Autumn Within

K. Barratt

woman in tree trunk


Summer leaves, falling, down.

Woods turning yellow and red.

The thoughts and dream crisping in,

Rolling within, dropping from my life.

Autumn is here and is pulling out

All that I was, leaving me barren and clean,

Like a grey, brownish, skinny tree.

That what I am turning into all I have been.

And I’m left naked in the cold with

No clothes, like the fabled king in the parade.

My harvest seems to have gone off

Before its time and I have nothing in

My hands, only ashes and rags.

Someone has burned my life.

Someone has crushed my plans, my ideals,

My truths, my identity. The little monsters in my

Mind have won and I’m back to square one.

With nothing.

And all I can do is go inside myself,

Preparing myself for the dark

And hoping there will be spring for me.

And autumn blows hard, slashing my soul,

And still cannot accept I have lost.

Autumn cares not for my tears, my fears.

It is time to say good-bye

And find the healing.



And I surrender to the smell of maple

And apples and dancing leaves,

And sink back into my roots,

Hoping, praying, there

Will be a spring for me.





K. Barratt

weird boy DroningGlow

(Image Droning Light)


Like a bird through the night,

Like a gecko in the snow,

Like an owl nesting in a dancing hall,

Like the shame hidden in the laughter.

Like ripped tights and bloody

Knees at the ballet performance,

Like a bear in the alley way,

Eating from a rusty bin,

Like a mother at the club,

The babe parked in the push chair, outside.

We don’t belong,

But here we are.

And we hold on, as best as we can,

Pretending no one sees us,

Too busy as they are,

With their own, shitty life.

Against the wall we stand,

Fantasising we don’t exist.

Like the fire bird who lights up

The forests, and the silver nymph

who brings down the rain.

We are an oddity.

A drunkard in the physics class.

A feminist learning to make pies

To support the Miss Universe contest.

We just don’t belong.

But we are supposed to go on

In a world that is not ours.

Smile, wide.

Work, hard.

Be ambitious, bold, a success.

Love children, grandparents and pets.

Support an ideology,

Buy clothing we don’t need

To save the economy.

And we abide.

And we pretend.

And most times, we fail.

And in the free time,

We knock. Knock, knock

Against the walls.

The windows, fridges, doors;

Ceilings, thresholds, tree

Trunks with big holes.

Trying to find the way back to

Where we belong.

The world where we

Are weird no more.


K. Barratt

VAMPIRE_2008-2011_00_c_Stage_Entertainment                                                                                                                                                                  (image by ja_-_produktion_-_TANZ_DER_VAMPIRE_2008-2011_00_c_Stage_Entertainment.jpg)

He would come every night, tapping gently the glass of my window. He would come in the shadows, in the mist, he would come to me. His touch soft as breeze. And as a winter breeze, just as cold. His skin, smooth and serene, a soft marble of sorts. His eyes, the moon, appearing from the thick veils of clouds, and my doubts would wither, like flowers in the snow. And his kiss would drain me, burn me, kill me -and yet I longed for it, this burning, this draining. This death. For never was I more alive than in the arms of my immortal. I was his offering, his sacrifice, his wet nurse, his lover. Only he would give meaning to the dread of my days: to the long, agonizing collapse of a world with no emotion nor hope nor love, just tarnished glitter and fake gold; masks passing for happy folks; humans who were truly corpses; putrefied in the inside; people, who could and had been as monstrous as him. I did not fool myself. I knew. Of him and his deeds. I knew it all. I understood his blood thirst. How could I not, as I offered my neck to be drank from? He took just enough, to keep me pale and weak, but breathing. And after the ritual, he would love me. Love. Me. And if he did not, I told myself he did. He spoke of things I did not understand, nor cared to. We played house in the dark gardens. And I eventually opened myself fully to him, undressed my soul in ways I had never done before nor since. And I think he felt for me. Something.

