Monday, 28 April 2008

The Fear

As ice chilling my blood submits to terror
Stomach coils, snakelike with the unknown
Tall conifers glisten with ice, sparkle with frost
I walk barefoot to the glacier and catch my breath
I am face to face with her fearsome majesty
Unsafe and unpredictable as Narnia’s white witch
I feel her cold hate that rises like frost
Sense her evil beauty that I cannot touch
Her presence is deadly as a razor blade
But I am drawn to those sumptuous furs
As she rakes her claws against my cheek
This woman of ice breathes words of the Steppes
Grating blue/silver words whispered in my ears
Hypnotise me, drug me and slow my blood
My breath is like ice, my sight is dull
I know that I am crude beside her icy glamour
Skeletal fingers and cheekbones like a knife edge
Strong bones but pale white skin
Though fragile under gossamer covering

This spirit of fear raises her long white hand
I see her point, hear words in an alien tongue
The glass shatters, ice exploding under pressure
My body shakes, the spell is lost, petals fall

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Still Breathing

Neither floating nor sinking, my body is still
Although the water ebbs and swells around me
I’m supported in peace beneath the surface
But held vulnerable in the limbo of my memory
I see clearly under here, the water like glass
Faultless sapphire as your eyes were years ago

You were innocent when you tried to help me
Taking the gift of my trust without fear
Did you turn the stones on purpose?
You will never give me your whole truth
But held power knowing it was mine
As I lose myself in destruction to stay alive
My landscape of love, my landscape of fear

A slate-walled quarry, the scale too impossible
Beauty in nature but dramatic depths deadly
An asp in almond blossoms and honeyed lilac
Too far to fall before immersed in the blue
Then those flawless facets explode around me

Remembering the tumult of wind on the ridge
Where the edge held power and the valley had peace
White clothes billow; fill with air then cobalt waters
Long hair streaming and I don’t care if I’m drowning
It could be my screaming or the wind racing by
Rushing, rushing, desperation or relief or safety
For all that I know it could end right here

Liquid released, let the pressure go
The shining silver of a knife
Red flowers released in a pool, Ophelia dies and is free

I touch the white urn at the centre of the stones
Dream an underwater courtyard where I can be free
Fresh roses spiralling through the clarity
Bleed red into the water that sustains and drowns
Shimmering silver fish flash like swords
Like knives…the beauty of the shining blade

Protection and destruction both, yet nothing at all
My love, my death, my destiny, my destruction,
My Guinevere
My spinning-wheel, my rose, my poisoned apple
I open my eyes to the drips to the floor
I’m still breathing and that’s what you want, how can I give you any more?


‘We’ll be different…
you and me…’
PJ Harvey

You stand in the doorway
Sunset behind you like a halo
So it took more courage to return?
You tell me it’s easier to leave
But never left my mind

Years crawled by, I remember
Your birthday, that damp day in April
Staring at the empty platform
Plan or impulse?
You had no ticket
My sad journey home alone

So tell me of your new life
You’re back in Yorkshire, I imagine
Heptonstall; or maybe Haworth
Places made real by your books and words
Your dreams and your stories

My closest friend, now not like you at all
Your country conversation uncomfortable
Are you happier now, back where you were?
When I smiled at you because I liked your hair?
You’re thinner now, a little like a ghost
I never expected, but I always hoped
But for all this time I’ve kept on dreaming
Without you this house seems to have no meaning

In the kitchen we once shared
I bring your bittersweet memories
To my nostalgic box of love
Saving trinkets to make you smile
For the past five long years

Slim fingers never held a pen for me
Licking lips like the envelope that never came
Your shaking hands now in your tousled hair
Or crumple the hem of your Victorian shirt
Your jeans are shabby and faded blue
Twisting awkwardly in cheap ballet shoes
You lay purple tulips in the crook of a tree
But during all that time, did you think about me?

A car door slams, you gasp
Becoming a frightened animal
I still don’t know what to say to you