seven terracotta jars

a stumble in the woods, a wanderer
weighted down with collectables —
a twig from the hair of a goddess;
the gilded gleam from the blade of a knight;
seven single tears in seven terracotta jars;
a thousand lifetimes imparted to his heart —
yet here, dust and desert remains.

bones dried up in outrageous heat,
yet he staggered on, dragging one foot
then the other,

thoughts were useful once,
he had kept them like memories of the old land,
yet here on the flat-baked wastelands, they were his master;
they kept him well, in solitude,
they were the shadow that prodded him before sleep;
the night-men whistling down the long corridor outside his chamber.

he became sick, sleepless,
desperately clutching to his collectables,
to his pasts, to his hopeless hope of home.

one night a fever struck so hard
he was bound and lost in swirling seas.
hours passed.
and he rode those waves like Ahab, clinging to the whale.

the conjurer appeared somewhere after three, or was it four?
time made no sense here, it was not liner,
it was vapour scattered on the breeze.

the demons danced around his head,
laughing like harlots,
cackling candle flames about is being.

was this hell?
was this, limbo?

when finally he let go of it all —
the memories, the tales from the thousand year storm.
everything he had so diligently collected,
when he opened his eyes,
was strewn like worthless trinkets on the tide,
and he, on the shore woke to starlight
and seven terracotta jars waiting to be filled.

© phillip mellor 2015

By Grace We Go, By Flesh We Stay

Here you are again between the night and the razor blade;
The unconscious beating brain bargaining with the morning.

Your hands are so empty they may as well be called space,
They are clawing at the pillow beside you in the early rays.

No haste in waking, yet knowing the time is now you pace
The bedroom floor, the bathroom shower haze.

And it all adds up to nothing ventured nothing faced;
The ticking clock counts down the days

To where you would run in the meadows changed
From this earthly flesh into something blessed with grace.

© Phillip Mellor 2015

Beloved Prayer

Tip out every last drop of me
Fill me up with you.

Take my name and cast it out
Upon your great seas.
For I am nothing but blue.

Dissolve my want and needs,
Evaporate them in your sun;
Shine in my heart today

And in the hearts of everyone.

© Phillip Mellor 2015

already home

one day, by the sea, we shall sit like this,
half-asleep with coffee kisses and warm hugs,
looking out upon the earth’s wide wonder,
out there over yonder, over the great green abyss
and bless all our clumsy missteps,
and the roads not taken.
for if i’m not mistaken we have awakened in the shade
of the sycamore’s golden curls
blessed in the light of love.

Phillip Mellor 2014