A song in the night

Patience. It’s my only weapon now.

You saw a beautiful city and, lacking the courage to even imagine the possibility that that beauty could be a part of you, you sought to destroy it.

Now only ghosts remain.

We are the ghosts and you cannot kill us.

Brick by brick, the walls and formational structures were stolen from us.

But you see, the further the pieces fly, the more we grow. We will make a song in the night. Our city is expanding.

We know who we are.

We know what happened.

We remember and we will not be silenced.

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Six Riddles

I

“This is not what I wanted. At all. And you didn’t bring me enough of it either.”

 

II

A look, like a gleam of longing in ink pools.

An upturned frown with an imaginary spot to hang your coat.

 

III

“GIVE ME MORE TO EAT!!! I am always hungry.

Except when I’m SUPER RAVENOUS EXTRA EXTRA hungry.

Or when I’m having off days, weeks, months.”

IV

“Well, we should have known. Look at all this! – – No one can see! – – No one cares.”

Look inside! The bright window a greasy gloom of disappointed years.

The water of fortune makes me a mountain in the summer rain. Each morning.

Hidden, glowing. My beauty, a truth to erupt.

V

Doctor, waiter, mourner, groom..

if not a screen for blood, tears or wine,

then sweat and creasing in miles of tests,

papers, glass, beeps, bells, flowers,

blank cheque of dignity for…?

VI

“I fear – – I fear, that I cannot… what’s that word.. love anybody..

Standing alone on the edge of this winter city, wrapped in warm indifference.

My words, black stones, stumbled around the edge of a frozen effort, like a trail of sunken tourists looking for a travelling beauty spot.

Before me, the sky flew, disco gold, suave grey, wide eyed blue and flirtatious peach.

Without even so much as a nudge from me, my hat tips to the foreboding of gentle spring blossom on a bare branch.

For the first time I can feel – my body – as it starts to fall – slowly – slowly – into the earth.”


 

Written in January, 2018.

 

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The Broken Lamp

I made a mistake of thinking I could trust that stupid lamp.

Or maybe the window was to blame. It had been broken for weeks after all. I had been awake at first, and the shapes of the night birds settled on the arms of the tree and the darkness swallowed me. I felt no physical form around my spirit as I drifted over the restless planes of grids and zooming numbers.

In my grandma’s flat in Hong Kong, my eldest uncle played her a choir song called “Oblivion” over and over again. I had no idea why. Half asleep, she nodded and he clicked on to the next track.

Heat itself slunk in with a sour ponderous tread, the fan stumbled around the ceiling like an exhausted trapped fly.

In the distance, an ice cream van changed owners so fast we could never make out who was driving.

And by the time I awoke again, it was too late. Again.

She had entered the next house along. It was a different world. They had electricity, and the patience to scheme. Their lantern did not give out from the gust of tearaway air from the fist-sized crack in the glass, rattling in a rotting frame.

Even in my dream, I could see a bold, bright figure at the other window facing inwards, by the table. Cloaked, blood-red, in a fountain of light.

 


 

Written on 17/02/2018

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My Brother

He’s a funny one, my brother.

You’ve seen him around haven’t you? Tapered trousers, brown boots, beard to floor. Carries a spare jacket with him wherever he goes. Calls it his “disappearing jacket.”

What does that even mean?

And a sheaf of “very important papers”.

Once he left them in the hallway while he went to the loo… so I had a look. A bundle of yellowed creamy papers. All blank but for a magazine cutting about discount glasses.

Walks like a serious gnome. Eyes fixed on the distance. Heels make a line to the centre of the earth. He’s a busy man, my brother.

Not like me. I like to sit on the balcony, watching the clouds turn peachy gold and savour the sounds of the lungs of birds as they embroider the dawn.

My brother’s pockets are heavy with time and something else it would seem. Now, I remember sometimes he would clutch at his stomach and grimace silently as we all struggled to remember his name. It began with..? Was it very short? How many vowel sounds did it contain?

One evening last year, I was up later than usual, after entertaining some lively guests. I never knew a man could speak so quietly as he. My brother slipped into the study like a shadow on the moon. His words were gentle as the hair on my ears.

Outstretched, his grey hands held the tiny figures – tiny forms of him! But squirming, messy, alive with clamber out from the worn hands.

My brother’s children.

 


 

Written 17/02/2018

 

 

 

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A sudden brightness in the rolling breath of time. (The time I met you all)

Dark red leather chesterfields, endless blue wallpaper with a texture that reminds me of the border around school and university photos. A steam punk alternative reality/ computer game.

Over there, leaning against the wall, wooden crosses (stakes!). Opposite me, at eye level, the wooden wheels of a small horse carriage. Sunlit fields and forests on the front of remembrance photo albums. It reminds me to do something about the piles/ boxes of photos we have at home. Grief rituals are healing and while one may never completely heal, these mini processes, cycles can make us more connected with the memories of the dead and the living – ourselves and each other.

Sliding along the luxuriously smooth rice-pudding-hued seats of the jag, I filter out what seems like an inappropriate thought: What a nice car. I wouldn’t mind getting to ride around in a car like this… To my surprise, my friend voices my exact thoughts.

