New Developments and Old Bridges

First time you looked…
the old bridge held court, towering over a green, blank canvas,
save for the rustle and bustle of splendid leaves;
when the wind was behind them, music played.

Last time I looked…
interlopers festooned the ground, roaming freely,
making noise like only animals can, digging the dirt,
uprooting the trees till they bled roots hanging and crying.

Each time I looked…
they’d replanted with bricks and mortar; creatures loomed large, still sleeping; under their red manes the empty shells would soon thrive and cling to the soil, in a short time their windows like eyes pierced me, all lit up and hungry.

Whenever I looked…
I remembered when the rainbow would arc the sky, pierce the grass
and carry on its journey. I see it now planted firmly between the cold, stone
faces; it stands taller and resolute before springing forth to a better place.

Last time We looked…
we saw the same rainbow holding the same truths and feelings and heavy
load we are apt to burden it with; it is ours and it doesn’t mind caring, connecting, and transporting us in time, our time. Like the bridge, it will probably always be there.

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Black Christmas

scary elf

Charlie touched his brown-rimmed glasses knowingly, his freckles crinkling as he marched down to the garden’s borders. He noticed how austere it all looked this time of year and remembered from school how the birds might find it difficult finding food and contemplated eking out worms and other treasures just for them. His eyes smiled at the gaping hole in the deep green hedge his father took pride in and decided to follow a walk of footprints leading off to the street which was paved with gold – Christmas gold.

The huge black lead street lamp shined a golden yellow on the neighbour’s efforts. They had gone to town with sledges, reindeer, Santas and lots of glittering sights and sounds. His mind was still on the tracks though and the puzzle they presented. Charlie’s jaw dropped at the magnificence of next door’s sled where he noticed similar prints and more right beside the giant Santa, which was red and white and had a smile for everyone.

Charlie knelt down and checked under the sled and inside it holding onto his specs as he moved them up and down in inspection mode, murmuring the occasional ‘aha’ but he could see noting really. He scratched his head with stiff cold fingers while he simultaneously rubbed his cold, red nose wiping the overspill on his new, red scarf and saying an apology to Aunt Mildred for the mess. He clapped his padded hands together before they clasped behind his back, and a shudder took him into high-speed detective work.

He decided to sit on a large leather seat to shelter from the snow falling once again. The sledge began to move slightly making him a bit uneasy. That soon went as Charlie was soon in awe of the blue-black sky and the twinkling stars amid the white dotted snow falling around him in the sledge before it turned into a storm like whir. From behind he heard a booming laugh and bells; there was shrill ringing behind him then all around. His excitement was tinged with longings of home and the warmth and his mom and the Christmas tree and just all the familiar things, but maybe that was Santa. Was it Santa?

Charlie’s eyes were drawn to the sled floor and the tiny prints which had reappeared. He pushed his glasses onto his nose and pulled back as he noticed a small creature on the seat beside him. Charlie smiled at the furry paws though dirty and wet with very ragged nails; he was anything but cute and the stench emanating from him – it, was becoming unbearable.. Charlie’s smile was met with a dark face with crooked menacing teeth that dripped saliva that turned the sled floor a greenish yellow. Charlie’s heart sank together with the thoughts his companion might be an elf and he held onto his red scarf from aunt Mildred and smelled his moms mince pies on his glove, which bore some squished crumbs.

He was pulled out of regret, and near tears, when he was jolted by the roar of ‘Santa’s’ instructions to the beasts pulling the sled. The horrible goblin like creature that terrified Charlie turned to ‘Santa’, and with a hyena’s laugh and to Charlie’s disbelief, it uttered the words, ‘One more and we will be done for this evening.’ Charlie and the sled flew into the air and he was never seen again.

 

She

She raises her head slightly from the comfort of warm air
rising from the private space between skin and shirt,
and stares out of the steamed window.
She peers long into the distance – distant miles
and years have passed by her – growing older with time
to spend, but on what riches in return?

She can still hold a stare and make heads turn – even now,
they follow with jaws dropped as she slaps on her cycle
clips and leaves the local arena which smells of ale.
Eyes follow firm thighs and hips, both thankful for the years
of steep hill climbing and brisk walking.

She decides home is best for reflection well away
from the intrusive noise and incessant chirping of youth
biting at her heels. She exits the rowdy cottage style pub.
Age, she muses, brings with it its very own cloud,
and it is up to us how snowy white we keep it.

Looking In

Inside my head there is a story
with plots and angles,
arcs and curveballs,
twists and turns,
reality and make believe,
mystery, assumptions and clever word play.

