Me in Brighton, Wednesday 13th February, 2008.
THE SUN, THE MOON AND LOVE
© Sara L. Russell, 11th March 2003
"Who is this goddess?" Whispered the sun,
As the moon traversed the sky,
"This angel, silent as a nun,
This silver dragonfly?"
He moved in for a closer gaze,
His heart began to speed,
As through a misty, cloud-spun haze,
He watched the moon proceed;
Soft silver tresses graced her brow,
Her dress, mother-of-pearl,
billowed like sails on a dream-ship's prow,
or curved tsunami-swirl.
"Oh Lady Moon" murmured the sun,
"I burn, I swoon for you.
"Come let me kiss you, gentle one,
Before night passes through."
"Come languish in my warming arms,
To music of nightjars,
Come let me taste those subtle charms,
Dear lady of the stars."
"Ah, do not court frivolity"
He heard the moon reply.
"My purpose is to steer the sea
And yours to light the sky;"
"Why, if I languished here with you,
Tall ships would run aground,
And you must light each day anew
Or all nature confound."
The sun-god would not be deterred,
But kissed her trembling lips.
As they embraced, no sound was heard
Throughout the first eclipse;
Waves lay as mirrors where they kissed,
Until they drew away,
To drift back into heaven's mist,
As night melted to day.
Published: Worlds Inside The Head e-book, 2003,
Kedco Studios Inc.
THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN
© Sara L. Russell, August 14th 2003
[For my parents and their garden]
Borders dripping fuchsia tantalize
as buddleia gives honeyed breath.
here, on her purple spears, the butterflies
descend to gorge themselves to death.
Drunken Painted Ladies reel and swoon
among the tipsy Cabbage Whites;
and drowsy Peacocks dip their lengthy spoons
on fragrant phlox, between short flights.
Common Blues peruse the border beds
where lavandula's burgeoning;
a Tortoiseshell browses on hebe heads
and pheromones begin to sing.
SONG OF THE WILLOW WARBLER
(Sonnet) © Sara L. Russell, 22nd June 2003
I rode the wings of night on rising air
That carried me from Africa's wild shore;
To fields of meadowsweet and maidenhair
To sing of heaven's dome and ocean's floor.
Spring greets my song with hawthorn flower and briar
Rewards my voice with nectar-tinted sun;
The thrum of earth's renewal is my lyre
As thaws begin and waters speed to run.
I sing for memories of sultry days
For zebras racing over arid planes.
I sing of England's tepid Summer haze;
Slow-strolling shire horses with plaited manes.
From heaven's heights I sing, for life's divine,
The purest voice, the lightest heart is mine.
Mucha Lady: For Sarah Bernhardt
c. Sara L. Russell 18th February 2004
Mucha lady in a halo of stars,
Rare queen of Decadence Divine,
Doyen of art and café bars;
Elegance drapes where you recline.
Long twisted hair bedecks the page,
Sinuous waves, organic forms;
Lost worlds of gold surround the stage
Where Mucha's diva girl performs.
Indolent look, desirous eyes,
Staring afar with smoky gaze;
Twin whorls of cappucino skies
In orbs of fiery amber haze.
Mucha lady in a halo of stars,
Queen of an era lost in haste
Stares smokily through frame and glass
As coffee brings its sweet, burnt taste.
© Sara Louise Russell 24/2/97
He stood alone in a ground mist of silver white
lit by the moon, a darkly imposing sight
with black hair, shadowed eyes, lips taut as wire
and over his outstretched hands floated white fire.
"Let this dark night and all it brings
lend my voice the power of black wings,
to fly to the bedchamber where lies the one
who must pay dearly before this night is done."
"Listen well, the lost beyond the grave,
hear me, spirit prince and demon knave,
hear me, all the drowned beneath the sea,
stalk her dreams and never let her be!
So it happened, two score miles away,
in a dark chamber, a restless sleeper lay.
Shadows jumped and flickered in the gloom,
the air became the breath of an open tomb,
Hands rose from the floor as from the sea,
the woman's lips, in sleep, mouthed a silent plea;
ivy poured in at the window, serpentine,
writhing and growing, fast as flowing wine.
