(by Nicola Hulme)
Life melts , slips away,
pooling slowly, before cascading
over the edge into decline.
Cooling, hardening, leaving a path,
too soon traced and overlaid
by the next generation.
bursting with energy,
flaring and flickering, finding
cupped hands of protection
against the breeze,
spluttering and guttering.
The light now fades,
a naked flame chars
a crumpled wick,
sending up a plume of silvered smoke.
The candle shortening, descends
into oblivion, extinguished.
Is it an endless sleep, oceans deep?
In Karma, do we rise again?
Or, when flame is dowsed
and all is black
does death defeat us?
Darkness and nothing more?
Death welcomes us all; unbiased and inclusive,
Inevitable mortality holds no prejudice.
Some rush towards him,
giving the Grim Reaper a hand.
Others run from him
on supplement and vitamin fuelled treadmills.
The indiscriminate scythe offers strange comfort;
levelling the playing field.
You cannot take my life,
barter or buy it to lengthen your own.
My spark burns until the day I’m snuffed out.
I am grateful for every second.
Just So Greek
(by John F. Keane)
Cassandra’s fractured face seeps into hollowed rock
Quick bow-spray spatters white across spectral seas
Cool effigies dream of thespian victories
Winged artistry, brave hands and tragic sorrows;
Mimetic marble strives at dawn to recollect
Ecstatic festivals and nights of wanton dance
While colours leap from distance, filling us with spring
And pallid plastic dreamscapes with primeval song;
Uncounted species and genera of lost loves
Rise tall and stalk like phobic shadows of dismay
Through trembling phonic moments on forgotten strands
While our new Muse awakens, thumbs sand from her eyes
Takes morning ship to Corinth, eying spindrift waves
Occluding Thracian smiles and foreign faces
Unheeded on her long and voiceless voyage
Towards a distant shore of endless origins;
A few more lines weave Phidian visions taut
With drowning lovers and heroic inference.
Mark Sheeky’s Oil Painting: Wax Cataclysm Of Phoenixes And Unphoenixes (available for purchase)