In the protective membrane of the vehicle, we move along the start of rush hour traffic. Rain on the dashboard confers and scatters. For the entire journey, ahead of us, a photo of my friend’s mum attached to the back of the hearse beams affectionately – at us and anyone watching from the street. She is attended by a choir of white lilies around a warm aqua blue, her nose wrinkling into a cheeky smile, responding to a joke from the cameraman.

Amidst the tears, my friend’s best brother jokes about him worrying about his hair getting wet when it rains. The resulting uproar under the rain sprinkled windows seems to reflect the sweet and hearty sparkle in the portrait we are following.

“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole transforms the mourning space into a 50’s romantic movie. The celebrant – grey pin stripe suit over a dog’s collar, voice like an East End gangster character from a 60’s film – tells us that the shepherd is an outsider but is a symbol of the leader. The greatest of them all is love. I looked this up later, and apparently in the King James Version, it says, The greatest of them all is charity. Makes me wonder if the church was collecting for a new roof at the time.

My friend’s eulogy, a masterfully written, moving and humorously presented bouquet of anecdotes about her mother. Quick-witted, God-thanking, compassionate and courage woman. Determination against the many storms of life. Un-PC, “blue-tongued”, film-devotee. My friend’s impressions of her mum make us laugh and channels her personality.

Afterwards at the wake, I am talking to an old friend I haven’t seen or spoken to for a long time. I admire her coat. She’s always had amazing style. Today, she reminds me of someone from Blade Runner. She says her neighbour’s sibling was stabbed over a disagreement. The assailant immediately repented but it was too late. I’ve been to quite a few funerals over the year. It’s my funeral coat, she says.

We talk about our daily lives, and go for a second plate of food. I worry that I’m being greedy. I have no obvious appetite but I can see my fingers reach for food. Types of cheese I haven’t eaten for ages, strawberries, cold pizza, tea.

I realise something. After all the years of my friend’s gloriously vivid stories and impersonations, it really is the first time I’ve had chance to be in the room with my friend and all of her siblings. Eating, talking, laughing. And almost her mother too. The face in the turquoise background is smiling at us. A sudden brightness in the rolling breath of time. She is there.

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Trail

One of the reasons I started this blog was to document internet trails. Sometimes when I check the spelling of a word for a poem, or want to find out what a word looks like, or who else has used a word, I end up on these little roads of discovery. I know it’s a been a journey of some kind because I can feel my mood transformed and/or it’s fascinating to look back and see where I’ve been.

SCROLL DOWN past the lengthy intro to see the first trail!

However, as is the case with many a spontaneous and “non-cloaked in art” post, I hold back from sharing because I worry that I might be linking to something which is actually written by someone with or associated with an idealogy that actively opposes my existence or that of people I love/support, and/ or it seems pointless and frivolous.

Note: Many external pages contain ads that I DON’T endorse! Please exercise ad blinkers when surfing these pages..

The thing about the former is by the very nature of quick reference and image searching, I am not necessarily going to be checking sources in detail. As for the latter point, one of the ideas of this blog was also to be a curiosity box of highly contrasting moods and material as well as help me remember where I’ve travelled to. Also, it’s a chance to log some of my fleeting responses to flying matter..

So as with other ideas, (following this lengthy preface!!) I will give it a go and see how I feel about it.

TRAIL #001

Searching for a word lodged vicariously between crevice, carapace and cliff, I put in “cravice” and found..

  • Weird banana faces which lead me to
  • A list of traits exhibited by creative people do (Can relate to all of these!)
  • “He can turn your pee into sparks!” (NB: the top three all originated from the same blog!)
  • Acrobatic dance video. A surprisingly satisfying and nourishing result of being lured by a click bait style thumbnail which actually leads to a safe (I assume!) page on the host website. As someone who watches about an hour of TV a week at most – Casualty (UK) if you must know, I found the camera moves very exciting, and the reactions of the viewers. Also, once, many years ago, a friend said that it was time  to move countries because she needed (or wanted) a different linguistic environment. Having just travelled to a place where I could not read the language, but could partially understand by listening and communicate (albeit in a limited manner) by speaking, I valued the chance to take in more regarding body language, mood and energy from non-verbal cues. (To the extent of trying to watch a bunch of videos on the plane just to catch the vibe while not understanding 95% of what the people were saying!)
  • Emotional Acrobatic dance video. (like above but with more shivers)
  • Tourist Spot Acrobatic dance video. I really like the way they they turn up in a random place and do acrobatic dance moves, oblivious to whoever’s around or perhaps enjoying the attention, or even if there’s no one around except the waves and a glowing beach. And they’re professionals, they know what they’re doing. Moreover, they’re just using their own bodies and not bothering anyone.  A symbol of boldness..

 

 

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In memory of a sun

‘Tween still trees and tall shadows

I wait for your voice.

Throw the grey grass 

A word of warmth.

————— 

The mother of a close friend and artist friend passed away yesterday. I heard so much about her, she was the life and soul of the family. For various reasons, I never got to meet her. 😦

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