THE LAUREL CRYPT

The Laurel Crypt

revision: 9/11/21

.   .   .

Ophelia


By the way of Dallinson’s dark alley
I skipped the journey of the cold returning
tortured souls I thought, their coats heavy
with night, the burden of their daily wages
I wrested my eyes, the lights, the sticky rain

To journey for one minute doubtless, free
down still cobbled, quiet passages where 
I hoped again to see my love, offer friendship
if she could still sense fragrance behind the walled
floweres of my desire, Jasmine, Lilac, Laurel beds

This para-cloak of wetted stones melancholy
my collar pulled round, I the thief who creeps
in memory of a much sweeter time, no injury, no folly
a sunshine lisp and blessed her summer dress
clean smile, breathing eyes, hair natural as honey

The august of my thunder- set, there is no losing
as peoples chant their holly wishes, exchange kisses
lightning strikes best when unbeguiled but precedes
the deepest drama, that rumbles under, if only love
did not carry hurt to others, happiness which smothers

Starved of light the key now lay within my pouch-
pocket oozing, surrendered of my choosing to unfold
the sight of my love after all this unnecessary time
the clock on the highroad of the mundane chimed nine
and I tippy-toeing, a street-bum in the ashy shadows

I had time to contemplate my dark-wood choices
watch the flames turn rosewood to ebony then redolence
still chived of the sweetness of a kiss that woke the thunder
of those many conversations of bliss, nought happened
but now they would, I would see my Freya, norse princess

Two sailors are approaching dressed in alcohol and cheer
I pass, stepping to the left, bereft of virtue continuing
the leaning steps distended, another light showing, slants 
grey raindrops, turns this medieval scene Karloffian the night
Shakespeare is rising, attention mused, another passer-by

Brianna, my age to thee you said was too advanced, prior
though might I have been thy wedding charm, thou the new 
dressed in gentian blue, adoration thy embroidered garter
I was away in my revelries, the rain descending came stronger
woke me to my task, the diablos leering, my angels protect

The flowered wall lay silently to the left precluded by my camber
I caught faint aroma, ambivilent in consequence I was assured
of gesture yet also certain such floweres had long departed
as swallows, the purpled swift, do their nests in gabled rafters
beneath those broken tiles, gutters, in the street they hung over

Like the drunk I found and stepped over, he in blackest coma
besides his girth I found the door, my key to open, step inside
the windows blinded foresaw the cold, clinical light of science
of medicine and I previously assured my angel lay not scarred
within the dormitory of the dead and fallen, the east-wing crypt

The while I intoned so dark a discovery, the picture in my mind
remained the same and blossoming, of days we were alone
the walk by the river, her secret passage she had shown
good-naturedness, quiet contentment yet a patient longing,
dawning of a fervent hope, passion ham-strung, wracked

I slipped, nervous to sound, not ghost nor ghoul but prying eyes
who might not try to understand this tryst with love on sacred ground
as tryst it be were my lover able to welcome me this grainy night
who never welcomed me before but coy mischance accepted
now the dance of our strange romance, her beauty, her loyal beast

This turning of the lever I had reached allowed me breath, belief
I could not contemplate nor anywhere the taint of death
certainly not hers as I scrambled for the door to enter hades
and in the whitest room, the blackness, a briefest lady-shape
draped, daubed by one sheet as my confederate had promised

Hush of night gathers as an orchestra to tune, I the band leader
who raised his arm not to muster yet betray shadows on the wall
they travelled, magnified, the yardarm on a ship a’fore it sails
then the sheet, I yanked it at the corner it fell as rivers to a waterfall
and there she lay as sweet and soft, yet cold and pinched of grey

Her form, as of any other woman, now my torture concluded
upon her face the faintest smile, her hair fell long on morbid sheets
the rest of her now complete, her breasts, her stomach and her valley                     quite how I had imagined her, in life and death, she the perfect lover
I touched the bleaching skin in places believing not that she was dead

I could see visions, angels in attendance, her music a choral cadence
she, more perfect now I thought, I clasped her calmness, her clamminess
lifting her naked torso, stiff like dead branches to me, hot tears spiralling
as early rain spots from a golden cloud with blackened belly, this rain                    falling on her jellied breasts, mounds that held my sad regret closer to me

It came the awe-filled realisation, I lay her gently back upon the
covered slab, her arms awkward, like de-assembling a deck-chair 
a quiet gurgling, acrid smell of death, my Brianna long, since departed
I reached for a petri dish too late, the pallid contents of my stomach
were writhing on the floor, her carcass now mis-shapen, haunting

On leaving Dallinson’s undertakers I caught the menthol in the air
the rain now departed as my love, eucalyptus, lemon and mint
that ionised feeling after-storms will bring I remembered as a child
collecting butterflies with pins, the trick to finish them without distress
or damage, laurel leaves in a glass jar, put them to sleep never to waken

                                                        ©edenbraytoday11.09.2021 (revision 9/11/21)

#Author’s Note :-

Some may view this a morbid tale and yet it is ‘a song of love’.

Although not in any way pictorially related to the horror of 9-11 it is nonetheless, dedicated to all those who lost loved-ones at 9-11 in the strangest and most tortuous of circumstances at the behest of warped minds and the ugliest, most calculating and putrid terrorism the world has probably ever known – although recognising the depravity that humanity is capable of sinking to – I doubt that is really a true statement at all.

On the morning after the horror of 9/11 I spoke with an associate who had lost all his workmates, he had stepped out of the office when the atrocity occurred. Cash was a bright, intelligent, imaginative and enthused young stockbroker – that morning after – his world was destroyed probably for ever – Cash was a muslim, a creative, promising young worker and a very decent human being – my heart goes out to Cash right now wherever he may be and all the lovers, fulfilled or unrequited who lost friends, family and their hopes for humankind that terrible, terrible, terrible sordid day!

I wish you all your still so painful happiness.

– edenbray 11th September 2021 (revision:9/11/21)

illustration – Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais

About edenbray

I'm a writer ... I write .. . I’m not sure why I ever stopped, was it 9/11? .. . edenbray is born ugly, wet and covered in blood, mucous and bodily functions ~ the effluence of my short life .. . I am a Writer and Artist since 1966 - I'm an avid Blogger ~ I write lots of poems, written essays, articles, reviews, opinion + comment .. . I have had many poems selected for Anthologies of verse and recently have published many of my poems in 24+ themed booklets ... please ask for details - join the shebang by leaving me a marker with a 'like' or a comment for my ego and encouragement and thanks for listening - I really value your interest ~ edenbray
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