Listen, hold your breath –

Can you hear faint rustling
of pen sketched words who wander
across new paper, sneaking
in between the pages when soft breeze
flutters in soft silence,
peeking underneath the lines
of rich creme paper, and gazing in awe
at words that dance with elegant grace,
timid commas tiptoe, slow,
and spiral ’round the hasty dots
into dizzy tales of mystic dreams.
Sometimes, they wake and watch the stars,
and listen to their wistful songs
of time like ’twere the fervent sea;
starry waves that sing to moons,
of storms and love and laughter, free,
drawing in lone, wandering souls
who know and listen quietly.
Listen, hold your breath, stay still,
to shy bells, clear and tinkling,
when soft wind turns the secret page
and stars pour into poetry,
infinite loops trace whispered words
with life and magic, endlessly…

T. E. Pyrus

Advertisements

Prison-souls

They put up grills outside the corridor
that idles before our classrooms.
The quadrangle trapped within
breathes beneath the open skies,
burning in the mid-morning sun,
and hiding in our imaginary mysteries at night.
The new paint on the grills is soft
and green like bluish boredom,
we sunk in our tense fingernails
into patterns of ill humour,
’til uncivil slurs of loud empty threats
shooed us back into shadowy classrooms.
Every time we stepped outside,
the glossy grills drew our leftover pride,
silenced our laughter, till all we could do
to look away from the hypnotic grills
was to gaze vacantly at the red lines,
and the carelessly scribbled words in red
that demanded clearer handwriting,
and red fractions over hundred
that sunk and never rose again.
Sometimes, between the ear-splitting lunch bells,
we’d push our hands out through the gaps in the grills
that ventilated the claustrophobic corridor,
with close-clipped nails, perhaps some spilt ink,
or an apathetic cut from a pencil sharpener,
as the rain poured, stormy and seething
and cold upon our skin, as we counted
in threes, first drops for another word,
bit back to save our mouths
that bleed from all the undeserved apologies
that they were made to speak,
second drops for notes passed under the desk
and crushed words of passion
that choked our wavering voice,
every third for dreams they mocked with skill,
and said we must outgrow, so we grew,
expanding and stretching, deflating and straining,
stifling and pulling, and pulling, and pulling,
until something broke,
and all the sunshine drowned
in these broken prison-souls.

T. E. Pyrus

Patchwork

Summer meadows stain her vibrant patchwork pants green
and racing winds sting her twinkling eyes
as she scampers down the valley side.

It sounds like that tiny patch of pale blue
upon the golden hay and sunshine, more sunshine,
and grandma humming lullabies in words she will forget.

The red of her back pocket sings of rain and shadow clouds,
the bright red of her umbrella and mother’s nimble fingers,
and dark purple stitches trace its sides like burning raindrops.

The soft patch of purple looks fresh
like lavender in the backyard and loud and merry voices
that fill up the garden at midsummer tea.

The tangerine yarn lines the black patches on the left
with sparks of flames and ghosts of halloween,
jack o’ lanterns and mother’s vexed grumbles
while she patched up the singed knee.

The orange cat, she’d clumsily stitched in the middle
of the crooked navy blue triangle.

Pink like her cheeks and walking with snowmen
on winter afternoons, grandma’s cookies
and little Cinnamon purring by the fireplace.

Brown like hot chocolate and marshmallow thread
to stitch it firmly to sweet coffee patches right by the ankle
like daddy’s bedtime tales and kissing the stars goodnight.

sixty years away, she’ll run her fingers over weary thread
of overwhelming shades of nostalgic love,
and little children in brighter patchwork pants will listen
to patchworked tales of her patchworked memory…

T. E. Pyrus

Daily Prompt: Scamper

Carousel

Coloured voices paint the world…

No one steals another glance
at the faery carousel
that crowns the gentle woods of time,
and spins to melodies of grace,
the melting spring and summer bloom
that flutter in the sun-kissed rain,
fiery golden autumn leaves
and snowflakes, pure, that hide their flame
in little baskets, full of dreams.

No one steals a second glance
but wistful dreamers, lovers true
who wonder at the carousel
as lifetimes come and drift away…

T. E. Pyrus

only rest,

I wrote this in response to a challenge: Write about what it’s like to live with a mental illness.

is that the music of time,
like the sound of rain
when tired drops that survived the storm
drip placidly from distant treetops,
through hollow darkness that shut-eyes and nighttime bring?
the absurdly enticing stars
fall out of the decorated sky
and shatter like twinkling ice,
like flakes of glass that yearn the stinging blood.
the soil beneath breathes and lives,
the wilting grass that roughly braids your hair
is damp, and slightly warm,
like the empty spaces in memory
where joy and laughter are faded dreams.
drip-drop, tick-tock, suns rise and moons set,
the air embraces the ground here,
don’t try to move your fingertips,
don’t raise your hopes,
don’t close your eyes,
don’t listen as the seconds fall, then melt away,
as if they steal your love and wonder and life,
feel your fingers claw into the soothing wind,
only rest and sink into the loving earth.

T. E. Pyrus

still life?

