Sara L Russell
Founded Poetry Life & Times and edited it for 8 years. Have had poems featured on various websites including Artvilla, Authorsden and Richard Vallance's Sonnetto Poesia, which is now printed as a chapbook.
Founder of The Video Poets; have made a lot of video poetry recitals.
Sara L Russell 6/11/13, 07:56
The baby Chinese girl
discarded from the world
I am she
and she is me
The wife with ravaged face
where acid left its trace
I am she
and she is me
The girl who had to wed
and share an old man's bed
I am she
and she is me
The one deflowered by knife
to live a "purer" life
I am she
and she is me
Come world sisters, unite
and keep your souls alight
like the sun
shining as one.
by Sara L. Russell, 30/10/13 at 01:03am
I am a force of fiery integrity of soul; a garden sealed;
I carry my soul deep within, all of Heaven enfolds me;
My cross is my talisman, my banner and protector,
All of Dante's angels ascending and descending surround me.
My bed is a vessel of peace on a sea of tranquil clouds;
Oceans of rolling vapour bear me up in the azure sky,
Distant birds give voice in the soporific hush of twilight,
as angels sing out blessings of love and everlasting accord.
I am a harp of harmony, a lyre of languid repose;
My heartbeat as steadfast as any jewelled timepiece of gold,
My dreaming skies are filled with wingbeats of migrating birds,
Streams shimmer with moonlight; all the forests thrum with life.
I am a force of fiery integrity of soul, protected from the night;
I carry my soul deep behind the portals of my mind,
My Lord and Creator guides me through the labyrinths of dreams,
Shadows flee from angels, wingbeats carry me till dawn.
(a satirical pop at the Illuminati)
It's time to slay fatted consumer cows
It's time to fumigate the Great Unwashed;
To sow mutation's seeds behind the ploughs
To see the dullard's dreams forever quashed.
How movingly they pray not to be harmed!
How doggedly they work to make a wage!
How prettily they line up to be farmed,
Yet, how they long to be at centre stage!
The Useless Eaters eat their pizzas deep,
Their double fries and creamy mayonnaise;
Produce only some methane while asleep,
And fodder for landfill, throughout their days.
It's time for the superiors to win;
Unleash the virus, let the cull begin.
By Sara L Russell
Do you hear unspoken thought,
Do you fly now, with the birds,
As the rest of us stay caught between our futile deeds and words?
In the endless dome of sky
Make a territory of dreams
While we can only cry for how finite a lifetime seems
Are you floating down the styx
Like Egyptian cats of old?
Do you dine with Tut and Ramesis in palaces of gold?
In the finite span of life
And the cyles of the moon
We can only make short plans for anything that ends too soon
A final resting place
Is no prison for a soul;
We are elemental as the air that keeps our planet whole.
In your light and playful way
You will always follow me
Outside in the garden where the angels set you free.
Sara L Russell
(inspired by painting "She's Leaving Home" by Mike Kaluta)
High-rolling dunes; the landscape where I fly
With wingbeats of an eagle overhead
While to the east, the ocean's waves roll high
My astral body's light years from my bed.
My magic carpet's hung with golden bells
Festooned with lanterns, steeped in sandalwood;
Carries me higher; as the ocean swells
The sighing of the sea is understood.
A warm wind runs its whispers through my hair
The azure sky is darkening to grey
A stormy ozone crackles in the air
Like laughter, as the eagle soars away.
I cross dimensions, cheat the hand of fate,
As easily as opening a gate.
(To be continued...)
(A poem to be recited by actors)
Jokanaan, such is my desire for thee,
The moon and stars hath turned away their face
I thirst to kiss thy sullen lips, softly,
I love thy lips, thine eyes that darkly gaze.
Fain would I strip thy garments all away
Replacing each with kisses to thy skin
Just as the dark of night becalms the day
Mine open arms shall gather thee within.
I burn to taste the kisses of thy lips
Just as the hummingbird sips from a rose
Stealing thy nectar with such tender sips
As melt thy sternest aspect, till it goes.
O let me taste thy kisses, holy man,
And quench desire as only woman can.