A gnarled tree branch tapped at the window pane,
like a dead man's fist, knocking in vain,
the woman's eyelids flickered as she turned
and in her dreams came the face of a lover spurned...
A lover spurned, whom, once, she loved so well,
walking with all the hounds and sprites of hell!
Ever closer, thousands of staring eyes!
And rictus smiles and shuddering fetid sighs!
Ever closer, shambling, with scrabbling claws,
ever louder, the snap of slavering jaws!
She turned to run, with feet turned into lead,
her running feet churned the sheets of the bed...
In a backward glance she saw her lost love's face
as full of hate as the demons giving chase;
but there had been other looks, remembered well.
She called his name, half-sobbing: "Maravel!"
The sorcerer flinched, as if struck where he stood,
her cry had reached him through the misty wood;
a pitiful, infant-wail from somewhere above,
in a voice that, once, had enfolded his name in love,
A voice familiar as a mother's hand.
In a moment unexpected and unplanned,
the voice that was such sweetness to his ears
filled Maravel's eyes with stinging tears.
He fought for concentration, breathing hard,
but the moment of weakness had made him drop his guard.
The woman woke, first trying to wake in vain,
and seeing a room full of demons, woke again,
And woke again: the hands sank into the floor,
and again: the ivy shrank outside once more.
The layers of dream-sleep were cast aside,
She was finally awake, eyes open wide...
"Maravel!" Hissed her tortured mind.
"Maravel!" The one she left behind!
"Maravel!" How came it to seem
that he might steal her love back through a dream?!
This was one too many restless night;
sleepless, she must use this time to fight!
She opened a casket on the bedside chair
and took out some white wax and a lock of hair.
The lock of hair was black as a raven's wing,
it's owner's hands, once, brought her flesh to sing,
trembling with a tactile rhapsody.
She touched it, sighing at the memory.
She softened the wax with a taper lit from the fire,
shaped it into the subject of lost desire,
till Maravel's naked body was fashioned there
- and she crowned it with the lock of raven hair.
In a choked voice, the sorcerer's chant went on,
but now the web of potency was gone;
the intonations weakened by one break,
when bitter memory became keepsake.
Meanwhile the woman took a silver pin,
took the waxen doll and stabbed it in;
into the arm, the shoulders, hard and rough!
Into the parts made less for pain than love...
The forest whispered as the low mist steamed,
the crickets sang, as poor Maravel screamed,
(sending his sparowhawk into the trees
wondering at human lunacies)
The hawk, from a safe vantage-point, looked round,
to see his master writhing on the ground!
Thrashing, yelling, rolling like a coin,
doubling over, clutching at his groin...
...The woman, in her chamber, quietly sat,
smiling purposefully, like a cat,
looked at the fire and wondered, should she not
make things start to get - a little hot?!
She took the doll and met it's waxen stare
and her fingers came to rest on the raven hair,
sliding down it's texture, tenderly-slow
- and she put the doll back down and whispered "No..."
SOCIAL BUTTERFLY (For Brighton)
c. Sara L. Russell 10th May 2001
Flit down to The Pig In Paradise
where the grooves are rare
where the food is nice
let us raise a glass
for The Hungry Years
for the long lost laughter
and the beers
I'm a social whirl, a sophisti-cat
a dilletante, dabbling
in this and that
and I'll sing a song
for Brighton town
by the shingled shore
as the sun goes down
Glide down to the West Pier on a wave
where the hippies trip
where the ravers rave
and I'll tell a tale
fit to curl your toes
while the smell of plaice
wafts across your nose
When the sun comes out
south-bound I fly
to my favourite haunts
and the rockers stride
as their hair blows free
while I admire them
Let us raise a glass
for Brighton days
of cafe posing
in a beery haze
let us stay and pass
the night away
on the Palace Pier
where the gamblers play
Tough stony eyes
Rough braided hair
Brighton, I see you
my wild playmate
you will never age
for your mojo's filled
with salt and sage
Come and chase me down
to the stony shore
and we'll lose our shoes
on the ocean floor
we will dance the reel
playing in our heads
while our parents sleep
safely in their beds.
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