I thought I knew my death.I thought I knew my death. He grabbed my heart one day and squeezed tightly, banded fear wrapping its way around my body and terrorizing the air from my lungs. "Not..Like..This.." I would gasp, thinking that there must be some better way out. I would start to beg but it would soon be over. He'd release me and my body would give up. There would be nothing left to say.I thought I knew my death. She would slip into the shadows some months before I thought my time was up. She would slowly take my memories for my own, replacing them with child's talk and nonsensical things. "Oh please, won't somebody help me." It would be a rhetoric, although I wouldn't know that then.I thought I knew my death. He would seep into my skin and beneath my bones. Disease would spread through my veins, shutting me down. My very soul would ache, because cancerous ways could do cancerous things. He would wrap himself around my very voice, my heart, my tissue and my being. "Take me home." I w
The Grey LadyWhen I first saw her, sitting in the middle of a vast armchair, staring out of the window - I was reminded of the Grey Lady. She was Grey. But she couldn't have been more than eight or nine years old. Her hair was long and perfectly straight but it looked dusty. As if she had been sitting there for years, forgotten. Her eyes were sunken, sallow. Her skin was a pallour of grey that I've never seen on a human being before. Dark, damp, but it looked as though if you touched her a cloud would form in front of you. Dusty.I was one of the unfortunate parents roped into going on a residential school trip to the Lake District. It was my job to tick off the names as people left the reception of the school and clambered into the bus. I ticked my own son off as he stood beside me, nervously reaching to catch my free hand and continued through the list of his classmates one by one. The grey girl didn't move and I hesitated as I ran my finger down the register. I had ticked every name and it was a
Counting BonesTo An Unknown Lady,They found your remains a few days ago. They speculate that you were buried more than half a decade ago. Yet people have only been looking for seven days. Properly looking I mean. Somebody somewhere must have searched out of love for you the minute you disappeared.We don't know much about you yet, but the newspapers will begin to piece together fragments of your tragic life and how you came to be lying in the earth without recognition. No gravestone, no testimony to your living and breathing existence, not even an empty vase with the congealed dead particles of flowers to signify grief.There are flowers there now. Does that make you feel any better? That hundreds and hundreds of people now know of your existence in death? Recognition such as this would never have been craved in life, but if it was all you could claw back once you had died would you have shouted from the hilltops that you lay beneath cold grass?You're not the only one. You are
Three days of the LastShe spent a lifetime of living in order to prepare for her death but the final steps and the lasting moments were spread out poignantly across just three days.On the first day of the last, she taught all that she knew to the one who would be left behind. She imparted the final gifts of her wisdom with every ounce of strength that she had left.On the second day of the last, she said her goodbyes. She visited each of her family in turn and helped them to understand, in her own unique way, that it was finally time to let go.On the third day of the last, she removed herself from all that she knew and all that knew her and climbed the highest mountain with the bestest view from her dreams.On that final day, the last of the last, she fell into the deepest of sleeps.Peaceful, endless and comforting.
I am not myself anymoreDeath lay in the middle of the lawn this morning. There was no frost or early morning dew, instead a cool grey palour explored the sky with fingertips of gruel. There was nothing to suggest that anything else had changed, only the smell of grief and the echo of regret crossed into the morning air.As Death lay, the sun rose and lit up the curling tips of springtime petals. The leaves on trees crackled and stretched almost imperceptibly. They shook away the yawns of Winter without a backward glance. Hungrily, with two steps to the left and a raunchy shake of boughs they jived into Spring.Life continued as Death lay. The groans of people as they woke to face another day and shrugged off the idea of somebody else's problem tiptoed out of half open windows and unhinged doorways.Death didn't change her position in the middle of the lawn. She lay beneath an Oak Tree that they say takes three hundred years to grow, three hundred years to live and three hundred years to die. She tho
TrappedWe were both trapped in a queue of cars, four lanes on the motorway. It was 8am on a Friday and rush hour was creeping forward at a twelfth of the speed that it usually did. People sighed, some moaned, others dipped their hands lazily out of their windows catching the cool morning breeze. We were both there, you and I. My car crept forward almost as if it wasn't moving at all, my eyes focused on the road ahead, concentrating on the car in front - one eye on the van behind. It was one of those roads where the curves dropped away around a bend and into nothing. People craned their necks trying to see what was up ahead, what was keeping everyone back from their mundane mornings at their desks. I didn't want to look. But we were both there, stuck in the queue.I flicked the radio stations to see if there was a news update, red lights cleared as the crowd inched forward again. Lane one, then two then three merged into four as flashing lights and signs warned them of an obstruction. Brake li
