The Green Fields Are Closing

Senses with a substance, sit down in tremors and bludgeoned parapits blowing over the windless skies and fanciful extremes skimming swallows upon the grace of a new day imitation through which the flock have run their race.

An operation of seedless mirth, servitude examined, thrilled and willed into passion, broken mass of melancholy, sweet divine devotion, blackness betrayed by the sleepers between the sheets of May and the mountains over which the future lay. And back home to roots.

The green fields are closing in on me and every blade of grass is filled with tears dew dropping from the tips of a flower aching. The green fields are rolling all away from me and the birds above are rowing to the sound of stereos high in heaven.

This wasteland worthy, ripped from its cord and torn into tatters, sheltered sanity belt buckled anarchy and twice as rich as the next land over, trickled plants exposed to the elements, pure and purpled bruises brushed like paintings touched into truancy. A life, a love as artwork in its infancy, as a golden glory swept up in the landscape of its magnificence.

The washed and waking seconds, spilt into its breath the beauty of generations, toiled and tolled on virtues borrowed, stolen. Rolling over the rise like quests of danger spelt in together, deeper to safely flow and melt into an outside made of maturity, propelled by light and day to remove the tragedy from its obscurity.

The green fields are closing in on me and my heart shall leap through a lavish churning, as they sweep softly away to a dance design and reclaim honour to a rightful hour. The leaves and grass in harmonies romance, the vacancy of vanities insanity of chance, every green field lay awake in song and purity for the flock of swallows to descend from heaven and dive into everlasting beauty.

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Your Voice In The Rain

When i pour over the meaningful thrills of life, every little box of memory becomes compressed, refined and noteworthy in its affection. Even the dullest moments that at once felt strained soon become so strangely loved. As if by chance or purely orchestrated by romance, the senses in my self resemble the madness of my mind leapt to a higher state of happiness.

And then and there is you. And i love you, so how i need you and so much i always do believe in you and everything you are and more. All of the memories and all the dullness fades to colour, all of you, the hush of happiness whispered into my soul like sweetness running to a rainbow, riding out a storm and back to precious calm. Back to your heart.

Your voice calling through the rain, feels like a snowflake swept up in my intimacy. Soft and sweet, pure and perfect, treasured and traced, forever felt so soon. The echoes of the Summer, the wildness of our Winter, a shadow stands there a sea apart, telling me to stand again. And love everything until i am set free.

Every little beauty in your eyes opens up to the stars that shine within. And prosper, come to pass and verse or fade behind the sky at night but never die. Every little beauty of you remains alive. And i feel it gently love me as if i were born again tomorrow and only born for you. To this heart i go, to the marrow or the creaking bones, to both our hearts i softly stroll but towards your starlight is where I’m home.

That Sky, The Most Important One

“The happiest people in the world are those who live with free expression in infamy and never have to quell the silence within the constant searching for joy or sadness. Their reaching is outside, their untapped potential is mesmerising, excruciating and unforgiving in its wholeness and everlasting in its fullness. It is the bland flicker which pulverises deep into an impact so minute but so resolute that following it can lest be seen as merely a waste but thought of as something still worhwhile as if doused in wonder and quickly undiscovered, a private moment, a passionless play, a glory in the solitude of its santity, a wild star that creeps its shining and allows you back into the light of its life”

Chapter 1 : The Background

Michael, 31, felt a certain sense of agelessness his entire life. When he was 6 he felt a difference, a blend of uniqueness and wondering and when he grew into his teens this avid wondering became complex and misconstrued but he felt it sharply and wholly and he felt it everywhere. He lived inside his own mind from as far back as he can recall and his own mind was the torture upon which hastily, sadness visited often, but between those mounds there, listed excitement and anarchy of a vacuum and safety, the comfort in words on thoughts and the deep lull of passion played within his heart.

Michael had moved to New York over 4 years ago to pursue a deep lust of discovery that burned eternally in his screaming soul. His writing, his art was mercillesly stagnant in his hometown, the losing of virtue, the flailing desperately to find reason and meaning in everything was the ache from which he could not cure by standing alone on a safe platform, it was too easy, too mundane, less exacting days spent holding out for the kind of thrill and madness that becomes commonplace within the mediocre if only for a different time and place.

His hometown was leafy, quiet, unspoilt but terrifying in its mediocrity. New York to him was the mortar board upon which to paint life’s true worth. The design of anxious average was a fascination but nothing more. He believed in higher hope, he desired something more. New York was a cascade of crucial in which to find true meaning, the lights, the people, the creation, the revolution and the world. It was his place, it was where his mind could rest easy and he could live inside himself but also as himself.

Deborah, 38, who was older but so serene in her quaint understanding of happiness, had lived half her life in the city and the other half in the great larger state of New York. She lived its magnitude every day, she worshipped how it gave life to different cultures, different people, different attitudes and she never forgot how the sheer thrill and destiny of the city had welcomed her to the experiences of adulthood. It was forever there as her muse to adventure and her soul at night when the shrieking voices refused to drift silently away into the deepness of sleep. New York was her New York, Deborah was its sanctity and its reason for existence.

