Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Smithy.

Your forge has been silent for a while now. Or maybe it's just that your creations are not being revealed. Despite being unable to enjoy what you whip into existence from the thin, cold air, there is hope that your little gems are still tumbling from the fire to clink with satisfactory glee on the flagstones of your hearth.

House.

It's just a backdrop.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter's visited.

The blinds are closed. The heating is on. My belongings are lit by the yellow glow of a single lamp. My room is an enclosed, padded box, so I can cough and sleep this fever away in privacy. I haven't even looked outside today. Apparently it's snowing. The Snow Maidens are spreading their gifts once again. But the outside does not concern me right now. The last thing I want to consider is the cold.
But when I glance up from my screen, I get a sudden glimpse, a flash of white: the winter has slid its long fingers into my room.
A crooked mirror. An inexplicable gap between blind and window. And there, sat frozen on my shelf, is an image of cold. Thin branches scratch black lines across the blue-white of the icy sky. Edged with frost, they glitter and flicker with the movement of the light. This slither of winter is bordered by the blue of my blinds and it looks like... a fairytale.

My answer.

I’m hiding behind all these words
I cannot afford to say.
Answers gone ungiven.
Questions left unasked.
They’re holding me captive.
I’m not the answer
for all the questions you have.
An argument with no end,
that stretches in my minds eye
into all eternity.
This isn’t how I want to remember you.
The interrogation is building up.
Brick by boring brick;
a wall of question marks.
They keep me occupied,
they keep me alone.
The answer you wanted,
but I’m long gone.
I’m lost behind all these words
I cannot afford to say.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cardboard boxes.

So. Did I say we've found a new house? It's big and spacious. It's warm and clean. It has rooms enough and more, and a large kitchen and two cookers, and a decent sized garden, and an attic floor specially for myself and my sister with blue carpets and skylights and a lilac spiral staircase leading to it and loft cubbyholes for our secrets and a view over the roofs. It has already installed surround sound in the den, and an oversized watertight garage. It has a study and a living room especially for the parents. It has no character. It's gorgeous, but it is not home.

Home right now is... a mess. Cardboard boxes stand stacked on top of each other in the corners of rooms (esp mine). Clothes and junk are strewn all over the place, or else placed in piles of importance. There's a list of "Things to do" on the kitchen side, but is it all crossed off? No. One solitary line obscures a single item, and that is all.

So. Did I say we're moving in in two weeks? To look around this house, you wouldn't believe it. But that doesn't really bother me. The longer things stay as they are here, the longer I can pretend that all of this... isn't really happening.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Release.

And when at last it came, it was a flood. The waves shuddered and juddered and rocked the walls, so that the cracks drove deeper and deeper into the brickwork. The cement was dissolved in the tainted waters, and with sighs and groans the walls crumbled into rubble. One corner at a time. Murky black with the remnants of adorning paint, the ripples left stained streaks, tide marks, on each piece as it swayed through the water to sink, shattered and tired, into the sand of the bed.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Music!

And so much of it! For so many years I’ve been content with my music. An occasional artist would wander into my scope of hearing and I’d leap them, adopt them, and keep them, and continue on my contented little way. This month, however, mostly due to KeyChild, the list has been growing and growing and growing and…
Lemme share a few of them with you.
A Fine Frenzy. My friend has a cd and has mailed it to me and now I am forever in her debt. A sound to die for.
Thievery Corporation. Sounds like summer. Some of their songs are amazing. And more delicious female vocals.
Fink. A voice both familiar (So familiar in fact, that I can’t help wondering if I’ve heard any of his music before… ) and comforting, that I’ve completely fallen in love with. Gorgeous.
Cat Power. I’ve just ordered her cd The Greatest, and I wish it would hurry up and come! Soft vocals with a jazzy sound - yum.
Blue Foundation. I’m playing their song Bonfires on repeat at the moment.
The Pierces. Discovered thanks to an advert on tv. Their clean sound is addictive.
And also Anna Nalick has popped up again, along with Allie Moss, and Lisa Mitchell is also making a reappearance as I realize I only have four of her songs… Which MUST be rectified.
I can see that my money is not necessarily going to go on Christmas presents this year...

Monday, 15 November 2010

"We'd be so less fragile
if we're made from metal,
and our hearts from iron,
and our minds from steel."
The Pierces.

First one.

I’m held down by thin chains of glittering silver. I finally did it. I stopped straining long enough to sing you a song, to pour out my heart to you. You’d waited so long for that. And your hands reached for the chains. I flew prematurely. Before you’d even finished I had spread my wings; my body buoyed up by relief, I tried to flee the hurt that was threatening to strike me down. But with a snap I was pulled back. You’d only released one chain. The other yanked at my foot, the silver cutting into my veins, and my relief came crashing down around my fluttering wings. I don’t know if you even noticed you still haven’t let me go, let me go. Can’t you see? Your bird is trying to fly away.

Last one.

I wrote you a letter in blue ink.
It sits under my mattress,
between the pages of a Wallace and Gromit annual.
The tones and subjects clash rather.

I imagine them fighting it out,
like all the thoughts did,
round and round my head, conflicting with each other.
I think Wallace and Gromit won.

I'll hand the letter to your sister.
Then she can hand it over to you.
Then you can read it and argue it and throw it away.
I'll sleep on it tonight.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Fifteen years in the making.

The family that's closeted in my heart.
I close my eyes and your images appear on my eyelids;
Photos at the top of the stairs.
I haven't seen you in so long, but I can now...
The family that's tied tight to my heart.
Blonde looking after three brown heads:
two sons, one daughter; two who I've loved,
one who I've left, one who I never knew at all.
The family that's pulling at my heart.
You've been through your joys and celebrations,
your pains and battles,
But fifteen years in the making,
this storm beats them all.
The family that hurts my heart.
I close my eyes and your troubles grow in my chest;
crumbs trodden into the carpet.
With a shrug I could push them away,
with a careless smile I could laugh them away,
But your family is too close to my heart.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Trains are time machines.

Suddenly we’re flying over the sea. The waves rush past around and below me. The boats on the water list. Side to side. Side to side. Broken hulls and rusting makings. Rotting cloth and sodden wood. But I am moving, speeding past them in my own box of warmth. The spray smashes up against the rocks that we sometimes pass, and the droplets of water tremble against the window before they disappear into the past. The glass separating me from the world is thick and heavy. It blocks out the sound and separates me from the outside, so that it feels like I am watching a screen replying a silent scene of grey waves and wheeling gulls, rather than moving through the reality.
But then, it has to be thick, otherwise the tremors and vibrations that come from time travel would shatter them and I would be sucked into the black hole that is the movement of time. We pass through the quick succession of tunnels, and although I can see nothing but blackness through the glass, I can feel the shifts as if they are drawn out upon the walls of my carriage. As we break free from the tunnel, the ripples from the pressure of our travel and the speed of our arrival distort my vision so that I blink and flutter in the bright light.
And I can tell that we’ve travelled in time, because suddenly the sea is red brown, the foam on the wave crests a dull fawn colour. And there are children. In pairs, or held tight by their parents, along the sea front, and they blur past me. We pull to a stop in a station of heavy stones and grey slabs. The Darlish conductor’s hair is carefully combed into place. His navy blue waistcoat, with its big buttons of gold, is secured over a shirt as crisp and white as new snow. Even though we’ve stopped, it feels as though we’re still moving; slowly, slightly, inching backwards. A side effect of time travel. The well turned-out conductor waves his hand and blows his whistle and we move off, but this time slower than before.
The tunnel this time is long. The rumble vibrates through the carriage. I stare at my face reflected on the window surface, and wonder at the red of my lipstick, and why my face does not grow older as we move through the time hole. Then we emerge into sunlight, and the stunted, bent, twisted trees with their dark green foliage and short branches, and the grey block buildings and walls speak of an era re-found. We shudder to a halt.

Quiet.

