The Black Earth of the Arawak.
The sun broke the sky into three pointed stones.
Eye stones, keep stones, earth stars, voices
Tall girls were washing the string from juicy leaves
To weave into baskets to crush the toxic sap
From a giant root.
We may be eaten by men or dogs he told them
The water glittered, and a pinkfaced monkey chattered
He traded for some iron to cut the Spaniards
The way they cut up the womenfolk, only worse
If there was a worse way, he would find it…
They were the wrong people, they were just a family
Eating their bread and praying to a paper saint
Before they were felled beneath the tools.
A double rainbow spilled over the spent volcano
The two-note bird shrilled in the wet undergrowth.
Now we are as the Caribs
Except we did not eat them
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They cut through the hillside revealing the light.They found me with my coat sleeves fraying in soft threads. Velvet eyed in the twilight, as stunned a moonstruck doe!
With the door hanging on its hinges as though it no longer fitted its frame.
I asked you where you were going; you turned slightly but I could only see the hill beyond, gleaming as if it would take you forever.
I have your hair wrapped round my finger that will not let me marry.
The moon clock is never telling the right time now. I sift the leaf mould with this little gold sieve; trying to augur the crystals, the worms and the stones, the telling of what happens now…
Words and photograph by Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved
Blue Coffee at Solstice
Solstice runs its tongue along the horizon
Tasting the iron and salt in the forest’s edge
Light creeps round the tower’s clock
Showing the shattered side
As well as the perfect profile.
Animals run gravely past the slatted trees
Speaking with voices they found
Under the granite pavements:
Fox duppies and bird eidolons
Cavort and snap in deep mists
Their eyes glint with a beautiful lust.
I watch a painted screen of doubtful shoppers
Dreaming of the king’s black horse
Kicking in his rotted trappings he rises
Whickering steam in the frozen air
Breaking the violent earth of the hill.
Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved
Transfixed by a climaxing pomegranate
Rolling in a heap of ravening tulips
The indulgence of a dead hare –
Smooth elision of eucharist
And black holes, white cloth spills
A greedy cream over black skins
The lizard gnawing on rotting spoils
After iconoclasm, a boiling orgasm
A bacchanalian cornucopia
Of yellow kumera, belching melons
Skittering insects and an ogling parakeet
Jaded and lush as a pumphouse dolly.
Smearing the canvas with oily syrups
Inexorable moulds and auguries of exotic fish
Whilst in putrefying galleys
Sugars break out in a sweat
The artist shrugs her shoulders
Wiping a greasy finger –
Always there is a carcass.
Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved
The day after Halloween
At our cafe a woman keeps trying to catch my eye
Whilst I am trying to read a badly subtitled tv
She is getting louder, but a thousand are caught
In a bottleneck, a madman chops his hand like sabre
A serpent park is his monomania
His face is mould white, a twisted hole for a mouth
This is attrition, barbarous fog outside
Wrythen coils of purblindness
Amid the carrot cake and cappuccinos
Oh she says to her boyfriend, his phone waved around
Just look at your fucking head in that costume!
Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved
Longing for the murmurous voice that once sweetened sleep
The moss buttoned tight across the breast, each dusty mould
Finely crafted, the exquisite tuning of thrumming insects
Such silvery hands, each turning the leaves
As the little flames lick the bent twist of sage
Read to me
The unmade wreath of piney needles as bitter to bite
As the tumescent sappy bulges of decaying wood
I make this tree, your tree.
Varanasi Windows- Watercolour and collage on paper by Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved
The citadels beneath the Indus spiritises
My waking hours, as if just out of reach
There we go about our business
As if no calamitous anvil dropped
No bell clanged in a broken key
No drowning occurred, no cessation
Of the rhythmic pulses of co-existence
We hang the washing, eat and talk,
But deep under here, in sleep
I walk the labyrinthine snaking depths
Hear the ancient booms of sinking cargoes
Covered in ashes and dusted with pigments
Draped in tattered silks I come and go
Tending the other, the elsewhere
Kneeling to plant corals and pearls
That he he may know that he is sought
Beneath the terrifying ebb and flow.
Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved