To A Lost Love

Image: Grimshaw Atkinson, A Moonlit Evening, 1880 ©️ Coleccion Carmen Thyssen

Author: Roxane Kokka

Listen to the dark, fallen leaves as they whisper
In a tremulous chant that I have lost a love
Of which I could not place another soul above.
As in the hollow streets of sorrow I linger,
In the burning ashes of regret I wonder
Of the alternative actions I avoided
And of enigmatic passions I distorted,
Out of fear, out of anguish, out of bitter
Dread of something new. As the thoughts of solitude
Sting my knowledge of that which I could not cherish,
And all my senses, one by one, slowly perish,
I drift in the perpetual silence ensued.

My Grandma’s Garden

Image: ©️ Patrick Didisheim

Author: Leah Didisheim

The Nature in my grandma’s Garden always amazed me
There is this sense of Family
That you find in the grass, and in the flowers
And in the trees and in the hours

You arrive at the Gate
You hear the rocks crack under the wheels
The trees are still there
The walnuts are still left lifeless on the ground

In the summertime, you do not take the main door
You turn around the House
And smile at the pool on your right

You look at the hole that the tree left
He seems to say « I was the King here once »
And you turn again, and walk up the stairs.

The Limb of Life

Image: ©️ Frederica Petriglieri & Kiljan Paris

Authors: Frederica Petriglieri & Kiljan Paris

Nothingness was eternal. Without pain or pleasure neither anger nor calm. It was the lack of everything, the erring of lost consciousness of those who weren’t aware of their existence.
Floating in infinity among stardust and lights. Carrying the emptiness of the universe.
All souls were one and one soul was all.

How am I supposed to remember our matterless past?
While I’m floating tenderly in Charon’s boat.
Why does my memory of the universe fade away?
For the first time of my ethereal wonderings
I’m forgetting everything.

The darkness starts to weigh over me.
The Acheron! Am I drowning?
Wasn’t I destined to cross it?
Sudden fears grow in my being.

As I’m sinking deeper in unknown matter
Away for my lost embarkation
The fluid is tickling my lips
An instinctive sensation.

The pressure grows and grows
My entire being is surrendered by warmth
The feeling of weight accentuates
Where am I?
I did not cross the stream where everything ends
So has it just started?

All of a sudden my hands grab a soft rope.
I let them go freely along it
But they’re ending touching a moving wall
Is it possible? In all the darkness around, am I in a defined space?
For all I know now I’m trapped and alone.

My consciousness is trembling
The surrounding moves again and again
The wall is forever dancing
I’m trying everything to reassure myself,
When, out of my touch
Something comes directly through my head.
Wonderful hot air, smelly yet irresistible.
The Acheron smells nice!

-No wait!
I’m not in the river anymore
So where does this come from?
Isn’t hell supposed to be filled by flame and toxic gas
And that all the unliving are suffocating for eternity?
So why does all I breathe taste unrealistically familiar?

All flavors flourish within me.
The more I feel, the more I forget.
Senses of deeper knowledge
Are drifting me away from all that I know.

I start to hear my own symphony.
My heartbeat settle the rhythm
While the pond over me is shaking
I thought the underworld bears two rivers
But my ears hears billions
From the depth of darkness
The songs of their endless streams
It is drifting me back to a sense of unity
For all the rivers are joining in one.

The tune is connecting me to everything
To all that is over me. I can feel it.
So why does my rhythm sound different
From all the rivers symphony?
-Am I not alone?

Far distant sounds make the wall trembling
Soft and insistent
Decided yet subtle
As pretty whining in the darkness
-Maybe it’s not that hard in the underworld
It must be the voices from those who successfully passed away.

But I’m still running in circles.
And my cell is getting smaller.
-Has my judgment arrived yet?
Am I a damned soul trapped in itself
Destined to question for eternity?

-LET ME OUT!!
I push the wall and pull the rope with all strength.
The voices answer me back:
“AHHHHHH”
“AMORE CALMATI”

I’ve no clue of what that means but surprised as I am
All the muscles within me freeze.
“HAHAH, GRAZIE”
Who the hell is talking?

To satisfy my curiosity
And also because it was itching me
I open one eye to glimpse beyond the fence.
Soft lights spread in my small nest.
But enough to see the whole of me
My arms, hands, feet and toes.

From darkness comes shadow.
On top of that I’m hearing voices.
I’m starting to be crazy for sure.
I need to act, to move and get out.

