Missy

Her skin is fair, lightly freckled and starkly
contrasts her ambiguous demeanour.
I always tip my cap, ‘Good day, Miss,’
but she never casts a glance.
I carry on my way, meandering
deep in wild thoughts that are always
honeysuckle, blue grass, rosehips
and my Miss.
The sun beats down on she and us,
but when my Miss smiles, the heavens open
and it pours, dare I say, it rains tears.
My thinking is, it can not compete
with the lovely lady who does not care
if I live or die, because I know us to be just
a part of my wildest dreams –
the place I go to swiftly as I pass
the dingy, rusted via duct
on my way to work –
I pass that way often, my dreams,
so as not to be seduced by the muggy
waters of brown stench lying along my trail.
Deep down, I think it may just take time.
Today, anyway, I saw a glimmer,
a near warming at the corners of her mouth,
but it could have been the damp, or
maybe, just maybe, as she meanders
to her dress shop,
bypassing her own thoughts and dreams, she is
smiling as she thinks of me.
Maybe.
But, ah, I hear the whistle. Time for work.
Until tomorrow then, Miss.

The Raven

Raven, black, atop a tree

Screamed religion spuriously

Bleak-black probed me; evil glee

Before I shot it dead

Raven crowned so hideously

In a dream he came to me

Pitch black, vacant eyes I see

Before he swooped on dread

Raven claws insidiously

Gouge my own indemnity

Black robe swoops to smother me

Before tearing flesh, he said

Raven, black, atop the tree

Why do you seek to crucify me?

I only ask as courtesy

Before I shoot you dead

Ketley

Ketley was a burly man, and because of our differences over the years, he and I stood at the end of an aching pole; his muscled arms were bent on pulling in that monster.  He often snarled mid heave.  I was sure, at times, he would have loved the head on that line to have been mine.  I may have been wrong, but I had chills that morning on the river; strong notions, dare I say it, that I couldn’t cast aside.

He froze my core with his backward glances as he caught me reminiscing.  I knew how wrong, but at the same time, how tantalising my dalliances had been with his shapely fair-haired, sassy woman, whom I did love with all my heart.

Had I been altogether spoiled for choices, I could have kept her, instead of being plainly faced with death’s place underground.  So, I kissed her farewell and braced myself for the wrath of Ketley, but why we had to meet here of all places  was not a curiosity to me.

His sights were held firmly on that there bleak as hell’s charmed water, and god knows what he thought was underneath it all.

“Give me that small hook, will you?” He growled at me with a threatened animal growl – that low noise in its throat – usually, it meant it was angry.  He looked at me hard, and that always made me go cold.  He was angry.

What he called a small hook could have suspended a small calf.  The cold steel was sharp and grey,  and it looked like it could pierce three men at a time – and I was just one.  Still, I had trusted him all of my life, and I didn’t necessarily want to stop now.  Also, I had an escape planned.

I handed the hook to him as I recoiled involuntarily, and at the same time, I watched my sweat be flung into the Four Corners of a god-an awful night’s sea swell.  He swung the steely crook over the boat’s edge and it soon took hold of the hellish, glistening creature he had managed to draw alongside us.  It was magnificent. It was huge!  God almighty, it could have been the devil.  I’d never seen a catch that size.  Heh, in my mind, he should have rode off majestically then and there on that critter!

But instead, he started talking, and not in the angry voice I’d anticipated for most of the night; he was too watchful of the water, and seemingly, any possible onlookers.  I sat back away from him just in case.  He seemed calm and collected as he (just like that) asked me if I felt confident enough to run his livery, and that he ‘knew for damn sure’ I could take care of his wife.  But what about his three kids?

I stammered for quite a while, both inside and out – the words just would not come.  My mouth?  Well, that giant fish from hell was looking mighty interested in its large space as my jaw got wider and wider.   Despite the abundance of torrid sea water, my mouth just plain dried.

“Just as I thought.”  His creased to bust eyebrows all of a sudden burst.  He savagely continued with,  “Thinkin’ with yer groin, but with actions of a jellyfish.  So, yeah, meet yer maker, squirt!|

Plunging into the freezing dark perdition of my predicament, I felt a hitherto calming warmth, as if hell froze for me all that was bad.  Ketley saw wrongdoing and acted… and  I, at the time, only saw curvaceous smiles, fear, her desperation and a hallelujah heaven awaitin’, and so, I indeed acted.  But who was right?

By now that great creature of a fish was as damn inconsequential as one might get.  And me?  I was a goner, but also didn’t altogether mightily care two hoots.  Ketley went home, she froze as she always did and turned for warmth to another, who soon joined me in purgatory for cosy chats and fishing and good times.  I knew just by commons sense, she would soon be joining me.

