As the first strains of the piano
Arpeggios arch through the gloom
Of the blinds-pulled living room
You curl in my arms
Nuzzle for a breast
As if you were not outgrowing
So keen to stretch skyward
When will I be a Big Girl, Mummy?
Soon enough, my lovely,
This hour is my solace.
Your warm breath on my shoulder
Legs folded around my thigh
We embrace upon the sofa.
I ignore the floor
What little of it remains visible
In the chaos of your wake
Toys strewn like flotsam.
I am drowning by inches
Yet this is not playtime
I will not despair
For my once neat home
It matters little
And shall be overcome
Once we are both back on our feet.
Eyelids flutter as we reach for
The second movement
Ears adjusting to familiar rhythms
I reach for the mouse
Scroll to the next page
Of our story
Welcoming this forced pause
Suspended in our time
Inhabiting this shared space
To the end of the lullaby
Magic we find in the strangest of places
sometimes ’tis lacking in belt and in braces
and costs not a sou, but is worth more than gold
for the memories last to the time we are old.
The shyest of all find they grow to a hero
when they hear the call of the sweetheart they seek.
The poor and the humble, the lackey, the zero,
when lover’s in trouble, become less than meek.
And these battles we fight, with the heart not the head
do not rob us of life, but they feed it instead
so we nourish the flame that we carry about
and our torch is a beacon, our song is a shout.
Do not mock at the magical daze you may see
when we walk hand in hand down the street, you and me,
for what some view as weakness, makes me brave and strong,
and do you really dare cry all mankind is wrong?
When I may wander mid the clouds
that form when I think far too loud
disturbing thus my reverie
I see such sights no man should see.
Not dusty clouds to cobwebs wed
but glittering smoke, which once thin-spread
reveals to me the shining towers
of cities, beautiful, which house
the fairy nations that there dwell
quite ignorant of heaven or hell
who smile their days and dance their nights,
delight in causing strangers frights,
but best of all, enjoy such life
without the care or daily strife
one sends to plague us here on Earth
and make us doubt our very worth –
for hopelessness and sad despair
are products such as one grows here
and harvests gleefully – cuts down
rejoicing in our every frown
until our chins have reached the floor
– we no more see as once before
but bow our heads in misery
for what we are, we may not be.
Magic and mystery, people do say
Cannot be ‘stood in a year and a day
For reason is hardly a weapon that’s fit
To dig a deep hole – reach the bottom of it.
So first you must study some musty old tomes,
Learn spells without cause, try to rattle the bones.
A sortilege-seeker next you will become
With the bang of a gong and a meditate-hum.
You’ll start to see spirits, and hear things at night.
Some voices bring comfort, yet others, a fright.
But never again will you fancy yourself
To be home all alone with the books on the shelf.
And if it’s a mastery that you would seek,
Hear ye this now, heed the warning I speak!
For Pandora, though ever a curious piece
Once open’d, found never again would know peace.
Her conjuror’s box, though enticing at first
Then took on the weight of a burden, a curse.
But knowledge is power, I hear you declaim,
Please listen, sit down while I try to explain.
Once started upon the path you would rush down
It will not be possible to turn around
So be very sure that you’ve made up your mind
Or you may not enjoy what it is that you find.