Four Thousand PiecesWe met outside the morgue. You were there with your hair too bright and clothes that we had fought over that very morning. You were crouched, your body looking impossibly small and broken. You can't wear that out. You look like a prostitute.I'm eighteen years old Mum, I can wear what I like. All at once you were the brand new baby that I had held in my arms, sobbing over the tiny miracle that your Father and I had never thought possible. Then, you were five years old, and it was time to begin school. You had looked up at me with big green eyes and a serious smile as you proved over and over that you could fasten the Velcro on your brand new shoes.You smiled at me now, outside this place that we didn't belong in, and I saw the stabilisers that Gary had taken from your bike. He had watched you cycle down the road, ten years old, the proudest Father at that moment in time. I could tell you that he hid tears from you that day. But I don't.Instead I ask you how your day wa
The Anti GuidebookI don't expect you to understand. Nor do I expect you to believe. I always believed in telling the truth unless I got myself confused in which case I would lie as convincingly as I can for as long as humanely possible. My propensity to begin this guide comes from years of staring at glossy picture perfect photographs of far away places. You know those kind of books, the backpackers guide to wherever.... The kind of books that you take for granted the author has seen and experienced the taste of Africa and the smell of China first hand. When in reality they could have wiki'd or google'd or found the information needed for a bestseller with some quick tickle of fingers.You see, I stood on a bridge on a balmy summers evening with my back to the moon and my chest braced against the breeze. And then quite simply, I let go. I never expected the August wind to carry me, I had no hopes and no expectations. I had no need for any sort of guidance in that
A Broken DreamHe was just eight years old when he witnessed death for the first time. They had been moving through staccato traffic for fifteen minutes in the growing dusk before his Mother spoke. It's beautiful she had said softly, her eyes settling on something caught in the headlight reflection bouncing back from the front window. He had leant forward in his seat, craning his neck to see what had captured her attention. An opaque moth lay helplessly trapped beneath the wiper blades. Touching the cold glass gently he had pleaded with her to set it free.As they crept forward, inching along the motorway, the traffic on either side grew parrallel with their wing mirrors. People were looking up, pointing. There was somebody stood on the bridge, an inky sillouhette against a blushing sky. Look Mum, he pointed, but she was already tilting her neck to see above them. I know, Honey she replied, her mouth set in a grim line as they both realised what they had missed before. The f
A Farewell to MoleskineI chose not to water your Oleanders.There was a reason, but it has dried inmy mind like those magenta petals.You stopped buying me first editions,when our friends claimed they mademe seem pretentious. They didn't know about the ketchup stainon Catcher in the Rye, or the highlighterI took to This Side of Paradise.They didn't know anything about being the oldestbook on a shelf- The fact that dust yearns for theattentive breath of life to set it free.Words are not prisoners in a flower pot.They do not die with ease.I remember now,I didn't water your Oleandersbecause they made you seempretentious.
UnforgettableFive years of uslearning each other,loving each other,before we took our vowsand began anew. Twenty hours of travelwas well worth it.The paradise we foundin that faraway landtook my breath away. Twelve daysof celebration.Just us,and a cabin in the rain forestoverlooking a black sand beach. Our pale skin pinked under the Costa Rican Sun,the burn soothed under a cloudless sky.We watched glimmering stars,brighter in the absence of city lights.Transformedby foreign tongues and familiar arms.An experience with no parallel.Taking our commitmentand testing itmaking it stronger.I hiked on slippery rocksto get to that special place,to stand underneath that waterfallwith you.To laugh with you,to take in the wonder of the worldin your company.To smile just because…I married you.
28 daysthey came over on a boat, i imagine,(for i was not the there and they do not speak of it)they came over on a boat i imagine,just like the rest of them,from lucerne or bavaria or kaposvar or drywsevedescaping medieval forests, rain playing peat bogslike organ keyboards,they were farmers, sown to wheat like arranged marriage,mike had one ox, two bulls and a chest like stone & mortar,he was a good man, looked god in the eyes at dawn,whispered secrets to his bedsheets at night,ed, ed was a freight train, handlebar moustache & coal-fired cheeks,when he was eleven, ed built the honesdale canal with nothing excepthis hands and the lord as a witness,don't take my word for it but rumor has it there was a little napoleonin him after all,it was after the war,the one of blue and grey and redthey must've looked up like children domust've seen her, slow dancing in the harbor,marveled at the way her arm never grew weary, brow never sweaty,the way the green brown water smiled up a
you losing mefull title: every conversation we ever had about you losing me, and how you almost didthings have shifted,the slightest tip of the universeon its infinite axis; into an oceanof arctic darknessi plunge.my peripherals are encasedin caverns of ivory teeth,slick-back orcas and the ominousterror of frigid waters pushingagainst skin, pressurized likepuncture wounds.slivers of glass tracing the rivuletsin my palms like fingertips,faces carved in windshield cracks,sails carrying me away like stretcherson silver wings,toes poised on the precipice ofwhat everything really means -do you know how it feelsto be smaller than those ten letters?soul in the back of your skull,the world in one moment,one fraction of existence,one shard of luck and beautyhanging haphazardlysomewhere between the collapsed roofand the radio skipping in and out.
