Masquerade belly dancers flowed across sprung maple,
as effortlessly as mermaids swaying through aquamarine.
Bethany’s shimmering waxed crown
merely altered the flavour of her beauty,
nothing could detract from her radiant gateways
to alternate universes.
She recited my paper aeroplane poem
‘It’s an honour just to see her move.
Oh how I long to taste the rising tide of her nectar,
to inspire an ecstatic lullaby
that escalates into a climactic scream’
‘How bold’, the raised eyebrows
of the translucent robed fantasy weaver proclaimed.
Would you like to see our apartment,
her voluptuous, cocoa complexioned, girlfriend offered,
unaware of the magnitude of my obsession.
Polyamory seemed poisonous then.
That winter I spotted Bethany on ArtisticSingles.com
Her pale jacket was perfectly camouflaged
by a snowy backdrop.
Wayward strands of her wavy dark hair
reminded me of an old world forest,
its Autumn splendour buried beneath ice and snow.
Her serene gaze summoned thoughts of a stone cottage,
in the depths of blizzard ravaged woods;
the harsh glow of electricity
never to illuminate its bronze age walls.
Then she was seated at a grand piano.
Her strapless, emerald, satin dress,
revealed a perfect rendering of a Flame Robin in flight.
I imagined her to be on the verge
of playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
In a flooded valley,
she snorkelled to within reach
of a mediaeval cathedral spire.
The final photograph was a silhouette
framed in Kirlian colour.
By the time I’d composed a message
her profile had vanished.
Montages of Bethany’s magnificent performances
dominated my thoughts,
as waves thundered into rocks
a thousand rungs below my recliner.
Before I spoke in sentences
a fisherman was swept from the ladder,
in front of my uncomprehending eyes.
With Bethany on a virtual stage before me
I couldn’t finish the first paragraph
of bank heist, ritual murder
and courthouse graffiti articles.
The cabaret theatre finally faded
as a story pondering the disappearance of poets
seized my attention.
According to The Daily Reflection they’d received death threats,
in handwritten calligraphy, on human skin.
The eliminator vowed to throw her rivals
into box jellyfish infested waters.
‘Belly dancing and spoken verse wunderkind Bethany Trellis’
was rumoured to be the latest abductee.
From my cliff top hideaway I scanned the surf
with a powerful telescope,
in search of porpoises and dolphins.
On the tip of a sea ravaged headland,
a Flame Robin adorned woman gazed at the blazing horizon.
Remnants of a mighty wave concealed her.
Spray plummeted to Star Fish havens below.
Had the ocean claimed her
or had she departed from the storm whittled stage
as discreetly as a magician?
Was she was real,
or a radiant shard of a shattered mind?
I walked the winding cobblestone lane
from my cliff top village home
to the river mouth.
Trestle tables, laden with baskets of fruit,
lined the path to the shore.
In a vacant meadow,
the girl with the Flame Robin
emblazoned upon her shoulder blade
played a duet with the rising wind.
I waited for one of the villagers
to toss a coin into her barren instrument case,
to prove she was real.
“I feared you’d been abducted and murdered”
were the words imprisoned in my throat.
As I warned off a chihuaha stalking fox,
the enigmatic trobairitz vanished
as swiftly as that shifty canine.
The promotional posters, at Crystal Temple,
were the size of a swimming pool.
I would’ve recognized Bethany’s silhouette minus the aura.
The orchestral splendour of a grand piano
drifted down a spiral staircase,
washing over surreal landscapes
like surf caressing the beach.
The pianists tuxedo was as moulded
to her towering, curvaceous figure as her cocoa skin.
Exquisite lace, nestled beneath her regal ensemble,
was as pronounced as wrought iron wildflowers.
Ladies who’d thought themselves more immune
to the charms of womankind than a eunuch
found themselves in the thrall of her pan-romantic sorcery.
Her Goddess humbling form was upstaged
by the frantic ballet of her talented hands.
Ribbon twirling contortionists
accompanied the sultry musician’s miraculous voyages
into the possibilities of sound.
The most exquisitely proportioned Goddess of music ever deified
was overshadowed by the mystical aura of the host.
If she were an epic poem, the silky smooth thighs,
vanishing beneath her flared satin skirt
would’ve been the least meritorious detail.
It was easy to imagine her sleeveless, iridescent blouse
choreographing the opalescent lighting.
The raven haired, Flame Robin inked, compere
recited a poem from my anthology Phantom Pilgrimage.
Her melodic voice wrapped around the audience
like divine light.
It’s Time to soar beyond the Canopy
Every chrysalis has split asunder,
our wings cannot be overwhelmed
by the deluge following the thunder.’
Adorned by pendants of jade,
we dance in a Wattle glade,
admiring cherry grevilleas
and crimson bouganvilleas,
until the heat begins to fade.
Mauve dusk gives way to moonlight.
Awkwardness melts and passion rises,
expert hands spring intimate surprises.
Sensuous animals and souls embrace
as mouths caress and fingertips trace.
Hearts are healed with summit prizes.
We cross Poseidon Creek by lantern light.
I see word pictures of your soul in auburn eddies,
which I recite before the Sun God
reveals its blazing Cyclops eye.
Venturing back into graffiti defiled urban wild
fails to murder the magic.
At the culmination of that euphoric tale
I thought I saw the vividly hued Robin
inked on her shoulder blade,
fly above the crowd and vanish.
