First one for a book called Whispers of Hope:
It is an ongoing collection of poetry.
It’s a book callen Burnt Wood
Short pieces of poetry, thoughts and flash fiction can be read here. Once in a while a piece of music is added to a particular piece… I hope you listen to them and find something new that you’ll like 🙂
I hope you enjoy them,
Thank you and have a great week
Red. He can taste the colour. It’s the favourite shade of his favourite colour. Nothing can stop him from craving it. Men, women, children, even animals; they all have it and he wants it. Red. All he wants to taste is red. Feast on weak and limp bodies until every nuance of red has left them to take up residence in his veins. He sees a woman with a red coat and a red umbrella. In the grey neighbourhood on this grey day, she stands out. As if she is calling his name. And maybe that is what the rain is singing when it thumbs down on the ground. It wants him to see her. Red. It’s all he wants. He stops her to ask for the time. An easy smile plays around her lips and they quirk up. Around her eyes small lines are visible. She is beautiful. But his want doesn’t understand beauty. It doesn’t care about esthetics. He wishes that he could play with her. Like a cat plays with a mouse before the feast. He can’t. Tortured red doesn’t taste good. It’s the adrenaline that makes a good meal go to waste. He is a gourmet, he doesn’t want to spoil a delicious dinner.
He thanks her politely for the time and turns as if he wants to leave. But he doesn’t leave. With a seducing smile, he turns back around and he invites the woman for dinner. He knows she can’t resist his charms. No one can. She worries her lower lip before she accepts his offer with a bashful smile. She is perfect, he thinks, and she will be his.
He is perfect, she thinks, and he will be hers.
The shades of red on him are beautiful. She can taste them on her lips. He is handsome. Too bad he fell for her charms. As he fills her veins she feels sated for the night. She turns in an goes to find a peaceful sleep. Tomorrow, her hunt for different shades of her favourite colour will start again. Red. That’s all she has ever been craving. All she needs in her life is more red.
You lie on the floor, dirty and discarded. No one gives you a second look and no one is willing to touch you with their bare hands. You’ve been lying there for a couple of days now, but nobody cares. The stink makes them turn up their noses, but they won’t help you no matter what.
The saddest part is that you’ve lost your significant other. Someone helped her, but ignored you. And while she has a new life, you lie in grime and disgrace. Maybe all that is missing is a hole in your body. Thankfully, it’s not that bad. Yet.
You long to feel a warm body against yours again. Inside of you. But as long as you are like this – dirty and stinky, nobody is going to see you. You fight for attention every day, but you only succeed in being pushed farther away.
You miss your significant other and wonder if she’s found someone new already. You always knew that she would leave you at the first opportunity, but to leave you like this – in this misery, that was low even for her.
You used to be together. Always. You were a pair and did everything together, but she abandoned you and you will have to rot there in the dark. Alone and cold. Scared too. This is not the right life for you. Without her, there is not reason for you to hope and to live anymore and that thought makes you loose hope.
You are a sock after all. You are supposed to have a partner. But you were pushed under the bed and then you were forgotten. You’re all alone. Covered in dust. No body needs one single sock. You wish you could go to sleep, but you can’t. You can hear the life going on around you while you are lost in the dark. No body is missing you. At least not enough to search for you. Socks are lost daily and it is no big deal in the human world.
But what is this? A chubby hand grabs you and you revel in the feel of warm skin against your fabric.
“Mom… I found my lost sock!” the sound is coming out of a little human’s face and it is too loud. And yet, you feel like celebrating. Until he throws you away again. At first it is dark and you are trying to understand where you are, but then you understand that you landed in sock heaven. A hamper full of clothes and underwear and the you see her. Time slows down. She looks just as beautiful as she did the day you were put together at the factory. She sees you too and you know that your pain has ended. The days you had to suffer on your own on the cold floor underneath a bed are over. Soon you will be paired with your loved one again. Being apart was torture, but everything is about to change.
