What did you see? Only the lie of everything I thought I knew. About people I will never know. It is the silence that knows my heart best and honours my pain. No bullsweat. No story to trade for my crocodile tears that part reason from deeply felt confusion. Clearly seen. I still stare. Thirty nine times I was a candle to the flame of fallacy and waxed lyrical just for sake of saying something. And I will never know exactly which long words chased away the feline that stuck me with daggered eyes in my day dream. I never saw her enter the way she left us. But I am awake now with a loaded cock. Pulling on my love, I will not shoot to cure the disease of wanting to be inside her. Let it fester, as time tends to an immortal wound.
Wide shut while you were open. Wide open while he was shot. The trojan Horse is led to water by the willing eyes that woke the fears that do not sleep. Needy eyes. Too open to see. Too close to everything that distracts their vision and attracts their confusion. Order out of chaos. Death controls them. Annointed eyes with the oil of sleep. You fear what you can’t control. Love.
Metaphors provoke the page, that words might march the field of battle to muddy the water of our discontent.
Eyes roam across the cold grass in search of the pearls that fell out of our mouths as we ran into wonder.
Discreetly. Ever so slow to open that door to right now. I already caught you, when you fell head first into my heart.
I fell into you. A lucky catch. You caught me before my eyes landed on yours. Wide open. Iris to nose. I was born wild before I lived in you, but I was so eager to escape into a world with more breathing space to fail. Now when you crawl on your feet to get a word to me, I crawl on my knees to serve you.
Teenage dreams were purple, I wore blue and saw red when it got to me. Temper the beast with green, and watch it grow on the other side of the grass I inhaled. Roll without it. Like luck. Washed out. Like denim. Once or twice. Leaves and lies.
Teenage love was letters sent to her mother’s address, with words that spied on her thoughts. She thought. And she’d reply in kind and cursive, signed with a four letter promise of peace and hair grease.
Teenage fears were dying young without knowing that I ever was. I stole and ran, got caught once. A cast hand was clutched by desperation. Who writes poetry for a mute heart? If they didn’t kill me in Harlesden then it wasn’t my time.
Teenage hope was a prayer and a song to quell an asthmatic larynx and shoot hoops to high school glory. It was trying to master lessons of speech therapy and fulfill the prophecy of a Physio. A narrow Queen’s Park corridor was a palace of practice to double dribble and carry my fate quietly.
Paul. Medgar. Malcolm. Martin. Bodies of murder. Not all by the bullet. Hazel. Claudette. A day for one. A day for all. Slow death tames the loud and proud. They burried the living and laughed with them as they turned pages and cheeks. Mighty like Jehu. Zealous too. Lap the water with cuped hands and you keep your eyes open so that you don’t fall for the dream that sleeps with your unfaithful heart. That young man you see is that old man that sighs. Been here before. Been new. Been clean. Been old for sure. Been dead. Some die to live. Some love to death. And some tarry with the years they accumulate. Caesar takes his cut but no deals with black messiahs. Hoover up the Hamptons. Freddie’s dead as Curtis said. Been here before. Known the soil like they knew soul food. Like cotton. Like candy. Like us. We were sweet. We were lovers. She loved him dearly. Loved us to life. Dreams. That’s what it was. We were ideas. Not fixed. Not defined. We were possibilities for the pulled trigger to decipher. And bullets explore continents with names like Robeson. Evers. X. King. Scott. Colvin…….. ……… ………. ….. ……. ……… ….. …… …… ……. ……. …….. …….. ….. And years blow back to hunt the now before we wake with ideas to fix and define today.
Blood is only as thick as the cake mix added and stirred with it. You can put blood in the spotlight but it won’t dance on command. The blood howls. Its lashes out. It bites. Its unruly. The splatter is our history. Maybe blood will not reconcile with blood. Maybe they will find sacred ground and tread lightly around the pain. At a distance they might greet cordially and in their small talk they might reveal things they will not explicitly say about how they feel. That cake mix is not going to hold together the fragility and mistrust. Time won’t cast lots and aspersions to see who surrenders a position of advantage on a Chess board. But a thousand words in a photograph knows all too well that it won’t matter in the end. Who was right? Who was wrong? Did she hold you firm? Did she kiss your cheek? Did she brush your hair as your helpless torso rested on her lap? Did she watch you crawl to her when she returned from work to a cold appartment shared with hangers on? An abode of drifters taking refuge with a half wanted child and a mother who stayed the course, when the river pulled at her hem. Mothers and daughters and the waters between them….
Painting by Piyali Muni
Perhaps the light knew something I didn’t before I walked into studio C without a plan. Just loose ideas and the accumulation of years lived. The life I’ve been privileged to endure and delight in, tells on itself on such occasions as this one. Both sides of a coin put in a bid for what my heart subconsciously knows. I’m still learning to speak an old language.
Your mind drinks the sound of rain. Nurtures peace. Paints possibilities. Come take your bow and find your sweet music in me. Play your song as tender as a mother’s embrace. I won’t leave you for treasures of Gold. We are bound as one. Night and brown. Round in tone. We chase dreams for fun. And when I hear your voice speak through the hollow of my body, it resonates in the realm of the unseen. A language for healing hurts. We escape into the melody. A step ahead of the drift but not too far behind the beat. The tempo of my heart quickens when I see you smile in C sharp. Your joy dances across the strings that keep me sane.
In a world of sand papered expressionists. Of clowns with crooked faces, and shiny knights made of Marzipan wishes come true, I find you in those quiet moments when the noise of grown ups fades into the shadows with your tears. I’ll never leave you for Emerald and Sapphire.
Play me again when I’m old and despised. I’ll be in the hollow waiting for you to release me from the indigo silence, that we might travel once more into new colours unimagined. Brighter than we ever sounded before. Lighter than the weight of careless words aimed at us. Stronger than fear’s hope to bring us down below the groove of love. Not for Ruby and Amethyst
Not for Diamond and……
Lady luck rides the train, we’ll meet on the overground, an octave below the humming that signals a new day. Arise with expectations to make new chapters with crayons and chalk.
Cheapest words are spent on most precious things, food for your thoughts is washed down with red wine for your fears.
Her imagined lover mutes his tongue and silence screams his adoration, even the trees hear his sighs and cover their ears, too loud and violent, a howling in the sly and murky wind. Long may she reign, a Queen of hearts who played the hands of time and chance.