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Ten Strokes

by Dele Campbell 

Posted: 06 June 2006
Word Count: 446

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Ten Strokes

You are my queen he said to me
I love you more than words can say
There’s never been a love like ours
I want you with me everyday

I want you by my side said he
I love you more and more each day
I never met a girl like you
He said, you are my dream come true

He whispered this to me and things
Were good so very good
He really stole my heart away
I thought I understood
How much I loved him
Till further down the line
Imagine my surprise one day
He really took my breath away
He struck me that first time

He rent his garments wept and begged
On bended knee he screamed remorse
And I said yes of course
I do forgive you

Blinded I did not foresee
His fevered bellicosity
Kicks blows and bruises thick and fast
Now looking back I feel aghast

The seventh time he broke my arm
The tenth my collar bone
So now I live alone
I’m free from harm at last
no longer broken
Healing slow
With still a little way to go

No longer cherished by a thug who loved me
As his punching bag
Gave me the sense of flying
Through to air
the day he kicked me down the stair
Or waking on the floor concussed
From where he’d thrown me through the door
Rainbowed bruising raised and round
My evidence of battleground
My lie of ‘falling in the bath’
My friends and their derisive laugh

I’m free from harm
no longer broken
Healing slow
With just a little way to go.

Memory Lane

Lead me to my memory lane
Edged in pretty flowers
Chocolate box desires
Heady scents of love
to make you swoon
All drenched in beauty
lured to spires of gaudy blooms
Behind their lurid fumes
the fetid stink of biers

I stumble in the fumble of their undergrowth
Pain flowers sweet
A barbed white rose

White climber tumbled in your heart
quick thorns to pierce and strangle your desire

Seeking pearls of wisdom midst the thorny tangles
Bony spikes of hurt
The present loses savor
And tainted dirt of yesterdreams
clings dusty to my tongue
The florid sun dries up the longing for some fun
Down memory lane


he creeps inside
while no one looks he pricks out
sutures in her broken heart
let them bleed
and drain that black blood all away
drain the bile till blood flows clean
hoary furballs shattered dreams
pustulating hopes gone bad
nameless torpor lays her down
confounds immobilising her mind
flits frantic to be free
of this vile place
this waiting room
of me

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Comments by other Members

Plagious at 13:05 on 06 June 2006  Report this post
Hi Dele. Complex, dark, moving. I love the narration aspect. It starts with the almost "jolly" Song of Roland approach (an 8th century tale of bravery and suffering), that masks, like the "Song", the true brutal nature of the subject matter.

Memory Lane - almost dreamlike, but such a dark undercurrent. Almost an Eliot, "skull beneath the skin" aspect, capturing fetidness, mortality, but wonderful imagery.

Recuperation -

"while no one looks he pricks out
sutures in her broken heart
let them bleed
and drain that black blood all away"

Did get lost here. Is the "he" the tormenter? I really did not follow that last six lines. Could not tell if she was free, still ensnared or something else? Otherwise, very good read! Plagious

Dele Campbell at 22:41 on 06 June 2006  Report this post
Thank you for your comments, I'll admit 'recuperation' is unfinished, and was untitled when I posted it, but the strands got muddled and cut somewhere and I could only recover snatches. I'll work on it tomorrow, but it's about the cyclical nature of depression and how the sufferer is often at loggerheads with their nearest and dearest,'of me' coincidental to or during episodes of illness, and how all the emotional healing in between bouts gets undone, 'pricks sutures'and how within the dark suffocation of despair there is another self trying to escape this living death.
Nice to meet you
And yes, I did use the trite imagery of popular love songs for the first part of Ten Strokes, I'm glad the contrast worked for you. I thought it suited the theme.

Plagious at 18:55 on 08 June 2006  Report this post
Dele. It is still very poignant. Add what you think would work. Mine are early and ignorant observations. Hopefully. Others will be more inciteful! Plagious

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