I Once Lived

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I once lived
On a world where the sea
Was inky black
And the moon wept blood
For the savagery of the tide
And there I would reside even now
Had not I fell
Through the galaxy and firmament
To this fresh hell

In dreams I return
To the place of my soul’s birthing
I weep and I yearn
For this hearth and this home
In the darkness hiding
And yet abiding
In a gentleness this world’s
Never known

For one moment to touch
The naked shore and breath
The fiery, forgotten air
I remember, I recall and despair
No more to return
You evolve and you learn
It’s just a dream
You were never there
Just an burning icicle floating mid air

(c) Helen Valentina 2020

Posted in Air, Fire, Water | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nothing to See

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I’ve been waiting patiently
I’m sure you will agree
To find a decent book
Or something worthwhile on TV
I’ve held to the remote
And seen it like a vote
And I’d never gad about
For the fear of missing out
But still it seems that I’m
Just withering on the vine
So when did I believe
There was something here to see?
Pay per view it seems
Is only peddling dreams
Till life just past me by
In the blinking of an eye
Still they say it’s  a must see
This new series on TV
So I guess I’ll watch the show
I’ve got nowhere else to go….

(c) Helen Valentina 2020

Posted in Air | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Burning

Burning without and within
Purifying this stain
My history draws out the blood
Of those misguided and misunderstood
Who stood before the flame
And knew its name

An acolyte I freely fall
Before an altar I can’t see
And yet I feel it even so
It follows where my sweet blood flows
To wash away the time
And make it mine

(c) Helen Valentina 2020

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Come With Me

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Come with me
Come and see the world
Flags unfurled

In the air
You can see so far
Be a star

On our way
Just a step or two
Calling you

Come with me
Come and see it all
You won’t fall

(c) Helen Valentina 2020

Posted in Air | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Oath

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I make this solemn oath today
That from your side
I will not stray
My sword is yours and I obey
And I will never sway

Oh little child within my care
You’ll sleep content
Know I am there
They will not harm a single hair
While I am waiting there

A king is first a babe in arms
I’ll watch the night
Keep you from harm
You never need to feel alarm
From warlocks and their charms

This oath I give without regret
I’m sworn to you
I won’t forget
And even if such traps they set
We will defeat them yet
We will defeat them yet

(c ) Helen Valentina 2020

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Year’s Face

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What shall it be
Your new year’s face?
Wipe away the past
Without a trace
Let yourself rise
A brand new you
Defined by what
You say and do
The past is gone
So don’t look back
The mirror lies
Takes you off track
What shall you be
This bright new day
And what dissolves
And flows away?

Will you now smile
A new year grin
A brighter path
To now begin?
The mirror shows
What you expect
But show yourself
Some more respect
And take the reins
Of perfect choice
How shall it sound
Your new year’s voice?

(c). Helen Valentina 2020

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Review: Joan Smokes By Angela Meyer

I’m already a fan of Angela Meyer – I think I always will be. She has such a fine eye for life and detail and a sense of emotion that is both luxurious and visceral, and in her novel ‘A Superior Spectre’ she mixed the speculative with the acutely human in a way that was both heartbreaking and enlightening.

With ‘Joan Smokes’ – her latest novella – she takes that viewpoint to a different, and possibly higher level. Here she does not investigate the possibility of a future world but excavates the universal, eternal landscape of the human heart. This story is tragic, dark, real – you walk with Joan as she navigates grief and memory and slowly the truth of her loss is revealed so that by the end of the journey you feel gut-punched with empathy.

Angela’s prose is spare but beautiful – rather like poetry  – there is a melody or a lyricism underneath it all – and you are transported through the story with a similar urgency to a dramatic song. I’m not sure how she does it – draws you in but also keeps you one step removed, just as Joan herself both views and lives in her life at the same time – till she is haunted by the very memories she flees but observes dispassionately.

Perhaps Joan would agree with Robert Frost – ‘the best way out is always through’. I was struck about midway through the story by how she observes life with such a keen awareness. Joan’s tragedy is that she sees things for what they are – whether it is the dissolution of her great love and her family in the past – or the gaudy, ritualised world she inhabits to escape it.  She has nowhere to hide from her own eye, her own mind. There is no true opiate in the world for that.

Just like the nuclear tests she observes, the power of destruction is exhilarating and dangerous. You sense she knows this well – her past was similarly explosive and seductive. But what is the price of such power, such sensation? How much of yourself do you give up to be with another, and what if it is never enough? And what if you know that, what if you see it all?

Joan seeks to understand but may be better off if she wasn’t so good at that.  It makes me think the author might be similarly blessed and cursed. Perhaps all great writers carry that duality and their gift is to make us see the truth through their narratives.  Whatever the motive or the means, I ached for Joan through this story and while her tale bears no relationship or resemblance to my life at all, I felt I knew it even so. That’s a testament to Angela’s writing and the universality of pain and loss.

I heartily recommend this novella to any reader -but particularly to those seeking a real and raw experience of what it is to be human, and to love.

 

Posted in Conversation | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Departing

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I saw the leaves departing
On the bitter winter wind
And in their flight my soul
Recognised its form
It will not now be long
Until I welcome moving on
The soft, encroaching storm

I saw the colours fading
Before they fell and flew around
The park that afternoon till I
Recognised the call
I will not fight at all
It’s natural like the seasons fall
It happens to us all

The tree outlasts the time
We wander on this little earth
From day to day
And from our birth our form
Can hear the subtle siren song
We know it won’t be long
Till we vanish in the storm

(c ) Helen Valentina 2019

Posted in Air, Earth, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Not Quite A Mirror

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Each not quite a mirror
To the other
See them stand
Beautiful and half pre-planned
Half chaos as they see
A stronger mimicry
Not quite a mirror but close enough
If either calls the other’s bluff
I wonder what we’ll see?

The artifice separates
One from the other
And as they dance
You’ll see they’ve left not a thing to chance
Their perfect symmetry
Precision by degrees
Not quite a mirror but still your heart
For you will not tell them apart
If you can truly see.

(c ) Helen Valentina 2019

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Am I Free?

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Am I free?
The thought has not occurred
Before to me
Yet could it be?

My cage is cool
But did I build it
Back in school
A little fool?

Or did I see
At my parents’ side
The litany
What I could be?

Now I am old
Many stories never told
And not by me
But am I free?

Then let me fly
It’s not too late to wing
Too late to be
For I am free.

(c ) Helen Valentina 2019

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments