Old Light, New Light.

The old year passes with the setting of the sun, the new year comes with the rising of the moon. We all turn together as the Earth spins around our star, half in darkness, half in light, for some the day, for some the night.

Wherever you may live and whoever you may be, may your God go with you and may you always be free.

Happy New Year.

The blue space

Looking out at the sea between blue and me, the distance becomes infinite space.
The ship sets sail, the distance calls, I watch you gradually vanish into that vast beyond, on the way to another space, somewhere to the north they say, where the air is blue and the snow falls all day. Infinite space between you and me, again. 
Here in this harbour I buy a postcard, a picture of a place I've never seen, from another space I cannot cross, the space between you and me, the deep, deep blue and me.
In the blue twilight of evening, I watch small boats etch white lines across the flat blue sheet of sea, writing letters on the water to some long-lost love in strange acheiropoieton hieroglyphs that soon disperse and disappear - white ink diluted by the quiescent, melancholy ocean, while squawking seagulls soar in spiralling circles on the cool breeze between the blue and blue of sea and sky while the distance to you stretches light into the inescapable invisibility of space...
All is blue.
Above - the sky
Below - the sea
Blue and blue and blue and you and...
Me.

Beyond The Clouds

City of Dreams
Softness,
A sky full of clouds,
Above the beach, above the sea,
Whispering...
The sea on the shore,
Kissing the sand,
Whispering...
Breeze in your hair,
Distant birds float on the wind,
Softness...
Rain starts falling,
Sighing down to earth,
Filling the footsteps we made in the sand,
Slowly erasing where we have been,
Softness...
Wet sand soft beneath us,
White clouds soft above us,
We are vanishing into the air,
Our memories dissolved by the rain,
Softness...
Beyond the clouds,
Above the sky,
Sleep,
Dreams,
The City of Dreams.

Once Again

Once again I walk in silent rooms and gloomy galleries. Dark portraits gaze from gilded frames at tragic ghosts who walk through walls in fruitless quest to escape this place of shuttered light and time forever stilled. 
Where memory waits to be recalled by those who must forget, I saw you for a moment in that place, waiting for a sign, but once again these silent rooms took you back inside.

Last year - or was it before? Somehow time removes the thread - I watched you in the golden room, the air ablaze with light from a thousand candles, tiny flickering tongues of flame and dancing shadows on the walls; the faded glamour of dusty crystal chandeliers and tarnished candelabra; a banquet for an unknown soul, a play performed behind closed doors in a room of memories never recalled.

Yes, I watched you glide among the crowds of laughing faces, clothed in clouds of chiffon and silk, shimmering wings of a beautiful angel not yet fallen; luminous, translucent, an aurora of golden light radiating from you like a Byzantine icon in that room of burning air. You moved among the swirl of bodies as they danced an eternal waltz, around and around and around...elegant men and beautiful women rotating so gracefully, as if they were planets orbiting a distant sun to the music of the cosmos. I took your hand and you whispered something I didn't hear in that golden salon of shadows and dance. The hours of the night passed by somewhere outside among the gardens and the fountains; we never saw the sunrise or daylight's brittle smile. 
And then you were gone. The candles began to gutter and die, leaving only trails of aromatic smoke that gradually filled the darkening room with a veil of grey, masking the memories of this night you left behind in ghostly shadows that haunt me once again. Was it last year, or was it before? Did your whispered words evaporate into silence before you even spoke? I only remember the memory, while time escaped and left the room. 

Now, once again, as I walk the gloomy galleries, I hear the banquet and the music and the play performed again.
Once more I see you standing by the gilded mirrors; your refelection gazes back at me from another place in time, bathed in the faded hues of golden memories. Do you remember what you whispered on the night I held your hand? Do you recall the lilting music and the phantoms of the dance? Do you remember floating through the salons of the night, among the shadows of the Chateau and the fountains of the park? Once again I watch you walk away from the tarnished, faded mirror in its decaying gilded frame that held your gaze for a moment of infinity. This memory is not yours to keep, it is not mine to lose; this memory is not lost in time, it is our time recalled. 

Once again, I return to the dark corridors and silent rooms to perform the eternal waltz among the ghosts of tragic actors and faded mirrors of lost time.