I’m taking again the rope with both hands
My feet are pushing in every corner of my prison
I hear the same voice shouting but now I’m not stopping
Voices become louder and louder.
But I continue to push.
I’m banging my head through the wall.

I’m sure it’s moving and I can pass through.
-That’s it! I found a fissure where the light breaks.
Even if I suddenly doubt about following the light at the end of the tunnel.
I know it’s the only way.

It’s as if the wall wanted me out.
Every now and then the tunnel squeezes me and pushes me forward.
“LET’S GO PUSH”
Well I can’t do better and my head is stuck.
“HAHAHA”

I look up again and the light blinds me.
I’m tired, my body aching everywhere and my muscles start to fail on me
“GO GO COME ON”
As I’m fainting, the ground under me collapses.
My lungs are exploding as I’m trying to breathe.

But it hurts, I’m suffocating
Yet the boundaries around me are gone…

I’m floating amongst the giant hands of the underworld
So I did cross the Styx and Acheron after all!
For I’m selfless, defenseless and vulnerable.
In the arms of two titans who sing lullabies.

I know nothing anymore.

The Rain

Image: ©️ Unsplash – Graham Ruttan (@gramdaman) – License

Author: Sébastien Milcé

Raindrops are hitting the roof, creating a nostalgic music, an atypical and changing rhythm. As if the clouds are changing moods, aggressive fury, restful quietude, dancing joy.

You loved the rain.

You loved desserts, word plays, sunbathes at the beach, cocktails and cats.

I loved everything you loved, and I thought it was enough.

Yes, you loved a lot of things, but I wasn’t a part of it.

For a long time, I wondered what I was doing wrong to be unworthy of your love. It seemed to me that I was the most attentive, the most motivated, the gentlest. Yet, the first day’s passion was fatally replaced by the fear of hurting someone you considered as sympathetic. But love is blind, and what was clearly a unilateral relationship was emerging in my head as an idyllic romance.

So, I didn’t see that I was stifling you, I didn’t understand why you were so cold when I was trying to offer my heart, I didn’t interpret the signals indicating that we were going downhill.

Maybe you think that I was being naïve, but your presence used to be enough to ease every one of my sorrows. I was under your hold, you controlled me; your words seemed holy, your actions seemed heroic, your requests became my obsession. Ultimately, nothing was impossible when it came to you, I would have blown down a mountain if you asked me to.

But it was this upward force that, paradoxically, pushed our relationship towards the abyss of failed loves. You wanted the “me” of the beginning, the one who was not under your spell, the one who used to act like he didn’t want you. At the end of the day, giving you attention meant losing you. And the first time I looked at you with passion, you looked at me with disgust.

You had your problems that you would have shared for nothing in the world, because with me, you’ve never been vulnerable. Never, despite the weight of you sorrows, you saw me as trustworthy. And I realized just now that our intimacy didn’t expand outside the sheets of the bed. 

I asked myself what I was doing wrong, and it came to me. It wasn’t something that I had done, nor something I hadn’t done. You just wanted someone I wasn’t.

What I had to give wasn’t in line with what you were asking for, it wasn’t too much, it wasn’t too little, it just wasn’t it.

The hatred that I used to carry against you when you ended my fantasy, was in reality badly directed. It was against the resentment of this relationship that I kept this visceral hatred: despite all my efforts, I didn’t succeed in impacting your life like I wanted to. And it was this feeling, the impression of being a man among the crowd, to be a transition towards happier days, this very feeling that kept me up at night. Maybe I wasn’t the man of your dreams, but I sadly realized that I wasn’t the exceptional man I thought I was. And this reflection has the power to shatter one’s self-confidence to its foundation.

I’m mad at myself. Mad to have used so much energy in vain, mad to have put myself through emotional danger for someone who was explicitly pushing me out of their life.

As time goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to remember the good memories. You never confided, you never lowered the wall you built between us, you never showed who you are. 

I don’t hate you.

I simply don’t know you.

You were just a stranger who used to love listening to the rain in my arms.

Long ago

Image: ©️ Creative Commons -“Storm” by Daniel R Thompson – License

Author: Lisa Ziegert

Long ago, my fire stopped burning.

A big dark storm started raging,

Everything falling and flying.

A darkness, in my heart, growing.

Sadness started taking over,

Loneliness is my new lover,

I want it all to be over

But letting go I can never.

