Haiku – Content

Softy falling snow
Blanket for the sleeping bulbs
Dreaming of the spring


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.
Also Available:
The Eternals Series: The Eternals / Hunter Hunted / Into Eternity

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Dreaming By Design

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

The alarm clock makes a mess of the morning, drowning out the blackbirds and scaring away the crows. A fire engine charges off to douse angry flames. A police car wails its siren song; attentive thieves stop to listen, whilst I carry on dreaming by design. 

I hold the cosseting darkness close, bathe in its obsidian cool, feel it course through my veins as liquid night. There are no stars, no moon, no higher angels here, just an ever-stretching moment sandwiched between last and next. I squeeze my eyes tight as a shrink-wrapped shroud, but the reason for this preservation slips away. 


There are still brief moments of lucidity where golden dawns merge to cerulean days and the nights are nothing but places to lay one’s head. They are rare, flashes of a past once lived, and most days I turn my back to them. But not today. Today is special. It’s the day I wait for every week. 

I dress in my Sunday best even though it’s a Thursday. The weightless white lilies lay across my outstretched arms like a tightrope walker’s pole, offering a balance I should otherwise lack. In this fashion, foot before foot, I make my way there.

The deserted cemetery mires in a morose nod to the forgotten. How I wish it would laugh and sing, awaken. 

I follow the well-worn path through these winding monuments to other people’s memories in search of one of my own. It is the last stone of the last row of an extension abutting a hedge. Ready for a quick getaway, I tell myself. 

A quick glance and I lay my flowers and leave, passing the same woman who tends her mother’s grave every Thursday. We often smile, nod even, but today she offers some words.

“Back again,” she says. It is not a question. 

I nod, unwilling to risk more. 

“A family member?”

“Yes.”

“Close?”

“Very.”

She pauses as if to say more might offend me, but her desperation for contact wins over. “A parent?”

She looks aghast as I shake my head. 

“A child?”

I repeat the gesture and make to move away, my cheeks reddening. 

“Then who?”

I am already weeping when I turn to say, “Me.”


My eyes rest most mornings, my heart too. I have never loved and never grieved. Some might claim me dead to the world, and the world dead to me. I lay flowers at a grave I have paid for in advance, near a woman who does not know my name. One day, I shall lay there as I have practiced here. One day, she shall do the same. 

I pretend to sleep until the day takes over, testing myself against an overly loud alarm and a window open to the world. This is my ritual, my darkening of the mind. I block out all that would disturb me and ponder the woman in the cemetery, she who the flowers are truly for. It is a meditation of sorts. I dream by design in the hope I’ll be ready when we meet on equal terms. For ghosts may pass and smile and chat, but only in death be together forever. 

The alarm rings. Are my eyes open or closed?


Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers

Husk

Image courtesy Leandra Rieger on Unsplash.com
Image courtesy Leandra Rieger on Unsplash.com


this cavernous sprawl seeks fulfilment,

a splash of something in the gloom,

no reflection in a cardboard puddle

but something solid, something whole,


then the emptiness shall lick parched lips,

ponder on what it was, is, will become,

and this husk shall gasp an asphyxiation,

as if having swallowed the perfect dream.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.
Also Available:
The Eternals Series: The Eternals / Hunter Hunted / Into Eternity

Cold, Cold, Love

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash
Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Fingers entwine like November branches,
The chill offering pleasurable release;
There’s no benefit to being overly warm.
We swish amongst the decadent leaves
Raining down in shades of gone:
Ah, the bliss of the festering mind. 
A moment in the meadow is a lifetime on the sea;
Translucent waves like polished glass
Revealing only an inverse night. 
The hole looms like a collapsed bed,
And I can’t wait to draw the obsidian sheets high. 
A raven rattles a warning, or a joyful dirge,
Flapping wings to dispel the buzzing bats;
They’ve already consumed the flies.  
She bends low like an avalanche 
Destroying all I’ve ever known, been, seen.
I welcome it, her, this unmarked legacy, 
One colder than my heart. 
The impossible shades of an afterlife found
Embrace this shell and pop out a nutlike soul. 
And though I wish to scream ‘come back’
She spins a maelstrom, shifting time and tide for me,
Only for me, always for me, as she ever has and ever will.
For though our cold, cold love is abhorrent to most,
The universe has just gained two more stars.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.