Sitting on my grandmother’s bed with my legs stretched out, warm under the duvet, and my laptop on my knees, I feel as though I should be trying to type silently. It’s so quiet. It’s been this quiet all week. Even the high ceilings and empty spaces are discovering the impossibility to find anything to echo. Only in the evenings, when my grandmother leaves her temporary bed in the conservatory and stretches out on the sofa to fall asleep in front of the telly, does the noise escalate. The tv is on “loud” throughout waking and sleeping moments alike.
But now, when the television is off, and she’s reading in bed, and I have this time to myself, as I have quite a bit this week, the silence reaches round me and wraps me tight, so that I find myself being extra careful with every move I make. Even the tapping of the keys makes me flinch.
This quiet is a strange thing. In other occasions the quiet would be a release. Creativity and enjoyment of my craft tends to follow, when I have time to myself, but here, in this quiet, nothing happens. It’s almost as if it satiates me. I feel as though I’m soaking it up like a sponge, until I’m heavy with the apathy of it.
I hit the enter key and the click makes me jump.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

"We'll do what rich people do. We'll bathe in... fish! Eat our weight in chocolate buttons. Learn to play the concertina!"
MirrorMask

Love note.

My darling. How I have missed your black background and blue borders. Within a few weeks I will be back to scribe on your walls and post the small collection of writings. Wait for me, my love.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

"...They wore dark glasses and noone noticed them. You see, without the tricks of the eyes, the happy folk were blind."

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Night drive.

It's like flying. In the dark, the lights speed past me like a stream of living stars. Between the warmth of two bodies, staring with wide eyes at the night in front of us, I pull my knees up under my chin and watch with wonder in my eyes at the misapplied beauty of the highway. In front of me, pairs of red lights scatter and skip. Like the eyes of some strange beasts, they back away as we advance. We follow them and weave between them as though we are one of them.
In my pocket of soothing music I feel as though I no longer exist. With my view between the seats and the images rushing towards me, and the movement I can feel through the windows on either side, the sensation of motion is enough to pull me from my body and deposit me in a place of sound and sensation that lulls me into a wide-eyed sleep. I sit with my arms wrapped around my legs, and rest my chin on my knees. Even as I relax, still and quiet, I am tearing through the night with the stars.

And the only thing that keeps me from flying off with the tide of lights is the flickering movement that jumps to catch my attention as my companions shift and move and shuffle next to me.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Camden Market.

The scent of incense. This place needs a ghost. But wait... I think I can see one. A dark shadow, a simple human shape. She steps silently over the flagstones. Brushing past the visitors, the stall owners, the tourists. Although part of me wants to wipe the slate clean of modern influences, to wash the canvas clean of this century's clothing, to rub away the imprints of our culture's footprints, another part realizes that the mix of now and then, the collision of the periods, and the compilation of evidence of the ages, is what makes this tapestry so bright, so attractive. And this ghost of a figure beckoning me through them seems to fit in with both.

But does the camera move towards the modern? Nope, it is the antiques that catch my attention. I gasp as I turn from one corner to the next, my delight making my heart beat fast and my cheeks flush. The shape I am following clasps metal bars between her two hands and stares through them at the collection of the past. She trails her hands along the keys of a piano covered in music sheets. She stops to study a wall of old suitcases. She spins in the shattered light reflected off the mirrors stacked in a locked room. I follow her in a daze. It is only when I pause to look at the photos I have collected that I lose her.







But by then I am in a different realm. The taste of piracy is in the air. Silver fob watches spin on thick chains. Flattened bottles laze on a black table, cupping glass beads. Oh, do we covet. But within all these treasures we find... perfection. One each. We hold them in our hands as if they are made of fairy dust, and clutch them to our bodies as though they are living and breathing: A chance corner leads us to colour. Thick, smooth, durable leather, bound around notebooks and decorated with tarnished metal. KeyChild finds her dream, in the shape of a purple leather notebook with a brass coloured key and heavy cream pages. She holds it as though she'll never let it go. A few meters later and, still clutching her prize, she points out a white-lit stall. Lined with heavy vases, it glitters in the light. From its ceiling are hung dozens of sparkling glass creations. Birds, magpies, flying horses, fish, faires; all spinning and glinting. I am filled with awe. And BlueBird finds her beauty, in the form of an aqua glass bird, with a dark head and wings uplifted in flight. I cup it in my palms as though a breath of air would wake it, and lift it, fluttering, from my fingers. Before the day had even properly begun, we had found our inspirations.








Saturday, 21 August 2010

Quick Post - No 5.

White Lights.

*hums along*

Promises - Part three.



Sometimes when they came to me, to tell me their troubles next to my small fire, the ones who had already been would tell me a little of what had happened. Hands clasped over their faces to hide their shame, they would speak. Not full accounts, just broken snippets. Always, when they had gone, I would leave myself and make my way to the safety and freedom of my Emme’s beautiful house.

She took her time to sort out their practise. She moved back and forth, right and left, her body between me and the counter. I closed my eyes and listened to the clink of the objects she was handling. When I opened them again, he was standing there also. He was wearing a mask over his mouth and nose. A shadow made it impossible to see his eyes. She put a mask on herself, and then he nodded towards me, indicating he was ready. She picked up a silver object and stood beside me. He tapped his gloved finger against the counter top. Then turned towards me.

I was very careful as I folded the picture up, out of the way. The space underneath was smooth and clean. I took the pen Emme was holding out for me. Bekka and she moved around me: They unfolded pieces of paper that were lying on the floor; they opened some of the tins and drew out more pictures, more drawings; they rifled through the pages of books and picked up photos and poems and paintings. I uncapped the pen, pressed it against the wood, and began to write.

Even when the people have gone, their confessions still talk to me. They repeat what they’ve seen. “He just reached out-” “no preparation…” “It glinted in the light...” “So sharp you won’t feel a thing.” “I sold it. Ah, it’s gone, it’s gone!” “…like quicksilver.” “No feeling. You’re left with no feeling.” “…an empty space…” “…as if your soul..” “…cut in half…” “It was so dark…” “Oh, oh, oh! No! What have I done?” “He was so quick…” “No eyes! Oh, no eyes!” “…so dark…” “…and then she said-”

“A lick and a promise.” She took my hand and held it up to her mouth, drew her tongue over the veins. Then she spat onto her fingers. The moisture gathered in a droplet on her index fingertip. She stroked the wet fingers around the edge of the hole. Her fingers pressed against the sides of my empty socket, round in a circle. Then she placed her hand flat over it.

I wrote our names. Emme. My name. Then Bekka. Then I drew a line and started on the other names. Hana. Juliette. Guinnie. All the girls, all the ladies, all the women. The memories of the house in one list of names. As I did this, Emme and Bekka pinned up the papers on the back wall all around it, covering the old wood. The new owner’s loud voice was a soundtrack to our work.

They were waiting for me as I walked out, my shame tracking tears down my cheeks. I remember one woman in particular. The sister of Mr Farner. She was all in white; a dirty, faded white, her pale hair in a mussed up bun, the thick skirts and lace-edged bodice smudged with grey, the pink ribbon lining the lace like lines of faded blood stains. She was wearing one of the fashionable, new, mini top hats, in an off-white colour that was not unlike the colour of her dress. The small lace veil just skimmed the edge of the deep hole that lead a path into the depths of her desperate soul.

The promise was handed to me in a glass phial. Bright green-blue powder sprinkled into thick liquid, then shaken into a paste. The same bright, bright green-blue of my eye. She took my hand and pressed my fingertips into the colour, before she sealed it and put it into a paper bag. A lifetime of colour in one small glass phial. Just one lifetime. My promise.


We covered the back wall. When we had finished, the man’s shouting had been reduced to a suspicious, awe-filled silence. His daughter stood at his knee, hands grasping at the thick material of his trousers. I pulled the original child’s painting back over the names so that he wouldn’t see them. We stood back. His daughter had the biggest, biggest grey eyes. “For your daughter,” we said. Then we left them staring at the collage of colour.

They parted before me. There was a sense of relief, a sense of release. As if I had been the final clause, the sealing part of the promise. I stumbled as I walked through them. My towns people smiled at me, encouragingly, with sorrow written in their empty sockets and remaining eyes. As they drifted away it was with a growing sense of purpose. Emme caught me as I tripped. Her arm slid, strong and firm, around my waist. She turned her head to me, and with my half-a-gaze I caught sight of her two, beautiful, purple eyes. In this crowd of half-people, her completeness made my cry. “I’m so proud of you, Emme. So proud.”

They came out onto the steps to watch me go. Her white coat and his black shirt. Her peroxide hair and his dark curls. Her long, pale fingers and his heavy, olive hands. Her ice-blue eyes and his black-open sockets. Blind as the day she’d been born, empty as the day he’d succumbed. I never saw them again.

We walked down the worn steps of Emme’s beautiful house for the last time. The towns people were ranged at our feet. Their houses in the hands of others, their belongings in cracked leather cases at their feet. They stood in silence, watching as Emme helped Bekka and I down the steps and onto the mud road. Then, as one, they picked up their cases, and with one last look around the broken town, started to walk.

