Not Even Cake

The blood in my heart must have left for my cheeks, because I got my colour back but I felt empty. I expected a deep yearning, that burning tight feeling you get on the left side of your chest from time to time, when the face of the one you lost appears before your mind’s eye. Sometimes the visage arises like smoke from an extinguished candle, wafting in unnoticed at first and suddenly surrounding all of your senses. Other times the familiar smile, the certain look in the eye seems to come hurtling at you like a canon ball, full-force. But either way, his features mustered no more than a muted flicker of melancholy inside my chest, except for on rare occasions when I came across an old photograph which captured a kiss, or some song of significance fell uninvitedly upon my ears.

No, mostly I felt an empty space where heartbreak should be. You’d think that nothingness would be preferable to the pain of torn cardiovascular muscles, but in fact it brings with it its own kind of hell. There are no tears to let trickle hot and tickly down reddened cheeks, no hard, convulsing sobs into a pillow, I could find no release for the misery that I found myself in. Where does one obtain catharsis for a pain that can’t be healed because it refuses to show itself? What sudden cowardice of emotion had I acquired? I found myself static, usually prostrate, staring blankly into the white canvas of the ceiling above me, what I was looking for I don’t know. Sometimes thoughts whirred in chaos and without apparent providence, other times it was as though I had no brain inside my skull at all. At any rate, my physicality became unmovable, solid and heavy as the bed I laid upon, arms like lead, without an ounce of life inside me.

And though at first it might sound laughable, I only realised that my current situation had become so dire when even the thought of the cake sat in the fridge not twenty feet away from me wasn’t enough to wake me from my corpse-like state. “Not even cake” I heard myself whisper. Not even cake. They would not go down in history as words of great profundity. I felt an irritation stir at my being so unpoetic during a period of such sincere and fervent heart-break. Indeed, it was not the fact that I did not want the cake that awakened me from my deadened state, but the ridiculousness of the sentence I had just uttered. And then, quite suddenly and at once the irritation evaporated along with the overwhelming sense of nothingness and I felt the muscles in my face tighten as I began to smile from the sheer absurdity of the picture I had just created.

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The River Wensum

The Wensum river,
A thing of wonder,
Hither, tither,
My soul asunder.

In dusk-light beauty,
That burns like fire,
And strikes a duty,
To admire.

To shake the mind,
From trivial sway,
And be unblind,
By nature’s way.

And be un-deafened,
By silent scapes,
There’s profound lessons,
In water’s shapes.

Down at Wensum River.

Without You

I’m so tired
I sleep all night
And most of the day
I watch through the window
The moon moves across the sky
I lay here – still, silent, alone
What’s there to say?
Just a sorry sight
I’m expired

It’s all true
Sound is dulled
The colour is dimmed
Still I carry on just the same
Even though the light has now gone
It does not matter if it rains
A statue in the wind
Nothing to unfold
Without you

Above My Bed

I know I’ve been a fool,
I say too much I shouldn’t do.

Well I’ve misunderstood,
Your stoic face – it tricked me good.

I give away too much,
But sometimes you don’t give enough.

I hear the words you said,
Your smile still hangs above my bed.

I’m sorry that I said those thing,
They hurt you.

It’s just sometimes I think,
I don’t deserve you.

Old Brown Coat

Understated,
In your old brown coat.
Guitar on your shoulders,
Wherever you go.

You want for nothing,
‘Cause there’s not much you want.
Reposed at the desk,
Quietly writing your songs.

Your shirts all have holes,
And you couldn’t care less.
Skin worn down from the strings,
Your blonde locks are a mess.

Life is simple and honest,
Here enjoying the view.
As the waves stroke the shore,
Just below your bedroom.

Elan Valley

Percy Shelley’s house hid under the lake
And I quoted a line or two about sleeping lions
Stood looking out on the bridge
With you and your friends

Across fields we rambled
Looking for mushrooms with magical properties
I felt a deep and healthy fear
Looking at the vastness of the land

They ran chanting like Indians
Through the pine trees and down a slope
I couldn’t keep up
And for a moment you all disappeared

We stopped to fill a water bottle
At the stream I took a moment to think
That everybody should live
Quiet and simply, just like this

Talking about getting older
At last we walked through the heart of Elan Valley
And you said that Leonard Cohen captured how it felt
To be twenty-seven

Whilst looking silently at your face
I knew that I would never forget these days shared
And that this was one of the happiest moments
Of my life