Whatever I do, feeling lost.

Staying alive, an endless fight.

Always trying to find some light

But I don’t know if it’s worth the cost.

Long ago, my fire stopped burning.

Long ago, dark thoughts appearing. 

Long ago, wills of life fleeing.

Long ago, I started dying.

The Future we deserve

Image: “Jewel Changi (II)” © Wikimedia Commons – Licence

Author: William Flores

The Future we deserve

Towards a post-scarcity, solarpunk, Star Trekkian future

It’s been more than a year since our daily lives have been upset by the pandemic. I remember last spring when reports of nature’s supposed healing were on the news almost daily. For a while, the prospect of a green post-pandemic recovery seemed within reach. However, both the European Union’s “Green Deal” and Joe Biden’s “Build back better” infrastructure plan, the most ambitious recovery plans thus far, remain short of what’s needed to avert a climate catastrophe and fix the grotesque levels of inequality that plague our world. Despite the “New Deal” rhetoric, they’re no match for the transformative social welfare policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

If anything, governments all over the world are failing to rise to this historic moment. The difficulty of getting a federal 15 USD/hour minimum wage across the finish line in the US only shows the lack of political will for any long-lasting change.

However, perhaps we should not expect state institutions to offer salvation from capitalist dystopia. Indeed, it is up to us as people to resist and disrupt the system wherever and whenever possible. Rights, especially social rights have never been granted, they have always been fought for. Resistance can take many forms. Whether it’s through strikes, squatting empty apartments, setting up mutual aid networks, guerrilla gardening, petitioning for improved rights or even disrupting company efficiency by taking extra long bathroom breaks at work.

While a bit of a long shot, the notion of dual power is promising. Applied by the Black Panthers, the idea is to make capitalist and existing state institutions redundant through community organizing. Community permaculture, local housing cooperatives and community-owned clinics for example, offer ways towards at least a partial emancipation from capitalism. However, I believe that we should not abandon institutional politics completely. Indeed, the continuation of many social programs that protect the most vulnerable people of society depends on the kind of people that are in office. Even if institutional politics alone do not offer revolutionary change, it can be used as a tool for harm reduction and as a way to make things easier for communities trying to organize mutual aid, cooperatives, community gardens, renewable energy micro-grids and so on.

By slowly building a network of semi-autonomous socially and ecologically minded communes, we might just lay the foundations of a post-scarcity society based on Murray Bookchin’s municipal social ecology. The liberatory potential of small-scale community-owned and community-managed technologies such as hydroponic systems, solar panels and additive/subtractive manufacturing techniques (3D printers, CNC machines, Wiki-houses) might just allow such communes to slowly but surely break free of capitalism and authoritarian state structures and usher in a world where the needs of all are met unconditionally, where all unnecessary (and often environmentally destructive) work will be abolished. Over time, these communes might start looking like the vegetal cities imagined by Belgian architect Luc Schuiten or certain parts of contemporary Singapore, whose futuristic architecture is based on the concept of biomimicry. Free from wage slavery, people might spend most of their time building relationships with their fellow humans and the Earth, pursuing art and all kinds of skills and hobbies. Just as Star Trek: TNG’sCaptain Jean-Luc Picard said to a time-traveller from present-day Earth: “The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24thcentury. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity”. Now that’s the future we should be aiming for, that’s the future we deserve.

