Today in my heart a vague trembling of stars and all roses are as white as my pain…

mum2

“Hello Mum…” i say

from closed throat
as i choke on tears
of the inevitable.

she is slumped
on one side.
three pillows.
three pillows hold you
and support you as
you gaze through me
with eyes dim
and full of antipsychotic
medicine.
“medicine”
medicine that has taken
my Mother and held her hostage.
it seems dark in here, in there.
there is precious little light
here now…
and it is fading fast.

i wipe the tears from my eyes
and the drool from her chin.
‘medicine’ they say.

her hands, the skin – so soft, flaccid
and thin
like tracing paper
delicate like a trace
of life… where is that spark?

where is that fire?
that spirit?
that beautiful soul?
where is my hero –
where is she?
where did she go?

“oh Mum…” i say
and hold her hand, tight.
i don’t want to let go.

“Mum? Can you hear me?”
i know you’re in there, somewhere…
do you hear me?
do you hear me, crying in the night for you
like i did, as a child,
when the monsters would come
into my dreams.
i need you, Mother.
i need you – but i can’t find you.
i can see you but
you are no longer here,
in my world.
where are you?
where did you go?
i have so many questions, Mother.
so many questions…

“Let me sing to you…” i say, choking
on dread.
i can barely breathe. gravity is
crushing and caving my chest.

i can see you, but
you’re not there.
do you hear me?
please, come back to me.
do you want to come back?
is it better where you are?
away from the grieving for the lost one;
away from the pain and prison of illness
and isolation;
away from the four walls that house you;
away from the loneliness of not hearing
or remembering…
“Oh Mum…” i say
“come back to me…”

come back to this world
where we wait…
where we, your flesh and blood, wait
for you to return.
but…
looking into your eyes, i can tell
that you are
not coming
back…
are you?

Oh Mother.
you are unaware of how my mind
tortures my heart
as i think of you,
now a prisoner of the bones
and flesh that house you…
… and your smile.

i watch you smile at me,
your mouth quivering,
frail… failing.
i think of your voice and
how you loved to sing.
is there music where you are?
because you love music and
you love to
sing…
sing for me, Mother.
sing a song for me
to comfort me –
just like you did when
i was a child.
sing out loud so i know you are there…
so i can follow your voice…
so i can find you.
i know you are in there… somewhere.

where did you go?
you left so quickly.
your eyes are shadows.
your eyes, once teeming with light,
now tired.
tired of seeing.
tired of seeing this
broken slideshow of your life.
do you see me?

do you think of me,
your youngest child.
your youngest daughter.
do you remember my laugh;
my face;
my name?

where are you, Mother?
i wish you could return
so we could take a walk
through the woods
and talk, like
we used to.
where are you, Mother?
i wish you could return
and brush my hair and
you could tell me all about where
you have been… and
what it’s like there.

because…

“i miss you, Mum…”

i seek a moment’s comfort
in knowing in your fugue
state of mind
that you are, perhaps, blissfully
unaware of
what this world has become
without you.

and yet… i am full of fear:
fear of knowing that this is the end;
fear of knowing that you are alone… there;
fear of knowing you are struggling, perhaps,
to return… clutching thoughts
with only fragments of this
and that
and this reality; with only
broken
and dis-
jointed memories and
not knowing
what
is
real.

are you lost?
or are you rambling through
the forest of your mind?
lost in that deep, dark forest.
do you know where you are?
or are you lost – in a manic
panic –
desperately searching
for a way
to come
back.

if you could, would you find your
way back
to me?
to us?
to the world you have left behind?
or…

are you happier in this sedative dream?

what is it like there, Mother?

sleep does not come easy to me these days.
i lie awake, listening to the sea and
think of you, drowning… choking… fighting
for breath… searching
for the familiar… a lifeline… to
fight against the black water
and return to us.

Oh Mother. what am i to do?
what am i to do, without you?
i am not yet ready to be an orphan.
sure, i am a grown woman
but you are my mother.
you gave me life
and now i look
towards the end
of yours.

Oh Mother.
are you too far gone?
somewhere… in that frail
and useless body
i know you exist.
i know you are in there…
but…
i can’t get to you.
i hope you can hear me?
hear my thoughts?

i hope you can hear me, Mother
as i have not abandoned you.
i am right here.

i worry that in this pergatory
you can see us… see our tears.

