Julie/This Christmas Eve

Julie/This Christmas Eve

A Poem by J
"

The first is all made up. The second, obviously written on Christmas Eve, before I went away to Great Barrier Island for 6 days... yup.

"
                                                              

 

 

'Julie'


Too long now a sunrise was the only memory you photographed.
You always spoke of Athens and its colonnades of stone.
Marble, a forgotten story. Your fingers didn't want to let go.
Didn't believe the Mediterranean held anything more
Than love-starved, rained-upon Londoners.

They'll go to Ibiza like they do every year, perform the art of
Hedonism with groggy eyes. Stunned. Another day
In helpless paradise.

They told you Sam was on a hilltop road
Where truffles and boars dare to grow.
Near Milan? You never said. You did imply
He was a lover, though. One with fine fingers,
Obviously used to piano. A grey-haired sergeant
Oblivious to a new world
Where marriage was for the old.
The infirm. For the cornstalks
Refusing to dislodge their roots
In a cyclone.

Athens is so far away from Kansas
Where you first learnt to sew.

A seamstress. Thimble and thread
Your deliverance and bread.
A mother, too blind to read the daily paper.
"In our days, there were no such things
As fancy surgeons
Willing to contemplate anything
But how to prevent
Untimely death."

I read each story slowly, let you savour the sights
Of another century torn by war and infernos.
I mention how many died, how many decided
It was time to fight.

You take especial pride in these victories
Of the human condition. I guess that's where you and I
Can agree far too easily.

I see the missed connections
Spanning fifty years. You are alone now. I know this.
You know this story will end.

 

 


                                            
'This Christmas Eve'


I

Three summers ago I can barely remember
where my body was. Certainly, the mind was
someplace else, lost in dreams and fire
and the sooty afterburn of whiskey shared
between strangers and sometimes-friends,
the kind who you see only twice a year, maybe
three if coincidence pulls you solemnly together.
I often believed I could swim further and further
from the coast. I often thought the tides
were my own prayers for release and laughter,
my tears swelling with the pregnant moon,
my devotion a circling seagull ready to dive
at the merest mention of a fish-tail in obvious strife.
Today, I know the meaning of quiet. Today,
all is serenity, tired, yet bubbling at the thought
of another year escaping shadows.
Too many have said I breathe quicksilver clarity.
I could agree. I'm merely shells and bones
and a single note, a clarion, if you believe.


II

Tell me that this island is a place
to get away from all this smoke. To be replaced
by a different kind, the more fruitful, earthy type.
Kindling, paper balls mashed up by dirty fingers.
A flame to keep the mosquitos at bay.
A smile and strum on a guitar. I will be this
in a few nights' time, upon a rock, I would think,
staring and singing of past and future light.

This place will be about mermaids and pirates,
of the recklessness and excitement which I've
nearly forgotten. This city is filled with too many
anxious people, too hurried, too everything
I've thrown away, given freely. But they say,
"Go find yourself another day where one's needs
will be answered faithfully. Beyond roads and billboards,
beyond placid gardens filled with perfect roses."

You might think I have the strength to wait patiently
in my bower of solitude. How much you'll be mistaken
when I finally let go of the fire I've stoked these past
twelve months. Spent on furious foolishness alike,
given without breath or thought at what may happen
if I were to just sit down. Unfurl my hair. Adopt
the lotus position. Clear my sight of everything
unneeded. Pray, shimmer and sway: this will be
my mantra. Delusion and derision a bitter tale
we'd both best forget. Dystopia and disillusion
a ferry trip away. All of this, forgiven.
All of this, a new day to paint
with flames.
 


© 2009 J



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Reviews

the recorder on the other one I just read goes to this one, heads up.

ohh you and your words, its like being introduced to the pictures of a place I almost almost know. Familiar but foreign, like daydreams of ideas and foreign flowers you make up in your city before you take the trips.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think this is stunning writing, just on the edge of a prize of sorts in my contest and I had to write and say how beautiful the opening is and how it plays out like a visual dream of regret and remembrance.

Wonderful, thank you.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Listening to it read and reading along brings a whole new dimension to your wonderful writing. Marvelous! I must say I am jealous of your reading voice, I sound like a scratchy old hermit! lol But wait, I AM a scratchy old hermit. So I guess my voice suits me.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 5, 2009
Last Updated on January 6, 2009

Author

J
J

Auckland, New Zealand



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