Archive for the ‘Song of the Skylark’ Category


I remember my mother had a collection of shells
Their beauty, unique variety, natural swirls and structures flowed
Once perhaps a home, once protection bestowed
In the wake of their use to some hermit or runaway.

We’d spend hours, over the years, looking through them,
Turning each one over in curious hands, knowing each fissure, each dip
Every scratch. Imaging them tumbling under waves, under ships
Images of kings and their queens sailing by from distant shores.

Whenever I pick up shells at the beach,
I think of this collection and I am transported back to those days
And I love my mum and her amazing array
Of beautiful things she has shared with me.

A way to remember a memory,
When rifling through your bag, to find the keys in a frantic mess,
You find a shell, or a bead, or some other treasure that got you through some stress.
That kind of natural, transient possession, is the kind I like the best.


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Far from the maddening crowd.  She knows he was going to be in her sight.  Obsession. 

Looking up the word in the ‘concise Oxford Dictionary’,  I see that it means Of evil spirit, delusion or fixed idea.  The subject will haunt, harass, preoccupy, fill mind of the obsessed.  This is for a dear, dear friend.  He doesn’t haunt or harass.  He may preoccupy and fill a mind, but he is not of evil spirit or delusion.  Maybe he makes one insane, crazy, lunatic, deranged, maniacal and most distracted.  Dr Meridian says that a patient that suffers from obsessional syndrome with potential homicidal tendencies is described as a wacko! The only escape is the purge the fixation.  Are you saying I’m a wacko?  Are you saying that Anna is a Wacko??

She sees the kings and she sees the herd. They are guided on the path of honour.  The sound is for miles and miles and she looses her breath to the people who pay for this blessing.


My dear friend.  We talk of Andrew.  I’m sure you guess by now why I writes.  I need to get rid of it somehow.  I’m not going to end any fixations with violence, because there aren’t any obsessions.  How far do I need to go before I can reach the end? 

She needed him.  She wanted to hear his sound every day.  She wanted to see him when he wasn’t there.  When he walked away, she was empty.  On the day of rest and the day before, she cried,  like they talked, because nobody knew them.


Searching the everlasting depths for him, she has no choice but to stop her plight, so in the morning, she goes to sit amongst the sea of pages.  She gets to the door and her heart stops beating.  He is standing there, facing away.  Has he read her mind?  She starts to try to leave, she isn’t prepared, but he turns round, acknowledging her.  She can’t go now.  It would be so obvious.  Just go.  Forget him.  Calmly sitting down, she spreads out her work and begins to write in pink.  As he slides past, she whispers.

‘Can I show you something?’  Now you’ve done it.

‘Just a sec…’ He goes to find wisdom.

Go.  Go now.

They talk of the kings.  they talk of the music.  She shows him the writing.  Seeing an old pal, she walks and talks.  She splits her skirt and takes out her temper on the guru.  A slow silence as the two main characters of The Song of the Skylark write their controversial verse on the bridge by the woods.


Tonight the night she dreams of.  Her mind races with thoughts of colourful dance and beautiful words.  Arriving, she begins to forget and joins her friends on the flashing floor.  Her boyfriend remains the one she has.  Crowding people, each face familiar.  A sudden reminder as a girl whispers the appearance.  A group of excited faces smother the two that shine with hidden beauty, known only to a few.  She watches with a mixture of envy and joy, then walks to his side and taps on his broad shoulder.  He spins to face her.  Smiling briefly.  He’s gone.

She thinks nothing of it and then joins the crowd again.  Finally after an exchange of single words, no mind conversations, the girl and her friend don’t seem so close anymore.  Not understanding, the girl dances away.  With another, he does the same.  It shouldn’t be done.  When she looks in his eyes, she can’t name what she sees.   It could be pity, it could be sorrow.  If only it were love.  Over shoulders they stare.  Can she hear his voice?

He hates you. ..A voice so strange, so distant, yet so close. What are you going to do.

‘Who are you?’ confused, Anna cries silently inside.

I’m the one who’ll save your heart…can she hear singing?

‘My heart,’ She hears the far away song. ‘Who are you?’

A friend.

‘Can no one hear us?’

No one else knows us.

‘No one else knows us.’  Her mind repeats.  She listens with wonder and fear to the song of the Skylark.

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There is this kind of feeling
I get it when all the sounds merge into one
And when all the colours combine
So they go all kind of brown.
Over there I see that feeling
Is suddenly charging towards me,
Faster and faster.

There has to be a remedy.
I’ll get it when all my hope has gone
And when all my thoughts blend
To form this mass of images and grief.
I cover my face, but it doesn’t stop
The feeling that I know is going to hit.
Stronger and stronger.

What can I call this hell, this pain?
I get angry when I see it,
But I just can’t stop it coming at me
With rage I can’t even imagine.
When there isn’t anything more,
And when i can’t feel the pain,
That is when I’ll be cured.

It takes such a long time.
Everything I say, I stop.
Everything I do, I close.
Everything I feel, I pause.
But there has to be a cause.
You must know the cause.
The cause cannot control what it does.
Slowly, so slowly.


