Why are you silent? I stand on the shoreline of your conscious, embracing your wholeness as if it is my own and you spare me no word from your lips. Have you not heard my declarations from afar, from across the vast and wine dark sea?
Why are you like the graves? I never liked how the headstones here resurrect from the moss and the words on the stone – I read them as if they should mean something but they don’t. I do not speak their language and they do not speak mine. They walk in ways my feet could never tread and they stomp around on the flowers I have planted that might have made me felt like I was at splendid home. This could never be home – this everything is too foreign.
Here I am and you meet me with silence – should you have to be so cruel? Prolonged has my suffering been, the spikes on the roads I walked, the torture of this darkness that can only be found here and I have come – not out of resolution but out of absolution, and I offer myself here as I stand between the white kingdoms on the mountains of water and you give me nothing but pebbles and a mighty breeze.
Had you expected differently? Then tell me, what had you expected? I am of dirt and soil and plant and root and you pretend to be willing to bleed here on the boundaries of my country?
Tell me now, oh heartless headsman, have you got dust in your heart and does my love mean nothing to you?
Aye, but it does and it weeps across the fields of Arthur and his men. I would have raised the drums and gathered the folks – those from the mountain tops, the plains and those from the fishermen villages – and we would have welcomed you here, but you know nothing just yet. Why should we greet the fool that came without knowledge? Yes, my darling, your head is full and you come with dreams following you like clouds on balloon strings, but your heart, your heart is empty still. Come, come now, cleanse your thirst, drink up. Feed from our richest, devour our poor. There are many, many more like you.
Do you mean to say that my kin have entered your crossings before I? Surely, these must be my reflections as there is none that could love you like my heart, feel the beating drum and how it runs on palpitations for you.
The men that come here are all of the same and same of the all. They come in different shapes and with different scars, but their origins are twinned for their compass is alike. I should make no distinction between all those that have set course and sail to me, waiting in desperation for the wind to blow fortunate and in their favour.
I am unlike those you have seen before, I promise you that! None before me have been able to dig out the roots of their good and their evil like I have, my blood went with my tears and for so long I have searched for you. It was not until the sun set above your western shores, when I stood on the edge of the world and looked beyond the horizon that it was when I felt the pull as if you were the moon and I the natural state of currents that draw to you. My words are more true than the truth. My dreams purer than the virgin that stole from the tree, here I am, here I am. You are mine. Please be mine.
I have heard these tales before. You are not the first to set foot on my sands or rummage through my pebbles. I resurrected the white cliffs for a reason for they ward all those with ill illusions and fake desires. Many have failed to conquer these promised lands and they shattered into these guardians – their bones lie resting on the ocean floor. You can count them through the fish that call the ocean home. But no, you say, not you – you are here, you are here indeed. I know you well. I hold you well. So come. Step forward. I might let you into a cold embrace if you stay long enough. I might wrap the counties of my being around your shivering chest until you return to a state of longing. It is then that you realise that you have not found what you have come seeking and this – this is where you stand me leaving, saying goodbyes with empty eyes casted upon my white cliffs.
I shall not. I will not. Never.
Tales of the old, my dear, tales of the old. Tell me something new. Tell me of future and prospect. Tell me how you will turn fallacies into prophesies. Tell me of your battle plans to charge towards the ability to speak ‘You know me well. You know me like I know you’ and rid it of all its paradoxes. There is nothing in the present that can change my past. It is what it is and this is how it shall be. Come now, or say forever goodbye.
But wait! And what if we could die, together, for each other, without having to give up splendid tomorrow? Does the morning sparrow not always bring with its flight a new day? If we reap the bird of his wings, could we deceive the claws of night and live on after death? Will that change the turmoil in your whirlwind mind? What if I could prove such love for you, to you, cake myself in the whiteness of your cliffs, harbour myself in between the dips of your howling hills and lie to rest in the dirt where your Arthur fell once too? Would that make you love me, eternally, unconditionally, forever? Because I would!
My darling, why do you look at me with such a frown upon your gentle face? You have always made the riches look so dumb – stop, stop now and deliver yourself from the lines that crack your pallor skin.
I am tempted. Your offer is that of no height ever bestowed before. Would you make of your home your burial ground? No – But should we show such ill will towards the deep dead? Why should it be us, two mere mortals, that escape from nature’s law and proceed to immortality?
My darling, it is love, our love, that should be rewarded for it is such a grand beast that shouldn’t be subdued by such common simplicity as dead and dying. Besides, it is not immortality to seek, only to prove to you that I would – I would die for you. How can you believe these words to be truth, to be free and cocooned from the lie, if I am banned from turning them into prophecy? It is not life after death but life after life and you are my love, my light and my life, I pray to the Gods to be given the chance to proof that my love for you is stronger than tasteless death. Let me stand on your white cliffs, the testament of such grandeur and opulence for the dreams, and I will lie with the bones in your harbour and then the morning comes and I will rebirth at your mouth.
And what if death is death and you are not allowed the return? I am only land and country, I do no got beyond the realms of life. What if your body will grow cold and blue, your blood still and stainless in your veins, your heart rid of its rhythmic thump and frozen with the light in your eyes and I bereaved of my true love? Do you expect me to weep for you, when you have condemned yourself with the words of a fool? Will you ask of me to open my earths and swallow you lovingly? No man alive should be allowed to step into the grave for something as love and surely, he should not be allowed to step out of the grave for something as love. The grave makes of all us equals.
Ay, those fretful graves do make of any man an equal – there is no distinction for lordships and beggars are suddenly as rich as kings, or perhaps it are the kings that are thieved of their crowns and return to a state of the poor. We should all be so fortunate! But this is precisely that I strive for – to be far removed from the equals. You have confessed that I am not the first of the seeking men that have walked your shores and you have decided that we are all carved of the same flesh and bone. But I know that you are more a treasure to me than you could be to them others, them simple mortals – this I must prove to you. You are my home.
Oh, love, let us forget the temptation of the tempest. We can’t know what the sparrow of tomorrow brings until we have arrived at the sunrise. It is true – you are home now. Tomorrow might bring you new pieces of your heart to fix.
Come, come lie with me and lie still. You are here now.
We mustn’t waken the restless.
We mustn’t disturb the homeless.
You know – you of all the dwelling pilgrims – know how sorrowful the homeless are.
‘Tales from a distant past’ is a series that features pictures taken in England, 2012 – a series I still regard as some of my best work. It was created in the hopes to bring life back into those pictures taken the summer of 2012, both through visual as written work. Each picture is accompanied by a short story that is inspired by the image.
Inspired by William Shakespeare.