Here’s another of the old pieces I found within that forgotten folder, from my first year at university, I think. This was, if I remember correctly, part of a lazy exercise were the tutors wanted us to simplify our writing and focus on the senses as the most important thing. In five minutes, I don’t think we did too bad, as a collective, but it was strange to try and constrain myself in such a manner. I’m not sure if this thing counts as bad poetry or boring prose, but either way, enjoy!
I can see the ocean, its waves pawing at the white-gold sand far below us, and the blinding sun reflected from the normally dull, grey rocks.
I can see a spreading crimson move from the rocks towards the horizon, and a cruel, broken whiteness lying amongst the glimmering rocks.
I can see the small orange mitten carried away on the tide.
I can hear the gulls circling above us, the laughter of our children as they play in the sun, entranced by the view of creation, suffusing them with an omnipotence I knew they would never feel again.
I can hear the desperation in your voice, mingled with the fading cries from the cliff’s edge.
I can smell the fresh sea-breeze, which carried the scent of salt and mysterious spices from lands unimaginably distant, a by-product of foreign cultures sailing towards our shore.
I can smell the pungent stink of sweat from the brows of long-lost sailors, tolling their huge, cracked bells in forgotten cities below the sea.
I can taste life; its bouncing joys and unimaginable cruelty dancing along the tip of my tongue.
I can taste horror and pity and blame in the pit of my stomach, rising like bile to touch the roof of my mouth.
I can feel your lips on my cheek, their slim, young bodies in my arms, and that long hideous scream tearing my throat. I can feel it stretching, ‘til long after the piercing noise stopped.
I can feel sharpened blades, tipped with fear and anger and guilt, running across the muscle of my heart, and the sheer, blinding panic as we ran.
I can feel your cold, pale flesh beside me, like the broken bodies of our children, lying where we had to leave them, crushed between the rocks and the glimmering, whispering sea.