  It doesn’t really matter about time because what they’ll never know is that we are two sides of the same stolen moment, coated in platinum for durability.  So I’ll wait for your smoky kisses by the taxi rank at Victoria Station, like the night of our first date, about this time of year, and the inspiration that always comes with our footnotes.

 

 

*

 

You’re  the light

behind

every door I open.

 

From Tallulah Thursday

To buy the book click   here .

 

 

 

‘’I am the great God, the self-created’’

(From the Pyramid texts Amun Re)

 

 shutterstock_33002470

 

 

           Part One

London Now

Chelsea Kings Road

Chapter 1

Jean –Jacques

He sips his coffee slowly, it burns the back of his throat but in a good way, flushing away the vodka and the tell-tale cigarette taste of last night’s party. Mostly he is waiting for a glimpse of her, she comes here every morning at about this time and sits at the corner table with her back to him looking out over the Duke of York Square at the commuter crowd and the Chelsea girls sublimely purring their way to work on those long legs of theirs that only Chelsea girls seem to have. He first noticed her about a week ago, a drift of musky perfume wafted across the crowded café and hit his nose as he’d been queuing up for his espresso and he’d turned his head, and  craned his neck to see where the delicious odour originated from.

Then there she was and even her silhouette intrigued him, her back was turned away from him her long dark hair pinned up loosely in a bun, her side profile sharp and elegant. He clocked immediately the high cheekbones that were so sharp you could cut yourself on them, oriental or even Icelandic perhaps. Once on a stag night in Reykjavik he had fallen in love with an Icelandic girl, but that was back then and this is now. She has a slim toned body and the proverbial huge pair of dark sunglasses clasped around her small face almost like a bandage. He hasn’t seen her eyes, not yet at any rate and she could be anywhere between thirty and fifty, he isn’t very good with guessing the age of women. But he doesn’t care, that first look was enough and he was hooked.

She is simply the most divine and mysterious creature that he has come across in a long time. Definitely something other worldly and exotic about her, and yet there is a poignant fragility and delicacy in her small sharp little hands grasping the coffee cup as if her life depended on it.  He feels a part of him blossom and open out as if he wants to reach over and protect her, ridiculous really but that is how she affects him. For the first time in his life the hairs stand up on the back of his neck it is a weird and uncomfortable sensation and he has the strangest of feelings that he recognises her from somewhere deep down in his memory of the past.

Yes, he gets the strongest of feelings that he must know her already: but of course he doesn’t, how can he? He wonders momentarily if she is a movie star that he should know the name of, she has that kind of charisma about her, that definite quality of being in the world without being part of it. No one has ever made him think these things before, at least not a woman; he usually confines his ‘romantic’ thoughts to how and when he is next going to get laid. Afterwards it is how to make a quick getaway from the bedroom without leaving any of himself behind. Somehow with these girls nowadays when you are done you are done, and you just have to get the hell out of there. But something about this woman is different, it isn’t pure lust that he is feeling , it is something else, something unusual for him, and he doesn’t want to put a name to it, he doesn’t want to call it interest and desire , but maybe he might have to.

Jean –Jacques is tired of London high life, tired of all the silly little girls that he meets in their designer clothes, with their tantrums and dramas. He wants an affair with someone who has really lived, and not just existed in the bubble of their Daddy’s trust fund.  At twenty five he is tall dark and handsome, clever and immensely rich, from his father’s side, the family own one of the major cosmetic companies in the world. The Trammel range, unequalled in size and scope except perhaps by Max Factor and over the years in his

—‘’In house training’ —-

He has butted up against some of the most beautiful women in the world and of course he has had his fair share of them too, in the biblical sense of the word.  The boss’s son always gets what he wants almost immediately, no questions asked. But now he is tired of it all, he had woken up last Thursday morning looking for an adventure. So after showering in his state of the art wet room and carefully patting the accoutrements of his after shave regime onto his expensive face he had walked out into the spring sunshine and sauntered into the local coffee shop near his designer flat overlooking Sloane Square. There he had found her, like a gift glowing in the pale sunshine which flecked red and gold streaks in her luxuriant dark hair.

