Sand

March 21, 2012

I am the sand in your hourglass,
the sway of your pendulum;
I am the shadow on your sundial,
your past, your yesterday, your then.
I am your forgotten dreams,
your hazy memories,
the friends you left behind
and your estranged family.
I am the times you laughed,
the times you cried,
your loves and your fights.
I am your first kiss
and your last breath.
I am death.

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Darkness and Bliss

February 26, 2012

He walked on, not knowing where to but then not sure either where from.

Everything was hazy these days. Memories came and went, the going much quicker and far more permanent than the coming. His mind had become an old museum that only opened on special occasions and from which the curator had long since retired so that there remained no order to the contents. Occasionally, he would have moments of complete clarity and it was then that he felt the saddest.

As nostalgia flooded his mind and his vibrant past descended upon him with all of the abruptness and colour of a surprise party, the only thing he could focus on was the knowledge that soon it would all fade away again and he would be plunged back into the darkness of amnesia.

With the glorious memories of his youth and prime came vivid reruns of more recent days; he was taken back to days when the fog had been low and heavy and he hadn’t known who he was or where he was or when he was. He remembered the day he shouted at his daughter because he didn’t know who she was or when he had held the nurse’s hand with deep affection because he thought she was his wife or where he had put the money that he had vehemently accused the woman in the next room of stealing.

These were times he would gladly forget but now it was all or nothing; he couldn’t have the good times without being exposed to the bad. These moments of clarity seemed to be moving farther and farther apart and a growing piece of him was grateful of this.

He sat, often alone, through his ice cold Winter enduring these flashes of his former self, hurt by the knowledge of what he had been and what he had become and he would welcome with relief the bliss of amnesia.

xiv. Burn

July 30, 2011

I burned her.

I set her alight
and watched the flames rise
and the smoke curl.

I watched her skin blister,
her hair crinkle
and her smile turn to ashes.

At first it felt extreme
but once the photos were gone,
I began to feel a weight lifting.

I felt the curtain being pulled back
and the shadows start to fade
so I carried on.

Next, I threw her clothes on the flames
and for a moment her fragrance filled the room
before the smoke thickened.

A black tower rose up
from the waste paper bin
in the middle of the living room.

Thick black smoke,
the colour of my heart,
caressed the ceiling.

Before long, I had burned it all:
photos, clothes, DVDs, gifts;
I’d even thrown her favourite mug on the flames.

But somehow,
memories of her lingered on;
she refused to be forgotten.

I realised that a part of her
still lived inside me,
that as long as I loved her, she’d never let go.

So there was only one thing for it;
I had one last thing to burn,
one last thing to cleanse of her.

I felt the flames beckoning me,
urging me to finish the job,
and so I gave in to them.

I jumped on the flames
and the last thing I saw before my soul was consumed
was her.

i. Rain City

March 4, 2011

Above them glowed a golden sun,
The first they’d seen of it in years.

The people gazed up at the sky,
At something they had long forgot;

For so long, rain was all they’d known;
The rain defined their lives; The rain,
Had been the only thing they could,
Depend upon. From morning right,
Through every day, the rain came down.

There were a few among them who,
Had been around before the rain,
But none remembered how it felt,
The rain had washed those days away.

For all the rest, the sun was new,
An alien come from the grey;
That soft grey safety blanket they,
Had been wrapped up in right from birth.
And now that blanket had been snatched!

Exposed, they stared up at the sun;
It stung their eyes and burned their skin;

They soon all ran for cover from,
This stranger in the sky. And this,
This scramble for the shade was what,
Sparked memories for that small few,
The few that had survived this long.

They suddenly remembered how,
They too had run for shelter when,
The rain began to fall. There was,
A time when they had hidden from,
The rain; A time when they had missed,
The sun… And now it had returned,
To grant them warmth once more.

But how were they to tell the rest,
Who loved the rain, and loved the dark,
The clouds it cast above, the grey,
It painted in their sky, the cold,
It’s blanket wrapped them in. How could,
They ever understand that this,

This brightness, boldness, heat, was good?
A thing for them to bask in, not,
A thing to fear; A thing to set,
Them free from dreary servitude;
A thing to light their way; A source
Of vibrant joy. The light it cast,
Could rid them of the apathy,
The rain had filled them with; Could help,
Them live again, if only they,
Could see the truth. But fear of change,
Impeded them – Their fear, it made,
Them yearn for rain, for what they knew,
And when the sun persisted, they,
Rose up as one and put up walls,
To block its light; To keep its heat,
At bay, to claw their blanket back.

Eventually, the elders passed,
’til none remained from days before,
The rain. No, none were left to teach,
The rest to leave the shade and trust,
The sun. And thus, they stayed inside,
For good and raised their young the same.

The sun burned on, up in the sky,
But none who lived there let its light,
Shine on their lives; they never felt,
It’s warmth upon their skin again.

They never knew the joy the sun,
Could bring; They never felt the sense,
Of freedom that it promised them.

 

 

Inspired by the title of the song, ‘Rain City‘, by Turin Brakes.

xxiii. Haunted

February 1, 2011

Sweeping the floor,
I find a reminder;
It’s long and black.
It shatters me;
It brings me to my knees.

