Followers

Friday, 8 December 2017

AYRTON'S ROCK

Rocky Valley, early December, evening





Wild gorse merges with inky sea.
A stony uneven path climbs steeply upward
towards a star-dotted, almost black sky

devoid of any comfort. I pause, suddenly uneasy.
The shadowy precipices, blurred depth of landscape
in darkness and the ceaseless crashing of wild tide

far below are all too evocative of nautical phantoms
I'm extremely reluctant to confront alone.
yet, here I am, utterly powerless to resist

this crazy, reckless compulsion to return
and touch the past, when we were together
and loneliness was no more than a vague concept

of something that only happened to someone else.
But now the ties are so stretched. Perhaps any memories
I can conjure up will help to clarify

these abstract images of blissful bygone days spent
with my only child: his brown eyes, dark hair,
red hat and striped shirt. And he, barely more than waist high;

small hand in mine, happy laughter. Traversing
this very path, over twenty years ago. Somehow
tonight feels less real. It could so easily be not now,

but back then. The fierce crashing of waves on rocks
so far below: trance-inducing. Timeless.





Ayrton's rock

Reaching the jutting rock, feeling the way -
risking life and limb in the steeply sloping blackness.
A dance of shadows spiral around me

in the tall grasses and jagged edges
of primal stone, as I squeeze into the sheltered alcove.
Remembering, with a choking lump in my throat.

Bending down, running fingertips over the great slab underfoot.
Pushing aside prickly undergrowth - it's still here!
Carved in the stone: AYRTON 1997. Tenderly tracing every letter and digit.

And I never thought then for one moment I'd return

someday in an older form of myself. But here, now,
buffeted by the chill night wind,

I turn towards the restless Atlantic and clear
a space in gut-wrenching nostalgia to whisper,
Ayrton - like a mantra, over and over again:

a magical chant capable, I hope, of reversing time itself.
And the Universe is stilled. The years between unwound.





Rocky Valley, dawn

The return journey. The last thing on earth
I want to be doing. The cold, long shadows
so vividly reminiscent of the empty space I carry

deep inside. Even the mournful cries of the gulls
speak to my Soul of abandoned nests
and redundant mother-love steeped in mourning.

However, living in the past is not really my scene -
not since my hot tears drowned my daughter's gravestone
and smudged the heart-broken messages on rose bordered cards:

debilitating agony, synonymous with relentless winds like these.
Motherhood is an excruciating affair -
at least, it has been for me.

Nine pregnancies, and only Ayrton lives on.
I find him, suddenly, on the approach to Trethevy Mill,
anxiously seeking me. Dare I even hope it is an omen?

That the maternal bond is actually elastic still?
The gulls are deafening, waves still crashing. Everything falls into place.



Friday, 1 December 2017

INCOMPETENCY

I sometimes churn out utter tosh -
meaningless, not deep; sprawling, not neat.
But, occasionally, I re-read it through and discover
an atom of Soul expression embedded
within these incompetent words, then I know
it's worth all the extra hard graft and frustration.

When people ask my why, I reply
"Why are Nuns drawn to the Convent?"
Theirs is a calling, so is mine:
a perception of something most profound
that demands from me utter devotion.

So I take out another sheet of paper
and dream myself into it's fabric.
Studying it's subtly mottled whiteness,
it begins to speak to me of a tree
whose noble sacrifice enables my craft.

And this sacrifice is preying upon my mind,
honing in like the sight on a gun.
And I cannot stop it - the strange conviction
of guilt that is powerfully compelling me
to record the feeling - and express it right!

Now the tree is embracing me in tender green
as if in forgiveness for the pain I've inflicted.
And I've become one with her rising sap,
her deep roots, her joy of living -
until all is cut short by the brutal felling.
And I'm moved to tears by this sheet of paper
and my wretched inability to find the words...




Saturday, 25 November 2017

JEANNIE AND I

Jeannie my closest friend and I
were forever making our teachers cry.
It's what we always did in school
by encouraging each other to play the fool.

Oh how we disrupted every class,
reducing each lesson to childish farce
just so our teachers would throw us out
then - yippee - we'd once more go walkabout.

