Containment

Pagan (2015)
Pagan (2015)

My feelings take me to the edge. The dark and stillness whispers, nothing is quiet, but always these talking voices. They go this way and that, twisting and turning, tumbling and weeping. How should I contain the way I feel? Because sometimes the soul is overwhelmed, filled to the brim, it aches, it throbs.

What actions make us human? What actions make us their dark replicas? How should we act? Is every moment etched in time like words soldered in iron or can it be erased? Is every moment like shifting sand? Sometimes I have trouble distinguishing, as if the memories have drowned in to the bottom of a vast ocean, but thrown up by a raging storm, catching the moonlight, and finding a way to enter my mind, rousing my emotions, almost as if the waves were playing…

What is there that scares me, hidden beneath the waves of the storm? What is there that makes me stop, and why can’t I face the smashing walls of an endless sea? It roars, surely it should give me power, surely it should make me rise out of the vast depths, rise into the sky, unafraid, facing my fears. Yet I am but the remains of a long forgotten boat. I feel that I have lost my fight, lost the will to fight the waves, the sea. I have the air of one who floats, just floats… And lets the water take myself, my rusted hinges, my lost oars- lets the water take it all away.

Is It Love?

Sleight of Hand II (2015)
Sleight of Hand II (2015)

We think those lyrics are cheesy; dreams, love, lights flickering, a pulse beating fast. It’s exactly what it feels like. The words suddenly make sense, the voices inviting. Blood pounding in my ears, I’m waiting and I’m watchful- should it feel like I’m touching 18 once again? It’s a blast from the past; the hope, the awkward smiles, the silence stretching out but no one leaves.

For me, was it the smile that crinkled at the corners of his mouth? The shine that lit his eyes? Infatuation… It’s a strange thing. I liked his presence, his walk- leaning back into the breeze a little, almost flowing but solid, steady. It’s when the music swelled in my mind, I swear I could hear the chords slamming. It’s when the lights played out to a vibrato that shook the air, that almost shimmered. I would have walked straight into those arms, had to grasp myself awake, out of the pleasant daydream, out of the inevitable.

Maybe, just maybe, our paths will cross again.

the Old Tree

The morning is always sunny. Sometimes I wake up listening to the sound of birds chirping in my dreams. At these times, I am already half awake. In these times, I have a blurry sense of self. My dreams claw at me. I am not ready to leave my utopia. I’m the only one; I’m surrounded by trees laid bare by a harsh winter but it isn’t cold. A soft mist hugs the grassy banks, there is water nearby. The taste of stillness hangs around me; the damp smell of unmoving water, the soft sound of a dense water body hitting a solid wall; a red, brick wall, which rises high out of the water, unyielding.

In my dreams there are memories, in those memories there are dreams, buried deep. Why is it that I’m sad when I open my eyes? Where was I traveling while I slept? I have a feeling it’s the past, I’m going back in time, days gone by, time long past, a longing turned into an aching reality. It is my Pensieve. I’m just a shadow but I see my life unraveling, I see the dust swirling, changing everything, ageing everything, but I’m standing still. Yet it’s a whirpool around me, memories, voices, scents and smells; I’m 7 years old, I’m running like only children can run- with no care in the world, only the desperation and the breathlessness, the eagerness to get where I want to be. My feet slap the ground, I shouldn’t be running in those shoes; no one can stop me. I’m 10 years old, I’m free; I’m climbing a wall- it’s an adventure. The ground is full of my enemies, a stray snake waiting to bite me- no, it’s a stormy sea full of sharks. I must not fall.

I fall. I’m going to grandmother’s- I want to run in the backyard, I want to hear her tell me those stories… I want to run into her little kitchen, grasp open that fridge, I know she cooked because I was coming. Her roasted chicken was always special. I could eat as much as I wanted- she would only give me more, laugh, fill my plate up. Then I’d bug her- we could go for a walk. We always went for a walk, we always crossed the large, drooping tree next to the juice shop. She would always buy me mango juice in a little, cardboard carton and chat with the owner. I could sit by the tree, maybe even on it, with it’s branches hanging low and just waiting to be climbed.

Why do I remember her tonight, out of all nights? I haven’t forgotten her. I remember her stories, her comfort. Some days I wake up and it’s sunny and the birds are chirping but I’m back in the past, I’m waking up in her home, I’m smelling the food cooking, smelling her soap.