When she left home to move inside the bosom of the city as a 19 year old she dreamt of stardom, being the next big thing on Broadway was her life’s ambition since the very first time she sang and danced in front of her parents as a 3 year old, so unashamedly starstruck, so capitulated within her own wishes, her single minded desire to live up to her own youthful expectations could never be quelled fully, she had the wholesome will to be at peace with the very idea of success but for her success came in such a different way.

Her musical career had never taken off, mugged by an attacker near the subway station, beaten, kicked and savagely scarred, it had taken so much of her spirit just to learn to live again. The confidence, strength and hope she held as a child had been cruelly whisked away to be replaced by a forlorn desperation, a tragic suspicion of humanity and all that it entails. The free expression of her dance became the desolation of anxiety and fear. She lost herself in that subway station and for the longest time she was beneath the city, alone away from the lights upon which her youth had shone so brightly.

Deborah was now an advertising executive, her quest for fame had evaporated into an everyday quest for sanity, love, happiness and safety. Michael’s quest for sanity, love and happiness would be everlasting for longer. The safety New York afforded him within his own mind was fleeting, momentary images on a film slide designed for a much larger and much more complex idea of one’s own mental alacrity.

Chapter 2 : The Meeting

Michael lived in an apartment block roughly 100 yards from Central Park. It was perfect for him. He lived on the 8th floor which had an unobstructed view of every morning sunrise and the birth of New York into a new days beginning, the viciousness of what previously had passed replaced by an awakening of conscious light and a fascination into something newer and more than heartening. To write in this city was to live your words and to love in examples, to breath in beauty as it reigned, to sigh and swallow in evaporations, to walk and play in the shadows and the smiles, becoming with pride the people that held up as heroes or muses or wishes or wants. Life here was lovely.

Deborah lived two doors down on the 8th floor but until a certain point they were merely strangers. Strangers with a spirituality and a certainty of thought. They passed each other sometimes daily, most times weekly as life in a city should go. They never spoke but there was a palpable sense of something there, a tension, a feeling, an electricity of energy that felt wild to Michael, it got to him in his quietest moments and fuelled him extensively. This tension sprayed itself into his conscious and made him question why everything around Deborah felt different. He had felt a uniqueness his entire life but the moments where Deborah took control he felt confused by his own mortality, he lacked all control of body and thought and it frightened then excited him. The terror in this immediacy soon became a sense of passion and lust, then a vibrancy of creativity and an artistry of the visual, a foregone falling into the abstract of adversity.

He often wondered about her, he wondered if she too could fell his passion and intensity, he figured she knew something between them was always on the verge but never quite realised. It was a foreboding and a dread to imagine that her own sense of self was cloudless and free of Michael. A darkness of shadows caste within him, feelings and thoughts, deeper and darker, darker then brighter and joyful then happy, contented and lustful again. In circles in his head, moments set free then chained again, days and hours and time spent fascinating over this virtuosity. Then finally it happened.

As Michael was out walking in Central Park he heard a quiet but illuminating voice call out to him
“Help, Can you help me up?”
He peered across his right shoulder to a vision of a lady lying on the grass in some discomfort but without a certain sense of total helplessness. As he approached, his body suddenly and sweeping became indulged in its own world of satisfaction. His pulse was racing, he felt something strange but somehow comforting as if he knew this person without knowing who this person was. Deep down he knew already, deep down he knew all his life. It was her, it was Deborah.

“Oh hi, are you okay?” He asked casually not wanting to openly scream and holler and reveal that his muse was now sitting effervescent within his grasp.
“I’m so dumb, sorry, i was out running and i was listening to my headphones, lost concentration, tried to avoid running into a park bench and twisted my ankle, i am the worst” she was meek and shy and felt a sense of sadness at ending up this way but there was a total grace which only Michael could see at that moment and which would live within him long after their first meeting.
“Don’t worry, you’re not dumb, if i had a dollar for every time i had to pick up a lady who nearly fell over a park bench i would have precisely a dollar” that joke was needless and he immediately quivered but she did not look at him with disgust so he felt at ease and less strangled by a fear of himself.

He lifted her up putting her arm around his shoulder and carried her to the exact park bench which had tried to destroy her accidentally but instead had brought Michael and Deborah into a mindful meeting place. He secretly wanted to kiss the bench but more advisedly did not and instead resorted to another lame joke about her having to take out a lawsuit against the bench and in court having the bench approach the judge’s bench. Humour in his anxiety was Michael’s default for social situations. Unadvisedly so he thought to himself but it was the one comfort he had to avoid humiliating himself. His confidence in writing and expression was overwhelming but his lack of confidence in himself in everyday life was both taxing and suspensory. He was not half a man inside his own mind as he was free and outside of all thought.

Deborah quite appreciated some of his humour as it appeared or perhaps it was a falseness which comes with awkward situations and trying easily to avoid them or get through them quickly with platitudes and gentle graces. Either way he felt at ease now and Deborah was kind and beautiful anyhow. They sat on the bench for a minute then Deborah remarked that she recognised Michael as living down the hall from her and how supremely fateful it was to meet like this. The interest they both showed in this situation led Michael to a deep sense of joyful wonder and savage excitement but on the outside he remained calm, calculating and unaffected. He agreed that it was an unusual way to meet given they had lived as neighbours but only knew each other as casual strangers. Moreover though inside he felt that it was just the beginning.

