Awake Dear Heart

Between the past -
That other country
Known only
To sleeping senses
Lies a fault line
Half-forgotten
In a ceaseless
ocean's arms  

Set about by waving forests
Seen by the drowned
as mermaids' tresses
It is memories
soul and hope held
of fair winds, 
an older magic
Sprites and selkies;
A friendly following sea

Through dark and
sand-swirled waters
Creeps a stillness
A breath held quiet
As gold-wrecked
and cannon'd galleons
unfurl sails
of dreams and dragons
A last task before resting
A journey not yet known

Awake now dear heart
For here we find
Those ships of wonder
With a compass
Map held ready
to a new world
Blue sky dawning
A promised gold caught light

Awake, dear heart awaken
For we crack
all bounds and anchors
Crewed by captains
most courageous
As they navigate
memory's own fault line
And sail forever onward
all the heart-true sailors
home.

For my dear friend and mentor, David Moser. Thank you. Parker x

Sharqi

Image David Marcu

Image David Marcu

What to do
when the granite hard rock
of caretaker love
you have been standing
life long on
thoughtless
of his
mortal span
turns all of a suddenness
to unpredictable
uncertain
gritty
eye-stung
sand;

Shifting
in the hot dryness
of a damaging
diseased wind
he drifts and fades
falling
into that
final barrenness;
a lunar landscape
devoid
of all his former
clarity
his fierce held
inner burning
god hewn fire –
and his own
wondrous
man made
light.

For my father.

To Dream Perchance To Sleep

I lie here,
hopeful in dazed delusion
of the chance
as Blake’s
bright burning tiger
in his forests
that I am yet dreaming
perchance to sleep – 
but then
breath caught
and throat startled into waking
I find
with plummeting
heart and hope
my belief of
sentient drowsing
is but a glass
quicksilvered – 
an inverse and obtuse view,
and night’s clamour
of darkness and dim clawing
in truth
is a madcap horror
of dim and drear reality;
a broken morning’s yawn
of stretched yellow-furred tongue,
with the bed-bending, 
back-breaking creak
of sticky eye glue
unwieldy
in its half-conscious
prod.


So the process starts;
that same old
trudge-grudging routine – 
everyman’s day
in a bitter world
filled with grimness
and gut-angsty roaring
at being rudely shoved
from a beautiful dream
within a dream
and I recognise
like all caged sunstripes
waiting for their convenient
diced meats
(the thrilled kill – along with their claws – 
removed)
I will not soon be prowling
merciless in splendid isolation
blissful sharp-toothed queen
of the cool jungle grasses – 
but instead
tramping
the brain-sapping mundaneness
of pollution bounded bamboo – 
and the dull, paw scraping
day-sweated
mental concrete
we know
all too well
as
ordinary, 
everyday,
life.

Icarus Transcendent

Even as we touched
all gods were watching;
it was too brilliant
too broken
for the heavens not to notice
and be jealous even
into hell.
As our eyes met
laughing
we exchanged addresses
numbers and blood types
of psyche and soul
in a glimpse
a blink
in a flickering
flame-filled stare.


For this -
this was Chaos running wild
on a beach at midnight
waves lapping her naked legs
as Lust and Hubris both
chased her half-laughing half-sobbing
breath caught
into the tide.
We, this, us,
becomes Daedalus frozen
face rictus
his wax dripping heedless
caught on the rocks of the boy Icarus
a crashing angel
of bright solar flares
all love pride glory
going before the fall
of Olympian privy wings.
If only we’d pretended
a little indifference
perhaps
just maybe
we could have fooled
Thought and Memory
as they world circled
on watch
for the click and
the cling;
But it is foolish wisdom
to attempt the bluff
of crafty crows carrion
when one look
one parted mouth
would show all men
our desire;
the deep-seated wanting
of two with hearts minds oh
with bodies
joined together bind heavy
sweat driven and panting
from a single
star-crossed
glance.

