Moments of You

old-clock

Forlorn in this forsaken room, my mind to shadows clings,

Filled to the brim with fragments of a life no longer mine.

It was a game at first… Alas. How ruthless time’s weight swings 

Your quirks were mine to love. For every one I’m cursed to pine.

 

How like a child you were, enchanted. Every gift — a treasure

Not to be opened in a hurry, find out what lay within.

As if the secret may be yours to find – a drawn out pleasure –

With patient care you caressed its every edge and listened in. 

 

How you dissevered nourishment to pieces in dismay:

A micro-universe to be explored before it fled, 

As if from every tasted morsel you could tear away  

The memories of paths that others once upon have tread.

 

Rolled cigarette: between your fingers – miniature cigar,

Breathed in the scent as if to you it were a fragrant flower.

When from the blossom of your lips I stole the smoldered star,

You chided that your only vice should not let mine turn sour.

 

I spied you, when upset, step out of your tranquil skin,

Berating sweetly failings to you only known 

And in so doing you detached the sinner from the sin

To chase with laughter clouds, hold secrets yours alone.

 

I loved how you chose colours for your moods, long-vanished shore

And grew afraid to see you wear purple, downward climb,

For trouble would be tarring my horizons with its oar.

How quick I raked my brain for clues to how I failed this time…

 

Moment of you. No longer mine to cherish and obey.

For one mistake am punished for a lifetime. Come what may.  

*
Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit

Replay

In reply to Played

Man in the rain

One night. That was enough

To tear my world apart.

Don’t dare call inconstant

My disappearing act.

 

What would you have me do?

Fight when there was no hope,

When all the while I knew

To stay would mean the rope?

 

I fled. Yes. I admit it.

You did not see my pain,

So from these accusations

Take care to refrain.

 

You were not free to love,

Be mine, be loved in turn.

To watch you be another’s

For this I should return?

 

If only-I were a player

And had a heart of stone,

Yet when the heavens pour

I long for you alone.

*

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/daily-prompt-confident/

Alone Together

How-to-cope-with-a-breakup

I sensed your arduous gaze upon me fixed

It burnt me through. I beg of you: relent.

To love your world entire you have risked,

But why did not you ask what it all meant?

 

Can you not see how deeply I am hurt

And suffer silent, saddened and despised.

What vows, what promises did you assert

Would leave my universe uncompromised?

 

This sad reality you do not see

That doom was all thy pity’s recompense.

Absconded cosmic realms in your flee,

But yours is lust, its fire too intense.

 

You knew my fate is to another chained.

How to break free I do not wish to know.

Your jealous pleas have left me anguished, pained,

Dreading the hour when again you’ll show.

 

I wish you were less proud in pursuit,

Abandon this resolve to break my will.

What would you do if I did follow suit?

Can you be certain you would love me still?  

 

You ask too much of me. Can’t leave behind

My life entire for your sake alone

I cannot guess at what you have in mind,

But I’m no toy for you to take and own

 

Then fling aside when sated in your play

Without any risk of a reprove.  

This need of you I choose not to obey,

And from my sight temptation will remove.

 *

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/daily-prompt-intense/comment-page-1/#comments

Unloved

Pandora

               I think… I love you too.

              Such simple words, but listen

              What do they tell you now

              Under the glaring sun?

              Ambiguous at best,

              At worst more than reluctant

              To turn the passion’s thrust

              Into a lover’s promise.

              And what is love?

              A doll that toys with your emotions,

              Dressed up in idle flutter,

              Misnomers… earthly pleas.

              A youthful dream perhaps

              Made true by foolish summers

              Spent nosing through the dust

              Of erstwhile myths.  

              Await your Romeo’s boots

              To clamber through the window,

              Or Cleopatra’s knife to carve desires new.

              Fools! Their blood crushed worlds

              And you want to drink oceans

              When their depths in anguish

              Will drown in vows untrue

              The last beat of your heart.

              Unshackled, stand alone

              And learn the price of daring

              To hope against all proof.

*

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/daily-prompt-love-2/

Gone Girl

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Gone Girl

It pains: the memory of your caress.

  Limbs ache with loss, craved tenderness undress.

