Tag Archives: grief

Exorcism

Exorcism

​It has taken until now to begin;
for my throat to form the sounds,
my mouth to mimic
the shifting shapes of sorrow
and release them into the air.
 

I am an infant, grappling
with the birth of language;
each word connecting
and disconnecting me
to and from myself.
 

Love letters crawl from the
tar pit. Black, sticky,
coated with grief, they slip
beneath triangles that
no longer tessellate.
 

As the banshee leaves
all that remains in the
blonde light of morning
is a girl, so much stronger
than me before you.

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Mrs Reynard

fox 1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

You get used to it,
the carnage,
the ruptured bodies
of the small and the not-so-small,
waiting to be steam-rolled
into the tarmac.
 

The children used to cry at the rabbits;
innards glistening, torn fur
spilling scarlet ribbons
onto adamantine grey,
but even tender hearts
become anaesthetised
to the horrors of the hedgerows.
 

Strange then
that the fox should jar me,
so serenely intact; no visible marks,
no metal tears or twisted entrails
as if he has lain down,
in his exquisite, toffee tailcoat,
exhausted from the coop
or chasing a moonlit hare,
 

cleverly positioning himself
in the middle of the lane,
to avoid having the breath
and the guts tyre-squashed
out of his body, as slick blacks
pass on either side.
 

I drive on, the day unfolds.
I work, eat, talk,
mostly at a distance;
life underwater.
 

I am not here.
 

I am there, always;
on the unforgiving surface,
lying cold in the road,
burrowing my desperate need
into his unbroken fur,
grifting
what little warmth is left
from his small, ruined body.
 
 

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The Glassblowers

Glass
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The last time
was in the en-suite bathroom;
a wretched, accidental collision
in full view of the purple counterpane
and the torn loneliness of the antique bed.
 

The damp-freckled mirror bore witness
to frantic, tear-drenched kisses
as hands traced half-clothed contours
and fingers mapped crevices
that had lain untouched for months.
 

Fumbling in the heat of our howling,
in the suffocating sand of our gulping sobs,
we scrambled, trying desperately
to grasp the absolute death
of all that we knew.
 

Cradled in that granite womb;
out of the grief of our blown-glass past
and the furnace of an uncertain future
we traced the ancient shapes
of everything we were about to lose.
 
 

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Burton on Taylor


 

She came;
violet eyes brazing,
hair liquid black,
after-birthed
from Morfa’s glutted seam.
 

She blessed and burnt
my summer daze,
a crucible of white heat,
her gleaming teeth
cursed, dispersed
the icy hellions
of my bleak winters.
 

We raged with it,
the horn-ridden beast,
hollered as we let it claw
our clothes, rip ecstasy
from our throats, gouge
our eyes with the taloned
beauty of idolised youth.
 

Ten years we burned
between the sun and its
mutant reflection,
amid lust
and sallow loathing,
quaffing piss-amber
liquor between
fighting and fucking
 

until molten and wet,
she snaked from my
volcanic mouth,
left me spent and spewing,
to roam the sodden streets;
livid, raw, weeping whisky
into soot-filled gutters,
scuttling the gulf
of snot-drowned grief,
 

an ashen shadow of a man
bearing the red welt
of a life half-lived,
without her.
 
 
 
 
 

~ Bit of a departure for me. I’m fascinated by the relationship between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They had a passionate, tempestuous marriage between 1964 and 1974, remarrying 16 months after their divorce, the second marriage lasted less than a year. He likened their marriage to rubbing two sticks of dynamite together.
 

Burton died of a brain haemorrhage in August 1984. He was buried in a red suit, a tribute to his Welsh roots, and with a copy of Dylan Thomas’s poems, many of which he had recorded to great acclaim. Burton wrote Taylor countless love letters over the years, even when they were apart. His last was delivered to her home three days after his death. She died 27 years later in March 2011 and was buried with the letter.
 

I’ve tried to write this from Burton’s point of view after they divorced in 1974. You kinda have to imagine his deep, rich Welsh voice to get the full effect. If you don’t know what he sounded like check out the link – hands down the best reading of Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle.
 

Richard Burton reads Dylan Thomas

 

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Melanchrome


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tombstone early morning tide;
splintered shell pierces pallid skin,
sculls along labyrinthine veins –
oxygen-starved lanes.

Blood-soaked sound,
underwater aural pound,
spikey versed consumptive curse
lodged in lungs and liver-skinned skeins.

Insomnia-driven; dank,
rasp-ridden, sleep-deprived weep.
Saturation deep-strips hue.

Ululation over; nude lips hunker
beneath orbs scraped of colour –
 
 

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Blunt


We woke early the day spoons fell from the sky,
rubbed gritty eyes, sleepily unaware of incoming metal,
left home to muddle through the mundane.

Early March, dark by six when we returned,
seconds through the door when the shower started,
startling the air with ring and rasp.

I barely recognised her voice

The first hit me blunt, brought me to my knees,
freeze-framed millisecond before the second hit
bit into my scalp, pinned me to the ground

while silver rained around. You dragged me
from the deluge, covered my head.
I fled, bled, remember running the stairs,

aware of the screams, dead dead dead
beneath the clatter, hammered-mettle matter
that left me bludgeoned and bleeding,

surrounded by steel that scooped me hollow,
left me to wallow in double-dense days,
weighed down by the hebetate chemical daze.

Narcosis that left me scrabbling for sharps,
searching in drawers for whetted knives,
anything to feel the edge of the blade.

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