Tartan

I let you scar me in answer to an askless question. I revelled ingloriously as each misguided infliction scored my futile seekings. A major that played first through fifth in sweet disharmony and lines of minor indiscretion. Tartan lay across my skin in various stages of healing. I held gauze in my teeth as you layered Razor wire upon my wounds - how would I bleed if not by your hand? Bandaged in the unresolved then left to lick free the salt while watching your heels meet the horizon in goodbye

Bouquet

I saw the postured seating
- face forward - chin up -
But an empty plate for eating.

Flies thrummed buzzing wings
- hollowed out - dripping down -
Feasting on the heartstrings. 

Your corpse used as a flower vase
- water held - death dwelled - 
Adorned in maggot petal grace.

Paper Maché

Ripped into strips of rough cut sinew
Glittered in silver crisscross lines
Ready to be dipped in thick glue
And rebuilt layer by meticulous layer. 
This new shape is for the fickle faith
That is chanted until made belief
Or assumed to be the matter's fact - 
The curves are chosen in this lie
To fit the outline it previously outgrew. 
The substance that the years cultivated
Do not fulfill the quoted order of being
So are left to rot in the garbage
While the adhesive sets atop mourning
To hide it from the surface view.

Seedling

Known not as seed but seedling
Etched in photographic memories
That sear white hot in absent flesh. 
The body, too barren to hold onto
What little life it longed to give love,
Still scarred grievously in self-loathing.

Small roots, that wished themselves
To dig happiness from within fear, 
Found the ground soil to be lacking. 
But the sunlight would soon set, 
Bringing unfathomable darkness
And cold typhoons of destruction. 

To compensate for the deficiency, 
The sapling clung to a cracking pot
That recklessly scratched at itself. 
Soon the chippings stacked higher
Than the edges had ever reached
And the contents were strewn away. 

Wretched sorrow bled for hours
Until the mud was thick as paste, 
Coating the future in a tacky glaze
Of tormented jealousy and longing.
No fruits or labors could bare bark
Thick enough to be unfeeling. 

Other trees grew in orchards of poison, 
Their branches reaching outward, 
Upward to the glistening sun. 
How spiritless must this grove be
To have only produced heartache
In place of a vibrant linden tree. 

Written to a picture prompt from the former Facebook group: Stardust Poetry

At the Gates

The exclusive rights to grief were taken:
Shouted from lips that could never be kind, 
Painted on a face that had never seen, 
Twisted in the belief of false guiltlessness, 
And pointed at the remaining husk of me. 
The cold iron gates stood heavy in judgement, 
Separated the self-righteous from the sinner.
The one heart that beat love to both sides, 
A heart once so swollen and overflown 
That it willed there to be a second pulse, 
Had burst its banks and bled out silently.

Emptiness is the disease that devours joy,
Turning time into a weapon of contagion
Until we're all wasted and spent in heaps
Of decaying flesh and worthless broken bones.
A death lived and re-lived in cyclical attack, 
Feeding on the casualties that too have fallen
Into the welcoming arms of temptations Union.
When those gates sighed their disapproval
How sweet was that call to be swallowed whole
By the ravishing teeth of an irreversible vice
And no longer be blamed by that judgement.

Thames Gin Headache

Chipped polish on keratin
Formed instruments of misery
Against the carved ivory candlestick,
But played in time and one half
Between clicked wooden heels
And shuffle scuffed leather toes. 
Shrieking warped wood boards
Bemoaned the restless pacing
Until eased by the storm’s drippings
Rolled from the oversaturated linen.

Youth kept the nightdress white,
Precisely creased on double pleat
Perfumed in almond and rice starch.
The insipidness of immaturity
Creeped up the ironed dart lines
To satiate the linen’s thirst for spoil,
And seeped into the recurring path
In a bogged mix of clay and blood.
The sludge had smudged the vows
Between the ruby and diamond ring.