Life for a sock is not always easy, but it’s surely an exciting one.
(Written in 2014)
She runs through the night, heavy footsteps are following her. Eating up the space between her and her predator. Her lungs are burning and her legs are slowing down; her muscles are tired and shaking from the unusual exertion. Her breath puffs out between her lips in visible clouds. Panic is all she can feel. And cold. Icy cold that spreads inside her bones and infests her entire body. The footsteps behind her come closer. She keeps running. At least she tries to keep running. Panting. She is trying to fill her lungs with oxygen, but she doesn’t succeed. Her breathing is too shallow. It’s quiet in the dark. Lonely. She can only hear his steps. Her own steps. The blood in her ears. Please, please. Please! She whispers. She prays that someone will stop the demon behind her, but the cold in her heart lets her know that she will not be saved. Her soul is lost. Rotting. Decaying. Turning to dust. She will be forgotten. Erased from this earth. And no one will remember that she ever existed. She never left a trace. She rounds a corner, losing foot on the slippery pavement. She struggles to get her feet under her body again. In her back, she tries to crawl away from the creature that has been following her. Eyes wide, she finally sees him up close. He isn’t running anymore. Like the predator he is, he comes closer. And closer. One last attempt to get up and run away, but her body doesn’t belong to her anymore. It doesn’t follow her orders, and when he kneels in front of her, with his long cold fingers touching her throat she looks in his dark eyes for the first and the last time. Like obsidian. A dark abyss. Beautiful. Beguiling. Pleading. As if they were asking for forgiveness and permission, all at the same moment. But then he blinks and the gentleness she thinks she has seen a is gone. It made room for something cruel and soulless. The hand around her throat closes and the breathing air becomes less. And less. She tries to gulp in some air, but the hand on her throat prevents it. Her body spasms. “Please, don’t let me die like this” are her final thoughts before she feels a strange and uninvited sense of lust. Her eyes keep staring at him but her soul is on its way out of her body. The horror and confusion she felt will be forever painted on her face. In rivulets, blood runs down her throat from where his sharp claws had held on to her. The demon lets go of her empty vessel and pushes angry tears off his face with the back of his blood stained hand.
I have to do it. He bares his fangs and with gusto, he buries them where his claws have left a bloody wound on her throat.
The heat leaves her body as one last breath, one last puff of air, is pushed past her lips. He stills his hunger. His thirst. And he feels the energy of the young woman setting in his veins. He sighs satisfied, but he wants more. He needs more. It is the nature of things. He lets go of the limp, pale body and gets up. He looks at her. Desperate. He is desperate for a companion, a mate. But who could ever love what he is? Who he is? She was his first for this night. A good start. Growling, he pulls his fangs in again. A tortured sigh escapes his lips again as he turns to leave. One last look at his prey and the peaceful way she looks. All dead people have this look. If he could only feel some serenity. If his tormented soul could only find peace. His hands turn to fists in his pockets as he pushes weak and romantic thoughts aside. This is his life. His hunt continues. It has to. It will never stop. Because if it does, he will cease to exist. And the tiny fragments of the souls of the people he has had the privilege to empty would be gone too. He can’t let that happen. They all are part of him now. Some of them is in his bloodstream and nurturing his body. Squaring his shoulders, he walks into the dark moonless night. He was a man of honour and principles. At least he has been before he turned into this… The taker of the last breath.
And as she is standing on this slippery pebbled shore and sees the world is floating by, she takes a step on wobbly legs and starts on her road to hell. She knows the way and she knows how to get there on her own. No one on this journey with her. No one else to blame. As much as she wants to pretend it’s them – the men she seduces and teases; the words she doesn’t use; the past, the present, and the future. But no – this is about her and her road to hell. Maybe she has found her hell already? But no – this is life. Her life. Her choices. She keeps watching as the world floats by until she understands that she has lost her legs and that she is floating too. Well damn – isn’t this swell – this road to hell.