Inside my head there is a dream,
where clarity resounds
and bleeds into
fuzz and fur,
the abstract becomes meaningful,
reality becomes the nightmare, contained.

Inside my heart there is a man,
who is part story,
part dream and daydream,
I see but dismiss it
I hear then forget,
When I feel, only then do I fully understand..

W G Casterbridge Retires

FootprintsInTheSand

Blue veins run the course of my extended arm. At the end of its reach, my hand clamours to quell irritating sounds and my face recoils at the sun as she spreads her wake up charm right across me and onto the polished virgin floors. Pristine wood is laid bare and unencumbered, until that is, I am ready to face the day and my feet pace upon it – the creaking, alas, will emanate only from me.

A melancholy sigh is accompaniment enough to herald the last day of crease-pressed, long trousers, for tomorrow I will bare my greying, pale limbs and shroud them with shouting, loud shorts – those with a deliciously garish display of pineapples held firm amid blue daubs – all unleashed by a designer who waxed lyrical for a while taking pity on some cold and dying cloth – I pray someone takes pity on me: a cast off, a remnant of society, unwanted, unfashionable and frayed at the edges, longing for some colour and the sunshine.

I will follow her form, treading a fine line of delicate, shoeless prints between sea and shore and disobeying her instructions so as to lose myself completely. I will burn red and become like the free roaming crustaceans, yet I will linger and enjoy her torment as never before since what else is there at the twilight of my days? While she continues to shine and delight and tantalise, so I will bask for as long as I can, and freely, since my legs are now bare; bare to the day and all who care to look upon them.

I will tilt my head and swear she winces at me as my nose turns cherry red. The pelting sound of the nearby ocean makes me take notice of my elongated shadow; exaggerated, flattering and emanating from my upturned toes. Raw sea salt rubs at my trophy cabinet, relics of which sing out in unison; blisters, bunions, corns, old plaster edges peeled away like a lifetime itself leaving a footnote as jaded as my soles.

I will be just another weary traveller whose journey has all but ended. On my march of freedom, I will bring with me white hair and gaunt features, worn sandals and plump feet bearing tales of cities past and people old and forgotten, except in my mind. I will scratch my blazing head – and think ‘how liberated I feel, and brave’, but skulk like a scolded child as she scorches my brow no doubt. I will dig deep, but will find nothing in my bloused, mango shirt and shorts of liberation as I will no doubt forget to pack a handkerchief. There is something to be said about the routine of a nine to five grey jacket and grey flannels.

I will hold up my brown spotted hand as protection from a hot lingering scour. If I stand long enough and enjoy the cool caress of the sea lapping like a faithful pet around my heels, will droplets of sweat run down my face? Will those tears of my soul cleanse me before falling off into the azure? Water – always in a hurry, always coming and going. Always leaving us behind. Except for tomorrow. Tomorrow I will travel, and further than I ever have before…

It Never Rains but Profundities Pour

rain

Eyes peer from inside tiny raindrops. Warped and tortured faces
pry from behind the prism wall; colourful, pretty and benign. Screeching,
reaching and stretching arms vie for a place away from its very core
to the outer, fighting the elasticity, which suffocates them and their wants
while thin veneers hold them captive.

Subdued yearning pierces the thin skin and they bombard our senses fresh from their muted dreams. Dissipating onto our floor their ravenous spill mingles willingly with souls who have long since gone and flow in a languid wave of twitching people into the drains’ cavernous outreach only to be swept stoically into a gloom of a sombre journey that will end one day in some vast oceanic pool; only to begin again, someday, where someone will be waiting.

More downpours of lost hopes and twinkling, chiming wants pummel the ground. But as rain is rain and life is life and, not unlike like the weather, it often evaporates  on lazier, humid days, and its journey is stopped in our tracks.

Riding the Waves of Asiatic Elephants

elephant

Despite a cool breeze of liberty, I sit here sweating in boredom, sticking in dreariness and repetitive thoughts. Swallowing them down in cold bursts of relief, topped with a dreaminess of milked tears, I cannot find a place to rest.

A healthy stoicism replaces my clothes of suffocation, layers of discomfort and an itch that can’t be reached till I walk with the trophy of apatheia.

“Yes!” I cry. With this freedom I heavily adorn myself and wearing it, I can feel the fresh, cool air, lapping on the shores of my discontented mind, cooling  the burnt dreams of a new land; wherein lies silken promises to wrap my body. Under a lukewarm sun the ice thaw bathes me in apologetic water, water that is my Monsoon.