Underneath

peeling.jpg

 

Excruciating, this exfoliation,

this blistering in the heat

of battle.

Defenceless,

skin peels,

flayed offal,

diseased dandruff

powdering slumped

shoulders.

Let it go.

Let it

fall

kissed

by

gravity,

one with

the grave. For

unless dead skin cells

are scrubbed off –

loofah of life –

regeneration

cannot build life,

caress fresh complexion

with rosebuds.

This is but the

paring,

the shucking of

detritus. Your real and true

lie

underneath…

 

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Her Balcony

Romeo balcony

She ordered Romeo from

her balcony of happy

endings; what came in the mail

dried dreams to dust, delivered

disillusionment stillborn.

Seeking life in the garden

below reduced love to mere

snake in the grass; unnumbered

shattered crescent moons, galling

tear-stained timekeepers, kept pace

with waning confidence, while

wounds slowly faded, shadows

on the dial. When once she

lifted her head, above thorns

and crafty serpents, True Love

waited there, on silvery

wings. Inhaling sweeter air

gave new dreams fresh purpose; her

songs, sung not from empty purse

but full heart, hold the power

to stir even paradise

lost. From her balcony she

commands nothing, but receives

what the moon delivers as

a legacy wrapped in love.

Shipwrecked

sandy treasures

It wasn’t until her fingers ached with the holding

that she stumbled upon what her heart most craved.

Recasting flotsam into jetsam proved complex –

each snippet and stub, accumulation of a misspent life,

ingrown toenails like colonized barnacles on a heartless hull.

Which to discard?

Where to lay it down?

Her broken treasures had put down diseased roots,

fusing flesh to failure, marrying captain to ship.

Scraping at the splinters, mutiny of the highest order,

was pain more exquisite than the requisite lashes.

But unimaginable riches winked on the sand

and sang Siren notes pure and sweet,

daring surrender, demanding an answer.

Her cries of agony crashed like breakers

as her keel cracked wide;

sea air seared skin freshly exposed to the elements

while baubles trickled to the sand,

frothing like the surf.

Layer upon layer,

all, all became Crusoe to her perfect storm,

her tears lost at sea

with the pounding of her chest

as freedom stirred chains.

At last,

trembling,

spent,

she knelt on bloodied knees

before the pearl of great price

with all she had left –

empty hands.

And She Wrote

new chapter

She cracked the spine

and reflected upon

its glaring whiteness

with accelerated pulse,

intruder in paradise.

*

Frowning, she discarded

several nibs, stuttering

chicken scratch on

hotel stationery before

selecting an instrument

suited to her purpose,

ink which swelled

like forever tides on a shore

of sea-spun glass.

*

Pen paused over paper,

footfall unwilling to mar

the perfection of powdered sugar,

undisturbed beach

sweet in its virginal rest.

*

But her story begged,

cajoled,

dictated an ending –

and she began in a tremble

to add the denouement

*

with strokes grown firm

as words poured, splashed,

filled page

after page

after page,

deliberately crossed t’s

and dotted i’s lapping,

emboldened tidal waves,

characters

and plots and twists

painting her legacy

on sandy canvas.

*

And still she wrote,

late into the night,

knowing that every error

could be edited out,

every encounter

re-worked to melt

seamlessly, sunset into sea,

a story only she

could write.

*

And she wrote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chromaticity

virginia creeper evening

 

She fought it hard, this slow death.

Every photosynthetic

cell that relinquished its green

became the Enemy – each

sag, each ache, each decaying

limb strangled her dreams with dry

rot, made hope a withered thing.

.

The colour came later, much

later, apologetic

at first, drops of iodine

swirling in a glass. One day

she woke up amber;

one more dying struggle, one

further convulsive release

and scarlet draped her shoulders.

.

Now one with the world’s sunsets,

her fight is no longer with

the pain that has painted her

so robust a shade. No, she

lives, dying, more alive than

ever before, breathing air

tinged gold, dreaming newer dreams,

intensely saturated

with expectant undertones.

The Tailor

Looking up

 

Scurrying,

hurrying,

frantic to-do-worrying,

blind-eyed,

soul-dried,

blinkers block the view.

Slowing,

knowing,

intake of the blowing,

raising,

gazing,

comprehending blue.

Standing,

landing,

soul-to-sky expanding,

seeing,

freeing,

seeking golden dreams.

Stretching,

fetching,

drinking in the etching,

reclining,

aligning,

repairing at the seams.

Turning Over a New Leaf

curtains

Pull the drapes on summer past,

Linger long ‘neath autumn’s mast

Where golden sheaves are gathered in,

Thankfulness where pain has been.