Time Framed

The sun bleaches the page, 
Framing my shadow.
I’m the obstacle, 
Creating a momentary record of my presence.
Existing here with the sun on my back while I write these very words, 
But I am not the only one here. 
This sense of now evolves;
Dissolving in time, 
Disappearing as the sun journeys on.

Until then I’ll sit here
Holding the sun, soaking in its heat
Back through to front. 
A collision of light and matter;
And all to create a single shadow.

It’s still there, seemingly insignificant company. 
Part of it creeps onto the page, 
But now as I look to my left it’s there too.
My shadow rests on the seat beside me. 

And yet, I can’t quite see far enough 
To know where it reattaches itself to me.

Then, I notice a slight shiver, 
My back is turning cold. 

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Penmanship

Reems of blankness in front of you
Awaiting the scribe
And the cursive imprint that you leave.
Imagining the letters forming the words before you,
But they stain only in a translucent ink;
Transient in your mind before fading back into what came before. 
And the white sheet is still there in front of you, 
Still only a bare sheet of paper. 

The journey from the mind, through the neurones; 
Flexing muscles and articulating limbs,

All the way down to find the thumb and forefinger that entrap the pen.

No movement but the mind keeps turning over, 
Formulating thoughts and commentating favourably (and derisively) on what unfolds 
From and around you,
Leaving you to wonder how much you will remember. 

Attempted scribbles may begin to emerge,  
But at this juncture only meant for you to decipher.
Marks of existence.
Creating a page of a different sort,
A page that remembers.
The hand becomes the captor, 
Battling the unconscious will to forget

And binding in ink even the most fleeting of thoughts. 
Assorted threads mapping how the mind writes
For Now.

 

October 1918

October, 1918.

 

Dearest Christopher,

 

My darling….It was so wonderful to receive your letter this morning.

To read your words it was as if you were sitting here talking to me. I wish you were. I found myself tracing your handwriting, imagining your hand following the same pathway as mine, imagining what it would be like to feel your touch once more…

 

I must confess that I was worried to read that the weather has already started to turn menacingly wintery where you are. I only wish I was there to keep you warm or that I could, at least, send you some knitted gloves and thick socks. I will ensure that I include some cocoa in your next parcel in an attempt to warm you from the inside.

Of course, you are right my dear, I know I shouldn’t worry…but I can’t help it. You are so far away and we hear such terrifying stories back here.

But whatever I am hearing and feeling, I know that it is nothing compared to what you must be living through.

I am so proud of you, proud to say that my darling man is fighting for us and our country.

 

I wonder what you’re doing now??

I do hope that you are not too exhausted and that “that pesky cough”, you mentioned previously, has left you now.

 

Do you think they will finally grant you your leave soon?

I know it is ridiculous, but I keep dreaming that we will be able to spend Christmas together; imagining that I will be able to wake up in your arms after falling asleep by the fire with our stomachs full of your mother’s delicious Christmas pudding.

Forgive me for dreaming, it just helps me to keep smiling. I hope that by sharing this with you I might have brought a smile to your face too. I am determined that I will only allow tears to well up in my eyes out of happiness when I finally see you standing in the doorway, knowing that you have come back home to me.

 

Stay strong, my darling, I know you will. I will be here waiting for you when you return.

 

Sending all my love to you “somewhere in France”.

 

Yours forever,

Betsy 

Anchored

Hooked on impossibilities

A maze of desire and dissatisfaction

Where your dreams wander too far.

You know it is futile and waves of impending misery threaten,

But hopes are okay, aren’t they?

Aren’t they?

We all need an anchor,

Something to hold onto,

That it rooted deep

And stays strong against our own bombardment…

 

She must have gone wrong somewhere,

Surely she shouldn’t feel like this,

Surely there must be some way out?

But she can’t see for looking.

It hides behind a looming overhang

As her eyelids waver and shut.

 

A shrivelled shadow.

An internalised self.

An echo.

An unrecognisable past.

 

Divorce;

Jarring separation,

A splintered parting

Leaving her standing alone.

Her body ricocheting back and fourth with every blow.

Smothering and bashing;

Dented and bruised…

…As the body fights for breath.

She wills herself to stay upright.

Trying to refocus her panicked gaze

On what could lie ahead.

 

Where she is headed,

Who knows…

 

The anchor stays behind.