Baskets of Neutron Stars

Azalea could fit a sonnet on a postage stamp.
Her stream of consciousness writing
enchanted like her soft, lilting voice.
Music was her first language.
She dreamt of being the Margaret Fontaine
of the concert pianist world.

Will met Azalea a knee slide from a piano,
the year Sydney was awarded the Olympics;
that corporate advertising bonanza,
that distracts society from horrors of war,
organ harvesting, human trafficking and soap operas.

Azalea was too embroiled in her own horror story,
to contemplate the woes of the wider world.
Will approached with the skink
he’d spotted on picturesque sandstone,
by the red spider flower.
Dragons are better conversation starters,
but they didn’t have them
in Tranquil Valley Mental Health Unit anymore.

According to Earl Gardener, the gardener,
dragons scorched his prize roses,
during Hendrix’s Woodstock rendition
of the star spangled banner.
Otherwise he would’ve been there,
“to drive those scaly varmints back to Middle Earth.”
He said the flame thrower
he’d snaffled at a Sapphire Bay garage sale,
made hell fire look like a fleeting spark.
Earl was a whacky poker player,
difficult to trump in a game of which is true.
He may well have believed
dragons inhabit this dimension.

If Will had known Azalea was weeks shy of her sixteenth,
the skink would’ve starred in a more mature story,
than Leila the Lizard Rescues Snugglepot
and Cuddlepie from the Banksia men.
Her smile was as momentous
as a flower that blooms just once,
per interglacial period.
Will heard she’d run away.
From who, or what, he didn’t know.

First, the predator seduced Azalea’s nurse.
After the attack, he stood on her feet, smirking gleefully.
“You won’t tell anyone will you” he sneered.
Beyond her testimony, no evidence existed.
She was hopelessly lost in a daze of anxiety,
at the prospect of buried truth
being pitted against professional liars.

According to the papers,
someone threw the predator off a cliff.
Jagged rocks pierced him,
from orifice to skull.
Did Poe dream of such macabre poetic justice?
The police couldn’t identify Rob Palmer’s killer
from the nickname on his ambition list.
Journalists assumed it was a man.
Lips were sealed,
like bodies in museum foundations.

Madeline never wore her “move in silence,
until it’s time to say checkmate” t-shirt on the outside.
Galileo never explored the heavens as inquisitively
as she explored grappling techniques.
Her personal experience of gravity,
overshadowed Newton’s theories.
The staff thought she had a crush on Rob.
Her interest was purely biomechanical.
If that girl snacked on food like she did fear,
the fire brigade would’ve removed her roof
and winched her ever expanding flab into a truck,
bound for an emergency weight loss centre.
Madeline ate mind bending terror for dessert.
If she’d ignored ancient memories,
of fighting Mongolian hordes in Mediaeval Japan,
psychiatric units would’ve remained
as foreign to her as exoplanets.

Thirty years later
she died in a base jumping accident.
With Icarus it was the sun,
with Madeline it was the bridge.
How did she live beyond her athletic prime?
“Attention to detail” she might’ve said.

If the stats in the predator’s diary are prophetic,
the killer saved dozens of lives,
but struck too late to rescue Azalea.
Her history department basement
was dynamited open,
as unceremoniously as her night shirt was raised.

For aeons,
caresses frightened her like razor sharp talons.
The moment claws became fingertips,
a charming drug parasite had his fill.
Then a poor, hardworking man was stolen from her.
His dower was a bedsitter immersed in love.
Azalea no longer believed
hope lay beyond the horizon.
Her grief was a drill headed robot,
fastened to a weary back.
It’s mechanical claws piercing major organs.

Where Azalea’s gone,
pianos are derided as primitive earthly instruments.
May she immerse herself
in the tranquil love of divine forests,
until it’s time to play ethereal organs,
with a heady blend
of euphoria, melancholy and fury, once more.

The day after the double funeral,
Madeline’s cryptic letter
was thrust beneath Will’s door
The rhyme at the bottom read.
“Baskets of neutron stars Mr Palmer,
crushing weight smelted into armour.
The monsters call me Instant Karma.
My hot winks meant airborne drama!
The evil cunt wished to copy Darma.
No wingsuit for that fucking charmer.

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