The Dream-Life of Late Summer

The dream-life of an imaginary afternoon, in an imaginary garden. 
Silent statues gaze at nobody, nobody returns their gaze.
We commune with twittering birds, a consort of insects buzz and click a glittering gavotte in the quiet garden,
Senses beguiled by the aroma of late summer roses and freshly cut grass,
Old fountains spill liquid and light into glittering pools,
Just the quiet hiss of the breeze in the leaves disturbs the imaginary silence.
Here, in England, in this dream of late summer,
I watch the afternoon sun dance in your hair, 
Each strand iridescent, an effulgent glow;
Das gold so tief im abendrot!
Illusion, delusion, bending the sunlight,
Shadows and clouds bruising the sky;
When we are gone the garden will wait
Until another dream awakens it again.
The dream-life serene,
Undisturbed we sleep,
While Time waits in the waking hours,
Dreams have no clocks,

A Song For Us

The song is all, we sing together, voices soar, spiralling ever-upwards into the cerulian infinite, across the universe. The song goes on forever.

I felt your hand - it was a memory, a moment when the electrons re-assembled those fragments of something, splinters of time regained from time past, chemically enhanced and re-imagined, perhaps. Was it like that? I don't know, I cannot remember everything, I am only remembering that which my electrical connections create from the fragments that lie around inside the repository of my life. Was it like that? Am I remembering or am I creating memories from a life that never happened?
I take a picture, a memory visible in captured light.

I felt your hand - it was real, it was warm, it was soft...
I remember, time is regained. In the morning of tomorrow will I remember it again?
Is it the same every time? 
Is the memory of yesterday the same as the memory of today?
Is it you?

I felt your hand - I know it was you.

Memories are lost, these pictures fade, our light evaporates.
The light creates, the light destroys
So much time passed, so much to remember, is it all true?
The fragments of time are falling apart, dispersing within the ever-expanding universe of my memory,
The dust of what was, gradually drifting into glowing nebulae of uncertainty - the stars of memory are slowly burning themselves into oblivion until all is black and cold. I remember things that never happened, I forget things that did. This uncertain seed of memory.

I felt your hand.

Standing on the beach on a spring afternoon, the sea is calm and caressess the pebbles that sigh gently as they roll back and forth in the soft white foam of the ocean's kiss. Between the sea and the sky there is another space. Invisible light. The sea wraps around the land, the sky wraps around all there is to see. You wrap your hand around mine. Will we remember?

I know your hand.

The river passes silently through the glittering city night,
We walk along the busy path, so many faceless people pass as if spirits filled the air,
A ceaseless flow of translucent shapes, a miasma of unholy ghosts,
Spirits dissipating into some unknown distant darkness, perhaps,
Or just dreams of something not remembered vanishing from view;
A memory re-assembled - fragments are all that remain of a day we may have known.
We walk on, hand-in-hand while the river sings for us.
When the night becomes another day, clocks turn us all to dust.

It was your hand.

Another charge of electricity, nanovolts, almost nothing at all, but enough to arouse the memory that waits, or perhaps create a memory of something from nothing. I don't know but I know that I know. 
It is night, I feel tired, I am alone,
I watch the countless motes of dust dance in the lamp's dull glow, 
It is time.
Every picture fades, light destroyed by light,
We shall melt into the air, we shall be our own dreams and we shall sleep,
We are shadows, we are dust, we are all there is to know.
And so it is.
I felt your hand, I heard your voice, we sang the song;
A song for you, a song for me, a song for us.

Dream Girl Blues

Breath of life, the light sighs, we dream.
She shines,
Translucent, ephemeral,
Appearing only to disappear into light,
Into thin air. 
We sleep.
Today is now, time is present,
Memory waits...
Moments, minutes, infinite ever,
Always.

We remember, we forget, we dance in the night to the sound of the singing stars that drip from the black light in cascades of years that have passed so many times before. It is too late to look for their fire, it is already gone, those flames have died and those stars are cold but the light remains as a memory of their songs.
Your fire is eternal,
We remember, we forget, we kiss.
It is time.
I dance with you, I sing your song,
The Dream Girl Blues.

Desire

Lips of Venus
Breathe slowly,
excite the silence,
our still air shivers,
aroused by tongues.

Softly swollen Velvet lips,
Open slowly, fold on fold,
Cleave the juicy, sticky split,
Slide inside the slippery skin.

Oh, Luscious depths in Luskus Delph,
Amour aroma, perfumed pink.

Taste Desire's smoke,
Evanescing touch,
Spirits whisper,
captivating...
Music plays
on rising flesh,
pleasure sings
one song between us.
Hallelujah.



