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ABSTRACT POETRY

Written by Candice James

Copyright 2008 Saddlestone Publishing Box 5 – 720 – 6thStreet,
New Westminster, BC
Canada V3L 3C5

saddlestone@shaw.ca

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

3. The Wrong People
4. The Empty Women
8. Like Talcum
9. Always Searching
10. At That Crucial Moment 11. At The Edges
12. Wonderland
15. Breaking And Beating
16. Dead Man In The Corner 17. Expectations Great And Small 18. Lies
20. Little Mouse Feet
21. Naked Leavings
22. Net Of Delusion
23. Perdition’s Prophecy
24. Pematurely Dead
27. Rambling
28. Semi Burned Out
30. Shorebound Stranger
31. Sleeping Awake
32. The Darkness Here
33.The Dream Vanished
34. The Remaining
35. Things Always Change
37. Toward The Truth
38. Vanquished
40. Water & Broken Glass
42. When I’m Lost
43. Voices
44. Through A Mirror Darkly 44. This Asylum
45. She Can’t Run. She Can’t Hide 46. The Rain Pounds
47. This Ever Prevalent Fog 49. Disintegration

THE WRONG PEOPLE

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

Rain streaking down the dusty window
Plays with the dirt in a paned wrestling match. Life peeps through this muddy menagerie. A snowy woman is walking hand in hand With a midnight man packing a child on his back. These are the wrong people.
They shouldn’t be in charge of these scissors They use to cut their way through
The wrong side of town.

And the kiss of spring in winter Is falling through summer’s embrace.

The alleys and dumpsters, hiding from life,
Loom like scrap metal scars and broken robots.
Danger and death have become clandestine lovers Lurking stealthily in the shadows
Waiting for the wrong people
To scissor step their beleaguered bodies home.
The horizon is only slightly visible now.
The child on the midnight man’s back is softly sobbing. His tears are trying to build a better igloo for them to freeze in. The snowy woman caresses the child’s fevered forehead And presses her cold cracked lips to his burning cheek.

And the kiss of spring in winter

 

Is still falling through summer’s embrace.

The wrong people never do the right things. They never escape the frosty side of living. They were cursed at birth to walk the earth Searching for dead glory in a nowhere place. The snowy woman knows this.
The midnight man’s face shows this. The child’s eyes are dulled with fading hope.

The kiss of spring in winter
Has fallen through summer’s weakened embrace And the wrong people never even felt it’s touch.

The Empty Women

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

With all we love stripped from us, We are the empty women
Still hanging onto the invisible past,

As we glare through tears heavy
With icicles into the jagged future Of our past mistakes repeated.

Inside a gnawing nightmare,
Reminiscent of a hungry rat
Trying to digest the petrified bones Of yesterday’s silent kill, there is
An all pervasive cacophonic symphony Blasting profanity into our fragile sanity. This is the moment that has somehow Turned into an eternity of prisms
Spitting out prevaricated prisons
Laced with lost hope and broken dreams,

While we the empty women Still hang onto the invisible past.

Grasping voraciously at the vestiges Of raw meat that still cling to the Bittersweet bones of this skeleton That has no key, has no door, we Peer through the windows of time Past, present and future with the Full knowledge that time does not pass. Trapped in this perpetual loop of yesterday, Spending all our todays and tomorrows, We calculate everything back to zero, Back to the beginning which is the end Of all the footsteps paced to reach it.

We come to the river not to cleanse our sin Or wash away the memories that haunt us. We come to the river to drown the emptiness We have become within the loop of now. Submerged in the icy cold, peering up
Through a shaft of sunlight that slices
The surface above us, life seems kinder, Brighter and possibly even beautiful
For those who walk on the water;
Not for we who now reside beneath reality. The world continues to spin without movement And the aimless hordes of people move onward,

While we the empty women

 

Still hang onto the invisible past.

A hard icy finger infused with ink
Scrawls across the water color canvas
Of this dream’s sorrowful soured breath, Inscribing in blood red letters
The last rites to celebrate love’s brutal exit. Beneath the muted pounding of our heartbeats Rain is streaking old sundowns anew,
Birthing new colors too vivid to behold, Too painfully sharp, defying all description.

We have seen brutality, pain, tears and death. We have tasted life, love, empathy, pity, But pity us not for well we knew the path We chose so carelessly to embark upon Clad only in worn out, torn slippers.
Each cutting step exacerbates the soul. We listen for the wounds to a spirit
Ever so distant we can’t quite hear it.
A gentle whisper becomes a thunderous roar Crashing the shoreline of its long lost wish. Still we search the desolate dunes for a beacon Of light to dust the sand off Aladdin’s lamp. A rainbow has rusted itself to the sky’s eye Disallowing the coveted sleep it seeks, Disavowing the coveted peace we seek.

And we the empty women

 

Still hang onto the invisible past.

This beach is strewn with broken shells
And decorated with fractured pebbles
Like a spirit dissected into a jigsaw puzzle Of pieces too worn and warped to fit
Anything resembling penance or reward. All things given are rendered undeserved In the schematics of this damaged humanity. Stars fall from the black velour mantle above Burning to cinders in the dark ashtray of night As if they never were, as we never are.
We are only noisy interference patterns that Imprint ourselves surreptitiously onto like patterns And then move onward against our will
Within the scope of our destined decisions. We are the wounded elegy of a starless universe Clinging to the black hole we’ve become, Searching for exits long ago extinct,
Inside this spiraling senseless destruction. We are the cause of nothing at all
That always is as it ceases to be,
Becoming everything that cannot matter In the antimatter of parallel atrocities.
We create innocuous realities and
Seed them with a criss-cross pattern
Of anonymous need that screams An abhorrent rage for personification. Primal urges are sacrosanct and hidden In a cavern closed like a paralyzed eyelid, Surveying only imagined sequences, feint Flickers on a façade of inherited iniquity,

While we the empty women Still hang onto the invisible past.

