blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Blue

poem #2 in the colour series

below-sea-blue_PublicDomainPictures
PublicDomainPictures via pixabay

Why do we talk of feeling blue? Depression is not blue. It is impenetrable fog grey, the ghosts of ships unseen on a black tide, the lighthouse beam obscured by solid clouds that touch an angry sea. It is thick and puckered scars that yield only to the sharpest, deepest cut. A slash of knives draws no pain from this unfeeling carapace. Far below, if you bridge that distance, oily dark blood oozes, curdled with loss and longing.

None of it is blue.

Walk on muffled leaden boots, here in the below. Strain my ears, hear no sound. Eardrums burst from the pressure, under the sea, bottom of the Marianas trench. Deeper yet, in the Laurentian abyss of my soul. I gazed into the void, but it did not gaze back. It too has forsaken me. Weighted like an old style diver, I wade through the sea of futility. Up above, water sparkles Caribbean blue, gold sun shines in a brilliant azure sky, birds sing. Down below, impenetrable dark and blind monsters. Nothing to see.

It feels like home.

Push past doubt, anxiety, fear. Now we reach the bone, skin nibbled and hanging in tatters, only a flash of white beneath grey and rotting flesh. Eaten alive but already dead, the marrow leached away, colours bleached away. What’s on the other side none know but me. My pulse thickens and slows, matching the absent drumbeat of null.

It is calling me.

I have forgotten my life topside, in this my true reality. When will my heart beat its last, when will I join? Let the nothing take me, let the absence consume me, let me be assimilated and so vanish, zero sum.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Pink

poem #1 from the colour series

pink lily petals flower
webdesignerbr via pixabay

 

As pink shades to red, so the tightly furled bud swells and becomes more of itself. Forever growing more alluring, velvet petals invite a touch, sensuous perfume beguiles the nose. Scent blown on a lover’s breath cascades down inmost folds, finally drowning in a gentle waterfall.

Carried over the edge into tempestuous torrents, blooming, opening wider and more, into enthralling depths of sweetness. Yes, sighs and gasps and the music of the spheres, all is here, tasting of honey, pulsing with life and heat, ripe and heavy.

Red deepens to imperial purples, blue of night, midnight indigo and sparkling starred ebony. It matures but does not end, fading once more purple, red, pink, sleepy pale at last it rests.

 

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Hush now

a poem

lighthouse-waves_WenPhotos
WenPhotos via pixabay

Big girl now, so you don’t. Your tea party will not come to pass, so get up, get out and get on. There’s gold in those distant towers, creep in, sit quiet, be good. Rapunzel got her prince, but you cannot, must not, let down your hair, no. Don’t spread too wide. Fold those gauzy violet wings neat. Pack them in a shiny carapace without markings, and lower your eyes.

Big girl now, so you don’t. It’s a paradox all right, this flipped and contrary view. You’ll get used to it, or maybe not. Don’t talk back. A smile pays rent on the space you occupy. See, you exist in the moment of a careless glance. Grow curves (no edges) smooth and pleasing to the hand. But beware the wrong places. A magic trick; more presence, and you are invisible. Now they see her, now they don’t.

Big girl now, so you don’t. It’s good to share, yes, even that. Everything. Your one possession, boundaries breached, legs parted for him. Not too many, just enough to bag your prize. It is what we have done, always and forever. You must prove you’re worthy, grown in a different way. Mouth shut, eyes open, the cuckoo housed. The enemy is within the walls.

Big girl now, so you don’t. There are always jobs to do, babies to soothe, egos to cradle, wounds to bind. Your blood ebbs and flows, and the clock ticks on, and life is a seething ocean, testing defences and opening cracks. Peer over land’s end at the rocks where sirens beckon.  Their invitations whisper at the edge of hearing, snatched away on the wind.

Big girl now, so you don’t. You are the battered headland assailed by storms; the lighthouse dark and empty. It is another day, and you have forgotten how the sun warmed your skin. This world is forever grey. This heart is forever patched and broken. No matter how much you wish to sink, the world is built upon your back. When the cliff itself despairs, there is no place to jump. Offer shelter, promise safety, stand firm and carry on. They need you.

