Flash fiction, short stories, poetry …
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The Siege


ncient glades dappled spirit bound,
Valley clasped amid broad back and rugged beam,
Gnarled way where twig and leaf are found,
Lost where old banks and earthen workings dream.

Arched oaken caverns cold and shadowed still,
Mirrored murmurs break amid moss rounded stone,
Surge and dance the steps to thrill,
Yellowed men unfurled on winnowed throne.

Droplets drift through in glistening tears,
A stone grieved of gargoyle nature tumbled here,
Saffron caps dress musted bark amid its silent leers,
Green faced, alone from ages past – its hollowed eyes bleed fear.

Rocking bows breath honeyed, golden light,
The meadow dew drags empty scamperings near,
An awkward gait is borne as if to tread by night,
Cleaved childer, lost of angles, where sleeping grasses rear.

Rugged face o’er looks the vantaged fall,
A roof-top spire amid green crested waves,
The blackened hearth atop the barrow knoll,
Crow fletched shafts denied to woodland staves.

For this place an army bears a silent care:
Hallowed dreams of untamed wilderness,
Thus crafts a branch from wintered lair,
A bud so bold, yet seen as less.

Mossy’d stone in shady glade,
Ivy o’er runs the tumbled tower,
Spring brings forth spears and sharpened blade,
Of emerald armies aflame with flower.

O’erhead where once fine splendor arched,
Amongst this ruin of rock and hollow,
Where wind and rain have marched,
The siege is sure to follow.

Mistletoe breathes to the oak it embraces,
Mother Nature awakens here,
Her lips bear growth of the wildwood places,
Listen. In faer groves her dread words ring clear:

“Baron rock, stone stalwart king?
Crafter’s caste, false rule proclaimed!
A thousand grasping, twisted fingers bring,
Thy destined stones a’neath my rule, untamed.”

“O’ vain are yea of man’s crafting,
Think thou to stem the tide?
Through fractures everlasting,
My courtesans shall ride.”

“So cast down thy gauntlet knave,
Your challenge shall be heeded,
Trees shall weep on your grassy grave,
And your lands, they shall be seeded.”

The fragile stone unheeds her darkened splendour,
Mocks her rowan laugh and holly temperament,
It quotes founds of living stone, her chances slender,
“Retreat! Lest false words end in thy betterment!”

Autumn conspires against defender,
Safe beneath the earth will hide,
A seed, a knight of splendour,
In honour will he ride.

Spurs bite deep in voracious charge,
Brought forth from Autumn’s legions,
Standards planted firm at large,
Shall claim the barren regions.

Red runs the sunset iron of this age,
A perch to mistress raven’s call,
Gutting folly’s stoney cage,
Death’s downy touch on inner wall.

Wounds wear deep ‘aneath the keeping spans,
Gap toothed stories lean to sliding ruin,
Lofty heights bear down to weathered plans,
Of buckled roots, grown deep, as forest eaves drew in.

The roof – the heavens – it bears no earthly spoil,
The humbled hearth, an empty place, framed high upon the wall,
One step atop another throw off their mortal coil,
Lost, unlimbered, rain-washed in shattered fall.

Where found the well no pleasing wish,
Girded iron and carven hoard forced in,
Choked on the bones of the keep, now brackish,
The keeper of life, dead waters – bored of the depths it sank in sin.

A burnished door, still bolted, bars a breach,
The last to rot and wither,
Held in the way of the dark, cold reach,
Domed underways, where black earth reeks of a musty shiver.

Saplings breach this cavernous hold,
Where sickly fingers fear to pry,
Dungeons fool last autumn’s fold,
Wracked they twist then lightless die.

The forest digs in yet the battle still lingers,
Demoralised walls grow green with mounds of the dead,
Judged by a spike hanging chains of gnarled fingers,
Lodged on the wall, the stonemason’s head.

Outhouse and byre snare stones in the night,
Carrion crows nourished o’er dragon sloughed ember,
Green acres shroud trails from awakening light,
Soft royal shades bloom till there’s naught to remember.

A tree of old England bears apples most splendid,
Bent where it took to the mortuary wall,
The sprawls of an orchard that burgeoned and hid,
The door to the chapel cut down from the hall.