 

Coda

We are the true believers, we are the chosen ones,
We want your pretty children, your daughters and your sons,
Bring them to our party, let them drink our wine,
Tomorrow we will take them to work our deepest mine.

We are the source, we are the light, we are the truth you hear,
You want our benediction, we baptise you with fear.
Leave the weeping women with the thorns, the nails, the blood,
Turn back towards the coming storm, leave the hill and walk away,
Follow the path to the garden where the last words rose to the sky, 
The stone rolls back, the cave is dark but no shrouded spirit lies.

So pray and offer everything,
Touch the hem and kiss the ring, 
Bow your ragged head down low,
You have nowhere left to go.
Nothing left for you to touch,
No golden face to kiss,
The ghost of light
From a dying flame,
A shadow from a candle
Flickering on the wall.

The bell speaks in lugubrious voice
Trembling sepulchral shadows,
A censer swings in perfumed arcs
On clinking golden chains,
Dark shapes murmur arcane chants
Wrapped In swirling incense cloaks,
Candles burn in lamps above
The shroud of deathly smoke.

As darkness falls
In the vaulted hall
Carving shadows
On the faces
Of long-dead stones,
A faint voice sings
The final hymn
Somewhere behind the sun,
We are the true believers, we are the chosen ones.


The Razor’s Edge

On the road to somewhere from the road that leads to nowhere,
You find the hidden bridge that takes you to the razor's edge.
You take one step, you take another, you walk a different walk,
In the field of lost time's distance the path appears in view.
A light, a shadow, the dazzling sun, the insects click and hiss,
The last rose waits for frozen night and death from first frost's kiss.
All is quiet on the carusel of the ever-turning world,
Night and light, the line between the unfixed darkness edge,
The ceaseless, shifting dark horizon, always only ever half,
This sempiternal, everlasting line of bright partition.
Inexorably turns this pleasant land from dark to light and back again,
We are Adorned and held in thrall within time's lambent girdle.
All time and no time, no time to find the time that never ends,
Time to leave and close the door before time's door is closed.
We walk the road to somewhere, many turning footsteps tread,
Towards the inevitably closing door and the glittering razor's edge.

Civilisation

This is the foundation of western civilisation, this is the foundation of all western art, music and literature.
This is the sign that created western culture from which grew knowledge, science, philosophy, education and power.
This is the symbol upon which democracy laid its truth.
No other culture has ever advanced so far as that which this symbol represents.
In western culture we have created beauty from the meaning of this simple symbol.
This is the source of the light.
Those who created the faceless prophet - which in itself is nothing more than a neutered copy of Christianity - created a culture of nothing and which seeks to overwhelm all other cultures by sheer force of numbers. There is no beauty or truth in the repeated patterns and swirls of their world, their world of unquestioning servility to a cult of personality. A culture of submission to a faceless pretender, a dictatorship of unrelenting hate for anything and everything that refuses to bend the knee to its bellicose bellowing.

We have Christmas.

All the birds

November

In the misty light of a November afternoon the planet spins slowly towards another day, leaving the sun's light behind. Colours vanish into the ethereal blue of twilight, there is nothing in sight except the birds flocking home to roost. The darkling thrush, the gloaming bird, dark wings in the sky; the chittering chatter of beak and crop the glooming grey light fills. Silence descends across the fields, silence in the air, except for those few winged shadows twittering across my view. November's light is soft and rare, sometimes it evaporates into thin air - we are shadows, we are mist, we are nought but a fading bloom in someone else's garden - we float on the evanescent vapour of our dreams, we disappear into the ether of another day. We fade every day, we fade to grey. We are and will always be someone else's memory.

