Time for sleep in Chateau Rogers but I thought I’d share this piece I found in my odds and ends files from 2009. I’d forgotten about this and even put it under ‘unfinished’.
I kinda like it.
Castles in the Sky.
Sometimes I sit outside on warm summer evenings
And I think such thoughts
Such sad painful thoughts
But I look above to heaven.
There are no gods there, but I see
Great castles in a pink puffed sky.
Figures in clouds
Those dragons. They burn. They hurl fire but they fade.
And I see your face
Feel your fingers in mine
Just history now but I feel them still
And yes… tears come. Sobs from my heart.
At things lost. At memories.
An orange sun sinks in the sky
And I know you feel its warmth too
I feel it touching your skin, I touched it too
And a breeze gently stirs. Bending flowers before it
I feel it on my face, drying tears
Touching my lips, lips that kissed yours.
But I sit here in this sadness
And I wring my hands in hope
That those days will come again
That my exile, my solitude will end
But for now. I will go. Try to forget.
But I feel that one day …
…one day I will return.
When dragon fire no longer
…. Will burn.
Copyright Stan Rogers 2009.
Today I am entering a new relationship. About time I hear you say. But I do enter this relationship with great joy, hoping it will be a great pleasure to me over the coming years. She arrives this afternoon and is moving in with me right away.
I am so looking forward to becoming close to her straight away. I will learn very quickly what turns her on… and off. I will caress her lovely face with tenderness and appreciate the lovely contours of her slim shapely body, which I aim to explore shortly after during our evenings and nights together.
I know that the early stages of any relationship can be testing and no doubt we will have many disagreements as we learn about each other. Yes, she will be stubborn and yes, I will get angry and shout at her frequently as I get frustrated with her ways. But I will learn and soon we will be as old friends.
And until then I can hardly wait till DPD drop her off. My new Razer Phone. 😊
Between the years of 2007 and probably 2010, I reached the peak of writing creativity. I was always more of a poet, a troubadour of this modern age rather than a novelist I felt, but I did turn out Love Sex and Time Travel in 2007 which is still my biggest seller by far. It is also my favourite novel. I actually cried as I wrote parts of it such was the emotion I put into it, which came from my poetry.
In those heady four years, my brain positively crackled with new ideas. I didn’t write because I wanted to make money from it. I wrote because I had to. I didn’t have a future … I had a NOW. If I hadn’t have written my words down, I felt that my mind would explode, and so most days I would just write. I would write more and then more. Beautiful poetry, wonderful words seemed to cascade from my mind continuously it seemed.
Also, during those four years, my life changed totally. It was all down to my words. I gave up the rat race in 2008, taking redundancy, and vowing to never return to 9 to 5 slavery, I left the UK to be with my Sandra in the Seychelles. Ideas as usual poured from me spurred on by Sandra and her love of my words. But it was not to be, the Seychelles was not for me and I unhappily returned to the UK a few months later. But my words never stopped and in 2009 I wrote some of my finest work. I also started the Seer Of Albion, which believe it or not started its life as a simple Facebook status, then a very short piece of philosophy about reading people’s faces for emotions. Then it became my project for NaNoWriMo that year. That is a competition held every year to write a 50,000-word novel during the 30 days of November. I succeeded and won my certificate.
I was inspired in my writing of it and even parts of the story by my Raven who I had first talked to in late August 2009. We became online lovers and then real lovers in December 2009 and then she became my wife in 2012. I thought that my life was complete. My writing did continue into 2010 but something was different. My mind stopped crackling. Writing became something of a chore. I missed daily targets that I set myself. My inspiration faltered and instead of a natural flow it became a chore to try to find it. I had lost the plot. My writing became contrived and forced and so the flow slowed to a trickle. I put that down to being so very much in love with Raven. I was happy and very content and I suppose the need to write diminished because of that contentment. From then until now, apart from a few shining exceptions, I feel my work has been second class and pedestrian.
Yes through these years I did produce some wonderful poetry but it was the exception amongst a sea of dross. My follow ups to Love Sex and Time Travel and The Seer of Albion ground to a virtual halt over those years and that is where they pretty much stand now, along with The Anonymous Poet another novel started in 2014 which I felt had the potential to be my strangest but greatest novel yet. All lay, stuck between about 10 and 20 thousand words. I wouldn’t admit to it but my inspiration had just totally dried up. I became dead inside, mundanity bit, and my inspiration followed it. I had found love but had lost my words.
