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.

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.

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.

Such a Tiny Thing

Wishing you all the best for this season! Take care and stay safe! Today, years later, this poem resonates with me because of what we are all going through, and who we have lost, and our resilience. The tone is hushed, but strong and fast, as we encourage the bird to fight to fly and to finally sleep after all its endeavours to survive. Just, as I imagine, like us all.

Sing little bird,
fly overhead,
rest in the trees’
wavering breeze.

Lift the curtain high at dawn
let the flickering candles yawn.

Tall trees aglow,
clouds full of snow,
laden with light,
sing black on white,
snow flurry sneeze
small feathers freeze.

Fly little bird
lift up and fight,
go little bird
circle the light,
sleep little bird,
a peaceful goodnight.

Try little bird,
lift your wings while you’re still singing
soon the night will warm your dreaming.

Fly little bird
reach for the night,
go little bird,
shy winter’s light.

Warm your body, melt the snow
for the daylight crisp below.

Go little bird,
sleep little bird,
find the songs you sweetly sing,
nestle there ’til winter’s still.

Go little bird,
up to the night,
fly little bird
soundly tonight.

See the moon she’s smiling for you
shivering stars their arms are open too,

so go little bird,
fly little bird,
high little bird,
hush little bird,

soon will come the voices of the morn
joyous little creature of our dawn.

Go little bird,
fly little bird,
sleep little bird,
twilight is heard.
Go little bird…
go.

Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his favourite wife, Mumtaz. He longed to preserve the love that he had for her.  With its creation, love, magnificence and memory has been preserved. I had the privilege of falling on the stairs inside that lead to the tombs proper on a visit – a treat from my dad while we were visiting family in India.  The anniversary of his death and the reason for my blog is coming up, and I am taking a moment.

Shah Jahan

She wilted, and he slept for one year,
fading like the blush of twilight –
riches do not protect the human flesh
or soul –

death permeates even our innermost
love.

In his darkest dreams, grief struck at his aching bones
and tortured sinews;
the surrounds of a heart heavy from drought,
until, he was woken with a vision to transform
her death into beauty – as she was in life
so she shall be in slumber.

‘No more tear drops on cheeks
that pain compared to her touch,
but across the naked sky,
to prolong this innermost sorrow,

just the last one –

a gesture to sear my longing
in this lonely, mournful place –
the last cry will be affixed
vapour
laden with jewels and precious
splendour
to pierce the clouds
saddened and heaving constantly
as sorrow.

On the south bank, ribbons
of the Yamuna river will stare
at a true reflection of beauty
created from your passing –
it will remain a last kiss on the cheek
from my final tear as it rolls
through Agra.

Your splendour will ignite
a restful place, and make magical
this white opal – as opaque,
as my grief
and as magnificent
as you my love, Mumtaz –

soon we will sleep until we can
no longer, and we leave together
through the ghosted marble
of the Iwan.’

Love’s Fair Bounty

Ye olde world.

As it Comes

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Picture: Vincent Van Gogh

What summer’s sad fair
wouldst have me grace thy lips rightly
without strokes of seduction?
Tantalising is it not when ripeness befits
us as hosts and we lay warmly against each?
O, to take comfort
from those comely eyes is indeed
like breath itself,
for they eagerly greet such slender hopes
with backs as yet unbroken against
the firmament’s green sheets,
and that from whence we lay, to steer to riches
inside of the vast continent orb above
this fair orchard is remarkable. ‘Tis little to suffer
her streamers of adulation as we cradle
true love’s generosity
amongst each other in these verdant fields.

Daily Post : Bounty

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Frivolity, My heart

4 years ago, and the dabbling. Oh, my. lol. I hope you’re all well, and coming out of this sad situation slowly, but surely, in some parts of the world at least. Keep your chin up. We will beat this.

As it Comes

imagesBAYNZMH1

Wouldst thou call
on love’s embrace
and its clumsy cuffs
of flimsy lace
to wrap warmly
and surround thee

when spectral lights
adorn the sky,
and snow ghosts,
haughty, loom at night
only to come and haunt thee,

and if thou were touched by such
as she and her lustrous trumpery,
wouldst thou still forswear
under this black maire,
our undying love, but yet vow
to leave me?

Wouldst thy call on it?

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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.

Breath and Bones

Rejigged this a bit. Hope you are all well and coping.

unknown source

We are more than breath and bones,
or the dust of a soul’s divide that gilds
our pale faces with heavenly alchemy;
we are combined essences
swirling underneath complex skin
with all of love’s triumphant splendour
placed on our brows.

We are more than breath and bones
with no more taught sinew to soothe
since all mapped outreaches tethered
by distance and timid pasts have been conquered,
and before intruders, unseen, steal west
with their disgrace. We stay low and soft
within this warm, diaphanous wrap;
it is no fair costume this skin
of faux silk.

We are more than breath and bones,
as within each of us lies such vast continents
yet to be stroked, to align
with us under our blue skies.
Synapses crawl to make us,
messaged and volatile, their eager grip
might conquer us still…
we are more than breath and bones,
and we will not be torn asunder.

We are more than breath and bones,
or the thousands of strange shadows
that tend us; each have all but one shade,
and poor imitations lend counterfeit images,
all of you. But, the truth lies in a kiss
of your cheek, and there I see us
in every shape and shadow we know.

Dream Like Dali

Picture source: Salvador Dali 1904 – 1989

Majestically, she strode to the edge of sun baked
sand, like an hourglass held up by time,
before she became still; her long legs equidistant

man lay heel to toe with a savage sun –
humanity encrusted with parched earth,
it had partially eaten him –

a dried out white dove clung
to an exposed ribcage; a much needed perch
for a wasted observer
tired of flying,
tired of singing,
lost in his search for peace.
Its feathers, etched from
fine, dried clay – were fissure
like veins devoid of faith – baked
outside of death,
badly in need of rest.

Her elongated shadow buried
them both before she knelt on the earth
for water to pour from dainty,
silver rivulets
that ran her body,
which was smooth
and flowing sand

he watched her rise,
striking the sky
with her cool, black silhouette
but on the floor it lay
outstretched – as an amber pool
of honey;
he placed in it his hand
to taste her

immediately, he was quenched, fed. Arid skin
of dust and clay fell away, as did the shell of the dove,
which had replaced his heart –
its wings shattered
into a thousand pieces like baby soft powder
dusting the gritty, sparkling floor

in the breeze, billowing white clouds
conjured a magnificent
topaz bird; its plumage was a thousand lights
of peaceful nights held in its tail eyes
of beautiful iridescence –
tail eyes that had once glimpsed peace
in a thousand colours: turquoise, ocean green
and gold …

quill feathers wafted the zircon grains
of the sand, writing new rules,
posturing and reshaping –

beautiful but cruel foundations of peacock ore
too brittle to walk on, created swank waves
of peacock blues,

and it strutted till a thousand feathers
fell on the sand
rising once more as blood red poppies
that poured in an avalanche from the gaping
mouths of soldiers still inside tin helmets –
grown men like babes still fighting
inside their dreams

he tried to pick the wild flowers for her
but barbed, razor wire snagged
his crumbling fingers,
and hidden behind those were children’s faces
pressed against wire mesh
on the shores of green, unpleasant lands lapped by oceans
that gulped and gagged; force fed a rigorous diet
of helplessness and hope
each time sand was flipped inside the hourglass

he gripped her waist,
but, his reflection caught on her glass bosom,
it shattered her hourglass frame

she was released

a thousand more grains of sand
flowed like the salt
of his tears – sprinkling gently
from a watering can’s wise rose
to try to feed the presumption of green
leaves between his toes

his flaking sinews were pulled
to his chest; he wore a crude hole
where the dove had nestled –
dust stung his eyes
and, his tattered hands rose, forming a bridge
that the sun rode across
to join him at his journey’s end

red jewel fish swam ahead of her
in shoals of beating hearts –
riders corralled the sand storm’s cloth
approaching like a whirling dervish;
her titian hair draped those black, almond desert eyes,

and their glinting sunlit flecks
consumed time in their frenzy –
she placed the convergence of jewel fish; a plump,
red heart,
within his rib cage,

she was a belly dancer for a while
on the sand’s hypnotic gyrations
prompting creatures with a spin of time
to play music
inside of their shells

her lips were kissed by
one thousand butterflies, and her open palms
let loose a chorus of titanium white doves;
all of the notes to harmonise with man’s discord –
all willing one more time to fly away
in a relentless search for peace and to sing
for another one thousand years –

time enough, she thought, before they’d need
a place to rest

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