February 2022 Online Exclusive – Fiona Blundell

O’ Apostrophe  (After Keats)
by Fiona Blundell

O blissful bird, your enchanted song stings my heart;
A heart swollen not with —
Love, but loss.
Acrobat of the vein-thin reeds, your song soars and eases my sores.
The once verdant lime on the stagnant pond has hushed its tones to a pale eau de nil,
Lying effortless chic on the glistening water, like an elegant cashmere shawl casually thrown over the liquid satin gown of a screen siren

Bring me wine to damp my dry lips,
Cracked and parched, craving relief;
Take me to a landscape of ruby and amber and coral sparklers, clinging to the last hope of warmth before nature breathes her glacial best and ices the landscape and the flesh for the gloomy months of winter.
Let your voice mingle with the breeze that releases those jewels to spin and float freely in the crisp fresh air, 
That will fill my aching lungs and rid me of its felted lining.
Sing to me, O sing,You with the military blazes on your wings;
Napoleon’s bird
Releasing the tiny tyrant from his Saint Helenic jail

Death all around,
Despondent doldrums infect the soul;
Fleeting flashes of  bluest sky like a veinous opiate that lifts the spirits 
Before spitting me back as I feel death around me once more.
Take the gloom,
Sing it away,
Your sweet song is my solace.

O bird of poetic song,
O poet of my soul,
Never stop, never waiver.
I feel you in my leaden heart and allow your sweet notes to course thought my thin veins;

The scent; 
Of flowers, sickening sweet,
Loads my nostrils.
The dark is wrapping me like a shroud of lead.
I need to take my leave;
Sing me Free,  
I beg.

Your song is death to me. 
Eternal Morpheus arms;
Your song is my rest,
Take me.

Little Napoleon bird,
With your scarlet and gold epaulets,
Garish flashes on glistening black plumage.
Take me as him;
Give us flight on your melody from our eternal Saint Helenic dungeons;
Their dank smell permeating like great sods of earth shovelled into our dripping, 
Not-noble noses.

Noses twitch and inhale,
Ears strain,
You are gone.
Silence surrounds me as I tumble like Jill on the hill;  
Broken crown
I sink down and bid you farewell.
Are you here:— were you ever mine?


Fiona Blundell was born in England, she lives in New England but her home is in France. She is a storyteller, a writer, a dreamer. Her dreams always make sense. Sometimes her words do too.