Twelve Days

My friend Nathalie – https://arwenaragornstar.com/ – challenged me to write something on a theme of birdy vengeance… this is where my mind took it. This is for anyone who wants a non-Christmas post! Warning – not for the faint of heart…

The day the first one showed,
And settled on the sign,
Never thought it was an omen:
I paid it nevermind.

The next day came another.
I thought it rather sweet
That the single lonely raven
Had a friend to share its seat.

On the third day came a third
And on and on it went.
Each day saw another…
And I wondered what it meant.

By the end of day twelve,
Twelve birds sat on the sign.
Brooding there in silence
Waiting there in line.

Each bird would watch me closely
Fix me within its stare.
Not a one did cast a shadow.
My mind screamed out, beware.

They moved as if one creature,
Heads tilt in time as one.
Pecking down in unison
While noise still came there none.

On day thirteen, one left:
It disappeared at night.
I know not when it left
It was gone before daylight.

The remaining flock continued
Their sullen, silent vigil,
As my mind was whirring overtime
To solve this deathly riddle.

What did all this mean?
Did they portent or predict?
Was this mere coincidence,
In a sunny spot they’d picked?

Each day another left
Though I never saw one leave.
The rest continued with their study,
Their study of poor me.

I shut my curtains tight,
Rarely peeking through.
Yet every time they saw me
Each one nodded in my view.

I spurned all food, couldn’t sleep
My mind was always racing
About what these ravens stood for;
What future horrors facing.

Yet on with each day passing
Their numbers shrank still smaller.
I felt some hope returning.
I stood a little taller.

On the day there sat just one,
I sensed I’d passed a test.
I prepared myself a feast,
Enjoyed my first night’s rest.

I slept so long that night,
It was mid-morn when I woke.
I ope’d the curtains wide:
My raven spell had broke!

I ran out of my door,
Danced up and down the street,
So happy then was I…
Till I glanced down at my feet.

For despite the morning sun,
I cast no shadow down.
Where it clearly should have been,
No shadow touched the ground.

I looked up to the sky
And saw them swooping fast
My twelve ravens of judgement
Had weighed and tried my past.

They attacked and pecked as one,
Flaying at my flesh,
Feeding on my eyeballs,
Swallowed while they’re fresh.

They squawked their final verdict
Leaving not a trace
Of flesh or bone in situ:
Only blood now marked the space.

So should you venture from your door
And spy a raven scene,
Count the number carefully,
For now we are thirteen.

 

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/srdjanjovanovic/11980047516

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The Graveyard

I need to take a walk
just to clear my head.
No one seems as silent
as the long-departed dead.

Walking past the headstones
set down long ago,
I reflect upon my choices
and how little that I know.

There’s wisdom in these bones.
In these untended plots.
But no one cares to listen
once the body rots.

Floral exhibitions,
displays of timely grief.
We’ll go and light a candle
to show off our belief.

We need to listen downward
Instead of up above.
Their message is the simplest one:
Live your life in love.

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/thebreadline/55772803

 

Haiku – Clocks

Metronomic beats
Pulsing towards love’s ending
Counting down, not up

All clocks melt away
Persistence of memory?
Nothing survives clean

Time’s petite parcels
Those tick-tock happy endings
Eat away our hope

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Salvador Dali – The Persistence of Memory

Picture credit: By Image taken from About.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20132344

The Pretty Words

Round up all the pretty words
Toss them on the coals
Watch them scream and smoulder
Bonfire of the souls

Gather up the nice words
Spew them on the pyre
Feed them to the hungry flame
Dancing ever higher

The pleasant, perky, perfect words
Shred them one by one
Confetti-cast that catalogue
Into this parody of the sun

The beautiful, buoyant, bonny words
Line up by the door
Await their fate without a fight
We need them here no more

 

I’ve recorded an audio version of this HERE

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/dream_in_the_dark_of_day/447686987

Monday Musing… The Worst Day…

Everyone has a bad day from time to time. Maybe not “attacked-by-a-bear-then-left-to-die-in-the-woods” bad, but everyday bad. Even those we see as being particularly blessed will have a shocker now and again. Bill Gates will get his wang caught in his fly. Dave Grohl (“nicest man in rock”) will accidentally drop a “c-bomb” in front of his mum at a family dinner. David Beckham will get completely ignored in public, while his son gets spotted and subjected to trial by selfie. Donald Trump will accidentally put the hamster on his head, while his wig is being cleaned…

Yeah, I’m keeping this build-up light. Last Thursday was a shocker for me. And that saying about things coming in threes? Yep, that too.

Thursday morning, out of the blue, I got told at work I’m going to be made redundant. In the afternoon, a serious health scare for someone very close to me, that will need surgery.

These are both major shocks to the system, but it was the one that happened in between that made me break down and cry like a baby.

I saw my cat die.

While getting changed out of my work clothes, brain whizzing about with what I’m going to do next, how we’re going to pay the mortgage/ feed the kids/ get through this one, I watched my cat die on the bed, right next to me.

With no warning, she lay her head on its side, and just curled up like a leaf closing, pulling in on herself. The air slowly leaving her body. A balloon silently deflating.

I patted her and stroked her, saying her name over and over, but there was no reaction. I patted her a bit more urgently. Nothing.

Her heart wasn’t beating.

Her lungs weren’t working.

Nothing.

I started blubbing like a baby, sobbing her name.

Maybe ten seconds later, she lifted her head up and let out a couple of angry mews (pain?).

I went to stroke her, but she ran off and hid downstairs. She was a bit skittish for the rest of the day, but otherwise acted the same as normal. A bit mental, a bit stand-offish, very demanding about food. You know, like a normal cat.

I know my cat, and I know how she reacts to things. I am absolutely certain that she died. And yet here she is now, nuzzling around my feet, acting within her normal parameters of strangeness.

Maybe her throat closed or something. I don’t know. Do cats suffer from anaphylactic shock?

So with those big three things happening on the same day, the one that made me really cry, and is making me well up recalling it, was my cat dying. For a bit.

Go figure.

 

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My cat. Definitely just napping this time.

Haiku -End

This is my final haiku of the week, which have been unusually morbid for me. This one is dedicated to David Bowie. I wrote the haiku first, and then couldn’t get the image of Bowie in his final incarnation in “Lazarus” out of my head. I hope the restless artist’s soul has now found peace. 

 

Eye sheds single tear
Drum-taut, paper-thin skin greys
Heart’s silence, ends life

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/grasslandsnationalparkvalmariesaskatchewan/23775000414

Written for secret keeper, using the prompts: silence – eyes – heart – drum – life