A hanging leaf puts its heart on the line to be noticed.
We’ve only made eye contact.
Soon to touch.
I wouldn’t dare to try and save a hanging leaf.
Soon to fall….
Please don’t watch.
A hanging leaf puts its heart on the line to be noticed.
Inside. You are an outsider and the room knows it. You do not belong to them. The walls stiffen in defence of the inflammed human heart that is present. You will never be of them. The wall knows this fate you bet your fears on. Too swell. Tooth picked. You tilt your hat before they turn you down. You haven’t asked anything of them. Yet. The floor sucks on the sole of your swift footed analysis. Daring you to overthink the feeling that is stirred up in the forest of invention. An idea. What is an idea? Just like us. And nothing alike.
Wet of eyes, the paint sounds the welcome. They despise her too. And her ghosts. Colours come for real. Want all the sparks. All the action that imagination can fire up. They want you to want them too. And you know how they like it. The thickness. The trust in the thrust. The oh so bitter sweetness of us at our worst best. You would buy them if you didn’t already own their desire to have you or the image they paint of you in reflection. And what are you?
Outside. You are an insider with no throne room for Benin’s bronzed hypocrisy, but space for double bedded love making with case sensitive words for a thousand books and one. You make the way, they see through you, what they think you are and never were. Rust of Scarlet, blood conscious to a fault, who would have doubted the waters that ushered you into this world? If you were I and I knew how to speak, I would not paint you into the absence of mind that silence suggests. You haved loved loudly in your time, and the ground will not forget, even if you are never spoken of. All love is memorial but all is not lost. Except to time, when bound to art and held captive by the memories of those we have longed for. And have hungered to know intimately, the internal walls of our lover’s throbbing heart without the shades on.
Breaking through to be inside of you and all you aspire to breathe out into damnation when you dreamed us into the merciless canvas of mortal life and the infinite glory of Agape. How cruel, the truth convicts the dead as though they were sentenced to life in unfinished paragraphs. We have only fallen in love with ideas and risen in the acceptance of our fallacies. The multiverse. The continents. The ocean of oceans that we are. It carries all the Hell and Heaven that resides in us. With us. For we are hung up in the awakening terror of love’s gallery for the broken and torn apart.
While I was tinkering and thinking about whether a Blues guitar solo should share amicable space with an alto saxophone on a number, I was captured by this captivating photograph of Tsehai Essiebea Farrell which led me on a great train of thought for the lyrics to come. Ethiopia had been on my mind recently because of a conversation I had with a great Ethiopian Artist about an awakening he had. A revelation about his place in the world, his vocation, and the micro of the worlds within his wider perception. So much of the telling if not the toiling of life, both in our written past and living present, has much to do with our vantage point and the dubious nature of our muscle memory where matters of the tender heart are concerned. Uncomfortably numb but our eyes never tire of seeing and being seen. Or do they? Do they know? Do they look in on us and play our hand against better judgement? Our windows remain the seducer and the seduced, for perpetuity. It can seem that way. And what is seen is unseen. What is known is a mystery as I am to you. Always the stranger from eye to eye. Yet familiar in some kind of way. Never fully known.
Only one hand works but two is company. To feel the resistance of a hand that does not obey the head. To reconcile. I wore a cast for years. I drained the fluid. It returned within minutes. It refuses to be compliant. It hurts me all the time. Since I was 8. But it has taught me a lot. It defies me. And I defy it. That is our harmony.
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.
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.
We miss you two
Though we are where you see us
Some people like to tuck their shirt in
Some drummers like to stay in the pocket
Some like to ride waves and rock boats
Some climb trees
Some climb mountains
And some prefer to take their chances
And walk across burning coal
Because they reason that their toes are still on solid ground when Achilles loses courage
And all of them have a reason to believe in the way they wear their hair
A One night sit
Sipped and swallowed
A bitter pill Washed down with stale saliva
The taste of luck on a blue Monday like those kisses that seal red letters
Guts in a whirlpool while you hide in the chaos of the clutter that describes your hobo life in a suitcase
Packed with emotion
Thrust with desire A strike that holds you down
And eyes to watch you slip through the four fingered tension that lives between your slender shoulders
Thrust with desire
A fragrant word sent to exile in the dreams where your fears escaped from love….
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
These streets seemingly paved with gold know the poverty of spirit of so many victims of choice who walk upon the burdened concrete reality. Not galant in stride. Not jovial in the hop to side step a strangerly neighbour. Yet to meet with fate or her match unmade in Hell. Better the Devil you don’t know at the end of the road you never crossed. Mercy’s mistress wets the night with pitiful tears and a Crocodile drys its eyes.
“You’re jealous of God!” That’s what the voice inside his head told him to say to me. Of course its a lie. Why would I be jealous of a sick man who is not God but is constantly being told that he is by the demons that hang out in his mind? Exactly. However the tormented still need to be fed. I made rice so that we would at least agree on something. He had two helpings of boiled hope on a plate. It doesn’t matter if my brother remembers that it was made by me. What does matter is that he survived today’s attempt on his life. If he was God i’d blame him for his insanity but that is not the case. Madness doesn’t need a disclaimer. Nor does pain. Nor does love. Nor does charity. Nor does mercy. We do what we can and sometimes what we must. And in between we eat what is cooked. Unceremoniously. Circumstance usually stays for dinner. God has a plate too.