Circus without wheels.

It’s doors foreboding on it’s massive entry hall, it’s car park full to bursting, another busy day at the circus that never moves. Queuing at the junction, many cars ahead, the heat haze above every baking tin roof. The air conditioning giving some respite for us from the heat, but taking all moisture from our mouths. We inch forward and take our turn to cross the traffic, drive up the entry road, a haze of dust hovers in the air from the constant disturbance of the visitors wheels. Heading through the car park, already hundreds of cars are bleeding people and prams, carefully I drive, check that tiny hands are held.
From our parking place, the entry building is looking very small, a mass of people march up the hill towards it, and we join, the lines are long. Thoughts wander to is this the only place open in the world?
Shuffling forwards little by little towards the kiosks, when did prams get so large? double and triple seated with suspension, canopies and shopping bags, just drive the car right in why not?
The lady sits in the kiosk, behind security glass, designed to hamper the hard of hearing, make them ask three times. We take our tickets and our folding map and head through the turnstiles, out to find the toilet, for that is the first thing you do at the end of any journey.
Unburdened we unfold the map, a design of colour and cartoon and no sense of scale, as if the children were the ones who had to decipher its content. first thing near are the capuchin monkeys, so there we head, and through the window we see, a keeper with a broom and a bucket. Back to the map, the reptile house. Through the doors we hit more heat than the baking day outside, for these animals are not made for the cold and the damp of this soggy isle. We lean on the hand rail and watch as the iguana sits under his heat lamp, as if he had never moved in all his days, his scales glowing bright green, his tail showing a kink of history. Just as I feel the sweat start to trickle down my back, we need to move on, a double buggy needs to pass.
Out into the open air, it feels almost cool, the humidity is what bungs the lungs. Passing a restaurant we see that some are already digging into fried chicken. Only on a day out will someone eat such greasy food at eleven in the morning.
We turn a corner and hear our first tired cry of the day, the stone faced mother ignores them and marches forwards to more fun..
Looking into the next enclosure, a hornbill bounces from branch to branch, tilting her head and looking inquisitively at the ice cream grasping children below.
Many more enclosures pass, some looking empty, some that are empty. No doubt waiting for their specific animal to come back into stock.. In the distance I see the large grey unmistakable shape of an elephant, one of the favourites you would find, once to be found on a concrete island, to be thrown peanuts by the ignorant patrons and encouraged by the ignorant keepers. Now they wander large areas with pools and branches. But the wild does not compare to the most beautiful of cages.
I spy a flamingo stretching her wing. Yes one, for one wing is clipped to prevent the beautiful sight of birds in flight. It seems perverse to have them stand for all their days below a sky they will never know. Perhaps they do not even know their distant cousins soar above in glorious pink clouds.
But, these places are needed my mind argues, to educate, to make aware, to safely give birth to the rare.
The rhinos especially need the help, for a horn they are slaughtered in the wild, these I see next. Quite how they carry their weight so daintily is a mystery, while a cow looks like she is carrying every pound, the rhino skips as lightly as a ballerina. A young mum and her child next to us watch the rhino eat, ‘look at the rhinoceros’ exclaims the child, to my amazement the mum corrects her and informs her that these are hippos. I can only shake my head, walk away and smile.
Previously I have seen grown adults point to a leopard and declare it a tiger. These folks were not there that day at school I guess..
In one place a digger sits, another new enclosure, each new one shinier than the last, huge widows surrounded by bright signs, sculptured painted concrete rocks ape nature but not quite, a Disney land effect, a theme park without a ride.
Time to go sit and drink a coffee, a small place alongside a small field, a clearing for the birds of prey to play. The timing is right and we watch a falcon climb higher and higher, till speck, then gone lost in the sun. The falconer starts to twirl the bait and searches the sky, in moments at a hundred miles per hour the falcon arrives and grasps her meal, nature impresses again.
As tiredness makes the children scream, the wasps are in full force chasing ice lollies. A sign it is time to leave. We get to the car and watch the folks still pouring in as we exit. This car really needs a wash.





Snoopy burns the midnight oil


Don’t look to politics to bring joy to your day,
Take a seat and listen to the singing of birds,
Care for the world, but do not worry for it,
All the worlds worries are too much to carry,
While care is as light as a feather.