The Global Christmas Carol

God bless us, every one!
Now is the winter and everyone is discontent, made worse by the global elite who hoard trillions of money, like so many Ebeneezers. It will do them no good in the end because they can't eat it. They can, of course, burn it to keep the freezing fingers of winter from squeezing their bloated testicles. Or they could build castles to keep the grasping fingers of the filthy rabble from grabbing their golden geese and cooking them. But whatever they do, their geese will, sooner or later, be cooked. I like a bit of goose, don't you? We are in a global prison of our own design - although, to be fair, I wasn't consulted about the design, it was merely presented to me as the best thing since the previous best thing...whatever that was. I can't keep track of all the best things that politicians and so-called "experts" have laid before me with the promise of eternal benefits for which should be eternally grateful. I can't think of one, off the top of my head, that has actually delivered much, but we live in hope because without hope, where would we be? Anyway, I'm confident that whatever my government tells me, it must be right and I have every one of these hopes for the future carefully stashed away in a large box under the sink. They'll come in handy one day. It reminds of the time I met a wizened old lady on the way to the market who offered me a handful of beans for a quick fuck, but I declined because I've already been fucked by the government and sundry other agencies. Anyway, I didn't fall for that old story about beanstalks and golden showers...or something. So, here we are again, up to our ears in misery and fear - the torture never stops, does it? Perhaps revolution might be unleashed as the only way to share the loot between us all, but that doesn't really work either because for all their fine words and heartfelt polemics, the erstwhile leaders of revolutions always seem to end up with a somewhat larger slice of the cake and more cherries than the rest of us, because they're really just the same as the global elite, except without the cash. But aren't we all? Having taken my fair share of abuse and been forced to watch the board of governors stuffing their faces with fois gras, steak and christmas pudding while my nose is pressed against the window of the workhouse and the economic snowstorm gradually buries me, I'm not averse to the prospect of changing places with one of the fat bastards, 'arter all, ve all need a bit 'o good wittles an' a drop 'o good cheer t' keep us 'appy guvnor! Merry Christmas and Gawd bless us, every one! 

Globalism. This is what it means: close down all your manufacturing industries and give them to an impoverished developing nation like...just off the top of my head...China. Invest in their industrial revolution and educate them so that they can sell us cheap products. So we get cheap t-shirts and shoes and they get...very, very RICH! What a great idea, huh? No need for us to soil our hands with filthy machinery and all the pollution that goes hand-in-hand with industry, we can buy everything much more cheaply from the Chinese without worrying about the shit. Hang on, you might reasonably ask, how do we keep our own economic boat afloat if we have nothing - or in the vernacular, fuck-all - to trade with? Ah, well now, here's the miracle ingredient - we become a service economy! Yes folks, that's right, we sell services! Oh, right, you may say, so we're going to transition from making and trading stuff, like clothes, cars, bikes, steel etc, in other words, real things that have a use, to trading services that have no intrinsic value as such because there isn't anything that is useful...like a washing machine. Hold on my little doubting Thomas, don't worry about the intrinsic stuff for now, just go with it. Selling services means that we sell financial services, banking and money orientated stuff, as well as other things like...err, hospitality and tourism and shopping...which is also part of money, as is everything else. So you buy a cup of coffee with a debit card and that comes with a cost to the business because the banks who use electronic financial transfer systems levy a charge for each transaction...which of course is added to the cost of your cup of coffee. Thus, a service has been provided and a trade has taken place. In short, an economic cycle is in motion. All well and good. Except, when things go wrong - or in the vernacular, tits-up - the service economy rapidly collapses into a smouldering heap. Meanwhile, the Chinese are still selling their stuff to the rest of us. Now, it may well be the case that eventually the entire global ediface crumbles into a heap of rusty nails because those who can't sell services can't pay their employees, who can't buy Chinese washing machines, so the washing machine industry goes pop. But people will always buy stuff and as most of it is made in China, the Chinese are pretty well safe. Be that as it may, we are all in it together - 'it' being a big hole that is gradually filling up with mucho unpleasant and toxic global effluent in the form of abject poverty and despair. But it's ok, I still have a box full of hope under the sink. See? I said it would come in handy!

A song for you

Breath

Drifting in a small boat on a silent lake, the rain began to fall and the herons flew away as the wind blew the rain into in my face and scratched at the dark surface of the water in the faint greenish light of the autumn afternoon. Floating, floating…I sang a song for you on another day, in another life we lived.

All the moments, all the days we had, all the time I looked at you. I breathed the air of your departing words as you disappeared from view, your long hair swaying from side to side waving goodbye. You turned and smiled as the curtain closed and I lost you once again.

In time past.

Another time…

Waking up before the sun, laughing at the sky, summer days lost in a haze of red wine and cigarettes. We sang the blues in the afternoon until we cried like Robert Johnson’s keening guitar and Sonny Boy’s moaning harp. The burnished sun, diffused through the window’s translucent silk veil that shivered in the warm air, painted you in soft focus light like Leonardo’s sfumato brush. The contours of your naked body clothed in diaphanous pastel shades and limpid mystery – you smiled as the ecstatic light caressed your shadows and touched your lips. Now, we are shadows together in the second circle, never lost but never found – and gradually now, like yesterday, the disappearing room fades from view, I fade into you – we are gone.