I run and I run. My legs are burning. They are heavy as lead. But I keep running. I run towards the dark alley that is calling my name. An alley I would avoid at all cost every other night. Not now. Not tonight. You are calling me. And I have to find you. I need you.
“Come Cathy!” I hear it loud and clear. And I keep running. And running. Because I want to catch you. You are my safe haven. I need to find you. Your presence will give me peace. And I keep running towards the dark. And the unknown. Edged on by the hope to find you, my love.
“Come Cathy!” And I want to come to you. But I can’t reach you. No matter how fast I run, you are never there.
“Come Cathy!” It beginning to be frustrating. Devastating. Desperation sets in. How can I reach you? And I run and I run. Until I can’t run anymore and I stop. Everything is dark. There is no sound. Claustrophobic. Empty walls are closing in on me.
“Are you there?” I whisper. It sounds like the loudest scream in this absolute silence. I can hear my blood pounding in my ears. And I realise that I am afraid. Fucking scared, actually. Of this silence. Of this void. Of this emptiness. Of you not being there.
“Are you there?” I whisper again. There is something cold and wet on my cheeks. Tears? And I can’t fill my lungs with enough air to breathe properly.
“Are you there?” I turn around several times. Turning in never-ending circles. I don’t know where I am. Lost and confused. And I am so alone. And so cold. Cold and alone. Inside, and outside too. Lost in the dark. In the unknown. Inside my dream.
“Come Cathy!” But I can’t do what you want me to do. I am not there. I am not real. Nothing is.
I wake up drenched in sweat. I remember the voice loud and clear. I know the voice. Your voice. My heart is pounding against my ribs and I can still hear my blood’s flow in my ears. It makes me deaf to every other sound surrounding me. Around me, the bedroom is bathed in a red hue from the sun touching the closed blinds. “Come Cathy!” resonates behind my eyes, and between my ears. I don’t know what it means. I can’t remember a thing. Nothing that matters. And in my agitated state it feels as if someone is watching me. I am at peace. I am safe. Because this is real, and you are not there.
It has been a while, hasn’t it? May was the last time we spoke. May 8th. Not that I am keeping track, but I remember the day. Since then, I deleted your number from my phone. Not because I despise you or don’t want us to be in touch, but you told me to wait for you and that’s what I am doing. Waiting has never been my strongest quality and I know that I am waiting in vain. This – this entire situation is harder on you than it is on me. I guess it should be the other way around, but I can’t change it. And I don’t regret it either. Sure, for you everything is different and I can’t pretend to understand you, your motives, your reasons, or your actions. I can’t and that’s a fact. Once, we agreed that we need to be friends and trust one another. Maybe we trust each other but I don’t think that we are friends. We never shared anything that really mattered. We never were in love. Just in lust from time to time. And with our lust, desire, passion, we broke limits and boundaries. Maybe a couple times too often? Yes, maybe. Certainly. Some of it was my fault. I enabled you and didn’t stop you when I should have said no. I gave you my control when I should have taken control. I let you be the dominant one when I should have been. I write this right now because I do miss you. For a week now, I wasn’t sleeping right and I blame it on you. Your presence in my mind. And I worry. Also, I want to know how you are. And selfishly, I also want you to remember me. You will never forget me. I know that for sure and yet… I want to touch you again. I like your social media posts just to make you see that I am still there. Maybe we will never speak again. Maybe we will be an active part of each other’s lives soon again – truth is, it doesn’t matter. We will always have our memories. You will be a memory. And in many years time when I can grandchildren, I will tell them all about you. (The censored version! But come to think about it, then there isn’t much to talk about.) I wish that my presence how ever short or intense left some sort of impact on your life. Preferably a good one. I will never know what you won’t tell me.
I am still there…
She lay awake in bed; wide awake. The time on her alarm kept moving forward until it was 04:26 in the morning. She only heard silence. No birds tweeting in the trees, no chirping in the grass. In the far distance, she thought she had heard thunder, but maybe it has just been a plane. What kept sleep so elusive? It was a memory.