Empty women cry out in desperation Hungering in the dark for a quicksilver touch Or a broken lingering caress that emulates life In it’s most secret burial or kindled cremation. We sigh like a bruised breeze lost beneath The glazed murky waters of our tidal tomb, Aching deep within for a whirlpool or current To carry us far, far away from this
Broken down desolate town of tears. Empty women, past the point of return Twisting inside a tattered cocoon of despair. These butterflies will never be born, never fly. This is the death that never was but always is. This is the moment we live in now
And now is forever as forever is always now Within our own happenstance happenings Of divine superfluous predestination. We stare infinity in her insidious eye

As we the empty women

 

Still hang onto the invisible past

We are the invisible women. We are the forgotten dream. We are the primal scream.

With all we love stripped from us We are the empty women
Still hanging onto the invisible past.

LIKE TALCUM

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

The muted sounds of life abound in this vacuum of snow Falling like talcum on the freshly showered sheets Of grass and cement that speckle the disappearing ground. It reminds me of the sparkling powdered dreams
I laid to rest on a broken blanket of premature sleep. They sway to and fro amidst their shallow burial ground Like half remembered forgotten flowers in the river of regret.

And all the while
The snow drifts down Like talcum.

Sometimes I almost swear I catch a glimpse of these dreams, Peeking feebly through this wet hazy surface of tears, Whenever a rebel pebble drops silently from my mind. It’s like an awakening coma painted on a helix canvas With one ripple perpetually collapsing and expanding Into something that is nothing becoming something.

The muted sounds of life, death, love and pain Thud in on tiger paws and claw at reality once again. My dreams and wishes have turned to powder forever

And all the while
The snow drifts down Like talcum.

ALWAYS SEARCHING

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

Autumn’s creeping into this lonely city And I want to stand in someone’s shadow. I want to stand in your shadow.
I need to hide in your shadow.
I long to live in your shadow
Taking up permanent residence
In a land sans tears.

I’m caught in the quiet of a cloud Heading sidelong into a mountain Of moments I may not be able to Calibrate or celebrate,

And all the while
I’m listening to the warmth
As it rolls in and rocks
The ancient suspension bridge That hangs by a thread in my mind.

The book of days lays open
On a dust riddled table of dreams. The pages turn in slow motion
And my eyes are bleeding from the many Jagged visions as they erupt from their Unsanctified shallow burial ground.

It’s during these intervals of upheaval That I need to find a safe place to land.

I’m always searching
For your outstretched hand,
For the safety of your smooth runway. I’m always searching for you.

AT THAT CRUCIAL MOMENT

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

At that crucial moment last night,
It was like holding shiny stardust in the palms of my hands. It was like living in a million emotional frames
From the greatest movies ever to grace the silver screen. It was like coming home from the longest journey ever, The thirst finally over, the throat fully slaked,
The hunger abated, the spirit sated.

It was you laying beside me again last night after An absence that seemed longer than eternity.

I felt the depth of the thrill just as deep As I felt the cut of the knife when you left The last time, the longest time, the most Terrifying time, the icy heartache you lent me Right up until that crucial moment last night, When you called the loan in and killed the cold.

The sheets rumpled and sighed under the weight Of our glistening bodies as we flowed onto The mattress like waves over a sandy beach. I crumbled and sighed as I slid into your arms Your mouth, your body and your soul.
It felt so surreal and yet it was the only real Life evidenced or witnessed since the day you left. It felt so irrevocably and quintessentially enigmatic.

Inherently and indelibly ever present in every cell That comprises the me I am, you run
Rampant; savagely, silently, soothingly
Through this heart you’re so much a part of, So thoroughly woven and deeply entrenched in. Freedom is a word I lost when your love found me Long before it misplaced me and forsake me. At that crucial moment then, and at that Crucial moment last night, I came full circle Back to you and finally found myself,

At that crucial moment.

 

AT THE EDGES

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

 

I’m at the edges of my sanity And the fences are crumbling.

Most times words cannot describe
This surrealistic aching deep in the soul. Facial expressions feign attempts to honor it But fail miserably with each grimace and frown.

The things we do for love.
The grievous errors we commit in the name of it. Oh the heartaches we endure for the sake of it.

Every street is an avenue
Every freeway is a boulevard.
I’ve been walking forever without you. I’ve been searching forever for you. Everything old is new again
And everything new is worn out.

This erosion of the spirit is serious. There is no moonlight in my world; No easy listening melodies anymore, Just the harsh cymbal crash of reality.

I’m in the middle of a heartache. I can’t seem to steer my way out of it.
The wheel is cracked and my compass is broken And I know I’ll never make it home now.

The things we do for love.
The grievous errors we commit in the name of it. Oh the heartaches we endure for the sake of it.

I’m at the edges of my sanity And all the fences are falling down.

 

WONDERLAND

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

Skipping smooth stones over the waters In my mind, rippling in a neverending Cascade of splashing sequential surrender. I’ve tried many times, unsuccessfully, To climb inside these stones and
Disappear forever into the dark resting Place on the sandy bottom of oblivion, A gathering place for things unrequired.

I’m trying to construct a requiem
For something that resembled victory But ended up being only a rite of passage At an anonymous funeral no one attended.

Decisions wound me like a shark bite Sequestered in a rotting courtroom Chewing through the meaning of Things that became only half manifest Or faded too quickly from my horizon. There are places in my life I wish I Had never travelled to, never seen. There are people in my life I wish I’d never laid eyes on, never met. There have been too many rivers, Too many instances left undone, Too few unborn and unchastised Drifting fragile dreams, carelessly Dropped and smashed on a teardrop.