Time passed.

Once again…

I close my eyes before the thorns and nails, the spirit and the bell; I look up before the thunder comes, waiting for the miracle. In the garden I see clouds among the flowers, I feel a song that I can’t hear. Now you speak to me in waves of light, you speak to me of then, you sing to me in shadows, you take my breath away among the roses and the perfume of the garden that we lost. Now I follow the smoke of your fire across the endless fields, dancing with autumn spirits to the rhythm of your rhymes, while between the silent stones the violet evening glows and John Barleycorn lies dying. Standing alone on a hillside, all is quiet in the English sky, save for the twittering swallows catching insects on the wing, swooping high and low in the twilight’s glimmering gold and Giotto’s starry blue. The night is time’s companion, time took all the nights I sang to you. And yet, in this crepuscular empyrean solitude, I feel no dread.

Time passing.

In memory…

Memories of cold fire burn the bridges of our time,

Still I follow the sound of the longing song,

Back to the time I have forgotten.

You open the gate of your garden, you let your perfume fill my mouth,

Just a taste is all I need, one more taste of your afterglow;

Another kiss, another smile, another touch before you go.

I remember everything – the memory of your light,

And watching the sun’s dark moment cross the great divide.

I will not die before the storm, I will not watch the dark,

All the light will one day fade and that one day will be the last,

In time and time before past time, in time before time passed.

Send a postcard, send a letter, send a souvenir.

It is time.

After the day…

Now – in this uncertain time – when only ghosts are free to fly, when churning oceans hurl their foaming flesh onto those shores that ships can never reach, when winter’s breath brings frosty death to every leaf and flower – yes now, in this uncertain time – we meet again. In our cold sky pricked by cold stars, distant suns are dying, other worlds are burning, but not in our time. It is not our time that lights our way, it is time past in time present and this is all that we can ever know. We meet again in this uncertain time, helpless in the ceaseless turning world. There is no still point for this turning world, no moment when time blinks, quiescent at that point where all is still; for time can never be still until the absolute point of stillness, when nothing turns, the fire is cold and the final point of light blinks off – there the still point will be.

A song for me

Looking Into The Sun

I heard a voice coming from an open window, a voice I thought I knew, a song I had heard so long ago. I had forgotten the song but I remembered looking into the sun.

Time passes, we forget.

Memory waits…

From an open window somewhere above me, the song came again. The memory of you fell into this crowded street of blinding light, carried to me on the song I couldn’t see, by words I barely remembered. It was you, it was me, I remembered the song. Crowds of unknown people passed by, jostling and nudging as I looked into the sun and looked for the song. I could not see you, only shapes and shadows, dark moving across light. I remembered the light in your long hair as the breeze lifted it away from your face…your face…your face. The memory of a day, a time – it was always summer. I wanted to remember the light, the sun in your hair, the warmth of the afternoon on those days when we walked in the noise of the hot crowded city and lay down beneath the infinite blue empyrean in fields of summer gold so long ago – you in that pale yellow dress and your hair so long, strands of dark molten gold glowing in the radiant sunlight, a banner of flame fluttering in the breeze that kissed your face like you kissed my face…the afterglow still warms the memory.

But we had to let it go, we never sang again and so the song faded to silence as time passed and slipped away. The song of a memory, the memory of a fragment of time, of time past and time passed and time passing…we forget. The song sang a picture of that time so long ago. It was always summer – or so it seemed. It’s hard to remember once we forget, but memory waits… and so I remembered the song, the words and the music – the memory of then. Always summer.

We were other people then, we are other memories now; we were young and beautiful, we had time. It was summer and when we sang – sad with the song – we looked into the sun.

But time passes and we forget. I try to remember fragments of time past, before time passed. I have faded pictures that flicker across the walls in the moonlight, I have songs I can barely hear that I can’t remember. What I want to remember is not certain and not always clear. We try to see what we want the memory to be and so often we forget. The memory has its own memory. I want to see but the window is cracked and covered with time’s dust.

We were young, time was the future that we didn’t look for; we only did whatever made us happy. We sang songs that made us cry and we looked into the sun. Now you are here again and I remember; in the song drifting from an unseen window above the blinding light of the street, I remember but I can’t see you. I remember a memory. I remember the sun. Now the forgotten song is over – as it was so long ago; but I remembered what I had forgotten while I looked into the sun. The memory is enough. Time passes, we forget.

