After

Your breath on my neck catches a strand of hair,

butterfly wings against my skin.

Your arm, heavy against my chest

Like a secret.

Your hand lightly cups my shoulder,

Fingers flicker like flames

As you begin to drift.

My arm against your belly

As we rise and fall.

For a moment we are in synch,

I  hold on to a pleasure

that slowly recedes,

Our breath separates

and we continue on alone.

 

 

 

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My Year in Books

So this year I decided to use Goodreads to set myself a reading challenge as I felt that I was getting distracted by the internet way too much and that my reading was suffering.

Here’s the list in full.

Quite an eclectic bunch of titles I think. Some are novels I’ve always wanted to read but hadn’t got round to (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep, American Gods), some were bought on a whim with the supermarket shop (The Minaturist, All The Light That We Cannot See) and others  have been continually brought to my attention over the years as “must reads” (The Alchemist). Some were free Kindle books that I read on holiday (80 Days Around the World, The War of The Worlds) and others were found whilst shelf tidying (I work in a library) and I’d either heard good things about or was intrigued by the blurb (Gormenghast, Farmegeddon)

Here are the winners and losers of this years challenge, in my opinion of course!

Favourite Read (even though it’s book 2 of a trilogy but didn’t know until a few chapters in!)

Gormenghast – Mervyn Peake

Disappointed by:

The Alchemist – Paul Coelho

Pleasant Surprise:

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Made me laugh out Loud:

How To Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

Best re visited:

Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett (RIP TERRY)

Author I will not be reading more of in a hurry:

Haruki Murakami – Norwegian Wood

Everyone Should Read:

Farmageddon – Philip Lymbery & Isabel Oakeshott

Seeing me into 2016:

The shark and The albatross – John Aitchison

 

 

Don’t Pray For Me

Sister, don’t pray for me

I am sickened by sincerity

I am lost beneath your angel wings

I am withered without light


Sister, don’t pray for me

And burden me with sympathy

But stay doomed,  undeniably

Within walls, watertight.


Sister don’t pray for me

The waters rise inexorably

You praise the dark and will not see

I am Delphic, you are Right


Sister, don’t pray for me

I am free in ambiguity

I am open to the elements

I am fearful of the night


Yet all I ever want to do

Is give it up, and all to you

To face the irony, the true

and endless light of life.

Lost In You

I was alone and happy in my own universe,

And then you found me, hiding in clear sight.

‘A penny for them’ you said, and I smiled and gave them up.

All of them.

Am I truly lost in You?

For out Here I don’t know who I am!

Exposed to the scrutiny of your understanding

I am insubstantial,

Eroded.

I search for my reflection, but see only your mastery.

Love has diminished me

Cat

I wrote this for a short story competition. I used Macbeth as inspiration.

He strides through the dark alleys of the city.  The warm rain that soothed him at first, an ally giving purpose to his eager steps, now brings him to his senses.  Each droplet stings like a needle as he nears his destination, reminding him of his true purpose.

The sign appears at the intersection of three streets, rocking gently in a non-existent breeze on hinges that rasp painfully against the silence. His eyes make contact and it stops abruptly, words and images take form. “The Weyward Sisters” look out from the sign, three profiles of aged hags straight from a Fuseli painting. Bony fingers point in unison at a door.

Through the door is a room dominated by a huge stone fireplace in which a fire burns, the only light in the room.  A small wooden table and chair are set before it and he sits and waits.

A child with hollow sunken eyes and skin the colour of a storm stands before him.  “I’m here for Cat” he tells her, she nods and leads him away.

She takes him down steps worn smooth by the passage of uncountable footsteps. As he reaches the bottom they seem to melt so that it is impossible to tell where the steps end and the ground begins. It is cold and damp, a strange coquettish mist swirls around his feet, curling and caressing his ankles with promise.

And then the one named Cat appears.  Through the ages they have sought her out. They come for guidance, enlightenment and wisdom. They come for a vision.

She offers him the drink, it smells like death but he drinks it willingly and falls to the floor retching, pinpricks of sweat appear on his brow.  The mists that teased him on arrival become all enveloping and he is transported.

He is flying so fast that he cannot breathe, creating a terrible storm as he flies up and up a huge tower to a room at the top. He glides in through a huge glassless window that takes up the entire side of the tower and locates the man sitting at a desk.  Old, unshaven,  his hands palm down on the desk,  steadying himself against the howling wind that has free reign to rampage throughout  the room, disturbing papers that are stacked on his desk so that they spin and twist about him, a maelstrom of typeset.

He stands facing the old man. He holds something heavy in his hands but he cannot make out what it is. He holds it up and shows it to the old man who slowly gets up from the desk and walks to the window and, without backward glance, steps out.

He sits at the desk and sees that what he holds in his hands is a crown; he places the crown on his head. He notices his hands are covered in blood.

He awakes from the trance and knows what he must do.