Living on the razor’s edge has become Far more dangerous than I remember It to be in my younger years. Fear has Crept in on little Pekinese paws and Startled the scream perched upon my lips.

Tripping on unlaced running shoes
Makes tap dancing an impossibility.
Look, over there, at the svelte ballerina Pirouetting daintily in her steel toed boots. Changing the mood and tone of the Opera Preening and gleaning with much effort To somehow save the poxed performance. She serendipitously digresses into aggression At the eloquence of a clichéd phrase, The simple drop of a black top hat,
The silent rending of a white satin glove.

People tend to gravitate toward that Which makes the most sense to them. They eagerly clasp the hand of familiarity With a firm grip and gentle reminder. They are pleased with what they see When they see their reflection in other eyes.

I am demagnetized by these mendacities And pulled relentlessly to the mysterious, Quite pregnant and delirious with the hope That I may come face to face with myself On one of my many one-sided journeys Through this wonderland I call oblivion.

This wonderland is not for sale. It’s mine. I love to peek into it and fall through it And scream within its porcelain walls Of thought and nightmare, prison cells, Beauty and death, love, lust and hate. Imagination runs amok in a jungle of Wet water waves that soothe and cool, And warm the coldest night ever born In the darkened corner of my spirit.

Dark, darker, darkest knight who chills Frosts and freezes my blackest darkest night With such a heavy caress it makes my Heart bleed dark matter bullets that fall Noiselessly through to the other side Of me. The side of me I’ve never met. The side of me that scares me to death.

This is Wonderland. This is me Stripped down past the core of me Until I’m not me anymore.
Until I’m you.

This is wonderland. It’s run down, Dilapidated, but I only happen in Wonderland, ameliorating wonderland. Wonderland is closing down
For repairs until further notice.
So am I.

BREAKING AND BEATING

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

You said you don’t want us to be bad friends But there is no caring where you say it lives. There is no respect where you say it breathes. There are no dreams inside this nightmare I inherited from the fallout of your life.

It was your will so dare not say it wasn’t. Dare not lie yet again to hide the lies You spewed forth so easily at the outset.

Although your capacity to understand it
May be too limited, I will try to tell you
About heartache; continuous, relentless heartache.

This heart is constantly breaking and beating; Breaking and beating.

The beating resuscitates it from impending death But somehow another little part dies each time Inside this petrification of the soul and spirit; This special destiny you designed for only me.

You have no love. You have no compassion. You have no shame You have no soul.

Wishing, dreaming, hoping, praying, These fruitless demons eat up my essence With a ravenous, insatiable appetite.

I was the one who set the table with love.
I prepared the feast and invited you to dine with me. You left the table sated, warm and comforted. I rose from this feast starving with heartbreak. The days pass. It never gets easier.

This heart is constantly breaking and beating; Breaking and beating.

 

How can I be your friend

 

When you only break my heart.

 

I realize now, you always will.

 

DEAD MAN IN THE CORNER

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

“Whaddya think about that”?
She said to the dead man in the corner. He didn’t even try to voice an opinion. Not even an eyelid fluttered.

The room hung in silence.
She picked up a glass and hurled it Against the dirt streaked wall.
It smashed in slow motion.
She waved her fingers and the
Shards of glass restructured
Themselves back into the recognizable Vessel they had been just moments ago.

“Is this not the story of life”?
She said to the dead man in the corner. No answer. The silence was defeaning.

She sauntered over to the desk And pulled out a revolver.
She walked over to the dead man In the corner, raised the revolver And shot him.

He stood up slowly and embraced her. As he kissed her and the curtain fell, The angels sang, God smiled
And the universe applauded.

EXPECTATIONS GREAT AND SMALL

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

Expectations, this side of heaven or hell, Torture the young, damage the middle aged And haunt the elderly like a reaper.

Great expectations, aahhh, these are Something only the brave heart would Chase or a fool would choose to embrace. I am yesterday’s fool, brimmed with a Past shackled to my battered, brave heart.

Small expectations, no matter how tiny, Are still capable of tremendous fallout. They harbor fear, anxiety, jealousy,
Anger, hatred, and murder without ceremony. When an unceremonious choke hold is Seeking approval and distinction in a
Tawdry boxing ring of worn out wrestlers It’s time to roll up the soiled mat and
Throw out the baby with the bath water.

Who can stand up and say truthfully “ I who love you so dearly have no Expectations whatsoever from you.” Who can stand up and say truthfully “ I am totally satisfied in every way To accept whatever time and love You decide to give to me at any time; At no time; Sometimes; Never; Ever.”

Who can stand up and say truthfully “My love is so great, faithful and
Long suffering that I will never leave you, Not for any reason. I will endure.”

Who can say these affirmations And if uttered, who will believe them?

 

Expectations, great and small, This is the stuff of nightmares.

 

LIES

 

Candice James Copyright 2009

We traveled further from our sleep. We sojourned too long in the deep. We thought we’d found something to keep But a lie poisoned the flower we so carefully Picked; watered; tended lovingly; killed.

Murder in disguise flanked by tender lies Crept inside the edge of love’s embrace And pushed the first frightened teardrop Over the unprotected edge of the dream Into the rivers that burgeoned, streamed down The faces we once recognized; faces that Reflected each other’s agony and ecstasy Before they became too wet and all the Beautiful colors ran together into a
Abstract, desolate, grey, rainy landscape. Water color paintings left out in the rain
That bear no resemblance to what they once were.

Lies, more poisonous than deadly snake bites, More painful than a thousand tarantula stings, Turn the sweet emotion of love into sour milk. Unthinkable becomes done and it’s undone. Undrinkable causes a constant craving of thirst As the heart dies in a wicked web of burning lies.

