Christie-Luke Jones is a poet, fiction writer and actor from Oxfordshire, England. Christie-Luke’s writing is strongly influenced by the Gallic blood that courses through his veins, as well as his interest in the more macabre aspects of the human condition. To see more of his work, visit www.christielukejones.com.
Through gritty, parched eyes I squint,
As hazy boulevards wind ceaselessly ahead.
The soupy June air weighs heavy on my shoulders,
A cruel curse befitting of a cruel hour.
I snarl and thrash and seethe.
I pray for a swift end.
Highgate lovers, swathed in crumpled bed sheets,
Gaze down from windows in dreamy post-coital bliss.
The soft light emanating from their cigarettes reminds me where I should be,
Where I should have stayed.
Her cascading onyx locks and melting stare, so far from here.
Snatched away in a frenetic dusk.
In the murky, nocturnal depths of this Hadean Borough,
The thought of fusing my weary torso to the elegant curve in her back is my only escape.
To sweetly kiss the nape of her neck,
And watch that sensual smile paint joyously across her sculpturesque face.
For a brief, heavenly moment, I’m there.
But mine is the oppressive still of a North London night,
Where bountiful summer trees loom black and menacing over deserted pavements.
Lo, wrapped in my internal struggle I have omitted another.
One who neither pines, nor laments, nor regrets.
A weightless astronaut, he skulks through the night air with a humble grace.
His sinewy frame. That restless, twitching muzzle,
An opportunist cat burglar, thriving in his concrete woodland.
He slows as I approach. A cautious arc. His marble eyes reflecting the street lights above.
What does he see?
We halt in unison, we share the stillness.
His keen nose analyses my scent, his pointed ears flinch at my slightest movement.
Such devotion to the senses is something I’ve long forgotten.
Suddenly I feel my heavy feet beneath me, notice my short, agitated breaths.
This wild animal has coaxed me out of my own head, made me living again.
He watches intently as I find the strength to move forward. Down this path I myself chose.
And as I glance back, I ponder his sentience. Did he share in my epiphany?
Succumbing to sleep I envy the fox. Long to dream his savage, unquestioning existence.
Glassy almonds of many colours strewn about,
Massaged by frothy hands.
The ghosts of conflicts past scuttle giddily on abundant limbs.
Armed and ready, should opportunity knock a second time.
A grey-green genetic soup swells and heaves under Palaeolithic gates.
To the South lies the North,
Its ashen hills and sleepy cimtières a proud hinterland.
The painful thrill of the icy current. The jagged rocks. The slimy, choking weeds.
Elemental forces unburdened by the lethal follies of man.
Blood is spilled under Blanc Nez, as it was decades ago.
But there is no razor wire now, no rusty barbs waiting to eviscerate lumbering lions.
A baraque à frites sat stoically atop a wind-scorched ascent hails the wounded,
Their cuts and scrapes glistening as they congeal under a lemon yellow sun.
Feel your limbs, light, almost emancipated from your body,
Your face tautened by the healing saline breeze.
Blood courses flamingo pink through your youthful veins,
Breathing life into those crumbling Republican pillars.
You sense that this is it, that this is where you need to be.
So aux armes! Defend this blissful feeling lest it die here,
Anchor your spirit to the restless dunes and demand your droit du sol.
A solitary orange for breakfast; she delivers it with her unmistakably virginal smile, kneels by my bed in thanks.
My body fizzes with polarising urges strong enough to kill us both.
Her apartment is beyond all comprehension; I feel undeserving of its pine-scented
air, the only discordant note in an otherwise harmonious melody.
She dresses in furs and heavy knits. Her glowing skin and lithe body are untouched by the sweating guilt of midnight trysts.
A nervous laugh rocks the vast drifts as our paths tentatively entwine across the
blank expanse of canvas.
Our eyes devour in absence of trembling lips. The inevitability is palpable.
A joyful expression of unspoken lust; her hands scream to be touched.
I debate the drop, survey the cliff edge with a melting restraint.
Hurtling forth; I find myself discussing pickled herring in her father's slippers.
God-fearing Christians, no doubt afraid of this wolf in sheep's clothing.
Such a charming sheep, though. I bleat and graze with impeccable timing, convince
Neither of us find sleep that night. Impatience drives me to my annex room, whilst her mind is a dance of plush hearts and handwritten love letters.
Another 12 hours to keep my mask from slipping.