“I made a mess,” he chuckled. I need to take a shower,” he said still trying to catch his breath. “Will you stay on the line?” She was somewhat surprised by his request, but she agreed. “I won’t take long,” he added. She heard the rustle of his sheets and the padding of his naked feet on hardwood floors. Doors opened and a shower curtain was pushed aside and then she already heard water running. She could almost see the water cascading over his naked, still flushed body. She heard how the water got caught in his hair and how it was released with a splash against the tiles. She heard bottles being open and shampoo being squeezed out. It was all so mundane, yet so intimate. And then he began to hum. She smiled. She loved listening to him. He wasn’t holding back. Just being himself. It filled her with a sense of serenity. Words were added to the sound of water. They didn’t make sense to her, and yet… She kept listening in. The water stopped and the curtain was pushed back again. Was he brushing his teeth now? The sheets were rustling again. “Are you still there?” “Yes, I am” she said fondly. “I need to go, I need to meet with my brother.” It wasn’t how she had the call expected to end, but he never did the expected. “I’ll get in touch, okay?” “Yes, yes okay. Take care.” “It was nice talking to you, sweetie. Bye” It had taken three months before he got back in touch.
She had been listening to his new record. It had been released weeks prior to her sleepless night and one particular song felt familiar. For days she wondered why. Until it hit her like a brick wall. That day in the shower, he had hummed the melody and sung some of the chorus’s words. Had she inspired a song? He hadn’t said anything in that regard but still… A girl can dream, can’t she?
“It’s in the way you need me,” he sang.
5am. The sky was changing its colour. A little over an hour before the alarm would go off. And she tried to hold on to his memory. A man who had since left her life. She still saw him at the edge of her life, but it became easier to ignore him these days. It became easier to not wait anymore. Most days anyway…
There sat a man on the stairs. His hair was hidden underneath a black hoodie, and his pale hands clutched a mobile phone. His jeans-clad legs were bent, and his knees were hugged by his arms. His head rested on his knees. He looked like a tired, sad man. His eyes were at once empty and overflowing with a raging storm. Maybe he was homeless. No one could tell for sure. Appearances can be deceiving in this day and age.
A busker stood next to a pillar. His fingers picked at the strings of his worn guitar, and his voice pronounced every word he sang with as many emotions as he could muster that day. His guitar case lay in front of him; opened wide, so that passersby would be tempted to toss in some of the loose change they kept in their pockets. So far not many coins were spread out on the black velvet. The romance of busking in the underground and being discovered accidentally by someone influential was wearing off. Sometimes he wished he hadn’t quit his day job because of a fluke. He had, though, and there was no turning back. And now, he played for people who hurried past him without seeing him and homeless drunks like the one on the stairs across from him.
I stood at the busker’s left and observed both men. Both had a similar aura. Tired of their situations. Not of their lives, like me. I felt a momentary connection with these strangers while I projected my own struggles on them. The man on the stairs looked lost in thoughts and mesmerised by the busker singing and interpreting songs we knew from the radio. And rightly so. He sang a beautiful version of Mad World. I hummed along.
The man on the stairs moved his lips in time with the lyrics too. Three strangers who had no connection whatsoever connected over a song. It was magic. I smiled at myself. It was a strange and foreign sensation for me. During this brief moment of contentment, the man on the stairs looked into my eyes. He nodded ever so slightly and, to me, it seemed as if his eyes were less tired then. A glimmer of hope was shining through his eyes and enveloped my own hopeless self.
The train arrived and the spell that had surrounded us dissipated and vanished with the throng of people invading this space that had been so magical mere seconds ago. The stranger was swallowed by the masses, and when the rushing brook of busy people had turned into a trickle, he was gone, and the busker was packing his guitar away. I turned to leave too. Without direction, without purpose. I had missed the train.