There are no oasis’ to be found on this Deserted plain of tarnished triumph
That once held the promise of pristine victory. There are no white lines or highway signs In the darkened sky above that blankets us. Torn asunder, we became the crippled vow of A star dusted dream that lost its way.

I am handcrafting a basket of linen and tears To house and carry all my heartaches in.
I will climb that bright green crane across the street Amost touching the pale blue sky it’s reaching for. I will hook my handcrafted basket atop it with care And kiss each teardrop and heartache goodbye Before I let go of these lies forever.

LITTLE MOUSE FEET

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

It squeaks in on little mouse feet,
On tiptoes, through the splintered
Glass littering the landscape of my mind. It threatens to bleed on my sanity,
So I destroy it with an elastic anguished Emotion I borrowed from a tiger I cornered.

As I furtively survey this littered landscape I spy a canoe over on the gleaming grassy bank. I know I should paddle upstream in it
But the current seems too swift now.
In the distance I think I can hear
The whisper from a waterfall I once
Danced with in a silent midnight dream.

I thought I caught a glimpse of you
Drifting and drowning near the rocks
So I ran to the canoe, jumped in, trying to Get to you; Rescue you; Save you.
There was a look of desperation in your eyes That I had never seen before as you reached Out, arms flailing, gasping for life.
I stretched out the scarred, birch paddle while Trying to steady the canoe as it labored, Rocked and rolled to the river’s thunder. You lunged for the paddle and pulled me Into the raging undertow with you
So you wouldn’t have to die alone.

Death lost it’s sting as I gasped my last Breath tucked safely inside your weary arms.

 

Now we sleep the endless sleep inside Each other’s dreams and trade all our Secrets until we become the secret.

It squeaks out on little mouse feet. No longer a threat. Sanity is dead. The last vision to pass before my eyes The cornered tiger, crouching, springs.

NAKED LEAVINGS

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

Love is like virginity.
When it’s gone it’s gone,
Almost like it never was;
No lingering traces of tenderness Lurking in the corners of the heart; No unrehearsed sweet nothings Perched upon the lips; wings clipped. Only a foggy dank cemetery
Littered with weathered tombstones.

Lust is like fire.
When it’s burned out it’s burned out, Almost like it never flamed;
No more fever of the soul
Racing through the mind at breakneck speed; No more aching in the heart
To touch the flesh of another;
No more desire to become lost
Inside the dreams of the beloved.
Only an empty unattended fireplace
Strewn with ice cold ashes from yesterday.

Heartbreak is like a fatal wound. When it arrives it is always by surprise. It’s something you don’t see coming; Always cloaked in deception
Hiding under the skin of a lie;
Always armed with a sharp razor
To make the heart bleed more profusely; Never a flesh wound that heals quickly But a semi murder that leaves an open wound.

Some departures can only be viewed

 

Through invisible emotions and naked leavings.

 

NET OF DELUSION

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

I gave my head a shake,
Cleared out the cobwebs
And looked back in forlorn dismay On the littered landscape of my life; Filled with emotion; Filled with strife. Harmony was the ever elusive butterfly I tried so desperately to catch
With my torn and ripped net of delusion. Always a caterpillar in the punch
Never quite able to cocoon on its own. So many legs and yet such a slow walker. So many stories and such a low talker.

The net of delusion is powerful indeed And sweet sweet poison to the soul.

Ah well, the language of Tutankhamen Is not lost only on the lost souls of drink. It’s lost on the druggies and addicts Who try to construct pyramids out of Grainy gauze and broken toothpicks.

Some eyes have a blank, hollow stare. Some eyes have danger reined in loosely. Some eyes have no hope whatsoever, But once in awhile you gaze into eyes That permeate the darkness and lay open Secrets that have been hidden too long. These are the eyes that guide angels Toward us in our greatest moment of need. These are the eyes we searched for In golden cathedrals and ebony alleys. Day after day. Night after night.

The net of delusion is powerful indeed And sweet sweet poison to the soul.

 

PERDITION’S PROPHECY

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

The emptiness falls through the trees, Creeps through the grass,
Climbs through my window and embraces me With a lonely lustful kiss.
It bruises my lips and strangles my heart Inside this dream that recurs
And runs without intermissions.

It’s a lonely night’s dream And a dreamy night’s loneliness Dreaming only of itself;
Alone, abandoned, stranded In a foggy foreign land.
The language is indecipherable Like hieroglyphics of the heart. The beat is indistinct, muffled Like cards dropped on concrete, Unshuffled, undealt, unmoved; Like tiny cardboard houses Filled with locked closets,
Dark secrets and blurred images.

In the distance a hollow bell rings Reminiscent of recess starting; Excess ending.

Reality steps in on spiked heels, Fallen arches and aching bunions On the road to perdition’s prophecy.

PREMATURELY DEAD

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

The newly recruited soldier trees line up
Haphazardly at full attention, ablaze
With sunshine sheeted icicles from the
Far side of an undiscovered dimension.
I stare quite amazed at this amazing
Anachronism until itself; This unsullied
Artwork randomly dropped from God’s paintbrush. There is a remnant of something so familiar Mixed into this silent, screaming, animated scene.

And many of the living in my world I wished and prayed they’d come into my life Then I winked and blinked them out of existence; Scissored their paper and cardboard hearts Out of my living breathing mansion of love. I buried each disappointment along with a Tiny chunk of my heart deep underground Where I’ll never ever be able to find it again. I’ve thrown away all my maps and directions. I never want to visit this random village of lies again.

And many of the living in my world Have become prematurely dead to me.

