She swallows the
Evening’s clear cries
of dark-dipping gulls
flung across the sunken wound
her cloudy dress of Pastel Sadness
dragging carelessly behind.
December. The Sea has cooled, a bit. The sand feels like chilled velvet ‘neath my stumbling toes. Rubigenous seawrack trickles in. The seethe crackles and I suddenly catch a wee glisk of my delitescent Self abiding there in the reflection on the glass sand. It is the meek, quiet one within, the one that harbours all the pain and grief I have ever known.
An intangible being created long ago, and like a gentle chum, has ever-remained. It is there when I go sprawling, overturned, writhing in the spitting sand, rabid wind flinging shards of broken sea glass and shattered scallop shells into my eyes. It flits in and swallows every splinter of chaos, calmly, silently, so I may clamber back to my feet and stagger on. And then, I am reminded, Chaos is a Choice.
This service performed without complaint, little shamrock-infused Soul. Nothing spoken, lurking reticent and Daphnean- alone, without yearning. But I can feel it, ever-present, and am zapped with its vital energy- how can something dormant feel so ardently alive? Is this where Passion is derived? Attitude and Perception? Is this what converts Grief into Peace? Agony into Understanding? Despair into Art?
I amble on, in Memory, gazing through the Abstract: the hum of the fluorescent lights hovering over an infinite hallway; the sharp light polished on the gossamer surface of a muddy puddle; the buzz of a drill in the background, staring up at the pocks in the grey ceiling, tracing constellations of galloping stallions and peculiar faces; and the keening sound of the groaning flowers as they die on the frozen prairie, brushed by the aching wind-
Abstract memory has a way about it, washing things in a thrilling,
pensive kind of melancholy. Even the hideous and the terrifying can become
beautiful. The fracid and sulfuric scent of Death, black-red, sticky on the
sheets, is an oil-painting-flashback, a sad observation. Her vitative laugh, unique and impossible to replicate, is no cultellated recollection, but evokes joy recalling having known such a gorgeous Soul.
There is damage, but no distortion, feeling pain, but no torment; stumbling crippled, but not suffering. The wounded and mangled inner being that smiles coyly through the detritus of childhood abuse, of loss, and pain- I see it in the flicker of a blue shadow, the crunch of a dead leaf, and I know, I can feel it all, euphorically.
It provides Peace. It reveals fragile humanity, even in those others have named Monsters. Understanding comes, fear being vanquished. Is it the breath of Forgiveness? How could it be, if I first do not feel wronged? Compassion and Love, the Beast with Gentle Eyes?
I wander on into the now dark, December night, Sea a distant hum behind me. Christmas lights and stars illuminate the way. I think about my brother, his addiction, our differences. I wonder if he has a hidden Self within to absorb the blows. I have seen him staggering in obscurity- searching for Beauty and relief in drugs, self-esteem in crime, atonement in masochism. I see him for what he is- a beautiful human being, worthy of forgiving himself. Aye, I think of him, as I ooze along, deeper and deeper into the lovely December night.
I was born a crabby, old man, the biting brush of early autumn a perfect match for this newborn and decrepit soul. Memories of moldered monochrome, thoughts as rugged and harsh as the fissured bark of the ancient oak trees, and a flare for donning the old checkered highland’s cap and an un-fused pipe redolent of walnut tobacco; such was I since the day I first cast these miry eyes unto the unwary world. I found beauty in the withered, poetry in the dead, and my soul in the smooth ripples slipping across those Sepia Pools of Melancholy.
I was born a cantankerous old man, limping along, nefarious, sometimes with a varnished cane, sometimes alone, snarling with a whirling eye of billiard white at any passerby that might happen near. I had crooked teeth to accent trench coats and London Town hats still redolent of acrid cigars. When I flashed those serrated masticators with all my fury, even the bravest squirrels darted for safer ground. What passion I had for instilling terror in my gnarly ways, askew, stomping along those vacant, black and white streets veined with sniveling cracks.
But somewhere along this old man’s crawl through this spare score and some years, I found my way to the ocean, and there, upon that strumming shore, I discovered acoustic melody, and new forms of poetry, and along the swash zone of shattered scallop shells glinting pink and lavender, the waves encasing this craggy visage with the sweet kiss of brine, I became young for the first time.