Sad Mercury Rising

I watch her. Refracted, the shimmering shadows
Her curved riping body, demon-faced fair.
She is foreign, familiar, a darkly-lit ice queen
Besting galaxies old dusted star-strewn;
Clad velvet, locked rusting, in iron’s cold stare.

She, once cast off, now sits with quick madness
Slip-surfaced wet from salt looking fragile glass skies
Her sloe-dark eye, all-seeing, shatters mysteries as mirrors;
If beauty is truth, says she, gaze-narrowed onward,
Then as beauty and virtue, truth in her turn, too, will die.

She nods to me now, ready to have a true telling
Of a girl, close theft-taking empress beauty’s fair crown;
Palace pale, wolf-hunted, a snowy white rosebud
Blood of hers a thick reddening
When it redded, so it bedded, it bled and bled down.

I saw appear, there, in her heart’s hot ashes
A rush-gushing wild heat, promised power to come
There’s but one answer, I hear her, hands raising
Slim, slight, ready, they beckon
The story still a-twisting, turning, crackles and thrums.

Speak itmirror, speak me of my own beauty
Thrown wordless at me, cold crisping clarion call
And as Sad Mercury rises, silver weeping moonlight
Yes, my Queen, I bind anew my mistress,
 
You are

[again]

The Very Fairest Of Them All.

Empress, Cat's Eye

Once –

I shattered worlds.

Whip smart

Whip

I ran rings around their mind games

Without their even knowing;

My iron clad intellect marching ever onwards

A tool of deliberate destruction

A weapon of choice for the playground

Ruthless.

Breathless

In my appetite

For first mental blood.

Within the circle’s bounds

The line, drawn ragged in the dirt

I gleamed;

A crystalline clearie

The marble to be prized

For my snark

And singing sting.

With me, the bunny hole would be taken

The game well won;

Two fistfuls of cat’s eyes and steelies

Clutched tightly, tightly

In the victor’s grip.

My scorn and derision

My quickness of tongue

Were as potent a reflex

As any physical offering.

I was queen, queen of the game –

I ruled all;

My empire

Born of fear and fragility

Made of glass and grim strength

And I their empress

A totalitarian tool

Able (they thought) to be thrown at will.

Now

The whip draws no blood.

I recall the sharpness, the clarity

But through a haze

Darkly

My memory and mindset

A fissured field of cracks.

No longer the Empress, Cat’s Eye;

My crystal is chipped, and I know

Soon, soon…

Soonest

My value will be null

The circle scuffed, snuffed out by the feet of time

And I left –

Here.

Abandoned in my vacant and stale psyche

Rolling eternally, forever forgotten

In a locked

Dusty

Drawer.

En Pointe

I remember

the feeling of sheer joy and

the shining elastic triumph

that came

with the unthinking ease of my body’s movement

hand lightly, lightly, on the barre

my bones muscles tendons joints and – oh

my skin

Shining with the stretch and the sweat

celebrating a bacchanalia of its own synergy

each mechanism ticking with precision

each flexing fouetté a measure of my ability

to simply shine.

Each ronde de jambe

a rubber-band of arrogance and ambition

as I tirelessly watched my own reflection

down a myriad corridors of mirrored glamour

as I heartlessly dismissed those who snapped

who fell

who faltered

who were weak.

Now my own physical substance has dried to powder

any attempted plié palpably stiffened in elegance and bend

and my wondrously sinuous rubber-band like fluidity?

Reduced to the dry, impossible hardness

of a not yet cut and blooded toe-shoe.

I find myself saying

(if only inside my head):

To all you new mistresses of ambitious scorn

which is yours by rite

and talent – I know

Binding your hair with rubber-bands

as you bind your feet with bandaids and satin

Be kinder in your snapback and arrogance

To those less gifted than yourselves

Or end like me

crumbling without use or purpose

and with nothing left

but memories of jeté after jeté

and too late an understanding

of

my mental lack of grace.