I’ve seen sunsets so rich and luxurious in color I’ve been tempted to revisit the graveside of A few undead ghosts I so mercilessly killed In a heartbeat; In a heartache; In my heart. I have the power to resurrect them at will. I do not choose to give them life or love. They drained the love and life out of me Then shelled me, ate me up ravenously and Spit me out like a rancid piece of meat; Like a fishbone that’s stuck but doesn’t choke.

The noise and cadence of the traffic passing by Soothes the torn metal edge of my weeping scars Inflicted as I tried to escape this prison of tears. Years whisper by in a hush of lost moments As they moan a melody that constantly haunts My every waking and sleeping thought pattern. I carry my own films in my cranial suitcase so I can preview, review and perhaps rewrite them; Perhaps rewrite my own slightly pedantic history With the many deletions I deem a necessity. Many still living in my world would not be born They would be outside the scope of my vision; Outside the range of my hearing; Dead to me. On the west corner where vine and gate intermingle There is a quaint yet shoddy little house of bricks. Her crumbling mortar is like weakened veins Running through the heart and soul of her. She shudders and breathes shallowly in a sea Of faded memories and frightening nightmares Chewing each other ferociously to the bone, Mixing old blood with new in a cruel game of tag. Some nights when I pass by, cloaked in the dark, I swear I can hear her weeping softly at the moon And chanting a mystical spell to any sky doctor Who will listen; Who might be able to cure her Of her ills and woes and weakened veins that Remind her constantly of her impending death; The complete annihilation of all her elements.

I have walked dozens of desolate streets and faces That scream out to me “Pity me. Pity me”! I feign oblivion to their terror filled voices and eyes. To me they are not there nor are they here In my world of living dead ghostly apparitions. A posse of cold hard rain is falling fast and closing in On the outlaw teardrops that escaped down the Cheek of some cherished memory slain in error. Oh the damage we do when we choose to love. Oh the havoc we wreak when we kill a heart. We leave streets filled with carnage and debris, These streets brimming with beaten, broken hearts; These streets we will never walk again.

And many of the living in my world

 

RAMBLING

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

To crush and mutilate a rose just for the Sake of satisfying a desire or an emotion Is still taking a life, no matter how small. Living, growing things are in fact alive, so Why is it we differentiate life and only Give the utmost credence to humanity? Doing so reeks of inhumanity.

Plants, animals, humans. We all have the Same needs: Food, Shelter, Water.
We all have the same habits, things in common: Sleep, Fear, Comfort, Anger, Happiness, So we should revere all life in all it’s forms And ensure we never exterminate a life For any reason whatsoever, but we still kill. We continue snipping flowers and falling trees, Testing, inhumanely, animals and insects, Killing birds, fish, and animals to titillate Our taste buds and satisfy our appetites.

Superior beings have compassion and empathy. We are the inferiors who need to learn That pain and fear reside in each living thing And should never be inflicted for any reason.

Aaahhh but I ramble. Yes, how I ramble, But it is a good rambling, a humane rambling. A rambling that may make me more human.

If this touches just one heart and makes That heart become more humane Then I have done what I set out to do And will rest in peace for eternity. A tidal wave kills randomly
Sealife, Animals, Plants, Humans.
It brooks no favorites in it’s dangerous game And when the wave recedes
Each one is as dead as the other
Each one no longer flourishes.
All these dead eyes are blind now.
All are the same in death.
All are equal. All are dead.

SEMI BURNED OUT

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

An old semi burned out farmhouse
Yaws, creaks and moans in remembered Agony. The sunstreaks glisten on the Charcoal blue keypad roof and it’s embers Seem to be almost burning again like The double bladed knife of lost love. These phantom flames are the orphaned Amputees of a runaway crazed guillotine. We are the battered children of our dreams,

And hearts are breaking all over the world Aching to be healed; to be touched again.

Softly, the loft that held so many lovers
In her embrace, creaks and sighs in memory Of a warm western wind that teased and caressed The damp glistening flesh of emotions spent so Easily by those careless spendthrift lost lovers. Bones and dust from past dreams mingle with Remnants of dead wheat, seared by the fires of life, Ravaged by the flames of lovers passing through, And hearts are breaking all over the world Aching to be healed; to be touched again.

On the farmhouse wall a movie runs in fast forward: A child spins a top and is well satisfied for a moment. An adult spins an emotion and is never satisfied. A season spins a world for better or for worse, And who are we to decide the definition of these words; The definition of those faces; Of these places? We walk along the shoreline and gaze at the water Too lost in our inner space, our inner sanctum, To ever see or even notice the teardrops in the water. Inside the Ocean’s unfathomable forest life teems With voices even the wisest of men will never hear, And oh the stories they tell; The glories they swell. It’s a wet wonderland of whispers and screams; A soggy bottomed beach echoing painted sounds Heard only by those who have deployed their sanity, Destroyed their vanity, and separated their humanity Into seeds of hope and doubt blessed by holy water.

Walking past true greatness is a forgivable sin But not recognizing that greatness is a mortal sin. With the best part of us lost forever, we are the sinners Walking past greatness, seeking the forgiveness We know we don’t deserve; we know will never come. Semi burned out, we are the empty shells we created. We lay forgotten on oblivion’s broken granite beach.

And hearts are breaking all over the world Aching to be healed; to be touched again.

 

SHOREBOUND STRANGER

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

The moon hangs like a luminous disc Over the pitch black onyx lake,
Smooth like a slab of polished marble Greedily feeding on the shaft of bright.

Shorebound is a shadowy man without oars. His torso is canoed into the trunk of a tree. He’s witnessing the newborn spiders in the sky As stars climb through the floorboards of dusk. They glitter like sequins on a black velvet curtain. Some grant wishes. Some sprinkle heartaches While the stranger on the shore watches silently Under his baptismal blanket of rain.

The cry of the loon slides across the lake Like an ice skate, scarring wounded dreams. There’s a stillness here that beckons, Caresses and lures the soul of the stranger. The stars fall with razor sharp edges And haphazardly cut the stranger free.