“why is it so dark in here?”

is it dark where you are, Mother?
is it?
i wish i could let some light in.

i wish i could just…
i wish…
i…

if you find light in your darkness, Mother,
don’t be afraid.
i have not abandoned you.
i am right here.
i will always be right here.
i hope you find some light
in your forest…
“it’s a beautiful day today, Mum”
“the sun is shining…”

what is that sound?
oh it’s my own voice.

(c) Kat McDonald 2017

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– watching someone you love be consumed with dementia is heart-wrenching… especially so when that someone is your mother… the one who gave you life and light and love.
it’s hard to watch your world become slowly starved of that light as her life slips from her, and you, with certainty of lengthening shadows and loss, can do nothing but wait.

and that weight is unbearable.

today, my heart was broken… more than i ever thought possible.  my Mother had not been allowed any visitors for almost a week as she, sadly, had to be sectioned for her own safety.  today was the first of me seeing her in a little over a week.  the change was, inevitably, a huge departure from the soul i last saw.  she is fading fast, like roses.

mum

my mother, aged 15

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my mother, a keen photographer it would seem…

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my  mother, on her wedding day…

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my mother, with my lost brother, William, who died 10 weeks before i was born. he was 18.

Title borrowed from one of my other heroes… Federico Garcia Lorca:

Autumn Song
November 1918

[translated by DK Fennell]

Today I sense in my heart
a vague tremor of stars,
but I lost my way
in the midst of fog.
The light trims my wings
and the pang of my gloom
will moisten the memories
at the font of knowledge.

All roses are white,
as white as my sorrow,
but the roses are not white
that have snow on them.
Once they dressed in a rainbow.
Besides there’s snow on my soul.
The snow of my soul is
kissed by flakes and scenes
which disappear in shadow
or in light when thought of.

The snow falls from the roses,
but the soul’s remains,
and the grapple of the years
makes a shroud of it.

Will the snow melt
when death takes us?
Or will there then be other snow
and other roses more perfect?
Will there be peace among us
as Christ teaches us?
Or will there never be
a solution to this question?

And if love cheats us?
Who will resurrect us
if twilight buries us
in the scientific truth
of Good, which perhaps doesn’t exist,
and Evil which flutters nearby.

What if hope gives way
and Babel ensues,
what torch will light
the roads on Earth?

If the blue sky is a fantasy,
what will become of innocence?
What will become of the heart
if Love has no arrows?

And if death is death,
what will become of poets?
and things in a cocoon
which no one remembers?
Oh sun of hopes!
Clear water! New moon!
Dull souls of stones!
Today I sense in my heart
a vague tremor of stars
and all roses are
as white as my sorrow.

letting go: the right time to die

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i remember, as a child, everything being so tall… perhaps it’s my earliest memory.  i remember everything being above me… the dining room table… what was there?  the kitchen work surfaces… the bathroom sink, where i would struggle on tip-toes to wash my hands… the book case… the ceiling…  the shelves in my bedroom, stacked with toys, all just beyond my reach… and the sky… the Heavens… seemed so far away in both distance and time.

i remember walking through a forest of legs.  i remember my mother’s legs.  i remember holding onto them in places familiar and places new.  i would cling to them when i was scared, unsure or feeling lost amid the voices and conversations i was not yet old enough to comprehend…  lost, amid the cigarette smoke and the laughter and the music;  lost, in another world, an adult world,  a world i couldn’t fully feel at home in, but home it was.  i remember that with one stroke of my mother’s hand upon my head everything would feel better.  and i loved it when she sang to me.

i remember looking up at my mother, admiring her… how pretty i thought she looked with her hair curled and shining; her face smiling down at me with so much love in her eyes. love, tinged with sadness.

oh, i knew that she loved me. i knew that she cherished me because she told me that i was precious.  precious because 10 weeks before i was born, my mother lost a son.  a son called William, he was 18 years old.  he was just a boy. a beautiful young boy.  a boy that my mother said i looked like.

i remember looking up at a particular photograph.  i remember wondering why the boy in the photo made my mother cry and wondered if the reason she often cried when she held me was because of him, or me.  i remember, one day, taking that photograph and stuffing it face-down in a drawer.  i didn’t want my mother to be unhappy any more, and the boy in the photograph seemed to make her unhappy.  all of the time.