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She sits.  She waits.  She  waits an hour, a day, a month.  She passes his door and sees his silhouette.  He crouches over the work that looks like a sea of dark waves.  He stretches and she dips by the room, Making a full circle, like a seagull she swoops and dives, peeping.  Spying.  She waits.  Third time lucky.  She waits on her prey.  Stealing a cornered glimpse, her eyes blink and the keys jump and click with his gentle, rhythmic approach.

‘You’re hovering around as usual.’ he grins and flits away.  A sudden stop and he turns, an impulse to her waiting there.  Standing alone.  ‘How are you?’

She pulls back her hair and smiles, falsely shy. ‘I’m fine.  You?’  she laughs, ‘I sort of need your help.’  She leans against the wall.  The pictures tickle her  neck and she plays with the leaves of paper.  ‘I need your advice…are you busy…because all my friends seem to be busy and…’

‘I’m not.  I know.  Come with me.’

They walk back, tracing his previous steps.  His smell is of the sweetest breeze, of the fresh grass in summer.  She flies as high as the clouds.  She flies free with him.  Inside, she waits.  He smiles.  She smiles.  In his room, they speak of her life.   Secluded she would lay, with no sympathetic friend.  She decided he would be her friend.

‘A relationship must be based on honesty.  Not necessarily trust, but honesty.’  He flows with ease and their eyes meet.  She hardly thinks about how hard the cool wood of the table is.  Her elbow pains her, but pain is far away.

‘I get afraid’  she follows a design scratched into the wood dreamily with her finger, ‘I mean, is he thinking me…’

‘Or her?’  He taps his finger.  ‘Talk.  You can only talk.’

She nods.  She checks the time.  His perfect features dance as they watch.  She laughs.  The dark room echoes, empty, though full of them.  He leaves for lunch.  She thanks him…with they speak again?


The day starts .  A mermaid, she glides and with glittering tail, she thinks.  The wind blows her hair and kisses her skin gently.  A girl arrives.  Travelling by the lonely people, they stare.  Each face they see, they know.  They share harmless laughter.  Inside, she waits, remembering her friend.  Again.

An ocean of blue ripples over her.  She knows her time.  She lingers.  Restless.  Secluded she lies.  Where is her friend?

At screen she sits.  Reflection bored.  The embers of him in her heart are screaming he’ll be here, he’ll be here.  She feels that he is here, near.  Where?

They line up, three blind mice, three monkeys. wise.  Her in the middle.  They speak, they hear, they see.  See how they run.  Filing like a snake of spiritless colour, a walk they take every day falls before them at break time.  The middle one laughs.  Her friend has forgotten their time yesterday and she sighs with pain inside.

‘Boyfriend.’ the one on the left utters.

I’m not sure you’d understand the way I’m telling this, you see, the girl in the middle is the one on which I base my story.  Lets call her Anna, to make it easier on all of us.  I know when I say ‘she’ I mean Anna.  Her boyfriend is nothing.  He’s a minor character, but the friend…the sympathetic friend, he’s got to have a name.  I always liked Andrew.  Anyway, these two, she and the friend, Anna and Andrew have this thing.  They have a connection.  Something silent and unsaid.  Nothing physical, just a mutual respect.  I like them.  They are two beautiful but mixed up people.  This common ground is not a good thing. Hopefully by the end of all this though, you will see and know why they are so incompatible in any and every way. 

Anna sleepily grins at the boyfriend.  There isn’t much to say.  The other two mice chatter and squeak in girlie ways.   She can think of nothing but her friend.  The time plays on her mind like  deliberate torture and she looks back, waiting to leave – to return to her friend.

Back inside again, thank goodness.  She waits.  A second, a minute.  Her friend, his approach, like a familiar drumbeat deafens her.  She presses her hands onto her ears and can’t block it out.  She smiles at the pain.  She looks up.  The green-blue of his shirt flashes before her eyes.  She whispers hello and watches him fade away into the crowd.  It isn’t the way she wants it to be.  Will it ever be?


Today she tries to forget her friend.  For hours she splashes the blue with delicate strokes on the sheet before her.  Looking up, she meets his face.  A flustered smile.  He returns.  On every side he grows with curiosity.  He watches.  Approaching her, he raises his eyebrows, his beautiful eyebrows, with overwhelmed approval.  Her eyes avoid the background.  She sees nothing but him.   She tries to talk to him without speaking aloud.  If only he could hear her.  He is taken by force from her to his job.  She says goodbye without a word.  She looks forward to tomorrow.


Again she paints in misty blue.  Hours pass and she looks up every time a new face enters the room.  Never him.  She begins to give up, until suddenly, she hears his sound, smells his smell, feels the warmth melting her frosted heart.  His arrival – her deliverance.  Almost finished she can take the time to watch him.  She can hear him talk in her mind.  Concentration breaks.

‘Hello,’ his exquisite eyes say, and ask, ‘How are you?

‘Wonderful now!,’  she looks around. ‘Can no one else hear us?’

‘No one else knows us.’  He smiles.

‘No one else knows us.’  She repeats, ‘I’ve nearly finished.’

‘I know,’ he says with silent breath. ‘Its amazing.’


‘Ive got to go now.’

Another joins him.  She looks away, then back up at him.  He is watching her.  Could it be?

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