  Of burnished lips, unthinking clasped within,

  Warmth turned to grief and hunger turned to sin.

  Stay awhile longer in my mind’s embrace.

  Don’t smother yet that moment’s lingered grace.

  Let dreams stay true, and truth remain a dream.

  In frenzied gasps to yours again I lean.

  Seismic waves atoned for unremembered past.

  The subtext veiled, your passion could not last.

  And when your softness hardened to a lie,

  The last to know that you were gone was I.

  Death buried all under its bluish light.

  Another fall, another cut mid-flight.

*

In reply to: http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/10/19/a-nod-to-poe/

PROJECT R: Relationship Interrupted – Q&A with vicbriggs

PROJECT R – I think best when I think with othersWhere R stands for Relationship

Dear WordPress Bloggers,

We’ve all known heartache as well as fulfilment in relationships.

From the 14th to the 31st of October I will dedicate vicbriggs’ blog-screen to pieces on Relationships. Please send your contribution to:  viki.briggs@gmail.com.

For more on what motivated me to start this project and for the questions to answer follow this link: https://shardsofsilence.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/project-r-i-think-best-when-i-think-with-others/ . Alternatively, you can scroll down for the questions and my sample answers.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, the 13th of October. It’s all for a good cause: friend in dire-dire need.

Submissions will be posted on my blog starting Monday, the 14th of October. One day for each submission if there are seventeen or fewer. If there is a lot of interest and the project takes off then we’ll timeshare vicbriggs’ blog-screen accordingly.

*

Since I am asking you to delve deep and share a piece of yourself with me and others, it seems only fair that I should lead by example.

I will answer both the questions and offer a commentary to LL’s insights. In today’s piece I will answer the questions. In tomorrow’s I will add the commentary – just trying to keep it short(ish) and simple.

For your piece, feel free to do both, but it is absolutely fine if you’d rather focus on the questions at hand, or choose to formulate your answer against LL’s. Whatever works for you!

It is also ok to share personal experiences as examples for your answers, if you are comfortable doing so. There really is no right or wrong way to approach this.

And don’t forget to add your info at the start so that other bloggers know where to find you to follow you! A short bio could be helpful too, if you feel like it, or where you think it would enhance your overall contribution.

So, here I am, baring all for you.

PROJECT R – Q&A – SAMPLE

Name: vicbriggs / Website: www.shardsofsilence.wordpress.com

Twitter: @shardsofsilence / Email: viki.briggs@gmail.com

     In many ways my blog is a confessional. My ‘About’ page says it all. It is an attempt to rethink the past – some of which was painful, some happy – and refashion it into a new set of truths. And love? Love and death – eros and its thanatos – were the engine that fuelled the beginnings of this blog and, if I have to make a guess, they will be with me till the latter takes its toll.       

 

          1. On Failure. What does love mean to you? What constitutes a failed relationship? What about a successful one? Did you ever think of yourself as a failure because a relationship came to an end?

Call me Sisyphus.

Love is ecstasy. It is bottomless abyss. It is Icarus in flight. It is the wings of despair. Fire. Air. Earth. I cannot exist without it. It bursts forth with every attempt to supress it.

I love. In loving I am myself. It is never contentment, yet it is also never not that.

A failed relationship to me is a dishonest relationship, whether terminated or on-going. A dishonest relationship is one where the mask stays on. Can you love if you do not give yourself to the other? A part will always remain occluded. The veil never fully removed. But it has to be drawn, a little at least.

A successful relationship to me is one in which I am comfortable being myself; where I am not made to feel like I’ve come short in some way. I reciprocate that acceptance in kind. I am many things, and I may never fully reveal all, but when I am not judged for what I reveal, then there is more to give, share, reveal.

My self-worth has never been connected to ‘romantic’ relationships. I have been lucky to be loved so fully as a child as to never doubt myself when relationships have ended. I have always taken ends to be a necessary (if painful) part of life.

 

          2. On Being Flawed. Are you more comfortable on your own or in a relationship? Do you think there is something wrong with people who cannot or would not sustain long-term relationships?

Call me Venus.

Just because my arms are missing, it doesn’t make me any less beautiful. I am happy alone. I am happy with others. I love. I am beloved. Whether alone or with my beloved, the only one I can never do without is myself.