Chapter 3 : The Fantasy

From that first meeting forward their relationship warmed. Michael still existed wholly self within his own world but the creative spark through which he found his motivation strengthened and vanquished over the dullest and most ordinary of November days. The caricatures and themes and plots which he explored became consumed in the idea that Deborah was to him what Nora Barnacle was to James Joyce, that flower of exploration which could only bloom once fully restored to its most beautiful of natural homes.

Michael’s apartment was small, tidy, awake and comfortable in its interior. It never left for a lasting sense of wanting something more. He had various paintings and artistry and books which enthralled his meagre ideals before alternative ideals became frontal such was the evasive nature in which he changed and moved from thought to thought.

His idea of Deborah as something everlasting seemed all too real to ignore. She quite liked him, he pondered, but without that greater burning sense of everything and always. They stopped and talked in the hallway and every so often Deborah came to his apartment for a visit and to gleefully immerse herself in his art. She was her own person but she felt a certain belonging to the idea of him as a hero. As casual meetings in the park go, it was more notable than most. It stayed with her and Michael became an interesting afterthought to Deborah, he was sure of this and secretly it disappointed him for he was engaged much further in the exploration of a certain romance.

As Michael’s creativity grew so did his sexual urges and his overwhelming passion for Deborah mesmerised and catapulted him. He knew that he desired her fully, he knew that the lasting ambition of his legacy was to love her infinitely and to explore her truly. He dreamt and dreamt of her, he wanted her, he thought he had her but having her was only ever fleeting and yet he knew he always wanted her. So still and perfectly he dreamt and thought, wanted and craved her. He knew he was younger, he felt her being older was a hurdle which needed crossing, somehow she was slipping from his grasp because he could not maintain in years the distance they had travelled in emotion.

Deborah’s short black hair was lustrous and sumptuous to him. He imagined the sheer delight in taking her slender body to bed and ready and able to claw and hold her head in his hands as he made her come. He lasted to kiss her neck and whisper in her ear and moan and expel delight as he thrust so passionately, so willingly and so completely inside her.

The fantasy within him was quick, bright and often arduous but so delicious and so very thrilling. He thought about her body and her mind, he wanted her intelligence and her soul, he needed all of her but that touch was indistinguishable and far away. He was restless at the notion that she would not take a younger lover, he felt her skin was made for just his taste, he felt her body was born for a devouring. He felt that she was his but she could never be fully his. The pain of life and a broken future had given him a sense of ill feeling, a wish that he could find a way to help her how he could. It had taken her so long to trust again but it would take forever for her to love again.

If only she knew how and what he felt, would it be so different and was different so much worse than the not knowing? He scattered thoughts of admittance well forth in his mind and examined the consequence of the admittance. But the avoidance seemed the better bet. It made him weaker but altogether safer, it made him cheap but the comfort in a lie of his own making allowed him to rescue his own process of emotion without the execution of a broken heart if once it would end up in a betrayal. He loved but he avoided heartbreak, he felt but he struggled to deal with any tacid rejection. He wanted her with everything he had but the aftermath of fury was so vivaciously unsatisfactory to him that instead he would stay in the longing for and avoid the countenance of actuality.

Chapter 4 : The Pain

For several months the distance between them had grown sharper. Michael blamed himself and mused on the idea that he had given away a certain idea of who he was to her and what he wanted and it was becoming too much. The devastation he felt was only compounded by his inability to communicate this to the world except through fables and musings in his work. It hurt and he felt it coldly, weakly naw away at him, rabid, incandescant, lurching backwards between his soul and the light that he rose up every day to find meaning in.

Deborah appeared to be away from him, torn from him untethered, meekly drifting skywards like a kite without a string, floating, tilting, shaking, gone in a second wind and up high cloudless but unforgotten. He worried. It ate away at him. He returned to his art but worried again. He stopped, thought of her, dark thoughts, happy thoughts, cold thoughts, warm thoughts, all thoughts, all of them and on and on again. He stood in the shadows of his soul, in the doorway of his home, cried and veered away from the everlasting for as long as he could hold out without dying.

They had not spoken in weeks, he needed to do something, he needed to become somebody else, for once in his life he needed to become somebody he could live before himself with and not just within himself forever, lost in ages. So he went to her, to her apartment. And he had never been there before. Deborah was private, she could trust but not trust so much. So she came to him, to feel safer she stayed away from where she lived and went to him. But now he went to her and it felt right. It was right.

Michael tamely knocked on her door and sometime later she adorned his presence. Deborah had been in the shower and so she looked perfect. Her face and skin glistened in the afterglow of happiness but as Michael searched deeply for what lay behind her eyes he felt a sadness and a sudden pain drifting through his body as if he could feel every inch of sadness that ever washed over her. This was fraught, this was the danger of sailing so close to someone you loved, admired and lusted after. Everything was felt, even the most innocuous of occurances was a strain on a core of empathy and compassion.