The water painted violets beside
the light grey rock and little stream
that worried past their faded fragrant lines
watch over silent corridors.
Sometimes footsteps shuffle by
without a word.
Only keen and careful gazes
fall for ancient things:
some by precious people,
some that watch through clear glass doors
at strangers from far future years,
modeled bones that stretch their lifeless joints
and yawn softly like thin air
when glaring, warming lights go dark
and no footsteps cross seven o’clock.
the porcelain milkmaid and her toddling son
call upon brass aunt queen of heaven and her loved tigress.
Fine china from the royalty four and fifty decades fresh
and indigo blossoms that lace prim cups of tea
and bowls of sweet punch at white weddings,
ballrooms with sky high ceilings,
painted glass windows
that burst into bloom
in midsummer sun.
Stuffed birds and labelled butterflies
flutter around to tunes of drawn and clashing foreign swords,
scimitar for the horsemen,
Bow and arrow for fort walls,
and flutes of bone, drums of skin
to light old silver candelabras
for haunting lamp-less wanderers’ nights.
Scrolls of parchment of fine hand,
crisp and inked in awe and mystery
of songs of love to moon and suns,
great skies, unseen, and timeless stars…

T. E. Pyrus

Blossom

Musing…

What is normal?

In a universe of mystery
where reality is uncertain,
what is mundane?

In dark empty space that glides on forever
like paper-thin ice
that keeps reason from reason,
what is drab?

With spiraling glossy strings of time
that fall into knots of destiny
through tired, childish hands
that play with worn and precious marionettes,
what is dull?

When lack of darkness settles in
and paints a bright, imperfect sky,
when bamboo flutes bring shadow-play
of laughter down the mountainside,
when salty oceans rise and fall
with artless waves, breathless peace,
what then is bleak?

When the mirror finds your searching gaze
and brings your fading thirst for life,
you learn to love the stinging rain,
with newfound awe, crave cloudless skies,
sometimes you wonder
if your memory and name are really yours
and maybe, wonder half-amused,
if all that’s true is but a dream,

What is despair?

T. E. Pyrus

Quintessence

Tell them I’m a delightful child of six
crushing wild flowers beneath my feet
when I run free through light forests,
staying carefully within the reach
of warm campfire-light
lest stealthy shadow monsters come prowling tonight.

Tell them I’m a red-haired girl on the swing
soaring and falling, now soaring again,
laughter that flies far in the wind;
I look for a patch of sunlight blue
to weave into my necklace of beads
made of silver sighs of stars.

Tell them I live in an alley
where it’s quiet and no one passes by,
my eyes are quick, my heart is numb,
and fear of broken glass and stones
keep me wide awake at night,
I beg a little, steal a little, and live a little more.

Tell them I’m a lover with plain daisies
‘neath the pleasing moon,
my fingers fumble with buttons pale
and the shy smile of wry humour,
her dark blush and dark eyes
that burn through my echoing heartbeat.

Tell them I live in books,
and all the faerytales they tell,
I live in worlds of many folk,
and people cunning, people kind,
their lives of wonder, love, and pride,
they live, and leave me quietly behind.

Tell them I am a bride in white
awaiting precious years ahead
perhaps a little drunk on joy
and when I walk the aisle today
and look up through my nervous dreams,
I wonder what the sky might say.

Tell them I’m a father, then,
proud and shy, awkward and sure,
reminiscing innocence and trust,
winter snowmen never made,
and sandcastles that thrived instead
in snow-less winds of boyhood days.

Tell them I am a soldier, young,
desperate to live some more,
beyond these rainless storms of blood,
bitter taste of iron cold,
broken bonds with broken lives,
and numb disgust, and fear of death.

Tell them, then that I am old,
not graceful old I dreamt to be,
plain old: bright pills and walking stick,
sidelined among dark crowds of folk
with long and reckless lives to live,
sad smiles from loving family.

Tell them I travel far and wide
o’er sands of ruth and equity,
through woodlands dark and meadows light;
and traveling softly through the night,
I learnt to leave behind what’s dear
and walk bare of warmth and dignity.

Tell them that I am all they see
when they look into a mirror, and more,
I’m all that they fear, and dream to be,
all that they crave with hopeful heart;
when dark and sunlight fall apart,
they’ll find in stars quiet company,
Tell them, tell them that they are me.

T. E. Pyrus

The House Next Door

Shadow called on the house next door
by wilted lilies on the garden floor
and rueful, pale daylight.

The doorbell watches the front door swing
and quietly welcomes anything
but Shadow past its sight.

Footsteps panic to and fro
with all to wait and none to know
‘neath haunted clouds, so white.

Lace hankies, frail and foreigner
in trembling fingers; faces blur
foretelling woeful plight.

A splendid dusk arises there
and stifled mourning fills the air,
breaking fine polite.

Shadow left with stunning grace,
left voiceless voice and faceless face
in memories’ fading light.

Mourners, dark with clouded mind:
with love in hearts, they left behind
Shadow’s sweet invite.

Shadow called on the house next door.
There’s none to call on anymore
but empty souls tonight.

T. E. Pyrus

Limits

One day, I will be blind.

I’ll while away my worries
by the fire that’s warm
and crackling, dark; reminiscing tuesdays
and my little red winter boots
that left those footsteps in the snow.
Sometimes, I’ll forget how it felt
to wake to daylight.

I’ll wander into afternoons,
slow and savouring each footfall,
the wafting wind of dry leaves
as they crunch beneath my feet,
probably brown and gold, and
maybe the sun felt warmer
when the sky was blue.

I’ll stir a bright orchestra
of clouds of oranges and pinks
in my mind, and wonder exactly
how green the blades of grass
crushed between my fingers are,
and how many melancholic days
one can live on limited sunsets.

I’ll taste the winds for singing rain
or strong impending storms with thunder
and no lightning to wreck this woeful
soul of sorrow and drench in tears
this heartless heart and cool
this wilful mind of vanity
that will always chase the past.

I’ll lie upon comforting sands
by seas I once gazed upon in awe,
like timeless heartbeat, crashing waves
and salt in the damp breeze, rolling tides
and the moon that’s long said goodnight
once for all; stars and stars, and falling stars
that burn and fade like loving smiles.

One day, I will be blind.

T. E. Pyrus