She looked like an Egyptian statue, a Queen from some lost civilisation, but here he is waxing too lyrical, her outer beauty just fits with his inner vision of what a woman should be, exotic, slightly aloof, definitely incorruptible by the luxuriant pleasures he is most used to. But then again he is sounding too romantic, idiotic really his friends would never stop teasing him if they knew what he was thinking and he has to stop himself. Suffice it to say that something in him is completely sure that there is an extraordinary destiny waiting for him with someone and this woman might just fit the bill.

All his life he has been told that he is talented and unusual, and so he has come to believe the parental hype, bought into their vision of their handsome clever son. His friends sometimes call him ‘’spoilt’’ but he just sees it as his right, to pick and choose, to mix big business with pleasure when and wherever he can find it. Yet at the back of his brain is the fairy tale marriage his mother used to tell him about when she read him his bedtime story. On those rare occasions when his mother was actually there of course and climbed up onto his comfy bed beside him so that he was enveloped in her perfume and the soft touch of her warm skin.  That had been the beginning of his need for women and he loved his mother of course he did but he was too often relegated to the company of one of the many nannies who came and went.

Their average working life in the household usually spanned out as no longer than a few months, something always happened to them, whether they were too pretty and his father would have a clandestine affair as all French men did of a certain age, an affair that was inevitably discovered. Or they were too efficient and tiresome and his mother got rid of them saying that they depressed her and gave the house a bad atmosphere. Poor girls they couldn’t win really but he supposed that they got paid handsomely for their troubles.

That is until of course he was old enough to be seduced by one of the prettier ones when he was fifteen, then he likes to think that they stayed longer because of his prowess in the bedroom. He smiles remembering the thrill of those stolen nights where one Swedish girl after another accepted him between their sheets in the dead of night and right under his parents’ nose. Trouble was if his parents had woken up they probably wouldn’t have cared much, they would just have seen it as a bonus in his education.

His mother and father being French minor aristocracy with a hint of Jewish ancestry had a bewildering range of double standards for their lives. It was ok for him to be a philanderer as long as he knew that one day he would have to buckle down and marry for the dynasty so to speak. That’s why he has run away to London; at least here he has a dangerous kind of freedom where pretty much anything goes, and no one to fuss and watch over him asking him if he has eaten enough as his mother  always does when he is at home in Paris.

He watches as the intriguing woman finishes her coffee, and he begins to notice little inconsequential things about her that please him. He notices the length of her dark eyelashes peeping from above the sunglasses as she hooks them further down her nose to glance at her mobile phone and then gets up to leave looking quickly around her. He notices a faint fuzz of peach like hair on the skin of her cheek as it catches the light, and most of all he looks longingly at the long shapely curve of her legs in her dark stockings.  She looks directly at him and momentarily pauses, a faint playful smile playing over her full lips. Lips that are painted with a vibrant shade of blood red lipstick that he immediately wants to kiss, but more than that he wants to see it smeared across her palest of skins. He wants to draw patterns on her body with it; yes he wants to watch her pink tongue protrude from those white teeth as she pants away from him.  But all this is in his head and he is instantly getting a painful erection which just won’t do: and it is nine am and she has absolutely no idea of his existence that much is plain.

She gives a small toss of her head like an impatient pony, very girlish and looking at her she could be twenty or even a teenager. The woman is timeless and he feels like he has walked into a Rider Haggard novel, that ‘’She’ is the one that he has been waiting for. She reminds him of one of the Goddesses of the silent screen, Louise Brooks or Clara Bow, but mostly she reminds him of the lost Egyptian Queen Nefertiti the most beautiful and mysterious woman the world has ever known.