It was hide-and-seek we loved to play
in the endless corridors of North Block A,
but then one day we strayed further afield
way out across the downland weald.

Then as we slunk home long after tea
I was terrified of how cross my mother would be.
And I wasn't wrong - she screamed and shouted.
I'd be grounded for weeks now, I never doubted.

Ah, such loss of liberty conjured in me
images of my parent as the enemy.
So, egged on by Jeannie, I sought out my mother
and gave her a piece of my mind - oh brother -

did I get into major trouble that day!
All of my privileges were taken away,
and when my father was duly informed
to improve my behavour I was gravely warned.

So I crept away on the verge of tears,
inwardly besieged by nameless fears
and sought out Jeannie for some friendly advice
and she sympathized with my plight, her eyes cold as ice.

"Now what you must do is run away -
show a little spirit and disobey!
Pack your bags after school tomorrow
and take your revenge in their bitter sorrow.

We'll meet up in the dead of night
outside your gate in the bright moonlight."
"But where will we go?" I nervously inquired.
"We'll decide in the taxi that I'll have hired."

So all next day I was deep in thought,
barely took in a thing I was taught.
And I closed my ears and eyes to Jeannie,
whom I was coming to regard a bit of a meanie.

I mean, how could I treat my parents like that?
Was I becoming a spiteful brat?
And so I told Jeannie I was calling it off,
but all she did was berate me and scoff:

"Oh you're such a coward, a weak little thing -
no better than a puppet on your parents' string.
Stand up for yourself for once and be free
or you'll no longer find a friend in me!"

Ouch! That really hurt and for the rest of the day
I sobbed and cried the hours away.
But then to my senses I finally came:
"Jeannie," I said, "This isn't a game!

You've bossed me around and controlled my life
and brought down upon me too much strife.
Well now I've decided it's going to end -
I no longer need an imaginary friend!"

Thursday, 16 November 2017

GIRL POWER, circa 2017

Attention all males: please avert your eyes
from women in low-cut tops. And when using public transport
for goodness' sake make sure
you never inadvertently brush against a female,
or the consequences for you could well be dire.
Be careful, also, to avoid verbalizing your thoughts
when you find a woman attractive. Oh no,
never actually tell her she looks good in tight jeans,
or they'll label you a pervert, lock you up and throw away the key.
Remember, "abuse" is the latest battle-cry of pugilistic feminism!

If, however, you are still brave enough to ask her out,
then do proceed with extreme caution
and frame your request very carefully. It must be
free of even the slightest degree of innuendo, and
mentioning her weight, body shape, looks or hairstyle
is strictly off limits. And if buying her a drink,
make absolutely certain that she witnesses the glass being filled
or, sure as hell, you'll be accused of lacing it with rohypnol
by next morning. Oh yes, you must tread very carefully, guys.
Girl power, circa 2017, is fast becoming the deadliest of all plagues...

and now, it seems, the boys are joining in too...;)

Thursday, 9 November 2017

THE PITS

Look beyond your perfect rooms,
through false pride and see
my Mother's red-raw hands
and worn-out knees from scrubbing
and polishing brass and crystal glass,
and sweeping rugs, plumping cushions,
laying fires and black-leading grates.
Always on duty. Long before my birth,
yet I see it all - feel it, in fact:
just fourteen and already broken,
emaciated and underfed;
berated for grubby apron and cap
that she'd had no time to change.
And all this toil for what?
So you can impress your snobby guests!
What right have you to act so haughtily,
with all your shallow hypocrisy
and idle lily white hands?
Aah...scathing disrespect was all you bestowed
upon one who enabled you to live
in the lap of luxury-loving laziness -
the one who gave me life.
Oh now she's gone, but the legacy lives on:
the ignorant rich are the pits.

Friday, 3 November 2017

AN ENDING

Wish I could unpick my life
like an unloved sweater
to the very last stitch
then let it fall
into nothingness
where
I could
no longer witness
such inhumanity...

In deepest empathy with all those affected by the latest terrorist atrocity in New York.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

THE BEAST OF BODMIN

Bodmin Moor, Fog, Moor, Moody, Cornish, Windswept
Photo by Pixabay

Cornish folk still relate the tale
of midnight howling and dark shape prowling
through the mist upon Bodmin Moor,
and in the morning dead sheep scattered
drained of every drop of blood.

