god knows i suffer in the summer.
the season doesn't invigorate me,
i find it depleting.
the new light disorients me
and fulminating nature overwhelms me.
the hazy air, thick with cut grass
and pollen, like an invisible army
endlessly assaulting my eyes and nose.
it all begins in the spring,
equally as melancholic.
i sweat all day,
but by night i am freezing.
no sweater or shoe seem right
for this temperamental time of year.
every blow of my life
has taken place in warm weather.
the jovial laughter in
chiffon summer dresses
only remind me of the losses,
betrayals and disappointment.
the summertime inertia
of waking up in bleached surroundings
and having the distinct feeling
of being inevitably pushed forward.
but today is the weekend,
i do not have to leave the house.
i can wake up and not get up.
there is nothing better.
i walked the lonely woods at night,
and came across a pixie.
he was so small, his hair was bright,
his appearance rather tricksy.
he flashed a mischievous, sprite like grin,
and beckoned me come forward.
i walked to him, my mind made dim,
and did just as he ordered.
he pointed to a fallen tree,
and asked me to inspect it.
i looked and saw, to my surprise,
it was not as i expected.
the tree was not a tree at all,
but a giant soundly sleeping.
i turned to see the imp was gone,
and this would be my ending.
ivy part II
what was it that you said to me about the moon,
how it had the magnitude to capture our shadows?
were those the exact words that you used?
i can remember the story of the princess,
who became trapped in the moon's reflection
on the surface of the lake.
we each recall the story differently -
you argue that she was a queen;
i do not think that it matters.
we wander into the forest.
the silence was uncomfortable;
i hesitate just for a moment.
you gently take my hand
and guide me from the path.
i will never find my way back.
the air is thick and pungent,
i can taste wet soil;
the stench of damp rot and decay.
'not much further,' you say.
i did not know you had a plan.
we came upon a well,
the crumbling stone;
overgrown with ivy.
i felt the wave of unease.
'look down it,'
i did not hesitate to obey.
it's so deep, is there something down there?
you ask me to imagine falling in.
but that is a game i will not play.
i do not know at what point
you let go of my hand.
it must have been when i turned;
you had already gone.
i look to you
to do something.
to take it back forever;
press the reverse button.
we handle it,
by not handling it,
says the voice.
my anxiety hops inside;
like dried beans on a table
jumping during an earthquake.
a familiar tightening,
a squeezing grip -
a closed fist in my chest.
there is something
i should be doing.
i seek forgiveness
that i do not deserve.
i remember you,
and worry what you’ll think.
a solitary hermit am i,
in a dark cave i do reside,
whilst they come to me in strides,
so i might flatter all their pride,
with the wisdom i’ve acquired.
so long ago since i became,
a much sort after humble sage,
who dwells here in his lonely cage,
whilst the people send me endless praise,
for their spirits that i do raise.
they seek me always for advice,
on love, vocation and their life.
they want not truth nor painful strife,
for truth can cut just like a knife,
so i just sing them sweet delights.
“you sir, i see, shall be a king,
and adorn bright golden bejewelled rings.”
to these falsehoods they will so cling,
and hang off every word i sing;
oh the happiness my words can bring.
merrily they’ll dance and skip away,
without making a second’s delay,
to tell the others of their day,
and how the fates have finally swayed,
and life’s debt to them shall soon be paid.
oh when will these small humans learn,
life is not responsible for their return,
on everything that is not earned,
and into my old mind be burned,
all the falsehoods that i have churned.
i built this house
stone by stone.
my fingers bled
from all the work.
i pulled up the drawbridge
but not before letting you in.
i witnessed you plant something,
i allowed it to grow and grow.
now ivy climbs and strangles the walls.
buried deep in the foundations
and lifting my floors.
the windows now completely covered,
i forced those shutters closed.
i locked the basement,
but the flies crawl through the cracks.
i swat them away; more come -
the body you hid down there no doubt.
the yellow wallpaper that i hate;
peeling at the edges and tobacco stained.
i risk a glance outside, is that you?
i know it has been years
since you last climbed that fence.
i must find those shears,
i thought i had them here.
did you take those too?
the near constant drizzle of rain;
oppressive clouds coagulate over me
like voluptuous rolls of fat in the sky.
i shiver against the damp chill,
but the fires cannot be lit.
i imagine you surrounded by light,
bathed in an orange, diaphanous glow
of warm July sunshine.
slowly, i move from room to room.
staring into the space.
only my shadow moves with changing light.
i want to lie down.
i boil the kettle for tea,
that buys me time.
a watched kettle never boils.
the familiar screeching jolts me back;
that didn't feel long at all.
a lump move upwards inside -
best to ignore it.
giving it attention gives it strength,
allowing it escape
as a scream.
or something worse.
what a waste.
all those unsaid words.
i had them well-planned.
your ears remain innocent.
what sort of power
without a gag?
but still breathing.
perhaps you're a magician
to pull such a clever trick.
i'm convinced of your kindness,
whilst i watch you sharpen your knives.
i stand upon a chariot
pulled by two beasts
that i cannot unite.
when they fight,
we must stop.
so much for riding in unnoticed.
my neck and shoulders hurt;
straining against the gold chains.
they ignore me;
remaining at odds.
i could not see a way out.
the trees had been moving again.
i could not see a way out.
the snow fell heavily;
the darkness smothered us.
"why can't i have what i want?"
because it is not yours,
said the voice.
i would not.
they started to fight.
with scythe like claws.
i doubled over in pain,
never wanting to get up.
"stop hurting us!"
the beasts roared.
i whipped them all the harder.
eventually they collapsed;
exhausted and bloody,
foaming at the mouth.
i lay down next to them,
a knight galloped towards us,
riding a gleaming white unicorn.
he offered me his hand,
when i went to take it
he laughed and then scorned
before disappearing entirely.
my poor beasts howled.
i stroked their fur
gently dressing the wounds.
"we'll try again tomorrow."
and slowly they fell asleep,
safe in the relief.
i found a vase
with a flower
i could not
i watered it
with falling tears,
it still wilted
i sunned it
with fake smiles,
the petals continued
i placed it on
so it might
but still the
my flower did
will you chase away my sorrow,
that haunts me in the night?
the courage i must borrow
to escape misery and strife.
the darkness it covers me
like a blanket of despair.
the weight does suffocate me
as i claw and grasp for air.
the moon gives off no light;
the stars have been blacked out.
the fear does steal my sight
leaving just pain and doubt.
come play me your sweet music
that lulls me back to sleep.
the only thing that calms me,
your lullaby to keep.