We became the people who had passed through our town for years and years before. With our lives in our suitcases, we walked from settlement to settlement. We became known as the Half-Town. A name as unimaginative as it was true. People shied away from us. They saw only our empty eyes and the shame that was carved into our faces. When we reached the city, however, everything changed. In that place of broken people and unfinished spirits and crippled souls, noone noticed yet another set of incomplete people. We could hide here.

The years have dragged on. Emme and I share a house. We sit in front of the fire in the evenings, in the dark, twisted rooms of our abode, and share our stories in the silence. Always, nowadays, I find myself holding my promise. I stare into the colour depths, press the colour onto my fingertips; that bright, bright green-blue. The colour that lasts a lifetime. Sometimes I think that it is fading, or that the paste is running low, and the certainty of my oncoming death grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me hard.

Sometimes I look at my promise, my special return, my empty guarantee, and sometimes I know what it is. Sometimes I know that it is the promise of long life. I have lived a long time. Sometimes, instead, I know that it is the promise of a single life. No returns. That the end will be the end. And a blessed darkness, in which I am already half immersed.

When I sink too deep into these thoughts, Emme comes over to me and takes the glass phial from my hands. She opens the lid and presses my fingertips into the colour. My beautiful, bright, green-blue. Then she puts my promise away. And then, sometimes, I realize I don’t know what it is. I only know that it must come soon. So I close my eyes. Hide from the half-darkness and the colour on my fingers. And I listen instead to her stories; her voice winging its way out of the shadows cast by our small fire, painting images on the walls of our twisted room. And I know, then, that in the end, it will not be so dark, after all.

End.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Quick Post - No 4.

Doughnuts!

Stolen off KeyChild's Tumblr. Cause the doughnuts WILL win! (Even if they're spelt wrong) Darn bagels! How dare they?!

(My 100th post...)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Promises - Part two.


As time went on, the town sunk into depression. From my house on the hill, I watched it happen. The misfortune spread along the houses like a brown fog. As the misfortune grew, so did the number of appointments made, so did the misfortune… and the circle continued.

At first when I walked into their clinic, they ignored me. She continued to measure out those liquids, green liquid sparkling in the polished glasses as she held them up to the light. He just sat in his corner, his back to me, bent over the counter, the muted light from the candle next to him sliding off his hair and falling onto the floor in broken fragments.

Her house was coated in memories. As I walked up the steps, they would slip up from between the slats and from under the floors and from deep in the walls and pull a smile from the corners of my mouth. Emme would always be waiting in the doorway, behind the screen door, laughter hidden in her eyes. She had the most beautiful, deep purple eyes.

I was held in high regard by the towns people. I never quite understood why, but often they would come to me for assistance or a kind word. I often didn’t even have to say anything. My listening to their troubles would be enough. But what they didn’t know is when they came to me and released their troubles, they left them sitting in crumpled piles in my rooms, and crawling with chipped claws across my floors. They came more and more often as the time went by and my house got more and more full.

When she dipped the syringe into the green liquid and pulled the stopper to suck it in, I saw the swirl of turbulence made by the suction in sea-blue tension lines. She lifted the syringe to the light and pushed the stopper gently, letting a single drop of liquid slip down the metal tip.

As I walked up the steps of her house for the last time, I held tight to the hand of my half-sister, and her thin fingers in mine comforted me. My Bekka; she strengthened me. I think even though it was Emme’s house, our weakness meant that we suffered more than she did. Emme’s ability to hold onto what was hers meant that what was no longer hers did not cause her as much pain.


People began to talk of moving. What else was there to keep them here, they asked each other. They had no lives left, only the promises they had bought, tied in their hearts and hopes with broken pieces of lace and ribbon and string. They rustled by each other in their long skirts and nodded to each other, heads low in their humiliation, and their shame gave birth to a restlessness and fed the hope in their centres until it raged with unfulfilling anger.

Finally she turned towards me. Her white shirt was fastened up over her neck, the brass buttons glinting as she moved. Her peroxide hair was rolled back to the nape of her neck. Her lips still as red as blood. Her eyes were as pale blue as ice. And behind their cold mask, I could almost see the triumph.

The man who now owned the house stood with his small daughter on the steps and talked loudly of his plans for it. Emme met us at the door as she usually did. She smiled as she saw us coming, held out her hands towards us. Behind her calm posture was an urgency we both understood.

They came so often to my house on the hill. They came because of the depression, because of the misfortune, because of the growing trouble. They came because of their uncertainty, because of their fear, because of their own lack of confidence. And afterwards they came because of their shame, because of their guilt, because of their humiliation.

She wrote my name down in black ink; spidery letters scratched across the dull page. The nib of the pen spurted splats of ink if she pressed too hard. My name looked so insignificant. Just another name on another page of the book.

We went straight to the cupboard in the hall. I pushed the door open; it slid sideways on its runners with a rusty screech. The cracked, pale paint flaked off and flittered to the floor with my touch. We shoved aside the dusty tin boxes and old, half-forgotten things that sat under a layer of dirt and grit on the floor of the cupboard. We flung them with reckless abandon on to the floor; they rolled and jumped and shuddered across the uneven tiles, trailing clouds of dust and cobwebs.


Their troubles piled up around me. They sat chattering quietly in the corners of my rooms and lay crumpled in piles around my furniture. They lined the edges of the walls and the door and window frames, blocking out the light and making it hard to move. They lay discarded, and all of them reeked of the depression and let off the fumes of fear, so that they choked the air. They made it hard, so hard, to breathe.

I had to wash my hands and my face. The water was an odd, light blue colour. She gestured to an old, leather patients chair and I sat, obediently, my hands folded in my lap. I remember I was shaking slightly.

We flicked away the dirt and strands of spiders web and I wiped a hand across the back slats of the cupboard. My hand came away grey with dust. There it was: the child’s drawing was still hanging on the rough wood. The edges of it caught at my fingers as I swept them over it. Emme leaned over my shoulder and blew at the dirt; it cleared as if it had never existed, leaving clean, dry wood and a clearly visible picture.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Promises - Part one.


Other people will tell me I’m wrong, but I think it all started when the first eye was sold. Our town had never been well-off. A couple of streets of shops and houses, surrounded by fields and the outback. We’d got by, just about. There was always enough for at least one new dress every three months.

When strangers came to town there was seldom any stir about it. People passed through all the time. Sometimes they stopped only for the night, in order to rest and restock before hurrying on their way. Sometimes they’d set up shop in one of the abandoned old buildings and camp there for a week or so, selling their crafts, until they’d earned enough to move on.

My friend had the most beautiful house. I remember none of us even ever remembered how it came to be there. It was big, made entirely of wood, with sanded oak limbs for beams, and slatted steps that were worn down and shiny from the amount of feet that tramped up and down them to take a closer look at the house.


When Mr Farner got back home from the first appointment, he pushed his hat back from his eyes and saw that his livelihood, his apple orchard, was being devoured by a plague of locusts. I remember we all pitched in to help. The orchard couldn’t be saved, but the locusts could be killed before they moved on. We doused the trees in paraffin, blanketed as they were with the bugs, and set them alight.

These two newcomers seemed no different. Just another couple carrying their life in a case. They set up in an empty house on the end row of houses. She said nothing to anyone unless it was necessary. Pale skin and long nails and red lips. Her dyed hair was always perfectly styled. She wore clinically white coats over dark blue dresses. She smelt of vanilla mixed with disinfectant.

The rumour was that my Emme had wrote the house. That it had started off as a normal, rundown settlement, until she moved in and, by the power of her writing, recreated her home. Admittedly I started the rumour. And I’m still not sure that I don’t believe it myself. We’re both storytellers, she and I. It’s just that I write my stories and she lives hers.


I remember that Mrs Crocus was the second one to go. She had always been greedy. Although now, when I look back on it, I’m not sure that greed was always the driving force behind the decision. Some would have called her brave to have given up so much for such a vague return. I called her brash. Within a few days all of her jams went bad. The mould that has been festering in a couple, and had driven her to the clinic, so it is said, spread to the rest of her hundreds of jars. Even the ones she’d already sold.

She bought soap and paraffin and candles. Her nails clicked at the counter as she waited. We hardly ever saw her partner; although sometimes on light evenings they’d walk arm in arm down the street. She with her white coats and pale skin, and him in a heavy black coat, collar upturned, and a hat pulled down over his eyes. We never, ever heard him speak.