she went crazy, tearing open cupboards and drawers… then she found it.  she asked me why i put it ‘there‘…  i told her.  and, again, she cried.  it was then she told me the story of William: the brother i never knew.  the brother who she would, understandably, pine for for all her days.

time, forever the paradox, hushes that memory and that day seems so far away – in both time and distance.

today i went to visit her in hospital.  she is 90.  she is frail.  she is small.

today her eyes are still tinged with sadness, but they still teem with love when i walk in the room.

she is a shadow of her former self.  she is not eating and is barely drinking.  she is not well, neither physically nor mentally.  i wonder if she is just biding her time here with us. i wonder if she is simply tired of the struggle… tired of the pain… the loss and the hopelessness.  has she given in?  has she lost the will to continue on, in this cracked and useless mortal coil?

she tells me she’s done, yet she asks me if i’m happy.

“yes!!” i say… with resounding cheer in my voice.  “i am very happy.  the happiest i have ever been”

… and yet upon hearing the resignation in her voice, i am the saddest girl on Earth.

as i fold my arms around her bony frame, i am reminded of my own mortality and the cruelty of death and loss.  i feel like i am losing her and if i hold her too tightly, she may just disappear from me altogether and leave me in a blind panic.

a panic.  just like a time when i was a little girl, shopping with my mother and father, and losing her amid a strange, deep and dark forest of strangers’ legs and loud voices, and hideously patterned floor.  i remember looking… searching… frantic for my her, for her legs to cling to… for her hands to stroke my head… for her voice… that song in her voice.

i was lost.

at a loss, and lost – as i feel right now.

but today, i am taller.  my mind, still curious, is now awakened to the weird fairtytales that were once adult conversations.  the smoke has cleared and i’ve learned to dance to the music. i have found my voice and i have travelled to the other side of the world.  i no longer search for her legs to cling to and hide behind… oh… but what i wouldn’t give to be able to be a child again… for one day… to be, once again, with my able mother and have her hold me and tell me everything is going to be alright.

because it’s not…

… she isn’t going to get better.  her body is failing and her mind is permanently on vacation; it has a one-way ticket out of here.

i wish I could keep her here, now… or in that memory… but maybe i am not enough… maybe my brothers… her grandchildren… maybe a visit from her other daughter…?  or  maybe… maybe our family is not enough to keep her here.  i mean… how could it be? it’s incomplete.  someone is missing… someone vital… someone who could have sealed the cracks.

tonight, i stood tall and gazed up at the ceiling… there are cracks in the ceiling… some big, some small… many irreparable.  just like those memories of childhood, when i would gaze up in wonder.  the mystery is no longer a mystery.  the cracks no longer hold mystery;  she is no longer a mystery, but yet i marvel at how she managed to go on after such loss.  i know what she wants.  the cracks are beginning to show. they are deepening stress fractures from bearing such a load.  life. loss. death.  death of a son.  death of her parents.  death of her sisters and brother.  death of her husband and my father.  death of friends.  death of her able body.  death of hope.

but her mind is, strangely, liberated.  i take comfort in that.

sitting side by side on her hospital bed, haplessly covered with a stained blue blanket, we talk.  she tells me she’s done.  she tells me she is tired.  she tells me things that only her eyes can convey.

as a grown-up, i now understand. i get it. but oh it is hard to bear.  hard to hear.  hard to accept. but not hard to comprehend.

she is trapped inside ‘this useless body’ – she is imprisoned. imprisoned in ward 3.  imprisoned in her dementia and silent world.  it is no wonder she prefers to escape with sleep.  sleep ‘to pass the time until…’

‘until what, Mum?  elevenses? visiting hours?’ i ask, choking on my own throat.

[the big sle..?]

but her mind is on holiday, she changes direction, and once again i am that little girl lost.

so… should i patch up the ceiling… could i patch it up?  could i patch her up?  if only i could, yet i wonder…  if i should?  i feel as though i am losing her, little by little, crack by crack and splinter.

maybe i should let her go…  or have i lost her already?

