All posts by Paul Ransom

Love letter # 439

This evening, conjured by the angled sun, called up by the softening folds of seasonal air, you were with me once more. Present in my charged senses. Or rather, I was back there – then – decades evaporated – on the trundling red train, moving up the hill to your teenage welcome.

Perhaps I should have known. The freshly scented spring. The first few weeks after equinox. Sky not yet bleached by summer. And the light. Crisp still, yet turning by shades to honey. The splendid colour of you. Of remembering.

For you arrived like the flowers, like bird chorus and bee thrum, and love was grown from bare limbs. Sweetness woken from its frosted sleep. It was the Eden of everything. All the fruit anew. No thought for shame, nor serpents.

And then…spring, summer, autumn…we did not make into winter; and you found warmth with another. I very nearly froze. Yet eventually thawed. Went back to the garden. Found other blooms. Grew older. Kept only pictures of you. Faded, crinkled, sitting in a shoebox. The butterfly pinned. Dry.

Except now. Emerged. Alive in the scent of the gold toned evening. The full swoon in flow. As though I could smell your hair. See the little freckles on your cheekbone. Feel the cool euphoria of your skin. We walked. Talked as always. Laughed. And your beaming eye shot a fire right through me, so that now my blissed out tears are opal. Tonight, for an hour, perhaps more, I will love you again as though loving had just been invented.

What flowers you have tended with your touch. What seasons you have brought to bear. What thanks I give for these patient seeds, nestled in muscle and time, that they might bring such bounty to my door.

Love letter # 426

Here’s the thing: you’re beautiful. Maybe you know this already. Perhaps it is of no consequence; and I am merely one in a line. The cut/copy admirer with hungry eyes. Take a number.

Then again, it might not be like that at all. My eyes may see you differently. Because your beauty is not a figure or a swing of limbs. Nor the fall of velvet hair or the promise of supple mouth. Nor even the electricity of hands. I cannot say what it is, for I do not know. I only know that I notice; and noticing, am transfixed.

I realise this missive will seem like more of the same. I apologise if this is so. For I do not appear before you as a beggar. I am not starving. I will not die if you decline. It is not your favour I seek. Neither is it the skin and thrill of your assent. Yet still I am drawn, as though the beauty I sense in you were calling out to me. Testing me. Examining my motives. Wondering if I might just be…

Love letter # 819

Today will always be the day. Corner turned. Stranger looming into view. Eyes in a crowd. Ignition. Nothing ever the same.

What is it – this abrupt transition? Not just the blood in a rush, or the validating gaze of desire. Nor even the magnetic recognition and the promise it contains. Perhaps it is a kind of birth, a world beyond chrysalis. The self reconfigured by the presence of the other. A cell divided, then reunited as someone different.

You appeared and, by an almost instant magic, I vanished – and then returned, at your side, anew. For the brightness had drawn a shadow on the ground; and the shadow had come to life.

Love letter # 423

I do not claim to know. Rather, I hope. I interpret what I believe to be the signs, yet I cannot know if I misread, or if my misty eyes are blind. However, in the light of such uncertainty, I ask myself this: how will it be if, years from now, I am still wracked with wondering? Which is the greater risk – knowledge or regret? ‘No’ may be a torment. ‘If only’ might be worse. And so, across the space between your heart and mine…this, the leap of declaration. For now I am pilgrim. Ready to arrive.

Love letter # 484

You fan the flames that I cannot explain. You ignite stars that make nights into days. But I love your sadness most of all. That heavenly breaking, temptation to fall. The clunking of doors and the creaking of boards. Dust on the mirror and drafts in the hall. Like rain in the summer, such unlikely jewels. This polish is scratched up, yet so beautiful. Shall we dance in the hush between siren and song, or make like we’re flawless…so shiny and dull?

Love letter # 565

Though I have stood next to you, heard your private words, tended to the wounds you keep hidden, still I remain at the distance of mystery. Still you are the secret kept.

If I have sought to love you, you have been as sand. Impermanent. Shifting at the behest of breath. And whenever I have reached out to you, yours has been the hand withheld. You the boat unmoored, me the traveller lost.

Is this your refusal? I cannot say; for it may be that you do not even hear the plaintive cry. Perhaps I have made a shrine for an angel with averted eyes. Yet, if from your eyrie you look not down upon me, into what sky do you gaze? What vanishing is it you seek that would see me disappear?

They are all you

Ever since I met you, I have always known. It is not that they are shadows, nor you their ghostly forebear. Neither do they replace you, or simply stand in your place. They shall not follow in your wake, nor wear thy lovely crown. The shiver of your love shall not be stilled in their embrace…for they are all you.

Now that I have tasted skin and mouth, woken in their warmth, I know it even more. When I am dancing at their side, dazzled with the shine, very nearly blind, this is what I find. They are all you, my love. They are all you.

In slanted light – in the golden, diagonal hand – I watch the lifted motes in beams, the graceful math of their floating; and with my quiet wonder I see it clear. They are all you.

And when, to the chorus of birds, in my song-filled garden, I bend to pick the fallen feather, I sense for a moment the thrill of their flying. I watch as they ascend, as if to a beat in a hidden hymn, and I know it, as they know the wing. For they are all you, my love. They are all you.

Hear now, the distant bell. Beauty come in waves. The cells of my body in tune. Your invisible signature, like time. Yes, even the sound, and the silence that makes it known…they are all you.

For I have breathed it in; this air of your ever present absence. In my lungs, in my blood, in my heart and my brain. In marrow and sinew, viscera and derma. All these scurrying parts, they bring me to your door, as ever they have. I feel them as your tender touch, like whispers you exhale. Again, my skin will go to bumps and you will pass right through me, and I will know it over and over.

They are all you, my love. They are all you.