The Earth & Everything In It

My room, I realize, is covered in books and CD’s.  Stacks of both poke out from under my bed, bulge on shelves, take root on free patches on the floor.  I have boxes of academic books and reference texts resting below where I sleep, buried alongside those are boxes of CD’s and cassette tapes, filled with yesterday’s music and recorded jam sessions made during the proclivities of my youth.  They are, it appears, my media of choice for consuming the experiences and thoughts of being human.

To be human, as to recognize to being alive, is temporary but what a beauty that it is in itself:

‘But the stars twinkle above our heads, the sun shines, the grass grows and the earth, yes, the earth, it swallows all life and eradicates all vestige of it, spews out new life in a cascade of limb and eyes, leaves and nails, hair and tails, cheeks and fur and guts, and swallows it up again. And what we never really comprehend , or don’t want to comprehend, is that this happens outside us, that we ourselves have no part in it, that we are only that which grows and dies, as blind as the waves in the sea are blind.’

From My Struggle: Part 2. A Man In Love (2014) by Karl Ove Knausgaard.

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To Pity the Fool in Love

No-one ever expects that they will walk around a corner and find the person that will become their significant other lingering there on the street before them.  How we meet our partners, our lovers and confidantes, becomes a personal legend shared between only ourselves in truth, embellished by time and by the ebb and flow of emotion.  Love can be a hard emotion to describe, to quantify or to qualify, to articulate to each other and to one another.  That drunken and passionate kiss goodbye, the result of a haphazard opportunity presented in all of its glory, sits side by side with the memory of a slow burning romance experienced in our youths when we fumbled anew under covers soaked in teenage sweat.  Experiments of connection and of lust, of two pieces of lego mixing and matching to form one.  As time recedes the flashes of faces become a Rolodex of past conquests and imagined hurt, often sitting uncomfortably close to one another.

Lust, as a rapid fire launchpad to the past, operates on much the same lines as those random encounters experienced during the vicissitudes of youth.  In moments of relaxation you are comfortably entertaining yourself, your thoughts ensconced on a particular moment and how it would play out in your mind, perhaps how you would make the move and seal the return of the love and physical intimacy as given in your affections.

Yet still, how the mind can shock and shake the very foundations of your core!

No longer are you in the throes of doubled or singled passion, your senses are startled and your hands are instead given to fumbling lamely against the body of skin and flesh before you.  No more thought is given to reaching the apex of sexual arousal.

You are instead seeing the failures of your past mount even as you have failed to.  The chances lost of forming romantic entangles in the freshly cut grass, of bridging the gap between brief fumbles on the sofa and maintaining long-term relationships.  The thought is half formed, it ghosts across the mind but briefly as you lie there on your bed, shivering in the warm night air.

To walk around the corner of the street you inhabit, to cross the road at just the right time, to be there to answer that question and to form that connection as the eyes meet, the pupils dilate, and the lips curl into a smile.  The heart that jumps a beat and resets into a rhythm of two.  To miss those opportunities.  To wait upon a table where the food of life will never be placed.  It can be a hard thing to think about in the moment of your greatest conquest, of a solo ascent.

The Light Ahead

Let the light shine, let me follow the path that I think is the right one,
Cast you aside like I thought you deserved, only I didn’t know you.

Hold on, hold on.

Let me follow my light, let me journey along the path that I know is wrong,
Let me make my mistakes, let them kick me in the face.

Hold on, hold on.

Your body is cold but still I’m warming up, and now I know this is wrong,
But hold on, hold on.

Let me kiss you one last time, let my lips linger on yours.

Hold on, hold on.

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Photograph by the author using colour film and a Pentax S1a, if shared please credit as appropriate.

The Spider

I remember as if it were yesterday, the thick legs creeping slowly around the side of the cobwebbed decorated bag with all the inevitability of death itself.  I howled, even as I jerked the bag onto the surface of the bed and I could see for the first time that this large spider was aged, weary of life.

It had none of the vitality of its younger form; it didn’t embody the free spirit of jazz scuttling here and there, enticed by the possibility of finding a mate.  It was stately, as if to query who would dare to wake it from its slumber in the bag I had so little used and within which it had made its final home.

I crushed it quickly and fully, the circular body being beaten flat with the legs retracting close to its lifeless form.  I covered the body with a cup, afraid to see the results of my own actions.

In my dreams it haunts me still.

Coming Around

And the rain falls down, the thunder roars, and the clouds roll on by,

It’s just another day and I’m stuck inside, a model of the evil

eye sits and stares, taking it’s time whilst I while away mine…

.

It’s another day, it is another day, and I think you’ve just gone away,

Perhaps just a brief holiday, but that idea holds no sway as I know

that you have gone away on indefinite leave, it’s a kick in the face

as I’m left all over the place…

.

The rain falls down and it’s bringing me down too, as I know I won’t see your

face again, but the heart is filled with love, even as I spread my arms and wish it all

away, knowing that this isn’t how it is meant to be, life left rotting like a broken

tree knowing that I’ll never feel free…

.

and I’ll still miss you.

Freeway

She sat in the docks at the nearby industrial town, all tied up, the crew silent and still.  The cold February waters lapped at her hull, silent save for the call of the coastal birds skimming the water, intermittently casting shadows on the metal hulk as the last rays of the afternoon sun pierced the grey clouds.  I can see the seamen now, walking on the deck or talking in the control room, all able and ready to roam the ocean’s waves.  ‘Where are you off to and where are you going?’ I want to shout across the divide that separates us, the land from the sea.  ‘What do you do in your spare time aboard and where do you hail from?’  Those are the questions that plague me, make me desperate to jump aboard myself and skip abroad.  That great seabird, the silent albatross, could be my constant companion, my faithful friend as we roamed seas new and old, cold and warm.

Seventeen Fifteen

Raised up, head on pillow. Eyes closed and jaw slack.

Firelight creeping up the wall, midnight

falls across the land.  Tears stain each and every pillow.

~
One last year to see it in,

one last year to see it out.

~
A round white mint, given to both

child and animal alike.  Each drawing on the sugary

energy that bursts forth.

Closed eyes and a smile drawing across the lips,

that devilish chocolate kiss, which

flooded a child’s mind at Christmas time.

~
The wind that shakes the barley,

the heart that skips a beat,

knowing that you won’t be here today

or tomorrow,

to meet for one last treat.