Me as I am
And you, in part
Become ‘we’ in this process.
A long conversation that’s intimate, yet paradoxically almost one-sided with respect to content.
But I’m not alone in it;
You are here, focussed and listening.
I wanted to write prose about this business, but its shape was a poem.
Between these lines is where the essence of the meaning lies
A space where we sense the sense of it
Our conversation is long indeed and many stories have been told
Some have been slow to unravel and are unravelling still
Some intertwine in complex patterns
And others are shaped into vivid dreams
We ride on them and ahead see fate laid out like a corpse
Unwinding the shroud we face Death
And all the while stare wide-eyed and white faced at our doom and our destiny
It’s here you whisper courage and strength into my ear.
This is the journey of a lifetime
Who leads and who follows I know not
Only the first hesitant step reveals the nature of the second step, all else is obscured
Magical and mysterious, harsh yet peppered with laughter
The treasure found along the way is in the companionship of our shared experience
And in me finding the part of myself that I had thought lost
On reflection I needed to have a sense of where I’d been and where I am going
Yet I’m still on the journey and can’t see where it leads
Ah, as if this were ever possible!
But what I notice is that I need ask fewer questions
And perhaps that’s an answer of sorts
My thoughts often draw pictures of love for you
So today, I listen to a shuffle of old songs
Hoping nostalgia will change the tune,
And distract me from the longing in my heart
I want to write you a love song
With the heart-rending warmth of Joan Armatrading,
The edgy complexity of Joni Mitchell
And the sweetness of James Taylor
A song of fantastical love in a mundane setting
Sweet in the loving
Bitter in its failure
I wonder why I stay when I could leave
Like the choice between bathing in the light or sinking into darkness
Who wouldn’t choose the light?
But I'm clinging to the darkness all the same.
You know this pain, and make me face it.
Holding me while I learn to accept things as they are
To trust and value fear and loss
And sing songs to celebrate my own experience
It might take a long time but maybe, after dark we’ll be laughing.
I watch a woman smile as leaves, like red fingered stars
Swirl around her in the stiff autumn wind.
She bends clutching handfuls of crisp copper leaves to her chest
And I'm reminded of childhood games;
They fall more thickly
And there's surprise and wonder in her eyes
At one with the breeze and the leaves
She spins in the dance, arms flung wide
Old memories dance before me; unbidden, chaotic,
Holding no promise of restoration or renewal
Their forever darkness still red slashed
As ghost sores weep
Love letters falling like leaves
Bleed from my breast in reams
Once written in heart blood
Golden gilded with the glow of possibilities
Once light, they now pool at my feet
I should catch them up, press them tightly to my chest
to staunch the flow of life's essence
But a sharp slashing cut which evicerates
and the sense darkness beyond paralyses
Here is the edge of grief
A fish splashed
Bright eyed, silver backed
Ripped through ripples leaping
To snatch a fly
Gills flare, gasping
Taught line stretches
And the barb bites deep
Now a waiting death
An edible prize
Once predator now prey
Fish is as fly
January is grim and grey in its usual way said the Jabberwock
And heart’s cockles need warming by crackling and sputtering coals
Now that winter's ghosts are shriven and shrivelled,
Undone by jolly festivities and bacchanalia
Singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and holding hands we raise the ullaloo to loved ones lost, and so
Returns, the New
aɪ love the slipping vaʊwels
That seɪ yʊər neɪme
In gliding təʊnes that form my lips to a kiss.
The səʊnd of it brings comforting warmth.
The world disappɪəring
In the seɪfe enfolding of yʊər arms,
Naʊ peɪn and tɪərs of sadness
Are companions to the memory of yʊər passing
Once peəred and jɔɪned
United as one,
This child’s nəʊtion was innocent of aweəreness
That love’s lexicon is full of such partings
Naʊ aləʊne aɪ strive to grasp an ember of a truth profaʊnd
That while a part of me will alweɪs
Call for you in whispers
And long for yʊər embreɪce
aɪ’ll preveɪl , surviving separation’s sting.
Glad to know this girl, with intellect and quirky wit,
I long to have her company and with her sit
Long discussing life’s complexities and simple truths.
Love fosters trust, then no thing's hidden or obtuse.
Hey Harvey Wallbanger
I’d like you to tie me to the bedpost, baby
And press your fuzzy navel to my slippery nipple.
Give me your white angel kiss and I’ll lie down like a brown cow
While between the sheets you play the Italian stallion.
Like a kamikaze pilot head for my pink squirrel
Then give me your ol’ Alabama slammer
And pack a rum punch into that screwdriver of yours.
