SPOTLIGHT: The Art of Glass Houses by Vikki C.

The Days

The softness comes between goodbyes
peeling the alabaster that keeps us together
you thought of me as a pillar and I held the sky

Yet ancient things bear too much world,
cracks appear in the years we lost
a keen awareness of endings arrives

Like a long distance train,
its cargo of absence shifted from city to city
never settling except as libraries and flower markets.

While poetic nuances take the belly ache through antiquated gates
a musky barn, dust motes and bales of rolled prairie grass
just like Monet painted in rose-gold light – still, we search for the needle

But the good life is this simple:
fireflies will embroider the gloaming,
hallways of elms arching but not quite breaking

We learn this decades later like a first encounter,
lovers under glittering street lamps
the rain a greyscale language we let soak us
with the contagious scent of autumn

Looking through a small window,
rivers go on into a vista of pale green
as the days are made for things we miss

A dash of red in the sky joining our aloneness,
the evening news announced by birds on highwires,
the injuries of travelling a full season, baggage unguarded.

In Ombre Timelapse

There is saving grace in tears
how they fall down the lonely cheekbone of the mountain,
slowly eroding the times we built our hopes up from the foothills of despair

And when you look back, the mist parts to reveal that place
where light fell in revelations – except now it is shaded with secrets

Not too far from the heather cliffs, by the ocean
you photographed a languid moment as I was walking past in a white linen dress
lazy, coloured boats cradling eventide in the harbour

Fifteen years later, I find you, miraculously untouched
you see, it could have been a love letter shuffled between bedrooms
permeable to that one lonely drop of sadness

How it would have been absorbed and forgotten like it should have been, but the polaroid is more than evidence of a fine day

On its glossy surface, the tear rests in peace
becoming one with amber glass waters –
the same breath now as back then, rippling in ombre timelapse

Vignettes close in from the peripheries
but always allow a handful of light fractals to remain
to crystallise us on this day, eras later – unchanged
I, the innocent passerby and you again, an ordinary stranger.


To wander between mercy and ruin
mosaics seeking brethren to earn a stranger’s praise
later, a frame to hold the pale patina days,
my auburn tresses trailing your abandonment

What was once here is why we’re both looking
Not for a lake of sonnets, nor wineberries to whet our appetites,
simply to fall, with temptation tied to our failing limbs

The burn of ocean salt, broodier than imagined,
sadder than the room we left our ambitions
bleak years later, the cliffs came to us, albion cheekbones haunted hollow

We wanted it all – undone,
our zeitgeist, a penance of pearls,
the crescent moon hooking the perfect note,
pulling the white tangled mast away…a slow sojourn of soul silk.


Driving west where history deepens in the candle of dusk, one is remade as old stars. Seeing through stained glass as if ruin preceded our first breath, I feel your attention slip from my shoulder to Land’s End.

Watching from afar is easy, a narrator, soft-lipped, conversing with a stranger. But to hold beauty as a precious thing, is a different faith. Hold it like the day’s long gaze over heather tundra and all that is unmapped.

Decanting time is an art too. An unsteady hand leads to a sharp turn where wildness is a brambled dirt trail. But you gasp anyway, with something like pain or anticipation. And departure bay, idyll boats waiting to cradle our bodies – it could be heaven, if only you would trade the Gregorian for the immeasurable. If you dare come close enough to taste the salt of sorrow and its native tongues.

I would be the passenger looking back once at this ruddy painting – artist unknown. I’d curate each stepping stone and tell you it is about a greater picture; silver trout leaping across planets. The compass dismantled. As if the telescope lens were clouded by desire, you are bringing me the universe in a bell jar. Or that on a life-size scale, our faltering could prescribe the full yellow of joy, of flax in mid-July. That across a swallow’s small wingspan, bearings lost – I’d love you all the way there.


Admittedly I have been a foreigner to many, a lost thing seeking a shadow to occupy.
In every land, my feet have graced those hard grey cobbled alleys, the passersby faceless, in the long hours of rain. I, the girl peering in at the secondhand bookstore, wondering if any of these editions will be in a language she understands, or if those stories are too much like people, labels and archetypes coined by man.

Breath to glass, I beg for escape: Please let them take the form of a haven, an island – free of possessions. The only dialects, the tepid breeze in the lofty cypresses and soft cymbals of spoondrift against the shore of respite. Perhaps merely interrupted by the occasional hummingbird – its shimmering wings holding up a lighter world.

My body, supine, pressed against powdered dunes, a coral and sand washed crown upon my dishevelled hair, a fuchsia bougainvillaea garland around my frail neck. Let the author have been marooned here too with one splintered paddle protesting the waves of discontent as they keep coming, sculpting me into sea glass – invisible truths from a casting kiln.

Like any prayer, someday, I may be held in a palm of acceptance and you too will know this way of life – reading until languid skies fall like silk upon the canopy separating us from our troubles. Through the white gauzy cotton, an amber glow of fireflies, the only light we need to find our way back home.


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