Mousepocket

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Mousepocket

In the fields is the shim sham man
Now we are in the bales
I got the holy screeches

The sun did pop down
And I snugged away in a burrow
Smelling of sweet hay

Here I is, not altogether
Together. I can eye a slit
Here he comes pobbling over

To see the kid maybe trapped
If I was cowboygirl
Shoot him dead

I scry him all my life
He is the loutish joddy
Under the bed.

 

Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2018

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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

Small Fairground

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Small Fairground

Their voices peal a gamelan of tones
Perhaps there is a paddling pool
Wriggling toe-fish in rubbery water
A too cold breeze…

I only have these little sounds to play with
A rockpool of reminders
Where each sense hunts
And stings another.

 

Veronica Aldous

All rights reserved 2017

 

Photograph Veronica Aldous. – Cistus Rock Rose

Danaë


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Danaë

The trees have been so whipped by gods
They show their tears in drifts of coins
Paying their obeisance to the soil
In flashing polka dots strewn like confetti
Upon the veils of still-green juices
I am affronted by the wind’s tearing
The way it skews the season
I want to hold my hands upon the moon’s curves
Peer into its surfaces, hold back falling
Shove my staff into the yellow shoals

Summer’s elusive kisses still pressing
Upon September’s cooling  brow.

 

 

Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights reserved

The Blood of Ghosts

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The Blood of Ghosts

On this star where nothing matches, the clueless seek pennies
Under a gold streaked sky, a woman sits on a great rock
The vestiges of love wrapped around her, ghost blood
Is the colour of  limes in twilight, elsewhere is magenta ore
There are such songs which express the sharpened edge

But none to sing such strangeness  which cannot be slipped
Into a stave, or notated by an  ordinary system
The lingua franca of lovers
A coincidence of phrase, a coupling of two such different colours
Now one does not understand the other
There is an chromatic dissonance where feeling flowers

So beautifully that others marvel at this painted desert
But would not tread the path into such violent  terrain
Where kisses never fall or even ordinary rain.

Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved

Orphan Pages Ripped from a BlackCat Book

 

Effie and The Dreamer sat in the Milk Soda café drinking  skinny cheap dank coffees and nibbling stale rice flour langues de chat. She had been reading Avarice and the Duchess by Francine Patel and rather liked the idea of nobbling a rich man for his money, and quite soon at that. Certainly before the next rent payment was due. She had spent everything on a polished book rest from the Calabash, the City’s  bijouterie and food market. She marvelled at her own wickedness and how she would confide it to Effie Farthing as soon as possible.

The Dreamer was a dog who resembled a ringleted grey cat. He was hiding under a chair licking a pool of melting ice cream a former patron had spilled onto the tiles.
Effie had a withered leg and because of this was entitled to Pence from the Lord of the Manor. Pence was doled out to those in need and the Lord never troubled the recipients with droit de seigneur, which was a shame in Effie’s opinion. He would be an ideal candidate for good ripping off.
Soon Effie spied Claudie coming down the cobbled street carrying a pink fur muff and a basket full of dolls for the doll’s hospital. She was a kind of ambulance, Effie thought. Collecting the wounded and lacking in buttons; going from door to door and making many coins for her trouble from the dollmistress as they sat and stitched and glued and bandaged together.

“Hey, Effie! Come along with me, I am going to buy a new pair of camiknickers!” she cried startling several old ladies. The Dreamer jumped up and curled his lip.

“ Fat, juicy.” He was aroused by Claudie’s ankles and her basket of dolls. “ Chew-chew” he snickered until Effie smacked his black nose and he whimpered.
“ Of Effie! He hates me!”

“I don’t. I don’t . I loves yer. Biteybots” slurped The Dreamer  shuffling back under the table to stare and gloat at leggies.
Claudie and Effie were whispering now and he could smell Effie’s parfum de toilette which was a little mousey and sporranish  to his sharp olfactory nerves.
Effie and Claudie were talking about some man Claudie had picked out in the Calabash.
Effie grew pouty and a bit puffy and huffy which she did when Claudie mentioned men. Her leg troubled her at such times and she scratched at its embroidered splints.
“ Claudie, do you have to speak in such a way?” she cried secretly happy at such  vicarious thoughts.

“ Well. now, Effie. I only said how well polished he was and how nice his hands were. When he put them on my behind!”

