Elixir part 3 – The paradoxes of Melancholy

Elixir part 3 – The paradoxes of Melancholy
3 July 2022
Courtesy Adobe Stock
Amelia found a seat not far from the dead teenager and threw herself on it as she could hardly bear the crescendo of the wailing that emanated from the Melancholists. The wails subsided after a while and the Melancholists slowly exited the burial ground passing by the parents and other family of the young teenager and offering condolences to them. Amelia knew they would soon be gone to their dwellings all around Melancholy. She wished to see how they entered their dwellings that seemed hermetically shut and asked if she could follow them. The Melancholists accepted in hope of making of her an ally who could create the Elixir their breed needed so much. Even they, as a matter of fact, would do better with some drops of Elixir to make their lifeline longer and the beauty of their life greater.

Amelia followed a crowd of Melancholists back to their dwellings and she saw one family after the other slide into the slit that revealed itself to them and be gone into their mushroom-like dwellings. She realized that the slits would appear only to the owners of the mushroom and not anyone else – not even the other residents of Melancholy. One of the Melancholists by her side told her that it was only if the owners gave specific orders to the membrane that covered their dwelling that it would open to someone else. The orders had to be accompanied by a ritual if the dwelling was to open to a non-resident of Melancholy. This was to ensure a double protection from a potential non-resident of Melancholy trying to harm the Melancholists by forcing them to say the orders. Indeed, even if the orders could be given under constraint the ritual could only be made by someone who was free of all constraint.

Amelia watched them disappear one after another in their dwellings and realized that on the other side of Melancholy far from the burial grounds, there was a group gathered and whose collective sorrow seemed to draw her in like a magnet. After the last family had gone into their dwelling, she headed towards the group of sorrowful Melancholists. When she reached them, she realized that they were all youngsters, so beautiful that she could not identify who was the most beautiful of all. It was as if their features kept morphing and the one she looked at seemed always more beautiful than the one she had looked at just before. Despite so much beauty, they were full of an agonizing sorrow that seemed to be tearing them apart. They talked about their fallen friend in hushed voices and seemed to be betting on who would go next. 

Amelia asked them why it was that they needed to shorten their lives and they answered as if surprised by the question that this had always been the case. Amelia assured them that they did not need to follow what had been done and that they did not need to shorten their lives. Somehow, they seemed to believe it was the only way that their parents could live longer and were happy to gift them with their lives. Besides, they said that while they were alive, all they could feel is sorrow and woe and they simply could not live with such a heavy burden. They were therefore doubly happy to gift their life away. Amelia asked them how they could possibly feel sorrow and woe in such a beautiful place and one of the taller ones answered that behind the beauty lay the thought of the death of their parents so they could only see the death and the beauty of the surroundings evaded them. It would seem like they had uncovered these feelings after they reached the age of twelve.

Amelia thought that it was such a strange paradox that the young ones should live in a place of beauty but shun it and concentrate on the sorrow and giving their life away for the elders while the elders of Melancholy not only found the place beautiful but were also able to get within it the gift of life from their youngsters. It was not a gift of extending the life eternally like the Elixir though but a gift of just a few more years. The Elders appreciated Melancholy and the gift of the youngsters but at the same time wept the passing of their youngsters and their gift that they so wanted to return and have their youngsters healed by the Elixir. It seemed like Melancholy was indeed a place of paradoxes.

Agnes Obel - The Curse 

Tomorrow I will bear no weight

Tomorrow I will bear no weight
24 June 2022
Courtesy pinterest.com
Fed with constant realities
their idle waves of intent 
breaking through my fears
I bear fruit to a sullen morrow

I fixate beyond the edge of myself
on the anticipated remembrance
of the snow-white place in me
where I fail to see you no more

Your face grows stark and steady
In a solitary place I keep hidden
between collar bone and chest
bubbling with the residue of unrest

My brain will build tall citadels 
where your name will reiterate
like a broken disk hitting my skull
one dull thud after another drops

There are fleeting looks encircled 
by the morosity of frozen cheeks
They bask in the sunlit shadows
born to the eye that blinks never

Tomorrow I will bear no weight
Like a maiden before her sunset
I will tear away my shaking limbs
in offering to the beasts that pray

