Summer Haiku #5

Thick sounding rain falls
Cicadas stay awake, still
Perfumes of tree bark


Wetland Blossoms

If Jack remained inside his room for too long, he was often victim to having his body overcome with an overwhelming pressure. A kind of presence within his blood, pulling at the sinew under his skin and forcing him into a state of irritability, one which he could not account for.
At times such as these, he would stop what he was doing and take a long walk to gather flowers.
He couldn’t recall when he first started doing this, but he knew that when he returned to his house, hands full with fresh picks, he would be cured temporarily.

Jack found himself following the walkway which traced the edge of the creek. He came to life at the shifting gravel under his feet, the loose sediment playing a melody of white noise with every step.
It had been a wet summer, and the heat was late in arriving. Spring felt as if it had doubled in length, and Jack breathed deeply of the moistened air, taking in the fragrances of fresh growth.
The forest across the creek was absorbed in shades of pine and moss, all of the trees being evergreens, and the mangroves owned the banks with complete autonomy. Jack remembered walking through these as a child, coming back cold and covered in sludge, the stench of which was so that it caught like rotten eggs in the back of your throat. Once, a fresh shoot shot right through the bottom of his brother’s foot, coming up between the bone next to his large toe. It didn’t quite pierce all the way through and instead appeared like a tiny hill atop his foot.
These walks were walks of memory. Contemplation of nature and of Jacks own nature. It was his habit to walk the length of his walk, eyeing out potential picks, and then doubling back, confirming those choices. This was in line with how Jack lived his life.
At this time of year, the tuis had flown from the deep inland bush to feed on the flower nectars and the insects which stuffed themselves full of the sweetness of nature’s bounty. Their song was such that Jack found himself whistling back to them. He was envious of their two voice boxes, but he rarely knew what to do with the one he owned.

Jack now turned for home, the compiled list completed.
The tactile sensations of picking were his favourite part, and he would spend a short time with each plant, running his hand along the bark to feel their textures, along the leaves and flowers, gently caressing them with the lightest of touches, and coaxing them to release their distinct aromas.
He first picked a thin stem from a young Manuka tree, with small white blossoms climbing the length, and round woody seed pods scattered about it. Next, he pulled several lots of the long, curved flowers from the Harakeke flax bushes which dominated the walkway. Due to the odd weather, the bushes were in different stages of flowering and he was able to pick from a gradient range of yellows, greens, reds. Lastly, he came to some roadside perennials, blossoming in a rich shade of cherry, streaked with a tangerine and honey centre. Jack could taste the fruits of his labour.

Hold, Please

Can this hold to prevent breaking?
What can be used to brace?
Capable hands
Sensible selves
There’s structural damage
Internal bleeding
Draining what’s left of dreaming
The ‘Dream’
Bold claims
Boys hipping in daddy’s soot-suits
Boots faded brand new
Dark jaded unhewn
Stone and mortar replaced by paper and glue
That won’t hold
Become your own saviour
That rope around your waist
Is it long enough to tie around?
Can it hold to prevent breaking?
Will it hold?
Will you be ashamed of stains and stray frayed ends?
A face that’s afraid
Why not let it break?
Embrace the fall
The fall is as important as the hold
Nothing lasts
Not even this feeling fleeting moments past
If you return home now the memory will be in leaving
In flux or an influx?
Why this empty space?
There are so many question marks at the ends of all my sentences
An inward agitation expressed as curiosity
Breadth of interest concealing depth
‘That boy’s shallow’ they would say
And no one would dance
There’s no time for that
When was my last breath
I could chance it
Gamble my reservations in hopes that my place would be saved
To remain seated would allow me to hold my place
This indeterminate ill-defined location in space
Or was it indifference which defined me?
It doesn’t matter there is no difference
The thoughts keep me within the body
Ill-flavoured omens
Foul flavoured copper mouth
I should eat something
With no sustenance the body will feed on my substance
‘He’s shallow’ they would say ‘eaten away at himself’
Not carved nor hewn
Stripping flesh and sinew
The body was empty to fill
The singular instances of my existence bring shame
Doubts and pains
Aches from stagnation and the stench of rotting meat in my hands
Is it the same?
Would it have been had I not been?
This can never be so give thanks it never will
How empty this instance except for what I bring to it
I am alone at the beach
On a bench
Or was it a seat in my home
These streets unfamiliar
The world was all kittens and rainbows
Blood and cum
The sum of some great nothing
There’s people making love while others are fucking
Some wear makeup with their misery
Some loosen their belts and strangle theirs
Welt marks of the beaten cock
The baboon Red ass
Red hand grabs
Red in their shit and in their shot eyes
Red beads dripping from cavities
Red cunt Red cock Red Red
Everything was Red
Paint me a picture of Red
The other colours are not vigorous enough
They don’t blind or stop or force hands
They are not Red
They don’t fill your body with the embalming fluid of the River Styx
Come back to me Red
I am exhausted