Lightning had taken exception,
Or so it would have seemed,
To the metal cockerel above the well.
It’s striking boldly lit the sodden grass
To illuminate a solitary jacquard spat
Encased, leather, side button boot.
He’d sworn himself inconspicuous once,
Yet adorned himself so pretentiously
For the eyes of the unwed maidens
On the night he was intended to wed.

The dusty manor house windows
Did not hide the ostentatious footwear
From the overwhelmed on looker
As she bit her nails cuticle bare.
Had he simply fallen, she’d be asleep
For the drunkard had overindulged
On pints of overtaxed Thames Gin.
But he cracked his crown on limestone
Before his legs lost the ability to hold
His brainless form to full attention.

Inebriation settled most heavily
In the bones of his shaking wheeze.
Had not the split of his mindless skull
Incapacitated his conscious movement,
His well wished departure would be,
To the greatest of detest and chagrin,
Replaced by opiate coma numbing
As his bride rode Peeler’s prize
In a carted cage of lucid lunacy
And cursed language of wicked folk.

Luck had been her bedfellow,
Strength her mightiest gift giver,
And determination: her kind muse.
No sooner could he groan in ache
Than his moaning was quick silenced 
In the crunch of crumbled spine
That met with a barren dark age well.
Her hand warmed by the liquid wax,
She stopped pacing to reflect with joy
At the sickening sound of lifelessness.

Poems of Smoke

Among The Coals

Born in the hazed amber
I was swaddled and charred.
Another faceless giver
In a faceless sea
Waiting to choke

Tarred and Feathered

Inhale, hold, exhale
Self inflicted.
Slowly pluck feathers
spring chickens
Cluck no more
- cough - cough -
Burn one more
Spark up

Smother

Science is unwelcome
It's unholy.
Innovation is unholy
It's unwelcome.
Dunk the witch
She'll float
Burn the witch
She'll choke

Parched

She's gasping again
Under the wildfire.
Mother Earth gasps
Inland on avocado smoke
While you're eating
Avocado on toast

Question Touch

Do you have to scrub your skin too?
Scratch off it’s surface over and over
Until twenty burning layers away
From the tracks of unwanted caress?

Remember as the acid seeps through
And you lose that arrogant composure,
That I am only just beginning to play
With these things that helps me ‘process.’

Have you ever had to show your face
When no-one knows the predator won?
Force a smile, a dead eyed, dull grin,
Hoping when friends hug you don’t flinch.

Centre of the tooth, with nerve in place,
I’ll drill a hole through every single one,
Thread through each a fine steel string
To pull them slow with a hand crank winch.

When you’ve walked passed each other
Have you been filled with complete terror?
Did you grasp tightly at your fabric clothes
As though they’ll protect from the shame?

It’s so gratifying to watch as you suffer.
The chemicals turned your skin to leather
It’s time to cut that wailing tongue into rows
I hope I don’t strike a vein, I like this game.

Does the night bring back all the memories
That weigh you down with its terrifying grip?
Do you hope that by the morning sunrise
Your heart would stop it’s painful beating?

I’d quit the whining, there are no remedies
As I watch you choke behind glued lips.
I can’t stand to be devoured by your eyes
But a pin prick will remove their seeing.

Are your days filled with asking why?
Blaming yourself for being the prey,
Breaking yourself down ‘til you barely exist
Pretending it never hurt you that much.

I’m sure you’re all but ready to die?
But you don’t look like your inner decay!
I’ll let you decompose in your own shit
Because a touch is not just a touch.

Faithless Grief

I’m faithless and unashamed 
For God did not give us grief.
Love manipulated our trust
So that chance could gamble
With the futility of our existence,
Ripping the tense velcro bonds
Of hearts grown together.

I applaud it’s gamesmanship,
For it doesn’t laude it in our faces
By any means other than simply
Gathering the grim and gaunt
In coats of greyed gaberdine.
Long coats hanging as if empty,
Made black from the heart’s rain.

I am faithless and entirely alone,
But still gesticulating to the air:
An open chested final demand
To give back the gift of grief
That greeted me at this graveside.
Need I be a god-fearing glossolalist
To return this heartbreak?