If...If all the world knew our pain we might never have sufferedIf all our friends helped us through we might never have sufferedIf all our parents ever cared
What's The Point?What's the point in livingWhen the world is caving in?What's the point in survivalWhen no one gives a damn?You might think I'm crazyFor living on the edge.But It's better than living on the safe sideOnly going where you've been.
Do Not Wake MeDo not wake me from this sleepFor it would disrupt my dreamAnd do not force me to faceThe inevitability of realityFor in this dream I am safeMy fears and stress have been erasedEverything is here as it shouldEven the horror has been replacedWaking me would break the glassOf the mirror I have forgedThat holds this false realityOf the perfection that I dreamSo with a hint of a smileResting on my sleeping faceI ask you from behind closed eyesTo not wake me from this dream
Seattle NightsCoffee shops, raindrops,My heart stops.Phone calls, shopping malls,Youve broken down these walls.Romantic dates, a warm embrace,Entwined are our fates.Sinking ships, pressing lips,The way you move your hips.Smooth strides, my heart glides,My nervousness now hides.On my mind, pain in rewind,You are the perfect find.Time to waste, off to space,Always making my heart race.
Almost...Almost to the endBefore I ever saw the start,Close to the heavens and yet I...Didn't see any stars.Each and every moment passedFaster than falling sand,Going under, grabbing onto...His now distant, earthly hand.I wish I would have realizedJust a while before death cameKnowing would have changed so much...Leaving only me to blame.
Who Lives?"Your choice: You, or him.""Him."
little white liestissue paper skin and barbed wire spines "i haven't been sleeping well."butterfly wing smiles and porcelain bones"the medicine will help."sparrow hearts and rose petal hair"don't worry."undersea eyes and sailboat stomachs"these things pass in time."
It Only Took 3 Little WordsAfter all these years, I still dont understand why it was so difficult for you to admit it. Why couldnt you just utter those three simple words Id been waiting to hear ever since at the carnival, when I won you that stuffed teddy bear. Once I saw your normally pale face become flushed with color, (and that crooked smile of yours) I knew right then and there that you would be the one.------We first bumped into each other at a sandwich shop. I mistook you for one of my brothers friends and spoke for what seems like ages, (realistically no more than 30 seconds) before you stopped me and informed me that we had never met before. I bit my lip and turned bright red as your lips bent upward forming a smile. You assured me I wasnt that red and there was no need to be embarrassed. (Dont take me for a fool, even though Im just a fool for you) You then convinced me to buy your sandwich, since I obviously knew you so well. (I always was
Sonnet VIIIBrush my lips with medicated kisses,Trace my heart with your love-laden fingers.Your arm reaches for the sky but misses,But the hope of grabbing a star lingers.We have crossed the line from friend to lover,Filling the sky with carefully made lights,Images of past, present, future hover,Reminding me of all the tear filled nights.Wind brushes through hair, enticing my lips,You nudge near, whisper secrets in my ears,Fill my head with dreams of space, rocket ships,Flying through space, traveling in light years.Let us go to the moon and see the stars,Grabbing a handful to store in glass jars.
Creature ComfortDown into the depths of her mindlives a creature who's not very kindHis fangs are sharp and ready to slicebeen there, done that more than thriceThis little monster isn't all that rarehe shows up in school, dreams, nightmaresThe teachers always said she was out of tunealready gone but much too soonIn their thoughts they held her soul close bymade sure she was fine but hoped not to pryNow, she's still alive, hanging by a stringa tired angel flying with only one wingYou'd think her peers would want to stop inTake a little time to wash her of sinMaybe tell a tale or grasp her handstare for a while at her wristbandAs much as I'd love to tell you a liethey never said anything but “try not to die”Her parents, oh God, they were the worstonly came once to sit and to curseA phone call or two, but that was the endthey were scared their little girl wasn't on mendThis made her sad, afraid of it being her faultthat she had to go and bring her life to a haltA stand
DiscombobulationThis soul This heart. This U N D E S
Six WordsIt was a matter of Justice.