Birdsong

From the wrong side of the slow burned bridge,
at the edge of the rook black wood,
where giant thoughts used to dwell
she makes no plans for tomorrow
as she picks flowers for her daily grave.

The house, quiet as a failing marriage
stands alone in a bleached, peeling memory
under water coloured clouds.

She weeps for the summers passing,
the shortest of shadows
and the length of his kiss.

© D. Archer. March 2015.

I’m not OK Cupid

Be Prepared!

Be Prepared!

I’m not OK Cupid.

Days like today make me realise that it is perfectly OK not to be OK. Celebrate our differences and accept our idiosyncrasies my arse. Nobody wants a relationship with someone who lists their quirks as “bestiality and defrauding the tax office on a massive scale”.

My personal profile reads, “I am short, fat, 46, shit with money and prone to bouts of depression”, a brief but accurate description of myself. Needless to say this has not endeared me to the masses nor brought me fame and adoration from all corners of the globe.

I have tried, (insert preferred deity) I have tried but the fact of the matter remains the same, my life is exasperatingly dull. I wake, I work, I over eat carbohydrates and I sleep. My life is a veritable catalogue of things not to do with your time on this rock. I have travelled very little, my refrigerator is unadorned with exotic magnets that have have place and emotions woven into them (apparently the energy efficiency sticker does not count and is a poor substitute for the vista from above Mach Picchu). There are no anecdotal photographs dotted around my living room depicting past lives or close friends in riotous holiday poses captured on yellow edged paper. I don’t, I just don’t.

I am a difficult person, I can be stand offish, aloof and even just plain ignorant but when you’re in, you’re in; I am loyal like a dog, an unconditional lover because you are a friend, a family member, a pet or a cactus.

I hope this days brings a connection for someone, somewhere. Personally I am looking forward to February 27th which is “International Tidy your Sock Drawer Day”, can’t wait to see how many cards I get. For me it’s time to move, mentally and physically and try to love like a verb.

Oh and in case you are wondering, I don’t have a profile on OK cupid did you not read the above?

© D. Archer. February 2015

Anonymous

Love lies in the roughest sea,
in the smallest hours,
in a one oared boat,
not in the anonymous promises
of those that lure in calm waters
as sirens circle in the undertow;
soon the unwinding begins
the rope that proffers salvation
forms a seductive silk noose around your neck
and be it by category or allegory
the search for your lungs in another
will only one day leave you
out of breath.

© D. Archer. January 2013. Tweaked in February 2015.

History Lessons

As new disciples gather
in idyllic adoration
to marvel at the neck of the virgin swan,
be mindful of those that bring nothing to the table
but want everything in return;
be careful who next petitions your heart,
sail through their paper-thin veiled verbs
and as you search
remember the last mast
you bound your colours to
was broken beyond
even you to nurse.

© D. Archer. September 2012. Tweaked February 2015

The dawn bleaches out the dream

Twice I have held the world in my arms,
in November and late July,
before the carousel slowed,
before the photographs fell silent.

It’s not the presence
but the void,
it’s not the new
but the old I watch
hand tied and dumb
through a window ajar
but not enough to grasp.

We walked a fine line
between memory and lies
when nothing was wrong
everything was hidden
just beneath the surface
tension and tears lingered;
all memories now,
smaller than the space between rain,
made colder by an arm’s length.

© D. Archer. January 2015

Beneath the summer sun

Beneath the summer sun
slowed by the madness of time
the sound in my arteries
foams in my throat;
I swallow hard and steal a thought of you
far from this sewer
that swells daily with aborted lives
measured in meaningless yards
we wait and we write
we write and we wait
days spent in a little more dirt reached;
foreign tongues cut short from talking heads
abandoned black against autumn’s bite;
lovers and sons
blown into the arms of their Sunday God
who holds them forever, eternally young.

Green Tea Philosophy

photo (1)

Green Tea Philosophy

There must be something in the water. I wrote this shortly after drinking my mid morning cup of green “gunpowder” tea which was very nice but disappointingly not very explosive.

Philosophy © D. Archer 2014.

The Future

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is customary at this time of year for me to make my one and only New Year’s Resolution which just so happens to be not to make any New Year’s Resolutions, a fact I might add, that I have no intention of changing.