Where there is screaming there is breathing

Image: © Andres Stadelmann

Author: Andres Stadelmann

You sat at the foot of the hill
The one which softly sloping rose high above the clouds.
And you watched, eyes twinkling as I met your gaze.
That gaze
Wrought of that deep iron which only exists in the mines of memory and experience
Piercingly understanding but softened and smoothened by wisdom.
What a funny thing
How you of all people waited for me there.
I remember as a child how you spoke to me. You knew all my tongues, and I had barely learned yours.
But that sensible experience became
That drive and desire to know more.
It’s always difficult at first. It requires trust, sure, but more importantly the willingness to accept those lofty dizzying sights in order to plunge and go deep and far and above and beyond and to twirl and to tumble and to wake and to sleep and to scream and to scream and to scream and to scream
Perhaps too much.
You always told me, yes we do want to go there. We do want to reach that summit, the clouds, the rain, the cold—it holds no importance.
And that flushing hilly side beckoned yet, light parting and peering ever so slightly.
But why then, what of this urgency? And who am I going with, and how, and when, and
Why
That love which you pronounced on your lips and in your heart, which screamed in your loins and in your eyes.
And suddenly that gaze was not so sunken, not so piercing, not so deep.
And still you looked
The oxygen is always thinner at higher altitudes, your breath catches easier and you need to stop more often
And wait.
Wait for that immense solitude, which, like the clouds, hides that questioning desire and that fear.
Wait for it to come, and when it does don’t hold back.
When it gets cold you can’t hold back
And those precious piercing breaths
The ones who hold sobs
Take them in, let them out
Let them comfort your heart, take them out in the sun
Don’t forget it’s all green, and you’re there at the top
Open your eyes so you’ll know where to stop.
Now again there is music with a promise of song
Still you listen.
Slowly we gather our arms and take steps, which resemble the ones your children made only last year.
Here is dancing, here is singing, and above all
here is crying.
Do it in silence, so I can hear you reappear. I want to go with you I want to have you here.
I want to feel you living
I want to watch you breathe
Please watch me while I stare, while I glare and while I dare.
And looking towards the ocean, of that sky high and wide
The same one that catches the moon when it lays to rest during the day
Sleeping frivolously.
The same sleep of course, which I shared with my mother. I slept knowing only of a love, that love which feeds the same furry hillsides we wish to climb
And kicking to satisfy those itchy jitters
Yes mother, there is still much to learn.
You know that first time when I chanced a glance, when I thought that maybe a part of that blinding light was kept for me, it didn’t look right.
There was something that I knew I could have followed, with my eyes closed. Never stopping, only stumbling.
And now, with you, at the foot of that hill, I did stop
Not to see, nor to hear
But to breathe
While the world all around me keeps screaming

Guillaume’s poems

Image: “Ciel orageux” © Pixabay – Licence

Author: Guillaume Amstutz

 

Promises

 

Didn’t you love the things we shared

Above the clouds, nothing was heard

But when you write in this manner

I see your eyes as they flutter

 

Beyond that veil of sewed words

I hear your voice, its mellow chords

And the darkness that it lightens

My loneliness, it untightens

 

Your promises, glowing in white

They shine gently, in the moonlight

A dimming hue, a falling dew

The distance grew, it’s what you do

 

Soon our vision will be so blurred

Our moment endlessly deferred

Holding on, I had some hopes

Climbing on slippery slopes

 

Clinging to mirrors of sorrow

All shimmering in my marrow

Quietly fade but never go

Your images, darkened snow

Nowhere to run from your claws

Grasping softly, lenient jaws

 

Promises of love, covered in black

Until you dissolve, and turn your back

I believed the tales in tinted glass

Their broken shards spilled on the grass

 

Armor

 

I’m not wary I’m just cautious

And sometimes I’m a bit tenacious

About the things I should let go

I often cling to what I saw

 

I’m stuck in this armor I wear

Hardened shell nothing could tear

It protects me from what I fear

But my frights are slumbering near

 

Scarred steel on rusty skin

Scared still in this quiet din

Burned mail on bleeding hands

Waiting for the falling sands

 

Creaking, seeking shelter

Kicking, flicking weather

Slicking to restore the glimmer

Shrieking when the light gets dimmer

 

A Battle Chant 

 

At dusk, the battlefield was painted red

Banners were torn, flying away

Countless men, on their deathbed

Dark fell down, with the horses’ neigh

Ending the pain with black hooves

Final light fade, the sun moves

Gazing at the plain, covered by haze

Horses who strayed, parting their ways

Inside the ground, its bones are brittle

Jarred by war, as violence whittle

Killing in the name of false gods

Listening always, he applauds

Money is the love they pursue

Nothing ever could quench their thirst

Outside of the blood and the hue

Praying for some gold, they are cursed

Quivering in fear, holding their spear

Riding out of greed, red they smear

Swords out and feral, they charge on

The lord could help us, but he is gone

Uttering softly why he left us

Vices in disguise it’s treacherous

Why keep fighting throughout the years

Xylophones of angels won’t reach our ears

Yearning for solace victory won’t give

Zenith over the dust, it’s the last we’ll live

 

Mindless

 

Shadows wandering in your mind

Mind your steps in this cursed land

Land your feet on the cold stones

Tones echoing in a far place

Lace your fingers in the spoiled soil

Soiled your soul with their grim smiles

Miles away lays your lost hope

Hoping one day the sun will rise

 

