Station Song

It’s 2am on an autumn day,
I’m laying in the grass thinking of you.

Forgive me if I think of you so often,
but I am tired, oh so tired.

We never did consummate our love by the bedside table, 
Instead we drank,
we laughed,
we cried…

Oh I had to leave,
had to leave you behind,

Those challenges that you were not home,
they did hurt me so…

But I knew that you would soon be back,
cradling your drink of choice.

Who by fire knew it wouldn’t last,
who could give it one more chance?

We never said goodbye properly,
I never tasted those lips one last time,

It was true that I knew it was over, though, by the ringing of the bell.
I had given my parting shot,
delivered it by look alone,

Even though we never mentioned it,
I could tell by the tone of your c
racked voice, that you wished we had not met.

We drank to our knowledge,
our new fledged independence,
Dalliances of old and… of experiences new.                                                                 Hidden by its absence was our tempted love,
in the station still,
we bid it farewell.


Photograph by author (B&W film).

Shipping News: A Cut Up Approach

I was on the second ship leading the north Atlantic convoy, which was one of six in total.  My head was screaming with the cold, my fingers numb and becoming number as the minutes passed.  We had to transfer mid ocean from our small liners to the bigger ones, the ones that could break the ice of the north, the ones that could pass by and crunch the icebergs that would otherwise soon sink these tropical ships that we had come this far on.

Morning medicine, my mourning drink.  I was sick of the air, sick of my mouth tasting of salt, my cracked lips and shaggy dog appearance.  I was becoming a wreck, like the Titanic in her grave slowly rusting, slowly breaking down to her elemental beginnings.

I was home, verdant fields of tall grass framed by never-ending blue skies and cradled by deep pleasant dreams.  The wooden door creaked as I opened it, I announced I was home and I heard the movement of my lover in our shared bed.  I imagined the sheets cascading off her body, the soft smooth silk of her skin and the comely shape of her buttocks, the two small welcoming dimples at the base of her spine.  The curls of her hair resting on her shoulders, her sumptuous breasts that were full of milk, nipples pert and erect.

Home smelt like home.  This was salt, this was corrosion.  The transfer was awful, I saw their pale and emaciated bodies silent in the bunks, numerous across the whole range of decks.  We could not go on like this, we must not go on like this.  Moving the bodies was horrendous, a horrible job.  I had thrown my younger brother around as a child and had remembered how heavy he was even when young, how I could feel the weight of his happy soul.  This was something else, the bodies far lighter than they had any right to be.  Glassy deep blue eyes set silent in paper thin crevices for faces.

I loved her then and I loved her still.  There was something wonderful about the moment between coming home from work and announcing my entry to the wooden house.  This was the liminal zone, I was neither away nor settled on the prairie.  When I remembered this moment consciously I tried to slow it down, to breathe in deeply, to try and enjoy the moment when I’d open the door and see her gorgeous brown eyes, the flicker of the smile that would start to spread across her face as she spied me coming in.

I could almost taste that moment, but the foghorn soon reminded me that I was a thousand miles away, surely more, from my beloved.

The bodies had been swiftly moved from the ice breakers to the tropic liners without any difficultly.  I was convinced that our skeletal crew would break down at this task but we kept quiet and professional, we carried out our task with ease and left the liners floating in peace in warmer climes, buffeted by only the smallest of oceanic waves.

Silently our breakers made the way north, the ocean becoming day by day peppered with more chunks of frozen sea than I could count.  Chunks that could rip and tear steel, that could doom whole convoys and destroy even the hardest of souls.

I craved her touch more than ever at this point.  My cracked lips had become something beyond sore, something that I knew hurt but was pushed deeper into my sub-consciousness.

I missed her hips the most, how my hand would follow the contour of her outer hip bone and glide slowly into the girdle where the delicate touch of my lips would meet her soft warm skin.  Where I knew that when she arched her back she was that much more relaxed, ready to give in to the carnal sin of our shared passion.

The bow of the ship cuts the ice, the sea underneath, and our dreams as clean as any knife I have ever known.  Our hopes are cleaved into two.  The ocean is our life, the seabed our grave.


Photograph by author using a Pentax S1a and cheap film.

Forget Her

A machine on autopilot I carry on, but like a blade of grass powerless in the face of the wind I subjugate myself to these feelings and memories.  Wave after wave pounds me during the daylight hours, tossing me around in their grip, only letting my battered body and bruised mind surface with the wake of the rising moon, in the deep sleep of forgetfulness.

Lovers holding hands, a shared smile and the light touch of paired bondage, but no, not to me, there is only the will to forget, to carry on, even if she is out there somewhere now, living and breathing, loving another anew anon.  You wonder if she remembers that long kiss in bed, surrounded by winter’s touch and frosted windows, of that small bed made fit for two.  But don’t fool yourself, for heartache, or so it feels, lingers around every corner.

You forget how to move your lips in the awkward first embrace of a lover’s kiss, or the embrace of the hips as you dance and linger by the fires of passion in a night of sweat drenched ecstasy.  The clutched embrace of two drained and dirty bodies entwined like two vines on a crumbling wall, made ready to wrench asunder upon the jagged rocks of passion.

A heavy heart and a tender hand, a wandering mind combined with a baleful smile to make do and mend, to move and to forget.

  • With partial lyrics from the Jeff Buckley song ‘Forget Her’, which can be heard below:

The Beauty of the Ride

Like the majority of the attention from beautiful women in my life, it was a brief one-sided affair.  A quickly ordered drink, alongside an equally quickly stolen glance, had confirmed my fondness for the lady serving the said goods.  She was older than I was by a decade or two, but I could see beauty in those years, her blonde hair accentuating her beautifully full figure.  A smile was playing fast and loose on her Nordic face, with full lips that I dreamt of kissing.  Thoughts lingered as I imagined her in the throes of passion, of the love that would consume whole days and weeks in warm beds in the depths of winter, on light sheets in the heat of the summer.  There was a radiance in her eyes that I thought had once been in mine but I wasn’t sure anymore.  Instead of delving further I took my place to sit, to read quietly in the cathedral of learning.

Love, in all its many forms, can be intoxicating, and whilst I have had my share I yearn yet still for more.  Perhaps it is the human condition.  Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic.  Perhaps I have been in the desert for far too long.