Friday, 19 November 2010

#Fridayflash - Missing

Inspired by a Leeds Savage Club Writers' Group Task, for which the prompt simply read: 'Writers' Group'.
She pushed her way between the hedge and the gatepost, squeezing by to avoid the tedious effort of the heavy gate. Tonight, air was all she needed.

The fields yawned out before her, with their long shadows and their evening sun, and she heard the faint hum of traffic, on the roads beyond the trees. The world was still out there, but somehow, this was a place where she could barely notice.

It had been warm today. The office had been stuffy and the phones had been hot, and she was tired of being polite. The thoughts had been stirring in her head all day...but she couldn't seem to find a moment to organise them. She knew she had something that needed to be be shared...but she was running out of time. With a conscious effort, she suppressed the conditioned urge to wonder what time it was now...not because she thought she had any more of it, but because it seemed crass to think it mattered here.

The hares in the grass 20 yards away, began to scatter with her stirring footsteps, and she decided to sit, unwilling to disturb them further. She closed her eyes for what felt like a lifetime, and breathed, filling her lungs with air. The scent of the outdoors was like nectar, and it flooded her core, seeping into every , crackling fibre until she felt like a thirsty tulip drinking morning dew. With the sun setting, low on her back, and the soft voice of a lonely cricket chirping somewhere beside her, slowly...finally...she felt her thoughts begin to tumble into place. She sighed, and pulled a battered notebook from the back pocket of her jeans. Hunching over to rest it on her knee, she put her pen to the page, and began to write.

The pen was hasty, confident and sure, and it moved without a pause or a scribble... It was just as she'd thought. This was something that needed to be said, and it almost wrote itself.

She was so engrossed, scratching frantically at the paper, that she barely noticed when he sat down beside her. He had to touch her unoccupied hand, lightly, to alert her to his presence, and she turned her head, dipping it gently against his as a greeting. It was the very briefest of tender gestures, before she resumed her task. Her thoughts had taken so long to be coherent that she was now unwilling to disturb them, and despite his being there, she steadfastly completed her mission.

It didn't surprise her that he waited in silence, shifting only slightly as he stroked his thumb over the empty space on her wedding finger. He knew her well enough by now not to speak when he found her here.

"When you were late," he said, eventually, as she laid her notebook in the grass, "I knew I'd find you here."

She turned to him then, eyeing the finger he was stroking with painful regret, before she met his eyes.

"I'm sorry..." she frowned. "I know I should have called. It's just...with what happened this morning, I suppose I've felt lost all day. I couldn't get things straight in my head...the words wouldn't come. I just...I really needed some air." He nodded, acceptingly...always accepting...his eyebrows knitting a little, as he tried to understand her world.

"And do you have them straight now?"

She smiled sadly.

"Yes, I think I do."

"Can I see?" She turned to the notebook and smoothly tore out the page...there were other things in there that she wasn't ready to show him yet. Folding the paper twice so it fit in her palm, she pressed it gently into his. She didn't watch him unfold it, and got up to pace, nervously, as he read:


I miss you today,
like water,
like rain,
that harnessed and poured on,
swept away the only beacon that has ever
truly retained the most treasured
of my life - remembered for me
our mornings, my dreams,
our nights - heated and love-drunk; tender circle
of fire it seems I only pay note to
when I feel that it
is lacking.
And here
the knife
twists now,
withdrawing and plunging back in,
for I have only regrets...
of where my apathy greeted and met my
and I lost you...
...I lost you through nothing
but inattention, and my own carelessness.

"So what do you think?" She finally asked, when he stood up and wandered over to join her. "It's the Writers' Group Open Mic tonight and I wanted to have something to read...but I think I've left it too late, haven't I? I've rushed needs more work...?"

"No," he smiled, "you haven't...and it doesn't. I think it's perfect, beautiful...I think you're beautiful!" He pushed the paper back into her hand. "Go. Please." He told her. "Read it. They'll love you."

"Perhaps," she smiled, feeling suddenly and uncharacteristically shy, "but I think you're biased on that front. And besides...what will you do tonight? ...If I go?"

"Me?" he smirked and pulled her close to kiss her forehead. "I'm going to take the U-bend off, darling... You're not the only one who misses your ring, you know!"

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


If I stay,
I stay not
for requests that repeat,
but for want and longing
of the times we shall meet again for an hour
in twilight or rain,
and retreat to our sanctuary
of darkness ingrained on our hearts
and imprinted on souls,
where joys and comforts and truths
are told in the moments
when we don’t speak at all,
until our lives and our consciences
call us
back to the world
and we go in the knowledge,
that our cocktails of words
and touches, and our dreams
of the stars,
are creating most exquisite
and permanent scars that time
can never erase. And if I tell you I honour
your etchings with grace,
it is likewise honest, and true as the phases
of the constant moon,
and whispered for one reason,
and that reason alone:
Because I wanted to.