Memory waits.

For you who I remembered and all those I forgot,
We who sang the song and looked into the sun.

The English Landscape

The sky above the Essex earth, light of passing moments that illuminates the fertile land. 
The light, the light, the glorious clouds that sail across the sea of sky, 
The sky that shimmered through Constable's hand and Gainsborough's flashing brush. 
We are a nation bound by sea but unbound by the urge to look beyond this tiny sceptered isle, 
We are a nation of ships and men who sail the mighty oceans that wash, exhausted, upon the shores of mysterious distant lands. 
The ships of men and vaporous clouds, the heroic men that sail the world, through sea and sky they navigate the glittering emerald globe. 
This land, this sky where the lark ascends in spirals ever-rising, higher and higher into the light until his trilling song does fade into silver'd silence, 
and the light that passes overhead casts dark shadows that march across the rolling fields; 
augurs, perhaps, of the time and tide that waits, unknown, beyond the far horizon. 
Sail on, sail on, oh mighty clouds, sail on for ever more.

How to find yourself in the dark

On The No.11 Bus

Lockdown, hibernation, false dawns, abandoned plans and lost time. The dark despair of the endless nothing; and yet the glimmer of a tiny light far, far away in the dark distant future will always be visible regardless of how much the black void tries to swallow it. This is hope and where there is life, there will always be hope. This is not the same as faith, which relies on a different part of the consciousness and the soul. Hope is predicated on the will to live, as opposed to the belief in something intangible. Hope is the light, faith is the belief in the possibility that the light is merely a sign leading to somewhere else.

The light, of course, may not be light at all. The relationship between mind and material reality is a deeply personal consciousness, the metaphysical identity. The metaphor and the metaphysical conceit are our friends.

And so is Prokofiev.

I saw the light on the night when we went to the ballet recently and hope embraced me in its gorgeous arms, sweeping me up and swirling me higher, higher, higher into the vaulted dome of the majestic Royal Albert Hall, as Sergei Polunin and Alina Cojocaru danced their duet from Romeo and Juliet to Prokofiev’s oh-so-beautiful score. I watched the lissom bodies of the dancers entwine around each other in sensuous and erotic movements while Prokofiev’s achingly gorgeous melody wrapped itself around me and impregnated my ears. Aural sex. Or perhaps aural concupiscence. Either way, it was orgasmic, man. And so it should be. If music be the food of love, then starvation would be unknown, unless all you listen to is rap music, which has little to do with either music or love. But that’s a story for another day.

It was dark in the streets of London apres ballet and we were subsumed into the romance of the night. We hid in the shadows and danced in the light, we sang in gutter and kissed in the doorway of an old mansion with a thousand secrets hidden behind its shuttered windows. We walked to the river and watched lights of the city reflected in the shimmering ribbon of liquid silver upon which the city was born and built and developed into the greatest city on earth. This is the lifeblood of the metropolis, the ebb and flow of the river is the pulse of the city’s heart. Now we ran for the No.11 bus to carry us through the quiet streets, past Westminster, past Trafalgar Square, along the busy Strand and Aldwych to the Law Courts, we pass the Dragon where the old Temple Bar once stood, the gate to the medieval City of London. As we pass along Fleet Street, where newspapers were once printed, the glorious dome of Wren’s utterly magnificent baroque masterpiece St. Pauls cathedral rises before us at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point of the City of London. Is there a more beautiful church anywhere in the world? No, I think not. And so the journey takes us past the City’s financial heart, the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and the Mansion House, here is wealth and power, here is the heart of Empire. We disembark at Liverpool Street to catch the train. It begins to rain. Night in the city with rain falling down and we found ourselves in the dark. Here is romance.

Fear

The Individual

But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. They have set their abominations in the house to pollute it.” Jeremiah 7

We are being dragged backwards towards the dark ages by the single-celled multitudes and their sightless disciples. “They have set their abominations in the house to pollute it“. One brain shared between many doesn’t endow any of the many with sufficient intellect to do much more than obey whatever this week’s percieved crime against society is. A nest of insectoids, they rush, en masse, from one red rag to the next, buzzing with anger and righteousness without having the faintest idea what it is they are buzzing about – they just know that buzz they must because everyone else is buzzing and thus it must be right. There is safety in numbers – the irrational concensus of the group over-rides common sense. The individual is cast out, vilification takes the place of considered judgement and fear is assuaged. “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!” You get the picture.

