Blue

The muse has slowly been waking. She’s slept in a ball at my feet for the past year. One more thing to trip over. But of late, she’s offered up a little inspiration as I have dabbled back in the world of words once again. I’ve asked a few friends for some topics to blog about. Tonight, came the topic of Blue.

There is a stretch of beach in Forster, NSW – an inlet, really. When I hear the word “Blue” this is the scene that comes to mind. I am on rock beside my father, and before us, an ocean of blue stretches into a crease on the horizon. We sit; he has not long turned 70. I am in my late 30’s. It is mid afternoon. The day, like the tide, is running from us.

 We tell each other how much we love each other. A rare moment. Growing up, I was never that close to him. Could barely reach him. He held me at bay with a stern and controlling hand. But in that moment there on the beach, the years peel away like old paint from a wall. A new slate reveals itself and on it we declare unconditional love for each other.

 I remember the grief bundled in the back of my throat. I struggled to swallow back the bitter years we had silently endured, to arrive in this moment of tenderness. In among that knot of sadness were a million questions. How much time did we have left together? Had we wasted too much already? Did we both have the courage to pick the bones of this father / daughter relationship that had somehow lost its bearings?

 It’s hard being brave when questions like these fall at your feet. It’s difficult to push the boundaries that eventually become the safe space between you. But gradually, we summon the courage. We navigate the fear.  And we hope to last long enough to out live the answers.

 It was the last time we declared our love to each other, face to face. He died suddenly a year or so later. Fell from my life like an autumn leaf from a tree, leaving me open to the  grief that comes calling when a loved one dies before you are ready.

 I try to think of all the other things that remind me of blue but today, I can’t get past that stretch of beach, past my father’s blues eyes twinkling back at me. Or past that moment we shared that has now woven itself into memory. Blue. It’s been that kind of day.  

“Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Thahaiba

Such a silent tiny thing,

Upon the brink of eventide,

I watch you wrestle through the arms of slumber,

She endeavors to encumber you, to draw you gently to her face,

I catch you tumbling softly, to fall unharmed in sleep’s embrace.

 

I note the in-out movement of your chest,

As I let you roam alone those corridors that you know best,

For here, I pray, is where you seek to find

vision that adjourned through hidden doorways locked within your mind.

 

Your waking moments filled with endless darkness,

You wait alone for someone to engage,

A touch, a tone, diffusing through the mantle,

Escorts you to a doorway to lead you safely from your cage.

 

Tumble through the darkness here before me,

Take my hand, I’ll guide you to the light,

I’ll offer things you never knew existed,

Through touch alone, I’ll do my best

to briefly resurrect your sight.

 

And when I call, unannounced, and gently take your hand,

A sudden frown indicates you may not understand,

Your hands trace softly over mine as if they capture sight,

Eruptive laughter bubbles forth when recognition comes to light.

 

You’ve come to know my touch and not my face,

But a semblance of my essence is what you glimpse when we embrace,

And if only it were all left up to me,

I’d slay the beast that keeps you bound,

releasing you, so you may see.

 

For now, you’re cradled deep in slumber’s warm embrace,

Where dreams may conjure images resembling my face,

I gently spin a magic thread and weave it just above your bed,

To capture any dreams you wish to keep,

To see when you awaken from your sleep.

 

And I whisper as I leave you as before,

“I’m just outside your door…I’m just outside your door…”

© Lynn Priestley 2012

Silo 21

Today was a perfect Brisbane day. It was a day where I met with fellow illustrators to steep deeply in conversation that was all about ink and colour, art and inspiration. Something quite magical happens when creative folk huddle. A magical force takes hold and it brightens my world.

So many creative pursuits see us working in silos. Long hours of solitude teasing images from our minds. Wrangling the beast onto paper or screen is always a challenge but somehow when I hear others share their tales of creative woe, I no longer feel quite so cut off. It’s like reuniting with the tribe. They speak my language. They face similar trials. We celebrate each others triumphs and I come away healed of the nagging doubt fed by isolation. I’m so fortunate to be part of this group.

In my moonlight

You haven’t appeared in my moonlight tonight, what hemisphere are you sitting in now. 

Are you here or there or wandering lost, left of centre or avoiding the cow?

 Your schedule is alien, foreign and mad and I don’t know if wanting your time is as bad as wanting you all to myself in the night when the dogs are barking in furious flight.

 A drew a card in the shade today – twin flames that whispered the shade in your name – it hinted at spirits eternally bound and wanted to know what time you’d come round.

 I responded in kind said I never could tell if you comprehend what is happening, well, it’s not like it’s hard to figure the rest but I think that you’re not all you attest. 

 I see the spin and the wild woolly gale that surrounds you from opposite sides of the tale. Your intellect shines like fingers through cloud yet I sit in denial wrapped in my shroud. 

 For this thing is as dead as all dead can be and there’s no chance of resurrecting in me the hope of a promise, the swing of a rope when bygones are hanging their heads without hope. 

 Without further a do I jump to a frame where I know that my shroud wont get caught in the rain that falls once again on my day of parade and leaves me in pieces, soaking and frayed. 

 I sleep with the knowledge that freedom is choice and within is the obvious nagging old voice that tells me deep down inside of the cave the answer has risen out of the grave. 

Though it glows like a beacon and rings in the light

it is sad that you aren’t in my moonlight tonight.

 

Lynn Priestley©2011

Ocean Flaw

There’s an ocean inside him,

Drowning her slowly,

She’s searching for land but is just out of reach,

A tempest is brewing each moment she fails, 

And she’s battered and bruised

as she’s washed to his beach.

 

His eye has its bias,

His sea has its plight,

His you is an incomprehensible fight,

For nothing remains very long in his view,

As he flounders in search of that somebody new.

 

His tide ebbs and flows, etched on a string,

And coaxes her back to the very same thing,

She resists him at first,

Bobs on his wave,

Then digs one more hole in his watery grave.

 

 And here she remains

‘Til her strings rot and frey

As she’s lost once again in his salt water grey.

 

 She swears on a moonbeam, 

This chance is his last,

Or his unfullfilled vows will be shelved in her past.

 

But then the tides turn,

And she digs from his grave,

And swims for the life

that she knows she can save.

 

She breaks from his mooring,

Swims to her shore,

And leaves him to drown

on his sad ocean floor.