          3. On Eros. Do you require a romantic relationship to feel fulfilled?

Call me Dionysus.

I find pleasure in many things. Life is a pleasure-ground for me. I find fulfilment in others, yes. People, their minds, the way they make sense of the world, I am endlessly curious about. Relationships matter to me. Romance too. But I am not dependent on either for my fulfilment.

 

          4. On Soul-mates. Do you believe that there is a soul-mate for everyone out there? Do you ever feel that you are only half of the equation, and will be ‘lacking’ something until you find someone to share your everyday life with?

Call me Pandora.

Hope stays with us to the last. I used to believe in soul-mates. Now I believe that the possibility of their being only one person for us to share our lives with is just… too restrictive a concept. There are many people we could be happy with, many people we can feel at home with, many who can give us contentment and love. I do not lack. I overflow… with so much love and laughter that I never tire of sharing it.

       5. On Self-Love. Do you think that to be loved by others you have to love yourself? What does  self-love mean to you? To love, can it sometimes mean letting go?

Call me Nike.

To love is to let go. Let go of yourself, give yourself fully – as fully as you can. When it is over, you will realise that you have more, not less to give.

Let go of pain and resentment. They are not your friends. Let go of love which has run its course. Another will come soon enough. And when it does… have the courage to let go once again.

To love is to conquer. Conquer your insecurities. We all have them. Don’t let them hold you back. Conquer that little voice in your head telling you that you are not enough. You are! There is so much of you that you can share it ad infinitum and still have enough left over for another life, or two, or nine.

Every time you love, you also love yourself. Do not be afraid. Love. Let go. Love again. You will win every time.  

 

        6. On Fulfilment. Can we only find fulfilment in others, or is it possible to be happy and find contentment in our other accomplishments, whatever our relationship status?

Call me Athena.

I think best when I think with others. Remember to celebrate what you have achieved. It is so easy to let your accomplishments pass unacknowledged. Take time to ponder over them. You have arrived. Every little step is worth the while.

Every time you break through a ceiling, you are worthy of the goddess’s title.

And as for love?

Aphrodite is never too far, but she is unpredictable and sometimes temperamental… so do not linger too long over it whenever she forgets to smile on you. She has her own messy affairs to attend to. You will get her attention soon enough.

If all fails, I hear she is quite fond of apples.

 

          7. On Interpersonal Skills.  Are people in relationships simply better at ‘people skills’ than those who are not?

Call me Hera.

Whether you are or not in a relationship, neither says anything about your ability to communicate and relate to people.

There is really not much else I can add on the matter.

Perhaps one more thing… Although Hera was the goddess of marriage, Zeus’s many infidelities drove her to jealousy and vengefulness. If even in our idealised Olympus, a relationship can fall on hard times (no pun intended) then I think we ought to cut ourselves some slack too!

          8. On Project R.  Do you think this a worthwhile project? In what way, if at all, did this project help you think through the question of “relationships”? Feel free to add here any other thoughts you may have on the subject that was not covered by the above questions.

Call me Hermes (and I really do hope that you found these references humorous rather than tiresome).

Project R is born of fire and pain. A friend in need. This is the only way (other than going through again and again over the same ground with no visible result as yet) that I could think of helping.

Relationships can be the greatest source of happiness, as well as the greatest source of pain in our lives. I always hope that the first would outbalance the latter. Either way, I would rather go through the pain of loss, than not love at all. When the pain of loss is fresh however… I can see that it is a difficult truth to take.

The way I figure things out is by talking things through. I can only do that much on my own. I need you, my dears, for I think best when I think with others.

I did not think of the answers to these questions before writing them. I found the exercise a rewarding one. Will find it even more rewarding if it finds some resonance with you as well as with the person for who’s sake I started it all.

I hope you will find it rewarding too.

Look forward to your pieces!

 

Thank you for turning in

I hope you will become a part of Project R too!

 * 

Project R’s “they” section was inspired by Lucia Lorenzi’s On Being Alone: Rethinking the Single Life.

To read her post, follow this link: http://lucialorenzi.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/on-being-alone-rethinking-the-single-life/

It is a beautifully written and insightful piece. Perhaps it may help you with your own.