Reading of the poem: 
Adam Hurst - Reflection

Elixir part 2 – Graveyards that cry

Elixir part 2 – Graveyards that cry
12 June 2022

Courtesy pinterest
Amelia looked at the invitation card that a friend of her mother had given her earlier in the afternoon. It was an invitation to a private burial at Melancholy. In the world where she lived, not many people had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with the residents of Melancholy, the Melancholists, and even fewer had ever got an invitation to a private burial. It was the only place where the Melancholists let anyone see their true feelings of sorrow and in fact it was the only place where they showed any feelings at all. She remembered her mother telling her how the Melancholists had accepted her given all the work she was doing with their young children, trying to save them from their suicidal thoughts and their utter feeling of hopelessness.

She turned over the card. It was a beautifully engraved card which had the invitation on the front and a portrait of the deceased on the back side. She looked into somber eyes that seemed to follow her gaze as it trailed off to the edges. What a sad thing she thought to herself that such a beautiful child would want to die instead of enjoying a life of privilege. She wanted to go if not for anything else than paying homage to the child of her mother’s friend but at the same time she was aware that General Stein might be there. She knew that Melancholy was considered off grounds for any fights and that only the Melancholists Supreme Guard had the right to question or take away the liberty of any of the residents or their guests. General Stein was not a member of the Supreme Guard so he would not be able to harm her within Melancholy, but he would surely be waiting for her to come out of it to capture her.

Amelia decided to go to the funeral despite the risk she was taking. She had been given assurance of safe haven within Melancholy but also told she would be able to leave it without hassle. She donned her purple hooded coat and touched both the vial in the hem as well as the Infinity dagger she had hid near the vial. The Infinity dagger helped carve a quasi-infinite hole into a person it was dug into, making the cavity impossible to heal as it continued to remain open despite any number of stitches or other powdery substances burnt into it to make it heal. She knew that despite the assurances given to her, the General might well breach them as the stakes were really very high. Then again, if he breached the pact, the Melancholists or at least their Supreme Guard might not take to it very kindly.

She emerged from her car at the gates of Melancholy. It was indeed a beautiful place with the bright gardens, the mushroom-like dwellings that shone lily white in the night and the beautiful birds of all colours that flew from one side to the other of Melancholy. The jasmine in every corner of Melancholy exhaled a wonderful perfume that titillated the senses. Amelia made her way to the funeral hall which pillars were decorated with more jasmine and roses. At the back, between two pillars she saw a marble slab where lay a young teenager, face and limbs decorated as if he were going to a party. At the end of the slab, next to his feet, his mother was seated, sobbing. Amelia went right to her and attempted to hold her hand. The woman pulled away and concentrated her efforts on rubbing the feet of the dead teenager. 

A man who appeared to be her husband rose and offered his hand to Amelia. He apologized for his wife’s behaviour and said that it was on account of Amelia not having shared the Elixir. Apparently, his wife had wished to get some from Amelia before the death of her son, but the General tasked with that mission had not gone through with it in the best way possible. Amelia made this known to the father. She said things could have been different if they had asked her themselves. She might have spoken a tad loud as she sensed the whole Assembly of Melancholists turn towards her with hope glimmering in their eyes. Somehow, this made a chill go through her spine. She realized that some might do anything to get the Elixir for their offspring. Would they go to extreme lengths just for one vial or would they maybe imprison her and force her to keep making the Elixir for them? It was hard to say. She kept her eyes fixated on the teenager. He was so beautiful, it seemed unfair that he should not live anymore. His lifeless corpse still radiated an incredibly sad beauty, like a deer doomed to be slaughtered by a huntsman. All around, the Melancholists had started their mourning with wails that grew stronger, slowly but surely, reaching a pinnacle of sorrow expressed in that unified cry. It was as if the graveyard itself had started to cry, heaving and seething with an uncontrollable sorrow.

Rebirth - Solace

Elixir part 1 – The Truth of the Elixir

Elixir part 1 – The Truth of the Elixir
29 May 2022
Courtesy Daily Telegraph
She looked behind her fleetingly trying to assess how far her assailant was. Not more than 90 seconds before he would be able to seize her. She stomped with her right foot the earth under her feet while thinking at the same time of being inside the earth. No sooner had she done that than her body sank into the ground dropping at a very high speed. She thought of the steps of soil and they materialised under her feet. She ran quickly using one step after the other and leapt onto the one leading her out, on the other side of the river where her assailant, general Stein, had been stalking her.