Visionary Heart

‘Pinterest’

My trembles are you;
a part of you so ingrained,
entrenched within my mental and moral constitution.

I pity there is no eternal power
nor anomaly
in this wayward stack
of melting rainbows –
none at all, it seems,
to guide me.

Overwhelmed by a myriad
of colour,
I retreat and ache
in this dichotomy-
placed centrally in the valves
of my heart; unborn,
unloved, but aghast
at prospects of warmed honey
and dislodged membranes.

Within this dimension,
I seek solace
and that elusive eternal power
to catch all of the colours,
to hold them vehemently,
as potent, unadulterated lust;
a lust for life, a lust for equity,
a lust for consumption

of everything about everything
and something about you.

I have been too busy fundraising to write until I saw an email post of one of my ultimate female writers, and I was energised (and inspired by) My Valiant Soul.https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com/2022/07/08/to-the-poets-i-have-been-reading-all-these-years/#like-5366 and some of her thoughts.

A Haunting

Pablo Picasso ~ ‘Muse’

A shadow’s clear face –
is that my haunted muse?

I too am wary of past’s ghosts,
squeezed by daylight
into ethereal painted diaphanous
landscapes,

and where equally pellucid capes
waft in the nothingness
of such a delicate dimension.

Sunshine filters
through the interstices
of arching trees –
their spindly finger shadows
pierce the throb
of my ripened veins
resting
under the mirror
of spider branches
hanging lazily –

adust words
tease the vastly hollow chambers
of my heart and mind

whilst unwanted ghosts, these stark
strangers, pass by me
trying to scavenge my thoughts –
thoughts once hid, but which now bustle briskly
under this fair poplar – but adamantly
refuse daylight in their presence

my muse blows timidly
to rustle up my tired parchments
not scratched since autumn opened its eyes
on the majestic fade of green –

before it reawakens – under these dreaming spires,
I will write a sonnet for her –

to coax, to not be afraid of ghosts,
nor reconcile me with my own
by her very absence –

me thinks I’ll keep it safe in heart,
away from prying eyes and strangers’ judgement
at least until summer comes again.

I see you, haunted muse
come out from the shadows.

Thoughts for Ukraine

A Bloodthirsty Fool

pinning a note on the wall –
artillery takes my
loved one away again

Quote of the day.

“All in all, Russia has shot itself in both feet, the balls, and finally in the head.”

And something to remember:

“When I despair, I remember that all through history
the ways of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall.
Think of it–always.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Cherish the Mortal

Murillo

I speak low lest
my love evaporates
before e’en kissed
by your infant’s breath,
and beg before day’s
whispered hush
ascends to nightfall;
small child, look at me
one last time
before you crawl away as slow
as time roams vast.

Too soon,
tomorrow’s
branches laced
with the chirp of sweet song
will bow to cradle this dear life –
and since time nor death
show mercy –
warm arms
shall send him safely
unto a strange, beatific world,
where all will be waiting

all, except for me.

Inglorious Bastards

“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.”-Dalai Lama.

With that in mind, I write and I campaign; still, I am not happy. Fix me a smile!

Smiles that imitate in the now, such exhilaration.

Smiles that can rekindle in hearts and remind me of life lost,

Even smiles of the sunshine reflected in faces yet to be torn.

But not of those, weary and of war’s forlorn fodder;

and stricken, now beloved, so, so deep underground…

Be mindful of peace less it darkens your door.

Depose those dark angels – inglorious and gone before,

Bring them down into the ruins of shame; brute monsters that they are – зло.

Pure evil is driven until WE stop it.

Do what you can to retain your strong power.

Be brave and stand lonely with the mad. You WILL win.

Україна та демократія для решти світу

Ukraine and democracy for the rest of the world.

Dreaded Whispers

Strokes of moonlight smother
the inflorescent
whispers of the smoke bush –

fighting, but wavering against twilight’s
ghostly dreams,
it drapes the water,
pondering depth and death,

and, whereupon streaks of my childhood run
wildly ‘til they bleed into the perfect pink wash –
disrupted only briefly by daubs of
my more morbid notions –

a thousand indigo butterflies
dotted like inky death
become pinned to the eerie flatness of still water
and life –

finally, my drowning memories
are absorbed by stagnant fluid –
the whispers are hushed in the black, dead air
where mosquitoes live instead,
and for the first time, I begin to thrive.

refugeenotes

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MarkovichUniverse AT gmail DOT com