Unbound he stands trembling with fear, Shaking with trepidation, with joy
With a sudden and overflowing knowledge.

He approaches the shore like a child. At the edge he becomes a tiny wave And mingles with the water, the loon, The moon, the stars and the sky.

The stranger on the shore disappears Silently into the baptismal legacy of the lake, Unshackled, shorebound no more,
Never to be a stranger again.

SLEEPING AWAKE

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

I spend my nights sleeping with sleep, Caressing its indivisible chanting breath, As I feel it brush the eastern side of my cheek In a westerly wind kind of essence.
I hear the chime of a distant bell
Thundering inside a cloud too far.

The skies eyes have narrowed in on me And every part of my mind is being
Scrutinized past the point of tears or pity. Her invisible fingers have touched my flesh. She is dissecting the arteries in my heart Reading the lies I’ve been hiding in my blood.

I’m running down this barbed wire trail Barefooted, headlong into the wall of Granite flecked wind that beats on my Skin but never breaks the surface.
In search of a broken compass to guide me.

I slow down the pace for a bit
Trying to figure out exactly where I am But as I slow the pace the barbed wire Pavement I’m travelling on cuts into
My uncalloused feet and the bleeding begins. I’ve seen this kind of bleeding before. Once it came from my heart and my soul But that was before life turned them to stone Here in the real world.

At night when I’m sleeping awake,
I sometimes sense you’re beside me. I swear I hear you breathing into the pillow beside me. This is my favorite coveted pretense,
Here in this unreal world I hide in, At night when I’m sleeping awake.

THE DARKNESS HERE

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

The darkness here isn’t safe.
Each night it claws closer and clings. I’ve been rusting in the rain so long I’ll never feel new and shiny again.

Seasons spent bathing in the sun
Are only a faint memory, a blur,
An occasional glint on the horizon. Flashing then gone in the blink of an eye.

My ears have tingled and resonated with The most beautiful rhapsodies and music. Tones and moods too beautiful to allow The unsuspecting listener to remain sane And yet I continue to cling steadfastly To the sanity I haven’t quite become.

Love’s been good to me sometimes,
But I’ve spent too many midnights
Restlessly listening for the wind,
To Indelibly whisper my life into a symphony; Impatiently watching for a wandering star To light lost ancient words of wisdom on fire To illuminate this ebony edged darkness.

I’m weary of searching in the dark, I’m tired of rusting in this hard rain. I want to feel shiny and new again.

Shafted only in the palest of moonlight, I see a wandering possibility birthing Beneath a cloak of candlelit promises. I can hear them whispering of dreams And gasping for their first breath of life.

The darkness here isn’t safe, Isn’t dangerous,
Isn’t much of anything,
Except where I don’t want to be.

THE DREAM VANISHED

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

She sat down on the duvet deftly
And sewed sequins onto the frame Of the dream she planned to wear forever; Sparkling, shimmering within their own Illumination; The same way her body And spirit shone iridescently in the mirror.

She walked into the mirror and exchanged Places with her antagonistic reflection. This new privacy, so coveted, felt so good Encased in one way glass, slightly rippling At the inner reaches and the outer edges. Smooth to the touch, abrasive to the soul.

She stepped out of the mirror, spun around And peered into the now reflectionless mirror And it felt good. It was good. It was completion. She had become what she wanted to be. Nothing, least of all herself.

She sat down on the duvet and deftly Began picking the sequins off the frame Of the dream she’d planned to wear forever. She put them away in her special drawer Of useless and unrequired things,

She threw the frame into the flaming Fireplace. It flamed and flared brightly And then the dream vanished.

THE REMAINING

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

When will you give your love to me again? And, will you give it to me again?
As I lie in bed this question repeats And repeats itself in my mind.

Where did I lose you and when?
Was it on the street of faded dreams? Was it when I wasn’t paying enough attention?

An unexpected, early thaw Has made my eyes become rivers Overflowing my spirit
Drowning my being.

If ever you filled my heart and mind More than now,
It must have been in some other Heartbreak Hotel I built, chained up By an icy rope of memory’s teardrops. Everywhere I go I look for you. I search the streets and avenues, On hot sultry days
On white snowy nights,
In every corner of my heart, At the far edge of my sanity.

I never take a step without you.

 

You’ve never left my thoughts or my heart.

 

Where will I see you again and will I? In life? In death? When?

Until then
I remain waiting. I’ll never give up.

THINGS ALWAYS CHANGE

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

These cracks in the floor of my mind Show me there is a darker reality Than this gaslit world I stumble through. I try in hopeless desperation to slip into One of the many shadow beings
That drift across this blazing landscape Like vapor ghosts clouding my eyes With strips of fog and lost sentiment.

The journey and the tedium
Have somehow switched identities And fallen into a sea of broken glass The color of dark burgundy wine,
Red blood, and luxurious purple dreams. It’s a stained glass teardrop kind of day That just won’t quit. It dampens my Twilight moments and sweetens nothing Except the salty residue of each tearstain.

Blades of grass keep whispering my name Behind my back. They speak of the jungles They’ve whisked my unsuspecting feet toward Where vines of emotion kiss my ankles as I Continue my perilous climb out of this delirium; Out of this destruction; to this new rebirth.

Things change. Things always change. You and I are living proof of that fact. You turned left and strutted down your Path of crumbling righteousness and Burned out ghostly palaces. I turned right And stumbled aimlessly down a gravel path Of phantom heartaches and funeral pyres. Memories fade, break, die, vanish forever.

We used to walk all our streets together. Now we walk each avenue alone wondering How we lost each other along the way.

Things change. Things always change. You and I are the living proof.

