Mishmosh Poetry And Art

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I discovered this lovely lady speaking her poetry on SoundCloud some time ago.  I find her poetry inspiring and also very relaxing to listen to.  She has a huge selections of spoken word posts… these are some of her earlier posts.  Her collection of poetry will certainly keep the listener entertained for a long time.  Sit back and enjoy!

The beautiful colourful images she uses on her SoundCloud posts are all her own art.  You can find her Mishmosh Poetry and art on Facebook too.

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Wedding Shoes

Kreg Steppe (CC)

It’s every little girls dream to know the feeling of importance, sophistication, and most of all, the high heeled elegance one pair of attractive shoes can deliver.

In my teens I had my share of stunning footwear, to know what it was like to effortlessly balance into infinite party hours on 41/2 inch shining pins and not flinch one bit as bones ached to be free.  I remember every beautiful pair.  But the one pair of shoes I loved most of all – were yours.

They hid in a gloomy corner at the bottom of your wardrobe, concealed by long dresses and heavy coats, never once seen on your feet.  I wondered why such pretty shoes should be condemned to shadows?

Pressing girlie feet into the toes of your divine shoes, I was Cinderella in glass slippers. Clumsy, teetering on falling, I clipped and flipped all the way from the bedroom to the kitchen, to demonstrate what you were missing.  Hands on hips, question marks in radiant eyes, I asked, “Mummy, are these your shoes?”  Your expression was a mixture of impending laughter and annoyance at the realisation of how clever your baby had become.   Hidden things would no longer be easy to keep to yourself.

You told me they were your wedding shoes.  I looked at your flat heeled sensible footwear and guessed those pretty shoes were a part of you I’d never know.  You would have liked to have told me to put them right back where I found them, but you were were too kind to say such things.

Jubilant at my discovery, I blundered my way round the house in wedding heels, wondering what kind of man I’d marry and if he… he’d like my shoes. 

I imagined living in London just like you, where traffic was never still, pavements filled with shoppers, and I… lady of the city, walked with confidence.

Just for one day, I borrowed the image of a beautiful woman I found in an old black and white photo, and walked in her shoes.

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My mother on holiday wearing those wedding shoes.

Did any of you girls clip around the house in your mothers shoes?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of boys wearing their fathers shoes… so what is it boys do to feel like they could be their dad?


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The Snail’s CastleMark Gordon
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

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The Secret ~ Revisited

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It was strange sitting on that bench looking at sandcastles we hadn’t built, kites stretched to the sky with no need of our hands.  It was strange seeing children in whirls of excitement for beach holidays, wild fairground rides waiting to induce the scream.  It was all… so familiar.

It was strange all of that, was no longer you or I.

We sat quiet, serene smiles on faces looking out to sea.  As if we’d arrived to watch a show, wondering where all the years had vanished.  How had we become the still people?  The ones slumped in deck chairs eating sandwiches, sipping lemonade with newspapers draped over heads, shading their pink English skin from the unexpected heat of the day.  How their eyes had followed us, amused at what our little hands could do with a plastic bucket, a spade, and a heap of soggy sand.

We have discovered, no matter how hard we try to keep all we’ve known alive, change is always certain.  Time ticks, and who we’ve become will continue to surprise.

We may be confused children, absent of Mum and Dad, empty of buckets and spades, with a lack of desire for castles made of sand, to cut the wind with a kite, get chills from awesome rides, or revel in artificial game score highs at the arcade.  But at least we are still a brother and sister who laugh a lot, share a precious moment, and remind ourselves appearances lie….we are the same people we always were.

It’s all on inside, not the outside.  And only we know the secret of how to find the real boy, the real girl.

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Some of you may remember this story from a post I created in September 2013 called The Secret.  It was a poem, with photos of a seaside town I visited in Lowestoft, Suffolk.  I’ve not done a repost before, so I decided to rewrite this into short story style and record it.

If you’ve read too much today, you can sit back, be lazy, rest your eyes and listen to this one!  The original post contains a lot more photographs of the day, a traditional British cream tea, and a beautiful surfing video filmed in Lowestoft.  If you’d like to see it you can view it here.