This is not a new phenomenon, all religions rely on the mass worshipping as one body, recieving instruction from an unseen deity, but the method by which it is now weaponised and directed at the percieved enemy, is. Once upon a time the angry villagers would drive out the evil one with flaming torches and pitchforks. Now the village is global and the pitchforks are usurped by pointed remarks and verbal unreasoning that spread from one idiot to the next, each one adding their own verbal assault upon the one chosen to have the sins of the people laid upon it until the unfortunate beast either repents and is subsumed back into the amorphous mass or is ritually slaughtered upon the altar of righteousness. Witness the attempted public denouncement and humiliation of J.K. Rowling who dared opine that people who menstruate are women. The fact that this is true mattered not to the hordes of the suppposedly offended who support the idea that those who menstruate can be whatever sex they choose, even though this is a biological impossibility, regardless of the imbecilic belief that biology has nothing to do with what sex you are. Cue world-wide attack on famous author with an individual opinion. Hate and bellicose ranting poured forth from the illogical (usually left-wing because the left don’t seem to mind using a bit of hate and violence in order to sieze control) mob, manipulated by a single thought shared between them. It is murder, it is murder. It is the politics of the insect disseminated from the shadows by person or persons unknown, those who are using the termites to undermine the civil societies that they cannot gain control of by plebiscite. These are the anarchists who would impose their own dictatorships onto the plebs they despise. The simple-minded insectoids, bereft of any intellect beyond the ability to follow the pheromones wafted under their noses by social media, are easily manipulated.

There are many such instances – particularly in the academic world, a world where debate, argument and considered opinion based on logic, intellect and philosopical thought excelled, but where fear now holds sway. Debate has been shut down in the name of so-called diversity. Universities, which were founded to promote the propogation of rigorous intellectual, scientific and philosophical rhetoric and the promotion of education are now in the grip of craven cowardice, forced upon them by the great unwashed mob who share but a single brain, the children of the Hydra. Any academic who dares to utter a word that contradicts the groupthink is likely to end up being unemployed, if not tarred and feathered too.

Thus, the individual is a dangerous beast. He/she/it refuses to be subsumed into the amorphous congregation of the multitude. The individual is a threat to the community, an enemy to the ant hill, a tumour in the groupthink brain. The individual must always be alert to the ghastly whirring of the knife being sharpened upon the stone, lest he finds himself dangling from a meat hook, eviscerated, his disgorged entrails and viscera pored over by the village elders, searching for ill-omens proving the evil augury of individuality upon the hive. They fear the individual who sees all and knows what’s what. “But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child. Indeed. With so many naked emperors strolling around ’tis a wonder there are any tailors still in business. “But they harkened not, nor inclined their ear”. There are none so blind, etc.

The Garden

Warley Place

Walking in a garden that once was beautiful, where the heady aroma of rare exotic plants filled the air and the dazzling palette of their flamboyant pigments filled the eye. We are not lost, we are visitors, guests among the garden ghosts of a lost estate. The Manor House that once stood among the regal oaks and noble elms, entertaining Queens and Princes in pomp and glory, has vanished into dust – lost when the family fortune died and abandoned to nature’s way and the unforgiving elements. Now nothing moves through its fabled rooms but the four winds. The ancient garden walls lie conquered, overgrown and crumbling, backs broken by the trees they once enclosed. Overcome by irresistible trunks and ravished by thrusting roots that penetrate and despoil their foundations, the bricks and mortar swoon and fall. Nature will always find the weakness in your foundations.

In the fading light the garden sings her sorrowful song of loss and decay, of time past and time past and time passing…remembering when she was young and beautiful, when she was be-wigged and perfumed and wore the finest clothes of green and gold, attended by fragrant roses, exotic orchids and scented rows of lilac, lavender and stocks. All who saw her loved her madly and brought gifts to her table every day, exulting in the golden light of her glory. Now, all she has is faded glamour, her ragged clothes and tears. We stand in her boudoir where every spring the sap once rose, luring a thousand suitors to win her favour, where none but the beautiful and beguiled were granted entry into the orphic kingdom – the garden of the Goddess. All that entered into this realm were minstrels to her court and each must sing for favour or never come again.