[John The Baptist]
Depart from me, daughter of Babylon,
That look'st on me with such covetous gaze!
Siren of Sodom's mire, harlot, begone!
Away with thee and all thy wanton ways!
How canst thou speak with such depravity
Addressed unto a holy man of God?
How canst thou dance in merry liberty
Where our forefathers, seers and sages trod?
Look not upon me with thine eyes of lust,
With salivating, ravenous desire!
Love's purity shall outlive mortal dust
When thy dark soul burneth in Hades' fire!
Harlot of Babylon, strumpet, begone!
I am not thine to crudely gaze upon.
Salome dances, circling the hall,
Gold lamplight shimmers in her dove-like eyes;
Her flame-red chiffon swirls with each footfall,
She glides like a bright bird of paradise.
Behold, she throws a veil onto the floor,
Exposing but a fleeting glimpse of breast;
Allowing but a small promise of more,
Another veil she throws, at my behest.
She sinuously sways her slender hips
And not one moment do her eyes leave mine;
She dances closer, smiles play on her lips
Those lips that could be sweet as Muscat wine.
And still she dances, ravaging my sight,
This light-skinned girl with hair as black as night.
[John The Baptist]
Behold! She dances now before the king,
Whose eyes are full of lust incestuous;
For Sodom's daughter, wildly gyrating
Whose very presence here is blasphemous!
I hear the music from my dungeon cell
Her light footsteps, distracting me from prayer,
She dances like a dervish sprung from hell,
I reel with loathing, knowing she is there.
Beware thy sins, Herod, Herodias!
Thy fall from grace approacheth like a storm!
Beware daughter of Sodom! None shall pass
Beyond the pit, the flames, the locust swarm!
Thy kingdom shall be cast into the flames;
Thy souls struck from the book of living names!
Ah! Now the last veil flutters to the floor,
Her body holds no secrets from mine eyes;
Like ripened fruit making me thirst for more,
But I have promised more than may be wise.
Now I make good my promise unto you,
Salome, fairer sister to the moon;
Come now, I am thy slave; what can I do,
Name thy reward, and thou shalt have it soon.
Come hither, precious girl, I wish to share,
Take from the riches offered up to thee;
Choose from the sweetest wines beyond compare,
The rarest rubies of my treasury.
From treasured gems to pleasures of the vine,
Pray name thy heart's desire; it shall be thine.
My heart's desire cares nothing for my love
What jewel can ever love me in return?
My regal beauty's deemed as not enough
For Jokanaan. I see him, and I burn.
I spurn thy earthly treasures set in gold,
I yearn not for their dancing play of light
There was but one pleasure I could behold
And he regaileth me with words of spite.
Thy precious cellar brimming full of wine
All taste divine; yet never quite as sweet
As luscious lips of he who can't be mine
Whose savage beauty stings me like defeat!
Therefore I say, reward me if you can;
Bring me the severed head of Jokanaan!
Salome, you have asked a dreadful thing,
Such monstrous words flame from thy pretty lips!
I offer thee my finest emerald ring
The choicest clipper from my fleet of ships;
Thou canst prevail upon me for my land
My fields and vineyards all lain at thy feet;
Stables of horses all at thy command,
All of these gifts might make thy joy complete.
But do not ask of me the baptist's head,
His eyes disturb me far enough in life;
I listened well to everything he said,
His death would be a curse; a flaying knife!
Salome, quell the anger in thy breast,
I beg thee, reconsider thy request.
Thou shalt not swerve the purpose of my mind,
My mind is set, this action must be done.
There is no greater gift that thou might find
Than that Jokanaan's eyes forsake the sun.
I prithee, take that scurvy scum away,
His eyes stare so, his tongue derides my name;
Silence his prating tongue, he's had his say
Now he must suffer for his words of flame!
I shall not sleep with that voice in my ears,
Sever that head, that mask of insolence!
He rants of prophecies, preys on thy fears,
Now he must make his final recompense.
I danced for thee. Reward me like a man,
Bring me the severed head of Jokanaan!
[John The Baptist]
A famine on thy fields, monarch of shame!
Locusts shall take thy vineyards and thy corn!