“Can we talk?”
“Sure, what about?”
“I guess i just feel that lately we haven’t talked as much and i don’t know why, something just feels off” Michael was aching to get to the reason for the distance save he would torture himself with ideas of his own insanity and fragility.
“Hmmm” she pondered for an eternity
“I’ve just been dealing with some things that are outside of anyone’s control so i don’t want to burden people or move in on them with my shit because its heavy” then he knew that she was sick, he knew that what he felt, the grief and stricken rafts of tears and tragedy had shouldered him to a place he knew his mind was already going.
“Oh no, damn, well whatever it is you can talk to me or not talk, just be you, just don’t shut me out, i care about you” If only Deborah knew how much he really cared, maybe that would finally be the catalyst to bring them closer. He pondered telling her then thought wisely of it, this was not the moment, this was not the time or place to make a move.

As Michael scoured her apartment he noticed the sheer greyness and blandness of everything. Nice, tidy kitchen, homely, decent and without taste except for a painting in the living room above the couch. He gravitated towards it and saw what appeared to be a simple painting at first, blue edges, dusted in a solid frame and filled with colours towards the bottom. He asked her about it. She told him an ex-boyfriend had painted it for her, one who had long since gone ashore, to Colombia she mentioned as an aside, to find his true passion or something relatively worthy but he had left her with a painting and thoughts of freedom. It intrigued Michael, he wondered if she loved him, had she really loved him and could she ever love him too, could she ever love anyone. Now he was tortured for another moment, the hollowness of silence delved into the abstract of all thought and bit away at him with a force fit for weeping.

“I love this painting, Michael. It is basically a sky but it is the most important one because he painted the colours underneath the blue as an examination of feelings and emotions. It symbolises what we go through every day because the sky is present every second of every day and so thoughts and feelings must always be present even in sleep. It helps me in my darkest moments”
And now Michael loved it too, he examined its texture and he figured he understood it better than she ever could, as an artist he believed in his own relevance more so towards understanding the adventurous further than those who could not write or create. But its meaning and its grace was inside of her so deeply, in a place that Michael dreamt of but so far unattainable and he longed for. He paused, mulled and tried to dull the senses that were screaming at him to portray his passion for Deborah so openly and wholly.

He venerated on the thoughtlessness of ill judgement and the causation of action relative to the remorse of what would follow but that painting had his attention and Deborah had him more than ever. But he did not have her. And he could never have her. And he knew she was sick. But the painting was a bridge towards her mind so he quested there. And then left her apartment, happy, humiliated and burdened by his inexactitude.

Chapter 5 : The Passing

It was sometime later before Michael discovered the truth. He knew in his heart if not in reality until much further on when Deborah found the courage of honesty to reveal that she had been diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis was dreadfully bad. This was not going to end well, an admittance which caused in Michael an overwhelming tsunami of denials and fabrications, bargaining and bluster. Her grief became more to him than almost to her. In Deborah it brought about a wider sense of calm and honourable acceptance. The bewilderment of horror replaced by a placid, almost vibrant sense of starting to love what little of life was left as if all life before was nothing more than a shallowness of space and time. A constant guiding of beauty into its rightful place, she was more than ever determined to live her life without self inflictions and recriminations. Nothing could destroy her if she refused to destroy herself.

Michael’s empassioned awakening reached a signal stop. The brutal devout nature which caused in him the wildest of realism and consistent dreaming had found itself stagnant with the coming to terms of what the future held for Deborah or more pointedly what the future did not hold for her. Or him. The vacancy grew tightly and stung at his heart without remorse or reason. He embedded the painful moments as a collage of purity against the backdrop of sudden blackness. The wild and wondering of playful passion rendered obsolete, remorseless vanities prayed against themselves like violins hollowing out the cracks in a broken future, resting in a box for all centuries and beyond.

And yet in their final moments he felt drawn to her, still. He thought about the countless hours spent living out a fantasy within a dream. It felt surreal and somehow appeared morbid to want to love her and make love to her but still he needed her and he always wanted her even in the lull when he seemed cooler and circumspect, there was a spark and a fury and a gravity so intense it gripped him until he was breathless and weak with anguish and full up on a fantasy. The agony of it always, the agony of Deborah was always so real to him.

After the cancer worsened, Deborah moved home to upstate New York and then she was gone. She went as quickly as she came into Michael’s life but not before she made him more than he had ever been before. Her discovery was the gem upon which Michael tried to harness beauty in lustful hours, days and weeks, in painful anger and between the sad rejection of what had came and went and all that would never be the same or equal ever again. His fondness for her grew in death, her memory ever so remarkable, unflinching and still raw, determined. He never felt alone, the memories strengthened into writing that became further enduring with a newer, doughtier sense of meaning. He wanted it that way. He knew he would be okay.

Before she drifted into the mystic of beyond, Deborah asked Michael if there was any of her possessions he wanted to keep as something to look back on or to refine further in his own memory as time passed. He chose the painting of the sky. That represented something far more terrific and meaningful than a simple painting. The soul of it was all those reasons for living life every day as if its the last and that painting was in Deborah more truly than he could ever live within her. He promised to love it, passionately, remarkably and admire its lasting foreverness. And he would cherish it, truly and tremendously.