Project R is also somewhat of a nod and wink to AOpinionatedMan’s Project O, a project on Opinion hosted on his blog during September. Follow this link to view contributions to this project:  http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/08/26/project-o

Finally, it is a reply to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Exhale. “Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright. Photographers, artists, poets: show us SAFETY.”

I thought it a pertinent prompt to the subject of relationships and alone-ness, since both can offer us safety and the reverse in equal measure.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/daily-prompt-safety/

Unclothed

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Unclothed

21st of January 2011

Dearest,
I was almost run over by a car earlier today, so distracted and disturbed my thoughts have been after a dream concerning you.
You know that I have always been a dreamer and a very vivid one at that, yet the intensity of feeling engendered by a dream would usually subside with the arrival of dawn. How much I wish that this had been the case today!
I woke up around four and was unable to go to sleep again, as my mind’s eye perused the events of that last dream again and again… Whether it was to better understand it, or better remember it so that it may be interpreted later, I do not know.

Since I could not rest, I thought that I would write to you immediately; not to tell you of the dream of course – that would have appeared close to madness – but simply to touch base and reassure myself that you are alive and well. This is precisely what I would have written to you at that early hour, had I any means of contacting you:

“Dear Bertie,
Since there is no RIP message on your page, I can safely presume that you are alive and well. Whilst the first is true of me also, hence this message, the latter is unfortunately not.
For some time now I have been incredibly depressed. Things have compounded – and in my more paranoid states appear to have conspired against me – and I simply do not know what would be best to do.
On the one hand, I desperately need a break. I know this now. Gone is the illusion/delusion that I can be a self-fashioned super-woman. On the other hand, I am concerned that if I do take a prolonged break, I would not be able to return to my thesis at the end of it.
What am I to do? Lose momentum and keep my sanity, or keep the first and lose the latter? It is a catch 22. What do you make of it? How dramatic a return to correspondence, is it not?!
Awaiting your reply and with it, your advice.
J.”

This would have been my letter, telling you all and nothing in one breath. Yet you are nowhere to be found and, whilst an all-out search may be regarded as an over-reaction, to do nothing, nothing at all equates to abandoning our friendship. I was ready to do it this morning, in the anger and frustration of the moment, yet I am loath to follow it through now.
Friends come and go, it is true. Yet my feelings for them never fully disappear. They find little crooks in the precipices of one’s soul to jaeger their cruel beaks into, so that the pain of loss remains forever imprinted somewhere in the foreground.
Now that I cannot reach you and can only address you in this pretend-manner I shall be truthful, where otherwise I would have been guarded, and I shall be open even beyond what our amity may have allowed. It is only the echo of my psyche that I am addressing now, nothing more.

… So I will tell you of this dream.
As dreams come, it began ordinarily enough. I arrived at a lecture hall – one that would not be recognisable as having any similarity to a real one, yet which in my dream I appeared to be familiar with – to find out that you were due to give a lecture.
My feelings were multi-layered and somewhat conflicting at that point. I was happy to see you, since it had been so long since I had seen you last – this unhappily has every basis in reality. I was displeased too, since you had not told me of the event, and I may well had missed it. I felt wary as to why this may have been the case, and wondered whether you had been purposefully avoiding me. I also knew the latter to be true.
This both concerned and upset me. It concerned me because I knew it to have been caused by an unfortunate drawback in your career. It upset me, because I hoped you would feel secure enough in our friendship to entrust me with your fears and thus allow me to help, even if only to try and lessen your distress by talking it through.
Furthermore, I was afraid of losing face – for no one wants to admit that they care for their friends more than they are cared for in return. So I made light of it all, and said only this – puzzlingly even for a dream –

“Ah, but you must not forget that I am the seventh child in a large Scottish family, you know”.