 

(c) Kat McDonald 2017

 

 

 

 

into the wild… the making of ‘Wilderness’

“WILDERNESS” – a collection of 13 songs inspired by animals; animals that have been totemic in the relation between a man (Robert Davidson) and a woman (myself, Kat McDonald).

a sound born in a storm. this is what happened when a bird fell from the sky and foxes followed us home. this is supernatural, homespun honesty. this is soup, at 4am. this is a map of the stars that trace our fate. this is paprika tea. this is animal instinct. this is our story. our music.

this is the sound that came from a gorge . this is what happened when lovers cut each others hair with a samurai sword. this is inside out and up ‘n’ down. this humble creation from this hibernation. baring and purging. this is defining heroes. this is katsu curry & fermented pears. this could be winter. these are our scars. this is our music.

this is the chaos of living with panthers in a house by the sea, where ravens share their secrets with those who speak their language. this is our allegiance to our ancestors and the salt in our Bourbon. two years of travelling the sun, we are finally home.

Source: into the wild… the making of ‘Wilderness’

Listen to WILDERNESS >> HERE <<

the self-hypnotist

third-eye-aye

“…. you are slowly going into a state of deep relaxation. Slowly and surely, your entire body and mind are relaxing, relaxing, relaxing. you are going deeper and deeper and deeper, into a state of deep relaxation. each and every muscle of your body is now relaxing. everything is so peaceful and quiet. now, counting backwards from 10, you will descend a small staircase….  10…. 9…. 8………………..5……………….. …………. ………………..”

the voice of the self-hypnotist tails off into the night. a new night. a new year.  the voice, now distant, fades into obscurity. into oblivion.

i lie in the dim of my chamber with the weight of the night, and gravity of the new year, pressing upon me. my mind is swirling in the crush and chaos, like Betelgeuse, on the verge of explosion.  i can feel the night creep in and saturate the familiarity of my furnishings and turning them into oddities and unrecognisable shapes.  all is quiet. the flickering street light, right outside my window, casts shadows across the walls and ceiling; just as my mind casts aspersions as to what this new year, 2017, will bring.  this new year is barely four hours old and already i am judging her and making assumptions.

[why do we do that?]

it is these early hours of a new year that bring a manic panic and wild sense of urgency.

[calm… focus on that voice, Kathryn…]

 through my open window, i see that the stars are still in their correct places – no need for adjustment; the sea continues to roll in and out just as it did in the old year. another night of constant tides, and glad tidings. the still and almost silent night is punctuated by the odd yelp or peal of laughter from drunks as they stagger home like the walking wounded… or the waking dead.  the last of the NYE party people.  all i can hear now is the gentle of hum of distant traffic, the drone of the self-hypnotist’s voice and the yelp of an urban fox.  the blackness of the sky, like a shark’s eye, is murky in my blindness.  the walls of this chamber are illuminated by that lonely failing street lamp outside, casting sparks like a beacon of hope for the lost, the lonely and the fucked up.

Alf, my cat lies, sprawled by my side, on his back with his furry flank exposed in complete trust.  on occasion, he stretches out his paw and pads gently at my hand. no claws. just a tender acknowledgement of our mutual affection.  i lean in and kiss his stomach. he does not flinch nor fight.  he just sighs, softly.  in this light, he looks as though he may be smiling.

i lay back beneath the blanket of night and close my eyes.

[wtf?!]

there is no colour in the desert. no colour and no sun.  only a clock, where the sun once hung, high in a sky that once was blue.  now everything is monochrome.

with hands on hips, parched lips and bare feet, i look around me. the air is strange.  where am i?  am i still on Earth? the soft, warm breeze whips up a fine salty dust and carries it across the desert valley floor.  the sky is vast and humbling.  large white clouds billow and gather pace.  the breeze sucks them together.  i watch, in awe, as they amass and form a canopy up and beyond me.  why there is no colour is beyond me.  the sky is black.  the clouds continue to change shape and quicken, as if to summon uncertainty.  this reality is in time-lapse.  everything is moving fast, it is only i who remains still.  the clock’s long arms and broken hands spin around and around and around, faster, faster, faster… day becomes night becomes day.  clouds continue to feed my imagination with the flight of dragon-like formations.  what does this mean?   and i am thirsty.  i am so thirsty.

dawn breaks and the clock disappears.  a new sun begins to rise, feverish, in a purple sky.  in time-lapse, shadows lengthen and spread across the desert floor.  i feel the sun warm my skin and realise i am more than thirsty.

for water?

or knowledge?

with this new sun, comes a new dimension.  i look to my right and there is an office. an office with a door but no walls; an office with a desk and chair, a chaise-longue and standard lamp, but no ceiling. on the desk there is an aspidistra, a tall glass of water and a notepad and pencil.  they are placed in position, with near poetic precision, by a wiry and bent old man in a dark grey polyester suit.  his hair is wild; long and grey and his beard is unfurled before him, like a long and winding road.  sensing my presence, he turns to me and fixes himself, pulling down his sleeves, straightening his tie and hurriedly brushing off one or two loose hairs and specks of dandruff from his sloping shoulders.

