Unjoined dot to dot. Non-sequential numbers.
The outline isn’t clear. Illustrated sections hint.
Disembodied. Scored crayon smears and
pressure marks from the page prior. Split spine.
Corner torn. Coloured outside the lines. In one
colour. Primary. All red. Why? Because.
She said. Shrugging.
Jigsaw with one piece. Blank canvas.
Easy to complete. Limbless dolls. Disembody.
Disconnect. Connect 4 against self over and over.
Always lose. And win. The losing stings. Never yellow.
Always red. The box tops the pile because of weakness.
Lacks structural integrity, so gets picked.
Corner edges divorced. Fibrous reaching is plaintive.
Hinging. Foxed. Favourite because apathy.
Because she said.
Favourite book read. Over again and over.
Ripped in places. Page corner folds. Spine opens familiar
like a suggestion. Reaffirms things known.
Primacy. Passages underlined in pen. Red. Why?
Contrast. She said. Stands out. Is noticed.
Wants to be noticed. Doesn’t like yellow highlight. Too insipid.
Clenches fist until red. Until white. Not lashing out. Because,
well. You know.
Lets go. Relents. Sighs. Slumps, split spined and
familiarly opened. Splayed. Red. Abandoned like so
many things. Incomplete. Used but unloved.
The lost things brook no regret. No search. Hunt. Or tears.
Just a shrug. Who cares? She said. Uncaring.
We all come undone. Overlook worth. Pay less
than face value wherever possible. All red because lost love.
Because blood. Because.
No landscape without crane.
Chaffinch on the scaffold, blush
chest puffed, broad beak set.
Jackdaw on the parapet.
Hoarding boards fly-posted,
no street without name,
no name without meaning.
Blackbird on the flagpole,
flag deposed without wind,
slack, hung low. No city
without grief: too many
chiefs, too many crows. No
embassy, no agency, no relief.
Vulture on the bleached bones.
Whale on the salt beach, prone.
the weather and downed
softly, tethered to
a lament whispered
through reeds. The
afterfeather, soft and downy –
bend to me calmly.
Rachis, distal kiss, the
of the vane lists, and
cups the lapping banks –
slick tide dragging reflection
like a body to the beach
across circle-needled surface:
true tragedy, this, true grief.
Stress ball wish list –
the theme overarches,
falls, slips a disc, contorts.
Window molests branches,
fish lips kiss the sheared ball
sinking, a lone nightjar calls.
The night jars, stalls,
camouflaged silence is cryptic,
nascent flight is shared fault.
Thought herniates, resorts
to fight, balled, fist-like,
bludgeons brick walls.
Moon palmed across knuckles
is dropped, puddles ripple,
appalled, applause is sought.
Eyes squint slight truths, fraught,
haul coals, drape fires, bear palls,
reduce aught to nought. Abort.
Paul Everest escaped the claustrophobia of London many years ago for the sparser surrounds of Cambridgeshire, where he works in a college library, though not as a librarian. He has no qualifications to speak of; he writes and draws when life allows.
Image credit: Paul Everest