But you made me no promises. It was me that made the promises, naive enough to think you could make them come true.
I walk down the avenue at the back of our house. When I was a young child the bows of the trees would heave with pink blossom and the pavement was carpeted with silky petals. I’d dance through fairyland throwing handfuls of pink blossom and it would coat my hair like a fairy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The blossom doesn’t fall anymore. The trees are dead.
Love is violent.
An assault on someone else’s being.
I’m taking you along for the fight.
I have to capture you first.
It blossomed like a bud that bloomed in the dew.
When presented with petals you gave their perfume.
They glow far away from the cold winter’s gloom,
Stemmed from the stalk of a plant there are few.
An unknown plant, be it snowdrop or bluebell?
Its form overshadowed by dark spiky shrub
A shame that it may be reduced to a shrub.
It’s unable to flower, so we cannot tell.
But it was replanted into some fresh soil,
Responded to the warmth that it needed
Know to respect every plant that is seeded.
Restore its leaves from their former turmoil.
The sensuous satin of free flowing flower
Now restored to its predestined glory,
Burns red and gold and tells its own story.
Mysteriousness exerts a strong power.
Undulating in wind and changing in hue
From spring to summer, from blushes to blushes
Intertwining stem reaches gracefully high,
Keeps stretching on, and never to die
Above the still water, obscured by the rushes
Into the sky of pervading dark blue.
This specimen isn’t a usual flower,
Producing a scent, ethereal perfume
Because it knew the Rhododendron’s plume,
Whose leaves are present at every dark hour.
Its vibrant shades of purple, red, white
Compliment the display of passiflora,
Creating a brighter atmosphere for her,
A frenzy of heat generates light.
At the height of season, one will bear fruit,
The other remains with tentacle leaves,
Which are viewed as a farmer views his sheaves
Or a renowned musician views his flute.
In the end the gardener comes to tend.
All change and some plants must be plotted elsewhere,
Though they’ll harmonize through the bees of the air
All in the garden their bloom will transcend.
You opened the bud that bloomed in the dew
Now Eden’s core, revealed by the snake
Reflected as clear in the silvery lake.
All the scent of the petals I give to you,
The blood tears that showed up the sky’s naive blue,
I gather, preserve and devote them to you.
The last time was the last time. I tried to convince her it was something else but she was having none of it. She swung it between her fingers like a pendulum in front of my nose as I feigned innocence. It reached its pinnacle in time with the piano chords that thudded from downstairs, a foursquare chorale of deliberation. She’s seeing me in a new light, her head cocked to one side. Her expression is a kind of curiosity mingled with grim determination. It’s the look cats have when they catch a small animal that differs from the usual bird or mouse and they’re wondering what it actually is, knowing they’re going to kill it regardless. She’s on to me, but she has no proof. She glances downwards and averts her eyes. “You’re getting fat,” she says. I look down at my body. “It’s all the kebabs I keep eating when I finish my shift,” I answer.
She’s attempting to divert attention from what’s really on her mind. That’s the thing with her; she’ll do anything to block out the dark pits of reality, to pretend it’s not happening, that nothing’s happening. Like most things, there are pros and cons. On the up side she doesn’t confront you when she’s managed to unearth your dire misdeeds, but on the down side you’re always the one that never has the whole picture, that’s left second guessing the situation. It’s a classic disarming tactic. You can’t plot or scheme your way out, or attempt to justify yourself, because you just don’t know exactly what she knows or doesn’t know. She always has the upper hand, the control. And when you know she’s rumbled your secret, another tactic is to keep schtum about it, wait until you’ve forgotten to worry about it, and then casually mention it months down the line. Often I am creeping round in my satin slippers, only to find out later that she had scattered the gunpowder amongst the cat litter months ago. KABOOM!
Having said that she doesn’t question a lot. Her inconsistencies and topsy-turvy values are actually the best cover up a girl could want. She fusses nonsensically about things no one else would bat an eyelash, and then the other stuff….not a peep. I think she prefers to remain in a state of naivety, telling herself it’s not happening. I wish I could do that. The woman has an amazing store of willpower.