standing upright,  i see that he is a tall and thin man with a large bony nose and sunken cheekbones.  his round steel-framed spectacles hang off the end of his nose. the lenses are thick yellow and make his eyes look cartoon-like and massively oversized for his gaunt face.  he beckons to me, and gestures to me to recline on the brown chaise-longue.  and so, i do…

the man takes the glass of water and drinks it all down.  my lips are parched and i feel dry.  thirsty.  for water, and for knowledge?  but what of that?

he tells me to look up at the hole in the sky. i relax in the chaise-longue, nestling into its comfort and warmth, and look up at the sky.  he is correct. there is a hole in the sky.  a small puncture wound. i focus on its torn edges as if it were ragged wallpaper and begin to imagine what i would see if i were to continue peeling it away.  what would i expose?  what would i find behind this beautiful illusion.

the man stands over me. he smells like paper.  he then, silently, anoints my forehead with oil, fragrant like turquoise.  i feel myself levitate. his fingers connect with my soul and i feel a stream of information ‘download’ from his fingertips through my pineal gland and down into my solar plexus.

i feel tethered to his knowledge and yet, strangely, free.  suddenly, i am no longer thirsty and i find myself crying at the beauty and simplicity of it all.

he tells me all about the birth of the universe. he explains the many paradoxes and paradigms that have both puzzled and defined us.  he tells me all the secrets: he shows me star maps, new colours, code… he tells me the truth about ‘God’.  he explains the matrices of our existence, and our co-existences in the universes of our past, present and future lives.  he explains why. he explains how.

he instructs me not to tell anyone about what he has shared with me.  there are many forces in existence, he tells me.

he tells me there is much to learn.

he tells me that the human race will not be on this earth in 500 years.

the old man then, taking my hands, leads me into a mirrored-glass pyramid.  inside, he claps his hands, like a flamenco dancer, and a holographic screen appears. immediately, it scrolls through hundreds of names of other human beings, from all over the world.  it is a barrage of information. hundreds of faces flash before my eyes.  instantly i look for familiar faces… my own face, my lover’s face, my mother, my friends…

the old man stands in front of me, commanding my full attention and tells me that in exchange for my newfound knowledge i must make an offering.

as the names of these humans scroll across thin air in front of me, he tells me that i must select 5 human beings to die.

take your time, he says.  choose wisely

the urgency in his voice, stokes my morbid curiosity and i ask him why.

why?  i say, as i scroll through the names and faces of many, many humans. ordinary humans, with ordinary lives.

you will not know any of these people, he says, but choose carefully as these people are all, to some degree, intrinsic to your very own existence.  what fate you decide for them will shape who you are today, tomorrow and who you were yesterday… choose wisely, or you may cease to exist.

 

the human mind is an unfathomable entity but i guess the lesson here, in this dream, is: while it is great to have a thirst for knowledge, know this: with great knowledge comes great responsibility.

 

(c) Kat McDonald 2017

i awoke from this lucid dream wishing i could recall the secrets i was told.  it was all too real, but perhaps i am not ready…  perhaps we humans are not ready to know the absolute truth…

 

 

 

 

Post-Brexit Thoughts from “An Immigrant”

Hello Followers and Casual Readers…

… I have to share this post written by a beautiful soul I have come to know through Social Media and mutual love of art and animals, floof and sweary words! I have not met the girl… YET… but I am working on it and I am confident that our paths will cross one fine day.
It saddens me to read this entry in her blog TetrisandCheesecakes because NOBODY should be made to feel like this. There is so much hatred in this world and we are all too quick to blame other outlets, such as mental health issues, media, peer-pressure blah blah blah… but really… the only person to blame for ignorance in the way we view and treat others is ourselves and our own blinkered ignorance.
I cannot abide racism. I cannot tolerate it and I will not turn a blind eye to it, but when a lovely girl, like Lucie, writes about the HELL that she has been through in her life only to be met with unfeeling and mindlessness by people in her circle of supposed ‘friends’ it is just too much to bear. NOBODY deserves to be treated like this. she is a human being. a wonderful, intelligent and caring human being.
please read this carefully and digest every word. she could be the girl next door, your brother’s girlfriend, your girlfriend, your daughter…. she’s a woman. a human being. being made to feel like an imposition, an inconvenience, an imposter, a freak, a taker, a faker… is completely immoral, unethical, cruel and ignorant.
next time you look at someone of colour, or converse with someone with a non-UK accent, please consider this: what is their backstory? they could be like Lucie. a good person, who fled from fear and certain death and control (something that privileged British white people cannot even begin to imagine) to a supposed better and safer life – only to be met with judgement, hatred and assumptions – is just insane. insane.
wake the fuck up, humans! #evolve