Re Vera (In Truth)

Who is anyone
but you or I
to question our constants,
our tainted reasons
to lie about time,
and wherever we have been
when most days
these moments with angels,
are needed,
just to breathe?
And surely
our methods
to heal
one another,
to none but us;
for when we call
on the world
to grant that deafening hush,
and bring down the seasons
to soothe heartaches and groans, we know
we have bared
the depths of our souls,
been down inside one another,
and back,
seen where we are warm,
and swum where we
are black, and sullied, and yet,
we look to one another, with truth,
and say:


How do I begin
to consider
what you see,
if you lay eyes, or breath,
or hands,
on me?

Surely, I can only
your words…and
know that you love
untamed world and say perhaps,
that you see a soul
that answers yours
without notion to call out harshly
and ever roughen a moment
that whispers to your heart such quiet
and golden nuggets of gentle song,
that you ask me to stay
ever longer, as the light slowly creeps from day,
and you ask me to smile for you and to lay down
in grass,
to follow you and share a glass of heaven,
or beauty, in wet air and dew…and I
can only suppose that maybe you see things
in me
that keep you near;

perhaps you hear a language
you understand
when you walk at my side or touch
my hand to your waiting lips;
perhaps you are only taking welcome
sips of my medicine that seems to cure…
either way you see my doors are always open,
fences down,
and I welcome you in to drown, like an addict
at the bar who throws off disguise,
willing to catch you whenever you fall,
like the stars I hold in my eyes.


Drink with me;
draw the curtains,
and close down the world.

nothing is more certain than
the morning light
the dawning brightness of
the waning night we will slowly
leave behind.
for we have
only hours now;
less time,
than ever we could

Lie down; let us draw now
from the bleeding bottle
beside us
on the floor; forget the glasses;
and listen
as each
breath passes our wounded throats,
and we throw out our
ballast like stricken
U-boats; half sunken
on the edge of the world;
curled all around
one another
like tender stalks
of over-grown
for protection
and comfort against

for if we only refuse
to see it; or hollowly bear witness
to the gentle rising of the sun,
and if we loyally
beg the moon to stay,
then surely day
- and surely cold,
hard clarity -
can never come.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Lullaby In Glass

I’ve opened the wine wish you here…
close your eyes and you
can be near and help me drink it;
help me sink
down into it, while we only
and dream;
and you play
music for me,
all night,
beneath the gleaming stars… is simply our
secret balm
for all those
invisible scars,
and surely, a lullaby,
with sweetness and strength enough
to drown out any
rough or harsh regrets
we have foolishly let
set into
our souls
and there keep us
from sleep.


Tell me all the ways
you want to make me yours;
all the parts of me you want to
whisper to,
adore, and possess.
Come and question every
I take when I am near you.

Come and touch me
like a broken arrow,
like an eagle’s wing in flight,
lift me up and force
my soul to sing aloud and give life
to yours.
Come and lay me
on the kitchen
floor and take
all those parts you named
before with caresses and smiles
in the smoky night.

Come ignite a raging flame of desire
on ice cold ceramic tiles…
now – take me with you -
and I will walk, or run,
or crawl
the thousand miles across your desert
to kiss you.

Rain Bathing

Mostly I’m laid
on my back, you know,
as I watch the sky roll over;
and I listen
to the drums
with a beer-bottle on my chest.
It tries its level best, I think, to take
and cast them from me
into forever,
never asking if there is better,
yet to come or still
to be,

and it hums its way inside of me,
to soothe when I promise it kisses
and I let its wet blessings
caress my sun-touched skin,
until it sinks its gentle claws in,
changing and curling
my feathered wings
that feel
there has been
since they were allowed to fly.

So I close my weary eyes, and sigh,
as I lay back; the water’s feast,
and I suppose that I am thankful,
for the splashes on my brow
(and the taste on my tongue)
and the shivers in the cold
at least.

Comfort of Friends

Some things mend
without needles,
or thread…
…but simply with words,
or gentle forehead-kisses,
…or the knitted fingers
of friends…

The aches and stabs
of life,
they lend themselves
so well
to the cure
of this enchanted brew...

…and knowing only
the beauty
of that…
I gladly lend myself
to you.


You ask me silently
how far
I will let you fall
before you break,
and how far
I might ever go
for although you say nothing, I
see questions below
your surface
that beg me, answer them.

But your answers, my friend, are
like the wind
on which we ride, as winged
horses or fireflies,
across moonlit lakes and misty
skies, with our lives on our backs…

Your answers are dreams, my darling,
- torture racks –
worth no more than the carpet
tacks that make up
your secret bed of nails. And so,
the truth is,
I will let you fall and flail, for eternity,
for where is the harm in wanting
nothing from me?
Where is the foul in comfort and glory,
and in time…and friendship…

This much
is important…

…I will stay forever…

…if it only
makes you smile.