Just one little poem, but a drawing too,
little Snoopy writing for you,
I accidentally made a rhyme,
apologies it just happens sometimes..


Short lines skip

If words are strung along just so,
They are both song and music.

Cuddles for comfort,
Cuddles for pain,
Cuddles under a brolly, out in the rain,
Cuddles show love,
Cuddles for loss,
Cuddles always,
Cuddles because.

I really don’t know what I meant to say,
It left my head in a jumbled way,
I will try to decipher it later on,
Who knows from where the odd seeps from.

I would rather be lonely on my own,
Than lonely surrounded by people.

While driving I watched ahead,
a brave leaf leaps into the air and into the road,
just missing the car ahead,
Energetically it rose again, over my roof.
In the mirror I saw it made it to the other side.
What a courageous leaf.

We are woven from many different yarns,
some full, some wiry, some dark,
some vibrantly coloured,
we are born of many wonders and impossible to name.



Short, sweet.

Odd is great, the opposite of ordinary, even extraordinary is only ordinary but bigger, odd is a way of being that is outside this frame, a way of being that the ordinary cannot imagine.

Life is too short to be distraught.

My writing,
Embarrassing to be noticed
Painful to be ignored.

In a room full of hesitance, we introverted lurk,
a party for the extrovert, but for us its work.

Be flattered at the crows attention, for their interest lies in things that shine..


A beautiful morning sun beamed through the window for Batman on this wednesday morning in Gotham, he was in a particularly good mood as he awoke, for he allows himself a doughnut on wednesdays, but what flavour? he mused, always a difficult decision, raspberry, strawberry, cream? as long as he is not surprised by another apple one, what a shock that was!

