footsteps are echoing
down a corridor long since empty.
as they resonate,
a ghost stirs from it's slumber within me.
each passing sunset
a key turns the lock,
to reveal the Creature of the Night,
the sweet Darkness I'd forgot.
like the pages of a book
browned & tattered, lying unread
your scent awakens
a soul I was certain was dead.
how refreshing you are,
blood upon my white dress.
a release from gripping fear,
I crave your death on my breath.
let us massacre the stars
& chance Hell on the Kid's gaskets.
Heretics by nature,
we can spite the Gods
& waste life on their caskets.
you feed me the poison of my father,
& your name rings a painful past,
you've destroyed the world as I know it
& filled my nightmares with your laugh.
devouring words of evil
& Satan himself on film,
I think, my dearest Devil,
I have fallen under your spell.
still a single thought, it haunts me.
a doubt, deep in my mind.
when I smile, do you see my submission to you,
would you pleasure me with your bite?
I haven't fed in so long,
can I bind you to my dungeon wall?
each sunrise we part,
I pray to the moon
for my blood in your heart.
these tombs in me,
breathe life once again.
be my Dark Prince
& I, your Babylonian.
we can spread our scabbed wings
across the eternity of Zion,
put our faith in the flesh we see
& forsake the terrible dawn.
our eyes betray our sign,
& our hearts beat in the South.
but the torture we could bring each other is divine,
let our cries erase the doubt.
we cherish the scars of our skin,
yet we are not brave.
getting closer to God, becomes a Requiem
& the bedroom can be our grave.
The cat lies on the table. She is keeping her own council, a philosophical feline. It is mid afternoon, an hour before the possibility of tea and cake. Already the room is retreating from the lamp's light into a dusky gloom. Outside the winter garden lies still, damp and cold and still.
Rain comes. A winter rain, almost snow, spreads itself across the window. Ice-full it is a drum with tiny particles rolling across a taut skin of glass. The cat stirs, turns on his side exposing a tummy of white fur. An old cat this, a silent presence now, hardly a purr on a waiting lap.
Books. Piles of books. A book open to reveal pencilled annotations. Several arrangements of papers paper-clipped together, colourfully highlighted. There's a scholarly journal 'borrowed' with a concert programme marking a ‘required’ read. Telemann and Bach infiltrate an investigation of Jewishness in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda.
A framed photograph stands companionably amongst today's letters and the coloured cards of Christmas to come. There's a red-haired girl, a portrait against old roses., a child in a school-blue dress, freckled with green eyes she is smiling carefully, as though not convinced taking this photo is a good thing.
As darkness encroaches, the stories in this space circle the lamp like moths. They rise from the table, detach themselves from the walls (like bats) and float in their own form. Catching leaves, wish-making in a September wood; the fierce tide pouring across the Lindisfarne causeway; small children picnicking by a cricket field. The recent thrill of Jerusalem. Taverner's Mass –
Oh Western Wind,
when will thou blow,
the small rain down can rain?
Christ! If my love were in my arms,
and I in my bed again!
Here in this small suburban room there comes together a past; a life reverberates in a temporary peace, a truce in the long campaign of family, ageing, bodily discomfort, obligation, regret (always regret), passion unspent, books unread, poems still to write. And this waiting for a clear answer yet to come, a promise yet to be fulfilled? All is contained here as the alarm clock's digits move towards 16.30 and it is time for tea and cake. Time to rise from the table and feed the cat.
Stop the talking, I need peace
Your words augment as I decrease
Keep those stories in your head
Where they belong and stay unread
'Cause if you throw them all around
What is caged will be unbound
So latch your lock and find the key
Let it turn and set you free
It’s definitely been a year
And I’ve definitely never been better.
The pain is still there,
But it has lessened to a dull ache
I no longer break
They no longer stick like glue
To my soul.
I’m in control.
Why waste my breath
on the heart-deaf