ID 23

Toyen-The Unfolding Screen
Toyen-The Unfolding Screen

I recently suggested to Miss Heart of House of Heart that we collaborate together on a particular hare-brained idea. I am delighted to say that the gracious Miss Heart agreed to indulge my whim and displayed not inconsiderable patience with so idle and tardy a rogue. The result is the following poem, one half written by the vastly talented Miss Heart and the other part by myself. Like any work of the imagination it can be read in a number of ways or fashions. Suffice to say that there are many conflicting versions of events, that the same incidents can recur in different locations with a varying cast of characters and that all you may surmise doesn’t necessarily dispel the mystery.

ID 23


The autumn leaves have begun to fall.
Late October London is covered in hues of orange and purple.
On my bench by the river I daydream that I am
an adolescent reptile escaped from Kafka’s Die Verwanlung,
Laid back, baking in the sun.

My nostrils absorb layers of perfumes,
but women are for later, for now I am content to observe.
To my advantage I know all about the ladies
but they know so little about me.

Thinking of you against my wishes,
Dying just a little, dying and dead all sweet hope
of our dream never realised.
I imagine my earthly body padded sat beside yours on a grassy knoll
to breathe in the scent of lilac and the mossy green River Delta.

In the dark I am nude but for a shadow across my torso.
You are so near and to distract my self from the honey of desire
I distract my mind with “In A Dark Time” by Roethke.
You plead and to make me stay burn your breast with my cigarette.

By chance we meet years from now at the Cafe Rouge Et Noir.
You are so fragile, your eyes the soft halo of sunflowers.
In my arms you sway like a young birch in a summer tempest.
I am reminded of yesterday when we gave away what we had already lost.
We sing sad songs and hold each other, knowing love has died and we with it.


Can we ever escape the past?
Changing the scene, mood and direction,
Demolishing those very tender memories
Guilty yet again by this sense of omission,
Just leave the ruins intact, buried deep down.

The stratum of history juts all around here,
A nightmare but not my own, belonging to these others
That press against me in these antique streets
Desperately pretending that they are in fact alive.

Sometimes I catch myself wishing you were here
To guide me, hold my hand, stroke my hair,
Soothe me after the storm has subsided
That glint in your eye, the passion causing
My insides to unfurl like a flower seeking the sun

Can the colour of love transform this gray
Brutalist cell into the vivid fan of a peacock
Strutting through a mescaline paradise?
Only your intensity can grant this miserable miracle.

But in a future as yet undefined
I know we will meet again once more
By chance, of course, and we will dance together
At the Cafe Rouge et Noir, torn between
Hate and love and a fierce unquenchable desire.

39 thoughts on “ID 23

  1. I do believe Mlle. Heart and Mssr. Cake should come back for an encore. What better way is there to mesmerize an audience than to come back to Cafe Rouge et Noir and explore the depth of that unquenchable desire?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The autumn leaves have begun to fall.
    On my bench by the river I daydream that I am.

    This is definitely Holly.

    My pleasure reading such a lovely collab of longings, strong desire and hope.
    I really enjoyed it. and now reading it again.
    Great job both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations on a wonderful collaboration, Mr. Cake and Holly. I adore how the parts, 2 and 3 bounce off the other. Toyen is the perfect addition. I hope there will be a follow-up when they meet again, closing the circle, where all expectations will be fulfilled, or maybe not. ~ Miss Cranes

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a beautiful collaboration of poetic imaginary that truly fills the senses with delightful scenes..
    From ~”You are so fragile, your eyes the soft halo of sunflowers.
    In my arms you sway like a young birch in a summer tempest.”~
    To ~ “That glint in your eye, the passion causing
    My insides to unfurl like a flower seeking the sun”~

    Wonderful.. and Happy to be here, I came via Holly…

    Long may your poetic verse rise and fall in unison.. 🙂

    Love and Peace..
    Sue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Sue I am so glad that you enjoyed our collaboration. I am only an occasional poet unlike Holly who excels in the form, as I mainly write about art and general essays with the odd prose poem and short stories thrown in for good measure. Please feel free to look around and comment. Regards Mr Cake.


  5. A wonderful poem. Its really going to heart to, but in the first part there is a little bit more sadness, as i read in the right meaning. This play with the feelings identifies you Holly as creator of part 1. Hope i am right, and thank you both for the great result of cooperation. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

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