The Kiss


A thin mist sprinkled fine moisture
onto freckled skin, my hair
swelled with liquid gems as I held a
child’s fragile hand in mine;
I, the mighty protector.

The predator stepped with ease through the flesh
of a leaf-scented dream. Dressed
in guise of kind benefactor he offered food
and a dry place to stay.
Details of the walk of gloom which led us to that hellish room
lie shrouded in my mind, yet

still I hear
the grating click of iron in the lock behind me, as I surveyed
a dishevelled bedroom scheme, still I feel
the shock of his punishing kick
to my child’s shins, the sharp slap across the face as he spat
an accusation of laziness, and demanded
my son clean the place. On a naked

mattress that shamelessly displayed
a sordid history in every thread of stained ticking
two women, each with a young son, lay passive
their stoned eyes betraying
blurred focus while slack mouths
slurred flattering words;
burred crumbs scattered by the vanquished,
to placate the jailer.

I silently swore at the
folly of my faith in generous acts; we three females
were slaves, captured for bawdy sex, while our children
were taken as drudges of a another sort.

Finding us all trapped, I began to hatch a plan to stab
the villain in the back, smash the door and
make an escape, but as I glanced around I spied a
silent man crouching in a corner, almost
screened by a drape, his forlorn gaze aimed
at the floor. Turning in his direction to determine
what role he played, I saw his face, the face
I see when velvet sheets of sleep gently envelope me;
the face I’m sure I’ve adored for centuries and more;
the soul-mate I have always known and yearned for.
I knelt before him, and as our eyes met
he recognised me. Our mutual joy
erased all fearful thought.

I reached for him,
and our lips joined.

In fuming rage, the predator
pulled me from that short embrace. He threw me
down, and leaped upon my shuddering frame. In his eager haste
he tore my clothes while needled fingernails
clawed blood from my veins. I fought
in vain against the filth and pain as he came
closer to forcing his way into me, my
feeling of degradation reaching a peak. With a jolt I

woke to find myself at home, the ghost of
ravaged rags and ravening attack softened by
the honeyed phantom
of a loving kiss upon my lips,
but as I rose to consciousness, a searing surge
of grief and loss
swallowed sweet relief.

I’m not sure I want to analyse this particular dream, but if anyone out there feels like having a stab at it, be my guest… and maybe you can give me some clue as to who that idealised dream man is. I can describe him, if that would help… 🙂

Words for Peace #3

Norway and Sweden share the same word for peace. It should be an easy one for English speakers to learn, since it’s a commonly used masculine name – and it makes me giggle, since I know a rather angry person who goes by that name.

Swedish and Norwegian:


©Jane Paterson Basil


39 thoughts on “The Kiss

        1. “and the things wot holds the candles.”
          But it did no good, well I never thought it would.
          It must have been in the early sixties; he did The Hole in The Ground too… “don’t dig there, dig it elsewhere, you’re digging it round when it ought to be square.”… ” it’s not there now, the ground’s all flat, and beneath it is the man in the bowler hat.” My brother and I had a special tree that we sang from – it was perfect since it had a long horizontal branch that we’d walk along, and we’d hold onto a similar brach that was within hands’ reach, and bounce up and down – and for a while we switched from Jim Reeves (and old Scottish Ballads) to Bernard Cribbins and Bernard Bresslaw.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “Darlin’ put your sweet lips, a little closer to the phone “…? Yeah, lots of parallels there, for sure.

            Somehow those anacharonistic music hall songs there in 1960’s, held sway for a lot of others. Let’s not forget Joe Brown and “My old man’s a dustman”, in the mix? Cheers Jamie

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s the song a local band used to do for the last dance of the night – when they didn’t do Engledick Humpelbert’s (yes, I know that’s not what he was called…) “Last Dance”, that is.
              What are the chances of this:
              I met Joe Brown when I was in India. I visited a Spice Garden somewhere in Goa where they do guided tours, and he was in the same group as me. We had a conversation about how many of the plants looked different than we had expected, then we discussed his upcoming tour – it pleased me no end, since my brother-in-law (who was with me) had refused to believe it was Joe.
              Like I said to him – it would be impossible to mistake either the face or the voice.
              Here’s another small coincidence – the angry Fred that I mentioned at the bottom of the post (in Words for Peace) – that’s the brother-in-law I was in India with. He’s not angry these days.


              1. Rea… lly.? If there was one pop star from that time, I would have liked to have met? Would have been George Harrison, or Joe Brown. They were friends, anyway. I was In India in 1971 and was not interested in visiting Goa. I understand it’s popularity. I loved my time there. Most of it was spent with a family about 100 miles west and north of Dehra Dun. The waters there came down from Himilayas, to their village. Then a canal diverted this water for livestock, fields and bathing. It was quite cold.

