Inspired by Chapter 21, St John's Gospel 

 It's been a long night, a difficult week. 
 We meet on the sand where you've set up an impromptu barbecue - 
 and, of course, it's fish you're grilling, freshly caught and gutted 
 by the guys hovering around the boat, 
 looking over at us, no doubt wondering 
 about the conversation that is just beginning. 
 I blurt out how sorry I am. I was unfaithful. 
 I still love you. But you don't seem to accept my apology, 
 my profession of love. 
 I have to repeat it, over and over. 
 You are more concerned about food, 
 intent on the prospect of sharing it around, 
 even though in my eyes, right here, right now, 
 there are just the two of us. 

 Then I realize that is my perspective. 
 I've squeezed you into my narrow field of view, 
 where you rightly have the proportions of a giant, 
 but you're not mine alone, 
 you're theirs over by the boat, 
 you're everybody's.

(From the book: 'Interned at the Food Factory)

 Responding to the call: "Follow Me"

 Masterful. That is the only word
 to describe your leadership
 and yes, I had heard and feared
 your reputation … but it’s all right.
 You couldn’t aspire to such ascents
 or inspire me to reach such levels
 without acquiring wide experience.
 So as you take me on your travels
 to unfamiliar places, on expeditions,
 I go as a pupil, you as the master,
 and as I come, I trust my intuition
 to submit to you as a kind of sherpa.
 See, whichever peak we aim for now
 another’s always coming into view. 

(from the book 'Dualities')

 Inspired by Psalm 127

 We struck vestas to light the fire. 
 It went out repeatedly 
 until ignition seemed to come from somewhere 
 other than our own hands 
 and then the firewords caught. 
 Now we must watch over them, 
 attend to the flame
 or the firewords will falter, 
 our house will stay cold 
 and red-letter days cool to black. 
 So we rise early each morning to lay the hearth, 
 make a bed for the firewords, 
 their crimson font. 
 And we stay up late at night 
 to settle the embers before sleep,
 bedded down between soft covers. 
 We question the need 
 to take so much care, suspect 
 it could all be less of a chore, 
 but the effort is necessary, 
 for firewords are also bright children, 
 hot with promise and rare reward. 
 Birthed in years of vigour 
 into our fumbling hands, 
 the firewords grow, become armour, 
 protective in old age. 
 Forged in the labour of fire, 
 the fire of labour, 
 they flare up in the ardour 
 of attentive parents, 
 come to rest in a child’s innocence. 

(From the book 'Dualities')

 After the Ceremony 
'The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!"'

 Still in white, stilettos jettisoned in the sand,
 she skips along the beach with her bouquet
 in hand, and her man still in his wedding suit. 
 Newly matched, they strike out along the edge
 of the ocean. It glints, ignites the whole coast
 on this incandescent June day. Out of shot, 
 higher up the strand, family and friends stand 
 around, glasses charged and fizzing, sparking 
 off conversation as the bride blazes as bright 
 as a comet might across a velvet midnight sky.
 Waves kiss the shore, swish mimicking silk
 as her skirts sweep across shell and silicate. 
 A seabird calls from afar; the pair hurry on,
 oblivious to all around them, future bound.  

(From the book 'Dualities')

Copyright: Words and Pictures by Sharon Larkin

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The Golden Hour
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