The house was full of… everything. Wooden sculptures stood out the front; vague shapes of dragons and angels and strange creatures. Inside, the patterned carpets were layered on top of each other, creating a thick pile of comfort coating the floorboards. The tiles in her hallway and kitchen were dark, dulled by layers of age. Except for a select few, dotted amongst the rest, that were clean and polished and that sparkled and glittered in comparison.

Soon you could spot them amongst the others. The people who had already had the appointment walked as though they were being followed by a dark shadow. They moved slowly, their faces turned down and away from those who went past. They walked in shame, knowing that they were the weak ones, and regretting their decision as soon as they had made it.

It’s not that they weren’t civil. At first noone made the connection between them and the multiplying numbers of empty eyes and black glances. Then the word got round of the return being offered, and as the numbers of patients grew, so did the couple’s confidence. And silence. They no longer needed to say anything; clothes were handed to them without question, food was provided without hesitation, crowds parted for them like the Red Sea.

The house was littered with books. They lay scattered on the floor, brown pages waving like crippled moths, and stacked in waist-high piles by the doors. The walls were hung with detailed tapestries that confused your mind if you stared at them too long; drew you in until you were no longer on the worn floorboards, underneath the heavy beams, but standing in lush green forests, or on the edge of a distant sea, with the creatures of that world gathered at your feet.

Noone blamed them. As more and more people succumbed to the promises, so did more and more people accept it. It became almost as normal as seeing the leaves fall in winter. The hat shop began to add special details to the latest fashions: Miniature top hats and straw bowlers came with a sweep of dark material over one side of the face to hide the shame. But still as each person attended the clinic they recognised their weakness and it became carved into their faces in humiliation.

The couple soon moved. They vacated the run-down building in the end row of houses, and the relief of their neighbours was obvious in their faces. They moved instead to the now empty pharmacy. They suited the white walls and dark corners, the pristine counters and murky windows.

When you walked through the door, hundreds of pairs of eyes would follow you. Emme had company galore in her house. They lined the edges of the room and crouched in the corners; silent, watchful persons, their bodies exuding the tangled webs of their individual stories. A family of strangely wakeful owls nested in the living-room ceiling, their huge orbs of eyes reflecting the light. Cats prowled around the furniture. And star-patterned faces grimaced through the windows.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

"Reach the city steps tonight,
following the power lines,
and your skin is so white
underneath the black night.

And your voice cries out
for the Coup de grace,
and the lights go out;
will there be a trace
that I love Silvia.
That I loved Silvia.
That I loved Silvia."

Sorry, just have to big-up these guys. Miike Snow. Amazing sounds. Also, Lykke Li, a Swedish singer. Her songs "Little Bit", "Tonight" and her voice in Kleerup's song "Until We Bleed" are sooo good. Take a look!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Birthday!

I'm so ooooold! Aaargh!

Link :)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Blackout poetry.

So I have some poems! Wow. This was really quite difficult to begin with - the blackout method (see post below) is not easy. You're constantly getting distracted by whatever it is the article is on about..! But after a while I got into it and started enjoying finding the story within the story. Here are a few that eventually ended up being extracted from the text:

Advice.
research shows/ that 85 per cent of/ advice
has been/ Rooted in/ Acknowledging the facts/
from the comfort of your own home.

Technology.


















technology/ is called/
the/ bitch/ Drug/
of/ endless/ men/ in London.

Red hours.
Red/ hours/ wrote/ my/ trouble/
in/ to/ A/ letter/
you read/ it/
You knew/ i/ mattered/
But not/ how disillusioned/
i were/
you/ Red reader/
how/ Will/ you/ help/ me?

Holy Grail.


















There you are. 'Holy Grail' and 'Technology' both came, believe it or not, from an article about cosmetic surgery. I also have another one, not posted, that was made from an article about a woman's obsession with food. I turned it into a 'poem' about her love for her grocer. You can get the strangest things by doing this. I'd recommend it to anyone. Even if only for the laughs.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Austin Kleon.

Austin Kleon is a poet-of-a-kind. He 'writes' by blacking out passages from newspapers. Click the links to have a look, I've picked out some of my favourites.
Deborah reminds me of my KeyChild. Replace the name "Deborah" with her name, and we have an almost perfect description. I'm sure many other writers out there feel the same way. Home Alone makes me smile, cause I know exactly how that feels. And Fireflies is almost a perfect memory in a few words...
I've been challenged by my Little Black Book (a gift from KeyChild) to create a few of my own. Only problem is, I have nil newspapers in the house. Will a magazine do..? I shall have to try it and see. Some of my attempts will be up here soon enough, I predict.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Mask.



It's smooth under my fingers. Dark red and faulted, the material is thick and heavy. Gold glitters under the lamplight. Ribbon soft, thread sharp, beads cold. Lift, tie, turn. Mysterious, beautiful, alluring. Wearing it I am someone else.

Invasion.

Sitting in my room, in the middle of the floor, and suddenly the house feels so big... Like a cereal box that's nearly finished, or a cupboard cleared of clothes for a holiday, or, well, a house emptied of all the extra people. Only 24 hours. Sitting in my room and it's hard to believe that the abnormal, once-in-a-lifetime, thoroughly bewildering event actually ever happened.
Mum's old pen pal has been and gone. The family of seven that followed her like a band of ducklings have been, eaten, slept, talked, and gone. The moment I walked in through the door to a kitchen full of strangers to the moment they piled into their van again and were gone seems like a lifetime ago. An influx of unknown bodies, a rush of German words, a museum-collection of mattresses, clothes and belongings, and then suddenly it's all over...
I think I managed about ten German words. Oops.

Friday, 16 July 2010

"A friend of mine grows his very own brambles;
they twist all around him till he can't move.
Beautiful, quivering, chivalrous shambles,
what is my friend trying to prove?"

Elbow.
"I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my
Squishy."

Butterfly lost.

A delicate, translucent thing.
It's easier this way.
The reality causes sickness;
a hurt that makes me sob.
She's trapped.
Between the fingers of her lovers.
Against the window;
one, two, three, on and on.
A desperate fluttering against the pane.
Damage done to soft, soft wings.
It hurts but it alleviates.
In that tiny body is a burden;
fear, worry, fear.
And this is my terror:
I cannot cup my hands around her.
Stop her. Carry her to safety.
Small, fragile and broken.
A delicate, translucent thing.
It's easier this way.

Monday, 12 July 2010

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party!



The Caterpillar came with bubbles instead of a pipe, and spent the afternoon drinking red nectar from a teacup. The White Rabbit was at one point spotted up a tree, and ended up marrying the Queen of Hearts. The Dormouse didn't fall asleep once, and was the children's favourite during our stroll through town to our Tea Party area. The Queen of Hearts left felt hearts almost everywhere she went, and beheaded everyone at least twice. The March Hare was shockingly late, and transformed before our eyes from normality to apparent insanity. Alice finally caught the White Rabbit, and even remembered the prizes for the Caucus Race.
The Mad Hatter danced with wild abandon across the grass, scattered invitations left and right, and was wished a Happy Birthday by three complete strangers. Silly people. Did they not know it was my Un-Birthday..?

Kudos to you, my old friend, whose idea it was to celebrate an Un-Birthday in such a way. I can still feel the cold touch of my teacup handle and the jolt of each and every *Clink!*. I can still see the colour and variety of the costumes and the laughter on every face. I can still hear the cries of "Taaaaaart!" and the terrible puns that circulated. I can still taste the strawberry jam and the pink icing on the cupcakes.

Here is an offering: Snapshot images of parts of a Mad Hatter bedecked in black and grey and blue, and covered in buttons and ribbons and lace.

Fob watch - an early Birthday present - and waistcoat.



Hat! An awkward angle, but there it is.



An old pair of black heels, especially decorated.



Finally, here she is. Dancing in bare feet on sun-dry grass, the Queen of Heart's fan in one hand.



For once in my life, I had a real excuse to go completely mad. I loved every minute of it.

"... Auntie's wooden leg, Auntie's wooden leg! Dee da, dee da, Auntie's wooden leg..."

Un-Birthday.

