‘Long Storm’ by Valkyriekerry Kelly

soft cartel may 2018

Clattering to the floor the isolated bird sprawled the runway,
catapulting me home on the underground.
A cold, arduous walk through my Kentish village,
until I lay exhausted from my travels,
home from the hellsih dry-heat of Death Valley.
The rain belts on the windows,
jet-lagged, waiting for school on the morrow.

Stretching holidays between school and college,
rites of passage; misbehaving with friends, and drink.
Rallying without a license, living on the edge.
In the evenings smoke curls up with a bitter stench,
soaked up by the inn’s din, until the walrus calls ‘time.’
The rain belts on the windows,
as the doors are bolted with us voluntarily imprisoned inside.
Lights extinguish and candles are lit drawing shadowy figures on the walls.

Final exams come quickly, each christmas passing in the blink of an eye.
Late night papers now a thing of the past,
excuses swirl away, floating on the sea of each racing moment.
Long nights and days melt down into wax,
as I don my graduating gown.
Rain belts on the windows.
Brief ceremony, the apex of years of graft,
flimsy piece of paper lost in a file.
Gallopping through life, each step wished away.

Dressing in the grimness of my room,
childish walls hidden with fresh paint.
Camera comes and smiles are obligatory for a new life course,
adorned in white, undeserved. Hooking in the veil,
hiding my face in social expectation as the ceremony looms.
Months of planning pass in a breath,
lunch, disco, holiday and done.
Rain belts on the window,
and friends slowly drift away, locked into their own purgatory.
Shackles tighten over time, until torn away.

No sympathy comes when the pains begin,
an undercurrent of excitement for the impending arrival permeates,
but no care for the carriage.
Gruelling, unaware of the agonies anticipated,
A torn vessel, brimming over with love,
bleeding at the breast.
Awake at night, fatigued.
Rain belts at the window.
Later more pains, more soreness,
continuing deepening love;
A painful protectiveness.

Stress and worries, loss, moving homes, money.
Legal papers close one long-walked avenue.
Rain belts at the window.
Fearful demons climb through the shades,
So much responsibility to face alone.
Lost for a time.
Purging my worries with oils on a canvas,
a new light shines.

Growing little ones sleep soundly as the boat rocks.
Viciously the sea blows us to the Emerald Isle.
Awesome, taking a chance and a risk.
Driving through pastures new,
taking residence in the country.
Storms fly in from the ocean,
waves crash below.
Rain belts at the window.
New scenery glimmering in the wanton sun,
life clinging to coral,
and breeding in the fields.
Until spring lambs introduce my kindred soul.

Rain belts at the window,
but a life-giving orb glows through.
Joy guides me down another aisle, sparkling with ribbons in my hair.
Nature inspires my canvas,
we thrive as we were meant to,
and hope evolves from dried tears.
In the darkness rain belts on the windows,
but I am not alone.

Valkyriekerry Kelly is a multi-graduate living in Ireland. Her fiction has been published by TigerShark, Entropy2, Peeking Cat, Eskimo Pie, Plum Tree Tavern, Some Poets and Short Break Fiction. Her editorial debut Stan and Ellen’s Grand Opus reached number one in the UK Chapbook Charts twice in 2016. ‘Kerry’ is a bipolar survivor and also writes for VoicesIreland and Moods magazine to raise awareness for this condition.