Enough musing, time to get out of bed, he swung his tiredy legs out of the bed and felt around with his toes for his bat slippers.
As he was putting on his Bat pyjamas Alfred arrived, “what would you like for breakfast this fine morning sir? and what to drink?”, “oh some toast would be smashing Alfred, with honey, and darn if I am not going to treat myself to a Cappuccino this morning too!”, “right you are sir” replied Alfred before obediently shuffling off downstairs.
Batman’s house was a fine place, a place you inherit not buy, enough finery to keep the antiques roadshow going for years, with a beautiful formal garden which he enjoyed pottering about in one corner, a place to look at with the pride for it being done himself, it almost looked as good as the gardeners primped, preened and pruned work.
Batman looked out of the kitchen window as he munched his toast, the birds sang and he spied a small deer edge into the garden, far away just by the fountain. What a lovely sight, if they weren’t so nervous he would go tickle her chin, but alas dark knights are not a deers cup of tea.
“Right, time for action!” he said, and promptly opened the paper to the job section, not much in here today, just a couple of building jobs and an opening for a car sales representative, certainly not anything for Batman’s specific qualifications, a city and guilds in tupperware design. one day, one day..
Batman senior was very well off, leaving a large sum of money, executive toys and this expansive mansion, so Batman can afford to bide his time till the right job emerges. wonder what job dad did? he would never say, always so mysterious, up at all hours, sometimes not back till dawn. Mum said he was a baker, that would explain the excess of bread, buns and various cakes coming into the house. Batman missed the cream slices, but the Bat belt is less strained now. The stationary Bat bike has also been good for his health.
Midday and it is time to fix lunch, Batman goes to the bat fridge and retrieves some butter, ham and cheese, to go in his ciabatta, which Alfred had warmed in the oven for a few minutes. Who does not like ciabatta? the perfect bread, though excessive air bubbles can leave one feeling short changed, but the reward is worth the risk.
Ciabatta sandwich in hand, Bat bag over shoulder, he heads out to see what the world has to offer today. Only a few minutes up the road the bakery comes into view, a small family run baker, with few customers, but good news for Batman, as it means he does not have to get up too early for his doughnut, it ruins a day when your favourite sweet treat has gone already. Tom puts Batman’s doughnut in a bag and says “Thank you Batman that will be eighty pence, thank you for keeping the streets safe” Batman gave Tom a confused look “Ok.. Thanks..” and turned to the open door and headed out to face the street. As soon as he turned right he spotted the Joker just stepping out of the barbers, he looks very happy for someone who has just had that done to their hair he thought, but he is always a very cheery person, Batman went to wave but the Joker did not see him and turned the other way, slightly self-consciously, Batman put his hand back down..
Heading across the road, Batman spotted that yet another village shop had closed, sad to see a budding business falter, but jet skis are hard to sell even by the sea. Next door the shop keepers are out gossiping, Batman over hears “isn’t it sad what happened to him? at such a young age too” “but it did say ‘external use only’ on the box..” the gossip faded as he walked further away, up towards the book shop, past the charity shops that always seem to filter in when the quaint shops falter. Looking in the window, the same familiar covers peer back, dust settling on each one, except one new book, looking out to a new audience, a book by a TV chef on baking without eggs. still, at least this is a sign that there may be new books in the shop, the shop keeper has not given up on custom quite yet. upon entering a familiar smell wafts to the nostrils, a smell of old flat wood and dust. Batman heads to his favourite section, hobbies, a favourite for many unemployed I have no doubt, the next hobby could well be the next profession. Batman is no different, he has experimented in painting and sculpture but what is in mind does not arrive at his fingers, leaving him frustrated. So back to gardening, who cannot dig a hole and plant a seed, who cannot water and feed? nature does the work, yet we sit satisfied with ‘our work’ no less.
Looking through the volumes on the shelf is quite the task in its self, the thing that we all do, twisting our neck to one side as we read the titles is hard to do in a full head mask! but they are familiar titles, no new watering technique has been found it seems. Heading back past the desk Batman peruses the postcards and animal shaped bookmarks, hmmm, maybe a reading light bookmark, just for something new to take home he thought. The shop keeper was miles away reading a small biography by a well known sportsman, and barely acknowledged Batman as he took the money and continued reading.
Just pop into the news agents on the way back Batman thought, back down the hill he enters the news agents, it seems to be open permanently, a tiny shop smelling of vegetables. Inexplicably they always have a huge array of dirty magazines, as if the internet never happened. Batman keeps his head down as he browses, yes I’m here for the hobbies he says entirely in body language. He picks up a wood turning magazine and gives his money to a small girl who seems to be hypnotised by her phone, grudgingly he receives his change and goes on his way, back to the comfort of home.
“Tea Sir?” asks Alfred as Batman plonks his Batbag on the kitchen worktop, “Mint tea please” said Batman, “To help digest that doughnut, I suspect it may not have been made recently”. “right you are Sir”.
Later Batman sits in his favourite chair in the living room, reading about wood grain and chisels as he sips his tea, the curtains drawn a little to try his new bookmark lamp, it works perfectly fine as long as you have no desire to read the bottom half of the page.
Opening the curtains he looks at the late evening light twinkle on the lawn, a soothing sight.
Turning back inward he takes the remote control and switches on the TV, its temping glow of nonsense flickers on, and takes Batman in its spell.
The spell is broken as the smell of dinner reaches his nostrils, a welcome aroma as his stomach is starting to say fill me. Alfred dutifully walks in, tray in hand, roast dinner and red wine floating to Batman’s lap, then ice cream and a coffee.
He sat to digest his meal, contemplating the end of the day, for night has arrived, Batman loved this time the most, where he came alive, could do anything, he loved it, for what he loved best was to dream.

Good night.