A few weeks after she died, a letter came which Michael knew was from Deborah. She promised him she would leave a lasting message that he could hold dearly as a reminder of the all too brief time they shared in this life. As he rather hoped and expected the letter was touching and kind and filled him with both the joys of candid remembering and the soulless desolation of everything lost. In the final paragraph, just as his emotional toil had reached its nadir, something utterly unexpected would shock him. “By the way, sorry if the note i passed under your door way back caused you to think i was some kind of desperate slut, thanks for not holding it against me, i figured you didn’t feel the same way about me but thank you for not disowning our friendship, it meant a lot.” Michael lay there stunned, unable to comprehend a word of it. “What note?” “What did she mean by feel the same way?” Everything was rushing forward in his mind, all the terror and unkind thoughts a man could think lay waste to his soul. He desperately clung to the letter as he searched beside the door, behind the door and between the door for a note, anything that could explain this sudden atrocity of ill feeling. There was nothing there, everything was torture without an explanation. Michael quit on himself, he ached to quit on life. Nothing was right, all of it was unbearable mystery and tension borne from devastation.

Almost as if by chance or divine and gracious circumstance he noticed some Yellow paper peering tamely out from underneath the rug in the far corner by the window. He grabbed it but toiled with the idea of opening it for the contents would most assuredly render him vanquished. But he read it anyway and it was all he was expecting and so much more. Little did he know but leaving that window open on the most magical of New York mornings had caused the note to float gently from the floor to the far side of the room beside the window and hidden from his view until now. The idea of a note thrilled him and its reveal monstered his mind and his human yearnings. Deborah had wanted him but she could never find the courage of her voice to go further. It was all she had to find the words in a note to explain how she felt. Knowing that to reveal all would have left her exposed in such a way that the waking of waves would most probably have broken her and left her tarnished but in triumph or that sense of rejection would equally have finished her for every man. How must she have felt, loose and austere but alone for him and needing his touch, wanting him in ways only he could understand. They felt each other deeply but the courage of words comes only when a soul is truly free of its own rejection and awaiting release, a heart no longer entrapped by its darkened doom, blood rushing into fantasy and away from the moderate thoughts that shatter its playful youth. Thoughts are to render it plain and tepid, action is to impulse it and experience it eternally.

Michael stood there, tame and vanished, thinking over all the times he wished he had the courage of his convictions and the foresight of all action. He read the note again and realised further how far he could have been with Deborah. But the past had disappeared before him into the ground and he did not want to be buried yet. The realisation of all that came before sparked a glint in his eye and a resolve to be from there so different, to have another day not like that but the opposite, a day to love and live, a day to be beyond himself and whip the landscape from its tender solitude and love the sky she gave to him. And then love everything else.

Thoughts go far away and back

Rest is the soil beneath which i bury dark thoughts, those caste in mud and death and comfort and fallow in a yearning for their own forgiveness. The mast upon which they sail ahead is broken, trapped and beaten to its bow, the wailing cries of the damned have soldiered on to another crack in what was once a shallow smile. 

A rigid torture, borne from longing, brought out of its past into the bright and blue and daylight constant glossing hue, over meadows and over hills and forth from mysteries danced in stills begone on beaches played on land of shores that smoked their share to a dulling swarm. 

Beggers lake filled its gut on feeding our swell of lust, far away the miners played, trapped in games on life dismayed, brutalised by rock and fear, broken by the knocks that scare the swollen men and children fight inside the dimming swimmers spite, way up its head and hands outstretch to catapult endeavours edge, blackstream wilting to this water’s pledge, to hills go far away and back to soil, to death. 

Thinking In Hushed Tones

I still remember how i felt that day. The second time my father left us. It may as well have been the first or last because it stirred inside of me the first emotions of empty bitterness and betrayal which had previously been unaccustomed to my life story.

I was 8 years old and only recently became aware of the looming fact that the changing grasp of a universe i once thought existed purely to satisfy my lasting happiness had been replaced by a brooding darkness filled with joyless mornings and sombre Saturdays. I felt it in my heart, i felt abrupt and discreet when i peered out my front window at the awesome wonder that illuminated the grassy green opposite my house, knowing all the while that a cold, unyielding lull played its games deep within me.

That day of days when my mother sat me down to explain in tones of shrill sadness, still haunts me in ways that only those affected by the peerless abandon of hope could ever possibly need to understand. I left school that 4pm in May, a shy and smiling boy of innocence but i returned a shameful wreck of creaking unkindness. The schoolyard which once gave me the impression of youth as a base canvas upon which to discover the universe at its most beautifully diverse, was now a spoilt wasteland into which fell the limited tears and broken dreams of a forgotten kid buried in his own chasm of ever declining satisfied souls. My dearest mother, a woman who had bled herself to keep me safe, chose that day to break her recent silence about my father’s unexplained departure in a manner which softened my center satisfactorily but allowed for the deep and painful ache to worm its way plentifully without pardon or bashful lessoning.

“Come sit down a minute James” she rarely called me by my actual name. An event such as this was reserved for times of great triumph or catastrophic failure. The mere utterance of this sent me into a spinning gloom and shivers overcame my body in each split second until i heard her utter another syllable of speech. “I need to explain some things, i need to be honest about what has happened these past few weeks, i have not been honest or myself lately” this brutality of realism shocked me somewhat. I struggled to come to terms with its context or what she could possibly have meant. I had been acutely aware of the distance she had forced between herself and the outside world in recent weeks but been of that age i could not relate to her in a meaningful way so as to understand why this may have occurred. Too busy enjoying the worthwhile nature of a youth blessed in its own petty foibles, instead i passed her off as having the kind of troubles i see manifest themselves in my adult teacher every day. The unfailing ability to reach from cautious brooding to wholesome anger was something i had come to accept in general normality and i was to leave it unquestioned for fear of opening a strand of human emotion that could never be closed again.

My regretful response of “Oh” was somewhat lacking in any definitive thought but borne out of a failure to properly contemplate what doom was about to be unleashed upon my life. “I know this is going to be difficult to hear but your father has not taken short term leave to work abroad helping the disadvantaged” she muttered almost cautiously and with a quivering lip dying into her mouth as if the mere mention of an actual truth was somehow a catalyst for the heart and childish innocence within her to finally be swallowed into a swoon of unabashed anguish.

The fearful but forthright nature with which she approached this had taken me aback and given rise to a fuller sense of myself for the first time in my little life. I was brutally aware of everything. The tears which had so far kept quiet within themselves were suddenly unleashed between her eyes, as a release of every solemn moment beforehand led to that one display of pure and virile melancholy. For the first time i had come to see mother’s raw and unflinching pain betrayed before me without a worry of saving me from the harsh realities of what unquestioned loss can do to a human being’s sense of suffering. Still a child or not, this was the day i became a man.

I gathered my senses momentarily. Enough to search her face for clues as to what possible alternative meaning there could be behind such an appalling statement. The plain view naivety was assuredly within me. How could this possibly be true? How could any of this be real? Was i to dare question the woman who had succeeded in giving me the warmest embraces on the worst mornings and taken the best care of me when i fell deathly ill? This was the newest departure for her, a moment recoiled in terrible betrayal for both of us. How could it be that she would dare lie to me and how was it ever possible to believe that my father had really disowned me like an unwanted animal sent for mocking to a shelter? None of this could be real and yet deep down i knew that mother’s deep and seering sadness was the only sign i needed to know that my life had irrevocably changed and the painless pride with which i strode my path would be replaced by a seething angry stomp over cracks in the pavement. Cracks which more than concrete could surely never fix.

“What do you mean he hasn’t taken short term leave. Where is he then?” was my prolonged and long overdue response. I felt like an inquisitor, a serial investigator baying for answers from a frightened prisoner. Maybe it was too much to expect mother to have all the answers, perhaps its the natural childlike manner to seek such fortune from such tragedy but i forged ahead with a look of silent seeking in my soul.
“I..i…i.. i need to tell you things about your father you may not want to hear” she said interrupted only by her own sharp unwillingness to reveal too much of her own grief in a sentence. “Okay” i reverted back to short and disdainful retorts but i wanted this to be over, nowhere near anticipation but in a dismissive manner as if i wasn’t remotely prepared to hear the home truths which had until that point been so engrossed in envy at my carefree childhood.

“You see, the thing is with your father…” was wholly followed by an indeterminable pause that felt like one long and indifferent arch. “the thing is with your father…. he decided to leave and i don’t know when he’s coming back, i don’t know if he’s coming back” now the sheer vagueness that accompanied this utterance, quite puzzled me. The tears which hitherto overflowed were now replaced by a softness in her eyes, a certain abandonment of thought, a resealing of old wounds to be gutted in by equally immortal, callous and deep new ones. Mother was healing the news of heartbreak by gathering in my nervous vigour. Her focus had shifted to me and how news of my father’s departure was going to affect the deep recesses of my young mind.

“You don’t know if he’s coming back? Why?” At this point i was so obscured by the softness in her approach that it hadn’t dawned on me that a person of adult age could simply decide to leave of their own free will without a moment’s thought for those they so brutally leave behind. “James, your father doesn’t belong with us any more. He needs to be in a different place right now. Its not anything we have done, its his choice” Hmmm, her attempts at justification were fallow but worthy. I could sense an unease in how her manner changed. Her hands were shaking rapidly, her fingers slowly taking aim against the cushioned covers beside her thighs. This moment was bereft of a silver lining, she waded through her amplified vocabulary to find the reasoning that may satisfy me wholly but such an impossible task would always come up short against the shock and horror a moment such as this would reign down upon a child. It was necessary but unsatisfactory, it was plentiful but exasperating.
-“How could he just leave us? It’s not fair, its not right”
– “I know its not fair, James but none of this is your fault, our fault. This is him”
– “I don’t care, what kind of awful person would do that”
At that point a sudden, swift, embodiment of reality swept its way inside of me. This was the very first time that a real sense of grief had descended to me. The hollowness of feeling, the anger and despair, the lack of reasoning, the wept shores which mother had so proudly displayed as truth before me were all the surest signs that this was not a simple childhood event that needed explaining. This was the unravelling of perfectly sealed satisfaction, unwound on the world to be ravaged by the unjust foil of adulthood. A child shall remain a child but an adult can swoon his sword without fearful reproach or lustful examinations of his attempted anarchy.