Rivers of blood have stained thy royal name
Thou art forever doomed, thy kingdom torn!
Thy family are coiled like nesting snakes
Thy daughter whispers with thy feckless queen,
They die along with thee, when the earth quakes
And fall into the bottomless ravine!
I hear thy soldiers storming through the halls
Approaching now, to my decrepit cell;
I shiver at the sound of their footfalls,
Though I'll not be the one condemned to hell.
May God send Raphael down from the sky;
Take me to somewhere better when I die!
Ah now, thine eyes that once held so much fire,
Forever hide their light of righteousness;
I almost miss that shiver of desire
I once felt in their presence, I confess.
Thy tongue is silent now, that once cried out
In shards of venom, wounding blades of words;
And I'm at liberty to pluck it out,
If I desire; and throw it to the birds.
Thy rosy lips, as sullen as thy brow,
Soft petals, rendered harmless in repose;
They spurned me once, but I shall kiss them now,
As easily as one might steal a rose.
Thou once dared to refuse me, holy man,
Now I will kiss thy dead lips, Jokanaan!
17th June 2013, 20:09
And now the sun seems as a sunflower of living flame
caught in a sky of limpid azure coolness;
flocks of white gulls sky-dance above shimmering horizons of forever
and the sea reflects it faithfully, in ripples of sparkling fire.
And now the sun sets like a pearl in a veil of moonbeams,
cloud-spun swathes of gossamer form her mantle;
Streaks of dove-grey cirrus glide slowly over skylines of umber
as sky fades to sea in a seamless turquoise haze.
(disgraced artist Graham Ovenden)
First thing they do is wash it all away
Destroying evidence that could be used
Sometimes they cry, or hug themselves and sway
There is no real solace for the abused.
Sometimes victims will cut off all their hair
In trying to be less provocative;
Sometimes they stay indoors, some cease to care
Whether they live or die; much less forgive.
First act of perpetrators is deceive
Deceive intended victims with false charm
Then say children are too young to believe,
And they themselves too old to inflict harm.
They say he is too old; it must be true,
Therefore, suspended sentencing will do.
306 British & Commonwealth soldiers were shot at dawn for desertion in WW1.
Inspired by this fact and by BBC1's drama The Village
Good-hearted soldier marched away to war,
Sad-eyed mother and father watched him leave
To help a noble cause worth fighting for;
Or so the government had us believe.
Bereavements swiftly followed. He returned
For time on leave, a changed, embittered soul;
Troubled by death where distant fires burned
As month on month the shelling took its toll.
Mentor and loving brother, man of peace,
Such was this force of nature we once knew;
Now weighed down with all war's catastrpohes
So guilty to be of the living few.
Oh bitter hindsight, cruel hand of fate,
That says what we must do when it's too late!
I saw him walking back along the path
That headed to the seaport, bound for France;
So full of care, lost in the aftermath
Of bloody conflict, as if in a trance.
Then suddenly he stumbled to his knees
And crawled, down on his belly, cautiously
As though bullets were coming through the trees
As though to shelter from the enemy.
He raked the grass with darting, trembling hands,
His staring eyes were wide with urgency
His legs would not obey his brain's commands
His lips whispered a plea for clemency
I saw my love, he didn't see me there
Longing to save his broken soul with prayer.
Never was a more terrifying sight
Than naked terror, screaming from his eyes;
I still recall him staring, every night;
It haunts my dreams from dusk into sunrise.
I wanted to embrace him, stroke his hair,
To whisper words of solace from the Lord;
But sometimes prayer hangs on the empty air,
Sometimes we cannot rescue the adored.
Later I visited his lonely room
To find him on his bed, facing the wall.
He turned to meet my gaze, eyes full of gloom
As if no soul resided there at all.
I made him pray with me, for love Divine;
Heedless of God, he pressed his lips to mine.
I blush, I burn with shame, when I recall
I gave in to his kisses willingly;
He wanted heaven's solace not at all
But took his earthly comfort all from me.
So long I'd waited, through his years away,
Wishing to win his love through some kind deed
Now in his trembling grasp, too lost to pray,
I lay entranced by passion's burning greed.