Four days. Four whole days! Fourteen pages in my journal are dedicated to this time. The celebration of my Un-Birthday gathered together the most important people in my life, and spun such a colourful, insanely beautiful celebration my eyes dance with the very thought.
A Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Dinner at Maxwells with my girls. Bad tv until one in the afternoon. A picnic in the park that brought together nearly everyone who was special to me. An all-nighter (!!) in which three films were watched and brownies made. A sunrise watched, cuddled on a stone in a park with cardies pulled tight round thin pjs. Coffee drank whilst sat on the kerb at 5:30am. A very early morning trip to the playground. An afternoon supporting a new piercing. Impromptu naps mid-afternoon. Fish and Chips in the garden, and poems and laughter and tears exchanged.
The best birthday (sorry, Un-Birthday) celebration with my darlings I have ever had. And yet my real birth-date awaits me, with promises of a family day still waiting.
My life is good.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Quick post - No. 3

A very special PostSecret that nearly made me cry. It means next to nothing if you don't know the context (ie. haven't read last week's Secrets) but to me it is special.

Here.

If you don't know PostSecret, I suggest you click the name and go have a look.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Excitement.

Ach, I can barely contain my excitement! Slowly but surely my birthday celebrations are creeping closer... Only four more days to go. Only four! The costumes are completed (with the exception of a velvety-red crown), the plans have been made, and the invitations circulated. The teacups are wrapped in tissue paper and stored carefully on my shelf, along with a teapot decorated with pink roses. The picnic blanket is... nowhere to be seen. Hmm, have to fix that. And the menu is pretty such sorted. In four days, the four days (oh, how conveniently balanced!) of early celebrations will begin.

Bring it on!

Sweet summer Rec

Ten pence apple pie. An icecream apiece;
sticky sweet fingers and chocolate cold tongues.
Tarmac-hot air swirls around our bare arms.
Park sat on cricket mat. Watch them boys stare;
a football kicked high and six pack showed off.
The first drops of rain land on open palms.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

'The Little Prince'

So, according to Google, today it is Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 110th anniversary. Anniversary of his birth, that is. If you haven't read his book 'The Little Prince' I suggest you do so now. Go..!

'The Little Prince' online.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Quick post - No. 2

Hey, soul sister!

Because it's summer and the tune fits, and she's not here and the words fit, and I'm spending my days creating and the video fits.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

I saw you today.

I'm on my feet. Heat against bare legs so
oddly out of place; sun bright spotlights your
brown hair and white shirt. That unique walk. Oh, I do
remember. Sheepskin coat. River. White cotton soft.
Three notice my movements and misinterpret them.
They don't see you. But I do.
Sunglasses shield my eyes- and my identity?
Maybe with long hair and baggy shirt and clear eyes
I could have caught you. Dark curls between cold fingers.
I watched as you walked out of sight, away from me.
Busy bodies and open mouths and coloured words.
They don't see you. But I do.

Ending.

So, it’s all over. No more exams, no more college. Ever again. It’s a strange thought. A very strange thought. For the last couple of years, college has been my life and suddenly- it’s over. After my last exam on Thursday I went out with a few of my classmates; we pulled four tables together in the pub nearest the college and spent three good hours talking and eating and talking and drinking and talking and laughing. We did a lot of talking. Many of these people I will never see again. Everyone’s going their separate ways now. Some are staying around to continue their education, some have jobs lined up to start, some are going travelling. Although some of us made promises to keep in touch, that dinner was mainly a goodbye for most of us. I’m going to miss them. It really is a strange thought.
I’ve just realized how down-in-the-mouth I sound about that. Well, yes, but at the same time: No more exams! Haha! I’ve been dancing on tables, in a purely figurative way, and dancing in the streets in a very literal way.

So the summer has come. And here I am, sitting on my bed at 6 30am, with the sun streaming through the windows, gazing around my room at the cardboard boxes, books, videos, clothes and general mess. I must hasten to tell you - it is not just my room that looks like this. I think that so far half the rooms in the house (bathrooms excluded) have had this same treatment. There are two reasons for this:
A) Dad's moving his office into the house
B) We have to have moved out of this house by the end of January (although we‘re hoping before Christmas). Our landlady wants to renovate.
Fifteen years of accumulated stuffs is finding itself rearranged and stacked and packaged. The loft is slowly, very slowly, being sorted through, one box at a time. So far fifteen bags of this-that-and-the-other have gone to charity shops, along with a chest of drawers, a bedside table and a cot, and the house feels even more full than ever. The fact that we will probably still be here in four months time appears to have escaped everyone’s notice. Then again, fifteen years of belongings is a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Costumes.

Red, soft and silky. It hangs from a hanger on the lamp next to my bed. The black roses lining the top of the bodice soak up the light, the red buttons in the centre of each glinting in bright pride. The lace is draped across the skirt; pinned at the centre, it falls from the red heart and black rosette to sweep down in loops before joining in a bow at the back. Scraps of material hang limp and unwanted from the hanger, the different shades of red clashing with each other.

My shoes are placed neatly, side by side, beneath my bed. Black lace ruffles across the toe of one, white lace is pinned in a proud rosette on the other. Draped over them is the waistcoat, black velvet soft and covered, from lapel to lapel, in coloured buttons. Small purple ones march alongside large green ones, flanked by heavy silver and gold ones with detailed patterns scratched on their surface. A gold bow perches jauntily next to a small silver key, proclaiming their difference as the entire outfit proclaims its uniqueness.

A white apron is crumpled on my desk. Edged with blue ribbon, it is unfinished. Awaiting the dress it is to to cover.

Buttons and ribbons litter my floor. They create tiny islands on the mess of brown carpet beneath. Pins stick upright, heads sparkling in the light streaming through my window. Needles trailing lengths of black and white thread are balanced on the edges of pin boxes, or speared through the sides of plastic bags to keep them safe.

Two weeks and they'll be completed. Two weeks and our costumes will be aired - showed off to the world. Two weeks...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Meeting.

And there she is. Black shape against the grey, crumbling wall. A smile spreads across my face. Her head is bent over her phone and her bag is at her feet. It's been, what, two months? Feels like so much longer; it's funny how slowly time goes when you're waiting for something. And suddenly I can see the end of college ahead of me, and the start of summer, and the days and nights and weekends with those I love. No longer just a wish, but a slowly approaching reality.

The relief is crippling. In two weeks this will all be over. A new set of responsibilities, but a new, beautiful freedom.

She lifts her head and returns my smile. Hello, summer.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Quick post - No. 1

Click it!

*thumbs up*
"I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear,
just saying this..."

Complicated simplicity.

No, no, no. That’s not creativity. It’s a form of communication - and not a real one at that, for who knows the truth behind the words, unless the person writing them is known? Written word is a form of creation, and a form of lying; a form of life, and a form of hidden deceptions. It builds images, detailed in their shape, but only half -made.

And it is not reality. Reality can be seen in the eyes and heard in the voice and felt under the skin. Don’t ask for those half-real conversations and remember with longing those snippets of ideas that ended up on the page. Don’t keep wanting the nominal, empty, black-on-white. The inspiration is floating around you on the dust particles, and how can you expect to create anything greater than a simple poem, when you rely on someone else..? Reach out your hand and grab at the images as they go by. And then fight your hardest to keep them safe, for no-one else can see what you can. Go looking for them. Come searching for them.

You know where to find us.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Persona.

She stands next to me. A shadowed silhouette against the bright light, her face and hour-glass figure in perfect profile. The fingers of one gloved hand rest gently on the brim of her top hat; playing cards and a long peacock feather tucked into the band. The high collar of a ruffled cream blouse rests against her neck, the top buttons open to show an ornate brass key on a double chain, heavy against her skin. Black cinch, laced up at the back, with a gold pattern; a Celtic swirl that dizzies the eye and confuses the mind. A heavy Victorian-style skirt sweeps over her hips, in a cut that sits above her knees at the front, but curves down in flouncing bustles to a trailing train at the back. Lace tights lead down to brown boots, laced at the front and buffed to a shine. The only sound is the tick tick of the fob watch pinned to her waist.
She turns. Slowly. Her hand flickers through the air and a crimson rose appears in her fingers. Blue eyes soft behind the glint of her glasses. The tangled chains of her many necklaces clink as she moves. A twist of her wrist and from the point where her lace glove meets the tight cuff of her shirt, a purple ribbon slicks out and flutters through the air, the gold letters on its surface shining in the light, “… fact and fantasy.” The rise of violin music and an arc of her arm sweeps her hat from her head and she bows low, one foot elegant in front of the other. The ribbon sinks to the floor. The dark lips curve in a smile. “My dear.”