This of course makes no sense in the day of light, yet in the dream it appeared to have been intended as a joke, as well as a dig.
It was supposed to make light of the time and space barriers that had arisen between us by means of a joke that may have appeared to others as the extension of an old conversation. In what way may that have been a dig, I am at a loss to explain.
Why seven? There are seven days in a week and, according to Judeo-Christian conventions, the seventh is Sunday. Sunday, in pagan interpretation, is the day of the sun – the star around which our Earth revolves and that made life possible. Was that some ego-centric, narcissistic comment about my importance, and therefore a reproach as to your daring to ignore me, when quite clearly my presence is life-giving?
The Scottish reference is self-evident enough. It reminds you that I am married, that I am therefore unavailable and, of course, in the grand scheme of things – that is my life – you, and your presence/absence are subsequently unimportant.
“Ah, but you must not forget that I am the seventh child in a large Scottish family, you know”.
You smiled at this and appeared to get my meaning. I remember turning back to observe your reaction swiftly as we made our way to the lecture room. You carried some files and books and seemed tired, but altogether happy.

The dream scene dissolved to be replaced by another.

I found myself entering a strange room that appeared to be an old bathroom of the kind that are shared in student campus accommodation, although perhaps bigger in size than any I had come across in the past. It was deserted, and a very melancholy state it was in too.
I began to undress, readying myself for a shower, when I sensed someone’s presence. I covered my chest instinctively and turned to see whether my wits had deceived me. And there you were… a slender figure leaning against the far wall of the bathroom, a lit cigarette in hand.
I find it amazing how vividly I can recall every detail of your appearance, even now, this very moment, as if you had truly stood before me. Yet there was something unseemly about your being there.

Everything that happened next was over in a matter of seconds.

I felt exposed and ran for cover. You laughed… a menacing laugh that turned into a pained one. Your raincoat somehow vanished. A few steps and you were next to me, fully populating my space. I felt invaded and scared.

“I have to do this.” Your words were choked… both unsure and determined.

I could almost see the struggle going on within you at that moment. Your nearness stifled me. There was a faint smell of alcohol and tobacco on your breath. I felt smothered and tried to push you back. We struggled. I managed to get out of you clasp, reached for the blouse, which at this point was soaking and pulled it on as quickly as the sticky fabric allowed. You came after me.
Somehow now I felt I had gained the upper hand and – turning suddenly from a scared runaway into a fuming, belligerent harpy – when you reached out to grab me, I knocked you to the ground.
The entire scene, from your appearance to that moment when you lay, subdued and repentant, on the bathroom floor, is likened in my mind to a re-enactment of Diana and Actaeon. The hunter turned into the hunted, as in a fit of embarrassed fury the goddess punishes the unwitting onlooker.
I cannot recount with exactitude what I said, or rather shouted out, at that point…

“How dare you show up after all of this time … how can you do this to me… I had not one word from you for months, not one… Worried … wondering whether you were even alive… knowing that I had no way of finding out anything, no news, nothing… and then you come here and … what did you expect… ?”

I do not even know whether in that dream I said any of those things out loud. As dreams go, even if I only thought them, you could hear, and were shaking slightly with the intensity of the hurt.
I could not just leave you there, alone and so deeply unhappy. I took your hands in my own and you drew me nearer.

“All I wanted was for you to like me,” you said.

Such simple, straightforward words… How can dreams compress a lifetime of searching, of pointless waiting and disillusion, of unrequited love and disappointment in only nine words?

“You idiot… I love you. How could I possibly not like you?”

My reply was followed by a very short-lived discontinuity in which the two characters of a play appear to have arrived at the happy conclusion of all of their trials.

Confessions of mutual love are expected to be followed by a happy ending for the lovers in question. Not so in the imaginings of my psyche.
For a moment only, a ‘best moments of the future-that was-never-to-be’ followed in film-like sequence. For a moment, we truly believed that it was possible. For a moment, we held on to the illusion.
But the moment –however intensely felt – was consummated, and left us to be hit by the stone-cold reality.
It was never to be anything more than a dream – a dream within a dream. We were not free to do as we pleased.

“I am married. I cannot do this. I cannot be with you, however much I may want it.”
You seemed about to protest, but only sighed resignedly.

Neither of us was free. We would do ‘what was right’, whatever that may be, irrespective of the consequences to ourselves.
Our lips were less than a thread apart, and yet… that thread extended like a magnetic field, an invisible force keeping us forever apart, just out of reach of one another.