Full moon, dark moon, the moorland shepherds
they say kept watch over dwindling flocks,
yet failed to see what ripped out gizzards
with razor sharp teeth so blamed a beast
whose eyes flashed bright with ruby fire.

And legend has it the beast still stalks
in the drifting shadows, yet leaves a trail
of gigantic paw prints in rain-soaked soil.
Infamous, universally feared and yet the beast
only ever existed in the darkest recesses
of imagination's most sinister realm.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

ENDEAVOUR

Through life's dark times the spirit withstood
denunciation from the harshest of critics,
but resolute as iron defied all heretics
through strength of will and intentions good.

Then as life's purpose became better understood
each day found it's place in Destiny's genetics,
leaving great mind free to formulate theoretics
of how best to to weed out Oxford's dead wood.

So when author Colin Dexter sought a name
to sum up the essence of his greatest creation
and make him relentless, at the top of his game -
he thought of the powerful, triumphant navigation
of Endeavour, Cook's ship of universal acclaim
and endowed his Morse with that illustrious first name.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

MODELS

Those stunning models in glossy magazines;
those airbrushed models who in soft focus glow;
those gorgeous models in barely-there dresses
that enhance impossibly perfect curves
and expose such luminous golden skin;
those seductive models who pout at the camera
with highly glossed lips in this season's shades.

Those universally emulated catwalk models
parading in all the very latest creations
by the most iconic designers worldwide
that only the wealthy elitist can afford;
those models with radiant flawless complexions:
huge eyes, high cheekbones and dazzling white teeth;
those models with exotic sounding one-off names...
who inspire in us comparisons that blight our lives.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

CONTRACEPTION

Little white pill ingested daily
and I think, "Am I safe?"

And it vouches for the month as if akin to the days.
Professor of barrenness,

it purges my reproductive tract
like a powerful laxative.

The eggs simply disappear
as stars into a black hole,

leaving our passion free
to go unchecked without consequence - yet,

are we not guilty of denying all the bodiless Souls
the corporality they crave?

Frantically they swirl around us
here in the darkness
between duvet and mattress,

for they truly believe we are potential gods
capable of providing new life,
instead of the mere mortal impostors that we are.

Oh how they'd love to penetrate
the rich red velvet warmth

of uterine interior
and burrow deep into it's nurturing wall.

But don't they realise the cataclysm has already occurred,
leaving only a sterile wasteland?

Frustrated, they scream and scream in our ears
and curse all the newborn babes
out of bitterest envy.

We never hear them, though.
We are far too absorbed
in our fleeting moment of bliss

to even consider the grave implications
of our rising Karmic Debt.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Dr. FOSTER

Inspired by the brilliant BBC TV drama.

Incoming text.

Oh sword, sword, how sharp!
Spiteful as a foreign mercenary - and as heartless.
Looking - though trying hard not to. Who from?
It is the gut-wrencher, an implement of torture.
Who is this who would steal my life?

What am I reading? Such sickening words
that pierce the breast like a steely blade.
God! How shall I ever staunch the inner bleeding?
They're draining my entire being, destroying their victim.
Oh why did this happen to me?

Sense of sight becomes dire curse. The screen,
static too long in shock, turns blank.
But the after-image expands in shocked brain. It's malignancy
is his betrayal - and with such a BITCH!
Aah, but beware the woman scorned...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

GALLOS



Stasis in sunlight.
Then the blue expanse
of sky and horizon intrude.

Arthur's archetype
has drawn me here
to this high place - the Head

and its fissured precipices,
crumbling walls
and secrets I cannot quite catch:

The Grail.
Knight Seekers inciting
fanaticism -

hidden unfathomable truths,
mythic ghosts.
Now, something more profound

hauls me back through centuries.
Changing shape,
I am a different being -

a black
Cornish Chough, perched
in Gallos' hollow centre.

And now I
call to the Once and Future King:
a Totem's cry

carried on the Dragon's breath.
And I
become the Horn

whose reverberation
reawakens Him
to Albion's dire need:

a new Armageddon is upon us...

