Look at us now: splinters on the ground,
we look the same but we’re parts broken
off two different wholes.
A crack in the mirror chips your face,
reminds me of your injured beauty thence:
a porcelain doll with a thousand stories to tell.
Look at us now: you spin me around,
jolt this tired heart, wake this wrecked soul,
and you in perpetuum…
it will always be you I regret.
There are worlds inside of me that I don’t know. They’ve been there for a while, but I’ve been too busy looking for a map instead of getting lost.
I’ve always liked mountains, perhaps more than the sea. They’re both majestic and awe-inspiring in their own way, but that peculiar mixture of claustrophobia of valleys and agoraphobia of summits draws me in like the ocean just cannot.
I’d forgotten it until today, driving through fifty miles of valley surrounded by the possibility to watch the world from up above, surrounded by humbling, crushing monuments of nature.
I’m sitting in a small pub with a selection of single malts behind the bar that would make any Scotsman proud. I imagine it would, at any rate. It makes me happy. Or perhaps that is the wrong word: it lets me imagine what it would be like to be a weary traveller, a novelist or a poet, who drinks his whisky and writes about the worlds inside of him.
There’s a bookshop around the corner, filled with poetry, so there might be money in it yet, if not in mine.
“Do a thing you love at least some of the time,” I was told last night. It might lead to money.
But if it doesn’t, I’m starting to realise – remember, rather – it might at least lead to happiness. I’ve not had that in spades recently, arguably because of exactly this.
Something is different in between mountains. I could be free here. I could be myself, whoever that is. Something is better. Here, I write. Here, I dream.
I could live here, like I could have lived in Stockholm, or Berne, or Dublin: not at all. Forever.
Today, this blog turns ten years old. I hesitate to claim that I’ve been blogging for ten years; it’s not exactly been busy here recently.
Ten years is a long time. Enough time to find a lot of the posts from back then cringeworthy (admittedly, sometimes ten minutes is enough for that to happen). When I first launched this blog, I had a co-author, Serge, who left shortly afterwards to write his own, separate blog. I still lived in Luxembourg – I’d only just finished school and joined University of Luxembourg. My grandparents were still alive, though that wasn’t true for much longer for my granddad, who lost a quick but brutal fight against cancer less than a year later.
I hadn’t met any of the people yet who are my closest friends now. I hadn’t met my other half yet (don’t tell her, but I am quite fond of her).
I hadn’t lost any of my closest friends yet. Most of the people I spent my days with ten years ago I haven’t seen in about just as many. I don’t really know why, apart from the significant distance that is between us but you’d think technology would solve that. It’s a natural part of life to leave people behind and to be left behind, I suppose, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.
Ten years is a long time. Perhaps too long to sum up in a simple blog post without cranking out 10,000 words – and nobody wants that.
The important thing is: I’ve come out the other end lucky and happy in love, friendships, work and the place I call home. And I’ll keep stumbling, meandering, running, laughing and crying my way through this damned thing we call life because, wow, isn’t it amazing.
A group of children run like an improv group unrehearsed
and guide your heart out with candour:
there is a sense of wonder in this dark rye sandwich
in a paper bag on a public square
as you eat it like the last supper, or the first,
while tourists around you breathe the light air,
an old couple walks across without a care.
Hints of anguish still meander
but today you shall not pander.
Part your ways,
quarantine your compassions away for you will be
regents without mercy, agents of destruction
sent from god to free us all from the terror of
them, they, invaders of our homes,
usurpers of our homeland,
veritably powerful only in weapons but not in heart,
xenogenous and parasitical,
you will annihilate
Before we begin again,
cast the last shadow of
doubt away into the sun, suffer vicariously,
emphatically amd honestly
for all those souls we burned and saved, for all the
gentle spirits we vanquished with our
heads held high
intensely staring into their darkening eyes
just for a few seconds, or a few more,
keeping them silent with one hand
like a lover shushing their loved
martyring all pain.
You’re a journey with speed bumps in place to appreciate this town, you’re a Sunday with a reminding hangover not weighing me down,
you’re a multitude of imperfect perfections, you’re a galaxy of future photographic collections.
Our souls were forged in a collapsing star
billions of years ago, I for you, I for you.
My life, alone, a pastiche that seemed so noir, our days, together, will always be too few.
To have and to hold, to never forget, to never regret
that January day we met: six years a fairytale
guiding each other down the trail
to here, now, where I take thee, and I take thee on this longest day of the year, the brightest day of my life,
hovering in a celestial sphere,
to be my husband. To be my wife.
I fill my lungs with embers of pain,
scratch you into memories with the might of kings,
interlock my hands in vain.
Days progress as endless fractals,
one after one of immaterial battle:
a trajectory clean as shrapnel.
I saw a world that might provide:
a meaning found, at once highly prised,
a meaning drowned, at once belied.
If I could douse only the times
that truly deserve extinction
We are a clacking cacophony of a bag filled with pearls,
we are inveterate asymmetries of fantastic worlds,
we are an unpredictable future that slowly unfurls,
we are boys in a long-forgotten playground chasing girls,
we are the unremarkable window stains left by whorls.
Hither all greys, thither all colour:
this universe has been one of squalor,
with wits unlike swords ever duller
and, somewhere, one last disused muller.
We are but made of stardust that each night swirls
through dimly lit streets in small towns, curls
up to young souls and away all the innocence it hurls.