This morning,
It was your lipstick mark,
Still on your coffee cup;
Last night,
It was your perfume,
Still on my pillow.

Now it’s this hair,
Lay as if in ambush,
Waiting for me,
To find it there,
That stops me,
In my tracks.

I cannot live this way,
With your ghost,
Haunting my apartment.
You dominate my dreams,
And you surround me,
When I am awake.

Even when I leave,
Your chewing gum’s,
Still in my car;
Your favourite song,
Is on my radio;
The seat’s reclined,
Just the way,
You liked it.

I’m haunted by,
My happiest memories –
Memories,
Of a time,
That was so perfect.
I have no nightmares,
When I sleep and yet,
Somehow this is worse.

These happy memories,
Surrounding me,
But always,
Out of reach;
They terrorise,
Tease,
Taunt me;
They’re driving me,
Insane.

I wake up in the night,
I’m sleeping on ‘my side’,
As though,
You’re still there.
I can’t roll over,
Because the cold,
Will tell me,
What I already know,
But cannot bear to feel.

Getting ready for work,
I pick my toothbrush up,
From beside yours.
Yours is the red one –
Your favourite colour.
You’ll never use it now,
But there it sits,
Defiant;
Staking it’s claim.

Sometimes,
Out of habit,
I still cook,
Too many eggs,
In the morning.
Yours go to the dog,
But it’s still enough,
To remind me.

I wonder,
When I will be exorcised,
Of these,
My happiest memories;
Memories of a happiness,
I can no longer bear.

 

 

Inspired by the following lyric:
“Got your lipstick mark/ Still on your coffee cup”
I’m not a fan of Take That, but that one line has always stood out to me as being somehow genius.

xv. The Pier (Shakespeare)

January 20, 2011

The road, neglected, left to overgrow;
Reduced to tracks now, barely visible.
You’d never find it if you didn’t know.
To him, the road is unforgettable.

It’s not as though he hasn’t always tried,
To put out of his mind what happened there;
This place is why so much of him has died.
That he should have to come back feels unfair.

And yet, he came. He always comes, always.
Regardless of the pain, he keeps his word.
He tries to focus on the better days;
The days before, when laughter was still heard.

He walks along the path onto the pier.
The flowers placed, he leaves until next year.

xiv. Love Lost

January 18, 2011

Can nothing in the shadows shine? Like polished crystal in the dark —
Reflections ambushed; dull and bleak — the memories of broken hearts,
Their features blurred, like photos bleached, fade quickly into yesterday,
As stories told of romance past, with facts replaced and details lost,
Recount a love once held so dear as nothing more than fleeting fun.

Can nothing in the daylight hide? My lies, so intricately spun,
A spider’s web on wintry dawn: Clever yet not good enough.
A stutter or a nervous smile, the tell-tale flash of icy white,
A cold betrayal, warning all that come across it not to stray.
Thus I am left without; My fleeing prey, the love that I so thrive.

I’ve loved before and I’ve been loved, but now, my lovers gone, my heart,
Has scratched their names from pages in the journals of my memory.
I try to go back to that time; to picture myself in those days;
To see the faces of my past and tell them how they ‘mean the world;’
They’re ‘Everything to me,’ alas what’s gone is gone, and is no more.

So here I’m left to try again; to search the world for love anew,
And try to find what once I had; to fill the void that now resides,
But I already know too well I’ll never find that place again.
And I can never keep the lie that I’m in love alive for long;
I cannot make the words seem real, and soon I’m on my own again.

vii. The Lake

January 7, 2011

The young man’s idle thoughts begin to drift,
As he lies snoozing in the Summer breeze.
His daydream brings him to a lake, adrift,
Through calm cool waters underneath the trees.

It’s such a long time since he came down here,
And yet his memory remains unchanged.
He used to sit and write songs on the pier,
Before he and his love became estranged.

Before they fell apart, the lake was theirs.
It felt to them like an entire world.
Down at the lake they forgot their despairs.
Down at the lake a million dreams unfurled.

The still green reservoir seemed so remote,
As if God made it for them to explore.
She sat beside him in the wooden boat;
His oars sent ripples out toward the shore.

They’d lie together on their private strand,
With branches stretched above like nature’s eaves.
They’d stay that way for hours, hand in hand,
Just listening to wind dance through the leaves.

The icy water lapping at their toes,
They’d hold each other close and plan their lives,
Back then not once did they suppose,
That what they had would maybe not survive.

But now those days are long since left behind,
And days, weeks, months, so many years have passed.
It’s true that sometimes she crosses his mind;
He never did quite let go of that past.

 

His memories of her are weak at best;
He never really sees her face these days.
At most he conjures up her silhouette,
The details lost to Time’s uncaring haze.

Sometimes at night he’ll glimpse her chocolate eyes,
Or wake to flashes of her moistened lips;
He’ll swear he hears the echo of her sighs,
Or feels her body pressed against his hips.

But morning casts a shadow over her,
A curtain through which she can not be reached,
What memories he’s found begin to blur,
Like photographs the spiteful sun has bleached.

But there is one thing he remembers well,
One memory that time will never take,
One thing forgetfulness can not dispel
He knows that he will always have the lake.

He never dares to go there anymore,
Incase it is not as it used to be;
It needs to stay just like it was before –
He only walks its banks in memory.