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51QgNPRw1mLDaughter Of Darkness ~ Katya Mills
Buy on Amazon
katyamills.com

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Nothing Lasts Forever

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I watched my mother turn the page of the calendar.  September, a picture of a golden sunset shimmering on a highland lake.  That picture and September spoke of things I wished not to know.

She said “The weeks – they’ve gone so fast!”  Fussing over clothes for school, debating how much I would grow, and if my skirts were long enough to last the winter.  She dragged me to shops, the boring ones, not for excitement of toys, but to buy a perfect pair of sensible brown shoes.  Boring ridiculous shoes, to be worn at a ridiculous place.  Because September always spelled – SCHOOL.  Too close for comfort and never far enough away.  Pressing in like an elephant sitting on my head, crushing my thoughts, reminding me the hot summer had finally melted, like watching ice cream drip, and never getting to taste how good it was.  My short days of freedom were almost over.

The first day of term would always be the same, walking through gates, long faces, clones in matching uniforms.  Grumpy grey, navy numb, charcoal and mud coloured shoes spoiling pretty young feet.  Laughter forgotten, fun stored away for long awaited opportunities, and the warmth of sun luminous on our heads as though holidays were not yet over.  How horribly deprived we felt, how torn we were, like chicks fallen from the nest.

Each new term, a fresh class, a new teacher.  Everything that had been, no longer was.  Strange, alien, vulnerable.  The beginning of another year in a place I wished not to be.  Windows were magnets, I’d lose so much time staring through many, my eyes drawn to outdoors, the trees, birds, and each fluffy cloud that drifted by had more meaning than the monotony of the classroom.  I’d try to find the tiniest evidence of happiness, because hours at a desk was never going to be happy.

A voice interrupted, the stern face of my teacher glared, eyes like fire, speech like rusting metal. “Get on with your work!  There’s nothing to see out there!”

Ah, but there was!  The world with all it’s interesting things.  A place with meaning – the flowers, the wind, the smell of cut grass, tree houses in the woods, picnics, days at the beach, the picking of berries and the refined art of making of jam.  My loving home, my peace, my quite, my own private space.  Obediently, I lowered my head, stared at my book, blinded by numbers – 6 x 9 – 7 x 8 – 4 x 12 …. none of it made sense at all.

While I stared at blank paper where my maths should have been, I learnt to imagine everything that was not of numbers, and wished the daily grind of the classroom clean away.

Before I noticed, September had become like any other month.  Lost it’s strength in imparting dread, and those days moved so far away.

September has changed.  Freedom was given.  And I learned that nothing lasts forever.

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Picture – Spring by mechtanyia – Deviantart

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Although everything in this story is true, it was actually the picture that originally inspired the idea.  It reminded me of myself at a time when I was most unhappy at my primary school, and how those long school summer holidays were so beautiful, so welcome.  But even after all those weeks off, it was never long enough.

I had a dreadful teacher at the time, I referred to her as ‘the witch‘ because to me she might as well have been.  I was constantly picked on by her and she even had the evil cheek to encourage the rest of the class to copy her in humiliating me.  I wasn’t the only one, she targeted a few others too – all the quiet ones – easy pickings.

I still feel to this day, she should have been dismissed, her behaviour was totally unprofessional.  And it’s amazing how one person can do so much damage to a young mind with their voice.  She succeeded in destroying my confidence for many years, but I’m happy to say, not forever.  And who knows, maybe I should thank her for assisting in making me a stronger person today and for teaching me one very important life lesson – don’t ever tolerate a bully, no matter who they are.

School always felt very unnatural to me, even my first day at school left me feeling I was in the wrong place.  I don’t absorb information very well in a classroom, I’m much better learning quietly in my own company, at my own pace.  I did eventually leave school at the age of thirteen, I just refused to go, caused a lot of problems, but it all came right in the end.