And now? Well a wonderful thing has happened to me but at a terrible cost to myself personally. The unthinkable, for me, happened and I lost my dearest love. But slowly my mind has started to function again. I wrote Three Castles, I rewrote Until the End of Time, I rewrote Beautiful Brown Eyes. Not by far my greatest work, they still lacked some of my previous fire, but they were a turning point. For 8 years my follow up to Love Sex and Time Travel has lacked direction. I could not see where it was going, I could not imagine the ending, until a couple of days ago. The ending had been there all the time. I had written it already a few years ago and not known that it could be the ending, a wonderful inspired ending that explains both books and will lead to another follow up. Now it will be. I have a direction at last. My end has a start…. I am a writer and a poet once more, if a very lonely and heartbroken one although as she knows, she is always welcome to call me at any time.
© 2018 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
I thought I would finish by posting a piece of poetry from about March 2009. I do admit it was inspired by my very dear friend, Donna Marcozzi. It wasn’t the piece I originally looked for but it does show the emotional depth of feeling I felt back in 2009. Here is, ‘If I Were To Feel Anger.’ It is the past, the present, and the future…….
If I were to feel anger. Tears of rage
Loss of innocence even at my age
Would it be at losing you…before I knew you?
Feel your soul dissipating through my outstretched fingers
Like mist on a summer morning. Dew dissolving under hot morning sun
And a breaking heart in my chest. Feeling your sighs
Touching your face across a void, and mutual highs
But I am me. The guru of love lost.
I find it so hard to be…happy?
So hard…just so hard. Life gives me that as interest.
And I am never ready. Always behind
And where’s the sense in that?
Can I help this feeling of self imposed loss?
Going down with all hands baling
Angry with failing, and fighting my own devils
Punishing myself for imagined future crimes
And past indulgences….back to haunt me
And people feeling anger at me
And I wonder why. Because I dare to be happy?
Because I stepped into their lives?
I hate these feelings of trying to balance
Not to hurt and think of others feelings.
Guilty I suppose… I always am. Perhaps trying
Isn’t really enough.
Should I just lie down? Fulfil my own collapse.
Give up at all that lies before
And any anger I feel is at myself
Audacity at my own hope of being
Temerity at daring to think I could ever possibly be happy.
At daring to think that love isn’t possession
Not control…I want to give. But that isn’t right
Anger at inner turmoil. At trying so hard
At being the person I aspire to be
Anger at the insults I receive?
No not really…just sadness at negativity and pain
And spite, the worst of human sins.
©2009 Stan Rogers
When the world was still, young, so young,
We were in love.
Lips touching, latte frothed and smiling
And in morning’s first grey of dawn
In love warmed sheets, we would wake
And I yearn for those times… those precious days
Such love we shared, for us, no other.
There could never be any other …
There never has been for me.
Leystan, just born then, Matt in his prime.
But Maven, my perfect image of you.
Was my dream, my hope, and I remember
How you saved her from the certain death I had condemned her to
And Maven lived on, for you. For she was you.
When the world was still young. And we were in love.
And I kept that dream… from when our world was still young.
But that raven black moved to your heart
Now cold, now hurtful, now hard… like jet.
Set on hurting the one that you love.
And those lips are still sweet. I know.
But gentle kisses turned to honeyed lies
My sheets are so cold with my lonely pain.
My loss burns into my brain …
No more sunshine smiles … just pain, such awful pain.
As alone I face this loss, this grief
Chilled with my rejection. Hurting. Alone.
But I share this awful guilt with you … equally
For I too, lost sight of our dreams for a time
But I kept the one dream always, I kept faith
And my hand will always be there… reaching for yours.
Yes, I faltered, but my dreams of us never died
They were my one constant, through bad times and good.
My love never faded. How could it?
Nor my love of your sleepy face.
And my memories will never fade
From when the world was still young … and we were in love.
