Jan17

Anne Brontë
Empty houses hold plenty of air,
Stacks of space, tonnes of time.
Time to waste wishing and fawning,
Flitting from a nothing to a nought.
Ticking off another wistful hour
That disappeared in vacant stares
At distant indistinct dots drown
In the midst of excuses.

The smell of apathy clings
To the musky dressing gown
Wrapped around clattering bones
And paper-thin, parched skin,
Shuffling from bed to post for
Arguments with ghosts of 
Deep-voiced betraying Fathers, 
Spectres of tireless Mothers, 
Belligerent Uncles, 
Unloving Lovers,
Haunting the mirror,
With trailing ectoplasm replaced
By scarlet lipstick scrawling:
"Perverted. Twisted. Crippled."

Flashing in the bathroom,
over and over and over,
Until virtuous vanity is finally 
Settled as a clean, straight
Filtered selfie
Left unpublished,
Unsealed and unbroken
By the screening.
Pretty, though.

There, held back by the howling space,
Racked in empty boxes
Teetering on the prospect
Of content, is a post-it note
Labelled: "Remembrance".
Then chased down to the kitchen
By the insistence of the tick-tick-tick,
Like a tenant retreating from the past.

Troubling times ahead, then,
Wondering what to eat for breakfast
At four in the afternoon
As the sun settles down between
The ancient Yew and 
The ornamental horn-beams.
Later, watching the night emerge into dawn
Drawn slowly by the returning
Etching rays of the early morning sun.

More time then, to murmur orisons
And count beads, crystallise 
Opaque plans to make something
Of someone, somewhere.
Fold it all up, please:
The space, the time, the distance,
The night, the day, the far stars.
Fold them all up, and post them
To someone who cares.

Benjamin Franklin, American founding father and publisher, was born today in 1706.

Anne Brontë, English novelist and poet, was born today in 1820.

James Earl Jones, American actor, was born today in 1931.

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