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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Morrissey, the Blue Rose


A man stood upon the chalk cliff and looked out to sea. He stood alone, of course, always alone, and looked out into the blackness, a blackness who's twin brother had, for all of his life, gripped and held him as though a permanent lodger to his soul. Tonight however, the blackness was broken by the full moon, a moon that not only lit the sky but also lit the sea. The light of the moon allowed the sea to show off some of her blue sheen, but still the blackness dominated, always the blackness dominated. And as the moon reflected, so did the man, but while the moon sought no answers, the man sought many, always he sought the answers but usually without conclusion. The man started to walk along the narrow, uneven, chalk path that had been created by many other feet over hundreds of years. The man, not wanting to follow the same path as others, veered off into the light scrub and as he continued his walk, he felt a presence beside him. The man did not turn his head to look and see who had joined him but asked, "How did you find me?" The presence paused and then replied, "It is my job to seek and find you and, as you know, I am never far away. In fact, of all the people I know, you are one of the easiest to find. Do you know why I am here?" The man continued to stroll and as he did, he kicked out at loose bits of chalk and gravel and then replied, "Yes I know why you are here but I am not sure if it is I who seek you, or you that seek me?" The presence laughed gently, almost mockingly and said, "Perhaps we both seek each other, we have a strong bond you and I, for many, many reasons, so tell me, what is on your mind?" The man continued on his walk and stooped to pluck a brooklime, which he then gently nibbled at as he pondered the question. Eventually he responded, "Over the years I have asked you many things and although I listen carefully to your answers and heed your advice, I cannot help but feel that you charlatanize me, do you?" The presence once again laughed, but this time louder and with a sneer to it's laugh, and then said to the man, "Is that EVEN a word? It is only right that you should question everything and everyone but that blackness that clings to you will not leave until you allow it to go. You think it clings to you with a vice like grip but it is you that grips just as hard, a grip I too have felt. Now tell me, do you know of 'The Nightingale and The Rose'?" This time it was the turn of the man to laugh with a mocking tone and through gritted teeth he replied, " Yes, you know full well I know of it, it too grips at my ankles like shackles and much as I love it with all my heart, it burns me, engulfs me, burdens me." The presence smiled to itself, a satisfying smile and said, "Exactly as I wished and pray tell, which character do you see as you?" The man, without hesitation or pause for thought, responded immediately, "I am surprised you need ask, you know full well I am the nightingale, I am the one full of song, I am told beautiful song and yet my song is never enough and I have to give more, always more, I have to bleed, bleed and sing and each day that goes by, I feel the thorn dig deeper, always deeper as it heads to my heart, so I sing new songs and still it is never enough and even those who say they love my song, they critisise and mock and say that the songs I sing are not the songs they want to hear and then there are those who do not know me and certainly don't listen to my songs, they too critisise and call me ugly and sneer at me and try to pull me to the floor where they can kick me, punch me, walk on me, humiliate me and still I sing, I sing and I bleed and one day I will no longer be there and they will miss me when I'm gone, oh yes, they'll miss me when I'm gone." The man fell quiet, he felt both anger and sadness and he continued to walk. The presence let the air hang still and then mused, "Yes, I thought you would see yourself as the nightingale and indeed you do have many of it's traits, for not only do you sing a fair song, but you are also caring, kind and loving but you are neither a bird nor foolish enough to give up your life for one who you know will not appreciate it, you are no more the nightingale than I." The man was incensed, he raised his voice and cried, "How dare you call the nightingale foolish, she sacrificed her life so that another may love." The presence once again laughed, "I can call her what I like but did her death allow another to love? No, it was a lovely sentiment, but as I say, misguided and foolish. You are NOT the nightingale, try again, what other characters are there?" The man gathered his thoughts and then announced, "Well I am CERTAINLY not the student." The presence paused before saying, "But can you be so sure? the student, like you, is well read, single minded and seeks love, are you really so different?" The man swung his foot at a large stone and sent it hurtling down the cliff. His foot stung with the pain of kicking such a stone and he felt a pain in his heart, for he knew that the presence was right. "So I am the selfish and shallow student am I?" he asked defeatedly, "No of course not," bellowed the presence, once again laughing as he continued, "Do you really think that I should think so little of you? No, you will no doubt be pleased to know, you are NOT the student, but you do have many of his traits. Now, try again." Once again the man pondered, it was easy for him to recollect the characters from a story he knew so well and the character's raced through his mind. "Surely I am not the cynical, mocking lizard?" he enquired? The presence grinned and replied, "Once again you have his characteristics but his role is small, no you are not the lizard, nor are you the white rose, for although the white rose symbolises; purity, innocence and secrecy, all traits that you have, the white rose has always had to play second fiddle to the red rose and you play second fiddle to nobody." The man jumped in, "So I am the red rose, filled with love, respect, courage and passion? Yes, this is indeed me and as we know, the red rose in the story, having been filled with the blood and soul of the nightingale, ends up in the gutter where it is run over by a cart. Yes, at last I can see, I am the red rose, not the nightingale but I have the blood and spirit of the nightingale within me." The presence guffawed with laughter and said, "I should have guessed that you would relate to being tossed to the gutter, your self degradation becomes you, it is one of the most beautiful traits you possess and yes you are SO like the red rose, indeed if the rose were you, I can almost picture it smiling as it lay in the gutter waiting for the cart to crush it. If the student hadn't tossed the red rose to the gutter, I do believe it would have jumped there itself, although of course, as I think about it, I think it more likely in fact, that the rose would TALK about tossing itself to the gutter and would MOCK itself but wouldn't ACTUALLY choose to jump, no, instead, it would hope for a stay of execution and would long to be pinned to the student's lapel or hope that the intended recipient see sense and accept it after all, so that there would be a 'happy ever after'. Mmm, you are very nearly the red rose, but not quite, so try again." The man looked perplexed and announced, "I am running out of characters, I cannot possibly be the rose tree, for although it shows some knowledge in that it is able to supply the nightingale with the solution of how to produce a red rose, it has a nasty, perverse streak and it seems to cajole the nightingale to pull closer to the thorns, knowing that the nightingale's death will be a death for no reason. No, I am NOT the murdering rose tree." The man stopped and looked toward the sea, the moon's reflection had gone. He looked up and saw that a large cloud had smothered the moon, as though trying to keep it quiet as it rummaged through it's pockets. The man had still not turned to look at the presence, but knew he was still there. The man spoke, "So who am I?" The presence puffed itself up as though preparing for it's final submission to the court and said, "You are the centre piece to the story, the main character, is it not obvious? You are the professor's daughter." The man was confused, "But why?" he asked. The presence continued, "The whole story revolves around the daughter. The student deeply loves her and wants to impress her, the nightingale is prepared to die for her, so that she can get what she wants, the red rose is wanted by her and then rejected by her and the chamberlain's nephew even buys jewels for her. She is everything, YOU are everything. You have traits of everything and everybody in the story. You ARE the story. You are Unattainable, Impossible and exist only in fantasy, not in nature. You are unrequited. You are the first of all pleasures. I both love you and need you." The man looked content. He said, "And if I am the professor's daughter, then you must be the professor. You professor, are trouble, the trouble that loves me." The man smiled and turned to face the presence for the first time, but nobody was there, just a blue rose.

With love


  1. I found this really beautiful yet it filled me with extreme sadness too

  2. Nice one Rat, well remembered and very appropriate.


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