fiction, photography


Chris R-0868 Image by Mark Renney

Despite the lack of evidence, Carter was utterly convinced he was missing a body part, that he had lost something, a piece of himself. He couldn’t stop checking and wherever he might be he would hold his hands up in front of his face and count off the fingers. Or was it a bit of his ear or part of his nose? Or was there a hole in his forehead or in his side or was it a toe? No matter that he always rediscovered he was complete, that nothing had gone astray, he didn’t feel reassured. But he had no scars nor wounds. All of him was in its place and working properly.
Carter decided that if he could pinpoint exactly when and where it had happened he would be able to move beyond it and stop obsessing. He had been suffering from this strange affliction for no more than three months and so the time frame was at least narrow. He was a creature of habit and lead a routine existence, his movements confined. Even so, retracing each and every step he had taken during that time would be difficult.
Carter took the same route to work each day. He walked the same pavements and rode on the same bus. He frequented the same café and pub close to the office and a newsagents nearer to home. He shopped at the same supermarket on Saturday mornings.
He realised that he could have dropped ‘it’ anywhere, whatever ‘it’ was. One of his fingers perhaps or a thumb or an eye. He could, of course, have lost it at the office, and someone else had picked it up and taken it or mistaken it for rubbish and thrown it away. But Carter sensed that it hadn’t happened like this. Not at the office, nor at home nor even on the bus. No, he had lost it out on the street whilst walking en route to elsewhere. In transit as it were. And he had lost it in the way one might lose a wallet or a watch or a single ten pound note. The chances of finding it now were almost non-existent though Carter didn’t need to find it but simply to remember.

Carter quickly understood that his world was small and although he had believed it would be difficult re-tracing his footsteps and remembering what he had done and where he had been it had proved depressingly easy. As he moved through the familiar streets, searching again and again, he became more and more aware of how intricate the City was and how dense.
He rifled through the waste bins and sifted through the detritus and debris gathered at the curb side and in the gaps between the buildings. He scoured along all but forgotten pathways and cut-throughs. At first these ran parallel with his old routes but gradually he was pulled further and further from his little patch of the City and he was exploring parts that were completely alien. He realised also that anything lost would remain lost but he wasn’t able to stop looking, not quite yet.

life, poetry



A lighthouse

warns sailors and weary sea travelers

tows them to land with

safe beacon

lest jarring against rock

they split, spilling into

sea and Orpheus claims

their hopes and dreams

if lighthouse

is not lit, or extinguished

by neglect

indifference furnishing the hearts

of those who look away rather

than consider the part they play

in outcome

should the light grow dim

not be seen on ocean swell or

shape the maps of stars well enough

for observers to secure sight

we have blocked out, inked over

all that shines

my lighthouse turned

like the wrist of a young girl

searching waves for score of boat

scratching surface in ebbing float

like a voice through trees I bid

with my candle your return

staying late into night, squinting

against fog and breaking sea squall

for your beloved shape cresting o’er wave

always I lay my light beyond myself

for you and the part of me devoted

yet in all time, not once you saw

my endeavor sounding shoreline

in tug of heart, rowing out for

your safety, your well-being

no, you came to subsist on

my light leading safety, without

thinking the part you play when

two are together, securing each

the other, to give and take

I light your way, you stay in darkness

on the periphery, outlasting my wield

I try in vain, deafness not always a curse

but chosen, blighted response, closing off

those who bid you within, stay still

you say, no I can take care of myself

it is my life, you are nothing more than

a lighthouse

guiding me near

though never

close enough

for capture

you stay afloat

in knowing

the light will always burn

you shall be able to navigate

and my map is yellowed by your


a spray of salt and seaweed

staining those hopes I

once had

you would take my hand and

light my way forward in the

reach of your sailing heart


Fulfillment denied


Tall are the trees enduring weight of snow

What they must think up high in foliage nobody shall ever know

And we

Who climbed together one branch at a time in lazy half measure, did not see, despite our elevation, a narrowing of sight

For now dust is swept back in time and glasses set with draughts of wine to consider past oversight in glimmering rubric; so much laid clear by pausing to mull the break of us, in slow splintered fall

First you, then thinking I held tight, my fingers finding no purchase watchful of spin and emptiness all without and within

I held only emptiness

As lessening by downward pull the recounting memories of us both entwined beyond untangling our mutual lives diminished by something infecting you

Deep and cold wrapping around throat, a syrupy manacle

I think of rain and how even cold it acts to placate our tempest sin, when sun can be too hot, too given to ease the sadness of believing we must be glad when summer can be a panacea of sadness lost between leaves

You and i released from one another’s spell fall like new born to earth underneath these roots we built from ourselves

Follicle of flooded hearts, denied entrance, with no purchase but to divide and in separation, always, fulfillment denied