The frustrated tiger paces the river bank. His padded feet imprint the sandy earth. A walking stick, polished and lifeless has been left where the water meets the land and two leather sandals, placed side by side, point to footprints that spring off into the stream.
The black water mirrors the foliage that fringes the passage it carves through the jungle. Somewhere in its depths, a naked body slides like a fish, feeling the smooth play of wet along its limbs.
She lies amongst reeds, waiting for the sunset and shadow body of the tiger to disappear back into the forest from whence it came.
With a final sniff of the warm air and a humming growl, the tiger walks back between trees in search of another game.
The swimmer emerges, hair, wet and long, hanging in strands to her shoulders. The droplets drip off her as she salutes the sun, each bead magnifying the sunlight on to the surface of her skin.
The cool, velvet silt of the river floor squeezes between her toes.
She sits on a sun-warmed rock and waits until the ripples still and the river becomes a flawless mirror once again.
The afternoon so warm and damp.
If I were a seed, I’d germinate.
Years’ worth of hours stolen-
owed to my solitude.
My naked dance with the muse,
casting her glitter on blank pages,
scattered like golden grains.
I curl away from tasks outside of me;
to the red cave
where I burrow deeper into mystery;
declare myself Ancient Woman
beholden to noone.
The sharp scent of cloves,
like the witch I carry inside me
who flouts rules and niceties.
Maybe a song will trickle out
between the gaps in meaning;
where the words sit beating
their wings like tiny hearts.
Open eyes of a child
scanning the sky,
looking for rainbows,
on the stream.
Frog on rock,
the mossy dream.
fingers in the earth.
In animal darkness:
half light of flame and fire,
the ache of onset makes way
for the gush and rush
the miracle cry.
Then skin on skin,
waxy, wet, we lie,
in slippery grip
She fell into his arms, soft, crumbling, like grains of rice tumbling from a split sack. She fell to pieces and assumed that only he could gather her up, put her together. He could not. He gaped and stared at the trembling wreck she had become and though his heart meant well, he saw not how he could gather every last fragment of her pitiful, weeping being; so far spread and wrecked was she.
So he held her for as long as he felt he could, then he got up to go and left her to ponder the shattered pieces of herself and to wonder how to fit them back together like a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle with no picture on the box to guide her.
She struggled for hours, days, lifting up each tiny shard, watching how it glinted in the light, what message it held and then absorbed it into herself, flinching with the sweet, sultry pain as it reconnected with the other hidden parts of herself.Read More »