i_reached_right_around____by_1n50mn14c

Poems and Drawings by Paul Everest

Heroine

 

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.

 

Paul Everest, 'encompassing'

 

Landscape

 

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.

 

 

Kalamos

 

Drowned after

the weather and downed

 

softly, tethered to

a lament whispered

 

through reeds. The

afterfeather, soft and downy –

 

Calamus, calamity,

bend to me calmly.

 

Rachis, distal kiss, the

meandering asymmetry

 

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.

 

 

Paul Everest, 'ribbon dancer'

 

 

Abort

 

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

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