‘I’m thinking how much I’d have liked wings but that they were denied me.
I remember seeing them in various places. High up in the Church, once a trapped pigeon scraped and flapped above the netting; outstretched wings which made him pitiable and broken as useless as the Christ beneath with his painted scabs and wounds. They are kind of disgusting pigeons, but that’s because I read about a man in the Park who would feed them and snap their necks on by one.
So it’s not really the pigeons that disgust me. It’s how they are treated. How there are too many…
I was also disgusted by angels it has to be said. We were told they were kindly and the symbol of pure thought and servitude to the Master. Always a Master. Angels do not accept commands from Mistresses.
Yet they were cold, stony and often mottled with dirt or lichenous blobs of yellow.
Sometimes even pigeon excrement. They looked unfriendly and white-eyeballed.
I saw a group of them walking down the lane when the hawthorn was in blossom.Terrifyingly sinister and glowing like giant radioactive tombstones.
So, I was thinking; maybe I was mixed up with fairies because they have wings too. But angels have feathers on their wings in the usual arrangement. Soft scale shaped feathers at the shoulder and then those long wing tips that would go frrrrrr as they flew. Also, do they flap? Because wouldn’t they have to?
That sounds insane. I can see Gabriel flapping along trying to keep up with the traffic. Maybe he gets angry if people don’t indicate or cut corners. Would he fly above, or to the centre like a motorbike?
I suppose this is why they invented superheroes. Secular representations of angelic life bent on helping mankind. But superheroes are always flawed, angels are meant to be fucking perfect; gold hair, smooth pale skin, nice feathers.
I spent ages wondering if the angel was as beautiful naked as he was clothed.
Then I read they were asexual. I am unsure about that as they have male names. Are there any lady-angels?
I was always drawing angels when I was a teenager, the way girls draw ponies. I drew Lucifer, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel. They looked sinuous, tawny haired and dateable. Not disgusting any more, darkness had fallen.
Michael has a sword that cuts through untruth. I quite like that in a man.
I did fall in love with a couple of men who looked like angels for a bit. Not both at once, of course, there were about thirty years between each.
I am pretty sure angels are actually polyamorous though.
One had a mark on his back so I decided he was fallen. Actually they both had marks on their backs, sometimes acne causes that, and the later version had already decided he was fallen. So did I; he was like Lucifer, but a greedy cake eating angel, really unpleasant after certain hours of the day. Abusive.
I don’t think the first one knew about my angel fetish. The strange thing is, both of these angels had bad personal hygiene.
Yes, I would have liked wings, but on my feet, perhaps like Hermes Trismegistus. More discreet in some ways.
I kept looking for evidence of wings on other people, particularly lovers. I would roll them over so I could check their angel bones. I have given up looking now. You can get implants I expect by now. Also, people can lie about wings. They can tell you they used to have them, or they are expecting some soon, but they never actually arrive.
I think wings could be very heavy, very troublesome in wet weather and you could actually get that lumpy toed foot-rot that pigeons get.
What do you think? Doctor? Should I fly like that? Or like this?’
She stands to demonstrate.
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All Hallow’s Eve
Once caught in lush green weeds
Sought freedom in cold blue air
The sucking dew in bulbous beads
Drenches the blowing feather’ed seeds
Once the face becomes less fair
Lust in marble form decides
A snake in hand for wants and needs
Mortal, it is so hard to bear
It battens on the breast and feeds
On bloody milk, and love recedes
Such poison ministered with care
A snaky metaphor which leads
The memory to watery verdant reeds
A serpent sulking in its lair
Below the dark’ning twilit meads
Now floats the nosegay and the weeds
She sinks, around about her hair
From its choking braided loops is freed
Beneath that alien glittering stare.
Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2018
Image is from Veronica’ painting Stained by Flowers
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There is a long piece of light which the day has left unchewed. It’s sliding down the frame of the door. Soon, twilight will come.
The black stag comes. He is heavier than silence. His blood is the dank dark of the forest ponds. His antlers are black and peeling. Raw fleshy tatters hang in violent ribbons, remains of bracken and sphagnum. He is decorated in the way of dog soldiers who believe themselves warriors. He itches in his black hide, in the black of his black heart that is ringed with earthstars and yellow fungi. He itches to enter and break.
He is sentient but unknowing. Seeking more blackness, he comes from the scratch of etiolated trees, the strip of land they forgot to build on.
Here is the house where the man died. He is said to be still there. He may be just a moment of listening; the sharp shred of light disappearing by the back door. The stag is ringed by moonfire.
His black breath steams, smoky in the November night. No one sees but a grey cat flattening herself beneath a shrub. She fears the great deer, his huge gleaming eyes and his great barrel of a chest.
He smells the air but there is only his musky buckwheat steaming as he his drops hot manure on freezing stone.
The stag presses his skull to the glass of the kitchen window. There is nothing beyond but the ghost of a table bearing dead meal that was once eaten by two lovers. He presses his great skull branches to the glass and his saliva steams and drools. He sees the great face and the great black antlers which mean war to him, and he wants to fight. He presses and pressure builds in his mind and his heart and his great black sex. Soon the glass shatters with a fearsome astonishment of force! The way trees shatter when it is so cold frozen in the black forest…
The beast is black glass, and he is black blood and black steam. The engine of his heart is time itself.
All of it breaks. Soon there is just a grey cat in grey light. On the hill a tree falls as though pushed by some invisible force.
Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2018