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.

Deep.

Inside.

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.

 

 

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Weird

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.

Immortal

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.

 

Wings

Karem Barratt

angel-beautiful-red-hair-sad-Favim_com-1057510

 

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

Galaxies.

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

autumn-woman-studio

 

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.

 

A Gratefulness Prayer for Womanhood

K. Barratt

goddess breaking through rock

Let’s silently give thanks for the melody of life;

Let’s give thanks for the cycles of life,

Which allows us to experience its many facets,

From child, to girl, to woman, to mother, to wise one.

Let’s give thanks to the feminine light in us,

Which connects us to archetypes of beauty, creativity,

Courage, tenderness and love,

Be them called Great Mother, Venus, Mary, Diana,

Parvati, Osum or Gaia.

Blessed be our femininity,

Our mothering potential

That expresses itself in so many forms

Of caring, loving, creating actions.

Let’s give thanks and step with pride

Into the women we are,

Each with her own strength,

Each with her own gift,

Eeach with her own way

Of embodying the Eternal Feminine.

And so it is.

The Shadows

K. Barratt

shadow-figures

 

We move lightly,

The shadows.

On the wall we stretch our fingers

Over the plaster to touch

The flower, whose fragrance

We’ll never know.

We dance with the wind

Scurrying down the door,

And the drapes in the

Front room, pretending

We are the princes and princesses

You read about to your child,

At night.

We hear you.

Intensely.

Hanging on to your every word,

As we squish into the corners,

Droop from lamps and bed posts.

And we follow.

Every step that you take.

We sit on the sofa with you

And see your eyes leak,

For reasons we do not understand.

We prefer the laughter we used

To hear, the morning run

In the early light.

We hardly ever can stay outside,

Yet we enjoyed our jogs,

The dew, the whispering trees,

The lazy, cold sun.

Sometimes we even

Got to go shopping,

Although we disappeared fast

Under the neon lights,

Now we are surprised by

Your choices, every time we return

Home, to the demi shade

Of the kitchen.

We know you love cheese

And dark, melty chocolate

That feels, according to you,

Like a vampire’s kiss.

We know all this and more.

At least we did.

Yet all we see is lemonade.

And cabbage, onions and carrots.

Carrots.

And we doubt.

We have always accepted

Our fate, the illusion we

Are supposed to be,

A dark reflection of the living,

Those deemed to be real.

The child is still real but you,

You look more and more ephemeral.

And angry and mean.

Nothing like the girl who was

Going to take the world and

Eat it with marmalade,

Whilst laughing and dancing

Ballet under the spring rains.

You are fading.

Becoming a mock of the person

You once were.

Is like the real you

Has gone away and left one

Of us, your shadows, in

Your place.

And we don’t want to play

With you anymore.

Not the short shadow

Nor the long one, nor

The tubby one, nor

The perfect fit one.

You are hollowed

And there is no being

In your eyes.

And we get scared.

When you hit her,

Scream at her,

Turn the key of her room

And walk away.

And the shadow children weep

Silently, with her.

Terrified, we are, of the

Ghost we are chained

To, of the world of ashes

You have buried yourself

And our child in.

We cannot longer be -not,

We refuse to be- with you,

Part of you.

We will brake our bounds.

We’ll fight and kick

And roar and punch

And scream and beat

And hurt and kill,

If the need be.

We shall release

Our child to the light,

And be at liberty,

Unbound, unafraid, unlimited,

Body-less shadows,

Roaming bulbs, candles, fireplaces.

Unformed, un-homed, undetected,

Yet, free.

Fully, finally, free.

 

 

 

Great Bear of the North

K.Barratt

bear polar mystic

Great Bear of the North,

Keeper of the gates of Earth,

Bless with your great paws my steps

As I walk through the woods of life.

Be my shadow behind the trees

And open my senses to the beauty and the warnings

Of the vast net of Wyrd.

Teach me how to walk on the soft earth

Quietly, gently, wisely,

Oh great Bear of the North,

Show me how to find joy in the solitude,

How to walk away the expected schedules

And go into the womb of Mother Earth, to sleep,

To dream perhaps, about becoming a great

Bear in the sky.

Teach me to flow with the seasons,

Tall and low, loud and quite,

With mate, cubs or alone,

True to myself in all the changes of life.

And guide me, great Bear of Earth

And Sky, so I walk softly and wisely over the land.

 

Tar World

K. Barratt

 tar

I am not giving up,

Giving in, surrendering,

Yielding, letting go.

I am weathering the storm.

I will climb the mountain,

Descend the cave,

Find the oasis in the desert,

Plaster the scrapped knees,

Paste together the broken heart.

Kiss the boo-boos,

Wash away the fear, the tears,

Kick the monsters on the bum.

But I am not giving up.

I’ll breath the air

And run under the rain.

I will find the lost smile,

Fan over the dying flames,

Glue what’s falling apart

Inside my brain,

And find the light. My light.

Cowering behind the bulky fear.

This is my life, my time, my get-up-and-go.

Those are the adventures,

The failures, the triumphs,

Calling me on the

Other side of the door,

Trapping me in the tar land

Of my gloom.

I will find my rainbows.

I will paint them on canvas

If I have to.

Sew them together,

Hang them  high between tall trees,

But I will have rainbows in my life.

I will plant my seeds and let

That garden-to-be, be my legacy.

And I will embrace love. My loves,

Waiting for me to open the door.

I will hold them tight,

And kiss them and hug them,

And walk with them on

Whatever exists on the other

Side of the dark door.

For I am more, deserve more.

Faulty, scared, and weak,

Yet I am here. I breath, feel, live.

And I am not yielding, surrendering,

Giving in or given up.

Not one measly inch,

To my oppressive,

Life crushing tar world.

 

Salvation

@KaremIBarratt

Happy family lying in the park with their dog.

Let’s be honest:

You and I know I’m not going to make it.

We play our games, dance our dance.

We say our “oms” and do our therapy.

We make plans for the future,

And if we were true, after looking at

Them, we would laugh and laugh.

But we pretend.

It’s the right thing to do.

It shows I fought until the end

And you stood there, by me.

But you know, and I know,

That one day you’ll lower your guard,

And I’ll take that moment to escape,

Away from you, away from the child,

Away from love, away from life.

You know it and I know it.

You don’t know the when or the how.

I just don’t know the when.

The how I have rehearsed so much

In my head, that sometimes it feels

I’ve already done it.

Hence you give me my pills and I take them.

And you love me and I love you back.

And we tease the child and play with

The dog and the rat, and for a moment

We are real, normal, common enough

to almost, for a moment, forget.

But you know it and I know it.

You cannot save me.

 

Not one can save me from myself.