The Ejection of Anima

Open Casket Did she just wink?Something about her beauty was…off.The beryl of her eyes?The barest invitation of a pout? That wasn’t it.Nor was it the chatoyancy of her skin.The hair, perhaps? Ethereal waves that might carry you off without an anchor.No.The tilt of the nose, then?Just a nose…But, sixteen eyelashes twitch, release themselves and crawl down her cheek.Ah yes, the …

In Gothikas Res

Catching the Scythe When full moonbeams hit St Barquistes, listen.The stony buttresses live; not only flesh can pass away.In the gloom of grief, under black rainbows, the gargoyles sing: some in Hebrew, some Latin or French; others still, Aramaic.But heed their canticle; listen for names.And if any named are those you love, spend time with them while you can. Be …

The Herald

Man used to fly, but no more; not since The Shift. Then, am I not a man? Alone, naked, and illustrated in script, but a man all the same. As The Shift razed civilisation, I rose; a traveling man with only inks and an unshakeable task to record, but a man all the same. I soar with the Trade Winds …

Stone Snitch

Childhood memories often come complete with a hazy, nurturing comfort, but even the best ones carry a burdensome, bittersweet aftertaste.I’d forgotten all about that summer in Kent at the Bloemfontein House, and the foul drinking water. What I do recall is Rex Bloemfontein’s diaries. Slick, greasy things bound in a cheap, ersatz leather; wild cursive loops and bowls exalting his …

The Catch

Whilst the North Sea commits suicide over the rocks of Northumberland, the town’s fishermen repair their nets and pots. It’s hard to figure the coarse, knotty meshes piled at their feet for the silken webs the men back home spin over their heads; like the most skilled pizzaiuolo, my fellow Florentine’s artistry set their nets so delicately on the Arno. …

Dead on Seven

Dead on seven o’clock, the curtains to the theatre rise. The orchestra’s bows await their cue in pregnant stillness. Marek Parell awaits his own, fixed under a simple spotlight. He’s not moved an inch, yet already grateful applause rolls over the footlights like loving surf. His first solo performance, and all he can think about is her: the smell of …

To Everything a Season

I never thought eBay would contribute to my grieving journey, but then I’d never heard about Mourning Seeds until my browser history and poor privacy settings conspired to start suggesting products I might want every time I opened a browser window. I closed ad after ad (Cribb’s Funeral Services; Eco-coffins; even EZ-Cremain – American, naturally), but the day I finally …

Down There

Another night of poor sleep. Ever since lockdown started it gets harder. We went to bed around eleven, and within five minutes she’d fallen into a deep slumber (if the soft pop-popping of not-quite snoring was anything to go by). It was a small mercy – at least I wouldn’t have to lie still. The awful curtains reminded me of …

Oh, Jump, and I’ll Come to You, My Love

To run with white horses, white horses, white horses. Oh, how I long to ride them with you. Because the cleats of life have left boot mark scars on my skin, and cast my torn petals to the swine of chagrin. But I still believe after all, I still believe I’ll be dressed and refreshed, tumbled and polished; my thorns …

The Heredity of Memory

She hasn’t known me for years; instead of throwing hugs she just casts spears, her careworn face now lined with meanness. It’s hard believing things mother once told me: ‘I’ll love you evermore.’ It started with the bears she saw supping in the gloaming. ‘Four of them, as real as day, with teacups of bone china.’ She speaks of them …