And then they came, oh great heroes, with stakes and fires, holy waters and silver swords. They saved me from myself and his hold, they said, as they slain my beloved: cut off his head, impaled his heart, turned his beauty to ashes. And they congratulated themselves. The vampyre was gone and I had returned to their world, the world I belonged to, apparently. A world of pretension and lies, and petrified smiles and frozen hearts. And when I preferred the shadows to daylight, the doctor call it melancholy. Let her be, he said. Yes. Let me be, you bastards. Let me reach my true potential. A being of the night even before he floated behind my window pane. You will pay, oh great heroes, champions of life. I shall fill your souls with the void you have filled mine. With the anger. And the fear. With grief I will drown you! With madness and hunger and rage and lonesomeness! Oh, sorry are you children of the light. Sorry are you, in your human disguise. Go on, then, continue your dance. I am in no hurry. I have all the time of the world, I, the new immortal, as I learn my craft; sharpen my skills; find the ways to deal with my prey. Persist, then, with your petty lives. I shall destroy you bit by bit. And when you can take it no more, I will come. I will be the last thing you see on your dying day. And there will be pain.



Karem Barratt



I had a dream of wings.

Long, strong, shimmering grey,

Yet so delicate as a spider web

Holding a single drop of morning dew.

And I flew.

High, above, my finger grazing clouds

Over the sea, dancing at times

With manta rays and pilot whales,

Who jumped out, curiously, to see me.

I had a dream, of being light,

In every sense of the word.

Of knowing nothing but love

And a song to express it all. And I sang.

And my heart, that was not of flesh,

Seemed to rise within me, expand,

Wanting to embrace the whole of creation

Into the garden inside my chambers

Of life.

And I laughed. And I played.

And if there was ugliness in the world

I was blind to it; deaf to pain;

Oblivious to the desperate cry of

Mothers at night.

But a mother’s cry can brake

Distances and dimensions.

It can cross the universe and

Unsettled the rotation of whole


And I heard one.

And my heart of baby chicks’

Dawn, became heavy as stone.

My wings could not hold me,

No matter how hard they tried,

As I fell into a place of dirt, and grief,

And fears.

In my dream, I found her sleeping,

This mother in pain, her tired head

Nested in her arms, as she bent

Over the child’s bed.

The cold, pale child

Who was about to die.

And the heart in me, that once

Could hold the world complete,

Shrank, to a withered rose

Abandoned in a dusty corner.

I don’t know why I did it.

Children, people, pets, die every day.

I don’t remember how I did it.

I just remember the agony and the pain,

And the screams from my throat

That no one heard.

And the tears. Burning my face.

And as I was about to leave,

Bloody and weak,

I saw the child gain some colour,

A tiny smile on his lips,

As he wrapped himself cosily in

My warm, pearly grey wings.

It was a dream, of course.

It was just a dream,

I tell myself, every day,

As I pretend not to see the two scars on my back,

Two rifts of dead, purple flesh.

angel wings baby

With her Dress of Apples and Fiery Leaves

Karem Barratt



I am sitting by the veranda,

Watching the Autumn come,

With her dress of apples and fiery leaves,

And her perfume of maple syrup and roasted nuts,

Her walk a leap, a glide, a soft breeze,

Mapping the tiny river of the ants’ stride.

A basket in her hand, I see,

Full of glorious dreams and hopes

That have come to be,

Shiny, sweet fruits of all our visions and strife.

By my side, ewe cheese and red wine;

Warm bread; roasted garlic and butter squash spread.

Autumn stops to talk to the squirrel and the swan.

She caresses the swallow before its flight south,

Embraces the fluffy rabbit

And kisses the grasshopper good-bye.

I look around me and a tender sensation

Makes my shoulders drop.

Life is good. Lessons have been learned.

Projects have been achieved, new ideas

Are taking shape. There is hope in my soul;

There’s contentment and strength, all my scars,

Medals of war, reminding me that if they are there

Is because I have healed.

Autumn orchestrates a magic spell

And whisks her wand of grains

To make the wind yield a tingling whirl,

Which turns me into cool champagne.

Resentments gone, harvest picked,

There’s really no one to blame.

All have been teachers and lifetime comrades-in-arms.

All are part of my history, and my history is already past.

There’s a soft wool shawl hanging on my neck

And cowboy boots on my feet, ready to dance.

There’s much more life in Autumn than

Many actually guess. There are fireworks,

Not form heaven, but from earth.

The tale is not finished. Many adventures lie ahead.

But now is a time to celebrate. To prepare for the

Reviving darkness that will bloom new life in spring.

To admire the golds and oranges and reds

In which Autumn paints the landscape,

Like candles in the night, Chinese lanterns

Illuminating the village fete.