Looking at my hands, I see that they have a sheen to them, like I observed on my grandparents hands. Closing my fist the matt skin returns for a moment, then laying my hand flat, the glistens on every crease of a million flexes return. In my many youthful worries, I never worried about this obvious outcome, of ageing. Yet now my body’s failure is suddenly inevitable. To many I am still young. To the kids I am ancient, I will most probably be dust when they see their hands start to shine.
Each day I wrestle with impermanence.
While he has me in a headlock I realise the stagnancy of permanence.
We shake hands and I walk away quite happy.
When you want for nothing,
when each breath is a joy,
what is ambition to you?
While sleeping, a dream arrives unwelcome. I am locked in a room alone, the door an ancient lump of solid oak with bars for a window. The walls are tall, grey and clammy, like the room is having night sweats. A metal bed sits against the wall, looking almost welcoming. There is barely any light left, all to do is to try to sleep. I lay on the bed facing the wall, immediately I get the feeling I am not alone, ice washes through me, my breath quickens, the visitor is right next to me, I can feel them yet not. Part of me wants to see who this is, the larger part is petrified, closer still then I feel a hand on my shoulder and wake up. My partner has woken me, “Are you ok? It looked like you were having a nightmare”. You added one hell of a chilling climax.
As age comes to tell you to slow down.
Cawing the break of winter
the Crow moon shines for spring
buds bask in twinkling splinters
more than summer can bring.
Leave all to grow and bloom
dandelions kept for the spring bee
nests to hide in bushes full
let all go wild from flower to tree.
Faith is just imagined good result
not a stale belief in the invisible
the bulb believes in the dirt
no wishing for the risible.
One day I admire the wonderful shapes in a building’s architecture
Swoon at the sweeping lines on a beautiful sports car
Another day, it is all superfluous
An utter waste of our time.
A subtle grey tint to the sky, just enough to induce despair.
Still, it may not rain, I may not be soaked through.
But it’s too late, I already imagined it. 🙂
Moon dancing in orbit
flirting with the Sun
an eclipse kiss.
Fallen into your bucket
to be carried till I’m spilt.
The Monster fell. The blubbery carcass bounced once then settled to permanence. No one approached it, no one wiped the spittle from it’s mouth, no one even closed it’s lifeless eyes. They just left it where it fled, far into the wilds. It was far enough away to not smell the decay.
In time the flesh softened and slid from the bone, feeding all manor of wild creature, the indescribable mushy remains soaked into the soil. It’s bones turned powdery and scattering to the wind. To feed one day a sprouting tree. At last a use for it.
Jack and Julie are just married. They approach their new home together. Jack ever the romantic wishes to carry Julie across the threshold. Jack is a very slight man of wire limb. Julie is not so slight, yet Jack is determined. He raises her into his arms and immediately wishes he lifted her slightly nearer the door. She whispers sweet nothings in his ear, but Jack cannot respond, he is concentrating on only one thing. Do not buckle.
Several feet to go and his focused effort even prevents breath, each foot step a study in concentration as his face darkens, then purples. Upon reaching the doorstep he has little more to give, his treacherous toe catches the step and the couple tip forward, in one last effort Jack launches Julie towards the door opening, alas, knocking her unconscious against the frame. Jack takes a big gasp of air into his lungs as he crumbles across his prone bride. At this moment his stomach’s contents wish for liberty. The reception’s hors d’oeuvres lay across his unconscious bride’s wedding dress. ‘What a horrible thing’ he thinks. ‘At least Julie will not remember it’.
Inside I keep a garden, tended carefully and hidden
one name mentioned the historic path revealed
unsettling the architect of my new garden
I feel I must turn over the earth.
A crow can go with the flow
but a duck
She smells of sulphur and looks wild as the mountains
there is nothing to worry her in this or any other realm
I feel the shelter of her and love her as I love breath.
Just six months have passed
revelations came thick and fast
Though at first I was not quite sure
Now I wonder what is next in store
I have become far more than fond
We’ll live this life and then beyond.
Soon our couch will have a different view
new walls, new floor and new ceiling too
though really the couch’s view is sparse
as it can’t really see past our arse.