Rise again, your eyes still dark

Using your sadness as your bark

Thought the hell wasn’t so low

Thought the pain would never go

 

Gone away out of your mind

Mindless steps in this cursed space

Pace your heart, the night is long

Longing for the day to emerge

Merge your endless pain with mine

Mindless days and mindless nights

I’ll hold you until the sun arises

Avocado Toast with a Twist

Avocado Toast with a Twist
©️Leah Didisheim

  Author: Leah Didisheim

 

Ingredients (for 1 person):

  • 1 avocado
  • ½ lemon (more or less)
  • 150g of button mushrooms (champignons de Paris)
  • Your favourite bread (about 4 slices)
  • Olive oil to cook

Spices:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Provence herbs mix
  • Garlic powder

Recipe:

Heat up your oven on 50/70°C and put your bread in it (you don’t have to wait for the oven to be hot). (You could also toast your bread or just keep it the way it is if you prefer.)

Wash your mushrooms, cut off the bottom of the tails and slice them. When that’s done, heat up a pan to maximum heat with olive oil in it. When hot, put the mushrooms slices in and turn down your heat a bit. Wait for the mushrooms to soak up in oil – add some if needed (which I always do); a disturbing amount is needed. When the slices begin to shrink and all have oil on them, add all of the spices according to your liking (you can use other spices if you prefer, these are just the ones I always use). Stir the mushrooms from time to time (reduce the heat if needed) and take them off the heat when cooked (I personally like them a tad crispy) and set them aside.

Then (or while your mushrooms are cooking), take your avocado and cut it in half. With a spoon, take the avocado flesh, cut it in small pieces and put the pieces in a bowl. Take a fork and mash it all up. When there are no more chunks of avocado, press half a lemon and add it to the mixture. Before mixing it all up, also add some cayenne pepper and mix the spices and the lemon juice a bit. When that’s done, mix it all together.

Take your bread out of the oven (or before if it was already crusty, which is what we’re aiming for – check it a few times while preparing your other ingredients) and cut it in slices.

Put the slices on a plate and spread the avocado mixture on top of each slice. On top of that add some of the mushroom slices and you’re good to go!

You can add more or less of all the ingredients depending on how much you eat and the taste you like best; these are only suggestions.

Bon appétit!

Chocorange Cake

Chocorange cake
“Chocolate ring shaped cake” by the Italian voice is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Author: Katharina Schwarck

 

This is a recipe for the absolute yummiest cake I have ever made and ever eaten in my whole entire life. It will make you drool, it will warm your heart, it will make you want more. You don’t believe me? Try it yourself.

 

Ingredients for a cake pan of 28 cm:

120g soft butter or margarine

140g sugar

4 egg yolks

 

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

120g dark chocolate, grated

1 orange

            its zest

            3 tablespoons juice

 

4 egg whites

1 pinch of salt

2 tablespoons sugar

150g ground peeled almonds

60g zwieback

 

 

Preparation (about 30 minutes):

 

  1. First of all, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. You can also take out a cake pan and grease it already. Then, you take 120g of butter, shortly (very shortly!) put it into the microwave or leave it in the kitchen to heat up a little. Put the butter in a bowl, stir in the 140g of sugar and the egg yolks, (don’t forget to keep your egg whites for later!), continue stirring until the mixture turns light. Finely grate the 120g of dark chocolate (you can do so by just cutting it up with a big knife on a cutting board), add the orange zest and squeeze in 3 tablespoons of juice (or basically your whole orange). Add the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.

 

In a different bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until it’s stiff, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating briefly until the beaten egg whites are shiny and bright like your future :).

 

  1. Grind the 60g of zwieback finely by crushing it in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or something similar (I used to take them and break them with my hands over a bowl when I was little. I do not recommend). Mix with ground peeled almonds if you like them and you’re not allergic (or take the risk, you never know).

 

  1. Now, mix the chocolate-orange mix with the zwieback-almond mix. Then, pour layers of the beaten egg whites onto the mixture, carefully fold them in with a rubber scraper (carefully, I’m serious.) and fill the finished dough into the prepared form.

 

  1. Bake in the lower half of the oven for about 50 minutes. Remove, leave it to cool a little, take the cake out of the mould, and let it cool some more on a rack.

 

  1. To finish off your beautiful soul-warming cake, you can either throw some powdered sugar on top of your creation or, if you’re feeling artsy, cover it with jam (apricot, more orange, or whatever you think would taste good) and add some orange slices. For the second option, warm up the jam in a small pan with some water, pass the mixture through a sieve, and spread the cake with it.