I was lucky to have a family who did their best to understand and support me, and I was home schooled for the remaining years – it was a huge relief!  There couldn’t have been anyone more grateful than me to finally reach age sixteen, it was so good to just forget about the pressure of eduction for a while.  It’s not my opinion that schools are wrong, I just don’t think they are the right place for everyone, we are all wonderful individuals, not clones.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who hated school, or maybe you loved school?  Whatever your experience was, please share your stories if you feel inspired to! 🙂

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“Bake A Cake Darling!”

picjumbo.com_HNCK4124Some of this is based on real life, but mostly fiction.

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 A daughters words to her mother

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I know you always taught me there was no such thing as ghosts or spirits in limbo – all rubbish you said.  But now you’re gone, and I’m alone, it’s kind of there – the need to say something, to speak to you one more time.  Just my voice now, no replies from you, no chatter, gossip or argument.  Just me, spilling words, breaking the silence of the empty rooms.  Silence is the worst part.  The silence – is too loud.

The day you died, the clock in the hall stopped.  The microwave packed up, the roof began to leak – and that damn rat is back again, rummaging, scratching in the loft, for woodlice, or something.  It’s as if the house understands, it will never see the day when you walk through the front door again.  It’s failing, because you’re not here.  But you’d be pleased to know – I’m OK Mum.

Your garden is missing you as much as I am.  It’s not been itself.  It needs your green fingers, to love it into shape.  The weeds are learning freedom they’ve never known.  They spread a little further each day.  They are strong, no longer content with a corner of the garden, they want it all.  Like illness wanted you, gradually moving from one corner to the next, until you were consumed, no longer my Mother.  You looked a bit like her, sounded similar, but not quite all of her.  Just a tiny piece remained, enough to allow me to believe you might still be there.  But you weren’t – not really.

At night when I close my eyes, I see visions of you.  Your little pale face looking up at me from those big white hospital pillows.  Serene, but lost.  Like an angel with thoughts and beliefs falling apart, no longer sure such things as angelic beings existed.

There was something you wanted to tell me.  You tried a few times, but the words never really came out.  You had no voice at all some days, just pointed your weak thin fingers, gesturing to areas in the room, items you could no longer reach.  Behind those colourless eyes, you were furious, at the one responsible for taking away everything you ever had, and you couldn’t even name who it was.  Some days you just smiled.  That smile you reserved for me, stroking my face, smoothing my hair.  And like you always did in a time of crisis, said in your faint thin voice, “Don’t look so worried darling – it will all be OK.”  This time, I knew that wasn’t true.

I too had no voice most of the time.  And there were things I wanted to say.  My lack of speech – just fear.  Fear of hurting you with words, when all you needed was kindness.

The last few hours of your life, sitting by your bed, I watched you in your endless sleep, and drift far from me.  An image of you replayed, a memory of childhood days.  Me, five years old, at the fairground, looking down at you from high on a Ferris Wheel.  I rose to the top, instead of looking at the stunning view, I looked down, and saw you.  Standing so still, surrounded with all those mixed fairground sounds clashing in the air.  I saw something unexpected – a beautiful woman, scared of heights and Ferris Wheels.  Lonely, intimidated by the world she lived in.

You stared into a vacant space.  As though a single woman, childless, with not a soul in this world to confide in.  To speak of the husband who wasn’t the man you wanted him to be.  To say the life you had, was not the one you’d dreamed of.  You appeared so small, down there.  Waiting patiently, for the funfair ride to return your golden child.  And I wondered, if that was what it would be like when death comes.  That we could look down at our loved ones, and watch them wait. But, wait for what?

The wheel turned, brought me to ground level.  I waved to you, and you gave me your best smile, and waved back – you were happy Mum again.  But on returning to the top, no longer in your sight, once more I watched you become the lonely one.  It was the first time I saw you as a woman, not as ever capable supermum.  You were a woman who didn’t know who she was.  I never saw it again.  It seemed on ground level, eye to eye, I could only see Mummy.

You always searched for the bright side, shunned the dark, the pain driven lives of others around you.  Lived your life to serve your man, and your child.  Keeping us loved, protected from everything you didn’t want us to see.  When Dad started showing symptoms, his body ugly and failing, you said, “He’ll be alright darling, your father’s a strong man!”  But that was just it, he was – just a man.  And his man strength got up and left.

