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Autumn has truly arrived in Scotland.

The Burning Berries

Gillian_ferguson_photo_high_resby Gillian K Ferguson11 Oct 2013

Burning berries machine-gun heavenly blue,
godly iris.

Firing seed, tree and water dreams
to the silver minds of distraught stars,
peering always in invisible darkness,
blinking away tears of dead light.
Crying so high - eerie glockenspiels -
to the spiralling ear, mute cochlea;
silent black drum of deaf space.
Billion year gaseous babies -
sucking dust and ice mouths,
throwing spectacular tantrums;
thirsty for milky whispers.

Or drip to earth. Spent, puckering.
Last scarlet embers
among summer’s crumbling golden ash.

Stoking foxfire flames
among plump, Honey-fungus candles;
consuming the druggie sunflower
sobbing her burned-out, ruined face away.

Furious clusters hang, flaming mad. Red as Hell.
Spark live vermilion filaments
in my marmalade halo of foxy autumn hair.
Which sense everything - vibrissae. Antennae. Pedipalps.
Supernatural barbels. Spirit-whiskers.

Ignite buttery light
sliding helter-skelter down the oily holly.
Clarifying glossy crusts,
smearing a gold litter of slim, musty corpses -
greasy, liver-spotted yellow leaves convulsing
like slow goldfish out of the right element.
Strip-teasing green spines, rusted feather skeletons,
as scalding red and orange sugars die.
Slothful pyres smouldering pensioner summer
into blue sucrose fumes.

Fugging my sooty smoker’s lung -
syrupy on the tongue
like the cloying muscatel of elderly lilies
tottering on the verge, dressed for the grave.

Scrambling through catty vampire brambles,
I clutch scorching berries in my sizzling fist;
my crimson kiss blistering bitter, frost-rimed lips
in tooth-splitting cold.

Wet blood cherries
ooze darkly from my stiff white fingersticks.
I blot startling clots on killer cobalt –
shining blood-berries printed, blackheart-red.
Coagulation of sweet salt, sea water, star-iron.

My bones turn zero-green.

Among a mothstorm.
Insane Lepidoptera - dazzled moth souls
stolen from midnight’s broken, starry cup.
Jagged equinox darkness.
To inhabit bronze snow - zombie-leaves.

Under my soles, dancing scarlet coals
of smoking berries strewn. Carpet-bombed.
Burning through dead leather, novacained meat,
muscle, to cinder magnesium bones.
Combust corpuscles - red erythrocytes,
in lukewarm sister-blood:
fire organic iron in mother-of-pearl veins -
sluggish, milky as a winter river
with cholesterol of ice.

Defibrillating cochineal shots
aim straight for my congealing heart.
Shocking the strange emotional muscle
with ruthless beauty –
merciless, impersonal,
as they riddled the Botoxed, imperial blue sky.

And I am hit. Reeling. Stricken
by the bleeding, burning,
demon-eyed, Kali-armed,
shrieking little red mouths tree.

Berries store the golden blood of summer -
losing light as Sun and apples ripen shining red.
Sealing the sacred seed with scarlet wax:
her spring decree, self script,
inflammatory signature -
written in tempting crimson psalters.

Feeding prayer of the Holy Rowan -
angel-and-eagle-leaved protector of the home,
from raw enchantment - feral evil.
Feared even by wild young Highland witches:
snow-skinned, sleekit ginger bitches slinking
with gimlet-eyed wildcat; sneering, weasely
pine marten and fascinated stag familiars.

Metal diviner. Brewed spirit.
Drowned in a bowl of rosy water
for pink jelly, ruby wine.
Druidic dye for Moon ceremonies.

Each glowing berry anointed with a personal pentagram.
I will carry her rough crosses in my palm,
bound in blood-red thread,
or sewn in the goose lining of my coat.
Crude, effulgent wooden stars
with snowflake shadows - X-raying cloth.
Repelling malevolent spells - bottled
in crunchy blue bodies of insistent flies.
Hiding the giveaway brilliant bird of my delicious soul.

Trees will be sung from the gut of a hungry bird!
Infinite trees.
Given only the wetted black stomach of earth -
photosynthetic spring hymn;
chorus of melted light, washed water,
heard in the chlorophyll consciousness.
Forests of time coded in the domineering present -
these round, crimson-bound books of the centuries’ trees.

A tree grown in the dust of the first star:
divine saliva.

I am executed by berries; ice-cream eyes shot -
right through the galactic starred pupil.
This excruciating tree will not let me go.
Even her skeletal, rusting green wings,
hunched on a crippled grey backbone,
prey on me.
With steeples of bleeding fingers
clotting on the cobalt altar -
to the last feral red drop, clutches.
Hooks me.

Blue evening blinks -

sudden night is pinioned,
gleaming as a crow.
Still-flapping darkness,
incensed as savage wind.
Furiously pecking out stars.
Nesting a coddled Sun-egg,
curdling gold -
rolling into the slowly purpling rose of the West.

It is black now.

But phosphoric berries have burned my scrawling retina -
like the sleepy harvester’s lids, hectic
with imprisoned raspberry spirits.
My fizzing brain spattered. Burrowed.
They will not be rejected by the fact of night.
Enforced invisibility.
For the Rowan burns - spits on still, unseen:
smouldering wee red holes in the Universe.

Acidly smattering my outstretched hand.
A gusted shower of scripted sparks inhaled -
internally, everything wet and red
turns incandescent fuel.
Lung-wings unfurl original feathers
of oxygenated flame -
firing my tree of petroleum veins.
Through brancharms, twigfingers,
evangelically uplifted. At last,
in the bluish bone church of my arched chest,
watered by such godly fire -
my heart star -
coruscating cold and bloody root: detonates.
Red dwarf remembering into muscular supernova.

In this scarlet illumination,
even the nature of stars is labelled -
clear as a neon sign to Infinity.
The volatile mother of galaxies is understood.
In mindless creation, a soul breathed first.

This red heart-star,
degenerate pulsar,
will survive me.

An identity of remembered energy.
Even in the slow soil furnace
where berries already wait, ruby eyes closed;
impossibly dreaming trees.

Even dying to a blue pilot light,
or struggling like a hurt bird
in the hands of an invisible, good God -
will always guide me back
to my aboriginal home.

Where berries are pearly stars -
already strung above
like clusters of Christmas mistletoe.

Earth kissing the spirit.