The Singer & The World’s Pain

Melodious, she sang,
Like a bird in the meadow
Awake to the day;
Trilling to the heavens
And chirping to the flowers,
She praised the day,
The night, the dusk, the dawn.
It mattered not who heard,
What they thought,
What they said;
She sang relentless,
Regardless, with all her heart.
And for a moment,
A fraction in time,
The world’s pain lessened
Just a touch.
But every voice must silence,
Every voice must stall,
Only ifs remaining.
If only she’d sung eternal.
If only.


The pain returned.


The mountain called to me, and not in a good way. At first, I’d thought it gathering thunder its clouds hidden behind the massif. It wasn’t. A dying bear, falling rocks, world’s biggest belching squirrel, and any number of idiocies flittered through my brain as I approached the summit. The grunting, grating, growling sound overwhelmed me on that slow ascent to Hell, a total overpowering of tired senses, a vertigo inducing cacophony. Then, I was there, destination reached and all stood revealed.
Part girl, part something else, she sang her little heart out. She sang a wretched melody of she got there first, of she owned the mountain, of she was queen of the hill. And, in that moment, I knew I was never climbing down.

#FridayFantasy – Ghosts and Serenades

Ghosts and Serenades

Why do dogs howl at the moon? Why do cows moo when a simple hello will suffice? Why does a cockerel crow in the morning but never utter a word at night? The sounds we make define us; she sings to ghosts.

The beauty of midnight in a secluded mansion miles away from anywhere is the sanctity of silence it provides. There should be no reason for discourse nor dispute. And yet, I have.

I cannot silence her, you see. I dare not silence her. Not now. The ghosts gather beneath my sister’s window every evening when lesser folk have gone to sleep. Amassing in wavering fronds of white-sheeted motion, they struggle to be corporeal if only for a second just to hear her sing.

I have asked her why and still do, but my sister claims not to know she does so. When I say, why? She says, I can’t, I’m asleep.

That beggars the question that if my sister is indeed asleep, a girl notorious for her quiet demeanour, why would song come to her only in the midst of dreams? I do not have the answers.

I have listened to her and am listening now, as I make these notes beneath a moonlit sky, but still, I am clueless to her draw. Her words are more melody than correct phrasing aimed at an individual audience. I hear a lost lark or perhaps an elaborate nightingale. The ghosts who paw at her window frames hear something else entirely.

I have vowed to sit here night after night to protect my sister from those who would steal her songs. No ghost of unknown origin shall harm the beautiful soul, the pure innocence of she who is my sister, not whilst I have any say in the matter. I will sit here forever if I must, for all eternity and beyond. And, as I struggle to remember the last time I have ever seen the sunrise, I muse over one last salient detail: have I?

All in the Mind

A collective sigh went up from the audience as, in turn, the lights went down. I waited on the cusp of another breath, but the auditorium remained pitch black, the diva’s final echoing note slipping away into memory. 

After several minutes, the audience began to filter away, heading for the spectral exit signs like migrating moths to the flame. They bemoaned the lack of an encore, mumbled over the diva’s hasty retreat without even so much as a bow; questioned her voice. I did not. I could not. She deserved better.

When the last door closed with a spine chilling thud, I sat there still. That’s when I heard the sound of absolute sadness more audible than I could ever have imagined. That’s when I heard a heart break.

She hadn’t left the stage at all, she’d collapsed. Nobody had thought to check. Nobody really cared.

I clattered my way over three rows of seats, tripped twice before finding the inset steps and hauled myself onto the stage. She was laid prostrate like a bag of coal in a cellar. I screamed for help. At least, I thought I did in my mind, but everything blurred for me then. Time stood still as I took her head in my hands, something black running from between those beautiful, painted lips. She wasn’t breathing. I wasn’t sure if I was, either.

They said she was found alone having suffered a cardiac arrest: dead before she hit the floor, one doctor claimed. But she wasn’t and she didn’t, I knew. She died because she was no longer magnificent. She died rather than fade away. I shouted it from behind the curtain I’d hidden behind. At least, I thought I did, but it might have all been in my mind?

The Songstress

It’s not audio flowing through my headphones but pure feeling. I am taken, spirited away into a space between the natural and the created, deposited somewhere in between without ceremony. I’m glad I am.

     Boom, it starts, then a dull incessant thud takes over. Next, her voice. She soothes me in moments – no easy task – sweeps me away. I’m gone, lost, moved beyond reason. I’m no longer laying on my sofa with my feet in the air; no longer dreaming up crazies or letting off dreams: I’m gone, taken, captured.

     She’s singing about me, I know it with a clarity, an unpolluted certainty that I’ve never afforded anything in my life. In this moment, I’m hers.

     I don’t recall my eyes closing, but they have. It matters not for I’m awash in a sadness of someone else’s creation. But it is also mine, my very own, and I feel it’s pulse, it’s heartbeat. The sadness is female and I am not, but for the duration of the songstress’s lilting song, I could be.

     I’m lost in an ocean of sonic waves, adrift in infinite audio. There is no one else but me. Oh, and her.

     I think I’m in love with a woman I’ve never met. Is she a siren sent to entice and cajole? Who cares. She’s mine and I am hers and that is that. We are melded: her voice with my mind.

She sings to me across an infinite distance, yet drips honey from lips that brush my ears. How can this be? How can a woman I’ve never met stir my soul with sound? How? But she does, and I care and I want and I am and would and I will and I have.

     And, then, as if someone who’s hated me for all eternity seeks to break my heart, pulls the plug on my perfect melancholy, she stops. My singer, my siren, is gone. The music trails away as if trickling out of my soul.

     For a few seconds that last for hours, I’m devastated. I’m lost. I’m set adrift. But if this is only a dream it is one I can relive. She is fabricated for my soul-stirring, not others.

     I lean over to where my phone has fallen on the carpet and press back. And like the first lark of Spring, the first sound the universe has admitted into the silence, she’s back. My beautiful angel is back.

     I allow tired eyes to close and let her pour over my soul. I shall do so again and again and again.


The End

The Blues

When she sang the world stopped to listen. Time collapsed around that angelic voice to secure you and she in a bubble of smooth dreams and stories retold. There was no better place to be.
You didn’t have to see her because you felt her. You didn’t have to meet her because she was already known. There was something perfect in the pitch which struck at the soul, something familiar, reassuring. When you were down, she was down, but how she’d lift you up. If you were euphoric, she patted your back. If you were lost, she’d find you.
All she did was sing the blues: a woman; a voice; a soul. That’s all she ever wanted, and all we ever asked.

Beer Glass Blues

Staring down a tunnel

Of tubular glass,

A brown ocean flowing

Topped with white surf.

There’s singing,

Or shouting,

Or something,

But I’m trying not to look.

Instead, I flick glances

From my glass 

To the mirror behind the bar

And you.

But you don’t look back.

You lounge

In your denims,

Red chequered blouse,

Top two buttons undone;

Gold crucifix, hanging lazily,

That matches your cornfield hair

And your emerald eyes,

Glinting jewels

Piercing the smogs of the room.

You’re enjoying the song, too.

Never mind.

Such are beer glass blues.