You buried yourself in all kinds of trivial hobbies, to forget those horrible days.  Baking endless cakes in the kitchen, and never spoke another word about the ending of you and him.  The loss of the imperfect man.  The one you loved so much, but like a thorn to you, tore at your skin for so many years.  I know he didn’t mean to.  His heart was good. His intentions – many.  But reality was something else.

I hear that rat scratching.  It scales the inside of the cavity wall.  Up it climbs, until it reaches the top, pushes through a gap and hops onto the rafters.  Scampering at lightening speed across the attic.  It’s big now you know, not a little mouse thing.  It’s grown since you were here – sounds more the size of next doors cat.  How it squeals like a kitten, screeches like a bat.  God, it’s annoying!  You thought it had left.  It knows you’re gone.  It’s back!  The house is quiet now, permission has been granted – it’s an unpaid lodger.

And what am I to do with this house of yours?  This capsule of memories.  Rooms, cupboards, boxes and a shed full of odds and ends.  Stuff of life that everyone believes they need, until they leave this earth.  Left behind for the foolish possessors of this stupid world, the ones who think they’ll have some use for it.  Let them have it!  Let them revel in all your lovely old stuff.  Hold it tightly to their human flesh – precious things.  And one day they too, will leave it all to another fool.

All these shelves full of ceramic mugs and jugs and china ladies, candle holders, picture frames and plaques inscribed with The Best Mum In The World.  Why?  What did I need to buy those for?  To tell you I loved you?  I didn’t need to gift the words to you in trash. Trinkets you had no use for other than to run a duster over them, to be reminded I told you my love was real.  Shouldn’t a hug, a kiss, and the words I love you Mum have been enough, for the woman who gave me life?  How can material gifts with jolly phrases compete with that?

Don’t worry Mum, these tears I cry – they are not a sign I cannot cope.  They don’t say that life is dead without you.  Because in your death, you brought me life.  The day your light went out, mine switched on.  This world is a different place now.  And I’ve learnt what tears are really for.  Not for hurt, anger or resentment.  They are to mark a profound moment.  Pain or joy – it will be remembered.  To show where I have been.  Taking me forward, leaving yesterday where it belongs.

I thought of things you used to do.  Made plans to discover them all.  They had meant nothing while you were alive, your activities, were your pastimes, not mine.  After you were gone, they became strangely attractive.  And the desire to walk in your hobby shoes was all I could do.  I’m still wearing those shoes, they fit me well.

I started with the sea.  How much you loved the ocean.  The soft sand under bare feet, the echo of seagulls calling.  I went alone, to your favourite beach.  Let the wind blow my hair to pieces.  Untangle the emotional cobwebs.  I hoped maybe you followed me there, and would know I wasn’t sad.  Did you see the smile arriving, changing the shape of my face?

When the summer came to a close, and frost settled on the ground, I bought tickets to shows of every kind.  Shakespeare, the ballet, pantomime, and even a human circus.  I arrived at those venues like an excited child.  As though we had gone together.  I didn’t notice I was on my own.  And you did see that smile on my face, didn’t you?

I read all your old letters you’d sent to me.  A great big stack bound together with string.  I never could throw them away.  All your beautiful handwritten words of encouragement and love, every word – magic.  When my eyes fall on those hand penned words, they sort me out every time.  They might look like a pile of rubbish to anyone else, but to me, at each reading, it’s like seeing them all new.  I learn something different every time.

The things you said to me, you were were absolutely right.  You knew me better than I’ll ever know myself.  And yes, I cried many good tears until the words blurred, and the paper was damp and wavy – and I hoped you were busy – somewhere, so you wouldn’t have seen that.

One morning, I felt you standing right there in my kitchen.  I thought, if you had been there in the flesh, what would you say?  “Bake a cake darling!” I heard you whisper.  So I opened your cook book, the one you spent a lifetime creating all yourself.  I baked your favourite bread, your cakes, biscuits and pies.  I filled the entire house with the warm aroma of your favourite recipes.

After that, it didn’t matter so much you weren’t here.  Pain was restrained, held back, fading fast.  A piece of you remained.  It was just hiding within.  And I laughed, at the thought of you living in me.