I awoke with a slight headache nagging my temple into a frown, just a little nausea in my stomach, but nothing in particular awry. I took some aspirin, drank some water and went back to bed.
As I lay there my head began to swim, I felt hot and my limbs felt heavy yet disconnected. My eyes lost touch with my vision, or my vision floated a little away from me. Closing my eyes my receptors seemed to be dancing a samba. All sounds seem louder. The clock not only ticks but rattles and echoes, the tap’s drip bangs into the sink, while the rain smashes against the window pane. Reality is still there, no pink elephants are dancing, yet I am half a step away. Now as I write, my mild delirium abates
They were so open. All of the good and evil was felt. Of now and past. There is only going to be more of it as history rolls out. They tried to find a purely good place to be, to rest from it all. Naively they went to the long standing maternity hospital, the place of birth, of new happiness. But they found the most horrible despair too. The despair only a lost child can cause.
To the long standing park they went. Where running and laughing is heard. But alas in the war, it was torn asunder. At last they think they have it. The oldest ice-cream stand in the world, the spot where millions of happy faces received their favourite treat. Alas in times past, a child lost all three scoops to the pavement. Oh what a struggle to be so sensitive.
A smile rarely reciprocated.
That shares no context with present time
I feel embarrassed for a while for their lonely glee
I then remember a smile is the happy soul’s face
No matter where that soul is placed.
The high cogs increase
the low cogs whirr ever faster
and when they break the machine?
Before the cogs are stripped,
we need a new machine.
Walking the street I spy on the opposite path a couple. The young lady is fine looking. Her eyes bright, her interest in her surroundings, she is vibrant. She ambles behind a young man who is yet to grasp how to wear clothes, his jeans hang down, he has to hitch them up so he can still barely penguin along. His dead eyes gaze at his phone, not one word to her. He gets into a battered car with various tupperware glued to it and what sounds like a broken exhaust. She gets in too. I cannot fathom why.
We headed out in the evening. The night was sharply cold, so we wrapped up in thick coats, scarves and hats, me and she. Fortunately the day was dry, so no ice to clear on the car’s screen. Just to get in, turn the heater on full and get going. I reversed out of the drive, asking my partner if the other side was clear, then drove off. The air seemed blue white and still, no chance of mistaking how cold it was beyond the windscreen. Lights bounced in the rear view mirror, then swept away as the following car turned off. In the distance two dim lights wash up and down on the bumpy road, leaving streaks of red on my tired eyes. I heard “..But what do you think?”. What? She was talking all this time? Shit.
I went out early as it was a nice morning. Barely a wisp of cloud in the deep blue sky. Just the merest breeze to take the edge off the sun’s heat. Walking to the bus stop I spied only two other people, an older man carrying today’s paper and a young man nursing an unidentified bottle in a paper bag, a bottle of some strength if his fragile gait was anything to go by. Neither wished to meet my eye. At the bus stop the shelter had been vandalised again, glass strewn across the seats and path, the perfume add looked less than romantic hanging from the broken frame.
I was trying to decipher the smudged schedule, to see when I might expect the first bus of the morning when a pair of men came into view. One was wisp thin, short and had the greasiest hair imaginable. The other was tall and broad, like he could eat a meal without noticing. Though I fight the preconceptions and prejudices of my mind, they still looked like trouble. Sadly my prejudice gained a notch, as the thinner man out of nowhere kicked me in the shin. Disbelief ran through me before the pain could get a foothold. What? Why? In a delayed reaction I leapt back and asked why he would just kick a stranger in the shin. But I received no reply. They just shared a laugh and made inaudible sniggering comments to each other. Thoughts of being a fighting master crossed my mind, what I would do if I had those ninja killer skills. I tutted and rubbed my shin.
This severely disturbed that beautiful morning. I did not wait for that bus. Instead I returned home and plotted imaginary revenge, while soaking in the bubbles of my bath.
He’ll tickle your ankle, take your hair
you try to sit and he pulls your chair
tighten your veins, shorten your breath
picking where you fray till your death.
as depressed as a toothless beaver
proud as a control freak at all his leavers
regretful as the atheist at the pearly gates
gleeful as the reaper when the airbag inflates.
