By Ray Fenech
When they made love the first time
He never thought she’d walk away;
In his mind it was: until death do us apart.
When she wiped his sperm from her hand
It was the most intimate thing;
And when he helped her undress
All her secrets were laid bare:
Her smooth white skin,
The smell of Anais Anais.
Her caress was a heart stopper
Their sighs, they could never stifle,
No wall was thick enough to smother.
That summer he lived through a dream,
Her light brown hair flowing over naked shoulders
Partly shading her perfect round breasts:
Her passionate kisses, soft, endlessly long
Sucked his heart his very soul;
Never again has he made love like that.
Each time it was like a first time
The experience was divine.
They were both young, thought they’d never part
There was like a certainty in their hearts;
Their love had come like in a fairy tale
During the college literary evening;
At the reception when their eyes met,
It was like they were the only two remaining
Amid a chaotic world.
Nothing could go wrong, their love was sealed.
As the years passed, they fell apart,
She left him to find another;
So did he move on from days of innocence.
Perhaps what they had was too close to a dream
Immature, afraid, they ran from each other.
Sadness what are you?
Where do you come from?
How do you dominate my heart?
Your breath I feel cold and gelid
As you caress my forehead.
Indifferent to all seasons,
You steal softly, silently
Through sunset breezes.
You seem to know when to slither
In between dark shadows
Like a spectre invisible,
To ambush and wreak havoc
In the gentlest way, ooze past
Any barrier, any fortress;
So when your elixir I breathe in
I hardly ever notice you are within:
Until wistfulness moves in
To rekindle my memories:
Mostly happy ones of childhood, youth,
Love and people who are no longer here.
When you sadness ambush my mind,
Your bitter sweetness always lasts a while
Before I know you have taken over my soul;
My mind you leave in disarray,
I know not what you are to this day,
Where you come from
And how you dominate my heart.
The Waiting Room
In the waiting room made of lime stone
the lawyers are blank faces.
Unmoved in their black suits, white ties
pale like the ghosts haunting this house.
Time screeches away the centuries;
the wind calls through fissured walls.
Time drags the clock’s pendulum into a tick tock;
and draughts seep through rock hard chairs.
The cold in the justice meted out
snaps from a photocopier,
letter after letter, days on end
to match boring skies polluted with rain.
The secretary’s pink tight blouse
matches tight slacks hugging her curves,
as she moves to a Brazilian rhythm,
glancing to see if she is being admired;
then sits crossing her legs, her ample flanks
fill the chair, her jellified assets
spill over her computer, knowledge undisputed,
whilst conducting her boss’s warfare.
Silence is only broken by the occasional
electric doors swishing open or shut,
like the curtains on a stage
of so many incredible life sagas.
People sleep nodding in the long wait,
their chins slammed into their chests;
endless files stand like tomb stones:
when will all this come to an end?
The Dream and the Glory
The ground upon which I walk
Is alien to me and the century I lived in
Too young with a different mentality.
I’ve paced this ground as if there was a mist
From my waist down and I couldn’t see my feet,
Nor where each step fell and what lied beneath.
I’ve continuously thought I was in a nightmare,
That eventually it would all come to an end
With a sudden waking to a fanfare of reality;
My eyes would behold verity as I imagined it to be.
Only half of my spirit and body are here
The rest of my being is beyond, aloof and alert,
In another time warp where innocence was bliss
And children still believed in fairy tales.
I’ve walked this earth thinking I could make a change
But I tripped over one delusion after another;
Human values and kindness wiped clear,
Love was all make belief, castles in the air;
Lovers came and went without any remorse
And I was left grieving out in the cold,
To contemplate where I had gone wrong;
Until I believed there was no heaven nor a God.
It was a time I realized ‘the end’ came all too often
And in real life no one lives happily ever after.
All I see reminds me of something that is gone
Into an abyss we try not to speak about:
Humans design their own dreams and glory
But when they succumb to the angel of death,
Where are their dreams, where is the glory?
The Vegetable and Fruit Vendour
It was summer when Zaren*, the vegetable fruit vendor, hollered
At the top of his strident voice and the sunbathing lizards
Within the sun-scorched rocky vale ran into their obscure homes.
The women from the colourful houses thronged onto the street,
Queuing near his green horse driven cart, the large wheels
Rumbling on the pebbled slabs of the quiet fishing village.
I often accompanied my mother and for the white stallion, Polly
Bought a single red apple I would offer to her dripping mouth;
Each time when she recognized me, she gently nudged my hand.
The vegetable and fruit vendour was an old man in a white torn shirt,
He wore a straw hat and a piece of rope for a belt; his son had died
On his sleeves he always wore a black band as a sign of mourning.
The choice of vegetables and fruit were few but always fresh
Every morning the cart wheels could be heard grinding painfully
Up the hill, Polly pulled the cart right up the street then stopped:
Zaren’s voice shrieked out the names of the vegetables most fresh,
Then the fruits, then told the same story about his long lost son
Who departed this earth after battling two years with Cancer.
It was always the same, until one day Zaren did not turn up,
The village waited in vain for his early shrieking wake-up call.
It was said he had passed away while dozing under a carob tree;
Polly was found standing ready with harness and a full loaded cart
Bending over the vegetable fruit vendor who slept for the last time.
*Zaren is a shortened Maltese name derived from Nazzareno, meaning Nazarene
About the Author:
Raymond Fenech embarked on his writing career as a freelance journalist at 18 and worked for the leading newspapers, The Times and Sunday Times of Malta. He edited two nation-wide distributed magazines and his poems, articles, essays and short stories have featured in several publications in 12 countries. His research on ghosts has appeared in The International Directory of the Most Haunted Places, published by Penguin Books, USA. In 2009, Ray graduated with BA first class honours in creative writing and later obtained his PHD. In the same year, he was awarded a scholarship in writing therapy by the Creative “Righting” Center, Hofstra University of New York. He is a visiting professor (creative writing and parapsychology) for an online university and conducts creative writing classes for both adults and children.