Macrocosmic Marvels, Muse, Musical Monologues

Moments

Sunlight touches my face at dawn
A butterfly lands on my hand
Bees kiss wildflowers on the lawn
Crimson cardinals present their demands
The last glow of sunset reveals a doe and fawn

Fireflies twinkle in dewy evening starlight
Crickets and bullfrogs sing their soulful tune
Moon-eyed owl keeps vigil in darkest night
Witnessing myriad moments of nocturnal bloom
And blackbirds’ sonorous morning flight

Manderley Swain
May 22, 2022
Invocation for Bridging Service ORUUC
At the request of Patton Fishel

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Madness, Memoir, Musical Monologues

Flashback

Scared
Body trembling
Tremors, shivers
Cold, not cold
Alone in my head
With my memories
Filling my body
Can’t breathe
Wild eyed
Chest tightening
Dissociating
Dizzy falling feeling
Confusion, chaos
Dissolving, distrusting
Destabilized, disorder
Drowning, smothering
Fighting, clawing, crying
Lost, dying
Of shame
And misplaced blame
Not my fault
All my dreams
Slammed to screeching halt
It’s my body
I scream
Mine
He hurt me
It’s his crime
So why am I
Doing the time
In my solitary hell
Imprisoned inside myself

–Manderley
July 12, 2018

This companion piece to the poem, Aftermath, written a few years earlier, is a peek inside the moments when my body remembers and makes me revisit, rewatch, relive trauma from the past. It can feel like I’m just flung back through time and into the body that was, without my consent. Getting the words down in poetry, and out of my brain helps me to feel and reclaim some small bit of control again. It helps me to process what happened and what’s happening still when I have flashbacks to that horrible time. I hope that, if you’re reading these words, it helps you to process and heal or to understand, if you haven’t experienced this kind of trauma. Thank you for reading.

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Musical Monologues

If You Cannot

If you cannot kiss my crimson lips
Touch my face with your fingertips

If you cannot free me from tangled fears
Kiss away my spangled tears

If you cannot quench our desires
Dance with me through the fires

If you cannot lead or follow
Walk beside me into tomorrow

Manderley Swain
2/17/22

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Musical Monologues

She Is

She is moonlight and moss
The madness you found
And the sanity you lost

She is winter’s silver frost
The golden treasure underground
And nevermind the cost

She is the keening of ghosts
The banshee’s wail in fairie mound
Luring travellers all but lost

She is the Selkie you caught
Her silken hair the winds unbound
And you craved her touch so soft

She is the heart within you, locked
The maiden flower-crowned
And the truest love you ever sought

Manderley Swain
2/17/22

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Musical Monologues

Don’t Blink!

Don’t blink, Sally Sparrow
For the night is long
The hallways dark and narrow

Blink and you’re dead
Your voice an echo
In the staring angel’s head

Once you see their stony glare
Remember all I’ve said
Break not your steady stare

Or all hope has fled
Of weeping angels beware
They unravel time’s fragile thread

Heed their soundless song
Their quicksilver silent tread
And their ghastly graven throng

Don’t blink, Sally Sparrow
The Doctor returns ‘ere long
To circumvent time’s deadly arrow

January 31
Manderley Swain

My tribute to Doctor Who. If you know, you know. Don’t blink, don’t even blink! I’ve been working on this one for months. Sally Sparrow is such a lovely little alliteration right? ( I know, the previous poem was also fan art, but I’m an unapologetic geek!)

It’s also an experiment with rhyming schemes. That’s why it took me so long, I think. But I did enjoy playing with the patterns. Let me know what you think?

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Macrocosmic Marvels, Madness, Musical Monologues

Holly and The Mean Reds

I wonder what would Holly have said
About this year of mean, mean reds
About the needless, senseless dead
All of this pervasive dread

In this year of mean, mean reds
Even the sparkle of Tiffany’s has fled

Would Holly stay in bed?
Knitting her fragile thread?
Singing to her cat on the ledge
Dreaming of her lost Fred.

In this year of mean, mean reds
Even the sparkle of Tiffany’s has fled.

Would even Holly’s joy stall?
Or would she steal
another dime store mask
In the rain, leave the feels
Of the reds in the past
And lightly, rightly fall
In mad movie love
With her dear Varjak, Paul

April 7, 2021
Manderley Swain

I suppose this is my covid poem. It is a reflection of that first year of this madness, told through the lens of Miss Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I think Holly’s story and her response to her own traumas and triumphs form an excellent metaphor for the kind of dramatic, traumatic change we’ve all been experiences these last two years. It’s one of my favorite movies and this is one of my favorite poems. I hope you liked it.

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Memoir, Menagerie, Musical Monologues

Ever Underfoot

Always there
Ever underfoot
In my hair
Always there
His voice
Constant sounds in my ear
Talking, singing, random noise

Lost in my own hell
I lashed out with fire
Wrapped up in myself
I held my selfish world tighter
A wounded wild thing, confused
Tried to scare him away
Unwilling to see the truth

Always there
Ever underfoot
And in my hair
Always there
His voice
Constant sounds in my ear
Talking, singing, random noise

My world
Upside down
Tilt-a-whirl
Turned around
His outstretched hand
Direction found
Light glimmered in the dark
Followed the sound
His voice, sweet sparks

Always there
Ever underfoot
And in my hair
Always there
His voice
Constant sounds in my ear
Talking, singing, random noise

Unflinching steady
Friendship’s light
Helping hands ready
Soothing, restoring my sight
Seeing him with new eyes
Perspective shifts
Heart opens, passions rise
Love stirs, closes the rift

Always there
Ever underfoot
And in my hair
Always there
His voice
Constant sounds in my ear
Talking, singing, random noise

How did I miss him there before?
His fierce loyalty and love
He was always there, giving more
Too busy hiding in my fortress
Trying to stay above
When I should have listened
Should have loved

Always there
Ever underfoot
And in my hair
Always there
His voice
Constant sounds in my ear
Talking, singing, random noise

Sparks play across his eyes
His voice, singing softly in my ear
Our passions rise
His hands tangled in my hair
Our duet of heated cries
Growling clawing biting kissing
Love and lust in fevered pitch
Coming down, blissful sighs

Always there
His voice
Constant sounds in my ear
Talking, singing, random noise
Ever underfoot
And in my hair
I’m forever thankful
He is always there

Manderley Swain
July 23, 2018

This is a poem about my partner Zen. Before we fell in love (realized we were in love with each other), we found each other irritating for a time. We were each suffering in our own silent darknesses. When the tide turned, I found I was so profoundly grateful he’d remained underfoot and in my heart no matter how hard I pushed him away. This poem is our love story.

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