Swallowed

It was not her perfume, exquisite though it was
Neither was it her hair, the colour of a waking dream
Nor her lithe and slender body, mesmerising as a nymph
It was her eyes, always her eyes
Those light-consumptive orbs of splendour
Darker than the abyss and deeper than the pit
Blacker than black, as ink pooled in the night
In obsidian she saw me, and swallowed me whole

Nocturnal was her way, that of bat and fox
Ever cunning was she, crafty even
For their was no escaping her personal radar
Her wiles nor her will nor her want, if she wanted
In darkness she entrapped, constricted and constrained
Till my free will cried, Adieu
And my essence begged her for more
If it was mine, for doubt had manifested

Was I her plaything, her simple marionette
A puppet with its strings slashed, limping, lurching
Into a lightless, lifeless heap, gone unseen
Just a man in a mystery, though never his own
Staring into ebon midnights and praying for redemption
But never from the one he should have
Only ever from the one who willed it
Prepared to sacrifice his eyes, if still possessed

But when she came; what can I say
Those eyes shining through the aether
Like onyx moths to a heart once gold and gleaming
But not any more, never any more
And everything I’d ever thought or known
Everything I’d ever felt or imagined
Gave way in slack-jawed anticipation
Of being delivered, devoured, destroyed

And here it’s was, or is, or remains
The simple undiluted truth of her feasting
The reality she made, maintained and perfected
For me, just for me, or so she reminded
As there was a truth, my salient undoing
That demoness though she was, unruly child of Beelzebub
All she asked for was nothing, not a thing
The truth: I begged she take my soul

Barbed Wire Kiss

This jagged smile she plays for fun

An indelicate balance tilted in her favour

Such an exact science, applied and described

Crimson painted, plum or sea blue

It matters not

Styled for the moment, smudged with a wave

Exposed is an exposure kindly received

Works both ways she says

And I believe her because she’s grinning

It can only be glee, can’t it?

Trap set, locked and straining

The night vibrates with palpable anticipation

She closes. We close. They close

The next stage of a plan planted

Grown in a place where the sun don’t shine

Tended with steel wool and polish

Scrubbed to angelic perfection

Just awaiting the clack of horizontal gates closed

Where glinting blinds

So eyes are closed

The chink of twinned metal resonates through my spine

Pull away, but I can’t

Free yourself, but I won’t

And she has me, as she’s had those many others

Those tin soldiers, smelted and melted

Reduced to puddles of oozing goop

Sucked through barbed wire lips

With a straw for a tongue

I’ve lost. She’s won. All over

But the night is long and I own pliers

So perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow

Three Paragraphs on the Art of Loving Ghosts

When loving ghosts, one must make allowances, for their intangible nature prohibits touch, physical warmth, passion. They mire in sadness regardless of kind words, a warming sun, a lover’s wistful look. To struggle is in their make-up, their very essence. Like drifters on a highway, they patrol the ley lines you may not tread. Not yet, anyway. Not until the blue fades from your lips, too.

This insipid cold, if you will, does not make them cruel, nor inconsiderate just unable to yield to the pleasures of flesh and blood. Though they would if they could. They remember them, distant though they may be. They recall them, as the echoes of memories lost. Like violin strings plucked in a dream, they would hear this music called life once more.

So, how should one treat them? How should one appreciate these gentle spirits of the night? How does one love a ghost? Simple, my friend. Remember them. Remember them all. But most of all, and here I beg, remember me.

50 Word Stories: The Game

Celeste radiated something akin to love, a certain lukewarm appreciation.

Mama called this cunning — Celeste prickled behind her eyes.

Papa said it smarts — Celeste upset his oversensitive gut.

Me?

Celeste melted my heart.

Was I suspicious?

Never! Celeste could have bought and sold us. Our secret, until after the wedding.

Pain-Less

If this hurt of teeth and talons renders numb

Or slashing words and blunt-nosed answers

Tied up with twine, perhaps a handcuff, too

Fails to bring a stinging stimulus

Then what’s the point in pain, my love

If ever there was one, yes, if ever

Has it vanished, upped and left, retracted

Fluttered away on cold breaths and steam

Impaled itself upon a willow strip

Just gone. All gone. Run away forever

Left a soul in need of something suddenly pain-less

50 Word Stories: Concrete Dawn

We waddled to the lakeside like two overstuffed penguins, laughing and joking, discussing the past. There we watched the sunset, a tangerine moment that made us cry. We looked at each other like once lovers, then jumped, or, rather, plunged. Our concrete filled boots did their job. It was bliss.

Ageless Angel

She was that age, that ageless something

Between rose petal cheeks and silver waves of fascination

Where the foundations moved but the plans never changed

Where her eyes only ever shone brighter, more acutely than before

Piercing like twin stars set in her own personal heaven

A girl with a woman’s knowing, woman with a girl’s innocence

The sort of carefree soul who bought coral rings just to remember other people’s dreams

It was easier for her living through the dreams of others, I think

As she had no time to waste on her own

I’ve forgotten what they called her because her name never really mattered

Not to those who shared her timeline, her space, her place

A name, as with the asking her age, was pointless

For whoever took the time to speak to the wind

When the only thing that mattered was feeling it rustling their hair

No, her name was only sought by those determined to tame her

To mould and conform her; they might as well have bottled an ocean

Elemental, unbridled, let loose on us all

An ageless angel without a prayer of surviving, she couldn’t have cared any less

And when I was with her, neither could I

Yet, now, I wished I’d known it

Guessed or made up something to define her soul

To capture the uncapturable even if but for a day

I suppose I will until my own spark fades

And all those dreams with it of her body pressed to mine

The Route

Route 66, East to West

Peddle to the floor

Hair a mess

Driving a daydream

Nightmare or more

Is this forever

Where the road is the law

Passing the steers

Who nod and agree

Each carrying less

Than my mental debris

Faster and faster

Just fumes for a bride

The Pacific, it beckons

Blue seas open wide

For miles and miles

And then countless more

This Vultureless carcass

Beyond nature’s laws

Deserts and mountains

Blue skies, vast and true

My improbable notion

Of a hitch-hiking you

Swamped senses struggling

Unable to cope

They grow worse by the yard

God! Hand me a rope

And suddenly there

As air touches sea

My smiling persona

Now failing on me

The route ends

My velocity… does not


Thank you for reading

Richard