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.

Silently, I Go

Words tremble and form on my lips.
In the middle of nowhere,
on an old, abandoned field’s
icy, quiet calm – I can
see those words as frosted air,
palpable, almost real.
Almost.
The memory of ecstasy
ripples vehemently in rifts,
saying, ‘don’t let go –
don’t let go of the moment,
the tenderness and the journey
that has begun –
don’t let go of the time invested
and the heart’s own life span,’ –
I clap my mitts together hard.
I need to hear another voice
in the heavy, thick dullness
of meaningless, inside this bitterly
cold wilderness – an expansion
of existence.
Inside this perfect ring of O,
caution and doubt is excluded
by the wintry tourniquet
and deep seated bleakness.
Within this rink of fire,
I have found a plan;
idly scraped into the dense snow’s
virgin white territory
are thoughts and decision making –
a bittersweet means to an end.
I exhale and words reverberate –
detached.
Let loose, they do their own thing.
I believe that trust is its own reward,
and love is a consequence
of that very airing –
so, I let them breathe.
My lips tremble from more words,
although I can’t hear them, they spill
and the cold lets them sit there.
Sat on the snow, memories
cosy up to them,
of when tears made me choke
and lies made me half blind –
now they both
thaw like a discarded
ice lolly bleeding into the impacted
prisms hidden in this pristine
foundation.
I rub my insulated woollen hand
over the small pond’s glass
to see a lifetime spent asking
why amid my mind’s sighs to half
answered questions and doubts,
and painful bouts of inertia.
I find a heavy rock, and listening
only to the whispers between
my thighs’ nylon energy,
I smash it into a face
in the ice –
all of those things are finally
released and surface through the shards
of their confinement –
roaming prisoners cut loose
to set me free,
to crawl out onto the debris.
Wading knee deep I try to remember
what was instilled in me;
I was taught to swim and love,
and trust in rewards,
I was loved and I am loved,
a consequence of not sinking –
swim freely.
The temperature plummets
within, and still knee deep, I am caught
in the ice of limbo
like a reluctant, unbaptised infant
who already knows its own mind.
Today, it is not as simple; revisited
once again, by dark clouds that come
to smother me with their words –
they take their place in the queue
in this time lapse of a snowy day
where whiter clouds come and go,
but like my words they are seldom
realised, and so I have to withdraw
into a quiet blackness – the Narnia sheen
of glistening reason is too bright,
too stark, too vivid when shouts scream
from it.
The pool of unhurried water is a starkly
black dilation –
of a welcoming eye – the pupil inside
this giant O.
I fall into its gaze, and like yours
it swallows me up.

Cracking Shins

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Corrupt hearts and cracking shins,
elicit all that is bad in us,
it surfaces in the night
when death’s courtiers
seek vengeance and atonement.

Spectres ravage putrid night air,
harbouring grim justice,
scabbed nostrils flare
at their own grumbling, aches and groans,
their bickering and jabbering
among bleary headstones
where slyly they plot and gleefully
they scheme
to repay their murderers
and savour their screams.
In freezing cold they’ve been pacing
these long ago hours,
stomping for warmth already dead flowers
as the rounded silver
of the moon’s howl dies down,
they shiver together their collective frowns;
the enticing warm soil, laid out below,
beckons ever so nicely
to the greying ghouls aglow;
‘On reflection, vengeance is overstated, silly –
do we really want justice –
on this night so damn chilly?’

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