It was child’s play then; it’s woman’s work now. It’s a man’s world still, and it’s time to find your place. You’re a big girl, so hush now.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

The collector

still life with old camera_Unsplash
Unsplash via pixabay

 

Here, a bright feather of iridescent purple and blue, plucked from the bird of happiness as it flew by. I fashioned a quill, dipped in black ink drawn from a pale, eyeless octopus that, shunning light, knew only deep sunless despair. And with these, I write a song for you.

 

Here, a dark mysterious shell, some glittering grains of sand, pulled from the farthest shores of imagination. I searched after lightning struck and used sea glass to bottle tamed fragments of raging sea. And with these, I carry the storm home for you.

 

Here, a smooth jawbone and a horn, ripped from some ancient creature now extinct. Elbow deep in blood I dug through rotting meat and guts, and boiled the bones white. I strung sharp teeth on sinews and scraped the hide clean. And with these, I make necklaces and furs for you.

 

Here, a fine pattern hinting at past violence and pain. The icy burn of a Judas kiss, a red-hot blade slipped into my heart both left their names behind. Fresh scalpels carved embedded bullets and forgotten shrapnel from my flesh. I cried healing tears till wounds were mere memory, scars written on my skin. And with these, I trace forgiveness for you.

 

Here, a brimming cup of clear water. I stumbled among rocks, scrabbled in the earth with ragged hands, searching for the source. I toiled endlessly, shaping the clay, firing each hard-won vessel in the furnace, though so many lay broken on the midden of experience. And with these, I bring refreshment for you.

 

Here, a monarch butterfly caught in amber. I chased many joys but captured only one, sacrificed to preservation that more might see it close. I dissected and catalogued the pieces, then remade them into a lesser whole.  Deathless yet not alive, its colours are held where a tree wept, hardened by time. And with these, I offer possibility for you.

 

Here, a hoard of objects orbiting my gravity. A lock of hair, a puff of breath, a glistening tear. A heartbeat, a ruby blood drop, a remembered sunrise. A sea-worn stone, an autumn leaf, a stolen kiss. All these I have collected, sewn into a Frankenstein quilt with hopeful stitches. And with this patched creation, I offer my love to you.

 

First published 15th April 2017 in The Creative Cafe on Medium, and winner of the creative challenge

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

one sky

sunset-sky_adinavoicu
AdinaVoicu via pixabay

one sky.

brilliant colours blend and slowly the sun descends
in blazing orange hues. we did not choose to be here and
we have no choice. your voice quietened by tube and pipe
a muffled scream. I wonder if you dream of summer, dressed in stripes,
of dancing on the beach. you will not reach the sea-lashed strand.

one sky.

a tiny hitch of breath, the merest twitch of a hand
machine made. humanity fades to a discordant chorus.
if there is nothing pure above, no sure god in whom to trust
then we must accept our fate of sun-bleached bone and dust.
prayers cannot help when no-one cares to listen to us.

one sky.

cloud tears falling rain. I try in vain to hold up the sun.
no deal that I can make will reveal a spell to stop what has begun.
I hold a hand turned cold, and clearly I’m outrun.
this day closes not with perfumed roses. instead a clockwork beep
tells all is not well. here at day’s end for the last time, you sleep.

one sky.

and when the sun slips from my sight, I hope the stars lend you their light.

for M

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

What love isn’t

(Inspired by Valentine’s day)

rose-dark_dagon
dagon via pixabay

 

He thought he could buy the secret. But buying books is not the same as knowing.

He thought he could study the secret. But reading is not the same as doing.

He thought he could borrow the secret. But reciting poetry, even with a flourish, is not the same as feeling its truth.

(He thought he knew what love is)

He sought its pale shadow, in accumulated volumes and olden sonnets and cloying champagne truffles and twelve overpriced florist’s red without scent.

He mistook the token for the treasure itself, and it slipped unseen from his grasp.

He sated an appetite, and mistook it for deep satisfaction.

He felt a candle’s glow, and mistook it for the heat of the sun.

(He had never truly known it)

The sudden thrill running through your veins like lightning. The light of stars reflected in another’s eyes. The tears and smiles and rage and tenderness. The betrayals and reconciliations of love, its ebb and flow, its change and its constancy.

The words, the paintings, the gifts, mere echoes of reality.

Love defies attempts to capture and confine it, eludes definition, stirs us soul-deep and for time eternal.

To love is to burn.
Any poet knows.