Moonchild & The Dragon - Poem by Anthony Thalestris
Old causeway and tide. A river to cross. Without mind. Without history. Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster. Wine dark sea. No Stalmine. No Seven Stars.
Long vistas across long sands. Sunlight. Snowfall in the winter, icicles on the boat. Ice in the memory.
'Where are we going? '
It would be but here. If it was only once then it was only here. Emptiness. A still wind. Offshore, no waves. Silence. Clouds of distant birds separating, dividing and twisting, coming together again. Dancing some primordial dance. The meaning of which forever lost. Never found. Never will be found. An enigma. For all time.
On the old map there's nothing beyond here. The village ends with the church. It did so for a long time. Kunsel cakes at the old railway station. Those I remember. Days of Son House and Vashti. She was so beautiful then. I can see them both still. Then how tomorrow came uninvited and then uninvited again.
'Such beauty in a tight, delicate, paper fist'
I would smoke a cigar here. Sundays. Six O'Clock. Heart shaped lichen on the rocks. Sea Campion. Odd poppies. Talk to you. Talk to the wind. Know you were in the valley under the memorial. The horizon. Distant. The day you collected bilberries. I remember. A biscuit tin full. You seemed closer. Metaphorical. Physical. Mystical. It didn't matter. What really mattered was I had to turn around and go back. Back along unending clouds. Unending skies full of clouds.
Horses racing on the sands. Galloping. Panting. Steam coming off. Fluke Hall. Time flowing backwards. Sussex. Green racecourse on the South Downs. Sports car racing to the coast. Moon. Nursery rhyme moon. Perfectly still in the sky. We moved. The Moon stood still.
'How tall are those trees? '
Adrift amongst the stars, the souls, the souls of the sands. The last immortal man. Long road. Old windmill. Sharp curve at the edge of the marsh. I rescued a ram here once. Horns caught in the barbed wire. It fought. I fought. Ping! . It ran. Never looked back. A lesson there.
Somewhere further up on a headland an old Abbey. Ancient. Ghosts of monks. Wonder what they did up here? Nothing to do but pray I suppose. Bleak now. Bleaker then.
'There is no universe, not in my eyes. I am the universe'
Mystical land. Timeless. Time crisscossing time. Stitched into my soul. Back and forth, back and forth. Maybe forever. You wouldn't taste Ithaca untill you reached The Maribou. But that's gone now. Long dusty half light distant outpost it was. Dying then, but you never thought it. That's tomorrow. That was yesterday.
I don't remember going forward from here, only back. Christmas Eve turning into Christmas Day. Saying goodbye, breathless from the Sugarhouse wall. Taxi back through the fog. Dark. Leaving but not going. Christmas was Christmas. Sacred.
'Come to Bolton le Sands! Come home with me! '
The magic roundabout. The Bowerham Road. Day etching forever. The Cinnabar moth on your dress. Your mouth. Drinking tea at the Butterfly House. Dappled sunlight spinning through the leaves. Time winding the day down. You're wearing my clothes and we're hiding in the tall shadows outside the Dandelion. Talking and scheming untill it was time for us to play. You sang. I played. They sang along.
'What's it like to be seventeen again? '
It was good. But not forever. Nothing is forever. The Crows'. The Sun. The John. The Holy Trinity. Smoking after dinner in The Golden Dragon. Moon child. Dragon. Moonchild and the Dragon. Midnight shopping. Photobooths. What did we buy? I can't remember. Plates and food for Williamsons' Park picnics. Strawberries. Wine. A water pistol.
'I'm going to buy this dress'
Crimson it was, and beautiful too, I carried you in it. Through the streets at night, flowing, Ophelia drowning in my arms. Laughter. Lord Leighton. Flaming June, passers by. Lord of the moon. Next day I bought a motorcycle. Odyssey in a day. Ulysess.
'Where are you? '
The Rocking Horse Shop. A wasp landing on a thistle. In silence we painted. Time passed. Sitting there looking through kaleidascopes, a confermation of facts I expected. Too late. Not too late? Old town. Pepperpots. Grey. Cathedral spires under which we sang mass. Christmas. Incense. Fainting altarboys.
Dandelion clocks in the gardens of Ithaca. We shared the rent and looked out high on the Sea Of Dreams. Left and right. Watched our cigarettes spark and fall like the cherryblossom we loved. Sunsets the colour of pink snow falling on China Street. But we didn't belong there. Not you. Not me
'I'm hardy like a hydrangea'
.....off to mandalay anniarism annia ruinian deathlair exfoliatimated black feeding seedcake into my mouth infernal corset hall of mirrors girl tracing the soft contours of your body with my tongue cinnamonism loverism fatherism daughterism morphine of my soul, whirling in the absolute darkness as the one reality, everything and infinite, eternal and loved tattoo of a man and girl and a golden clock frozen time time time time whither a soul filling the horizon eyes like burning stars magick lunar child dontfritterawaythesoulofyouryouthinme death death close up, that last breath, shortening shadows here, other ends symbolic edged like razors occam making plans for nigel boxes of symblos Tir na nÓg garrinchas legs farenhiet sprinkled on scarves like holy water is this elephant...
'I would have said yes like a shot'
A charm of red faced Carduelis carduelis
...liquid summer song. Waxwings in the winter
Today we are...
Together on the cinnamon jetty and remembering days we sailed black sheets against the wind. Dreams, you said we were sailing dreams. Sunset and cigarettes. You sit on the railing and sing to me. A cappella. I watch the gulls wheel. Morecambe and the unbelievable unbelieving rain. The Jubilee Club. Bare Lane. Taking you home to your fathers house. Every trace has gone. Time has grown thin. No Polly. No Moonbeam. The distant hills that held you have grown ever more distant still. Snowbound. Geography and time slowly tearing us apart. Happy for you. This was no place for you to be. I can keep my sadness.
'I'll be like Little Jackie Paper one day. You won't come at all. Will you? '
No. I don't suppose I will.
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