© 2018 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
The night is late, the streetlight glows softly orange
Through the slats of the apartment blinds
An old movie, black and white, plays softly
One she loves. Adding a gentle silver glow to the room
And in my lap, she lays sleeping, sharing our blanket
Sharing our life, sharing a heartbeat
… and sharing a dream
I love to watch her sleep
Gentle breathing, occasional snores
The odd sleep twitch and mumbled word
And I gaze at the one I know I love above all else
The only woman I know I can ever love
Over the years we have been apart many times
But we always find our way home to our love
… to each other
The only love we can know or desire
I feel my leg begin to tingle, pins and needles tingle
But I cannot move it, I cannot
To do so would spoil this perfect moment in time
And I won’t do that
All my love I see before me in this beautiful lady
Complete contentment and happiness
Wrapped in a huddle of blankets and in my arms
… as they gently encircle her warm shoulders
And although I know it can’t,
… I want this moment in time,
To never end, to last forever
Because I love her
I feel her gently stir, and I bend forward to kiss her cheek
A yawn, a smile on that sleepy face I know so well
A look of love in her eyes, such beautiful brown eyes
And that love is mirrored in mine
I love her
And in my love for her
… I am home.
© 2017 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
I am a strong man. I must be, especially right now, and today I was thinking about promises made. I have always set high store on the promises I have made.
To make a promise to a person involves that a promise cannot be made without knowing you have the strength to keep it. It is no good just giving up on that vow. That is why I do consider myself strong. I always keep a personal promise made to a person. For instance, I made a promise to my mother, several years ago before she had a serious stroke that has wreaked havoc on her brain, destroyed it in fact.
We had talked many times pre-stroke, and I knew of her great fear of living her life in a nursing home due to how badly her parents had been treated in one. I made her a promise that she would never be put in one unless there was no other option.
And people say that she is incapable of knowing now if I break that promise, that I should. But a promise made to a person doesn’t just end because that person is mentally handicapped to my mother’s extent. Yes, I could break that promise, but I made that promise and I would know that I had broken it. That is why I cannot.
And it is the same with a promise of undying love for a person. They may not care now if I didn’t follow that promise, they may believe that I should consider finishing that love, but I can’t. I made it in good faith and I thought that another person felt the same. But that promise was made because I meant to keep it. I never considered it a temporary promise. I hoped that person would see that. And it does require from me a lot of faith in that person, even now. It does require a lot of strength from me. But as I said at the beginning of this piece.
I am a strong man.
© 2018 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
Firstly, this is a rework of an unpublished, almost year old, piece. It is a piece about great love and the stupidity of people. It is a story of a wasted life but also a life of great beauty and love. It is a piece where the gods look down and wonder at the stubbornness and idiocy of humans. And as in the first time I read my own work I will admit I cried again. That is an understatement. I sobbed my heart out.
But most of all it is a love story for all of that.
THE STORY BEGINS.
Today is a special day for me, a sad day. April the 25th 2058.We have been divorced for 40 years now. I always… well I don’t celebrate it. It’s a kind of Remembrance Day for me. It is also only two months before I celebrate my 105th Birthday. I laugh but it comes out as a cackle before descending into a rasping dry cough. How I possibly have survived to this great age. I had been surprised when I had made it into my seventies, let alone becoming a centenarian. But somehow, I know I won’t make it to 110.
Just this act of coughing seems to drain me of all of my strength, but I slowly recover and take a drink of the glass of neat whisky the nurse has allowed me. I told her what day it is, and she allowed me a double this day.
“To commiserate Mr Fawley.” she laughed.
I smiled back at her and admired her figure. She was a local girl and she was a tall girl with long legs. She had a sweet, almost cherubic face and many years ago she would have stirred lust in my groin. But no longer. Those days are long gone now.
I was left substantial funds when my mother passed many years ago and with a few shrewd investments over the years that money has grown, allowing me to inhabit this superb nursing home overlooking the Gulf. It is I suppose, luxurious but I have little use for the baubles of luxury in my 104th year.
Yes, I was from the UK originally, but I always found it to be a drab dreary place compared to here, and besides, all of my pleasantest and sweetest memories were here in the USA. I had moved to Ohio back in 2020 and bought a small apartment but it had eventually been too much for me as I reached my old age and I sold everything to move into this home in 2043 just before my 90th Birthday.
I smiled again as I remembered those now far off days. Only a mere eight and a bit short years starting in 2009 but they were wonderful days mostly. Such a small part of the 104 I had lived now but they were the only ones I would choose to live again if I could. There had been bad days too, but I had long chosen to forget them and nowadays I just remembered the good times I had shared in those eight short years with my beautiful Raven. The simple pleasures of walking on the banks and paddling in the Olentangy River on a hot summers day, visits to the Franklin Conservatory, trips to Amish country. Lots more beautiful memories and I remember us strolling hand in hand into one of the local cafes, of laughing as we ate ice cream at Jeni’s in Dublin.
And that was why I had returned. Although I had returned for good in 2020, I had paid many visits before that. I had adopted various simple disguises and I would sometimes watch her clandestinely. I knew the stores she shopped at and the places she had visited, and I would occasionally see her, walking into the store, visiting the mall. I suppose it was stalking but I didn’t care. I would drink in her beauty in those brief stolen moments. I did see her with men occasionally too and I would often imagine her locked in amorous embraces with them which would leave me shuddering in pain and want but she never knew I was there. The worst times were when I saw her walk by hand in hand with another. But she never seemed to be with the same man for any great amount of time.
I did follow her on social media, as much as I could anyway, and my heart would break each time I saw that she was in a relationship but eventually I saw her less and less and then not at all. But I was merely content to be there in Ohio breathing the same air as her, walking in the same stores, watching the same stars and sunsets, feeling the same breezes on my face and imagining her beautiful black hair blowing free. Being close in my own way. And so, as the years passed she passed into obscurity from me, although never from my mind where the bright flame of our earlier love burned eternally. I guess that physically she passed from me in about 2030 which was the last time I saw her. She had moved to Florida by then and of course I had followed. I just wanted to breathe the same air as her I suppose.
So how had we ended up apart? Well it was my fault. It was I who had left. I who had told her I wouldn’t return and my own stupid decision to agree to a divorce that I never even wanted. I regretted my decisions almost immediately, but I suppose it might have happened sooner or later anyway. Maybe we could have shared another year or two together, but I think she had grown so frustrated with me that the end was maybe inevitable. Her love for me I guess faded although mine would never die. Perhaps she regretted our parting, I like to think she did, but I guess I would never know how low I feel. I had hurt someone I loved so very much, and I didn’t know why. How could I have done that awful thing? And that is the thing that is destroying me even all of these decades later. All I want to do is to take her in my arms. Tell her I love her. Tell her that I care. But how can I tell her that now ? How can she possibly believe the sorrow I feel at my behaviour? My betrayal of her was complete.
And so, I never knew what happened to her, maybe she had passed away even. She was only three years younger than me and so would be celebrating her 101st birthday this year, if she was still alive and that is what I presumed. I regretted never trying to find out, but I left her to her own life or death, whichever it was. I had thousands of our photos and emails from those distant days which I would view and read most days and so I remembered her as she was, not what she may have become.
I finished my whisky and called for my nurse. It was dinnertime and she pushed me to the dining room chattering away although I barely heard a word, so much was my mind in the past. We entered the dining room and a large screen tv was tuned into a football game. I tried to follow it, but American Football has I am afraid never raised much interest with me. I eat very little nowadays and so my visit was brief. I asked to be returned to my room.
As I was pushed along the corridor to my room I noticed one of the room doors was open and a frail old grey-haired lady was being hooked up to tubing. Probably IV drips and a naso-gastric feeding tube. The poor old girl looked like she was on her last legs. The nurse carried on chattering inanely as she pushed me back to my room. Maybe I could catch the BBC World news. And then it hit me.
“Stop.” I tried to cry but it came out as more of a croak. “Stop!”
The nurse did as I asked but looked at me with a worried look wondering if I was suffering from a heart attack or something.
“Who is the lady in that room? I asked.
“I don’t know Mr Fawley. Do you know her?”
“Wheel me back I demanded.”
She did so, and we stopped outside the frail ladies room.