The Elixir was within a vial knotted closely into the hem of her shirt. She clutched at it frantically, needing to assess whether it had opened and spilt over. It was safely knotted, lid intact, into her clothing. Her eyes grew misty when she remembered how her mother had sacrificed the remaining years she had to live just so that she could be able to make the Elixir and work on making more so that more people who were dying could be saved.

The Elixir had a restorative nature allowing it not only to provide more years of life to those dying but also to heal the organs within the body of the sick persons it was administered to.
She had seen time and time again how the elderly were happy to grant the remaining years of their life to their ailing children or grandchildren. All the Elixirs she had made had been used. Only the one she had made from her mother’s remaining years was kept close to her heart. Nobody had ever been able to understand how she made the Elixirs and she had kept the secret close to her. When the word had started coming out, she had received offers from pharmaceutical companies but she knew well enough that they would only buy her technique in order to bury it as those companies thrived on the sickness and death of people and had no intention of actually making Elixirs to heal people.

She thought again about what she had created. It would seem like the holy Grail when you thought of it but it did have some side effects: it held some of the memories of the deceased and it seemed that those were in majority memories of trauma or other levels of pain. These memories kicked in when anyone given the Elixir was experiencing any level of anger or stress. Upon studying this phenomenon, she realised that these memories were stored in some pockets of the Elixir which had a slight discoloration of the pearls of blood around it. She needed to be able to isolate this from the rest of the Elixir without foregoing any of the years contained in it.

She looked at where general Stein was looking at her, seething with anger that she had again escaped him. He had never pursued her with any offers, unlike the pharmaceutical companies. He simply wanted to get from her the secret of creating the Elixir so that he could use it on the children of his elite clientele. Ever since he had left the army, his only scope in life had been to earn as much riches as he could and Amelia’s invention represented a fantastic opportunity to do so. Back in Melancholy where he visited his rich clients, the parents were dealing with a very difficult situation as all their children were either neurasthenic or suicidal and he knew from observing Amelia’s work that the Elixir would not only extend the life of those who took it but would also make those who took it wish to live a beautiful life

Al-Nil - Armand Amar

I slithered back home

I slithered back home
28 April 2022
Courtesy pinterest
I counted my scales
Irreducible creature
I was compounded

The dragon within
flew most immense distances
between sleep and wake

Iridescent wings,
chest multiplying colours
like serpent ablaze

A tail to tell tales
engorged with the wings’ passion
I slithered back home

Reading of the poem: 
Serpentine - Solace

The beast in me walked for a death to instill

The beast in me walked for a death to instill
19 April 2022
Courtesy Stefan Gesell
I walked once between daze and swoon
My hands at my sides my head in the moon
I bore in my insides a wild creature to come
A waif turning beast at the beat of the drum

I walked into winters that paved summers’ way
Like the trees that blossomed amidst rustling hay
I walked into nights darker than dying coal
I clasped coming suns like a deer her foal

Then I said come now beast would you spill
The gory insides of your ever recent kill?
The beast made no sound but shook its head
It bore no closeness to the recent dead

The beast in me walked for a death to instill
As I watched it leaving from my window sill
Inside I clutched the most fleeting remains
The beast had wiped me clean of its putrid stains

Reading of the poem:
Forsaken - Solace

As grows stronger my rising fist

As grows stronger my rising fist
23 March 2022
Courtesy dreamstime.com
Will I find that special sound 
of sweet sighing redemption?
I feel it through the winds unwound
like a flag without a nation

I hear yonder muffled cries
I wander beyond their borders
in the weaving of truth and lies
heaves the rhythm of disorders

Blue and pink and a pint of glue
The glowing glee of a life to come
What is deceit and what is true
of meagre talk the total sum

Whisper without me an ear to fill
What comes forth a tongue to twist
Through landscapes I seek to still
As grows stronger my rising fist

Reading of the poem:
Sully Erna & Lisa Guyer - The Rise

A terrorist to love – part 4

A terrorist to love – part 4
26 February 2022
Courtesy pinterest.com
She looked again at Manas’s beautiful black face filling the screen with his lips parting on pearly white teeth in such a beautiful smile that it made her heart ache with longing. His face seemed to pop out of the screen.
She smiled back, yet she wanted to know the truth, even if it were to hurt her.