However, in an attempt to balance my chakras and in a vain lunge toward achieving generativity I thought I would add my “Post-It-Note”* Philosophy to the mix. (*Other brands of sticky notes and philosophies are available).

The general idea is we have a choice, we can be the change we want to see in the world or we can sit and complain. Either is fine just don’t write a blog about it, do it.

Here endeth the leffon.
God* Save the Queen*, the King*, The Republic*, Captain Kirk* or Yoda*

*(Delete as applicable, other deities and celebrities are available on request).

Philosophy © D. Archer 2014. “Post-It” Notes are copyright of a huge multinational conglomerate that does not share the views or expressions of the person that use their products to start wars, famines, floods or to build small paper aeroplanes that don’t fly. I realise suddenly I may have gone somewhat off track there.

Body of Work

He longed for the birds to sing, to give away their hiding in the matted hedgerow. A distant car answered his agnostic prayer; the whole boundary awoke; swooping, hollering, the masses set a darkness against the precious remaining light of the afternoon. As it all started so it all soon settled to passive chattering of dominant females, the greenery again alive and he the keenest eavesdropper.

He smiled. In every correctly tabulated column of his notebook he wrote time, distance, echo and delay. He plotted and cross referenced. He marked his location on his far from rudimentary home-made map then made his way toward the railway cutting.

Swathes of green gave way to slate grey rock chipping, however, the foot of the cutting was banked by forgotten grasses; wild bushes and overhanging trees with their exposed root systems piercing the eroding soil bank. The oil stained stone tunnel mouth swallowed all the light that dare to venture more than ten yards in.

It was the remains of the long stolen tracks that led his eye to a slumped, seated outline in the shallow light of the tunnel, an ungainly location to fall asleep so he approached with military caution. The more stealth he applied the louder his footsteps on the gravel. He stood politely silent for a moment for he was all to aware of the shock of being rudely awoken. He straightened his jacket, pulled hard at its hem to snap a crease back into the material. He looked to his boots and quickly balancing on one leg, rubbed his scuffed toecap against his calf covered sock. He announced his appearance with a deliberate cough.

The bag of rags never stirred, nor was it ever likely to for upon closer inspection revealed itself to be a coat, a poachers coat, thickly waxed like tarpaulin. From underneath poked one shoed foot. He stepped a little closer and coughed once more with intent. The coat remained indifferent to his presence but worse still he realised he had polished his shoes for nothing. With his mothers’ disdain ringing loud in his ears he reached for the corner of the coat pulling hard enough to disturb its bulk.

The heavy material cut theatrically through the air. No Matador cape this, no jewels glinting in triumph only the remains of a youth soaked in the remnants of an ill fated struggle. The eyeless head, although crudely bludgeoned to a jaw-less pulp still sat precariously in its rightful place if only by a single crossed wire stitch. Each finger, devoid of a fingernail, pointed in its own unnatural direction. Puncture wounds mingled with every size of bruise whilst octagonal lacerations circled the lower abdomen. The skin on both knees had been removed in perfect surgical symmetry. One foot missing, the stump ragged in removal.

Distracted briefly by his internal monologue he gathered his thoughts and knew exactly what to do. He dropped the coat at more than an arm’s length so as not to catch his un-noticed boots then patiently removed his pencil from his notebook and drew two lines across the days’ proceedings.

He loathed how it spoiled the layout but he was not given to wasting a full-page. He begrudgingly wrote the date, time and location and in capital letters, “DEAD BODY”. He grieved for the intrusion, the inconsistency, the entry, juxtaposed to all his prior comments wasn’t neat to the border or aligned with any other text, it didn’t fill all the columns nor fulfil any of their criteria.

He turned his back on the remains of the scene snorting in despair at the sight of all those incomplete columns. “What a waste” he thought to himself.

From the map around his neck he made a reference north-easterly then set off across the cutting. He would have to start another column in his notebook but he knew the petrels would, at least, be a noteworthy addition to his day.

End.

© D. Archer 2012. I found this in a notebook in my bottom drawer. Time does not seem to have improved it but as I don’t have a lot of fiction on here I thought I’d give it a whirl. Not quite flash fiction, not quite a short story but definitely not very good.