New book- Mortal by Veronica Aldous

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small boy

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small boy

my knees were sore
from kneeling, we rubbed saltwater
but if I smell salt I know it is nausea

I am in a boxed place we are many
I am one with the boxes
I have hands to look at and some colours
why is it always winter?

it is reducible
to a still point of light
to
the faultiness of memory.

Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2017

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The Ascent

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The Ascent
The garden rose up the small hillside until it became tussocky humps and bumps. Her feet twisted and sunk between the hummocks as she went. Her hair blew sideways although there was no wind and a hot dampness pervaded and inserted itself into her mouth and nostrils. Inside her ears was low ebbing hum off distant traffic, a wasp dying in a wasp trap.
Why did she start? It was a very hard climb and she was wearing unsuitable clothes. A fur jacket and lace tights feet stuffed into low boots.The boots moved askance to her feet within and the bones grew sore and jangled  as a chicken carcass in a bubbling pan.
The sun was sore and chafing above the woodland far above her.It was a forest of stark black trees that beckoned her.The trees terrified her at night with their magic leanings and swaying against the white moon . She wanted to go and show them that she was not afraid. But she was.

That’s what animals do. Walk into danger to blind it, to stamp it out!
Up she went, past the chickens with their shy little ways and soft rusty backs. She loved the chickens and brash brass feathered cockerel. The way they hid in the stalks of dead grass and peeped at her with their bright button eyes.

The deer had left a nice path, the tiny cleft alien toes had trotted out a walkway. The cats had left another path, all bendy and enticing. It led to a great thicket of brambles.This is where Whelkin hunted, her proud fluffy self  in all her grand pouncing and bouncing, her swart eyebrows brought low as she darted and prowled. O how she LOVED Whelkin! How she tore at her heart with her independent mewling and her dear multihued fur of brown, silver and cream! Her great haunted green eyes as sherberty as grapes, as lovely and enervating as a man rolling his tongue into one’s groin.
She made your heart jump and a thousand smells litter your brain.
Never mind. She wasn’t here. Or if she was, she would be watching, not caring.
Down far below, the other cats patrolled.
Shumala was the piebald  eldest, the wild biting cat with the incurved tiny paws. The Druid cat. Gentle silly black Fenella with her great grassy eyes and her silken fur and dribbly chin! Always the last cat. Number three.
Whelkin was number one. Whelkin rruled the garden, the hosue, the attic, the cupboards, the rats and mice all sang in a choir when she swung by.
Toads flapped and flopped. A great fungus rolled out its tongue onto a rotted lump of branch.
Eyes glittered. A small table was set with cheery moss, little red berries and an apple, quite yellow and red. She ate it. It was thick with juice, utterly rivetingly sweet.It was hot and stalky here, steamy even despite the chill of the day far below in the valley.
She was starved, thirsty. .. too scared to go on, too mad to go back.
Her knees were twisting and she was panting. She came upon the broken side of a cabin and peered through the glass at an old sign laid on the ground. It said ’Warning! 10000 volts’.

But it was old and stamped into the ground amidst shattered glittering shards of greened glass and some rotting wurzels in a great stinking  steaming heap.

Here the foxes lay on a piece of corrugated iron; as rust as their backs and as hot.

The day was getting tangled and important as though a message would come soon. A portent, or a great healing flush of sanity, lust or love!

When she stumbled into the forest her heart started tearing mad waltz. There was the presence of Old Ones here, undisturbed and shimmering little voices which are just out of earshot like nasty little whisperers.

She looked down at her path; long and high she raised her arms and reached for a branch but it was unyielding and hard as coal.
This is the song for the forest which has been visited but never properly entered;

‘ Oh that is no courage, that is no life
To stand at the edges, ne’er take a wife
That is no lover, that is no gain
To take to your breast a mizzle of pain….’

Singing this she went home and tried to tell the tale of something which could have happened but never did.

“This is how we keep our sanity and lose it all at once. By travelling into nowhere with a pocket full of knives.”

But far above, the trees heard and snickered and whickered as Whelkin  popped  a fat  mouse on her pillow.

 

Veronica Aldous 2017 All Right Reserved.

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A Play in One Act

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A Play in one Act.

Act 1 Scene 1 Facebook

spoken by
Mrs J. Alfred Prufrock
(The unenviable keeper of trees, the semi-widow) enters stage left dragging a string of dead diaries.)

Oh the dodgy smartass comments I have read on this codswalloping litany of social squalor. O the dredging of the ego pond! As if voiding the self were the whole
wretched blather.
The mirror of another….? No. The Let Down.
When one has passed and gone it is not cool to fulsomely comment on their putative or imaginary attributes or ever pass judgement on their failings(and godknowstherewerequiteafew)- but to remember the poetry in their souls!
Poet be known.
Pass in peace. But pity me for reading such matchless shit from people who never knew the person except through the dark glass of febrile and envious imaginings.

She leaves pursued by a mirrorman.

 

Veronica Aldous All rights reserved 2017

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Incunable

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Incunable

I had not realised what day it was
Waking from that brackish pool
Of slumber to a crack of peering light
No wonder I stared at stones and moss
Took boxes and filled them with crumpled silks
Thought of that strange dream
I had two years ago: the observatory
The orb, his book, an embroidered afternoon
When I took a high path to a greenlit space
And lay hardly breathing for half an hour
As is if fainted from the pleasure
Of half heard songs and whispered couplets

Of course I know what day it is;
The heart has pages it keeps glued shut.

Veronica Aldous 2017 all rights reserved

 

Veronica’s painting is  shown above

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2.55AM

 

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Minotaurina – stitch on silk and monoprint- Veronica Aldous 

 

2.55AM

I was dreaming of a letter and  of red dye seeping
When the lightning came with its cold supernal finger
Snapping the bone of night
So the room shivered in frightful agonies
Impelling me to fetch my pen and write-
As if that would change a single thing!

I live a borrowed life
Where I still may bear children
Make love to a broad backed heat
Compromise the position to please
Bargain and choose-

Electricity is inexorable
I cannot believe it is not a god.

 

Veronica Aldous 2017 all rights reserved

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Lonely Hunter

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Lonely Hunter

The lawnmower lasted longer than his wife

Pushing it out over the day’s-eyes

Reaping a harvest of wet chlorophyllic comfort

On a skin rumpled by moles

A house he had owned

Only as far as the foundations

Words cannot be pushed under

They keep erupting from the dragnet

Coming up from his brain canal

The candy grabber in the penny arcade

Limply shaking a loose skinned puppet

Winning, only to lose it again.

 

Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2017

Photograph  ‘ Weald Faun’ Veronica Aldous copyright 2017

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On Writing

 

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On Writing

Viveca in her white dress
With cobalt embroidery
Is nobody’s memory
In her soft moss lined mules
She walks as children walk
Down the hot peeling street
Of dusty pastel posters
She was never anyone
Drinking grenadine soda
Until I said so.

 

Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2017

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