 

TOWARD THE TRUTH

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

I left where I found myself and
Travelled further toward the truth, Forsaking diamonds and burdens Of worth belonging to someone else. The creaking of the wind’s whisper Caught my attention and shackled My wrists to this destination unknown.

I felt raindrops but somehow I couldn’t See them. They were just beyond my vision. I languished in the wet burn as the rain Streaked across my cheeks like invisible Dull needles that hurt but don’t cut.

A ghostly stranger crossed my path And we spoke of many things
And nothing at all. It filled me up. Nothing really ever happens by chance. We just convince ourselves that it does. I see so many possibilities wrapped Inside the impossibilities clawing and Scratching and itching for their freedom.

Is my reality real or only a quasi portrait I can’t finish? Am I wielding the brush Or am I only the result of the brushstroke? I feel particularly tarnished with the Remnants of iniquity and carelessness.

I left where I found myself and Travelled further toward the truth

I wonder if you ever really wanted to be with me Or if you just needed to jail the loneliness. Facing this probability has caused me to lose All of my beliefs about you, about love.

I left where I found myself and
Travelled further toward the truth
I’ve lost almost everything I ever believed in. All that’s left is my honesty
And it isn’t enough.

VANQUISHED

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

I saw it trickling down the face of some Falsely cherished lie I mistook for the truth. I’m now the resurrection of a forgotten Fragment of my weary imagination That’s trying to claw its way into reality For reality’s sake only. Nothing else.

When I have a clear view of it
I’ll brandish my new sable paint brush High above my head and channel
The flow of these blazing new colors onto The canvas of the life I’ve misplaced, Misspent, in your corner of the world.

Misspent youth is well spent indeed
Compared to misspent middle age
Which rots more quickly than old fruit
When not taken within its season,
When not plucked tenderly, compassionately, When not embraced closely enough to the breast. These new days are sprinkled with sunshine And punctuated with optimistic abandon. The abominable knife of crass cruelty Once worn like a torn and tattered crown Reigned over this quasi kingdom of tears In a dream so greivously bequeathed to me

Beneath this veil of broken faded diamonds That litter the spiral staircase of my dreams I sometimes find a remnant of ripped fabric, But it bears no resemblance to the disguise You wore while you slept inside my soul
And languished in the pool of my faith.
As I cast one last furtive glance backward I can barely see the burned out crumbling Steeple I spent so many heartaches in.
It was hiding in a special shelter of my mind Before it became too run down, beyond repair. Before it became prematurely antiquated And we couldn’t breathe each other’s air anymore. Before we left the best part of ourselves
Carelessly out in the rain to rust and rot.

The wasted days and nights keep wandering Through this dusty, shaky house of cards Changing the key so you can’t get back in. This knowledge is my salvation now, My only reason to continue walking With and through this shadow I’ve become.

That mountaintop that looked scalable yesterday Has become formidable and unconquerable today. I didn’t see the tidal wave rushing toward me All I felt was a slight undertow tugging at my heels. Then, suddenly, the devastation of the Tsunami And finally only strewn debris on this dune Of crystal snow reclaimed by a sea of regret.

Paper boats and paper love are so easily
Crushed in the swirling crux of uncontrolled emotion. Even when we started, we were out of our depth.

Common sense, such a long lost stranger,
Has emerged victorious from her watery grave In love’s stillborn sea. She’s shaken off the wet And, wrapped in a damp towel, is knocking on my door Sword drawn and ready to slay my evil twin at last.

A still small voice inside me Is gathering volume as it echoes Through the canyons of my spirit

“Vengeance is mine. You are the vanquished.”

 

Finally,

 

A peaceful easy feeling to rest in.

 

WATER & BROKEN GLASS

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

She shut herself into a shallow room Of water and broken glass.
She hunkered down under a blanket of tears Before she put the masquerades
And memories on parade.

Where to start, beginning, middle, end? She chose to start at the end
Because she was in need of a long overdue Reversal of her oh so reversible self. The man with no future
Flashed through her mind.
This was the feast she had sat down at But arose starving with penury.
She left the morsel at the table unsated.

Back to the future she had buried,
She glimpsed the man who had always loved her. His sincere sensuous smile warmed her soul And dried a tiny corner of her teardrops.

She heard the echoes of a tender voice whisper “Let it be written” in utterance to the Gods, And it was stamped with sealing wax
Of centuries past and kingdoms to come.

Their ghostly spirits arose from within A vanquished sepulcher of hearts and swords Drawn swifty, readied to do bloody battle Inside this embrace, this kiss, this fever.

Stars fell through the void
And pierced the eye of midnight To polish this perpetual dream Of sins and spilled blood revisited.

She left her room of water and broken glass, Locked the door and buried the key Underneath the tombstone of her heart.

WHEN I’M LOST

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

 

When I first found you I smiled.

 

When I lost you I misplaced my smile, myself.

Sometimes when I’m lost
Deep inside this damp foggy dream,
I think I see you coming over the horizon Indistinct at first, fading in and out of the fog. I imagine your eyes burning into the haze And cutting through the fog to find me.

Sometimes when I’m lost I fall to my knees in prayer.

I whisper your name softly like gauze
As I move slowly within this velvet fog
You abandoned me to wander endlessly through. I try with a second hand, worn out desperation To pierce my whispers into your range of hearing, Into the dangerous canyons of your heart.

Sometimes when I’m lost I pray for you to come.

There is no breeze here,
No movement at all,
Just an all pervading stillness
That begs to be shuffled back into life. A choir is singing at the edge of this fog But I can hear no music; no voices. I’m imprisoned here devoid of choices.

Most times when I’m lost I wonder where you are. .