Thursday, 27 May 2010

You, yours, me, mine.

With the scratch of pen on paper, blobs of ink spattering from a pointed nib, comes the inspiration of a creation and a page filled with spider-scrawlings of notes.
So you are, and she is, and the way I see it, and my thoughts were, and emotions are expressed when, and feelings matter if, and how..? Pages of pointless words that mean nothing alone, but when connected to her... or added to this... or placed in conjunction with why...
A memory results in a place. An image results in a colour. A feeling results in a food. And slowly but surely I am attempting to place on the wrinkled, crinkled page an accurate, concise image. In rhyming couplets. (How to make thing difficult.)

Maybe we won't last forever, but for now and today you are my whole and my life and the pieces that make you who you are make me who I am and however many they are, in the many, convoluted patterns they fit in, I have to choose the most important ones, the most effective ones, and the ones that will create the best picture and convey most effectively my thoughts and feelings... These are therefore the most difficult ones to put down on paper.

So the pen scratches and scrapes and skips across the paper. The spaces are filled with notes and words and abbreviations and then, slowly, slowly, are recreated and reformed into a complete creation. Give me time, for this will take time. Give me space, for space I will need. Give me your love because my love of yours is what I'm trying to convey and what I'm attempting to immortalise...

It's a shame I find this so damn hard.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Get this..!

Ohh, the sun. So many things to love!

The light! Bright, colourful and (dare I say it?) happy...
The raised levels of testosterone; the lowered sunglasses and hair flicks as the chemical love grooows.
The fake tan and the outrageous only-just-there outfits adopted by every last skinny girl out there. The sunbathing and strutting and smiling.
The topless guys playing football/frisbee in the parks. The way they constantly find ways of heading the ball in a pretty girl's direction, just for a split seconds engagement.
The uneven tan lines and patchy burns that signal too much time out in the sun.
The (often bad) music thudding out from open-top cars as they sweep by. The fact that it doesn't matter what music is playing any more, as long as it's prompting you to "do the D.A.N.C.E". The soundtrack of summer.
The screams and joy and laughter that come with the childish enjoyment of the first water fight of the year (!!)
The way you no longer have to check in your bag for an umbrella or a jumper or a scarf, in case the Spring day isn't quite as warm as you originally thought.

And the fact that even though all throughout winter the British population has been complaining of the cold and wishing for sun and warmth and summer, the minute the heat heat heat arrives, Britain asks for "Just a little bit more of a breeze"... Continue to complain that it's too hot to do anything, Britain! Meanwhile I'll get out my sunglasses and enjoy it while it's here...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

S-s-s-sun.

My darling! I have abandoned you..! My creative juices have been running slow, slow, s l o o o w . . . So slow that the only creativity I have been indulging in is my doodling. And even that has not found itself up onto the blank web-page. But enough of that.

Wow, my internet is slow today as well... I blame it on the heat. That gorgeous, beautiful, saturating, soaking, sublime, (Look at that sibilance! I blame the English Bug), lovely lovely lovely, amazing, gorgeous heat. The sun has been shining all day. The heat I could never believe, not for Britain. Apparently it's going up to twenty-seven degrees tomorrow. I'm ready for it, with my sun cream and straw trilby and shorts...
Today, though, was awesome. Revision be stuffed - I spent the day lazing in the garden with a girlfriend and having a full-on water fight out front in the afternoon. What is it about the sun that brings out the childish delight in everything, and yet soaks your head with such heat that after only an hour of movement you feel like you could relax into a puddle of nothingness and stay there for the rest of the day? It's like a drug. The most natural drug around. And the only side effects are ones that come from not taking enough care ie. burns and headaches. Someone should find a way of bottling this stuff up and handing it out as a depression cure. Who needs prescription drugs with the sun on tap?

Enough of this rambling. Suffice to say...
"Birds flying high, you know how I feel. Sun in the sky, you know how I feel. Breeze drifting on by, you know how I feel. It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me... And I'm feeling goooooood!"

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Moving.

So we have until the end of January. That's the main problem about not owning your own house: At any one time your landlord/lady can kick you out. Ours is planning to renovate. The thought of moving out of my home of 15yrs plus is strange. I can't even remember the last move - my childhood memories are practically non-existant.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

"Look at yourself, look in the mirror, don't you see a lie?
That you tell yourself again a thousand times.
And the truth that makes us laugh will make you cry,
You wanna die? No?"

Curses.

Don't talk to me. Sitting in the back of my head, a heavy blanket of resentment and pain and woeful selfpity leaks its bitter liquids into the creases of my eyes. A single word or a look askance: Your constant humour at my anger, your incompetence to complete the stupidest, tiniest task, your ability to enjoy yourself as I sit in shackling loathing. Learn how to lock the door behind you and tread quiet when you are near me.

Feel free to leave your clothes in my room; scattered about in crumpled piles of discarded journeys. And I will smile and reply sweetly with false love on my tongue and sour anger in the back of my throat when you return days later to find them gone and ask where they are. I cannot think as fast as you do. Your words and ability to mock are faster and harder and they bruise me. Flick at me with sarcasm or spit your resentful replies to my smug face and inside I'll smile at your stamps and shouts while my blood curdles into momentary hatred and scores lines in my skin. Ugly lines. That nonetheless screech to my reflection, "I've won!"
This time.


One day a fire will burn itself out in my heart and your inability to respect me will drop from my lips like dry, grey ashes. Fill my mouth with cool water to wash out the taste of the pointless, scorching coals. I am tired of this anger and lack of forgiveness. And yet my fists still hold tight to the ripped threads of former hurts, and still dip them in the blood of recent cuts only to brush the lines of "Remember last time?" across my arms, and still collect more and more as the weeks go flying by.

Bitter tears of anger. Clenched fists of resentment. Heavy headaches of self-loathing. Leave me to curse my way through these next few days. Because that'll help.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

"We'll remain after everything's been washed away by the rain. We will stand upright as we stand today."

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Visitor

Tattered wings and fragile body.
A sudden flitter-flick before
the glowing screen. Tiny-soft,
velvet grey shape slicks a shadow
across my face.

The only other living warmth
attracted to the only light
in this cold dark in this cold room
in this cold house, where everyone
else is asleep.
"Everything has a reason for it
Everyone has a story to tell
Everything has a reason for it
Everyone has a story don't they?"

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Bluebird.

I saw her first when she was sitting
in the branches of the willow tree.
Her plumage was soft and shining,
her song was bright and free.
I called to her, "Dear Bluebird!
Why do you sing so long and high?"
She replied, "I like to rest here
and watch the world go passing by."
I knew I could not follow her,
this bird in sunlight crowned,
so I asked if she would join me;
sit a while here, on the ground.
She came at my call, the beauty,
soon she was perching on my hand.
She described to me the joys of the sky;
I told her the woes of the land.
I wrote her a song, this bird of mine,
I wrote her a love-letter true.
I told her there was no voice like hers
and birds of her beauty few.
We would meet at the foot of the willow
and sing a soft harmony,
but my notes were always so heavy,
while hers were light and free.
So at times our songs would differ
and it was hard to see who was right.
But I brought her a new kind of comfort
and she brought me such light.
Then one day she said she was leaving.
I knelt and begged her to stay,
"Can't you see how much this hurts me
for you to leave this way?"
I believe she knew my sorrow,
but all she said when I asked her why
was, "Don't judge me, I'm a Bluebird, remember?
I am built to fly.
I cannot stay, my dear one,
and you cannot follow me."
Then off she flew and left me kneeling
at the foot of the willow tree.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Lookit that...

A stumble! I came across this band, Tuung, during one of my tangent searches though the mazes of youtube. They have some good songs, for example Jenny Again and Bullet. Click the links and listen :)

Also, social networking websites (as they do) have just informed me that an old childhood friend is married and expecting a baby. It's a strange thought, and one that is messing with my mind rather, which is why it is here on my blog page... She doesn't look much different. Same soft face, same straight blonde hair, same upturned nose. She looks just like she did when we walked out of middle school together. It's a confusing thought. And only seems to underline my own naivety. I find myself doubting myself. This odd tightness in my throat; is that a simple strangeness at this news, or a strange desire, or only a fear for her, for myself, for those lost years? It seems that people around me are growing up too fast, too fast for me to keep up with. Hell, I don't even have a job yet!
Am I odd for my fear of change, of striding out alone, of meeting that one in these next recent (or not) years? Maybe I shouldn't even be thinking about it. It seems to me (she tells herself, as she shakes her head and directs her mind in a more concrete direction) that right now the most important thing to be worrying about is this dratted English essay...