Here – where the sound of old trees creaking and cracking in the cold air, the chorus of invisible birds and the sibilation of insects echo in sinister concert with Stockhausen’s ‘Herbstmusik’, – we become disorientated, and yet, enchanted; bewitched by the garden’s dying light. We are lost in a strange illusion among the phantoms and phantasms of the garden and her memories. In the evanescent half-light nothing moves, and yet there is no silence; all sound becomes extravagant as the day becomes obscure. The click and clack of nature’s sound resounds around like castanets in the undergrowth, the air is a dissonant cacophony of whistling, tweeting, hooting and cackling – every sense becomes confused, sounds usurps vision as the light is extinguished by time – for time is the hand that turns the planets around the stars, the celestial fires ignited by time at time’s first tick that burn above this earthly realm, a glorious fretwork of heavenly incandescence inspiring poetry and fear. Ruthless and relentless time turns the morning and the evening, round and round, the eternal cosmic la ronde between night and day. Time is the hand upon the wheel, time is life, time is death, time is time and time again until the rose is one with the fire, all is ash and light becomes forever black…

We must take our leave as the curtain falls on the exquisite masquerade and escape before the wood sprites appear in the moonglow that bathes the Goddess with shimmering luminous flux.

…the quiet waters by.

I led her down the unkempt grass slope of the green pasture to walk along by the canal, where the oily black water stared up from the cut like the eyes of a slaughtered horse. The distant thrumming of traffic and the occasional drone of a passing plane disturbed the warm afternoon air but no other footsteps fell upon the worn stone path. A few desultory ducks squatted under the dusty bushes on the opposite bank, grumbling amongst themselves. Above them the broken windows of a disused warehouse gazed out impassively, the reflections of their blind eyes distorted in the imperfect black mirror between us.

She picked up some pebbles from the broken path and tossed them into the lethargic liquid, watching the ripples roll slowly outwards from the epicentre across the greasy surface, their perfect circles disturbing the hidden darkness below, waking unseen nightmares from the ghastly depths. Submerged ghosts of drowned paper and old leaves, stirred from their silence, drifted up towards the sunlight before turning slowly over and sinking back to their muddy tombs. A few old canal barges, once painted in bright colours, now decaying and moribund, were moored in the wide basin just beyond the black lock gates where a spout of water squirted through a gap in the heavy wooden boards into the lower level. The silvery splashes of the little fountain tinkled like tiny Buddhist temple bells, calming the unresolved silence of the afternoon. It was strange how the arc of water emerging from the filthy canal was crystal clear and glittered in the sunlight.

She pointed to a swan that sliced through the still water, guardian of this Tuonela, its cold black eyes glistening like polished jet, its feathers folded like a sail. I thought I heard the faint sound of singing as it passed. An old beer can bobbed up and down on the V-shaped wake as the lugubrious white augur sailed serenely toward the shadows beneath the bridge. It turned its head to look back, as if beckoning us. She followed the swan towards the darkness.

As I walked close to her along the narrow towpath I could hear the watery echo as we approached the bridge. The mephitic stench of ruined years that hung in the dank air beneath the crumbling arch corrupted my nostrils, even so I could still smell her cheap clothes and my sweat. My hand brushed against the coarse material of her shabby dress, with its loose threads and frayed edges. I felt my pulse quicken – just like the last time – in the shadows punctured by flickering reflections under the bridge, where the drip, drip, drip of fetid water from the slimy green bricks washed away the precious seconds of life like a relentless, echoing clock. It was almost time.

Beneath the bridge I put my arm around her small waist and drew her to me as the eclipse of shadows erased us from view. My trembling hand stroked her soft, pale face, brushing away the track of a tear from her cheek. She closed her eyes as if she knew. She didn’t look at me as I took her hand, it was just a single touch but it was enough. She never moved as the sickening spasms shuddered through me and all the wasted years came spilling out, spattering into the water and then swimming away, so many souls lost to salvation. She didn’t hear the ghosts whispering among the echoes, she didn’t feel the end when it came, she didn’t even blink, she just deflated and went soft. It was quick and it was easy. Nobody would know. Her eyes were closed and never opened again as the black sun of feculent water dissolved the last tears and took her putrified black matter down to the others.

I bent down to wash the sin from my hands in the dead water of the canal and then raised them up to dry in the warm afternoon air, as if in supplication to welcome the coming of the fifth Sun. In that moment, the swan returned from the shadows and began to sing once more.