The reaper came soaring from a tree
I worried he had come down for me
my heart was lighter and more free
he said he was just late for his tea.
Death he came and sidled up next to me
no eyes under his hood and lipless teeth
his scythe it glistened in the evening sun
It began a tremble down deep in my tum
my fear gathered my heart almost stopped
he said “Nice weather” then off he popped.
Even if I knew when death was arriving, no cake for him.
Don’t worry about the next trip
you sail upon an immortal ship
all the way to unknown shore
I’m quite looking forward
to what’s in store.
I am friend to feuding cats and to the birds
and my friendship to both is undeterred
they both still find it quite absurd.
The mole learn’t to fly, his mind of darkness and earth exploded in new found air and colour. A new crease appeared on his snout, as a smile emerged.
Now imagine the dove doing the reverse. What sickness is this? he thought.
Those with the most toys, long for more while crying,
while those with no toys, look joyfully at the birds flying.
Watching nature’s dance
I forgot all I did not have.
The Ape appeared, it popped up in the frame
all the mice they cowered, casting forth the blame
who sent it, who’s fault is this monster up ahead?
how do we survive this damned bringer of all dread?
This brute it stood mighty, it blustered and it frowned
but it tripped on it’s own ego,
tumbled to the river and it drowned.
Through glistening autumnal glade she strode, with not one rustle of leaf
Onward she skipped across the lake with not one ripple beneath her feet
Yet the sun she saw her come, Jealous she scorched her fragile frame
Not one piece of her beauty, just a wisp of smoke remained.
The cruel ignorant few hold the tiller of our ship
They intend to crush our spirit on this wildest trip
Our power seems stripped but for our vengeful voice
No wheel offered to us for direction, no reasonable choice
But to shout and to scream, till the monster’s hands quiver from
For the good to take the tiller, to guide us from this hateful maelstrom.
The Siamese is visiting again, he comes to be with us occasionally, just enough time to know he cares. The other day I saw him dart across the lawn. I went out to see him, but he was not in sight, I called him anyway. A scratchy clatter and he arrived on the fence, leapt into the garden and trotted over to see us. He sits his elegant self on the mat and melts us with his deepest sapphire eyes. This act of generosity deserved a treat. chicken for you my enigmatic friend. And I know what you are thinking behind those reading eyes, no, he would come anyway, treat or not.
Those who take comfort in the silence
others find the busy settles the mind
infinitely differently are we constructed
in no neat boxes are we confined.
We firmly pushed the pendulum
as it looked right out of place
sadly it swung back right
and hit us in the face.
The Bees are in trouble, both mites and minute beetles bring destruction and disease to the hive. But how to help?
Firstly I asked for audience with the Ant Queen. She was in no mood to host guests, the colony had only recently been attacked by hostile snout. Yet I was granted an ear, to return a favour.
“It would be mutually beneficial for both parties to share the hive” I said, “Your people would have all the mites and beetles you can eat”. She cast a sly gaze and replied “Why the mites and the beetles, when so many plump bees are present?”.
The two colonies have always had uncomfortable relations, yet I wish a solution.
“Sure, yes you could fight in your many numbers to invade the hive, but the bees have something to give you too”
So I reached an answer and the Ant Queen agrees, no harm to come to the bees.
Next I visited the Queen of the bees.
The hive had heard of my visit to the Ants, they buzzed suspiciously as I passed the combs, down to see the Queen, to her troubled throne. “Good afternoon your majesty, I have a proposal to ease your troubles..”. She interjected “I have heard that you have attended the ants, why would you befriend such beasts?”.
Why is shaking a fist and whipping up war, always so much easier than creating peace? I thought to myself.
I explained “It is true I have visited the Ant Queen, I asked for her help, as I ask for yours”. Once more she interjected, “Last time they came, they took many to be eaten, they have no love of us Bees”. I bow low and assured her, I have received The Ant Queen”s word that no malice shall intrude into this arrangement, I know that in a short while, there will be new friendships bound by mutual help.
So now the ants share the hive. Eating the pests of the Bee, while the ants gain stinging protection from all intruding noses. Mutual interest, gaining mutual respect.