The Mantelpiece Diaries

How can I banish this fermenting guilt?
I dwell over the now putrid tobacco stained
Murk of my stagnant whiskey and lilt,
The harsh winds of winter attempt to explain,
It howls, many gather and many fade.

All I want to do is feast
On the insatiably weird,
I want to succumb to this vast spread
Laid out before the red beast,
Yet I remain frozen with fear.
Should it not be lusted after?
Should it not be prayed over?
Should it not be consumed with exhilaration?

Let us then sit at the table and carve our feelings and serve them to one and other.  Can I have some more of your pain please?  Pass the decadent decanter of your tears and pour me your soul, fill my glass to the brim.
She weeps, many gather and many fade.

It is all too easy to untie your silk cravat and demand to be waited on she proclaims.  I disagree.  The freshly stoked fire of our unhappiness reflects words encased in flaming yellows and burning oranges, somewhere beneath the coal, a fatigued red sits and glows, watching our rage dance so erratically.  Our crackling contradictions spit out and sting our skin with confusion.  Her brackish sobs are eventually pacified by the sacrifice of a wedding present.
Tiny smashed fragments of bone china on the hearth,
Spell many gather and many fade.

Both our knees are drawn tight to our chins,
I sit in the dark and she sits in the light,
Realisation sweeps over us and only now
The words “It’s over” seem right to utter,
We look up and smile velvet grins at each other,
It is ok for our lips to be synonymous
With a sinuous softness,
It is ok to remember happier times
In this brief window of contentment,
It is ok for us to share a last moment of love,
For soon many will gather, and I will fade.

Tomas Bird