Purple Princess

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Purple princess of the dawn
From the flesh your beauty torn
From the air your whirling mind
You’re a creature of their kind
Half like us and half insane
Beauty saturates and stains
Till nothing else remains

Purple princess of the night
Red and raw your hunger aches
Dark and drenched the blood you crave
Innocence becomes depraved
Half of dark and half of light
Perfect bounty in our sight
Eyes that weep and teeth that bite

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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The Hands

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The last thing I saw was the hands.

I’m the only witness, the only one left behind after the picnic. The one who wandered off, following butterflies into the forest in the other direction, only roused to return when I heard the screams.

Didn’t see what got them. I didn’t get there soon enough and something tells me that was for the best. For me anyway. Something whispers in my bones that if I’d got back quicker I’d have gone too.

Where my friends went I have no idea. I didn’t see a world open, or a flash of light, or them being drawn into some form of whirlpool or warp in the fabric of the air. All I saw was the hands. Still grasping that one tree, holding on, as though that could keep them here, with me, with us, not let them go…there.

Wherever there is…but it was just the hands, and only for a few mere seconds. Grasping, desperate, disembodied.

Before they were gone. They were gone too.

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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They call it re-membering. The process makers have a kind of dry sense of humour. It’s actually the head that comes first, to bring back the seat of the soul, and the sensory apparatus, but that’s cruel really, as then every bit of re-configuration, re-being, re-membering (literally) is painful, conscious, aware and slow. Horribly slow.

So the joke is, the members – be it arms, legs, or other more personal things – come last, and it’s excruciating.

They don’t tell you that in the pamphlets, the brochures. They only say, if you get a disease we can’t cure yet we ‘dissolve’ your essence and hold it in statis until we can cure, then we bring you back. They don’t say how. I reckon if they did, most would just choose to die by the illness.

But perhaps that’s just me.

I know because I’m a nurse here. I’ve see one too many re-memberings to ever take that course myself. But I still I smile and speak softly and never tell the truth when we are drawing in the clients. And those that come back keep quiet because we can always dissolve them again remotely if they threaten to tell too much – having done it once, they’re ours.

We make sure they know it. Oh yes, we are much more informative on the other side of all of this. Before – ignorance is bliss, but after the re-membering, silence is truly golden.

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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Crows Fly at Night

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Crows fly at night
Dawn wakens bright
Red with blood and death
As we lay the wreath
Perfect in our sight

Crows sing at dawn
New world is born
Red with death and blood
Ushers in a god
Heaven plundered, torn

Crows soon depart
Broken like hearts
Red with blood and loss
Each must pay the cost
Promised at the start

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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In Dolls


They hide in dolls she told us, but we didn’t listen. Just a little girl with her fantasies and games we thought. And while her fear of the toys we gave her did seem extreme, we simply put it down to an over-active imagination and far too much streaming questionable film on Netflix. In fact my husband said one day we should shut off the service altogether since she was too impressionable. But then I reminded him I’d get bored without it and then he’d have to entertain me and we laughed and laughed about that till Netflix remained.

They hide in dolls she would insist over the dinner table. And what, we’d indulge her, were ‘they’? The things that hide in dolls she’d reply as though adults are really very stupid and can’t see the obvious right in front of them.

Well, they have to hide somewhere dear, my husband said. Otherwise we’d catch them wouldn’t we?

Oh no, she told us, they never get caught. But one day, she said, when we aren’t looking, they’ll catch us. Clever girl, but a bit obsessed with it all I thought. My uncle is a psychotherapist, so I thought about her visiting him for a while. But time just runs away with you these days, doesn’t it, so I didn’t ever follow through.

They hide in dolls she said yesterday, as she lined her dolls up in the lounge room as though to make point to her particularly obstinate and blind audience. We laughed, for a little while, then noticed something. The line of dolls had moved forward.

How did you do that we asked our daughter. I didn’t she replied, they moved themselves. They aren’t hiding anymore.

That was yesterday. Today we are in some kind of dark barn, locked up by the dolls, and we’ve lots of time to think about how we should have listened to our daughter. But we can’t even talk to her about that, because she’s with the dolls now, so I guess she chose her side.

And far more wisely than my husband and I.