Cold is the tapestry woven from ivy,
Watch lest it shrouds or entangled shall be,
The ruins and escapements where jackdaw’s bear plea,
For twigs to nest so that young they shall see.

Once were people as spirits must pass,
Bright coloured shifts draped in tatters of old,
Wintered fires burn deep for the silent in mass,
Good cheer as must be for those empty and cold.

This is the home of the harlequin magpie,
A coven in colours as night turns to day,
Silver borne up in a beak with sharp eye,
A gleeman to bards, friend of the fey.

He holds the crown that thralls this land,
Which ruler could these others choose?
Where all bear arms and  lawful stand,
And none amongst them loose.

Pass on? shall yea head back?
Given council of ancient history,
An orb of ages past thou shall not lack,
A glimpse of nature’s fate for thee.

January 22, 2011   4 Comments

The Hangmen

Fish Clubbing


he hangmen hang on enigmatic smiles,
Strung upon the cellar’d sawdust floor,
Clotting as the heartbeat clicks the tiles,
Pushing through the steel-trapped swinging door.

All’s well, the browsers price the carpet square,
Around the base-beat dancing floor,
I that pushed and pulled us there,
To slam dive on bottled glass till twisted, drunken, sore.

Kitch eighties ingrain the cracks,
Skritch and scratch the dance-floor town,
And heave upon the condensation tracks,
That wash the hip hop motion down.

Bodies packed and full in motion,
‘Yeah, baby, you got all the moves,’
In tribes of twos that churn the jumping ocean,
Kicked and drowned on tramping stiletto hooves.

Jellied eyes that scope the aluminium reef,
And watch like lecherous eels,
Sinewy scales that twist and writhe on gold-capped teeth,
And beckon on the nightly shadows, copping feels.

To weigh the flesh and gyrating glimmer,
On shark-tooth calculated scales,
The shoal that glides the silver shimmer,
Affecting ignorance on designer fishnet tails.

Our crew, our hungry troupe rasping,
Dismissive, placed in individual ear-shell words,
Over combo-music gasping, blasting,
This well-soft scene, these dog-dismissive birds.

A conference of eyes,
That decide from empty sucking glass,
To meander on or be that first that tries,
This blue-star steak-house grill of hip and ass.

A blood-hound ponders,
In tilted eyes upon a meaty marrow bone,
The pack frowns and shrugs and wanders,
To drooling foam in round, no lapping glass alone.

Lulled within the swaying lees,
One lone spar a’tooth the ocean’s gloamy cloak,
Dew claws, fierce fangs, beneath a face that no eye sees,
Prowling for the guts to lick the sweat and soak.

A door draped in industrial shreds,
That sway with electric plastic breathing,
Hemmed neon pink in the engine sheds,
On velvet stools the psycho-babble seething.

The electrode tear on feedback slides,
In trance back beat of the organ grinder,
Gristle skinned be-boppin’ bony hides,
Shrugging blades sashay the rhythm finder.

Come trancing beyond the cool-down pit,
Step, kick, the disentangled dancer,
On cracking jars, and piss and spit,
Volumetric swirls, writhing, curling, cancer.

Machismo breaks to ride the tunnel wave,
Jumps upon the steel-sprung, salty wood,
Ghostly flesh beyond the rainbow-rave,
Where high-trance infidelity, grinds the brood.

Fluttered out upon the catchy wires,
Designer hoody craws upon the hours,
Casual chrysali that split within the thumping fires,
As silken suited butterflies, high on poppy flowers.

November 25, 2010   Comments Off on The Hangmen

Jack ‘o’ the Lantern


ack ‘o’ the lantern walks the wiles,
Bobbing ride beyond the boundary wall,
The back-road draped in frosty smiles,
Teeth bite brightly through autumn’s fall.

The once-were-road is where the children are,
Hale and frosty hallows eave,
Laughter on, away and far,
Procession guised of patchwork weave.

Never-meet hour of the coachman’s cloth,
Make merry as those gibbering, shapeless pass,
Hearts flutter on the wings of a churchyard moth,
Shadows drain the antique candle glass.

Excited mystery warmed of heart,
So strange the closing gates of day,
Meeting players in their part,
With merry words to pass their way.

