Month: April 2011

The Stuff that Happens in Graveyards…

One of the most amazing, surreal things things happened today, when I was visiting the Holy Trinity Church graveyard in Stratford-upon-Avon. I was busy taking a photograph of a beautiful Victorian tombstone, when a little boy (probably aged somehwere between 4 and 6) ran to a tombstone nearby, kneeled in front of it, then started to kind of ‘shake’ the thing and yell at it, saying: ‘Wake up, dude! Why don’t you wake up? Don’t you know you’re supposed to wake up one day? Why don’t you wake up now? Wake up!’ Then he started to brush away with his little fingers the dirt and soil deposited on the tombstone over the years. He kept at it until his parents – who weren’t really paying attention to what the kid was doing – called him away. And even then he kept looking back.

I just thought this was extremely fascinating, and I had to share it with the world. And now, I’ll just pop my last NaPoWriMo poem. Which is also – appropriately enough, methinks – kind of ‘final’ in theme and tone.

Too Late, too Early
by Kalyiel

Out of the mist, you held out your hand,
Reached to me, beckoned me to follow.
So I followed, followed to the bottom
Of each glass of wine, where blue pearls
Grow on shrivelled lambskin scrolls.
I followed to the peak of the sky,
Where angels still fight for the love of God.
I followed to the Gardens of Hell,
Where mad or intoxicated painters
Transmute their hands into paintbrushes
And draw flame circles around themselves.
I followed you home. But I stopped
In front of your door and there
I let you go. I let you go, although
Your hand, from the mist, was still
Beckoning. ‘Farewell,’ I said, ‘I’ve walked
You home, but now it’s getting late.
I can’t stay overnight. But I promise,
I promise I’ll see you in the morning.’


Shadows Again

Getting serious again in the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo. For some reason, I’ve written about shadows again.

[screencap from this video, via]

Shadow Baby
by Kalyiel

Lately I’ve been able to hear shadows
Moving stealthily with these, our bodies,
The sound of their airy shackles as they
Trudge between flesh and soul, moaning
Miserably on the floors, walls, pavements,
Trailing off blindly, ape-like, neither
Here nor there, neither alive nor dead.
At first, I thought I was just imagining
Everything, but then I felt I could hear
These sounds closer and closer. So I looked
Behind me and there it was, my own shadow
Crying like an infant, flickering with
Rustling noises. I bent down and picked
It up, nursed it with loving-care, fed it
Milk and apples and bread and butter and jam.
Now it’s getting clearer, much clearer,
I think it has put on some weight.
I can almost discern its face and I think
It looks nothing like me. It probably
Takes after the world.

Good, that’s that, now for some random trivia. After writing the poem, I googled “shadow baby” out of curiosity, and I found out that there’s actually a whole novel by Margaret Forster called just that, “Shadow Baby”. Evie and Shona, born almost 70 years apart, are women of very different personalities. But as their stories unfold, it becomes apparent that they share much more than their yearning to find the mothers they never knew. – the Amazon UK description says. Also, there is a series of seven books called Shadow Children, a dystopia in which any third child born to family has to be killed. Well, isn’t that something?

Two in One: Days 27 and 28 of NaPo

Dear NaPoWriMo,

Sorry for skipping yesterday’s poem, but surely the fact that I had to pull an (almost) all-nighter is enough of an excuse. 😛 To make up for it, I have written two poems today (and no, the fact that they’re both haikus doesn’t mean I’m not playing fair! 🙂 ).

by Kalyiel

Light, spilling like wine
Between window and carpet:
Blackbird souls in flight.


by Kalyiel

There is no sweetness,
Only wax melting on cake:
Happy Unbirthday!

Also, a treat for my dear fans. 🙂 You can read my new article for Mookychick, on conceptual gaming, here! (And oh how I love that they published it under the “Girl Geek” section! xD)

Theme: Childhood

Creativity’s welling up again after a few days of just throwing random, arid words on the paper. Today’s poem’s turned out a little better, I think. It’s a bit weird, structure-wise and tone-wise, but I wanted it to have a weird feel to it.


by Kalyiel

She was like a fruitful soil that imbibed the airs and dews of heaven, and gave them forth again to light in loveliest forms of fruits and flowers; but then she was often dark and rugged as that soil, raked up, and new sown with unseen seed.
~ Mary Shelly, “The Last Man”

It has been chasing her all around:
An army of prophets with long, dry faces,
An army of apocalyptic angels, the sort
That unfold their many pairs of wings
And impale sinners, and eat unbaptised children
Alive. It has been chasing her all over
The playground – her feet are numb,
Her legs are stiff from running,
Her lips are dry from thirst and unspoken fear.
These visions, they want her soul,
Her tender child’s soul, so juicy,
So filled with golden fish, the wish-fulfilling
Kind, fish-phantoms that sing in undertones,
Discernible only to children and dying people.

Run and hide,
Little girl,
The world is wide,
Give it a whirl.

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Four: Metamorphoses

Incredible, but true: I am running out of inspiration. (Or maybe I’m just very tired…)

Self-Portrait as a Grotesque
by Kalyiel

Perched onto an oriel window,
I look down at the city.
No one looks up, except children
And tourists. But if they would,
They’d see a pair of green eyes –
The moss made them green,
And when I look down, I see
As Nero saw, when he watched
Gladiator fights; they’d see
An open mouth – wide-open,
Invaded by ivy and bastard flowers,
Feeding on my tongue, their roots
Reaching to the base of my throat,
Choking a scream of horror.
They’d see insects, parading
Over my face, sucking at my pores,
Laying eggs inside my ears.
Perched onto an oriel window,
They’d see a wild garden,
Irregular green, and nothing else.

Day 23 of NaPoWriMo

I’m afraid I couldn’t find a suitable image/video/song to go with this one, so I’ll just proceed to the poem.

Burning Judas
by Kalyiel

Then everybody tramped to the churchyard. The effigy was dragged to an open place, a black baseball hat on its head, and a half dozen drunken men fell upon it, shouting, kicking, ripping at the limbs.
~ Cynthia Gorney, “A People Apart” (National Geographic, November 2008)

Stomping to the burial ground, they
Wrapped their spider-hands around his head –
The mad shrieks created an unbreakable silence,
Overthrowing God on His throne –
They tied him to a stone effigy,
A decapitated angel with eagle wings,
And then and there they torched him.
They even took their clothes off,
Wrapped them in a bundle and lighted them,
So that they might burn every bit of flesh,
Every bone, every nook and cranny
That might have been hiding his Soul.
His Soul was a pitiful thing –
They found it, scared and shivering,
Behind an upset tomb. It was so thin,
Almost invisible, they almost missed it.
But then – they seized it and took it
To their prison, where they judged it
And found it guilty. The next Saturday,
At dawn, they burned it at the stake.