Mother’s pity for myself was confounded by the enormity of the situation. “I am so sorry, so very sorry” Perhaps, looking back i allowed too much of it to fall on her. The weight of burden lay heavy like a cloud bleached in the blood of a thousand terrors. The enormous sense of feeling left us both misjudged and somewhat escaped. There in the moment but hardly ever there.
-“Its not your fault mum, its him. We are together, please don’t leave me”
I felt weak and uncomfortable, ripe for the picking. The scars had begun to peel away so many layers and the immense frustration overcooked the thoughts running through my head. Thoughts so unclear but rabid and fascinating, nonetheless.
-” I will never leave you, i promise. You are all i have in this world, all i love and all i need. I am here with you forever” This momentarily comforted me. The solemn shaking disappeared, gracefully but only fading into the background, not fully unkept. It maintained distance but nervousness remained equi distant.

For now i wish my mother had chosen that day to explain to me that my father had left us some years previously. This time he had done so in darkest winter. I was only 3 years old so what little grasp i had on the waking hours of daylight, i am sure i would have had little chance of processing his absence much less discerning any possible future correlation from such an occurance. I understood why my mother shielded me from it back then but by 8 i felt old enough to deal with the unfolding drama which en masses swallowed up my tenderness and time. Much later when she died and in my father’s letters to me, i felt a great sense of regret that i never found the chance to discuss with her the full scale of human devourment she suffered at the cold dead hands of my repulsive father. For her, a woman who so bravely met such challenge, the light diffused in her heart was so easy to see flicker and flame out as the years went by but in my own selfish style, i reverted to the casual talk of simple platitudes and mundane mockings. How so much of life past could have altered swiftly with a little thought or tolerance.

As i learned too late to changed our fate, my father, a precipitous railway worker at the time, developed a keen eye for the many various groups of travelling musicians that would pass through his station day after day. To him they lived the kind of life he yearned to be free within. Their vacancy from responsibility thrilled him much more so than the actual sound of their music. That was temporary, their alterior existence was permanent. Every Tuesday their joyous patter on the platform was gloriously followed by the faint humming of a cloud nine song that he sometimes failed to fully grasp but one that never failed to intrigue the wanderer inside of him. He could hear joy and music but more than both he heard a life which promised him the etheral servitude and distinct fancy which had so far eluded his conscious failings. He never felt so free as for the moments when he could surrupticiously hum along to such tunes as he may never have known but therefore loved. He knew that he had to get away and disappear to alternative innocence before the plain and simple sickness of bored reality drove him to decisions that would crush the hope of all who surrounded him. I could never have forgiven him for such selfish acts as to be the ones bestowed upon us but at this later point in life i had a surer sense of why my young life had been ripped so viciously from its roots without fear of waking.

My earliest memories were the happiest ones. And surely they all seemed to exist in sunshine. Perhaps its wistful and delusional to only see life in those terms but my very early passions were fuelled by the unmistakable sense that brightness was the only polemic on which to lay foundations for living. We lived on the side of a hill between a house, another house and a row of shaking sheds which come winter became home to the animals who forever determined that hibernation was not their muse. Out the back plumed a lake or a stream, i was never sure what to call it. It flowed eloquently west, its drops dripping in beautiful elegance as it strode naturally to its resting place. A home such as this could never have been built on less than sweetness. I spent days searching for tadpoles, weeks a plenty by life’s end, trailing their feet from one end all the way to the ridge where the stream embraced its future and move past mere delights. The simplicity in the silence was thrilling. But for the sound of splash and the curious ache of small fish swimming against the tide, there was only silence and sight, perfect and as wondrous as you could ever hope to discover in sunlight.

My first pain felt so vicariously strange. When i was 4, i cut myself chasing a rabbit through the listless fields between the house and the other house that was across from our house. By then my father had left home and returned, the first time. Unaware of such fuss or the inconceivable thought that adult life could afford such distractions, the harshest pain forthcoming was the ability to graze my shinbone on a wire fence chasing such extravagant extremes. The cut was shallow but stung, my pride was overwhelmingly stated and momentarily left to exclaim its own virtue without success. My mother however, a woman so adept at curing the most fullsome of ails set about restoring the very confidence which had been forlornly broken. “Now honey, the next time you chase a rabbit, make sure and catch him before you make it to that fence” She was a great woman, who’s first thought was not to scold me for my attempts at such petty playfullness but to remind me that getting knocked down in life does not mean one should stay down. Pain is but a wound waiting to be healed, short and sharp, unrelenting but baying to be thwarted. The only wilting needed is from those who simply do not have the strength to subdue.

We endure because the alternative is frightening. We exhale because breathing life is the only excuse not to die. As minimalist as that may be, each breath is the forward stride to take us from beginning to end and back to begin again. So as i sit here and remember the people, places and torture that led me this close,  i wonder if i have made the right decision. I wonder if its all for nothing or can it be for something, if the lasting effects of blurred life can be categorized as merely unfortunate circumstance or is it something more. The thud and clash of thunder reverborating inside my head, the glances and glimpses become flash floods circling the hollow recesses of my soul. The vibrancy of a once youth delicately destroyed as remorseless angst played chords of unsurity softly against my better judgement. I feel weak but this weakness does not destroy me. The thought of dying does not victimise me. I have searched so long i am no longer lost. The only assuredness against the flood is the timeless ticking of promise but everything it portrays gets swept inside the vulgarity of variables. The promise of such beauty comes rarely without scars. I can still see the tadpoles paddling against the stream with a hopeful nod and a wink of charm, i can still feel the sting on my shin from when i cut myself. I can still hear mother’s words so delicately tearful and tragic, i can hear her voice so agonisingly angelic. I miss her more now than every day since she passed away, my heart begs for hope but all i feel is hopeless. The light that burned so bright and once burned out, is now a short candle with both ends whispering in the wind. The flame is turned to smoke, deathly calm and devoured. The day before me is dark, shattered, woeful and stolen, the years in front of me are hell, unkind, wasted, broken. So as i sit here with all my life exemplary, i feel nothing for saviours and no sympathy for aching. I am not lost because i have never been found. Shortly the train is coming, i have spent so much of today thinking, soon i must go.