­- Did you order my torture, Manas?
­- How could you think that my angel?
­- I don’t know. It seemed impossible that your supporters would do it without your permission.
­- Those who have tortured you have been castigated. I know I cannot make it up to you, I can never remove the effect the torture had on you, but I have punished those who took it into their hands to punish you for my imprisonment. As soon as I was let out of prison, I tended to that.
­- It was awful
­- I know. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I should have left instructions that you should not be touched but everything happened so fast, and we had to run away from your anti-terrorist team.
­- I forgive you. I see now that it could not have been you and you did not have time to make sure nothing happened to me.
­- Meet me alongside the Thames, near the London Eye at 4 pm
­- Tea-time! I see you are getting acquainted with the locals
­- Anything for you, my angel. I have followed the change of your career and know that it is now here that you have settled down. I want to be with you and give you the best of myself.
­- What about your terrorist gang? Are you going to be attacking civilians here?
­- I wish I could answer you, my angel. Let’s not think about things that separate us. We have so much to catch up about. I have missed you so much
­- Me too

The words almost suffocated her. She had missed him so much that it actually hurt her. She felt as if her chest had been bashed in, so difficult it was to breathe. She quickly put on her clothes and ran towards the tube. It would not take her long to get to the London Eye from Canada Water. She kept wiping nervously her hands on her jeans as she was sweating profusely, and her hands were wet too. She wondered what it would be like to be in his arms again. Would his love for her be the same? Had he been with other women while they were not together? What had he been doing after his release from the Cameroonian prison?

She got down at Waterloo and walked towards the London Eye. From far she could see Manas. He was disguised and now had a beard on as well as a wig, but she could easily recognize him. Suddenly she felt someone gazing at her on the side and turned to see one of her team members from the Cameroon operation. She also felt someone staring at her from the back and turned around to see another of her team members. They were closing in on her and she realized that her phone must have been tapped. 

The good thing was that they had not yet recognized Manas so she turned around and looked squarely at the team member behind her. She pushed him and he fell to the ground. The other team member at her side closed in on her and caught her wrists. Stop fighting, he said but she started throwing punches at him while kicking at the other man who was trying to hold her legs. She saw Manas slowly back out of where he was and then turn and walk away. At least he is safe, she thought as her two team members jointly held her by the wrists and legs.

Norah Jones - Come Away With Me (Official Music Video)

Hanging tree now lit

Hanging tree now lit
18 February 2022
Courtesy Rodrigo Luff
Peasant ennobled
exalted by the honours
raised head to adorn

The stern church endowed
a bishop to coronate
head shaking off dust

The stance handed down
raised wild bodies to enthrone
forsaken the crown

Feet in the gravel
pebbles thrown in old fountains
arm to unravel

Sanction renewal
erect a hanging treetop
enable embers

Jubilatory
settle platinum attire
rekindle fire

Induct strong the grit
molten powder raises flames
hanging tree now lit

Reading of the poem:
Bad Wolves - Zombie
Written in the context of Ronovan writes weekly Haiku challenge using the words “crown”, “grit” and their synonyms. For more information or to read other poets’ contributions, please follow the link. 
https://ronovanwrites.com/2022/02/14/ronovan-writes-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-397-crown-and-grit/   

Victim of the ploy

Victim of the ploy
11 February 2022

Courtesy Rodrigo Luff
Change clutches my gait;
motion in my mind imparts
traces in my heart

Footstep’s movement dwells
in otherworldly places
that my stride foretells

Eye follows a mark,
hand strokes hidden stirring lights
trail of footprint’s sights

Steps taken in haste
move the music of morrows
Bittersweet their taste

A walk on rainbows;
action of colourful flames
lisping loud my names

A threefold act shifts:
of me I am the decoy,
victim of the ploy

Reading of the poem:
Poets of the Fall - Moonlight Kissed
Written in the context of Ronovan writes weekly haiku poetry prompt challenge with the words “move”, “step” and their synonyms. For more information and the contribution of other poets, please follow the link here.