The double drummer accents the beaten heart. Take a deep breath and inhale. Perspiration crawls out our eyes for what we have dared to see, enduring the years locked in a moment. Not of wonder. How much better to survive even when you cease to be necessary. Father’s words were never mine to keep. She turns the head as he learns the hard way home. Never cease to be necessary in the bullsweat of silence. Enduring love holds you hostage to freedom. A twinkle of an idea that winks at your foolishness. You earned it too. Your coffee is late.
“As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles.”
– Walt Whitman
It has been noticed that I sometimes hold mine as she does hold her own. I wasn’t aware of that until it was pointed out to me. However in my case it may have more to do with the sack of fluid pressing on the nerve which restricts the fingers and forces the hand into a mildly clenched form when not active. Or it might just be that I am my mother’s son and have inherited a physical trait of hers.
Last December she told me that before I was born she prayed for another boy. She had read an article in a Reader’s Digest magazine titled ‘If your dreams came true’, and that was her dream. I was her dream come true. I was a little startled when she shared that with me. The idea of being someone’s dream is rich food for contemplation. Naturally I was destined to disappoint somewhere years down the line. Lawyer was not becoming of me with my head high up in the clouds. And there are some other things on the vicarious life through your children box that I didn’t tick off. But the hands have not failed to live up to the weight of dreams if not expectations. I’m not the baby in the picture and I’m not the differed dream. Just the dreamer still working with troubled hands that turn inwards but reach out for impossibilities like love. Some do wonder if fate and destiny, like some parents, have favourites. And yet children take sides too. I had only the hands of my mother so there was never a choice to be made. The bastard is fathered by the world he reconfigures. Made up mentors in books and elsewhere fill up his imagination. He chooses to love. He chooses to believe. He chooses to never give up. Bolder than stone. He chooses the hand he was not dealt and the hand he has not felt, to hold. And to be held, not held back.
When I was a child I was taken to see a Palmist who revealed something that would happen to me when I was older. It happened but I survived. Do not let people speak into existence your present or future if it is not for the good of your life. And that goes for your children too. When I was lying in bed in hospital in 2014, looking through an open window, I rejected those words spoken over my life. A hard lesson learnt. I spoke words of my own aspirations and decided I would live on. God would have the last word. And the hands of time would have to fall in line.
Once upon many moons ago, I met an elderly Japanese Haiku poet in Borders on Oxford Street. A favourite hang out spot of mine in the olden days. He told me his life story in the little English that he knew. A fast friendship was forged. He didn’t have a place to stay so he would spend his daylight hours in the book store and rely on the kindness of strangers, then at night he would wrestle with the odds and chance at finding somewhere to sleep, with all his earthly belongings in a bag for company.
I’ve been thinking about sleep a lot lately. I think about the line in Act IV of Macbeth. The lady’s inability to sleep without the light around her because of her fear of the dark. I’ve been in a dark place too and I have been awake through much of it. Sleeping with the light on in the dark. What light? Sometimes I watch the moon till my eyes tire enough to turn in. I rarely sleep without some light on inside my head. But getting back to the poet. He said to me “be the moon.” What did he mean? Light a way for yourself or someone in need. Perhaps that’s not what he meant but he wrote those few words in a book of his poems that he gave to me. I still wonder what became of him.
To be the moon. To turn the tide. An idea. Light as possibility. Light as love. Uncovered by night. Unbroken by morning. Even as we mourn through dark days and tread lightly on the minds of those who are dear to us, not wanting to hurt the gentle soul that has been pressed down to the bare bones of indifference in the war of being human. Naked enough to be badly disguised by the masks that silence sees through. And does the light come through when we lie? To each other? To ourselves? And do we die if we do not grasp it? Love. Light. The Moon. Us.
There I was, sitting in the not knowingness. Not a word of corner comfort. Slow burning away in deep space with a mystery. Unsolved. The reward for my unwilful ignorance was six stringed. The fairer the sex, down stroked, the bar chord is tinged with melancholy. This blackberry was sweet but so was I. All of my honey for burnt toast. The sex of it, long behind the love that held on to an idea we dreamed up. But I was blind of heart and nature is in the killing business of kindness. Venus kind, closing out after clamping up, let’s raise a toast for my burns, I’m growing out of my eyes and years.
Flares will catch you. Not when you see them coming. Moving cool. Not while she occupies your precious time in mind. Dress rehearse the face you will wear when you are recognised by the heart yours mines for.
Flares will learn you well. Before you turn off the lights that bend at corners. Prosperous cheaters of nature’s law of one, hand out your fate full of the spiced choices you picked off like snipered scabs. Your lowers knew of the powers desire thrusts into language. You can’t speak it. Only of it.
Openings. Portals for longing’s quest. Finesse the eyes that hunger to see a world dressed to the nines in grace. Love lives in tales of bowler hats on sweethearts leaning loafer smooth, to peddle footsteps like silk on skin. Peeled awake. Thoughts tie down arms that hold down the city’s doubts. Soon to fly through clouds that pillow the noise of your mind’s traffic.
As the world rises down in flames, there is still the possibility that our hearts can remain open. Blood binds us all. A transfusion of possibility. That’s the one drop rule that men born of women did not need to legislate for it to be true.
My empathy rides the crocodile. My tears hold me accountable. Protect my hope. Love is a protest, witnessing in the dark with the delinquents who make a claim for the light. I dare to see you. Not through you. Where you crawl. Where I hide. Marrow of bone. Matter of life. A bridge between aspiration and despair. I’ve climbed your timeless stories that tell of what you saw before you knew. Babies. Your babies. Before you knew them. Before you saw the world through their eyes.
The face of your love, it strikes you cold as you stroke on time, with hands tied behind backdrops in the frame of futures that know what you did with your prime.
Is it criminal to love the changes but hate the life that runs into the fire to make you notice her in your rear view? Ass to mouth, the blade cuts both ways. Let’s not pretend you understand the dialect of her silence.
That a poet is at the mercy of his muse, and that my love for her can not save me from the choice she makes to hide from us. What we were will always be before us. She will never be free of the moisture of me. I marked her for alltime when I bit into the neck of her soul to engrave my name inside her.
Wash me with your eyes my love, once more, before you take me to bed, that I may sleep beside your returning curiousity that turned me out.
I am unclean from feet to follicle, yet the unfed Raven nests on my crown of crumbs but she does not eat off me like the hands I once held inside my womb shaped heart when you hungered for my touch. Nurtured us in longing with the wettest kiss mistaken for hope.
My locks have been divided by fangled thieves of circumstance who add up my time and subtract me from you. The temple has been desecrated since I allowed you to enter me, with the gentle force of your indifference. And I have only you to wear though worn out by the distance between us.
Then become me, so that I am forever yours.