Friday, 1 September 2017

TRAVERSING THE SADDLE


Snowdon summit, air thin, two exhausted climbers.
World population seems illusory here.
Our shadows must surely touch Australia.

Thick cloud rushes up and over the Saddle.
It's cloying touch slows our progress, makes breathing difficult:
light-headedness brings visions of the Dark Angel.

Loose rocks dislodged from underfoot crash
over a thousand feet down sheer sides.
We gasp in unison: that could just as easily have been us!

The Angel's blackness closes in. Vertigo
induces transcendental awareness: we have strayed
into the shadowy realm of lost Souls...


PS
Sorry, I meant to say...I will be absent for two weeks. Will be studying hard...and without access to any media.
It's gonna be tough...but hey...I'm sure I can do this - with the aid of your supportive thoughts!
See you soon...xoxoxo

Sunday, 27 August 2017

THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX, 2017

For Checo...


This week's race is infuriating:
a clashing of team-mates, high speed,
deadly. I hide my face in fear.

He could die, be maimed, by another's ego trip.
Wreckage on the track. Safety Car. I search for his face.
Phew! Luckily, he's still here only now at the very back.

Now he's being blamed - so unfair - by those
lacking experience with tongues like scythes
hell bent on felling true greatness.

Friday, 25 August 2017

FIRE

Still trapped
within the moment,
re-living Fate's
capricious taunt.
Can't let go
of craving something
once perceived
then snatched away
from desire's unlimited
fantastical vision:
aah the dream-form
personified
yet out of bounds
that I want so much
to touch,
to be part of,
to make my own
reality absolute.


Oh magic ritual
please work for me:
crystals
             incense
                          sacred water
                                                flame of candle -
all four elements now combine
to forge a fourth
and hopefully release
Creation's power
in this circle today:
chanting
chanting
Transform my longings
into something substantial
by opening a doorway
into his heart.


The cost is high
but it makes no difference.
I'll risk my all
to just once more
gaze into those gorgeous eyes,
such dark brown eyes
framed by even darker curls;
to be the object
of his desire
and feel the power
arc between us,
if only for a moment.
Oh how different
it'll be this time!
I'll bare my soul
with heart on sleeve
and hope
and hope
for the utterly sublime.


Now slipping deep
into fragrant half-dream,
transported by spiraling
incense smoke.
Mentally backtracking:
I'm here again,
standing before him -
but well rehearsed words
abruptly die
in a throat so constricted
I'm gasping for breath.
Hell! It's happening again -
this effect he has -
I'm rendered dumb
and feeling stupid.
Oh please Elemental Powers
show me this day
the way...


Well, he looks
right through me -
this living wraith
who's willed herself
into his life.
I'm here!
I'm here!
I call in silence.
But he's far too focused
on the outer world
to notice a shadow
playing with matches.
DOESN'T SHE REALISE
SHE'LL ONLY GET BURNED?

It's the Element of Fire
that's out of control:
my desire,
all-consuming desire,
feeding the candle flame
that leaps higher and higher...
until I'm totally consumed
in the blazing furnace
of power misdirected
by foolish,
irrational,
passion unrequited.

                            

Sunday, 13 August 2017

RYAN'S DAUGHTER...A SEQUEL

A photo of you on Mizen's Head
in the dead of winter, so dashing in khaki uniform
and framed by spray-fringed tides and leaden skies.
In your eyes lurk disturbing truths: infidelity,
irresistible sin.

Loving out of context
and wild oats sown in another's domain -
repeated over and over again,
disregarding procreation's constant threat
of contamination by English DNA.

But such allure was too strong to resist. To hell
with the consequences. But did I really imagine
I'd escape unscathed? A village up in arms
against the Jezebel: public stripping, shorn hair.
Such humiliation binds me still to Ireland's past.

Even today there is no let-up. Vivid memories
of your laboured breath in my ear,
and the constant taunt of emotions up-leaping
to covert messages over crackling telephone line:
oh such blatant thrilling eroticism!

I never set out to find you. A Catholic wife,
such complication was the last thing
I needed then. Nevertheless, two worlds collided
in a head-on smash. Total devastation.
First sight: searing passion, a trap

we fell into. An animated portrait of  doom -
Satan's sadistic toying with the weak.
Then birth of a guilt complex conceived of deceit
and self-indulgence. I was suffocating,
yet clung to you knowing I should have let go.

