Archive for January, 2017

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Gifts

January 26, 2017

Hair curls on the edge of a collar folded like the steam from her morning coffee.
I never knew what material her dressing gown was made of, something caught between terry cloth and velvet, zipper drawn up tight against the sight of her thin nightdress below.
I never saw her without it on, as though it was the equivalent of nudity, to be unadorned by quilted burgundy. Dressed enough to open curtains and greet the day, but breakfast required her to be fully dressed.

My mother rarely wore a dressing gown, soft curves contoured by cotton, her breasts heavy round and reminiscent of a legacy she shared with her first born, though not with me. Her casual night wear suggested a welcoming closeness.
I never snuggled in grandma’s bed if she was there too. But there was always room between mum and her book.

With grandma, it was music, lullabies sung from the edge of the bed, pushing us into a dream country she dared not visit.
But mum carried us there, in the pages of stories that fell from her lips, tucked within the kiss she pressed with a featherlight love, on the foreheads of her near sleeping babes.

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I want you to see it; a dreamstudy

January 23, 2017

They’re fighting and she is trying to be quiet about it, withdrawing into a denim jacket, taking on the qualities of a store window mannequin. Look, don’t see me. Glance, don’t notice. But he is flamboyant, he speaks in a strut, means to make you look.
A black book of newspaper clippings pulled from her lap, she doesn’t fight anymore.

Wishes she could sink deeper into the sofa, it having grown soft from spending years on this porch, watching rain and holding court. Silent and faded, it bears sad witness.
He pulls more dramatically than her capitulation requires, the book spins. Clippings flutter like the feathers of a bird half dressed. He stands and is gone, tucking his shame in to the pockets of his tight jeans with lean fingers, none of us notice where. A fact that might devastate, as he is reliant on the way it feels to bask in hearts and eyes, even if through a tint of envy or scorn.
His meticulous attention to detail is wasted on me.

She freezes in his wake, her secrets spilled on the porch. I wait a count of three and lean slowly, creaking forward from a wicker chair with barely a sound.
My contact, fingers against the corner of a yellowing page gives her life again. She scrambles to gather the pieces of herself he carefully tossed with disdain.
Papers folded delicately, obituary origami, pinned by paperclip to keep them uniform.I see the pattern in her collection.
“Do you only collect the dead?”
She hesitates, trying to discern if the note in my voice is judgement of a kind she’s accustomed to.
I gesture with some of the papers I’ve picked up and she takes them as definitively as she can, while still being gentle. The motion of her hands, smoothing them, suggests the ‘no’ that she whispers, is a lie.

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Progress (a drabble)

January 21, 2017

I am comprised of stories, words that find their way home to my flesh and etch themselves upon me.
Shadows following calligraphic contours haunt the corners of my eyes, their swirl and sweep will make you dizzy if you look too intently.
I carry words on my feet that carry me, they describe all the places I’ve been and all the places I’ll go and they speak of rest with the same enthusiasm as adventure.
A mind to fingers blood ink connection, a black character on white page pursuit of something that is consistently honest, even when it isn’t true.

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On time

January 13, 2017

I have no time for a quick bath.
Any thoughts of rush through this and on to the next are lost in the smooth eddies that form around my sinking hips.

My feet, tentative ambassadors from the department of testing the waters bravely pave the way and let me know just how difficult this might be.
Sometimes it takes me just as long to find myself all the way in, cool skin to hot water ratio off the charts, as my would-like-to-be-orderly to do list brain has allotted for the complete experience.

It could be I’m economical with warmth. As long as there is heat, rising in waves of steam from the surface it makes good logical sense to stay. Better to delve than to dissipate.

I’m greedy for the weightlessness, the all encompassing sensation of being submerged. The feeling that I’m not trapped but set free, a contentment of containment.

Caught up, enraptured by the fancy of a fever dream more dream than fever. A notion I am a personification of Atlantis, a lost continent found, and fortunate be any man who finds himself alighting on her magical shore.

There is enchantment in the music of it, the toe toying with the spigot steady tap drip accompaniment of a slightly different temperature, creating rhythm with the ripple effect.

It’s a communication between the substances separated by surface layer of skin. Like the whales, I’ve found my way back to the sea, however temporary and saltless the visit.

There is poetry in the sound of the world from below,
an echo chamber where time’s influence is only measured in how long I can stay breathless.

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Vellichor – the strange wistfulness of used bookshops

January 9, 2017

My heart finds it easier to breathe here.
Surrounded by cracked spines, spread open wide, intimate details shared readily, because all friends start as strangers.

I thread my fingers between parchment dust coloured pages and before I know it, I’ve waded into the depths.
There is magic here, walking hand in hand with science.
Nearly faded reminiscences of past dance intimately with speculative hope of future interwoven with here and now.
The casual, the serious, the inhale, the exhale.
The entire human experience.

These are stories shared, loved and lost and left behind.
There is comfort here.
There is home.

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Rubatosis – The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat

January 8, 2017

I woke up hungry and I called for you,
But there was no answer because you were gone.
I lay there and I tried not to think
tried not to focus
on the empty space inside me where you used to be.
I rolled over and I closed my eyes tight,
Whispered ‘no, I’m not crying
These tears are a parting gift,
compensation for the prizes I didn’t win,
but thanks for coming out and being on the show.’

I wrapped my arms around myself,
I tried not to pretend they were yours,
But just between you and me…
Wait, the only thing between you and me
is the heavyweight quiet of a house where you don’t live anymore.
I didn’t realize how much room you took up
Until you took all that life with you.
What you left behind? It isn’t death
Death is not empty.
But at this moment,
I am.

It broke my heart that you didn’t say goodbye.
Just pushed me away in increments,
the silence pressing against my skin,
A surface tension stretched tight with unmet need.
I saw the fire dying, though I was still feeding it,
and you didn’t have the strength to tell me it had already gone out.
You didn’t want to be the one to hurt me
But that grim line that used to be a smile ripped me in two.

I think this is how a hedgehog must feel
on those days when it forgets
Which way to curl
And all the prickles stab from the inside out.
But hiding only works for so long.
Even with breath held and mind quiet
The dull thump in the centre of my chest
Pushes back against the sticky temptation of inertia
A tick-tock
to-do list
moments count
2..3..4
and 1 more time..
A consistent beat that finds its way
everywhere
To ears
To fingers
To toes
A slow motion woodpecker rat-a-tat
Poking holes in my theory that I can’t go on
Without you.

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Monachopsis – The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place

January 7, 2017

The middle of the nightmare wake up call fantasy hotlines are currently busy.
Please retry your curtain call,
your fall from grace,
Your taking up of too much space
Attempt to erase your memories in a disjointed manner
Without plan or
map to work out
how the hell
We are going
to get out of this place.

Because there’s a part of me that feels as though I just don’t belong
Like a line from a song
I forgot how to play.
And I don’t have time
To revisit every yesterday
In the hope that I can retrace my steps.

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