When it was over, I looked at his face
He seemed to see some bright epiphany
Perhaps at last he knew our Saviour's grace
At last his breath came slowly; evenly.
He murmured something as I rose to go
I knew I loved him, but never said so.
I never said I loved him. With the dawn,
His doomsday clock was ticking down his hours.
I never said I loved him, I was torn;
For what love sanctifies, wartime deflowers.
Hindsight has pierced my heart with bitter thorns,
Trampled my dreams, stolen all future joy;
For in that worst of cataclysmic dawns,
I never said I love you to that boy.
I never even said a last farewell
Though warm kisses still echoed on my skin;
My silence tortures me, I am in hell
I burn in silent wars I cannot win.
The Redcaps came and took away my Joe.
I loved him; and now he will never know.
2007, revised May 2nd, 2013
How neatly northerly she points her tail,
With fluffsome front paws pointing to the south;
Whiskers point west and eastwards, without fail,
Each side of her benignly-smiling mouth.
She navigates from rockery to pond
And slyly measures distances ahead,
With whiskers poised, behind a ferny frond,
Waiting to stalk fishes, with stealthy tread.
A water pistol thwarts her cunning scheme,
Fired from the door with some accuracy;
And like one rudely wakened from a dream,
She leaps into the air, and bolts to flee.
But soon her equanimity returns;
She's back smiling at fishes, through the ferns.
inspired by the performances of Maxine Pearce & Nico Mirallegro in BBC1's The Village,
this is from the point of view of a mother to a son who has to go to war
Wherever life may send you
However far away
May light beings befriend you
Angels, to light your way
Four angels for protection
To guard the path ahead
Three more for introspection
To drive out fear and dread
May archangels placate you
And sanctify your dreams
May love illuminate you
However dark life seems.
Wingbeating high above you
To guide you on your way
The angels and I love you
A little more each day.
Every day was the same as the one before. She
Every day was the same as the one before. She
went to the cupboard and took out a box of Wheetie Krisps
went to the cupboard and took out a box of Kheetie Wisps
just to survive another morning shift, or so it seemed.
just to survive another afternoon shift, or so it seemed.
Why wouldn't Sam in Sales notice her? After all,
Why wouldn't Irving in the Post Room notice her? After all,
he was only a Trainee Executive; and she was good enough for him.
he was only a souped-up errands boy; and she was desperate.
Of course today, as with yesterday, he would simply walk past her.
Of course today, like yesterday, he would just run away.
The ground floor cafe queue never seemed to get any shorter at lunchtime
The sandwich trolley lady seemed to get shorter and shorter of sandwiches
The bistro down the road was no less crowded; the food was expensive,
The local pub's parrot kept screaming "TIME!" and the food was crap,
No-one ever spoke to anyone outside of their clique; it was just another working day.
No-one ever had any time to chat; it was just another pointless day.
And so the days went on. Until one day her reflection reached out and pulled her into the mirror.
And so the days went on. Until one night, her dream reached out and pulled her through the vortex.
To be Continued...
Like fragile bubbles, children fly
so swiftly as we set them free
between the earth and cloudswept sky
with colours swirling magically.
I watched my sweet boy go to war
so sad-eyed, in his uniform
his colours darker than before
like greying clouds before a storm.
Go carefully into the fray
beloved boy, return to me
all I can do is wait and pray
as once again, I set you free.
Inspired by a scene from BBC1's The Village, in which Joe (Nico Mirallegro) was about to return to
the front line in WW1 and his mother Grace (Maxine Peake) had been showing very poignant hints of
the fear she felt for his survival in the trenches.
Bring me celestial music of the spheres
Such notes as dance in colours in the mind
The shimmering of distant hemispheres
Where streams of rainbow nebulae unwind
Bright notes cascade in sparkling waterfalls
Light motes resound in echoes through the breeze
From secret gardens hid behind stone walls
Paradise plays enticing symphonies
Our earthly plane is rife with vexing noise
Cacophanies of thundering machines;
Barkings of dogs, vexed babies in full voice
keep us earthbound, locked into dull routines.
Reach for the headphones, cover up your ears,
Take in celestial music of the spheres.