After the dimming and brightening of the lights
her back was a blank canvas no more.
An enigmatic smile graced her lush, blood red lips.
To this day I cannot say
if the flight of the plump, diminutive bird
was a hallucination, special effects or real.
After the show, Charlotte the piano wizard
sold memorabilia in the foyer.
I waited in vain for Bethany to appear.
The oil of her testing the narrative limits of a Spanish guitar,
was it there when I entered the auditorium?
The midnight haired beauty,
on the tip of a sundrenched headland,
hadn’t she been standing beneath a waterfall
before the show?
Her birth name is Bethany Trellis
but only the woman with The Flame Robin Tattoo
captures her layers of mystique.
She is the essence of Bubushka.
Since then I’ve been as close to her
and her piano virtuoso lover as their gourmet dessert,
but my probing questions are met with no more
than a twinkling of her sapphire gaze.
Charlotte was banished
from the realm of the Flame Robin Princess,
after succumbing to the wiles of an actress
who steals lovers with the zeal Stephen Hawking
explores the mysteries of astrophysics.
While Bethany walked the streets,
lamenting the death of the relationship,
a tranquilizer dart missed her
by the width of a violin string.
The gossip mags devoted more ink to pondering
Charlotte’s wary eye bordered jellyfish tattoo.
The anniversary of my paper aeroplane poem
interrupting Bethany’s belly dancing troupe
was as momentous as the moon landing.
I found a copy of Phantom pilgrimage,
with lipstick all over the dust jacket,
hiding beneath free samples and pizza vouchers.
In the evening, a dusty wooden crate
mysteriously appeared on my veranda.
My eyelids outweighed osmium.
I waited to dawn to prise open the lid
and remove three ornately framed canvases:
a telescopic view of a statuesque figure,
on a sun drenched headland;
a close up of the sender
wearing nothing but an enigmatic smile
and a painted enlargement of a poem,
in my handwriting.
The opening verses read,
“Street lights surf wavelets across the bay.
Moonlit Casuarinas stand sentinel over fragile soil.
Flying foxes surf the midnight breeze.
This symphony of movement,
is conducted by the swaying of the belly dancer’s hips.
Her gestures sculpt the clouds into an alien menagerie.
In contrast, the intricate portrait in my coffee
is as unimpressive as a toddlers stick figure.
She steps with the lightness of hoverflies,
as I gaze into the galaxies of her eyes.
It’s an honour just to see her move,
oh how I long to taste the rising tide of her nectar,
to inspire an ecstatic lullaby
that escalates into a climactic scream.
I heard footsteps on the stairs.
Bethany had the audacity
to stroll through my house unannounced.
In her hand was a series of sketches
I’d bought from a street artist a decade ago.
Pairs of Scarlet, Flame and Pink Robins
looked set to soar from the page.
‘That was you’
she laughed at my stunned expression.
I removed a velvet box
from the bottom of the dusty wooden crate.
Inside were Bethany’s annual self-portraits,
ranging from a toddler’s smiley face
to Archibald Prize entries.
Her mind was elsewhere.
‘Poet, how versatile is your tongue’,
was among her many questions.
By the time we collapsed into each other’s arms,
few fantasies remained unexplored.
Bethany selected her Saturday night outfit
from a suitcase the size of a coffin.
I watched in horror as calligraphy
in the style of the poetess death threats
protruded from the pocket
of her bouquet embroidered jeans.
She put on an exhibition
of ambidextrous mirror writing,
in more styles than the F.B.I’s forgery files.
‘Maybe the one in your handwriting is a suicide note’
she quipped, after setting it alight
and burying the charred remains in a pot plant.
“I copied the calligraphy of the poetess killer,
for a comp run by www.twistedhorror.com”
she insisted, as light heartedly as she’d
declared herself the better darts player.
“Let’s play Robin Hood,
I’ll tie you up at sword point
and give your stereo to the poor” Bethany pleaded,
as she played with my ornamental cross bow.
“Something wrong with my timing”
an impish grin spread across her angelic face.
There was a thunderous knock at the door.
Charlotte was as insistent as a wolf
starving a child from the safety of a tree.
Exasperated, we let her in.
Her eyes were wild with fury over unanswered calls.
Videos of missing poets, chained to each other,
inside a tunnel as anonymous as a composted corpse
and thrashing about in a human eyeball
and box jellyfish infested tank,
arrived in Bethany’s inbox.
“You’re next” the text bubble menaced.
Charlotte looked as unmoved as a snuff movie fan.
Her tattoo was beginning to look as ominous as a swastika.
Bethany trembled as she rang 000.
Charlotte snatched at her phone.
Holding her back was like wrestling Ronda Rousey.
Somehow I escaped with my shoulder sockets intact.
The videos were on YouTube,
A police car arrived.
Minutes into ‘protective custody’,
we were handcuffed,
herded into a warehouse at gunpoint
and confronted with a box jellyfish infested tank.
Lifeless bodies floated on the surface.
“You ignored my warning” Charlotte lamented,
as she pointed to her tattoo.
The apparent victims were erotic android doubles.
Pseudo police officers fled the scene.
The abductees were found in a forest,
a mile from the scene of the prank,
looking as refreshed as meditation retreat residents.
Detectives suspected them of colluding
with the manufacturers of their sex toy lookalikes
but evidence remained as elusive as Bigfoot.
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