Tetris & (Cheese)cakes

The past few days haven’t been the easiest. I have seen so many stories of an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment, heartbreaking stories of families and schools being targeted by those who misguidedly thought a vote to leave the EU equalled sending all “foreigners” home. I may be unique amongst my friends as I do know people who voted “Leave” for reasons that didn’t include the immigration issue. They made the decision based on their own feelings and histories, and I really don’t want to detract from that. It’s tragic that though their personal reasons were not have racially motivated, their voices have now given credence to the racists and xenophobes in our country, who have taken their numbers as a sign that hate is justified. 52%. I really want to believe that 52% or Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland aren’t racists, and who want people like me to “go…

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soon…

soon

“soon….. x” he wrote.

“soon….. x”

 

[Oh the unquantifiable wait.
the undeniable weight.
oh the irrefutable beauty
of monosyllabic
poetry.

four letters. infinite variables. one critical
sum, happening in my head… quicker than
i can convey verbally
and i can be verbose.

soon = absolute x.

i was good at math
but you know that
don’t you?]

 

 

(c) Kat McDonald 2016

 

 

Hollywould, if she could

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cheap tinsel and smog – is all that you are. a cityful of fake folk and folklore; of deplorable schism and schizophrenic notion. Ah… Hollywould… if she could.
she’s a whoredom. she is like a box of adders; a modern-day Medusa; a mother with viper womb and crooked fangs.
Hollywould – the painted piranha; a fickledom where unforgiven forgotten pariah see only what they wanna.
blinding,
binding
like a cursed spell. look out, boys! she will poison your well being, and cheapen your aspirations.
she will deliver another suckerpunch, a blow below the belt, crushing the dreams of stardom of each new city-dweller.
watch your step.
wow… she’s something else!
a knock-out with glass jaw but she will always be the first to throw.
she’s a fault line but no great shakes. beneath the mask it’s, clearly, all fake. like the mountains she makes; and struggles, self-baked, of tremendous tremor.
[yawn…!]

“are those freckles real or are they melanin implants?”

[oh jesus…]

’tis becoming a seismic bore: predictable, needling or
just needy, like that waitress on a 16 hour shift.
Hollywould, if she could, for a cuntful of tips.
oh see how she is gifted – with envy-green eyes and marshmallow lips. Oh how those breasts, augmented, uplift.
and how that mouth can swear and prey.
that mouth…
Oh that pretty mouth and its infamy. it spews, spills and thrills; what’s it to be? spit or swallow?
guzzle ’til full, or remain forever hollow.
she’s the lying breath of the dying, or maybe she is just like our dying star, or a vagrant on the casting couch.
she will play you, work you – she’s no slouch.
is she fashionably contradictory or just prettily vacant?
and so it goes on – irrefutably blatant.
from upbeat to down beat – to a dead heat in heartbeat
and hysteria. with no pretty flowers downtown to adorn her
– only painted thorns, all shorn and forlorn there.
a plastic rose in a plastic surgeon’s clinic, its artificiality, leeching – its cheap scent and gaud leaves them nauseous and retching.
while the artist outside, on the kerb, is sketching.
Oh Hollywould – is a hall of mirror and delusion.
in a violent reality of wild superficiality, she thrives on and jives with collision and war.
warring, wearing and wearing thin, wearing down.
oh Hollywould – a dumb little clown; a piss-stinking parody of a circus town.
attention-seeking, she swings to and fro; a trapeze, a trap… she’ll cum and she’ll go.
fickle, sickle, scythe, and sick.
calculating and heartless, with a swinging brick.
Oh Hollywould, if she could, of that i am sure – cast her aspersions, as she walks out the door, with precision
like a whaler’s harpoon, direct and damaging in her oblivious lampoon.
Queen of the Damned, or  just damned Drama Queen.
“do as i say
or i’ll scream and i’ll scream…!”
and she will, ’till you’re down upon wounded knee;
she will have you jump through hoops of blowjobs and fire, ’til you please
or appease or get stuck in her mire.
one thing for sure…

… this is no town for a child.

