not yet mine
nor I yours.
beneath vaulted ache.
in stained glass
I return from the station
expecting you gone
but here you are:
ash blonde head
on the creamy pillow,
a soft cotton foot
balled under the bed,
ears still attuned
to the melody,
your hand pressed
against misty glass.
I resist the urge to tidy;
to tuck wires into drawers,
make beds, wipe smears,
and instead lie next to you,
unable to forget your face
at the carriage window.
A year since lain in langour’s lap, cradled
in the receding arms of an Indian Summer,
incarnated in season’s departure.
Exultant, slipped deep
into the contours of a fiery landscape,
first breath of Autumn rough-brushed on lips,
blistering hips ripeplump on boughs.
Purple shadows of bruised fruit scattered
beneath October’s ochre lava,
sticky sap released to run glistening
down the deep-riven bark of parched elms.
This year only memories harvested,
faint echoes of a stillborn sadness,
stored in the larder to stave off the hunger
of Winter’s dearth.
But come Spring cold hands will plunge
into the darkness of a peaty earth,
chocolate-moist crumbly balm
to papery palms as they scrabble to plant
hope’s cherished raspberry-leaf embryos.
Nurture from the womb-like land and watch,
while succulent shoots sprout green and hungry,
reaching for the succour of a season re-birthed.
thoughts of you tread viscous water,
while broken body
lies dormant, in repair.
suspended between synapses,
waiting to be pipetted
into petri dish
and allowed to grow
waitress brings today’s special.
cinnamon shakes pungent
Tumble into orchard,
harvest apples; sliced, stewed, spiced,
preserved in jars, air-tight.
Sit quietly on the shelf,
waiting for when two spoons
can share dessert again –
Days since we spoke, since we smoked molten words,
watched their smouldering tips as we sat in the dark
at opposite ends of a warm thought.
Breath blowing through shadows, chain smoking
through a packet of paper-rolled emotions,
savouring distilled tincture with tongues.
Tonight, we will sit in the dark again and commune;
we will cup our hands and light up,
watchful not to let the words burn down too quickly,
leaving our eyes bleary and our lips blistered.
As loneliness slips in beside,
and fills the space where warmth once lay,
in creeps hiraeth in shades of grey;
cuts deep the sheets with sharpened scythe.
Future borrowed from tomorrow
to gladly pay the levied tithe
and have the past rewind/replay
as loneliness slips in beside.
~ Hiraeth is a Welsh word. Like many strong passionate words in the language there is no single English word that adequately translates the meaning of the word but it means a deep sense of longing, a yearning for that which has past, a sense of homesickness tinged with grief or sorrow over the lost or departed.
The piece is written in Octain form, an explanation of which can be found at this link.
what it is
this pocket sized piece of fantastic elastic that stretches between us that vibrates every time I hear your voice that thrums when you whisper wishes and wants that trembles when I conjure up an image of you in my head and resonates each time you say my name with polyphonic diatonic grace
but I failed
Between the pages
of the book you left for me
on the bedside table.
In the silver of the air
beneath your slender fingers
gliding across cold ivory.
In the minute intervals
between the notes you sang
to soothe my silence.
It is in these spaces,
these precious places,
that I am – still.