her face was just a crack
a study in sorrow
once full of joy and heart
now sunken and depressed into itself
She wasn’t old
a creature of youth and great beauty was She
but such depth in Her eyes
and oceans of feeling in Her smiles
Her long fingers were graceful and elegant
and in their fragility hinted at Her core
about to shatter
but believe me when I say
She was strong
so many demons and evils did She face
and not one conquered Her
though each left a mark on Her
what do they say now?
no, wounds heal and scars remain
although for Her,
Her skin is still Her skin
Her face still Hers
not for Her a disfigured atrocity
yet you see the scars
like the permanent scorch of an intense fire
or the insidious slice of a sly knife
under layer and layer of…
She does not hide
She does not seclude herself
She is strong.
She is brave
She is weak
She is frightened
She is beautiful
yet so full of scars is She
She felt him.
She now felt periodic kicks and tugs inside. And they calmed her. Reassured her. It told her that the baby was still healthy.
What others would have bemoaned as pain and hurt from a tiresome little worrier, she welcomed.
But there were still days when the cold fear gripped her hard.
The day she lost control of her right hand frightened her so much that for weeks after it returned to normal she kept waking up in the middle of the night, checking and rechecking that it was unharmed.
The day her hair fell, she cried and cried and cried. She’d loved her hair. It was vain of her to do so. To attach so much to such a simplistic part of herself when many around her were dying in droves.
For the The Plague still continued its deadly rampage. Those who hadn’t succumbed to it had died of poverty and starvation. Shops closed, streets fell into disrepair all on their own for absolutely no visible reason.
It was quite perplexing to be honest. As if The Plague was sucking up the very lifeblood of the Earth. Not just affecting the people but nature too.
But today Elena was happy. Chris had finally gotten a new job. After months of doggedly searching and chasing, he’d landed a small position as a clerk at the District Council Building. The pay was poor and the hours long but it was better than nothing. And Philippa’s penny-a-week helped. Barely.
She sometimes hated herself. Elena. To be so helpless when everyone was working so hard. She was so unused to all this laying around and not doing anything. Hers weren’t the idle ways.
But she could not do much. Lifting an empty pail off the ground made her spine crackle like that of a wizened old now and by now, she’d realized.
Staying still and bored, she was in much less pain and of much less pain to others.
A seat on the bus is my solace
The road is a moving carpet
Moving me away from home
And I wish I could get off this ride
But this journey doesn’t end anytime soon
Just when you get accustomed
To the slow pull and push of the wheels
And the creaking seats
It jerks to a stop
Or turns down an unseen alley
And you wonder where you’ll end up
The signs pass me by
Each one a reminder of how much further
My home is getting to be
Yet the wind on my face smells of promises
And whispers of wishes
Where the skyscrapers trap you in a vortex
Of power and cold hard cash
And the people bustle in a mechanical staccato
The power strides, the cigarette ash and the taxi doors
Opening and shutting
Ever so exciting and frightening
It begs the question:
Would the city swallow me up and spit me right out?
Or accept me as indifferently
As a machine does a cog?
Yes the winds of change hits me in the face
Quite too literally
And the past tugs me hard
So that I know not which way to turn anymore.
Her feet slowly fall on the slabs
Cold, hard and unrelenting in their grey
She treads lightly
Afraid of making an impression
Or making anyone remember this moment
As the moment
She ran away
She should have faced the music
So abrasive and discordant
But music nonetheless
There was a rhythm to it
A hard vindictive beating
But her best just wasn’t good enough
The stories of courage she heard on the TV
were just stories
fairy tales of hope
But in the end all empty
So her footsteps fall slowly on the slabs
The light of the lamps betray her
Yearning for the dark she tiptoes
But the old wrought iron watchtowers
on the street corners
All point accusing beams of light at her
But what cause do they have
To accuse her of any misdeed
When she so clearly was the one
Stuck on the wrong end of the bed?
Your eyes, they’re…
My god it’s bright
A gentle burnishing
Run over your skin with a feather brush
And your touch is light
It threatens to pull me up too
Feet leave the ground
And all I can do is
Look at your face
And your eyes, they’re…
I don’t think I’ve ever seen
I don’t call it beauty
You’re not pretentious or fake
A light patter of snow or small
Is enough for you to smile
Who cares for glitter or glamour?
Let them have their star-studded mirrors
And their hollow diamonds
What we have is precious
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Or Heard
It’s like lightning
When your eyes look at mine
A spark and a fizzle
The night’s lit up
The mad rush won’t die down
Electricity and brightness
Glazing over the heat
Touching our skin
Setting off impulses
And the darkness is not darkness
We create our own light
From touch to touch
From gaze to gaze
For our souls are interlocked
In firm and pulsating embrace
Nerves tingling in the dark
But the darkness
Is not darkness
It was cold, dark and ever so secret
And we started
We all turned up that day
All of us looking forward to the rush
The rush of nail biting anticipation
The roiling feeling
Of ever present danger
It was a twisted game we played
That left nothing to chance
But we all turned up anyway
Hooked on the feeling
Of victory and dread
Of winning and losing
We hid when we played
Far away from prying eyes
But close enough to be able to shout for help
Or simply remember who we were
We all sat around
And waited with eager eyes
For the die
Our breaths were short
And hands shivering in the warm
And the die was cast
We watched it tumble
In that moment nothing else mattered
The black and white was everything
The spots entranced us, bewitching
Until it came to rest
And looked up at one of us
Grinning in evil
And barely hidden glee
The spell broke then and we stood up
Shook the dust off our shoes and coats
And made haste chitchat
And when we left the doorway
Each of us looked back
The house was forbidding and dark
But we’d return anyway later
But not for some time
For the game was done and the die cast
And someone was going to die
And when they did, we’d all be back
Gambling again and again
Till we get it right.
It’s past midnight
The bustling metropolis is no more quieter though
Look at the meth-heads traipsing by
But not just them and carefree birds like us
Nope, not a call darling
Hey, you’re running empty
Let me fill ‘er up for you now.
Oh but isn’t it magical, here and now?
Who gives a damn for the cold?
This ain’t December
But you can have my coat
Chivalry lives love
And not even this blessed bottle here
Can make me forget about your celestial beauty…
You think I’m lying?
Have you seen the way your hair falls
and your eyes look sleepy
and bright and shiny and sleepy?
Have you seen how good you look in a sweater
hugging a hot mug of coffee?
And oh god your smile?
I know it’s a cliche but when you smile…
Damn that’s beautiful. Almost poetic in its simplicity
But you have your complicated moments too
Oh forget all that though!
Forget your tantrums and drama and shit
Here we are, walking along
Amidst meth-heads and Taxi-cabs
Here we are.
That’s all there ever is.
And that’s enough for me.
Being crowned by a quivering hand
The gleaming gold traded for dull dry paper
A farce! A farce!
But the throne is true, the crowd attentive
Yet t the hand and the crown strike strange
Flying over the seabed now
My wings are dry and soaked
Is this water imagined and false?
But the fish swim true and seaweed wave
Only my wings are out of place
And now I am among the crowd
Applauding a false king
His crown is paper and a skeleton crowns him
But we applaud him nevertheless
For he is our king
And here I am swimming underneath the ocean
I am a fish!
But here comes a man with wings on his back
Wings that flap and drive him on under the sea
And somehow it looks alright.