 

VOICES

 

Candice James Copyright 2009

A think I hear a tender voice
Crackling through the telephone line like buckshot From a distant future that’s crashed into my past. My flag of truth flies at half mast
In the territory of my heart
Commemorating a death I haven’t witnessed yet.

I can see this territory
But only when I separate the clouds in my mind And peer through the hazy clearing.

Now the tender voice has become harsh and raspy Grinding into my soul
Like a million shards of jagged glass.

I wonder --- Was the voice ever tender Or was it just my imagination.
Is the dream really broken or just twinning itself Into roads that lead somewhere then nowhere.

The voice is fading out, disappearing, disintegrating. Suddenly it’s cold ---- Too cold to describe.

 

THROUGH A MIRROR DARKLY

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

Through a mirror darkly the night is closing in on me. This dream is wearing thin on me.
I can’t shake it, kill it or break it
Or shipwreck it somewhere at sea.

Inside this paper smile
I can’t lasso the moon.
It’s predestined but it’s too soon.
It hangs in my sky on a whim and a sigh Witnessing midnight crash into noon.
And all the while it closes in like a tender noose Spinning me every which way but loose.

It keeps dancing and burning Your image into my eyes.

The flame burns
Always through a mirror darkly Inside my paper smile.

THIS ASYLUM

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

Pain in the pit of your soul
Is an ache that desecrates sanity and murders spirit. The needles and pins jab and poke relentlessly Until you succumb to the numbness you become.

It’s all so slow it almost feels like it’s in reverse. Maybe that’s how death feels.
I don’t know what’s worse:
Being outpaced by a turtle
Or losing to a Mad March Hare.
It becomes an inner madness clawing from within to get out Before the annihilation of the soul begins.

It’s like gazing into a mirror with twenty-four sides And finding your reflection is always just around the corner So you never really see yourself. You just think you do.

As the pain grows sharper and cuts deeper Inside this asylum

 

SHE CAN’T RUN – SHE CAN’T HIDE

 

Candice James
Copyright

Cracked sidewalks
Climbing ivy mountains
Shift haphazardly and yawn a warning Into her deafened soul.

She can’t run.
She can’t hide
As the landscape of her heart
Cracks into brittle shredded concrete needles & pins.

She feelsthe vines of prophecy Seeking their own truth
As they slide around her neck To handcuff her breath.

It’s a long slow kind of death she’s not accustomed to And never tried to purchase,
But somehow it found her –
As did he.
She can’t run.
She can’t hide,
But she can dance this song to death Thatshe may be reborn
Into someone else’s rhapsody.

THE RAIN POUNDS

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

The rain pounds.
The grass glistens, whimpers, weeps Along the highway of hope,
On the hills of heartache,
As a weary footman patiently awaits The aristocratic dream life promised him.

An aging princess arrives on the horizon Sporting a chipped and broken tiara She stumbled on, atop some snowy Sierra Madre Mountain she scaled In her younger years,
Before these older tears surfaced And bled into the cracked crevices Carved into her crusty concave cheeks.

Her over powdered face,
Akin to a crop dusted stale wheat field
Carries her thinning white hair precariously, A snowy virgin peak scarred with careless tracks.

The sun shines for a few meticulous moments Before the storm clouds roll in on
Clamorous claws that rip and tear
At the seams of this tattered dream.
The weary footman pays no attention.
He’s lost in one of his many one-sided moments.

The rain pounds and pounds and pounds Like a noisy gavel on the simpering, Wimpering grass. It glistens no more. The princess has abdicated her throne Before she was able to ascend to it. Her face has broken into little pieces Of her childhood; little pieces of acid. She climbs into her burned out carriage At ease with the ashes she’s become.

The weary footman takes the reins and weeps For all the dreams that won’t come true, In this stillborn silence he gave birth to.

He weeps for the broken plastic Cinderella Sleeping like a stone statue in her strange oblivion.

He weeps for the man he never was As the rain pounds and drowns Every last vestige of hope in his heart.

THIS EVER PREVALENT FOG

 

Candice James
Copyright 2009

The trains pass overhead excitedly toward The beam of light pressing against this tower Of crowded intersections in a slightly Ghostly collision that whispers of reality.

This is the scene of the crime. Yellow tape Covers the clues that caused this timeless Trapezoid circus of emotions to run amok Like some crazed tiger in a pawn shop.

Prosaic in its happenstance and yet still Real enough to make us stand at attention If only for a split second outside of this Eternity we trap ourselves in so very willingly.

And a poem is not a poem anymore.
Poetry has become buried in a paperback novel. I can’t write anymore and yet I continue writing. It’s been a hard day’s life and an even darker night. The stars don’t shine anymore
Inside this ever prevalent fog
The north star has gone into hiding,
My compass is broken
And direction has become an elusive twilight dream.

There’s an anguished scream
Lost somewhere yet still searching for a vacuum to explode in. This fog crept in while I was sleeping, dreaming.

I’m awake now
Inside this ever prevalent fog, Directionless.

AND – I’ve lost the dream too.

 

DISINTEGRATION
Candice James Copyright 2008

I stretched beyond my reach
And grasped a beam of stardust.
I pressed it to my breast
That I might feel that which I no longer feel.

For a moment I felt that old sensation
So welcome yet fleeting.
Suddenly it began to disintegrate
Because it was only dust from a star once wished upon. Never really real as I once believed it was.

All things in life are fleeting
And we must be ever vigilant if we want to hold onto them But alas, we are only human and so few of us are vigilant That most things are left unattended and they disintegrate.

Just as people join together and integrate So they drift apart and disintegrate. All things in life are fleeting.
Disintegration is predestination.

I will continue to reach beyond my grasp Because that is who I am.
I will continue to search for fleeting feelings Because that is what I am.

Someday I too will disintegrate But I will still be who I am;
What I am -- All ways; Always.yss.

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