 

  1. Enjoy!

 

PS: if you adapt the heat and time a little, the dough can also perfectly be made into little muffins.

“Some people never go crazy”

1.

Some people never go crazy –

Me, I’m sitting on a lawn chair
Alone on the side of a hotel pool
Nothing to do but
Listen to the wind go by.

A snowflake falls on my nose
And an older couple comes running out
Maybe 70 years of age
Roaring with laughter –
They jump into the freezing water, fully clothed
Splash each other and
Race to the other side.

As they reach the ocean’s end,
He catches her
And it’s clear he has no intention of ever letting her
Go.

They haven’t seen me yet
And they probably never will
But I watch them.

Some people never go crazy.
What terrible lives they must lead.

The Fair Lady of Ascalot

 

The Fair Lady of Ascalot

A Noble Death

 

 

“There is a great crying of the waves tonight.”

“Yes, the moon is red.”

“I hear the pounding of the sea afar.”

“I see that the snows are white.”

“Look, here come the flutes.”

 

“What’s that my dear? What do you say?” croaked the old woman.

The master looks pale tonight, like the foam of the sea or the tear of the moon. He looks out the window but does not see the two women. His eyes gaze in the distance, at a point they cannot see. A slight breeze curls strands of his hair. His sword rests on his side. Knighthood has its price.

The flutes are drawing nearer. One can hear their shrill scream, the pounding of the drums. The young maiden’s heart is still. Candles are lit and the procession moves forward. Not too quickly. Slow, slow and steady, now. One must have time to grieve.

 

The sky is dark. Not quite black, but dark. Red is the moon, loud is the sea and heavy is his heart. A knight’s heart…is it so still and cold that it may not be pierced? What of love?

The drums are drawing nearer, beating in the cold windy air.

 

The young woman gazes at Lancelot. She does not see nor hear the procession. What care has she of a funeral? It is not of one she knows or loves. She stares at Lancelot, his silver hair floating under the stars. He is high above, oblivious to her presence in the shadowed garden. But – ah, her mother will scold her again for leaving the milk to turn! Always the hurry. Always the scolding… life, what an unnecessary reality! She hurries back inside, not without picking a rose. Two drops of red drip into the pail.

 

“Where has he king gone? Oh, what is this horrible noise? Make it stop, make it stop!”

The queen turns and tosses in her bed. It will be a long night. The sheets are moist with sweat, the air too thick. She cannot breathe. Servants rush to and fro bringing water, fresh sheets and perfume. Blood is dripping on the white sheets. The ceiling is dark. A young boy comes in bringing a flower. It has not yet bloomed. It is not yet a bud. But it is green, full of life.

“My mother said this would help”. Slowly, delicately, he places it on the bed. His brow is fixed in concentration. The queen tosses again and the leaves fall on the ground. The bud is blue, dead.

“Where is Lancelot? Oh, what is this horrible smell?”

The young boy cries. Nobody pays attention.

 

The drums are beating louder. The smells of wine and incense waft closer. A strange scent of flowers comes through the window, aggressive. The boat is pulled by ropes tied to the horses’ saddles. They glitter beneath the moon.

Lancelot looks out and sighs.

“What have I done?”

The moon is red. The sea cries louder.

 

“I hear the pounding of the sea afar,” says a woman.

 

“Yes. She is quite dead, our young mistress.” The young men slap the horses, urging them to move faster, faster! The sea is calling the boat.

 

The queen opens her eyes. They rest upon the red cloths over the bed. Everything is so still, up there, in the meanders of crimson. She has stared at the embroidered petals countless times…yet, now, they do not remind her of flowers but of blood. Oh, there has been so much pain. Where is Lancelot?

Her husband the king is by her side. She can hear his voice murmuring pater nosters. She does not turn her head towards him. Suddenly, she mutters a moan. What is this weight upon her chest?

“Oh, Sir, the queen is awake.”

Oh, the curious creature that sits upon her chest. She stares at it, disconcerted. Is this the being she carried just a sunset ago? What a curious little thing, all curled up on itself and pink, so brightly pink, like a burgeon. Suddenly, it opens its eyes and reaches for the queen with its tight little fists. She smiles. She ignores the king, the attendants and servants. She smiles at this little being lying over her heart.

