I lie on my back as the storm rages outside my darkening room

The rumble and clash of the pantheon’s percussion

Plays an unsteady beat through an electric atmosphere 

Children cower; birds take flight; the world quivers

But not me, for a new life is being born

I look deep into the pouring rain

Past the lightening bolts, beyond the trees, over the river and into the sky

Up into the roiling clouds I cast my mind and smile

As a trembling raindrop unfurls from the horde

Rolling from its cotton pillow it falls, and falls, and falls

Tumbling towards solidity

A tear created especially for me

Downwards it slides through intangible air

Faster and faster, sweeping the sky clean in its wake

I feel it nearing my home

Then, splat! 

I fear for my little friend, but I shouldn’t

He is gathering, rejoining his brethren

Becoming more than the sum of the parts

Cascading down roof tiles

Part of a torrent he sluices over the guttering

Hanging for a moment suspended in thin air

Before he and his ilk, fall

Down and down, tippling over and over 

A procession of hydro environmentalists

I listen to his and their sacrifice 

Giving their own lives to bring life to others

The flowers in my window-box bow solemly

I hear the pitter-patter of the rain on their petals

And wonder which was he?


The Mer-girl

I know you won’t believe me, but I need to tell you what happened to me that day, back when I was twelve, before I leave for good.

How I had been thrown clean through the windscreen to land at the edge of a little stream, whilst my Mum and Dad, both safely fastened into their seats, had been killed, I will never know? What I do know is, that as I lay there and the blood from my cut head ran into the crystal clear water of the mountain stream a voice told me not to die. It wasn’t a voice in my head, nor was it a voice from someone near by, it was just a voice. 

I didn’t die that day although for a time I wished I had. The next six months of my life spent living at the edge of the North Sea with my grandparents, was a very unhappy one. My time convalescing was incredibly lonely. Everyday, I would hobble along the shoreline on my crutches and cry. My nana and granddad showered me with more love than a child could ever wish for, but the only thing I wanted was gone. My mum and dad would never be coming back and I wanted to be with them so much, wherever they were. 

One day, when I had managed to discard my crutches and realised that the stick I had to use would always be with me, I decided to take my own life. I would like to say it had been a hard decision, but it wasn’t. I’d simply had enough. My sorrow mirrored the depths of the sea that I gazed at every day, and I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I had kissed nana on the cheek and said thank you for such a lovely breakfast, it was only cereal, but I didn’t know how else to say goodbye. I had collected my walking stick that granddad had carved my name into so that nobody mistook it for their own and left my seaside home for the last time.

I hopped my way along the seashore for the last time and watched a sea mist roll slowly in. Good I had thought, I would slip away under the cover of God’s breath. I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending. I had chosen a particularly rugged set of rocks to jump from. I knew it might hurt for a moment, but it was worth it to spend the rest of eternity with my parents.

The climb up the wind-polished granite had been a difficult one, but I eventually stood overlooking the raging, froth-topped sea and smiled. It was a smile of satisfaction rather than pleasure. I knew I had made the right decision because it was the only decision I could make. I wedged my walking stick in-between two rocks so that granddad would get it back after all his hard work chiselling my name into it and jumped. It was as easy as that. No thought required.

The sea was so cold it chilled me to the core instantly. Salt water slipped into my open mouth and my tears merged with the undercurrent. It didn’t hurt, I relaxed into infinity. 

But my death was a short lived one, as I felt strong arms wrap around me and gently lift me upwards, coughing and spluttering to the surface. I was laid on my back across a rock and watched as the most beautiful woman in the world stroked my brow.

“I could not let he who gave me life perish below the ocean. Not yet.” 

I said nothing. I imagined I was dreaming even though I knew I was not.

“I was just a fish until your blood that seeped into the mountain stream gave me the life of something more. I could not let my father die.” She smiled at me and I smiled back.

Her voice was like the rolling of the tide, it lulled and caressed me. Seaweed covered her human body like a dress of emerald green, whilst her fish tale slapped occasionally at the roaring waves. She rested over me protecting my body from the sea spray until I felt able to move. 

She said nothing else, just smiled again, kissed me on the cheek, and ducked back below the surface of the thrashing sea. 

I had returned every year to the point where my old walking stick still marks the place where I first met her. I had sat for hours and waited patiently for the seed of my blood to show herself once again: she had not done so. 

