Sorrow Weeps For Me

*

In dusty cupboards, far from prying eyes

I hide my dark and private miseries

And dress for town in bright accessories

With reddened lips, and silkly stockinged thighs

And sickly smile, in magical disguise

For there be war to fight on days like these

Dark demons to defeat, and gods to please

And light to draw down from the sullen skies

In dusty cupboards, Sorrow weeps for me

There be no place for cowards in the fray

Nor dark despair, nor moaning misery

To dull my fire and fill me with dismay

Or worse, betray me to the enemy

– I’ll catch you later, Sorrow, I’m away…

*

© Gail Foster 28th January 2017

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Marah and The Well

marah

*

‘Twas dawn when Marah went down to the well

To fill her pail with waters bitter sweet

The sky, flushed pink with daybreak’s blooming swell

Made rosy dewdrops glimmer ‘neath her feet

The well was hard to find, and deeply hid

Within the sacred forest’s leafy fold

With ivy dressed, and writ upon its lid

In graven letters, words of wisdom old

Here water calls to water, here a stream

May conjured be by sorrow to a flood

Should tears like fishes fall and catch the gleam

Of sunlight, then shall water rise like blood

The air was still, unbroken by the lark

As Marah dropped her pail in to the dark

As Marah dropped her pail in to the dark

She held her breath, and watched it disappear

Stood firm, and stopped her heartbeat, lest a spark

Of morning’s glory light a single tear

But pain is force, that seeks to find a form

As hard to stem as ocean’s endless roll

And ‘spite her will, within her broke a storm

That rose unwanted from her ancient soul

Her tears burst forth, and waterfalls of streams

Flowed down and struck the surface of the deep

And as they fell were lit by glittered beams

Of sunlight, and the dead were woke from sleep

The waters rose, grew violent in their swell

Thus so did Marah ope the gate of hell

Thus so did Marah ope the gate of hell

Thus so unlock the door of death and birth

Unleash a tide too powerful to quell

Unloose the grief of all the souls of earth

Made waters rise, to breach the old well’s rim

Pour up, and drown the flowers in the grass

Caused birds to cease in flight, the sky grow dim

And clouds to form as shadows upon glass

She stood aghast, as heavy as a stone

As whorls of water swirled around her dress

Stood drowning in the forest there, alone

Too late to pray, to hope, or to confess

The waters closed above her sorry head

As Marah joined the legions of the dead

As Marah joined the legions of the dead

Her eyes began to fill with blood and light

With all the tears that man had ever shed

With all the dark and horror of the night

And floating past her, man and woman, child

All weeping, weeping, screaming in their pain

Possessed by loss and loneliness, gone wild

With disappointment, or the guilt of Cain

Here unborn souls, who died within the womb

Here mothers mourning infants took to death

Here those imprisoned, tortured to the tomb

Who cried for life with one last feeble breath

With those whose love was thwarted or dismayed

In one unending terrible parade

In one unending terrible parade

The labourers, the weary hungry poor

Those men who lost each pitch and toss they played

Who only spake the raven’s ‘nevermore’

With those stood on the shoreline when the Ark

Set sail for freedom and new hope of day

And those who, as they listened to the lark

Were by some wave or bullet took away

The blood of martyrs mingled with the tears

So sadly shed by all humanity

By souls lost to the night, who met their fears

On mountain tops, on roadsides, or the sea

So this is pain, thought Marah, here is shown

More sorrow here than I have ever known

More sorrow here than I have ever known

More pain than I could ever comprehend

And yet this pain in some sense is mine own

To rise above, to conquer, and transcend

And with this revelation, Marah rose

Up through the deeps, towards the hazy light

Unwove her being from the tangled flows

Flew through the waters like a climbing kite

Up, up she went, past all the weeping dead

And blessed them as she passed, for bless she could

Then broke the waters with her joyful head

And breathed the air that blew so fresh and good

Across the grass where once a flood had been

As if had been a mirage she had seen

As if had been a mirage she had seen

Seemed all the world just light, on rock and tree

All colourful, all shades of blue and green

And all that pain become but memory

She heard a whisper, soft within her ear

Go forth, and hold this lesson in your heart

You sought for answers, and you found them here

Now take them to the world and play your part

She picked her silver pail up, and she ran

The well sat silent, watched her fade away

Sat waiting, for another questing man

To learn its wisdom on another day

This is my legend, for ‘tis mine to tell

‘Twas dawn when Marah went down to the well…

*

© Gail Foster September 21st 2016

The Widow At The Well

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A rhyme about love and bereavement and loneliness, inspired by the loss of my computer for nearly a whole day, and dedicated to Chris Greenwood, who kindly mended it for me

*

She finds herself without him, at the dawn

A crumpled crazy angel weeping light

The cord that bound them severed with a bite

A bloodied mewling kitten newly born

He was the sun, that stimulated morn

The moon, that soothed the melancholy night

He was her inspiration, the delight

Of glittered stars upon the heavens drawn

She finds herself without him, at the well

A widow weeping willowfalls of tears

Of grief as heavy as a drowning stone

The silence breaks; soft rings a sudden bell

And on the solemn deeps a face appears

That whispers ‘All things come and go alone’

*

© Gail Foster 2016

Beautiful Bitches (I See You, Girl); for Sarah Cox

Sarah Cox

*

I see you, girl, with your lovely face

Your painted lips, and your fiery grace

Scorching the earth with the steps you trace

Oh how we shine, how we shine

I see you girl, with your heart undressed

By pain of joy and sorrow blessed

All glory, and all sin confessed

Oh how we love, how we love

I see you girl, with the tear in your eye

Falling like sun in the rain from the sky

I see you girl, I hear your cry

Oh how we weep, how we weep

I see you girl, we are beautiful bitches

Mischievous muses, and angelic witches

And ours is the earth and all its riches

Oh how we burn, how we burn

*

© Gail Foster 2016

(photo courtesy of Sarah Cox)

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