In your life you gave me all you owned, devoted your whole self.  And your death has taught me to live.  There must be a sweet satisfaction that your little girl has become the person you always wanted her to be.  I hope that keeps you smiling for all eternity.  Whatever eternity is, wherever your gentle soul resides.

And the rat?  I wanted to get rid of him.  Couldn’t see why that scruffy flea ridden thing should be living here, while you’re not.  But I remember you once said to me, “Leave him be, he’s only visiting – we’re all just visitors sweetheart!”

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Picture:  Victor Hanacek (Picjumbo)

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Piano Man

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I saw you there, on that warm day of June, standing in the doorway of the kitchen store.  You were not an apparition of my long and distant past, but neither were you truly yourself that afternoon.  You wore another face in place of your own.  Just like you appeared to me all those years ago, a convincing disguise, clothed not as the man you were, but as the person you wanted others to believe you could have been.  Twenty five years flew by like five flipping minutes, and there you were again, another town, another face, an older face this time.

You looked right at me on that flaming hot day, the heat making you sweat.  Or was it the sight of me standing there looking back at you, that made your cheeks burn pink with embarrassment?

I knew in an instant it was you.  Just because your hair was a different colour and your clothes had changed, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t know you.  I’d know you anywhere.  You can’t change your eyes, I saw them instantly identify mine.

And if by any chance it wasn’t you, if I somehow saw you reflected within another man, why would a total stranger, someone I’d never met, look at me with surprise all over his face…. if I had not been her, the one he used to know?  You swiftly turned, walked as far away from me as you could, to hide that face of yours, hoping I wouldn’t acknowledge your presence.  You don’t miss much do you?  Well, there’s something you should know…. I never miss anything.

I’ve known who you really are for twenty years.  Saw your face in a magazine…. music man, or perhaps I should say…. magician.  Of course the name under your picture was a different one to the name you had all those years ago.  You didn’t tell me your real name, or ever mention you were quite nifty fingered on the ebony and ivory, or that you could play an entire symphony or sonata straight out of that beautiful mind.

Your old record collection we played; you forgot to show me the albums that were yours…. the ones with your face on the cover.  Stunning musical arrangements that came from your own nimble hands, all hiding in the grooves of vinyl, just waiting to be spun on the record deck.  But my ears never got to hear that music, because for some reason you didn’t want me to know the real man.

I’ve always loved the sound of the piano, and even at nineteen I was into classical as much as pop.  I wonder what our conversations would have been full of, if you had known that?  Instead, we just chatted about trivialities of life, danced and laughed to cheap and cheerful hits of the 60′s and 70′s.  A few short weeks later, you were gone. Vanished, like you had been nothing but a young girls fantasy.

Five years on, the features of your face still etched into my mind, suddenly appeared on the page of a magazine.  There you were…. your big dark eyes looking back at me.  Bet you didn’t think the girl would grow up to be sharp eyed, and flicking at speed through a boring magazine one day, would notice your face.  That she’d realise the musician in the tiny picture and the memory of a face she used to know, were the same man.  This girl loves a mystery, but mysteries must be solved.

Like I said, I don’t miss anything.  It’s all that Scooby Doo I watched as a child, lounging on the sofa in my pyjamas on holiday mornings, eating Weetabix from a bowl on my lap, trying not to spill it.  Always loved the way they uncovered the masked villain at the end of the show.  Taught me a lot about life, that little cartoon.  And I’ve kind of done that, watching those You Tube videos of you and your talent, unmasked the man I thought I’d known.

Perhaps it’s not so great, it might just be the way it shines bright from my computer screen.  When I’m sitting there in my PJs with my feet snug in my comfy slippers, with my nowhere life waiting for a small change and a hot cup of tea in my hand trying not to pour it over me, watching you, like a wide eyed curious cat.

They do say, all that glitters is not gold.  So maybe you are not the golden boy I could easily think you are.  You have travelled the whole wide world, but inside, well…. you’re just a man, like any other.  And that would be good.  I’d be relieved to find you are ordinary, a regular man, the boy next door, as you appeared to me twenty-five years ago.

