Death and the Maiden – Josh Richards

By August 27, 2015 2015 runner up

Death and the Maiden
The sour taste of a sweet tongue.
Food, strangely delicate finger-sized bites.
A taste of deep chocolate and tempered liquor.
A fine wine, red, with just a hint of violence.
Such an empty court of red, bursting into life.
Unpredictable, exciting, unforgivable.
The echo of a woman waltzing.
A shadow haunting in my mind’s memories.
A dancing maiden tapping her shoes round the banquet hall.
Light raindrops caressing her damaged shoes.
The smooth feel of rhythm as it pulsates her body.
The grind of fingers down a window, trying to enter.
I was a bird in dress taking the clouds as its own,
Flying high, the soft cold moisture of breath skimming off its wings.
As it made steady progress across the sky,
There came a sweet reminder of what it had left behind.
Now as it dives the air suffocates and constricts,
Dark and heavy, with ominous trouble.
Forced through caves and tight crevices
Scraped by canine-like stalactites,
It’s a hunter exploring the darkness like a new open-world,
Opening a sandbox of adventurous Trauma.
Cold, icy lake hands seek their desired prey.
And I’m away behind the curtain of wounding comfort.
The sun bursts again with light and the sky beckons its smooth blue touch.
Yellow fields call out in a sweet, reassuring voice.
My dull wings are clipped and a cage dams my overpowering senses.
A healing harm of dull shock and restricted euphoria.
All the time is spent counting,
Totalling the hunts, the chases, the captures.
The bars squeeze confidence and will.
Time like me loses its flight.
Desperately clung thoughts fuel a race to the finish line.
Rushed through the bars I am greeted with an explosion of senses.
Flavours of freedom glide up my nerves and excite my brain
Knowing the pleasure it rewards.
I was a bird in dress unable to take flight.
The diminished size of the world within me.
The smooth feel of that rhythm pulsating my un-forgetting body.
Now it catalyses remembrance creating a thirst to claim.
A goal to achieve a deserving piece of mind.
My life spurred forward, my conscience questioned.
Can you hunt the hunter, without becoming predator?
Josh Richards
Year 13
Collingwood Area School

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