(c) Kat McDonald 2016

cafe insomnia

cafe insomnia

where do you go
in the daytime,
when shadows are short
where d’you hide?
i know you are out there
somewhere…
waiting…
just biding your time.
are you watching
when i’m ordering coffee,
your bitterness stronger
than mine?
are you there when i slip underwater,
holding me ransom with rhyme?
when i lay
on the couch, with my guitar,
do you hope that i break
a string?
you choke on my neck
like a capo.
God, you must hate it
when i start to sing.
but it’s the smallest of hours
that you savour.
when shadows bleed into the night.
i acknowledge you in bed beside me,
your cursed cold-handed humour,
as i struggle to just stay alive.

(c) Kat McDonald

– writers’ block exercise: a 10 minute poem about any chosen subject. last night’s subject was ‘insomnia’ – equal parts curse & gift.

associative disassociation dissociation disorder

3d concept illustration of a candy bag

a 3d misconception of life

sunshine and Aretha Franklin. must be Friday. a sanctuary. a day.

reject. eject.

i wonder about the long-haired hitch-hiker at the side of the road, resting his thumbs upon the biggest blue backpack i have ever seen. he wants to be free of this small Scottish seaside town. what makes him happy?

yellow jackets terrorise the kids. ganging up, in swarms of thirty-three to three. they want their sugar lips and stickiness.

Siamese twins stand, holding hands, on an island in the slum and slump themselves down. dual-despondence. real or illusion?

a grey-haired old lady serves hot soup from the street corner. her dirty fingernails in filthy and frayed finger-less mitts do not repulse the starving and the cold.

meanwhile, a young-girl pirouettes on blades in an ice arena nearby. the spray of cold ice rains down upon the young-boy watching in awe of her breasts and the arc of her back. wake up.

Rod Stewart tells Maggie to wake up. i have indigestion.

a young Asian boy on a red bike stops to rescue a red kite, caught in a tree. to set it free. ’tis all he wants.

the sign says ‘get in lane, Lois’. i do my best, but my patience is thread-bare. this is not real.

i can taste paper. eh?

smoker, or vaper? popcorn lung anyone? ‘you can’t do that here, mate’ says the driver. ‘how no?’ replies the man.

‘how no?’ – what the fuck does that even mean?

and a-round-a-bout we go.

green trees spark a thirst for green tea.
free parking. and yes… it’s true…
somewhere, a dog is barking…

white sky. why? windscreen and wounded fly.

for sale. my reflection, pale. the image should fetch $7. you wait and see.

Chinese banquet or dance with a prophet? don’t decide now. you get a free 14-day trial. no credit card details required.

and it is pretty here. in this hand-stitched field of daisies. this is the prettiest blanket.

discovery and shadows, blind. “taxi to Golf City?” no thank you.

a great white shark for the amusement park. her hunger and crescent-shaped tail prevail. she will cut you in two as soon as look at you.

weightless or weight loss. trim the fat.

scrambled brain from Scrabble game. i see Little Miss Muffet has a new friend.

tuning fork or fork in the road. left or right? flat or sharp?

colourful flumes dip and curl from a great height into the cold grey sea, the same sea that many have written about before me.

weak bridge. is it really weak or is it just tired, like me. my week is tiring.

ballet dancers spin in the brickyard and children paint green hearts on the gable end. a smile can disable, disarm. still, the satellite receivers twitch and turn.

i see a rose tattoo on an ample breast. “enough kindness to feed the world” she says.

a mini market pops up in the Land of Churches, whose spires aspire to greater things as the Garden of Eden swings, despite the rust and much mistrust. do you want or need what i am selling? either way, don’t sell your soul or sell out.

scaffold and cemetery flank my path. hope on one side and faith on the other.

i follow the white arrows through the Parish and take the ladder to the sky.

i watch the blue whale in the biggest blue polyester shell suit take to running and the myocardial risk of running a-ground. from bulging seams it seems like this one takes too kindly to the generous offer of mini-marts and TV ads of fizzy sodas at 99c a can. aspartame-based sugar-coated toxin. you in? you want one? maybe a pack of six?

