audio, blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Garden Party

cake-tea_Skitterphoto
Skitterphoto via pixabay.com

listen to this poem here:

There is a place where the sky is
amazingly, truly blue
always perfect summer
floral silk flutters in a warm breeze.
Tea and cake on elegant lawns. We watch
the world go by.
And in this place
the string quartet plays on
all worries fade to leave us
contented, soft.
We float on half-heard conversations
skirt around the deep
drown in the shallows while our hearts
barely beat.
More cake? Yes please
this sponge is rather good.
And no amount of genteel words can fill
the gaps and missing parts
but yes, a fine day, a fine day indeed, yes
I heard, it’s such wonderful news.

Lips moving, tasting, swallowing
a full portion
of nothing at all.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry, relationships

Retrograde

stars man torch_martin-sattler
Photo by Martin Sattler on Unsplash

listen to this poem here:

This place I’ve been before
almost home
a shoe that didn’t quite fit
I’m sliding in anyway

(close my eyes)

can almost see the way we were
hear your laughter unravelled in time
distance draws the bitter barbs
leaving only the ghost of sweetness

(let’s pretend)

feast on crumbs of forgotten memories
rake it over, find one last spark
call it enough
better than nothing at least

(a once-familiar kiss)

it only looks like backward motion
from where I’m standing
so stay with me awhile
and I promise not to cry

(we already know how this ends)

listen to this poem narrated in reverse here:


(with thanks to Wil Roach – first published in PS I love you on Medium 28 July 2019)

audio, creative writing, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Ballad of the blood moon

photo of full moon surrounded by clouds
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

listen to this poem:

Dark stories are told, but time passes so fast
you’ll find that precautions are not built to last.
Watch out little children, you better take care
when those who know better tell you to beware,
when those with long memories shudder and sigh
be sure something fearsome will come by and by.

You might love your fairy tales, sugar and spice
without realising such tales are made twice.
The first is to make trembling humans afraid
of glowering monsters that creep in the shade.
The second, to gloss over, sweeten and soothe
for those without courage, the unvarnished truth.

Just call me Cassandra, who did try to tell
there are many roads to the portals of hell.
Through study and practice I long ago learned
to master the hunger that endlessly burned
in flesh bone and marrow, secreted within
my heart and my essence, the voice of my kin.

Dark, difficult magic. This had to be done
to shackle the devil. There was only one
small gap in my armour, for try as I might
no lore can delay the day’s turn into night,
or heavenly bodies that spin on their track
and one day align. Then the beast will attack.

I swear that I told them they must stay inside.
I hopelessly begged all the children to hide.
No prayer, incantation or druid’s wise rune
will silence the call of a super blood moon.
My wolf broke its bonds, howling vengeance. And here
came answering cries of my clan far and near,

my brothers and sisters all hungry to feast
on flesh of the great, and the bones of the least.
Unfettered by reason and drunk on our might
the slaughter proceeded beneath the red light.
I woke to regret, utter carnage around.
We cannot leave anything here to be found.

There is no escape, chained to life by this curse.
But I would exchange all the gold in my purse
to be once again a mere mortal — to die
and pay for my sins as blood drips from my eye
in sad imitation of genuine tears.
I mourn for my victims across countless years.

We buried the last of the bodies this morning.
The foolish and brave, who did not heed my warning.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

sea glass season

sea-glass_treenabelle
treenabelle via pixabay

Every year it comes again, this subtle sense of loss — a missing piano note. I’ve erased and rewritten our story so many times over that the memory now is ragged and blurred. Too much clings to the fabric. There’s no space to start afresh.

Sharp edged criticism and disappointments have mellowed, tumbled over and over in an ocean of days and tears and never minds. What was once harsh and bitter turns soft and hazy. Perhaps one day even these will disappear, all the corners worn away until nothing remains.

I wonder if she ever heard me cry, holding jagged shards to my heart instead of comfort.

I cannot bear to wait for an echo that remains silent, so I do not sing the missing note. It sits inside my chest, bound and shackled.

Each early summer season it tries to escape. My throat is barricaded and I will not.

The past is veiled for my protection, bubble-wrapped in half-truths and semi-plausible explanations. We do our best and it is not enough. One always wants more than the other can give.

A never ending game played out across generations. Rules are unclear and the dice are loaded.

One day, my daughter too will cast the wishes I unknowingly broke into her private sea, hoping fragments will wash ashore smooth enough to hold.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

The Time Is Now

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

It is the time of sleep and not-sleep
but warm, always.
It is the time of seen and not-seen
soft focus, indistinct.
It is the time of dream and not-dream
yet absolutely real.
This is the place, mapped and not-mapped
each hill and curve already known.

These are not adventures, and here be no dragons.
We know this gentle push and pull
caressing the edge of darkness
teasing the frontier of rest.
The familiar needs no more
when soft half-light reveals us to each other again
veiled in a gossamer web of sighs.

It is that time.

audio, blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Mine

love hearts_Public Domain Pictures
Public Domain Pictures via pixabay

listen to this poem here:

We whispered quietly as lovers do
of you, and me, and us. We came to be
so intertwined no boundaries were seen,
an alchemy whereby two became one.
And when in velvet dark I murmured soft —
a soundtrack to our games of hide and seek
of push and pull, sharp teeth and tenderness
traced round its edge with just sufficient pain
to ground us in mortality — yours, mine
seemed all the same. We kissed and lived our choice.
You held me close, in case I floated off
into the dark skies of forgotten dreams.

You didn’t pause, my love, or think it strange
that passion’s language is awash with death
and dangerous. We fall and drown, expose
soft beating hearts. We’re careless with our trust.
But when you said I’m yours excitement woke
a lurking appetite that stalked the depths.
I took your willing sacrifice with joy
and feasted on you, gobbled up – your flesh
consumed, assimilated thoroughly
while weeping for my loss. Another one
whose wish came true. You’re part of me always.

To taste your enemy and then devour
is to possess all of his wondrous strengths.
I almost held back this time. Sadly you
my love, were too delicious to resist.