Constantly wary, like two escaped convicts
we crept around in the shadows, emotionally exhausted.
And what of the cost? What of your victims?
The fallout could be catastrophic.
Holy Mary, please don't make me think of that!

The Vatican has eternally damned us, I know. My punishment
is to live with the harrowing sound of that explosion
when you blew yourself up, out there on the shore.
As I left for Dublin and my new life
Oh how I grieved for you, but could tell no one.

"Put it all behind you," Father Collins advised me.
Put it all behind me? Pretend it never happened.
Your life, your death - like a far off reverie
fading with each passing year...
But real life isn't like that, is it?

I am old now.
And I have never loved again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan%27s_Daughter


I am taking a little time out to recharge my batteries, so I will be back in around a week.
Will miss you all...
but have a fabulous week! :))

Monday, 24 July 2017

SUNSPELL

Lying in the sun.
Dozing, beginning to drift
                                       ever higher.
Looking down at myself,
                                       trying hard
                                                     to remember
what I came here for.
                               Only blankness.


Lying in the sun.
There's a hole in the sky
                                     light streaming in.
I can see Heaven from where I am.
A man I love lives there,
                                      he
was never in my life,
                               neither did he love me.
Who is to blame?


Aah, this precious sunshine!
Sunbathing.
                 I am hot and feverish.
The sun is scorching
                               and my breathing is laboured.
Overhead is space.
Oh there is so much I've lost.
Burn on, pale skin.
                           Soon
I'll be dust too,
                     and like him,
                                       find peace...


A curtain drawn.
                        Retail therapy.
Sleep like a log.
                       Grounding.
                                      Trying not to think.
I feel like getting blotto,
                                    fill a glass.
Fed up running from delusion
                                             going nowhere.
On a crowded train,
                            no one smiles or says "Hi."
Then I arrive and meet a guy -
                                            he hangs on to my every word.
He wears your face.
He's yearned for me as you never did.
He asks me to stay.
"I'll make everything alright,"
                                            he softly whispers.
"No, I can't," I reply,
                              "there is someone else..."
And my mind is racing.
"Let's go out then?"
"No."
    "What's wrong?
                          I don't understand...
where is this other guy?"
                                  I shake my head.
What can I say?
                      And I reply,
"He's in my Soul."

EDEN

In loving memory of my Father...


The blooming of red roses and honeysuckle,
their heavy scents pervading the air:
a poignant reminiscence that haunted my Soul

whilst sitting in that sterile room
as my Father died by endless seconds,
just a heartbeat away behind wall and door.

How would anyone value his garden?
Such an earthly paradise, so fine:
the density of bamboo, immaculate lawns,

the echo of his mower, smoke from a bonfire,
and the flowering almond tree
he planted for my Mother on their anniversary.

And in the Chapel of Rest, an image of spade and fork:
iron, cold as his post-mortem flesh
and my rapidly petrifying heart.

All these come to torment me still, with profound longing
for bygone days: of being lifted high in purest love
by those gentle green hands...


Also dedicated to my brother, Chris, who is currently recovering from a serious motorcycle accident...and to all my amazing distant friends, in deepest gratitude for your wonderful words of support through this difficult period in my life. Mere words cannot thank you enough...

Friday, 20 January 2017

KAYAKING


Alone on the canal, with nothing but water
and passing hedgerows, their reflections distorted
in the aqueous world beneath it's cathedral-like arches of beech.
What lies beyond the next bend? A multitude
of weeping willows, caressing the water's edge
like graceful ballet dancers, their slender swirling fronds
hypnotising incredulous eyes. Awestruck.
I hadn't expected to be so drawn into this surreal realm -
so connected with such beauty. I am the water's ecstasy.

Overhead the coal-black crows call to my Soul, like
black snowflakes wheeling in the blue sky.
Their cacophony is the only sound, apart from the rhythmic splashing
of my paddle. I hope and mentally pray that this trip will never end.
Tall brown bull rushes sway as I pass,
dancing to my soundless tune, and the occasional call of frogs
pulls my gaze to the green/brown flashes of movement on the near bank.
My unwelcome intrusion has disturbed their peaceful siesta.
Just one more bend, and both canal and hedgerows abruptly end.