sugar beats, sugar treats, sugar kiss, sugar kill.
and sugar will. wait and see.

there is a new Academy for new minds. am i too optimistic? can we farm a change?

the falcons hide. nowhere to be seen, despite the signs.

slabbing… this way (the arrow points to the left). is there a right way? i guess there is. what of this?

pressing on, i zip through the fields of Beautiful Fife.

i am now east of the wemyss. a town where the wheelie-bins talk. they talk about a revolution and their revolt for our failed devolution, our desperate attempt at evolution. they gather on the pavements, in their cabals and cliques. they are gossiping, chattering and clap-trapping. they are full of shit.

a man struggles with an umbrella by the side of the road but the traffic is under control. the X-men are not in service but the roses are… they climb and clamor, pretty and pink and narcissistic.

a shed with a sea view, as mythical creatures guard the entrance. mysterious.

the sky is a queer dark shade of white, i spot wild garlic growing in the hedge and my mind turns to Erik Weihenmayer; the blind man who climbed Mt Everest.
do i feel inspired or like an abject failure. i am so tired i could barely climb the thirty-nine steps that John speaks of.

what can i say? my week leaves me weak. but it is Friday. a green light.

a green light shines in the hanging garden of this Town of Gallows. a space where people scurry, with furrowed brows they flurry; their dreams pruned and pinned upon the Great British Pound and price of this Lotto life. scratch their cards to scratch their itch. enough rope to hang themselves.

i look across the sea to Rossyln.

i see the bridges. a third now across the Forth. build or burn?

it’s your turn. my mind wonders. my mind wanders.

“tuck in” says the fat monk, or Jolly Friar. jolly fryer. take your cupcakes and deep-fried pies, your nutritional myths and sugar-coated lies. stick them in the lard. drip feed the dripping. your diabetes crippling? not yet. but it will. quick! take a diet pill.

take a look. in the mirror.

breeze blocks of opportunity? cheap but offer no impunity.

i disappear beneath the bridge
and sunbathe upon the rail tracks.

(c) Kat McDonald 2016

– ramblings borne of the delirium & frustrations of trying to make the world a better place.

death is not pretty

proxy2

we all must die.
there is nothing
more certain
than Death.
today, on a bus ride,
i drove past Death.
i drove past
a graveyard
where i saw him;
where i saw more
than most; the
full-stop and
finality.

row upon row;
purchased and plotted
and boxed.
pick your spot
for all Eternity.
pick a plot,
south-facing,
to make the most
of the sun, but
Damn, these cold winters.
colder than cold, this is
the coldest cot.
row upon row
of the sofest turf
laid to rest
upon the resting.
Rest in Peace.
please…

please…
paint a picture
of the prettiest garden.
a garden of sorrow,
where rememberings grow
with each grave
visitation.
their memory haunts
our hearts but…

… what of the truth?
oh the sweet fragrance
of roses and tulips;
the pinks and whites
and yellows.
paint me a picture,
a pretty picture,
so i do not think.
so i do not think
of what lies beneath,
masked by perfume
and bequeathed bouquet;
masked by wreath
and the wrath of grief.

paint me a picture
of the pretty
and the sentiment
so that my mind
does not dig down…
down… down…
into the open mouth
of the hungry grave
where soil feasts.
down… down…
to sodden wood
and slipping skin…
down… down…
to rotting flesh,
purple and green-black
and bruisey.
down… down…
where pretty and
sentiment no longer
smell like Eden.

down… down…
where row
upon row of bloat
and twisted limbs;
where skin splits and houses
different life
that feasts
upon the flesh;
colonising cranial cavities*
where once dwelt
memories
of childrens’ laughter;
or hoarding in hands,
now gnarled and broken,
that once gave
a lover pleasure.
this different life
emerges…
crawling…
gnawing…
craving the putrid
and the putty.

inhabiting the shell
engulfing…
devouring what once is still
loved and whole.
paint me a pretty picture
please
so that i may forget
what i know
but…

… what of the soul?

words (c) Kat McDonald 2016 / image (c) Sally Mann – one of my favourite photographers

decomposition

 

*when my father died this was, for me, one of the hardest aspects of grief i, a 13-year old girl, had to comprehend. it haunted me for many years.  i can cope with the terror-visions now, but only just.  writing about it helps, i am sure i am not alone in my thoughts on this matter… is the body merely a shell?