Out walking in the town streets, the pavements full to bursting, many times so full are they, I can barely shuffle along, until it starts to clear again to re-establish my own stride. Further away from the shops, the people even fewer still, until there is just me but just for solitary steps behind me peace at last, still at least one mile from home, I continue around the corners across the streets. I notice, the same foot fall behind me, my heart quickens as I think of the why’s and the who’s, just walking, just coincidence.
I calm myself and continue, make a deal with myself, that if they are still behind when I turn this next corner, I shall steal a glance. I turn, they follow. I take a wobbly deep breath and I turn, to see, to my amazement, striding towards me is Tom Waits, in brown battered trilby hat, tatty suit, just a few feet from me now, he smiles at my shocked face, tips his hat and hands me a large rusty key, no word just a look, a look that says ‘Do not lose this key’ . No word could I manage, I just stood and stared down at the key in my palm as the foot steps faded, leaving me in silence.
Silence broken aptly by the cawing of a crow on an adjacent rooftop, it breaks my hypnosis so I continue home, I would think of what this key could mean, but I am at a loss, even if my brain was up to speed, what possible use is it?
I arrive home, walk up the path, open my front door, and there in the hallway sits, a large wooden trunk.
The trunk looked very old, with brass band straps going green, the wood dark from what looked like the centuries that had past since it was a tree. Looking to the lock, I found there was no lock, just a catch, so curiosity draws my hands to the lid and I open it, I jump back as I see, curled up asleep inside is Iggy Pop, a sound sleeper it seems, as the trunk lid banging open did not stir him a jot.
While I gather my thoughts once again, in his own time Iggy wakes and unfolds his elastic body from the trunk. He glares at me with bloodshot wild eyes and asks “what time is it?”, I automatically check my watch and tell him “it’s seven thirty,.. wh.. what are you doing here?”, “well, I was sleeping, but now I am leaving” and with that, he walks straight out of the front door.
I checked the trunk for any clues of what had just happened, nothing, just an empty trunk, later I try to move it, but it proves to heavy to budge, so I just close the lid and go to bed, whatever dreams arrive, cannot be any stranger than this day.
As the sun returns, it brings with it brightness, warmth and bird song, it takes a few moments to recall the day before, the oddness once again washes through my head.
Get out of the house, out see normality, to return to base. Reaching in my pocket, the key remains, but downstairs I find that the trunk is gone, just the slightest dent in the carpet to prove its existence, put it to the back of my mind, its gone. Stepping out of the front door I pause to take a deep breath and listen to the blackbird sing, to feel the air to my face, sigh and off.
The morning unfolds in cheerful normality, talk of weather and of political greed, no talk of Tom Waits, its rare to find anyone who has heard of him, let alone one who wishes to hear such madness, given time it will drift to story in my own mind, I should just dispose of the key, but my heart says hold it just in case, it is after all just a key.
Now to go back home, a flinch in my chest says I am not done yet, and as I near a church I begin to hear a guitar, a rich riff wafts to my ears and carries me nearer, up the stoney path and through the gate. Before me a closed wooden church door with an old key hole inviting a key. As I fumble for the key the music stops and I hear foot steps, and the door slowly creaks open, and there with guitar in hand is Marc Ribot, he looks very tired. I bumble “I was just about to try this key in the door.. Tom Waits gave it to me..”, “Well yes, of course, come in I guess”.
The late afternoon sun pours in through the stained glass windows, lighting the haze of cigar smoke in many colours, half the pews are missing, replaced with a few tables, chairs and a stool, some guitars rest on stands, “its just for a few friends, some new stuff, would you like a drink?”, he pours a bourbon regardless of answer and hands it to me, “This key, can I see it?”, I fetch it from my pocket and offer it for appraisal, “Nope, wont fit this door, but then, you are here already”.
I sip my drink and take a seat as Marc takes to his stool and continues practicing, stooped over the guitar like it is the only thing in the world. I make my excuses and leave the glass half full, and the church to its echoes.
Exiting the church the cawing of a crow greets me and I automatically look for it’s accomplice Tom, but no sign, just the busy rustle of taken flight. Again I find myself treading the same path home, the earlier sun is becoming shy, as I turn a corner it starts to rain. as it rains harder I am resigned to a soaking, I stop and look up and feel the rain on my face. There is a freedom in resigning yourself to just getting wet. Flap, awakes me and an unfolded umbrella is held over my head, “a little early to quit isn’t it son? I’ll take back the key in exchange for this umbrella”, I reach into my pocket and hand Tom the key, “Some stories are mean’t for another, enjoy normality son” and with that Tom popped his collar, tipped his hat and headed off. I headed the other way, home to normality.


Sandal the bee

Sandal the introverted bee, sets off out of the hive at last, into the beautiful blue sky, up and away, the beautiful flowers await him, joyfully he gathers but now must return, weighed down he sadly ambles back, to the busyness the noise, of the screaming of a million introverted bees.