All that lies ahead now is stark civilisation.
From an overhead bridge, the sudden stench of exhaust fumes
forces it's poisonous breath deep into asthmatic lungs.
This bridge is too artificial: such an inappropriate terminus for Nature's glory.
I climb out onto the tow path's end and sigh as I deflate my kayak.
The bridge forms a borderland between worlds, between beauty and ugliness,
and I know I must now rejoin that chaos
that most term urbanisation, with it's electric fields, brainwashing and self-deception.
And I feel broken, like a crushed car in a long-abandoned scrap yard...



I am having a few health issues at present and have to go into hospital for some tests.
I will return to Blogging as soon as I can...
until then, I will miss you all. xoxoxo

Thursday, 12 January 2017

ANATOMY OF A FRIENDSHIP

For Rusty...

Most school friendships cannot withstand
the passing of years, of futures unplanned:
don't reach the place where fate begins
for two like us who've shared a space
and formed a bond time cannot displace -
we're closer, I feel, than most twins.

In fact, we're connected. Absolute.
My husband thinks it's all rather cute:
all these years spent living apart
from each other, but not in memory or thought,
and it was you in all honesty who mostly taught
me to confidently open my heart.

Ours is a bond that pays huge dividends:
it catches all of life's loose ends
and weaves them into a work of art,
a thing of beauty that brings new meaning
to otherwise arbitrary occurrences demeaning
and impels me to make a new start.

How many have pondered the meaning of life
when beset by years of unconquerable strife?
Well I'm no different from any of those -
I throw my tantrums while lamenting why me?
But is it that question that sets me free?
No, it's the empathy that between us flows.

The most exciting loves can be artifice
that keep us dangling between fire and ice
and combines incongruous
elements like dirty socks and chocolates
in boxes tied with ribbons, and illicit associates.
But in you I trust - you could never be that treacherous.

Yet sometimes our own lives become so all-absorbing
that for months on end we neglect calling.
We're immersed in the mundane
until a glut of disenchantment
overwhelms us with resentment
until we seek once more friendship's domain.

That choice between loneliness and baring one's Soul
often leads the faint-hearted to a safer goal.
But not so for us
because right from the start
we felt lost when apart
and there's no subject we cannot discuss.

Whatever happens we're there for each other -
yet ours is a closeness that will never smother
either's individuality:
rooted in counties many miles apart,
yet the contradiction (for we remain heart-to-heart)
forms the basis of our solidarity.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

ORPHAN

ORPHAN. The word itself is distressing:
child, a detached leaf helplessly tossed
on the chaotic up draft
from the searing flames of loss
that will eventually consume the tiny heart.

RAWNESS. Death's pathetic victim
with her gaping wound that leads straight to the Soul,
wherein lies only agony and frozen dreams
of lost love: a severed bond that inwardly bleeds
and bleeds into nothing at all.

PITEOUS. Ariadne sits quietly observing
from the centre of her apocalyptic spokes.
Black is the cloak She drapes
protectively around the little heart so grieving
for the warmth of family unity.

HARDSHIP. Oh for just one more moment:
a Mother's arms to offer physical comfort,
to nurture and wrap in unconditional love -
instead of the cold guardianship of strangers
that leaves her emotionally starving.

ADVERSITY. Constant fight for attention.
The promise of care is full of holes
that the less robust fall through
into depression's infinite darkness,
where life's meaning lies only in oblivion.

NUMBER. This is the hardest part. She is
no more than a number on a computer screen.
A number, without identity or history,
nor any place in society to claim
the yearned-for title of daughter.



Yet, sometimes in dreams a gentle voice
calls her name in the dead of night.
And her heart begins to race -
could Mother-love really breach the abyss,
or is it just the echo of her own deep need?

This is her greatest hope. The hope that her beloved Mother
may still be there in some form and trying hard to reach her,
like a bird with nest plundered: fluttering frantically
against overcrowded dormitory window,
constantly watching over her precious offspring...

for the rest of her time on Earth.