I could have walked right up to you in the kitchen store, and brightly said…. Hello!  But I thought you’d deny you had ever known me, considering you were not yourself that day.  I wasn’t going to give you the privilege of turning me into an idiot, someone who can’t remember who she remembers.  Instead, I walked right behind where you stood, and stared at the back of your head.  It was a whole thirty seconds at least, and you never once turned round.  You knew I was there…. didn’t you?

Just before I changed my mind and words came out of my mouth, I left.  Walked right past all those baking trays, frying pans and rolling pins, out the door as fast as I could, because anything else would have been foolish.  I mean…. why would we want to rake up all those years…. to talk about what exactly?  That we knew each other for six weeks.  Did we?  Not know in the real way, or even the Adam and Eve biblical way.  So I walked, before I said something stupid and ruined the day.

Outside, on the pavement, the traffic roared, my eyes quickly scanned a shopping list for where to go next, thoughts rushed in, urging me to go back.  It was a brilliant opportunity, to finally tidy up the mystery of you… wasn’t it?  But the other half of me, the sensible half, wouldn’t agree.  Said it wasn’t wise…. leave it…. leave the past.

I wonder if we’ll meet again, you know…. in a shop on a bright sunny day in June.  Or maybe we’ll pass each other in the middle of the road, or find ourselves travelling in the same train.  Got a feeling we probably will, in another moment when we least expect it.  Life is like that, strange things happen.  But if we do find each other eye to eye again, it won’t be me that made it happen, and probably not you either.  It will just be one of those stupid little coincidences.

If it does, I wonder if you will you ever be who you really are, stand in front of my eyes as the man you could have been.  Unafraid. Bold as brass.  Dressed in your own skin, and tell me about your wonderful life.  It would be great to meet the real you, have the courage to speak, to say, “Hello…. the girl hasn’t forgotten, it was a good little moment in time, all those years ago…. piano man!”

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Picture: Jamille Queiroz (Unsplash)

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This House

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It stands solitary, this house of old times. Abandoned, disconnected from the warm hearts of human company. The weathervane high on the roof squeakily swings to north, chill winds flurry through broken windows, rearranging from corner to corner the dust of years; life that was, life no more.

Once brightly painted whiteness mixed with striking beams of ebony, now dirty mud green hues taking over external walls, slowly pulling over a moss green overcoat. Terracotta chimneys still red as Mars, crumbling piece by piece, like cake secretly eaten. A glassless window, wide and gaping, waits for the curious stranger to rudely invade.

Inside a maze of halls and deserted rooms, damp wallpaper curls, slowly separating from once proud and decorated walls, colour, glamour and chic. Extravagant ceilings, paintings in sky clouds, mythology descending in particles. An ardent creation, slowly passing. Psyche and Eros, fading lovers, leaving their glory days. And they too shall not escape dissolving.

Chandeliers hanging high, no light to shine, no sparkle from tear-drop glass, just spiders spinning, tangled candy floss beds. A hushed breath of air circles, breathes on them all, chandeliers gently sway like pendulums tick-tocking seconds of time.

The stairway sweeps, curvaceous, impressive, inviting, but wood distressed in age, groans with despair, whimpers in weakness when feet climb it’s bony boards. Stairs that once heaved with parties, men and women dressed in their finest – carefree, young, invincible. How they laughed at the thought of old age, flirted with smooth young bodies, lifted their glasses high in a toast of hope and better days. Their voices, their essence, their fragrance, lingers somewhere. And the faint sound of music still echoes from the walls – but dense silence covers, hiding what lived and breathed, as though they never were.

On this day, from behind a smoky cloud the sun appears once more, dazzling, piercing the stained glass, it’s colours unbroken. Light illuminates, dropping translucent pools of rainbows, spilling across unpolished floors, lifting and lightening the darkness of shadow. Revealing particles in sustained spiral, fragments of yesterday, the evidence of lives, their dust still dancing in a ray of light.

A small moment, a fleeting performance for the uninvited visitor. This house wishes to explain, how much it was, everything it used to be. A beauty, a bright young thing, in the springtime of life.

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Pictures: Niki Feijen

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