Time yet, though eager – not so long,
Untombed, the witching hour strikes her ghostly tune,
And we dance on the bones of the bard’s lost song,
Gibbous faces raised to the veil of the bloodless moon.

Yew pipes wynd spirals as the revelers pass,
The road is narrow, clutching here,
They look for others in the oak-king’s mass,
Stage faces bow to cast a single, churlish tear.

Once time, the dead enshrined in Celtic past,
Held court as did the living tellers,
Thence rose swords of bloody, thorny cast,
Congealed words hacked horn for intolerance – one truth sellers.

The dragon’s eye, a hastened empty look,
Aneath the tines upon the darkling road,
Leaves blow down upon the gelding brook,
A challenge heard and sought, where blood has flowed.

The horn beyond the grave is wynded,
It churns atop the lumbered deeps,
Echoes die, yet draw the dead, yellowed eyes rescinded,
The screech-owl hunts, while its prey creeps.

Masks twist the mouths as if alive,
Pretence has taken root in humoured lies,
Wisdom singles the queen in droning hive,
Her heart leads where the merriment dies.

Mischievous masks this way will seem,
A houlie, ghoul or more besides,
While those with smiles are found to dream,
The face is jesting youth – a harlequin that hides.

Mistress of scorn holds court upon the ride,
Her claws warn the dew-touched green,
A cloven blink of tiger’s eye to hide,
A bynd of black upon those passing seen.

The kitten winks as the Maggie’s black puss’ cat,
Familiar in her bewitching ways,
She suits white paws, baggy bib, pricked hat,
Tall tale, white whisker, where a pipe-cleaner strays.

The crone of gouting, ghoulish hue,
Her oils rynd and wreath the face of youth,
Tapestry torn where the webs pass through,
Black as night, a corpse’s shroud ‘aneath her velvet hoof.

Cord as red as the devil’s crimson pot,
Cord as white as virgin’s breath upon this faded world,
Shanks shall leap the shadowed spire that holds their knot,
No love can bring such fluttered strings unfurled.

Mine eyes have seen the dark side of the moon,
Misted o’er with ivied clouds of shifting leaf,
Tendrils touch and twist upon her crescent rune,
Then blow in widdern shards as autumn’s wilted wreath.

The ghost of the present bears hard upon the past,
Na’er found the skull of teeth that grind so deep,
Dawn is real where youth and young shall last,
Three holes are torn for sight and breath denied of sleep.

Blessed be these tender years free-barred,
Embraced within the hand of one less tender still,
The warder fords the jumbled road of stones so hard,
Lest devils dine of succulence and sup their brimming fill.

Reds, greens, bloody crimsons and brightest yellow,
Regaled in sumptuous grace of seasons change,
Uncultured cloth of the bone-broken fellow,
Hand-stitched to velvet matte; shadowed, surreal and strange.

A martyred laugh with hell’s teeth shown,
Agape, the knap where watered angles flow,
Sweetmeats, and opals, ha’penny sown,
Jumbled with husk and groundling shell found thrown.

Flesh carved of bound and hafted steel,
The painted man a ghostly light upon the fallow field,
Gobbish daemon cut from the craft of the Celtic wheel,
Unearthed the horned head lolls; writhing, scorched, unhealed.

The tallow flame grows brief and brilliant bright,
Path finder to the unseen, lifeless and yearly dead,
A spark alive in the eye of flickering second sight,
The basalt shell glows infernal, orange, vermilion, red.

Shaper’s changeling cut of hooded, brooding dreams,
The hale and hollowed puppet silent warns,
Whence agape upon the frosted eave its shadow screams,
Searing stars grow cold, wink out, impaled upon the heedless thorns.

Winter’s dun hessian is no fitting weave for thee,
Bound upon twigs and leaves; this season’s wasting death,
Soul craft falls foul beneath the hangman’s tree,
Blistered pulp, an odorous mass, consumed in tongues o’ crimson breath.

Watchfires herald the deaths of kings unknown,
Their muslin billows and creeps and whispers cold standing,
Tis the season of bonfires, of reds and golds, stitched and sewn,
A shifting carnival of warmth and homeliness and fire upon the landing.

November 7, 2010   Comments Off on Jack ‘o’ the Lantern