Posts Tagged ‘Poem’


Stinking, sweat-slick, redolent of sex.
Lost beneath the cotton waves of my shirt.
Unselfconsciously languid.
Tousled, tired, tear-stained.


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3252536920_2f173fe3d5In far-flung and mysterious Salay, perfumed maidens – hands stained with spice – can read the future from the markings on a tabby-cat’s fur, but only with supreme indifference.

In frigid Nordenhelm where fire is a god, they read their augers in the vomit of drunkards. That they drink mead is the only thing that makes the task tolerable to their shamen.

In Ilmac, in the wind-blown, obsidian towers of the High Skeptomancers they scoff at signs and omens, but they can discern what is likely to happen with their numbers and their reason.

In Syllabur the Cult of Silk claims to see the paths of fate in the trickle of semen on a virgin’s breast – but we suspect the old men lie.

The Hermit of Stoone, if pressed, will present his own secret to knowing the future. It is simply this:
To wait for it to happen, patiently.

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03_10_Open_Snow Layers_Jim Van Namee HMI stand and watch from my window in the tower. The glass is cold to the touch already. It’s cold enough to hurt if I leave my hand against it.

I draw it back, wrap my hands around the hot coffee in its mug and I watch a strobing scene of the city, flickering on and off as my breath mists, obscures the view and fades away again.

The first flakes start to fall.


Then dots.

Then flakes.

The flakes stick together and come down like feathers. Some great white angel or feathered serpent has been shot down over the city and this snowfall marks its death.

It covers everything in a clean, crisp shroud of white. Cars and buildings, grass and trees frozen in place, buried under the blanket of impossibly white crystals.

Frost creeps its way across the window as I take a sip of the coffee. Jack’s fingerwork. An abstract pattern of ferns and thrusting crystals but where I breathe, the glass stays clear.

The snow stops. My dry lips crack and I take a sip of the bitter brew to wet them and as I do, something more.

It rains.

The rain punches holes in the snow, but it does not melt it. Where it hits, it steams at first. The whole world beyond the window shrouded in a dense, rolling fog.

The fog slowly thins and the rain has become snow again, the steaming slowly stopping as the ice falls from the sky and covers the snow in a thicker, denser layer. A darker white – if such a thing is possible. Perhaps my eyes are playing tricks.

It’s dark now.

The street lights come on one by one. The lights in the buildings. In silhouette I see other people standing at their windows, covered in blankets. Looking out.

The snow stops again but there is a sense of anticipation and it is not long before another rain falls.

The snowfall is smeared together, but it does not melt. The crisp white of the first fall and the dirty white of the second pierced by lances from the sky. Then they too freeze and fall as flakes but they are clear, as clear as glass. The snowly landscape is wrapped in plastic, gleaming, shining, unreal and it piles up, metre upon metre, sealing the landscape under glass.

I live high in the tower, but if I opened the window I could step out and barely drop, down onto the surface of the frozen glass.

It is tempting.

My hand grips the handle of the window, but it will not move. I tear the skin from my fingertips when I try, leaving them on the handle of the window. My blood freezes before it can drop, scarlet spikes that dangle from my fingers then snap and drop to the stiff, frosted carpet.

The coffee is solid now. I cast it aside as the rain comes again.

The sky is completely black. The stars have never looked so clear. The thin rain falls, steams, then stops and again becomes snow. A pale blue curtain that hides the glass beneath it. A night-time sea a hundred metres deep from which the light-bearing towers of the city thrust, winking out one by one.

The snow has stopped now.

Something crunches in my veins as I tilt my head and I look up, vision fading as I watch the last few flakes fall from the deep black sky.

Like stars.


With a nod to Fritz Leiber

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Love isn’t special.

You will love your family.
You will love your friends.
You will love your pets.
You will have a first love and a last love.

You will love foods, drinks, art, music, films.
You will fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you.
Someone you don’t love will fall in love with you.
You will love more than one person at the same time and you will be forced to choose between them.
Love will make you feel alive.
Love may kill you.

Love brings the greatest pleasure and the deepest pain.
You will love people who are dead and gone.
You will love people who never existed at all.
You will love things you once hated and hate things you once loved.
You will love people you’ve never met.
You will love men and women, young and old, black and white.
You will love something you shouldn’t.
You will love your car, your TV, your computer, your phone.
You will love money or what it will bring.
You will love when good things happen to people you like.
You will love when bad things happen to those you do not.

You will love enough to leave.
You will love enough to stay.
Love is said lightly.
Love is lost and found everyday.
Love is everywhere.

But it is not special.

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