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Caroline Grace Jul 2014
waited for your call,
your offering of glib excuses-
a missed connection,
damp leaves on the line?

But all I hear is
the kettle's whining cry
telling me your time is up, the last train has departed.
Gathering up the useless plates,
the sad bouquets,
the bitter crumbs of what remains,
I realise your face that never was
is neither here nor there-
a flame burnt out
before the match was struck.
second stanza of my poem 'Forget-me-not'.
Caroline Grace Jul 2014
Greener grass - same blades
Caroline Grace Jul 2014
I awoke by the sea to a fearful crashing,
the ground juddering under me.
In the distance, ribbons of laughter-
the shape of human life.
I had not forgotten.

From an immense past,
a thread of light drew me back.
This was my dream-plan.
This is what I asked for.

I lift my head to look.
It wavers on its weak stalk.
Without command, my arm-stumps
jut out at odd angles,
as if about to take me with them
somewhere.....too soon.
They have a mind of their own.

Uplifted, I am blessed
with a peaceful crown of blue
from which a sweet-salt tang
sharpens a wild desire...

I want the air,
I want to push back the hampering twigs,
to hang on thermals in an unlimited sky
where I can chase my bird-shadow
over the hardened earth.

But I must wait for the sky to offer itself,
wait for the light to whisper-
It's time. Time to begin again,
to take a wiser flight.
To be free
as a bird.
Caroline Grace Jul 2014
Today is the first day of Spring,
a significant moment when we shift into
a different rhythm of sleep and wakefulness.
When the dark turns back on itself
like thick rind peeled from a fruit
to reveal its golden glow.

That warm feeling returns,
not just superficially - much deeper.
Time has chance to saunter - people do too.
They find a moment to talk with each other-
too hot to rush off to wherever it is they're going.


Queueing in the supermarket requires patience.
People casually chat at the checkout
exchanging snippets of gossip as though
they've not spoken to a soul all winter.

Patiently I wait in line at the rapid-serve
with my punnet of strawberries,
their tempting fragrance filling my nostrils.

For a moment I am elsewhere-
in a sunlit field, hovering over row on row
of undulating furrows, where shy fruit
hides under spread leaves-
the ones that got away you might say.

Abruptly, my distant view's obscured
by an unfamiliar voice:

You are English-yes?

I had been studying his back,
muffled in a woolly facade of Tweed.
For him, it was still Winter.

Ah - An English rose - yes!

He tells me how I resemble his wife
and how she adored strawberries.

(simultaneously he waves over his shoulder
to somewhere in the past)

He says he will never forget her,
that once you stop remembering,
eighty years of life becomes meaningless.

A warmness spreads between us
like the weight of a cello concerto.
A kind of sad happiness.

Later in the day, under the almond tree,
I **** on season's first fruit.
My tongue curls around a mouthful of
forgotten language.
I am not disappointed.
It is impossible to believe how good it tastes-
like life sometimes,
when strangers offer a few kind words,
filling the days with sweetness-
the Summer coming.
A true happening. People are SO friendly here.
Caroline Grace Jul 2014
When I am gone from here,
when I have drifted into the ether,
my thoughts will continue.
Long after you've forgotten how to sing,
they will be a song for your eyes.

These are my children
nurtured over breakfasting tables,
coming alive at four a.m.
uneasy in their sleep.

And you will ask:
Is this how she spent her time
behind that pensive gaze?
Was the sky really that naked?

I won't mind if you skip the daisies,
they're not your beau ideal.
I won't mind if you dig deep into their roots,
they are already dead.

Magically you will be lured into me-
Bee for my bell-flower, asking:
Is this how she spent her days,
gazing into the distance?
Planning the future,
silently moving on.
Caroline Grace Jul 2014
From the side of the hill
my sight captures flat pasture,
part orchard,
part garden.

A full moon illuminates
my ready-trotted route
glistening with mud.
At its end, a rolled hollow,
a lit tree-
bed and breakfast.

This is what I live for,
how I survive.
I don't ask for much,
ignorant to what's on the other side.
I know my limits.

Further up the *****
there are more mouths,
dug out, living in brambles,
a natural, comfortable camouflage-
a bed of roses.

When I sleep,
in the blink of an eye
you vanish,
dreams exploding blood and gore
to which I once bore witness.

I try to ignore the intrusion.

What goes on in daylight
belongs to you.
How can you live in Paradise
with death on your side?

The bulk of me shudders to think!

Whatever happened to passion?
You're pleased as a starved flea
finding a host.
Everything has its predator-
yours is your own!

Sniffing the air,
I smell your cold heart
raw and pumping,
seeking a pastime
to glitter your world
at our expense.

Eat what you've already murdered,
bought, hoarded in your larder!
You don't need another corpse
on your conscience.

If you lived simply by instinct,
what would you do?
Caroline Grace Jul 2014
Winters can be tedious.
Sun dips into early dusk.
A dead fire refuses to ignite.

There's a quick repetition
of opening and closing blinds
over a barred window.

In need of reflection
I search a familiar face
in an unfamiliar landscape.

I have her in my grasp,
half illusion, half real,
a symbolic mask denies
her true face,

her glittering crown
divides us by its radiance.

Groping in darkness,
I stumble over objects
of wood and stone,
my unsteady tread tripping
over their contours.

I light a candle.

Bathed in amber light,
our shadows merge.

A new door opens,
stretching the perspective.
No formal borders here,
they wouldn't survive
the present climate.

In their place,
intricately carved
figureheads and totems-
a vision of the past.

My eye is a camera,
retinas branded with imagery
for the photographer's delight-
coloured pebbles, carved wooden animals,
tin cans, bones.....

....A Glass Sentinel
(though she isn't visible)
I can see right through her-
a vision of smokescreens
and subterfuge.

Past stumps of driftwood,
past the uncut grass,
a few flowers... the fabricated backdrop
of a burning house, black smoke

At the open door -
The Guardian,
(I know her inside out)
(she didn't bat an eye)
defiant in a new skin,
a softer version-
The Mother protecting her children,
arms splayed, prepared
for fight or flight.

A russet flame
Licking her spine exhales
'Get out of my way!'
but she wasn't listening.

Smile fixed,
eyes of a phoenix,
a lion,
a raptor,
We all need feeding,
but not this way!

Throw me a cloth,
a napkin,
a man-size tissue
a lifeline!

She wanted this,
no, wished it-
this symbolism,
this burning of ironic portraits,
to clear the deck,
make way for new.

It shook the house,
its fate sealed behind closed doors.

I compose myself,
pull her back from the perilous edge,
gather her in my arms.

Fragments of shattered words
flutter in the ether.

What is real?
What is fiction?
A carbon copy of thousands?
A charred corner?

A forgotten candle?

'Eating fire' is a risky business
but can attract a large audience.
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