He has seen the famous statue of the bust of the Queen in the Museum in Berlin; Jean – Jacques, a gauche fourteen year old had been forced to wander around the city alone for the day while his father attended one of his endless business meetings.  At the time he hadn’t thought much about it, but now the way this woman carries herself, the angle of the long curved elegance of her neck reminds him of the lovely statue and if he thinks about it she has a definite regal quality in her stance, all this reminds him of the image. She exudes sensuality, but in a totally uncaring way. Not at all like the usual self-conscious women that he sees walking the streets of Chelsea.

—-If he only knew who she is! —–

She turns abruptly and walks away from him, her small firm body enveloped in her tight skinny jeans and soft cashmere jumper, and in leaving the café she takes the morning light with her. Immediately a big black cloud covers the Square and it begins to rain. Mentally he sees her in furs and high heels, in black stockings and in silk lingerie with nothing but pearls swinging from her long pale neck. The door flashes open and shut, she is a shadow past the window, she is the fantasy of his morning glory, she is his bedtime obsession, she is his early morning lady, and he’ll have to wait a full twenty four hours to pluck up the courage to find out who she is.

Tomorrow morning he will pluck up enough courage to buy her a coffee and maybe even ask her out to dinner. He is never usually this tardive in getting what he wants but he is so fed up with the quick fix of this instant gratification generation that he lives in that this time he is prepared to wait a little to get what he has been dreaming about every night for the past week. All his dreams have produced so far are a stonking uncomfortable erection every morning as he wakes up, his heart beating as she disappears away from him around a corner of his dreams.

He has plenty of girls he can fuck anytime he wants to but this time he wants something more than just sex and he is determined to have her as his lover whatever he has to do to clinch the deal. He thinks of everything in business terms nowadays, his French romantic heritage seems to have completely deserted him and he feels stale and unloved and slightly sorry for himself.

With a long sigh he irritably pockets his IPhone which is beeping with messages from the office; his father is in Switzerland this week talking to the chemists about a new form of stem cell eye cream made from the umbilical cords of a certain rare kind of mountain sheep. The whole thing sounds disgusting, but he is busy on the PR side of things and doesn’t have to delve too deeply into the questionable ethics of trying to keep women young. No all he has to do is arrange the advertising budget and if that means that he can saunter into the film shoots and maybe select the odd model or two on the casting couch all well and good, but even that doesn’t quicken his appetite today.

Quickly he shrugs on his jacket and heads for the door just in time to see her turning the corner of the Square and disappearing up the Kings Road in the direction of Habitat. She hails a taxi, climbs into it and he has the fleeting impression of a pair of upwardly curved dark brown eyes looking inquisitively at him as the cab drives away.

—- A pair of brown eyes so dark they could be black, regarding him from a face which is a blur in the back of the taxi.—-

That decides him, dark brown slanted eyes are his favourite and Jean- Jacques isn’t a Frenchman for nothing. He can charm the knickers of most of SW1 if he is in the mood, and he is definitely in the mood to give it a go. Tomorrow he’ll buy her a coffee, tomorrow he will break the spell and find out who she is. Tomorrow his life will begin.

*

 

 

 

Fantasy

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Fantasy Phil

with your soft tongued dumps

and erotic whimpering,

I’ve been down so many corridors

in my mind,

you were in none of them.

 

*

 

So intent on the chase you forgot who you were chasing.  Mediocrity hung round your middle like the white flesh that had accumulated over the years. Life hit you in the face with a frying pan and you were panting from the exertion of trying to get somewhere, anywhere as long as there was freedom in the air and a hole to crawl into when the light faded.  You were attached to a kiss like a moth dying on a bright light and I was kind enough to let you remember one of those nights when the blue fumed smoke had taken over.  So long ago the paint has flaked from the door and swallows have made nests in the bedding.  Dinner with you was a struggle to keep my clothes on, they seemed to keep sliding to the floor as you persisted in screwing life into a monochrome movie  on a shrunken Riviera where the boats leaked bodily fluids.

 

*

 

I’ve been down so many corridors

in my mind

opened doors to a different

stab at reality

lived and breathed in a space

where time has never happened :

only the nothingness of eternity

pulls at my heartstrings.