                Yeah, always had a sneaking admiration for Joe. My cousin, who is as close as a brother. Went to see one his shows, late nineties. Netflix here, in Canada, has a movie called “Living in the material world”. A film from Martin Scorsese. Saw Joe in it. Big friend of George’s. It’s easy to have anger in the heart and many do.

                Yes, read your post on that too. Our comments passed back and forth about it. Ya’ go girl! Cheers Jamie

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I envy you. I wanted to go to Northern India, not Goa; it’s a bit of a sore point for me. Three of us were meant to be going, then a couple more were added, and they all wanted to go to Goa. If I’d known that was going to happen, I’d have stayed home – although it was lovely in its way.
                  Ha! But I met Joe Brown… na na na na na….. wish he’d had George with him – he was a good man; the best of the Beatles. If any of them promoted peace, it was George, just by quietly being himself.


                  1. Actually all though I spent most of our time there in Bhanyawalla, I did go to the East, for Patna.

                    Yup George was my fave Beatle as well.Because of his unabashed spirituality aspect, as well as his later backing of the Python films. Joe was always great persona. As well, an excellent guitarist and singer too. At least excellent in as far as pop music entertainer can be. I am quite sure that we never see the whole person when it comes to entertainers. I don’t try to understand them. Because there is always a bunch of hyperbole when it comes to pro motioning ones self. … Whatever? Colin, my cousin, enjoyed himself at Joe Brown’s gig. We went together to see a gig from Bert Jansch in late nineties, too. Cheers Jamie

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. I’ve just come back from a Justin Hayward concert. I went for the sake of nostalgia, expecting to be disappointed (though that’s a contradiction in terms). Once he warmed up he was amazing, and he had an incredible guitarist called Mike Dawes with him. My brother and I came away buzzing, unlike the time when he persuaded me to see Steeleye Span with him (gaudete, gaudete blah blah blah blah). I’m being unfair – it was live music and it was OK.
                      Just wanted to tell someone…
                      A know a guy who used to be a music agent, and he says he used to know Joe Brown and he’s not a very nice person. Personally, I think the ex agent isn’t a very nice person, and not to be believed.
                      I’d like to have seen Bert Jansch. Too late now…

                      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your dream is so vivid and frightening. I’ve given up trying to analyse my dreams, I accept them, and write them down, and form all my poems from them, like exorcising the demons, haha, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t…. so who’s to say what works and what doesn’t………

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No – pink hippos are sooo last year, dahling. This year mint green with purple wings is on trend for flying hippos.
      I wish I knew who the dream man was… he’s been with me for years, but for some reason I never get around to asking his name… I can be very forgetful when I’m asleep 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Damn! How did I get that hippo thing so wrong ?!
        As for meeting the Dream Man. Just a suggestion. Perhaps you could burst into song as you drift off to sleep –
        Hey, Dude, don’t make it bad,
        Take a sad dream and make it better.
        Remember to let me into your heart,
        Then we can start to make it better.
        Hey, Dude, don’t be afraid,
        We were meant to be together.
        The minute you let me under your skin,
        Then we begin to make it better.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I know what you refer too, being disappointed. So much musical trickery goes on in the studio takes. When I see the performers, I just take them as they come. It’s just another job with weird hours of work. Part sales, part production, etc. I really enjoyed Norma Waterson and her husband Martin Carthy. He was very nice during the interlude, we stood around chatting. It was a folk club venue though, so I suppose it’s par for the course? We do not have those folk clubs in BC. Definitely not in Nelson, while I was there. I have a friend Patty Tutty, who is a dedicated folkie but our age catches up with us now. I once lived in a house with an ex. roadie from Steeleye. Maddy Prior used to visit Colm and Mary. Long time ago and paths diverge so quickly … Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t pretend to be a Steeleye fan, but I love the atmosphere of live music. Martin Carthy played down our way a few times, many years ago when there was a folk club scene. I’m not sure about Mary Waterson, though I know my brother saw the Watersons – he was the folkie of the family. I was a kid, but when someone like Martin Windsor or Noel Murphy played during the school holidays, we all went to our local club; it was liked by quite a few musicians, as the MC and his wife were so warm and friendly. Those evenings spent in an upstairs room of the Golden Fleece were thrilling, except that by about 9.30 I was longing for my bed.
      The club closed over 45 years ago, and my bother was bereft until (scream of horror) Karaoke pushed it’s sneaky toe into the gap. He just loves singing to an audience.

      Liked by 1 person

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