She doesn’t question the array of wigs I own, and my propensity to wear several different ones in a week. You name it I have it. Red bob, long straight bleach blond, long curly chocolate brunette, mid length flicked out hot pink and purple tie-dye, black pixie cut. I am the mistress of the disguise, the fake persona; I can change within the hour, nay within ten minutes. Off comes one wig and out of my bag comes the other. Black stilettos go with all and are indistinctive enough not to betray me. Clothes can be easily changed, discarded or augmented. And my name? Don’t think I allow myself to be hampered by such an abstract epithet. Be shackled by something into which I had no say? Not me! And so that question ‘Who the hell are you?’ I shall leave you to decide for yourself. I have been asked so many times by so many people and never been able to give a sufficient answer.
Have you ever been abused by your next-door neighbour’s cat? The ecliptic visions flash of that pathetic excuse for an instrument of self-torture that is forced to do your bidding despite its physical weakness of futile serrated edges…sawing away at your arms like a Toby Carvery, Meat. On. Bone. Cowering in the corner, the victim of that slinky unseen attacker you bare the hallmark of that cat’s grisly claws as you danced and diced with its flirtatious scratches.
Depressed? Yes. Like the button of an atomic bomb injected with human feeling; that chaotic force, the gnawing dread of its inevitable destiny, as if it knows that the two ‘unconnectables’ must be joined seemingly seamless by that fuse and though it inwardly fights must go…Craters. Let’s not go there, but back to these blank walls of opportunity-limiting blank walls of opportunity, for they are not all they seem.
Are you the dangerous type? Smash and grab O.K.? Not the raving pent up negative vortex of blackness that sucks in those innocent bystanders. You are dispensable. This wound up junk bucket with its millions of diseased, swarming, crawling mites is not. The bowels must churn them up and spew them out….someday. And you’ll be gone. on. down. under. Perhaps, even that unmentioned bliss of sheer emptiness. Nothingness. Have you ever curled up and tried to pretend you don’t exist?
But for the moment we’re infected with this puking sickness. Is it any wonder I am compelled to vomit up my guts when my body fights to live. The brain lives, the brain dies. Yet that vessel fights like a war-sworn trouper.
It’s all about the bones; fighting the primitive urges to fight back-you see the ambivalence? The central mechanisms don’t even know anymore; flooded with pink meets green meets line meets dash meets multifaceted levels of meaning when the one is corrupted. But the bones. The physical manifestation that you are not just that dummy. That dead doll doesn’t do denial; knows this Italian Job of confusion is fodder for sewer rats crawling to savage the last tendon of rotting flesh. The bones are enveloped in psycho-reality by that stinking, rotting flesh that clings like curdling milk in sickening lumps, the real reality of bittersweet. It folds like a flowing, liquidised, bilious pillow. A parachute of loathing generated as by steaming offal on a dusty hot day.
Those bones, they may be a grim reaper’s blade but, at night, they keep you alive; a hyper alert, switched-on-red force, a subverted power. It keeps you alive in the dark, you see, so you must feel; because that’s when you feel deepest. Cocooned in the very depths of hell itself; the intense, all-consuming desire to be unleashed teases you, and yet you are ever denied it. That black portable cell. Its bars, though invisible are strong with strands of web alluring to the psychedelic fly. The night stretches on interminable. But it is yours to possess and master and eke out its bitter seconds. Scratching around, a frenzied mouse on Ritalin digging in desperation for what is not there. And you knew it all along.
And yes you must pay. Even for this perverse sadomasochistic pleasure. For on the morrow the world awakens to its perceived daylight, and you are as if the devil had taken your very soul.
As I gaze across the open sea,
Waves crashing to and fro
The sunset blazing across the sky
And seagulls flying low.
The ferocity of the raging storm
The angry, fiery sky.
The shingle withdrawing up the beach,
The spring tide rising high.
The wind was sweeping me away
Just like the crashing tide,
At peace beside the ravenous waves,
I longed there to reside.
Then struck me all at once the thought,
How beautiful it would be,
To capture this moment for ever and ever,
The wind, the tide and me.