I saw a woman who had obviously enjoyed great beauty many years ago and I pushed myself closer until I sat beside her. It couldn’t be surely? The nurse was studying the ladies chart, so I leaned forward. I lifted the sheet surreptitiously and there it was. No doubt about it. On her lower right leg was the Eye of Horus tattoo I remembered so well. She had it done before she had met me all those years ago. Oh yes, it was smudged and pretty illegible after all of these years, but I recognised it straight away. It was my Raven. I was spellbound. Yes, she was old and frail now, but I could still see that beautiful vivacious woman that I had loved so intensely all those years ago.
The nurse turned back to me and asked me if it was the same lady I had thought it was. My words came out garbled between my sobs.
“Yes, it is. We were…. (I thought for a few moments) we were good friends many years ago. I haven’t seen her in almost thirty years now.”
The nurse walked over to me and placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
“I am sorry Mr Fawley but she is here for end of life palliative care only. We are making her as comfortable as we can and giving her something to ease the pain, and I think I can tell that she was more than just a good friend?”
I nodded in agreement and took my Raven’s poor hand again.
“May I stay with her tonight?” I asked pleadingly.
I think she was going to refuse me at first, but she could see in my face the need I had to stay. I had to stay.
“I think that can be arranged. she smiled. Her family have already said their goodbyes.”
And so on her final night we were together at last. I asked the nurse to bring me the old journal that I kept in my room and
I read the poetry I had written for her so many years ago.
I chose to read her the first poem I had written for her. Ravens Wing
I could swear I saw the hint of a smile upon her lips as I read but maybe that was just wishful thinking. My old voice cracked as I choked on several of the poignant words. Once again, we shared love warm sheets, once again we share latte frothed lips. I leaned closer and she managed to speak. So quiet, so weak, I could barely hear her as she whispered.
“I love you.”
And then a last gasp and exhalation of breath as she passes, still weakly squeezing my hand I swear
Did she know it was me? I don’t know. But I had always promised her that my love for her would last until the end of time. And it had. For her and me both this was indeed our end of time and I had fulfilled my promise. I hoped she had recognised ‘her guy’s’ voice and touch and even my words but I didn’t know. There had been no movement on that once beautiful face, not even an eyelid fluttered. Only those last sweet whispered words. I pressed the call button and as the Doctor ran into her room I asked my nurse to wheel me back to my room.
Later I gaze out of my window enjoying the rippling reflections of street lights on the coast road, lost in thought for a while then I wheel myself over to my desk. Sitting on the desk is Boofie, the cuddly toy she had bought me in 2013 for comfort during an operation I had then. He is a little more careworn now, but he is 44 years old after all He still wears his ‘loved like crazy’ badge from all those years ago.
I pull him to me and hug him against my feeble chest as if part of my Raven resides in his stuffing filled body, and I suppose it does and then I pull apart the Velcro pocket I had arranged to have put in him. From within I pull out the packet of pure heroin. Then I sit Boofie on my lap as I wheel myself back to my view of the Gulf out of the window. I pour the contents into the large glass of whiskey and water and give it a good stir with my finger. And as I watch the cars drive past on the coast road below I turn on my stereo with its remote. Soon Mozart plays gently, and I sip on my poisoned chalice.
A sense of serenity overcomes me as the drugs start to take effect. A warm comfortable glow diffuses through my body and I take the last sip. And as Mozart plays gently (she loved Mozart) I can feel myself start to drift away.
From behind me as the music plays, I imagine I can feel gentle hands on my shoulders and I swear I hear her beautiful voice asking me.
“How’s my guy?”
She walks to my front and I see that beautiful face I remembered so well. She smiles that radiant smile and takes my hand. I stand, and she leads me from the room. Into times end.
…. The memorial rose in the cemetery six month later. It read
“For two people that loved even when apart. They lay here reunited and released. They reached the end of time together.”
© 2018 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
I will include the poem I was reading to her as she passed in its entirety with one small edit.
Ravenswing black and lustrous as jet.
I long to touch your hair… inhale its scent
I want to run my fingers over your soft cheek.
Feel that smile I love with gentle fingertips
Kiss your waiting parted soft lips
I need to see past your eyes
Into that gentle immaculate soul.
Embrace your mind and discover it’s secrets
It’s kindness and it’s truth.