“My prince,” whispers she in his ear. Her child.

 

The sea is red, the sky is black, the moon silver. The waves moan, the skies cry but the moon is silent. Cold. It is a cold night. The man shivers, his sweat forming hard crystals on his back. His right arm moves forwards and back, forwards and back in repeating circles as the whip crashes against the horse. Faster, faster. They must hurry. The moon is mounting, the moon is ascending in the sky. Faster, faster. His lady is waiting.

His lady…white, a thin white face. White lips too. Her eyes are closed and one cannot tell they once were blue. A white dress she wears, and white roses in her hair. It too is white, dead as the moon above. The waves are calling.

 

“I hear the pounding of the sea.”

“It calls for her. She is pale.”

“Her heart is red. There is blood.”

“What folly was in her heart. To die for love

– Is it not strange?”

“Yes, it is strange. The sea is calling.”

 

Further away, beneath the horizon, figures are busy on the shore. Pinpricks of shadow on the distant sands, they are busy. Horses are being led away. A boat is in their midst, facing the sea, facing the moon. The flutes are getting louder. The men’s movements are precise, calculated. They beat to the rhythm of the sea. A wail is uttered, long, plaintive, doleful. A moan answers. It is the sorrow of the sea. The waves call.

Slowly, dolefully, they push the boat into the sea. A shaft of green, a flower of white – it is their lady they see floating in the sea. She is dead. The moon is coming down, down it slowly drifts, down it comes to meet its lady. The wind is picking up, upwards it moves. A dark cloud comes across the sky, slicing the waves, the silent sea. All is silent, all is dark.

A knight at his window stands still, his sword grasped tight, his eyes focused. Of his lady, the fair lady of Ascalot, he sees one last shining vision as moon and boat embrace. Theirs is the shape of a bud, silver and green. Swiftly, implacably, the clouds cover the sea. All is black and night has settled.

A sigh escapes Lancelot’s lips. What a pity he could not love her, the fair lady of Ascalot. What a pity. But the moon, silver; but the ship, green…they resembled, a bud, a flower – the promise of life. Perhaps, perhaps it was truly so. To lose one’s life out of love…Yes, he is sure of it. His lady lives, she is one with the moon and the stars, her song the eternal call of the waves, her hair the silken strands of the sea. She lives, the fair lady of Ascalot. She lives.

 

“It is cold tonight. The night is dark.”

“Yes. How is the queen?”

“Well, my lord, she is well. A prince was born tonight.”

“So it is. (a pause) Thank you. I will go see her in the morning.”

 

The servant retires. Lancelot stays a long while yet, staring at the sea. Finally he turns around and enters the tower. Dawn is already pulling apart the curtains of night. Soon, there will be light.

Relief

Author: J.

Trigger Warning: this poem could be triggering for people who are or who have been in distress. Please read wisely.

 

I wanted to destroy Myself.

So, delicately, I placed pieces of mirror on my veins.

Blood stained lace, I embroidered.

Not a tear,

Not a sigh,

A simple Breath of Life –

 

 

 

 

Those seeking support should contact the helpline for people in distress Pars Pas at +41 (0) 27 321 21 21, or visit parspas.ch

Cross Over

                                               Author: Gislain Cardinaux

Last night, I was walking

With a dear friend of mine.

The night sky was lighting

From a thousand stars that shine

So brightly and clear  – but dying,

Lost in the dark coldness

Of the void endlessly stretching –

Just like we were, aimless.

We were roaming on black asphalt

In search of holy taste of malt,

We were straying from streets

To bars; and from bars back to streets;

With the orange look of streetlights

As unique companion

Of our drunk wandering run

Trying to escape through the night.

We reached the last of all bridges,

So large we felt like small midges.

Across it, our trip

Should find its concluding sip.

The large avenue right below

Was reflecting the glow

Of celestials bodies above

With its sweet lights we were in love.

The city under our feet

Was stretching wide and far, asleep,

In bright luminous sneak

That we beheld from our wreak

We stopped for a moment – or two –

To appreciate this view;

Sitting, quiet, on the low wall

That prevented to take the fall.

The night and its tranquility,

Made us forget the woes of life

And the time so greatly;

No more thinking of sting or knife.

I want to go, called by the gin,

Instead of enjoying

The last few moments I’m spending

By his side – as I’ve always been.

And here they go, my feet I let

End this memorable night thrill,

But I don’t know it yet

That I have a friend still.