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Hobbies.

Glittering, sparkling and twinkling. They spin through my fingers and litter the carpet; tiny rainbow scraps of light bounce off the walls and flicker over my fingernails. Scarlet red. Starlight silver. Ocean and new-leaf green. Copper orange. Summer-sky and baby blue. Some joined together in separate, repeating patterns, the rest lonesome in their group vividness. So pretty.

But unfortunately my money slips through my fingers as quickly as the beads do. It's a sort of covetousness. But my hair needs cutting and mini debts need paying and bus fare needs buying, not to mention food. So it looks like I must leave my beloved beads for a while. Return to the sewing, my lovely.

I do have some rather pretty buttons...

Encouragement.

I return! A couple of weeks sleeping and eating and jewellery creating and little-soft-things sewing and forcing myself to work (ohjeezcourseworkdon'tremindmei'lldieshouldbecalledcurseworkdammitthankgoodnessit'sover) and then I venture back out onto the blank page. And I find posts by friends that I haven't read before, and doodles and drawings I've not seen. Their words on these virtual pages, musings and creations and ramblings and all, remind me of what I've missed. And their pictures and patterns make me smile. "So this is why I am here," I think, "So this is why I enjoy this." Their continuation and dedication encourage me.

Watch this space...

My name.

Not me. Fast as the planes will fly. May the crown fall from your head and whisper along the ground of my empty face and the silence along the road. Sing me your song on the path along which you strode. Don't make me wait for the silence to pray for sun as the rainclouds disperse and my memories say you won't come. Maybe one day I'll wake to your glistening shame as my gold hair falls and the sunbeams murmur your name. Because the moon is a face that watches each step I take and scribes it all down in quiet words for story's sake, though I wish he would not for my footsteps are failing firm. Put your pen down and walk with me from this cold term. The wildness howls. I feel its pull as I stand; indecision to sway, and knowledge from yielding land. You caught it too fast, and now it lies in your palm. Tell it my sighs, and the bluebirds will sell my calm. For this girl is not me. But somehow she looks the same. Your crown whispers by and reminds me to say my name.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

"Cinder and smoke."

Monday, 29 March 2010

Hush now...

Expect silence from here for a while, folks. I have fallen over and need time to pick myself up. The time I've been given is not strictly enough, which is why I must drop all else and concentrate on it...

Don't worry, this doesn't mean an end.

Just a necessary pause.

*silence*

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Don't forget.

Whether mess or not
is inconsequential.
These broken boards
and varnished planks
hold together a patchwork
of timefull memories.



Stories told in yellow light,
blue canvas and thin mattresses,
while chilly condensation already forms
and tired eyes droop.

Adventures play out,
enthusiasm for every detail,
escaping children, mad pirates
and magic elves shout and dance.

Evenings rush by in dusky grey,
Straining springs squeaking and creaking,
While bare feet pound against the plastic
And bodies fly.



A small boy in green shorts,
chubby hands and rounded cheeks,
stands at the gap in the fence
and watches the workmen.

A summer sun reflects off water,
a green hose and rainbow spray,
that flickers and trickles and shivers
down goose-bump limbs.

Ladies laze under a sunshade,
on a brown felt blanket,
with feet against the daisies
and music notes under closed lids.



A small blonde haired girl,
Dirty fingers and grazed knees,
Coaxes green shoots from the raked earth
And carries treasures proudly into the house.

Golden flowers and russet leaves
Float in shifting breezes to the cold ground,
Leaving bare limbs that hit the washing line
As cold fingers peg up damp clothes.

Wondering eyes stare at delicate glory,
Pairs at a time voicing amazement at
the silk thin, glittering, rain catching webs
hammocking between jagged twigs.



Green wellies stamp in shallow puddles,
Carry the wearer from back to front,
Follow the blue wheels of a small pushchair
That, even in the cold, still rattles.

A camera flash captures the beauty:
Sharp fingers from the neighbour’s roof,
A leaf encased in translucent ice,
Drifts covering the paths so well known.

A flurry of snow announces the arrival
Of gloved hands and wrapped up bodies,
Snowballs that explode on thick coats
And creations that don’t last.

...

Now I stand on the trampoline
and stare around at the garden.
Plants and paths. Rocks and earth.
This place holds my home.

Whether mess or not
is inconsequential.
These broken boards
and varnished planks
hold together a patchwork
of timefull memories.
"Feels like home."

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sister, wife, friend.

A sock to the stomach. Shit. And I thought... Yes, but you thought wrong, didn't you? Or so it appears. A momentary mention. A set of meaningless words on a screen and the betrayal makes you sick.

What does she think she's doing? I don't understand, and yet I think I understand completely. Did you get someone else to gift you, my darling? Was someone else as generous as I was? Or did you just happen to be able to work it yourself? After the special-ness yesterday, today you are suddenly capable to find the ability. After your wound up mother and her anxious words, your apparent actions seem at complete odds. Do I understand you correct? Or am I reading too much into the reality that has been separating you from us for too long? Your pretty, young, stupid friends and their cliquey lives. Your mucked up group that you complain about and yet return to over and over and over...
Well then, pretty face, welcome to the human race! So easy to think yourself separate. Shame on the pride and the lies and the promises. Your pretty face and empty-full eyes won't save you the confusion and pain of an explanation this time. How many more times am I going to have to put in the effort before a hand is extended in reply?

The anger is not roaring. It's more a betrayal sick in my stomach, behind my tired eyes. Don't say you don't see me enough, my lovely. Just come and find me, I'm always here. Don't promise you'll make make it, my dear. Just turn up and let me enjoy your company. And don't tell me you have no ability to join us, my friend. Just tell me the truth. Don't let me find out for myself the extent of your love for us.

And I thought... Yes, you thought. But don't be surprised. It's happened before, you just didn't expect it at such an extent, did you? You'll have to face her on this one. Yes, you know it. Stop typing it up onto the screen. Just find a time to talk. Maybe you're wrong, against all evidence. And pray your relationship can uphold itself still. As, somehow, it continues to do, held up by the arms of your love.

Friday, 12 March 2010

"You brought this on yourself
and it's high time you left it there.
Lie here and rest your head
and dream of something else instead."

Morning.

Early one morning I was making breakfast,
A panda piano symphony in my head.
My hands were holding a teacup of memories
that wept hot tears as I remembered what you'd said.

Baby blue brought me a bathos note
as my bashful cheeks began to glow.
You always were a cornucopia of knowledge
about things you'll never need to know.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Ian Carey Project

Stamping hands, clapping feet.
A clash of heat where music notes meet.
Throbbing bodies and shifting limbs.
Flying hair to these modern day hymns.
Always singing, singing stops.
Heels thud against table tops.
Downwards eyes and mouthings wide.
A crowd a perfect place to hide.
"My aim is true, my message is clear: it's curtains for you, Elizabeth my dear"

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Gypsy running.

A place of scattered beauties.
With the first table the dark haired woman places a hand on the green felt and I see the bracelets of flawed, plain colours laid out in overlapping loops. Someone realizes the tradition for me and I scrabble the stretch of elastic-bead from between the chains and charms on my ankle and scrape it off over my foot. Slipped onto my wrist, I smile at the woman fleetingly. Only I understand because my companion is fractious.
We pass through rows of columns of clay, wooden, shell and ceramic beads, arranged in pleasing patterns on bits of string and dangling from wooden structures. One woman has an open-front glass case with china charms lining the front and my friend bumps against the stand and slips her hand under the glass and grabs the tiny teapot-like blue and white ornament. I stop and stare and grab her arm and the woman notices and my companion hisses and I reprimand and my companion argues and the woman watches with dark, dark eyes and I put the charm back and apologise and smile nervously and continue to scold as I pull my friend away.
She protests against my actions, my admonishment, but suddenly there are eyes everywhere and while she complains about food and money and homelessness, and her brown waves swing from side to side as she eyes the trinkets and lets her fingers drag gently over the clicking, clacking, clattering beads, the image of a blue-green robed girl in a wigwam of tightly enclosing rods of firewood swims into my head, and I drag her on. This girl, who I think is myself, sits with her head on her knees and her arms around her up drawn legs and her hair falling across her face and hiding her features, surrounded by the memories of many small creatures. The dark wood is sharp and shiny. She is unable to get out. And this is what I concentrate on.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

51 Chawley Lane.

That family smell that sticks to you and swirls about your head
as you run your hand over the thick fur of bright blue eyes blink, lazy.