And I want you to know mine,
And let us share each other
Forever. As no other
As dawn comes, grey early morning light through a window
I want to waken beside you, touch that hair
Wake you to a day of knowing you are mine
As I am yours always. Kiss you awake with love
With care. With pleasure at your sleepy face
I think you will be at your most beautiful
In dawn’s grey light. In love warm sheets.
And walking, cold chill Sundays with Autumn leaves underfoot
Breath misting as we talk, hand in gloved hand.
Exploring our souls, discovering each other
Before coffee in a warm bistro
Smiles on latte frothed lips.
A kiss to taste it and its sweetness
And laughter at shared intimate jokes
Returning home to be alone. Apartment warmth, such pleasure
To run my fingers through that raven hair
To feel your want, your need, your love
Bright stars through the frost whitened windows
Our only light of choice
Let us reach out to those stars with joy. Let us love and be loving.
Let us be alive. And fear nothing.
Let us be one. Until the end of time.
©2009 Stan Rogers
You have no idea of this pain
No idea of the sense of total loss
No idea how it feels to be losing your mind
Now I do. Yes, and I hurt.
My heart still glows with burning embers
But yours? They have died. Love has disappeared …
… down icy cold corridors
And lost. Yes, I am lost at being so alone now.
For all these years. Years filled with your love?
I have had you as my constant, my rock, my cornerstone
Even when we were apart.
You were my only need.
And now I have nothing … zero.
No certainty, no love, no contact, no loving touch
To be so bleakly alone is a shock
I feel marooned, cast adrift on a stormy sea …
Before? Well I had you there beside me.
Now? … well no more. This boat fights its way through a tempest alone …
… only me to guide it. Maybe drown with it
And that wouldn’t be so bad would it?
Drown in abandonment?
Die with your name on my lips.
“I love you.” uttered with my last waterfilled gasps
Your lovely face with one last bittersweet smile.
Yes, I feel shipwrecked on some island
Sharing a rocky beach with blade sharp memories of you
But empty memories, for they have no resonance with me or with you it seems
One-way memories as the others become garbage.
Not shared anymore.
How could you forget? How could I become … forgotten, a nothing, a cypher?
And how could you do this? You promised never ending love.
How could our great love die in a week?
And I sit here wondering how, befuddled, confused
Blindsided, bereft, not understanding …
But the embers of my love still burn bright for you …
… yours? Yes, they have died in an instant
A stiletto in my back, a noose around my neck.
A nail in my coffin.
I sedate myself, gin, cigarettes and Valium
And do they reduce the pain? Maybe … I shrug
A steady thrumming of pain still but it is eased for a brief while.
To be replaced by numbness and sweet memories?
Yes. I still sleep beside you in my dreams
I still feel every contour of that lover I know so well,
… but mine no longer.
I still feel your sweet body …
… but only as another enters you
Each stroke is a broken prayer
Every sigh of passion is a tombstone to me
And his final thrusts become my torment. My descent into hell.
As I watch with revulsion as he takes you from me
Destroy my love.
Do you know what you do?
Do you relish my pain? Do you even care?
But my embers still burn brightly.
My heart still beats for you.
© 2018 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
I loved those shared hours over our years
In the still of the night.
Beside you in the darkness, sweet darkness, sweet nights
I would often lay beside you hearing your soft breathing
Slight murmured words from your dream.
And I would turn and move closer to you
Trying so hard not to disturb you.
My sweet lady
I loved the feeling of your body heat against mine as …
… I rested my hand your on your side and sighed in contentment, in tender love. In utmost pleasure at the feel of your soft skin.
And often I would wake as dawns soft light entered our bedroom
Diffused by curtains but a noticeable grey of a fresh day.
And I was content. I was in love.
With that love beside me
But now I sleep alone, in awful isolation
And I awaken and can imagine your gentle breathing still
Ghosts inhabit my nights now
But you are not there, and tears begin to seep from my eyes
At your distance
At my loss.
And now I hate those quiet nights, alone and without you.
Plans unfulfilled, although we could have
Dreams ended. All hope is gone.
All love has left this life now.
And dawns pale grey light only reminds me
I have another day to get through without you.
Until another lonely still night comes.
© 2018 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.