But now, as I slip from the rock in old age, I know it is her hands that guide me into the waters. I know that I will never see my mum and dad. The depths of the ocean will be my burial home.  I swallow my last breath and trust to the care of my only daughter. She smiles to me with the look of a water-bound angel and I am happy at last.

“Now it is time to die,” she whispers. And it is.


I hear the clock strike two 

Only another five hours until morning

The moon is high and illuminates the room in spectral light

It is the same every month

How I miss you so

A rustling from the garden heralds the return of a fox

I envy him his freedom

To run in the night wild and free without constraint or master

Then silence

It is though the world freezes

The universe watches on impassively

And I hear it

The long howl of pain

The cry of what was once mine but now is lost

I ponder the whys and ifs as I do every full moon

Will she still remember me

Will she still care

Will she return

The clock ticks on 

My own malaise deepens

Whilst my love runs free

Only another few hours until morning

I’ll get the kettle on just in case

A Whisper to Grandpa

Some things will always be special

They can never be stolen away

Journeys where their care allowed you to sleep

Times where a smile meant more than gold

To be proud of who you are 

Not because of how you see yourself

But because of how they saw you

Swelling esteem from a nod and a wink

To be offered your favourite biscuit

A cup of tea when you need it most

Knowing they would never say no

Would always be there when others were not

A place of no judgement

Where you were always happy to be seen

A plaster for a scratch

Always an interest in what you’ve done

Who you’ve seen

But all things come to an end

Nothing lasts forever

It is how we look back and return the pride

How we smile at their memory

Wishing they were still with us

It is the dreams they appear in 

The loving voice in a forgotten memory

Thoughts of what was

Hopes of what could be

And wishing you’d had one last chance 

To whisper I’ll miss you

Not Quite

Millions, no trillions of glittering lights, flicking on then off. I blink, trying to synchronise myself to the pulse of the universe. Not quite.

I inhale deeply, my chest rising to maximum capacity, close my eyes then……wait. I imagine time passing both around and through me. The eye of the storm, the centre of a maelstrom, the very centre of the web that is the multiverse. An Angel before God; a baby before it’s mother. Not quite.

I climb to the top of the hill that overlooks my town. This has to be the thing to do. I climb closer, nearer, almost there. The summit dances toward me and I reach out. Not quite.

I stand upon the highest point for miles around, feeling like a king. The orange, luminescent glow of a myriad streetlights reflect the ocean of sparkling night above. I am betwixt and between. Not quite.

Standing before the precipice, the cooling updraft of a mistral breeze wafting over me, I reach into my jacket pocket. It is no trinket, no heirloom, no moment of truth that I peel from my pocket but a picture of you, my love. Now, and only now, do I sense it to be right. I look at the eyes that spawned my love staring up at me from in-between clammy fingers. I drink in all that is, was and will be, us: And jump.

I am almost with you, almost but…… Not quite.



Did you know that there is no top of the world?
I do, for I have stood there where sky touches earth and the two seep together as one. I’ve gazed upon a magical vista and not known up from down; high from low; heaven from hell; reason from insanity.

The views had been staggering, and so had I, (very much so, actually). The route had been a long one, labouring in the extreme. The most basic of trails had led up, always up. An arduous physical torture of many days on foot, and an equally torturous time in the mind. Even the mysterious Yeti was afraid to scale such heights, instead, preferring to haunt the lower valleys of the psyche.
Vales of gentians had given way to woods of spruce, but for two days my only companions had been rocks; many sizes of rocks, but still only rocks. The concave nature of the mountain walls prevented my ever seeing the summit until I crested that final snow-flecked cliff.
Whether it was the lack of air, the natural spinning of my brain, or worse, I cannot be sure but my eyes professed to lie. For at this point, this height of all heights, I was looking not at a cerulean sky, but at the exact same route I had traversed. A mirror image, a window to my past, where God would not allow me to pass: not yet, anyway.
I stood there with a tear in my eye, not because I had failed, but because I would never know such perfection again.
No bird nor beast had seen this place, this Shangri-La at the top of the world, nor would they likely ever. The most beautiful thing I could ever have imagined and no one to share it with. A cruel trick to play on such a tired soul.

I do not know how long I spent at that place, perhaps minutes, perhaps several lifetimes. But what I do know, turning to leave was the hardest thing I had ever done. And, in truth, I am not sure I ever left?

Author: The Eternals Series

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