- Tala M.L. Davidson
Nothing Beautiful & Something Beautiful
There is nothing beautiful to say by it,
About it, there is nothing gold.
The source of my heart, and yet
The black bile builds up and down,
And spills out to shining floors
For me to kneel and clean, and sorry,
I’m not usually like this, I smile more,
It is just a wave, I ride the surf by.
Imagine the fruit; would you bite?
If you knew how many would die,
Would fall, all for indulgence, right?
For one moment’s freedom, one day,
Maybe I would. I have never been selfish,
And I am bored of subservience,
I cannot tend flowers in permanence
And stay with all I know, and all there is.
I did not expect a home down there.
Bile sticking to walls, grim lights strung
Along bones I could not reach;
I had not the stomach for such things.
You get sick of such things: bleeding,
For one, there is nothing good,
There is nothing to say by it;
It’s covered in oil, it’s gone now.
Can I sew up my own faults, myself?
Is it an error to live as I do, to breathe
Unsure, smear black and red on walls
For it is all to do but leave?
Have I moved at all, down the road,
By the clock, have I seen this before?
They never fill holes with cement;
They give you a book on bricks for kids.
I could tell you of beautiful trees:
A forest glowing with life and leaves,
Teeming bluebells invade the floor,
And critters flit in and out of the green.
I could tell you of sweeping sands:
The near end of the surf, the gathering
Storm kissing the waves, and gentle
Crashing, endless moving all.
I could tell you of beautiful things,
I still see beauty, I know light and life.
But what can I say of a sodden heart?
There is nothing beautiful in rotting things.
Though decay sustains life, rotting light,
And cultivates the scavengers
For their own decay, their own rot.
Is that beauty? Is that sewn?
Is the bile rot worse than before,
Or have I grown to love sweet smells?
I lost the thread long ago, coherence
Is fruit I never partook.
I should speak with assurance,
The small box says, but admittance,
Sewing again, is that not my ruin?
I walk erosions on the same past road.
Every path is the old path;
I walk every fork, every way
Twice, and circle back to the sap
To collect; sweetness only goes so far.
I miss sweet maple in bloody veins,
I miss oaks that never fall.
I miss the child who wouldn’t bite,
Bleeding on lilies by darker nights.
I have been better, and I am sorry.
If I am lost, then I am the forest floor:
Unclean, oil-licked, beautiful,
If nature is a thing reposed.
I am spoken for in beauty;
I have seen the bile stick.
There is little to say, little to tell,
And nothing beautiful to hurt.
I am every circle, every layer,
On terrace cleansed, if I could climb
To the mountain’s edge in time;
Just climb, just bleed,
Until nails mould with earth,
Feet a swollen mass, a hearth,
Until you are sure, this must be,
This has to be hell.
For what could strip your bones
From sinew to dust?
Tear cell by cell
At hands, now rust?
What else could burn your heart,
So tender, so slow,
That you are dead before you
See the smoke?
Be the spirit and die,
You do not die.
But leave that rotten body
Behind, and climb, tear,
Incorporeal bleeding, eat the snake
That teaches, and drain for
Your paradise, free from taste,
Free from white coats, free.
Unrest, dispossessed, I hear your call,
And follow you free, for to live
You must die nine and all.
Circle by circle, layer by layer,
Drain yourself of moral necessity,
Leave your heart soaking in the
Grass, and climb, through gates,
Through guardians and pass,
Pass over and succumb;
You will live.
I have let my blood mix within
The purest rivers, the heartiest hearts;
I have poisoned this nature by nature,
And one day I will do so again.
For all I take in damp leaves and hints,
Sew together the parts I kept,
I have lost something on this track;
I have bled in holy places.
Flesh knows the black bile,
And it knows the rhyming traveller;
Flesh knows where it should stay awhile,
The journey cannot be softer.
For all my years within this haven,
Marks smeared on naked forms,
I never knew the gate would rust;
Why in keys have I laid my trust?
I am not in heaven, nor is this hell,
But upon this hill I have made a home.
I have strung grass in silver crowns,
Lit candles by cavern thrones;
I have not found light in dark places,
But learned to live in the shade,
And in that, light a flame
For every step and every peak.
I am alive in a graveyard,
Lost spirit found flesh,
From soil without flora,
From desolate ash.
I walk lighter sans my chains,
Drinking from the raining lash,
I would give myself the key if I could,
To my home, and not my gate.
Live where you bleed to learn the smell,
And turn it from dust to sweet bluebells.
Tala M.L. Davidson is a second year English Literature Student at the University of Edinburgh. Writing is Tala's main creative outlet, resulting in deeply introspective and symbolic tendencies, using the natural world to navigate the psyche in a way they hope will resonate with others. She was born and raised in Edinburgh's outskirts, and has one cat.