Those mornings, these mornings, I miss her so much.

A Study in Faces II

Sleight of Hand (2015)
Sleight of Hand (2015)

We weren’t born wearing masks. Cloistered in the middle of a mardi gras parade, what’s the best defense? Like balloons, we can float. Like puppets, bossed around by the wind, hiding our faces, darkening our looks, kohl covered eyes, cherry stained lips, flitting from place to place. Pushed hard in the small of our backs, like going uphill on a treadmill, out of breath, searching for the flatlands…

A Story of Love and a Burnt Evening

Sometimes I wonder, I wonder a lot. What do we yearn for? What do we miss the most? Is our love for someone else a reflection of our own need for love?

What do I yearn for, what do I want and what do I need? Is it all too different?

When I think, I imagine him sitting there, waiting for me. I imagine walking in after a warm day (the days are always warm in my mind). I walk in, I’m slightly damp from my long walk, my hurry to reach home. Partly because I want to be in the cool shade of my home; mostly because I know he will be waiting.

I want to see him. It’s harder to wait every passing minute. I want to walk right in, slip off my sticky cardigan, I want to tell him the funny and strange things I saw on my way. He is the one who will listen, I know. He will laugh, as I know he did the last time, he always does. We are one mind after all. I know I will gibber back and forth, endlessly, nonsensical things- a dog grinning, a street performer trying his luck, a chance acquaintance and the bag he was carrying from a woman’s store! What could it mean, the mystery, the gossip, the daily things.

The comfort of peeling back my sweater, slipping off my pumps, and looking in the fridge for a cool drink; that’s the comfort I miss. The comfort of the home I shared with someone. The dusky lights of the approaching evening, the slight talk of what to cook. His stomach may grumble and my instincts will drive me to chop some onions and drop some butter in the pan. Soon, the small kitchen will smell like garlic, like the sharp hint of a crispy memory; tangy and bitter but so much needed and so strong.

But then, the visions will change. The garlic will rot. The pan will burn, the water will bubble garishly, gurgling, ferocious. Like steam bursting forth from a cooking pot, the hurt will wash over, paint my home in red, in rust, in darkness. Each word will be like a slice from a knife, cutting through, peel after peel, chopped up in tiny bits until the truth of what was no longer exists. The food will go stale, the trash will sit ignored. And the ignorance will grow, and it will turn into indifference. One night spent on the couch, one night outside, one night in a different place entirely.

Sooner or later, the visions will change. The smell and sight of a happiness gone by, the feeling of being held will be the grip of talons, digging into my skin. And even in the midst of such wholesome pain, the words will hurt the most.

too old for dresses

Dreams of Dust
Permissive (2015)

Freedom is a strange thing. For the first time, I could walk on the streets, I could wear a skirt. I was free. I was free to feel, I was free to fall in love. Free, I could laugh, feel, I could drink in the rain and let my dress blow in the wind. But free doesn’t mean easy, free doesn’t mean there are no hard lessons, free doesn’t mean I can catch up to decades of progression in a blink. Everything is different but I belong; and everything is familiar where I won’t give in. Do I feel I’m too old for dresses? Could I sleep forever if I had the chance? Would I give up an awakening, a ray of hope? No, even if every day is dark and the sun never comes out, I won’t. There is something about life that keeps me here, something about chances, love, truth, that keeps me here. There’s something about emotion, hope and songs that keeps me here. Something inviting, a temptation, a taste, that keeps me here, that makes it hard to give up. To taste it again, to breathe it in, it keeps me alive, it keeps me sane. There are days I feel like I’m lost in a storm, days where I walk and endlessly walk. There are days it keeps on raining, keeps on falling, a constant tapping on the streets, on the window pane. For a moment, the sun comes out.

This is winter, this is life.

A Study in Faces

A Study in Faces (2015)
A Study in Faces (2015)

Burning, incendiary, forgotten fires

Lit up in a shadowed room

Pulpy, throbbing, pounding silence

Hurtful, lustful terrible pictures.

Did he love me? Forget-me-nots.

All we lead, is a double life

Fitful, wakeful, twisting sleep

Endless, blissful, repeated dreams.

Candles, lamplight, every time

Misty, lit-up, shining bright

Bring me to the rising smoke

Does he haunt me? Fraying knots.