Under the Auspices of Saints

I put pen to paper under the auspices of saints and gothic spires. The night conspires against me, but I am determined it shall not take me.

The ghosts of my past skirt the borders of the churchyard. I am imprisoned. My own evil has come back to haunt me and there is nothing I can do to prevent it. The shades sweep by as wailing winds that only I can hear in these darkest hours. They shall never forgive me; I shall never forgive myself.

My hands tremble, so I place my pen and notebook upon the low wall that seats me and clasp them together. The shakes do no stop, as my whole body convulses to their rhythm. I gaze up to the saintly figures illuminated by some spectral light, they do nothing to console me. I am as unwanted within as without.

You see, I am dead. You may not think it to look at me, although I have always had a pallid sheen, but I am. My soul should have fled when our car was struck by another. It did not. I would not allow it. And so I crawled away from collision without care or concern for others. I crawled to the here and now of this cemetery in the middle of nowhere that abuts a church of inglorious name. Here I wait for my soul to depart, or be taken, and make these final notes on a life ill-spent.

What of the others I spoke of, I hear you shout? Bad friends, acquaintances I should rather not have met, and…! I cannot bring myself to say her name. I cannot bring myself to think of her as the devil’s shakes take me again and I yearn for another drink.

The saints have my number. I know that. They look to me with pity and shame. They would ask me to leave, to step from this holy ground, but I fear to. Oh, how I fear to! Life has not treat me well and I have not given it reason to. I am not a good man, although I wish to be. The ghouls howl to the sky and I shiver again.

My body hurts. All my body hurts. It is not an inveigling worm of pain but an explosion of dying cells being stripped into the atoms of the night. I am dying by the decimal point. I am diminishing in stages.

Something calls. I say something because I know not what I hear, only that it chills me. Who knows my name here in this middle of nowhere place? There is but one and I dare not look.

The calling persists. It wears at me. I am being rubbed out, replaced by a space I should frequent for longer. I know who calls me and reach to her. There is a feeling of propulsion of sliding from one place to the next and I find myself at the churchyard gates. I can see the broken wreck in the distance: Isabella is at my side. There is a line between us called death and I rest one step from crossing it. She beckons. I resist. She insists. I protest. She smiles. I am broken.

I take one last look at the illuminated, stained glass windows. I think I see a saint wave goodbye. I must leave. I have no choice.

That step from one world to the next does not hurt as much as I think. Perhaps it is the hand that takes my own; a warm hand, not dead. Not anymore. And for the first time in an age, I realise that I am not that bad person I think. I am just me amongst many others of the same. And I smile. And I pass on. And I am happy. At last.

The End


I frequent the in between:

The non-committal;

The private world;

The sheltered spaces 

Of heart and soul;

The me.

Some seek to drag me from it

Kicking and screaming,

Protesting at not living like they do.

But I do not wish to live that way:

Life is too short to waste.

So, if you catch a shadow within the shade,

Hear a slow-thudding heart in the night,

Don’t search for the light switch.

I’ve removed all the bulbs.

The Faerie Queen

Coronet of petals

Made regal by frame,

Faerie folk bow

To a new queen.

Wings outlined in silver

Swept behind

Robes of tangled vines

And iridescent mosses,

She regards in indigo orbs

Her kinsfolk.

The faerie people, 

The little ones,

Acquiesce to her gaze 

In graceful nods;

She is accepted,

Their queen 

For another eternity.

In such are legacies built.

In fire, water and earth 

Fable is cemented.

And as all drink,

Daisy cups filled,

Nectar pouring,

They toast she

And each other,

As My sister and I

Watch on

From night’s shelter.

We hope we remember 

Come morning,

Or at least

From within a dream.

These Crisp Days

For my good friend ‘Dell’.Hope it gives you a chuckle.

I have a special friend

Who counts the days in crisps,

I tell her it’s not good for her

But she really does insist.

There’s no particular flavour

That brightens up her day,

But if you take them off her,

She’ll wail with such dismay.

It’s almost now her bedtime

And I know she’ll sneak some there,

But seen as they inspire her art,

I suppose it’s only fare.

I’ll sign off with a rustle,

As I know she’ll listen then,

And wish her crisps good evening

As I’m running off with them.

The Tear

She rested the tear,

Balanced it on the tip of her index finger;

It sat there reflecting the world.

A slight tip of the hand,

A curious rolling,

The tear reacted

Sliding down her silken skin

To pool upon her palm.

So sad the eyes that gazed upon that millpond,

So weary the love in that look. 

Twenty years of marriage lay in her palm,

She flicked it away.

After all,

The tear was not hers but mine.

She’ll not take anymore.