I want a screaming orgasm
That’ll send me to blue heaven. Wu Wu!
So, don’t mention that bloody Mary
With her devil’s kiss,
Or you’ll find I can give a snake bite that’s as deadly as a B-52.
Instead let’s ride into the tequila sunset in our golden Cadillac
For sex on the beach
And on the sea breeze we'll hear an old love song sung by a ‘salty dog’ with a Gibson
And watch a tropical storm over Manhattan
We'll go to Peppermint Patti’s café
And order an Irish coffee and a large slice of cherry pie.
Happy, after dark let’s drive home for a sloe comfortable screw with satin pillows
And fall into the sweet surrender of a summer dream.
A man old beyond his years
Mourns his son who’s not dead but gone.
Thrown into competition for custody
He’s frozen out.
An unselfish man, mild in nature
Who gave love
and kept the peace
and his counsel.
Anger subdued, repressed, burns behind the eyes that weep.
The mother manipulates man and boy to bend their wills to her command.
They are cowed but not broken.
Slowly, slowly the fire builds and gives succour to resolve.
The gentle man battles on,
step by step
His will strengthened by love.
The law is on his side.
Here we shared the slips and reels of earnest conversation,
An interweaving counterpoint of dialogue
Wherein I bled the truth of loving.
Heart’s secrets shed
And by and by transposing the antiphonal chant
You guide towards consonance, harmony,
With gentle lilting phrasing
Encouraging sweet concord within the cantus firmus.
And yet you say you do not sing?
Surely our hearts beat out the song of love and life
And all our narratives are ballades sung in open form?
I have heard you sing your madrigals
With melodies of hope and peace and grace
And tried to catch the tune.
Here, have rich harmonies been played out
And love songs whispered on the air.
So, if God grants, a final cadenza let there be
In a lullaby that’s sung for me.
I had a little top knot
Nothing would it bare
But a sliver of insight
And a wooden stare
The Head of Human Resources
Came to visit me
And all for the sake
Of my independent air
His tie was made of crimson,
Jet black was his hair,
He asked me for my insight
I gave my wooden stare.
He said, "My lovely maiden,
You surely must agree,
We'll take from you your insight
And all that you can spare.
The moral of this story
With you I’ll gladly share
Henry sought sweet Catherine
His crown and ring to wear
Her services she rendered
But in targets she fell short
And from the royal company was
Dropped without a care
If my ears were love they would hear
A soaring chord of music
If my eyes were love they would see
A glorious sunrise
If my nose was love it would smell
A red velvet rose
If my arms were love they would gather
Small children in a comforting embrace
If my legs were love they would run
If my mouth was love it would speak
Your name in husky whispers
Pressing close you feel the beat that proves
My heart is filled with love for you
There’s a hole in the sole of my shoe
That lets love through.
It’s not wasted, it nourishes the earth
And touches the buried dead
Then those who mourn the dead
Gather it and are comforted
There is so much love lost and found in this way
It is the nature of love
It seeks those who need it and tries to fill them
But I need new shoes
To hold some love in.
A hole is not a whole
I have a hole
I’d prefer a whole to fill my hole
and make my sole soul
It was a long time coming
And in the joining,
Even then, in such sweet union
And, of course,
The seeds of one born in the other
The paradox of this great truth embraced
I come to know that thus it is
And always was
You and I
Are truly one in this.
I’ll be rapt when I’m wrapped
In your old brown gown
I’ll be rapt when I’m wrapped
In your arms
So your going will rap
On the strings of my heart
I’ll be rapped.
Touch me and caress me until my heart sings with joy
Let it be only for the sheer love of me
Then my heart will soar
And together in rapturous ascent we’ll be borne on a thermal of passion and desire
Circling and dancing
Each lost, yet found, in the ecstasy of surrender.
Slaked by careless loving
The energy of the moment is gone
And, like feathers gently sinking in still air we settle together, curled, inseparable
Feeling whole and also part of a greater whole
Until the next breeze blows
Dream-walking I can explore opportunities
Collaborating and engaging in the process
Creating a synergy of thoughts and images
That may or may not stand the test
In the light of day
There’s comfort in dreaming of possibilities
Perfect in their synthesis
My secret desires
They fill a need
Until the need is filled.
Sensations of strength come unexpected
They are newly born and welcome
Precious as all new life.
Unpredictable, they appear and disappear,
Fleeting in their attenuated passing, they are fragile
Leaving a sense of wonder, then loss.
Mine to nurture, this fragile strength might transform me.
I hold this seeming paradox
And feel a celebration – a beginning.