Mercy; a sonnet

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*

Is this then all there is now, only me

And all there is now left for me to do

Cry ‘mercy’ to the unforgiving sea

And bury all the love I had for you

Beneath the sorry roses in the shade

Of yew trees, in the graveyard, by the wall

Let tenderness and fondest feelings fade

Until the day there is no you at all

Within my mirror, only empty sky

And tumbleweed across the arid ground

No answer to the question of my cry

Just silence; oh my love, in you I found

A heat too sweet and gentle to forget

Have mercy on me, love, don’t leave me yet

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guilt and Shame in the Market Place

*

The sun bore down on the Market Cross, where Guilt and Shame were sat

Guilt was clad in a penitent’s rags, and Shame wore a dunce’s hat

The steps were strewn with sticks and stones, and faggots had been lit

And smoke rose up to the pinnacles where shadows of psychopomps sit

“It was you,” said Guilt to Shame, “‘twas you, that brought us to this place”

Shame hung her head as her cheek bled red from the whip of the flame on her face

“‘Tis maybe true,” said she to Guilt, “for I was ever this

Destined to burn in the Market Place for the sake of a stolen kiss”

Guilt fell silent, angry tongues flicking ire in the light of his eye

“‘Twas you as well, my love,” she said, “who brought us here to die”

Then she fell silent too, as snakes of flame hissed in her hair

And the stench of smoking human flesh pervaded the summer air

Above the Cross the sun bore down, and the wheels of justice turned

Guilt and Shame in the Market Place; by terrible passion burned

© Gail Foster 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racist Bloke

*

I had a racist boyfriend once, we’ll call him ‘Racist Bloke’

I dealt with the whole ‘racist thing’ by making it a joke

I used to call him out on it, and then I just gave in

Discarding my morality like fag ends in the bin

“Never argue with a bigot” I would laugh, and make the tea

“I’m not a racist” he would say “it’s witty parody”

It just got worse and worse, until we couldn’t watch the news

“Dirty Muslims this,” he’d say, “those filthy effing Jews”

I’d leave the telly off in case the sight of one black face

Would flush his chain and cause him to start ranting about race

And start blaming all the women who had ever given birth

In the dry and deadly desert, for the failings of the earth

He’d read up on the history of Jews throughout the ages

(it took him quite a while as there were quite a lot of pages)

Liked to rant about the Rothschilds, thought he’d got me with their riches

Expecting me to then agree that Jewish girls were bitches

“Women” he would say, “just shouldn’t have to wear the veil”

As if veil equalled jihad equalled every Muslim male

He was bad enough when sober, but when drunk it was profound

He’d be pissing venom down the pub like urine on the ground

He’d reduce a room to silence, and could empty out a bar

With his verbal racist violence, going further than too far

And then he’d order curry, oh he liked a bit of that

“Hey, did you know Mohammed was from some dark clot begat”

He would say as he was waiting for his naam bread and his bhaji

Like some hungry little Hitler rocking ‘rat arsed and Faragey’

It was painful, and embarrassing, it filled me with dismay

It was always, it was everywhere, and every flippin’ day

And yet really, to be honest, was I not as bad as he

All smug in my self-righteousness “I’m not a racist, me”

Sticking proudly to my principles in public mass debate

Whilst I broke bread with the shit and chose to zone out all his hate

In all that sick scenario ‘twas me that was the joke

I was the girl who sold her soul because she loved a racist bloke

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

The Last Dark Magic of the Keys

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The time is now, you said, let it be done

I come to cause you one last piece of pain

You chose a day in summer when the rain

Fell soft upon the road like private tears

To work the last dark magic of the keys

There was a time, and not so long ago

I held your key like Smegal held the Ring

As if the holding of it meant some thing

Some plastic crucifix, some rabbit’s foot

Some lucky anchor in the wild seas

The time has come, you say, for you and me

To stand before each other one more time

In some symbolic moment quite sublime

Where I shall fall before you like the rain

Like some dead broken rose, upon my knees

There was a time, not very long ago

You had the key to me, and to my door

But all your rights to me you have forswore

And I shall fain deny you this last wish

To see my tears, and your dark purpose please

For now the time is mine, so come, and go

Come find your key beneath my Welcome mat

Beneath a grey rock under gaslight sat

Before a door forever locked to thee

For I have for mine own heart mine own key

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

The Hate He Felt For Me

 

If I had known that he cared not for me

I would have dropped him, like a burning stone

Too blinded I, by silly love, to see

The hatred that he bore me to the bone

If I had seen beyond his wit, and charm

I could have passed him by upon the street

Protected heart from hurt, and pride from harm

Refrained from falling, fawning, at his feet

I should have sensed the loathing in his touch

The cold resentment in his blood and bile

Too lost was I, in silly love, too much

To see the silent scorn behind his smile

Now he is gone, and I shall ever be

Astounded by the hate he felt for me

 

by Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The One

 

He was The One, The One, The One

He was The One, it was true

And it would have been perfect, but for the fact

That he wasn’t just one, he was two

It was just like a threesome, most of the time

There was me, there was Jekyll, and Hyde

Jekyll was honest, and loving, and kind

But Hyde had the devil inside

A turn of a sixpence, a phase of the moon

Imperceptible shifts of the light

And dear Mr Jekyll would turn in to Hyde

Who was darker than graves in the night

I just wanted Jekyll, just Jekyll, you see

But Hyde came as part of the deal

The addition of me, making two in to three

Made a triangle spin like a wheel

It was my fault, all my fault, everything

According to Hyde, in his view

They’d be better without me, Jekyll agreed

So that’s when the three became two

 

Good luck to the pair of you, Jekyll, and Hyde

As you skip, arm in arm, to the sun

Well suited, free, but quite useless for me

For neither of you were The One

 

by Gail

 

 

Blistered

 

Grey days of loss and loneliness are here

Sad nights as long as shadows in the deep

No joy, no hope, no gentleness, no sleep

No ray of light predicted to appear

Just disappointment, emptiness and fear

And sacred dreams discarded in a heap

By some abyss of faith too wide to leap

In ruins lies the love we held so dear

 

Wise folk will say there will be love again

That suns come up, and suns go down, and yet

All I perceive is darkness, drear and grim

All I can feel is searing hurt and pain

My heart, my fingers, too burnt to forget

All blistered, from the flame I hold for him

 

by Gail