Elaine

My father was thirty eight when he died

I was barely seven

Mother took me to Spain to ease the pain

Help the healing and never forget

His death had crushed her heart

Part of mine too at the time

The soft white sand slipped through our toes

The cloudy night covered the stars

Transformed them into lost diamonds in the dark

My sunburnt skin itchy beneath my souvenir shirt

 

And then the rain came straight from the heavens

Her sad face and wet hair a sight I would never forget

I found a tiny shell and she held my hand

The castaway clasped between our palms

A momento mori of what was to come

For mother and son

 

For years after she would take me walking in the rain

Walking in the rain with Elaine we would sing

Just like the song

The tiny shiny shell always came too

Clutched between our dripping hands

Sometimes warm

Sometimes frozen

 

One day she tried to wake me from my teenage dreams

But I was growing tired of walking with Elaine in the rain

So she went on her own

And never returned

 

After searching for several days they found her body

She was bloated and floating face down in the local river

Partly wedged under a fallen tree

Somewhat hidden from public view

There was rumour it was murder

But I knew just how much her life had been blighted by grief

Since Dad had passed away exactly ten years before

 

We drove to the Chapel of Rest in Uncle Don’s white van

And there she was

All peaceful looking in her long wooden box

Her hands folded neatly across her chest

Like a sleeping martyr I guessed

I reached into my pocket and found the tiny shiny shell

I kissed it gently for a lingering moment and lovingly

 

Leaning over the coffin pushed it under her cold fingers

Safely wedged in the palm of her right hand

The hand that held mine when we went walking in the rain together

 

Here

Take this Mum, I whispered

And when you meet with Dad

Wherever that might be

Take a walk in the sunshine

And maybe think of me

Painted Rocks

I wake
to a blank morning
your tears stain the pillow
like drops of memories left abandoned
on a melted heartbeat burned
and charred under this equatorial sun

another step closer the edge
another deep breath

a paradise for tourists
a flaming hell for the unbelonging
glinting sunlight on wave after wave
crests diamond studded and jewel reflected
as far as your eye could never see
when blinded by such darkness

another step closer the edge
another deep breath

I relive your last moments
imagine your plight
but it is unfathomable
lost to me on a dolphin’s dive
you are simply gone now
another name on a painted rock

another step closer the edge
another deep breath

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(this piece links to my previous post – the memorial to those who had committed suicide by jumping from a cliff on Gran Canaria. I tend to use the theme of wide open spaces – sea, sky, deserts, highways – in which to arrange and hang my imagination. I try to leave enough room between my words for readers to place their own interpretations –  a dreamy vagueness perhaps. I might use this idea of linking from one post to the next as an aid to writing and exploring different subject matter. It is all too easy to get bogged down with the same old words and never realise that your writing has stagnated).

Searching for Avalon.

Does my header art remind you of a seventies Roxy Music album cover? Maybe it’s the foliage and the expectation of two scantily clad women appearing from behind the signs. The signs themselves were photographed on Gran Canaria during a trip in January 2016. Much needed winter sun. A zigzag path opposite the hotel led to a rocky headland, a lighthouse and a favourite spot for suicides. It was a long, thoughtful journey to the rocks below. A small memorial of painted stones marked the spot near to where those brave unhappy souls had taken their final step of faith into the unknown: Nayra, Saul, Alberto.

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Just names on the parched volcanic ground to me but to someone else a loved one – brother, sister – boyfriend, girlfriend. The bottle of beer reminded me of Jim Morrison’s grave in Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Perhaps an anniversary gift and one for the road. The heat of Gran Canaria in January seems an ocean of time away and I look now towards my two month summer trip to the States which starts on the 25th July. Searching for Avalon maybe.