Effie drew out a little purse and pretended to take a pill. She always did this to make people feel sorry for her and it made her feel romantic and Bronte-ish. She was on the Pence, cut her own hair and  was hardly likely to catch any man’s attention. The two women’s heads moved closer and Effie’s eyes started to glaze in a bored aroused reverie as she listened to all the details of this fine fella’s attributes.

His hands. His coat. His groin. His ears. His wife.

“His wife!” Effie groaned. Really, Claudie was a wonderfully awful person. She reached down and patted the Dreamer who nuzzled and whined. He loved the Ladies especially this Lady who gave him  cut price chopsueys and her last sausage pie.

After a few further minutes by the Clock In The Wall which towered over the brasserie The Dreamer started to get very powerful urges.
His black lips drooled with saliva as he ogled the basket of dolls. One doll was hanging out her  stiff arms trying to escape whilst a fat teddybear with an eye missing pushed her up and over the twisted rattan edge.

The little dog suddenly rushed yapping and biting and the basket overturned and many of its inhabitants tried to escape pushing and shoving each other in their attempts towards freedom. Dolls and animals scarpered everywhere, some crawling where legs were missing, some hopping, some hobbling on their unsteady unmended cotter pin joints, spilling sawdust and stuffing. A mohair giraffe was promptly knocked over by a man on a penny farthing and lay in a gutter with one trembling  leg stuck out in agonies of puppetry.
Effie jumped up too in dismay. Her leg gave way and she toppled onto Claudie who knocked over a parasol and two chairs and lay showing her rose red pantalettes.

The Dreamer promptly rushed over and bit Claudie on one of her plump little thighs and she kicked and screamed at him so much he ran over the road  into the Calabash dripping blood from his snout and his lead trailing and tripping up the clientele who clapped and batted at him with umbrellas and string bags.
The two women lay cursing on the ground covered in bits of fluff, gore and shavings until a soldier rushed over to help them up.
Of course, Claudie was crying the most and had pulled up her skirt to reveal a bite and an extensive amount of half-price silk knickerage. The soldier daubed and dabbed at the wound with a small flag of courage he kept rolled in his jacket.
Effie was trying to cover her torn blouse with a serviette because her vest was on view which was a criminal offence in Town Law. She found a pin which a doll had dropped and secured her frontage as well as she could.
The soldier stroked and coddled Claudie who grew quite dreamy and consoled as he was most handsome.
She almost forgot about her dolls indeed.
Effie was collecting them now, scooping them into her bassinette handbag, they were mostly crying and penitent and glad to be safely shut up- as toys generally are, after adventures.
The wanton giraffe was also retrieved after a small boy was bribed with a sip of brandy from Effie’s thimble-bottle.
They settled down to rest and weep and mope and the waitress brought them fresh sets of coffee ordered by the soldier and also produced a sharp warning from the concierge about their vicious little pooch.
But where was The Dreamer? Effie was inconsolable with grief and tried to rise to find him but her poor leg shuddered and failed…
Meanwhile that tarte Claudie was firmly settled on the soldier’s fine cavalry twill lap twirling his epaulette fringes  with one red fingernail.

Where was The Dreamer? He was flying through the market grabbing at purses and pearls and sausages and fresh cooked pies!
His avarice was satiated, his greed fulfilled!

“ Wowf! Wowf! Shree!”

He was the best and fastest of cat-dogs, the baddest and the bravest animal to run through a Calabash. His wings unfurled and he flew through the air above the City and its rules and regulations!

He would go home that night at five past twelve and bring his mistress three pork chops and a fine mouthful of jewellery and enough golden Pence to buy a pile of calfskin gilt edged books and a fine gigolo in an apartment in the clouds!
That is if he didn’t get shot by that  black rifled marksman in the Clock in the Wall Tower first.

 

Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved

 

Frozen April

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Frozen April

Etiolated sappy leaves flop beneath a hard frost
The temperament of the blue woods is like a woman
Without a man she loves; gone overseas without a letter

In the fields the confused birds take straws to build nests
Abandoning them to swiping winds and icestorms
The moon closes her eyes and dreams of a white unstained bed
Change is tiny painful cracks on stone
Flowers shudder on pale stalks
Wondering if they are mistaken
Rain soaked, bruised and blown.
Indirah packs a box of small baby clothes
As her sons lean back in cushioned  chairs
Blanking her and their vagrant sister

The mother listens to the child’s  ghost voice:
Was she seen under ice?
Eyes turned upward to the roiling clouds.

 

Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved

Photograph of cyclamen Veronica Aldous