And those brown eyes that blink, deep. That laugh that echoes yours,
or else your mistake. A verbal trip, skip, woops. Okay, blonde moment.

And your blonde hair the odd one out in this room of dark beauties.
Your giggle not the only sound as your stories mix and confuse.

And hitting buttons; a success story. Words battling against his head,
Let the girls be victorious! A game won by… clever means.

And those clever, clever minds holding all that knowledge
as we sit and stare or mock or drink it in; An encyclopaedia-know against your lack.

And that faded green against your back, a fruit-tea-mug in your hands.
That music is so soft it still makes me cry smile at those notes that seem so familiar.

And those people that smile with you and love with you and feel with you
in that house of heavy stone in the centre of empty fields.

Creative hesitation.

Feels like an age since I've been here, spilling my creative thoughts onto the blank space. I can't help but wonder. Maybe the extent of the non-creative work I’m having to force my brain to do is leeching the images and words from my fingers, turning them to black dust under my very eyes.
I feel strained. The words are having to fight through a vacuum of cold blackness to get to the keys and step up onto the screen. It’s a difficult journey for them, and once they get there are they actually doing anything? They aren’t being placed in positions of power or government, or attributed with abilities of magic or supremacy, or dressed in robes of beauty or art. They simple reside in slightly lax attitudes on the strict, clean page.
I feel sorry for them. Sorry that I’ve made them make such an effort for such a pointless venture. Well, that's the end of this post, then. I apologize for taking up your time.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

They call it "Single-Awareness Day".

14th Feb

I can still see the way you stood.
Don’t tell me you’ve changed your stance
because that picture is so vivid.
Head tilted, resting on one foot.

The guy in front of us had roses.
Their velvet softness made me smile
and I think it was a shame.
Crimson petals in perfect smooth posies.

You laughed at my ideals, but
it was an idea taken from mine.
The box was red and hard edged;
large black letters stretched across it’s front.

I wish you hadn’t been so nervous
because the memories feel strange.
But our safe place was warm.
So do you remember last year?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

"Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for a while, Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies... Let us die young or let us live forever, We don’t have the power but we never say never...
Forever young, I wanna be forever young. Do you really want to live forever? Forever and ever?
Forever young, I wanna be forever young. Do you really want to live forever? Forever, forever young?"

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Glitter

A friend once said to me, "You must have some kind muse following you around because you always seem to come across these astonishing things," - like sunsets and icicle trees. I was going to tell him No. I was all ready to go back to him and say, "Nah, I just get lucky, that's all."
And I was thinking about this as I walked through the dark to pick up my sister. But then, Oh. A sight. A glimpse into another world.

A garden to my right, with ragged grass and a shallow pond. A wire fence at the back that leaned crazily away, supported by bushes. A gap in the bushes. And beyond...
Somehow the ground after that fence dipped into what appeared to be a gaping hole, and on the other side of that chasm I saw a scene that was unreal enough to be fairy tale.
Blue-green grass. Crooked arms of crooked trees. A strange sea-like light that cause everything to look aquatic and nominal. Light caught in burning balls in the fingers of the trees. Everything glitters.
Incredible. I stop and stare. My instinct is to walk forward into the garden and towards this gateway into a different dimension, but then I step sideways and the magic is gone. A dark field with tired trees; yellow street lamps, their poles hidden in the tree trunks, casting hard shadows on the cold ground.
When I pass it the second time, going the other way, I slow down as I come to the opening and look there it is again. I stop my sister and hold her in front of me and point out the breathtaking strangeness and beauty. I describe to her what she's supposed to see and she squints and peers and then agrees. It does look odd, doesn't it?
And move on.

Well, now. I don't know about a muse. And I'm not so sure about lucky, any more. Maybe I just notice things more than other people, that's all. Or maybe someone's put a filter over my eyes that makes me see... Strangeness. Glitter. Beauty.
Stories.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

"Look at the stars, look how they shine for you. And all the things that you do."

Kin.

I find you hard to write. It is as if you are too... real. Or too close. Or too much a part of me.
You ask me for a picture - why is it I cannot even do that? I know you too well, I think. Trying to get you down onto paper seems an interminable task. Maybe I could condense you into a cartoon. I think I could. I think, maybe a poem would do as well...

I need to stop thinking of you as a whole and take only one aspect. Your humour. Your image. Your attitude.

You pass me in a hurry and I know exactly where you are going, what you are doing. I think living with someone makes them hard to view from a distance. They're too near all the time.

You should go away on holiday. I did not make use of the time when you went last time, but if you went again, maybe I would. Maybe then I would sit down and think about you. Maybe then I could separate the memories and knowledge of you a little and change you into letters that form words that form... a piece. Finished. Incomplete, maybe, but finished.

And maybe I could make you happy with that...

On vigil.

They are still awake. Twenty six beds in two neat rows. Most filled, most asleep, some still rustling, some still moving. Their voices have only just calmed - what is it about these impish little minds that they can't understand the notion of "quiet brings sleep"? They rummage and sigh and complain. It's the heat, it's the noise, it's the people. It's everything and everyone but themselves. One of them rolls over in her sleep and I envy her, that she is able to rest and dream and recharge.
I stalk the dorm on soft feet and swing my head towards any noise made as if I can silence it with a look. And sometimes I can. They don't like my presence; it forces them to lay still and keep quiet. Tomorrow I will talk to them, these restless little girls. Tomorrow my tiredness will voice itself and tomorrow night... I hope for sleep.
I hear them breathing and this time no voice breaks the gentle rhythm. Maybe finally they are at rest. Their sleeping heads are taking them where I, right now, wish I was. And as they sink deeper into their dreams I sit here and record my thoughts.
I am the last one awake. Which means I am the last one to sleep.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Running.

I cannot hear her voice; with desperate fists it
forces its way through the jumble of too many people.
No. Cold fear is my glass cage before the bars shatter.
With a surprised smile you are already away and
I was not there to stop you.

I push past the confused perfume and gossip curls, Move!
Frozen incompetence in yellow light, with cold eyes
for my rudeness. I stumble from the doorstep,
bare feet graze and Oh. Just a laugh at my slowness.
There you are.

Stamping bells and a thudding heart for my guilt.
I suck in the leave mould shadows, follow
your colourful echoes - she is not far behind -
but I’m pushing against air Please The danger;
you are too too near,

And then I have your sleeve. At the corner the clocks stop
For one whole second. Innocent eyes Thank you
in the dappled sun but I cannot catch your gaze.
Your warmth against my palm is a reminder.
No, she does not blame me.

01/10

Thursday, 21 January 2010

That picture reminds me of what I'm missing. Sometimes I wonder why I keep it.

The Rain Children.

With blue fingers, one small hand plucks at the vessel passing below its bed and tears at its edge. The ragged fingernails close tight around the tattered scrap and three pairs of liquid eyes watch the drop of water as it trickles from between the thin fingers and rolls, flashing, through the air.
Delight flicks them awake and they tumble from their beds, scrambling over each other in their hurry. Small eyes alight with mischief, small bodies tight with anticipation, small mouths wide with excitement. They land with soft thuds on the swollen body and roll and stumble over the hills and dips and scream with elation as the heavy cotton yields beneath them and the water droplets collect and fall, one by one by one. Their laughter wakes others who jumble to join them in a disarray of skinny bodies and translucent limbs. Bare feet pound the heavy mass below them. Eager fingers squeeze at the hunched edges. Wide eyes follow the round transparent diamonds as they seep from the soaked fabric and drop to the ground far below.
The wind teases the crooked curls and fly away locks as the pointed faces peer over the sides and giggle with glee. With sparkling laughter of ocean spray, with climbing cries of seagull joy, with butterfly chuckles of morning springs they voice their ecstasy.
Down below, the world is drenched. Heavy droplets thud against the concrete and smack at the dripping leaves. Miniature waves ripple across broken surfaces. Cracks and crevices become cups for the thirsty to sip from, overspilling their crystal wine to the dark earth.
Dilated irises of morning dew blink and crease and smile as the world drinks it's fill. The sound of clapping hands is hidden in the rattle of the raindrops against tiles. The children dance in their sodden rapture as the bodies below scurry to hide and cower and cover from the wet.

One being's delight is another being's depression. At times.