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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Ghost in Chains

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Here I remain
Here I reside
Your ghost in chains
Latched to your side
Your victim still
My rosy breath
A bloodless kill
Your perfect death

As once in life
I suffered pain
Your dutiful wife
In death remain
A promise made
A thoughtless vow
Where once obeyed
I’ll haunt you now

Here I will dance
And merry make
Your circumstance
Your worst mistake
For ghosts so near
Catch you in chains
Until in fear
You too, remain

(c). Helen M Valentina 2020

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A Visit to the Dentist

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Open wide. The implants have taken nicely and I’m sure you’ll have found the multitude of incisors more efficient than the older model.

Why yes, we worked this version for many months in the laboratory. There’s some talk around we’ll get a prize at this years Dental Association awards for this break through.

Just progress though, isn’t it? And so necessary. Once the worldwidefood shortages forced us all to rethink cannibalism we had re-think the dental environment too. The old tech, while traditionally prettier some might say, are just not fast and tough enough for our new daily diet. We can’t spend all day tenderising the human meat, and many butchers are still averse to even working with the delicacies at all, so we had to improvise.

What’s that, you keep biting your tongue? Well, yes, it is a problem with this model. We are thinking of things do about that. A new type of mouth guard.

Yes that’s right, we’ve heard that too, people going off their mind control meds and tasting their tongue then getting a bit too hungry from that for their own good. But you won’t go off your meds now, will you? Course not. No-one sensible and civilised would do that.

OK, you’re done, just rinse with the mouthwash and the dental technician will do a quick hygiene check and you’ll be good to go.

Oh, and make sure to give us a good rating on the Dental Social media sites after your visit. Every little bit helps, as I’m sure you agree.

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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We didn’t count on the despair. Utopia, they said. Freedom they cried. Equality they demanded. They trusted the revolutionaries, the ones that said we became moral, virtuous, just by simple agreement. A blog post here, a tweet there,and that’s all that would be needed to be an ally, to be part of the revolution.

So we didn’t see it coming. The price that would need to be paid, the tune we would need to dance to, the belongings and safeties we’d be required to relinquish. Money would always come from someone else, right? Those rich people, they could share.

But the rich never share. They just get richer, off the back of good intentions, wrapped up in propaganda and sweet, sweet lies. The genius of this final revolution,the one that took everything, was simply this: they sold the story that only by following could you be good, be virtuous.To dissent was evil, ‘wrongthink’ punishable by expulsion, even death by the end. But death might’ve been better, over all.

So when they came for your home, your belongings, your pride, your achievements, how could your refuse? Only the rich can take to that degree, and only we can give. By the time we realised, all avenues were cut off, and all that was left was degradation and a new form a slavery, but a ‘slavery for all’ this time. Well, everyone except the rich.

But never mind, they left us something. The one thing we never counted on till it was too late to even count. But it’s palpable and it ours.

The despair.

(c) H M Valentina 2020

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Come to Me, Speak

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Come to me, speak
I beg of you now
I’m misshapen and weak but I loved once as though
Even someone like me
Could some beauty bestow
Draw you out of the dark
On this board may your voice
Have the melody that life
Forbade as your choice
Come to me, speak
Of the world beyond the veil
Of the song beyond the stars
Where all but hope debars
The love I once knew
In the shadows near you
Until death took his bride
And broke me inside
Come to me, speak
In life I was little
And not in your view
But now all these gifts
I’m bestowing on you
Tell me the secrets
You held in your life
And through it all we’ll yet see eternity
As once in your eyes I saw and I knew
The essence and the completeness
Of you.

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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What Will You Write?

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What will you write
In the book of the night?
What will you say
As the dark takes the day?
What will you see
In the branch of the tree
Or the swirl of the brook
Or the spine of this book?

What will you say
And what will you claim
As the dark book reveals
Your soul and your name?
What is the curse
And what is the flame
Which will be worse
Who can you blame?

What will you write
As you rend and you bite?
At the toll of the bell
As you tumble to hell?
Can you be saved
Or are you depraved?
A lost soul indeed
We feed as you bleed

What will you write
In the book of the night
What’s in the shadows
When you turn out your light?
Do you die with pleasure
Or unutterable fright?
Is it promise or spite
In the book of the night?

(c) Helen M Valentina 2020

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