Sara L Russell 6/3/13 16:18
Just look at him, sitting in the corner
Hogging the remote control
Seemingly so deaf but he can hear us when he likes
Leaves such a mess around the toilet bowl
Just look at him stagger to the boozer
Just because we've hidden all the booze
He remembers where to drink but can't remember where he lives
Maybe a nursing home will help him choose
Look at that poor old man sat in the corner
He had no visitors again today
He sings all the old songs but doesn't quite recall his name
And never seems to have a lot to say.
(inspired by William Shakespeare; and an eerie
floating drowned woman in the movie Titanic)
Adrift amid the bindweed, through the reeds,
Watching the sky with deep unblinking eyes,
She passes where the turquoise mayfly feeds,
Oblivious of all that swims or flies.
Red flowered chiffon billows to her hands
Open like water lilies in the sun,
Her skin's the colour of tropical sands,
Her russet hair shines bright as copper spun.
Fabulous jewels languish on her breast,
Rich spoils of love rendered useless in death,
Her parted lips make unspoken behest;
The rosy portal of her final breath.
Now all is cold where roiling passion flamed,
As jealous earth mourns what the river claimed.
Though the sky may fade,
your eyes grow dim and rheumy
and the sun lose its golden halo
I’ll still see you
I’ll carry a torch to
light your corner of darkness in the world
Though your voice may quake
and few may stop to listen
as you fight to convey opinion
I’ll still hear you
I’ll listen to find a
meaning through confusion in the words
Though most sound is quelled
and as if in sleep
your ears miss the sounds of morning
I’ll still speak to you
remind you of
who you are, both to yourself and those who care.
22/12/12 @ 21:21 pm
Out on a winter walk one day
you solemnly put an acorn into my hand.
Something in my head whispered
"Keep it safe
and he'll be safe".
I kept it to this day.
One candle on my cake,
burned into my mind's eye forever.
You took a photograph
to keep me in the picture.
My sister arrived in the world.
You took me to feed the swans.
she greeted us with screams.
I fled, covering my ears.
Mother told me the facts of life.
You kept well out of it.
A disco at the end of a long, quiet road.
You always drove me safely there and back.
You were judge and jury
of all boyfriends.
Year twenty three.
You gave me away
to the best boyfriend of all.
A montage of eras
replay in the bright lens of memory
till the year of the walk
and the acorn.
And I kept it safe
so you'd be safe,
only now it looks cracked and old;
not quite like an acorn
and you are not quite like you.
At what price does man find favour with God?
Down through the roiling clouds, from heavenly heights to earthly clay,
where scribes had written scrolls of doctrines;
down through old crumbling architraves, temples of cold ideals,
man spawned the Vengeful Word.
With rage of angels,
like effigies of gods, there sprang forth lords and hypocrites;
all claimed to speak for God.
Then, in the maelstrom,
came genocide of innocents, and hellfire fell like rain.
When does a tower become too tall for God?
Out of a clear blue sky came silver harbingers of doom,
where men were writing drafts and spreadsheets;
now crumbling down around them, swathed in hate-begotten fire;
spawned from a vengeful god.
No mortal angels
could save the ones who perished, caught above the line of flame;
while some below survived.
Yet, in the chaos,
sworn enemies in faith came out to save each other's fall.
At what price can man enter Paradise?
High above the minarets, the veiled dome of the sky
students look up with wistful longing;
yearning to be good radicals and cross the lines of fire
to reap heaven's reward.
Hate's vengeful angels
pretenders to the throne of God take many shapes and forms,
while moderates stay quiet;
and with their silence
give passive leave for lunatics to prate at heaven's door.
Rising like smoke from the eternal spring
Approaching with rose petals at her feet
Angel of hope sheds light on everything
Whenever life is bitter more than sweet
Within our secret gardens of desire
Fountains of sparkling passion locked away
Therein lies hope, forever to inspire
lest optimism ever goes astray
Age sometimes dims the dancing flame of hope
And drudgery weakens vitality
Darkness and sorrow sometimes interlope
Between us and our dearest fantasy
Yet human spirit finds a way to cope
As long as we find inroads back to hope.