Saturday, December 21, 2013

What have you done?

What have you done?
You have ruined everything,
tainted it all.
A black cloud of betrayal
like a dark crime casts its shameful shadow over our home.
The world
suddenly turns, turns colder.
It is the Arctic.
The frost makes flowers inside the window panes,
my breath freezes when I dare to speak.
Sneering gargoyles clatter about on our roof
snickering and bickering as they hurl down the tiles
when you dare to approach with your perversion of the truth-
with your explanation – with your self-justification.
Everywhere there is blackness - blackness and silence.
it is always night now.
Always winter.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Hanging out at John Lennon Airport

He seems as distant as a No.9 dream
Yet, he’s so very real to me.
But, he’s not the boy in the bustling bar with kaleidoscope eyes.
He’s not on an airplane disappearing into marmalade skies
He’s not waiting for me in arrivals 
clutching cellophane flowers of yellow and green 
And, for the first time I’m aware,
of the magic in the air - yes, there was magic in the air
Blue static stars glowing everywhere.
like spirit lovers dancing so strange.
And I thought I could see
I thought I could feel
I thought I could hear
those words he said, so long ago,
But still forever spinning around and around in my head
and now so very clear to me,
“Above us only sky."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Strange House

When we were kids,
there was this strange house on our street
It loomed large - a black silhouette against even the brightest of blue skies
half-hidden by gnarled trees ridden with mould spotted leaves.
Our mothers warned
“For goodness sake, never go near that house!”
but they wouldn’t say why.
So, of course, we went.
We climbed the high crumbling walls
and leapt into the dank garden that smelled of decay, 
crept about most days among spiders webs and weeds, like big game hunters looking for prey.
Sometimes we peered in through the dark, dusty windows,
but, only dense blackness pressed back against the glass.
We wondered if anyone lived there
weeks and weeks went by and we never saw anyone!
Then one humid morning, as everything shimmered and quivered in the heat
we heard shouting inside the house
“I’ll kill you, you God-damn liar’
It was a woman’s voice
Before we could run away, the front door was flung open wide
And the woman flounced out
She was about twenty
And she was shredding a single red rose
And tossing the petals like bloody confetti into the air.
She stood in the porch and regarded us lazily like a cat watching a mouse – no hurry to pounce
Her stark white face was surrounded by long dark hair
that fell straight down as if soaking wet.
She wore a long white satin under slip
one strap had fallen over her frail freckled shoulder.
We watched transfixed as she lit
a long cigarette
pursed her purplish lips as if to kiss, and blew smoke rings into the air.
But the spell like stillness was broken in an instance
by a long roll of thunder in the distance
like drums in an orchestra warming up.
Followed by the splat of fat spots of rain hitting the ground
Then the woman smiled at us oddly 
And said, “Well, little misses having fun, I hope?
Then she gave an empty little laugh
put out the cigarette with her bare foot without a flinch
smoothed down the slip over her slim hips
and slinked back into the blackness of the house
slamming the door shut.
We looked at one another  – giggled nervously
but then ran for our lives when we heard what sounded like a gun shot.
Though our mothers laughed when we told them
Said it was probably the approach of the storm that we’d heard.
We went back to the house many times that summer
But we never saw the woman again.

One day as we trudged home from school
We couldn’t get onto our street
It was blocked with police cars dramatically double parked
 - lights flashing and sirens still wailing

Outside of that strange house
Our mothers were huddled in a tight murmuring group
We couldn't hear what they were saying.
We moved nearer, ‘what’s happened"? we asked dancing around them

“Oh, don’t worry, it's all for the best,
 they said exchanging secretive glances
"That strange woman who lives there
"She’s being taken away - arrested"
But they wouldn’t say why!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tick...Tock Man

Tick…tock man locked in your six foot box
breathing in time to the deadly beat of the clock.
No one can hear your shouts
Pandora’s mistake I must not make
I will not, cannot let you out – you must not escape
This now our fate, mummification an indication
of the seriousness our situation.

As a scarlet sun slips slowly over the horizon
I spot bright blood drops,
I scrub until my fingers are raw
Lady Macbeth has tried it once before…
Duncan haunted her days, her dreams,
like me – she had no peace so it seems.
Tick Tock man…I have fallen a long way down
plummeted to the dark, dank depths of a medieval well.
the bottom slimy, slippery, pea green,
hypoxia sets in; the air is sucked from the water.
A sickly shaft of cold sunlight
Illuminating the desperate fight to stay afloat.

Tick Tock man…you’re guilty too.
And after all few…understand you
or see your point of view – as I do.

Sheila

Her smile was warm and bright,
beckoning like a candle at a storm struck window on a dark night.
Her skeletal body statue still under a soft blanket of snow white-
resisting with the strongest will –wave after wave of searing pain.
But, remarkably her sense of humour remained the same
and we still shared our secret in- jokes,
huddled giggling like two school girls at the back of a class.
But slowly and relentlessly her body
gave up the fight- shut down.
Unable to perform the simplest movement.
But even as the body faded fast, her smile remained in working order.

Only the smile – like the cat in Alice.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Unpaid account

White, fantastic rocks, sand, searing sun.  Dirk’s stolen horse finally founders beneath him. He shades his eyes;  there’s a half-ruined village shimmering like a mirage in the distance….

But this village seems deserted. He makes a weird, shabby figure in his black velvet sand dusted jacket, he draws water from the well, drinks greedily, pours some down the back of his sun scorched neck.

He senses unseen eyes are watching him. 

Suddenly, a thin ragged child bursts out of a nearby derelict house and wails: ‘The smallpox came. All dead, all dead.’

Fat blood bloated flies buzz on an un-buried corpse in the murky interior. Dirk retches. He’s white-faced, heavily stubbled, fevered – you would have said, a man with the devil pursuing him.

At the end of the village, gazing across the acres of desert before him, a figure is propped against the wall, a figure so still, so silent at first he seems part of the parched landscape. Poncho, slouch hat, waiting, impassive. He smiles to see Dirk stumbling towards him. A smile that doesn't reach his eyes.

‘I was waiting for you, ‘says the old Indian who first sold Dirk the Winchester rifle on account.  'We have some unfinished business". The Indian grins revealing yellowed teeth as sharp as a wolf. Nearby in the graveyard his black pony is grazing on a grave and is the only witness to the drama about to unfold.

As dusk falls the Indian mounts the pony, rides. In the immense stillness of the night, the hoof beats gradually diminish. 

Out of nowhere, a great wind comes, whirling the dust into a sandstorm. Such a storm. It furiously blows open the doors of the village church, sets them creaking on their hinges. Out of the sandstorm, dark hallucinatory figures emerge and merge, giant forms that care nothing for man. 

 Gradually the storm dies away, the sand settles and like a shroud enfolds Dirk who is lying face down motionless- his long white fingers wrapped desperately around a crucifix which, in this case, was ineffective. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Passion for winter fashion


Summer has faded fast from the shops

pretty prints, profound pinks, passionate purples,

all packed away... a motion passed... quietly unopposed.

To replace with less revealing, all concealing garments

 Bland browns, gravestone greys, midnight black.

Blinking I brave the bright lights

shrink back, like a vampire shocked to find itself in daylight.
Reluctantly, I try the newly arrived but faintly familiar fashion on
and as expected, find a perfect fit. 

Already the frozen door of the north

creaks open a crack, 

soon birds will leave, trees will be bare, snows will steal the warmth

A cruel wind is set to blow.