In A Forest Of Hope, All Is Not Lost

In a forest of hope, all is lost. The sound of intimidation and reverb splitting the branches and breaking through the chipping knots. The noise of waking, blindly played into its place a swift and solid shaking.

In a forest of light, all is forgiven. The insects and animals behave as one being, becoming unique as each one delivers into the day, a treasure cemented by its new found bravery. All light in their eyes, all spectacle surrounded.

In a forest of sin, all sin is equal. The depths ploughed alone ones of venture and vanquish, tarnished and tragic. Casting out two rows of jealous lilting, sweet and softly the voices heard from heaven, they remain within.

In a forest of darkness, the night is a lie. To a hopeful wonder spilt on a soft spoiled promise, with the aching of millions bled into a moon of purple. And beyond, up up and beyond, to the darkness as our souls become one.

In a forest of trees, each one alive. And torn into the dead ache of muddy mashes, emerging to a greater sense of purpose and falsified by style. Reworked and revoked, each leaf construed by construction, these trees shine as if forever never leaves.

In a forest of hope, all is not lost. The remains of trickling water and subtle sound and passions plied under duress, the counting of ticks and solemn smells withering the wonder where the dew bells lay. In conversation with passing time, in glorious aftertaste and meddling minds of May. In a forest of hope with a swell of dismay, there still beats the promise of each day after day.

The Black Lung

He crowded himself by the fireplace. A cold and violent rain persisted far outside the window in the corner. His thoughts turned to the sadness of what had happened, his eyes half filled with decent tears and half with rain. His soul shaking with the screaming torture, this pain somehow stunning and also quite inevitable. Out there is evil, despair and darkness, inside there is warmth, love and longing.

The dim coat, now almost torn and thrown over his shoulder so passively and just a placeholder, to save him from a prolonged death, a freezing so mature in its ways, set up to aggressively capture him in its claws. Fighting it every second, hoping for the momentary joy that comes in the realisation of escape, but what is really escape where there is lasting terror?

He spoke of the “Black Lung” and made it sound irreverant, deep and powerful. “It came so quickly, i had nothing. It struck me so forcefully i could not move” Its violence pursued inside him a prayer, he turned to a higher power, as if salvation could be captured in a last second return to faith while all around him became swallowed by their surroundings.

This “near death” changed his mood, altered his view on everything. In a split second he went from carefree fool to conscious thinker of reality. His words were luscious, long and without meaning. They were nervous words, fought off by an anxiousness previously unseen in his ill forgotten world of screaming and pious partaking.

“Only a man can see his true soul when the end is placed in its comfort” These phrases were aloft and pushed to other people, his determination somewhat enthralling and always deeply distressing. A changed man is an awkward concept, it allows for interest but only once you cut through the insanity and short moment selfishness. It can be both beautiful and sad, thrilling and awful. It wrecks the vain wishful commonness of man’s thinking but overflows a mind with putrid nonsense that has little to do with actual reality, a new reality or a deeper finding of ones nouveau self examination. It can find greatness or it can find a vacuum.

Inside the fire, one constant flame flickered and rolled up the side of the chimney, like a pathway or a message, a sign that he had escaped by following its light from the heart of the burning into a corner, dark and brooding and safe from death or desire. He followed it with his glazed eyes, each time secretly hoping it changed course on its journey. But it never did. That flame was for him, it stayed constant, it was all or nothing.

Outside the rain unrelented. The glass panes on the terrified windows, shook with the sound of thrashing, a beating taken by the elements of nature, remorseless and unforgiving. The world outside was wild and useless, it brought a pain rarely felt with such force when a soul is wrapped up in the comforts of light and fire. He turned to a clock in the corner and he hadn’t noticed that his musings on life had taken over an hour of what remained in the unmeasurable timescale of his life. This is what happens when fear is everywhere and passionate, his words had become sentences, his sentences had become paragraphs, paragraphs had become chapters and suddenly all time was rendered immortal for it swept all reason into its centerfold.

The savagery of this night, the darkness of the unfolding was only now starting to truly hit home. The senseless half death of the “Black Lung” had swallowed more than victims, it shook his core and left in its wake a terror that needed only a moment’s notice to ravish its prey. Intoxicated by the smell of damp, dank scum cycles. Fantasised by the fireplace, a wishing wild and pondered upon for all eternity. Take him whole and bring him home, risen from the land below. He sat in silence for a few minutes, refusing to move as if moving would somehow be disingenuous to his previous train of thought. Suddenly, he stood up, took one look at the constant flame still barrelling its journey upwards to the sky, spoke in barely heard words of comfort to himself and to the night and stepped out from himself into the adjoining room to say goodnight.