This was my dream, as fully as I can recount it at present. It has tormented my thoughts ever since.
I wish I could let it go. I want it expunged from my memory. I want this torturous pain torn free from the depths of my viscera. I had almost forgotten you. You were little more than a faint memory until my unconscious resurfaced to bane my days with those feelings that ought to have remained forever unexpressed.
What am I to do now? How do I wipe this horizon away? How am I to regain that internal balance that had kept my mind, my conscience at peace with itself? I miss you, Bertie. I miss you, and I am so angry with you. I am angry with your not being here, with ever meeting you, with not being able to see you and have you near now.
I will never dare tell you any of this. I wish you happy, and hope that you will never be similarly tormented.
No. This is a lie. A part of me hopes that you are kept awake by the memory of me, that your dreams bring me as vividly to you as they had brought you to me. Yet I do wish you well, my dear, dearest friend.
Yours,
Jane

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/daily-prompt-style/

Chekov Me Out: Leader Me!

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Chekov Me Out: Leader Me!

My play is clever as can be.
I play at plays in playing like a bee.
I’m unafraid. I’m foolish. I am free.

I speak uncensored my unbound thought.
Emancipated thinker of the ‘Not’!
And then narrate myself into a knot.

Don’t round things out. Impudence is me.
Unpolished awkwardness I well may be.
My brevity plays flair to a tee.

Love, infidelity and tears – all dried up.
Of subjects new I want to drink a cup.
My playfulness for morals is a trap.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/daily-prompt-leader/

Danger! Danger! High Voltage!!!

missing_you

There are (un)expected side-effects to writing about Benedict Cumberbatch…

A little over a decade since I’ve been an adolescent myself, I am suddenly overrun by the libido of a teenage boy. And I miss my husband so damned much.

Writing this Saturday’s post transported me back to that day in December. It’s been two years, and yet… My every sense augmented; my vision, hearing, sense of smell, taste – all amplified a hundred fold.  But nothing was thunderstruck by this stepping back in time as much as my sense of touch.

The Athenian heat burst with textures calling out to me.

I walked around in a daze… my eyes unable to find repose, my fingertips tingling electrified.

The Acropolis museum, filled with so many treasures, did nothing to alter this need to reach out. I had to restrain myself from stepping too near. Marble faces watched me as I walked past, on tiptoes, foot resting against a leg in a dancer’s pose when I stopped to return their gaze. “You can see,” they whispered, “you can see, but you cannot touch.”

In the evening I walked around the National Garden, the Athenian sun turning leaves to amber. I closed my eyes and walked blind awhile, feeling the wind caress my cheek. I breathed in the earthy scent; down an alley it was peppery cool, down another it had a honeysuckle sweetness to it. I could almost taste it. My hands reached out and caressed the coniferous spike of trees as I passed them by. Branches and leaves all greeted the stroke of my palm. Then the long-awaited discovery finally made: a whirling covering of grass.

I took off my sandals and stepped in, my toes working their way into the greensward. Like a child. So much happiness. I could explode for the love of it. I let myself fall on my back in the lap of the meadow, eyes closed, inhaling deeply so that the moment might stay with me a little longer. “Come back. Come back to me…” The world moved, transformed and transported me elsewhere with that one change of perspective.

How can I ever contain it? I’ve never struggled so much to step back into the mundane as I have today…

*

Your time to journey back again? See whether these help you along the way…

6. Truth stranger than fiction… #BenedictCumberbatch, for you to no longer doubt that the story of my meeting Benedict Cumberbatch can be an essay on time and the meaning of life.

And for more on Benedict, if he’s taken your fancy… In the order of appearance:

1.  I don’t fancy Benedict Cumberbatch. Daily Prompt: Pants on Fire or the confession that started it all.

2. Sex with you-know-who will steam up your windows. Beware!

3. COMING SOON… a snippet of Cumberthings yet to come.

4. The Batch on Sunday Interviews vicbriggs on working with #BenedictCumberbatch and life after Sex with you-know-who.

5. Midnight Snog – the sequel to Sex with you-know-who is finally out.

Warm regards from vicbriggs, with a twin-twist on the weekly challenge and prompt below:

http://katistjshin.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/new-story-and-weekly-challenge/

http://neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/weekly-prompt-angst-and-longing/