March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment
The little boy threw his sweets at the bus,
bouncing them off the windows
with a pop.
It swerved around
and ran him over.
Now he throws bricks.
March 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
I am a car
You won’t pump me again
You are a road
I am driving away
This was a journey
on a baggage carousel
We were never a ‘we’
until the end
March 21, 2013 § Leave a comment
Shy, loving M, 60s, seeking nice lady, similar age, to talk to & sit in silence with.
March 20, 2013 § 3 Comments
She walked by me everyday.
Her vacant stare was what drew me in. You could tell she wasn’t focusing her blue eyes on anything solid in front of her. She was just walking, letting her feet do the seeing.
A small blanket was always wrapped around her shoulders. It was probably technically a scarf, but it was thick and woolen, like the kind of throw your Mum would place on top of you when you fell asleep on the couch. It was on her shoulders everyday.
Some days it was really hot, the sun would beat down on me and the other people waiting forever at the bus stop. We would collectively wipe the sweat from our brows and raise our eyebrows at eachother, saying “it’s hot, isn’t it?” without any words. Yet she would walk by, dreamily, in her thick scarf, hugging it close to her chest with worried fingers and that expressionless face.
I’ve never noticed how much the lack of something can be so powerful, but her blank face told us of all the secrets she would never be asked to tell.
And how it was the day she didn’t walk by that I really noticed her presence. After years of seeing her spindly legs wander endlessly down the road, I became unnerved by her absence.
I thought quickly of all the possibilities. Maybe she had died. Maybe she had moved. But from where?
I realised I saw this woman more than I saw some of my friends, and her saunter past me every morning was the one constant I had in my hectic life, the one thing I could truly rely on.
I should have talked to her, asked her where she was going. Maybe she was walking passed every morning just waiting for someone to stop her and say “are you ok?”
I felt so guilty. I looked around the bus stop for a familiar face but the crowd was a blur of unknown suits and rain jackets. I never paid attention to anyone else who made this journey, only my lonesome woman.
I glanced at my watch. The bus would arrive any second.
That was when I saw her, tip toeing down the pavement towards the bus stop. Her blanket was firmly in place and she was staring at the horizon, exactly where the sky melts into the earth, heading for it with conviction.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Everything was back to normal. She passed by as the bus drew up to the stop and I jumped on.
As we drove away I noticed a man look back at the woman through his window, a quiet smile brushing the corners of his lips.
March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
Sometimes I feel like soup, sloshing against the side of a flask.
Or drowning in a tomato-stained bowl, with not even a carrot to keep me afloat.
I lie on the kitchen floor, SPLAT, a puddle of gritty stock-cube mess.
I hold my face tight against the cold tiles and stop thinking.
I am water and herbs and skin, with nowhere to go and nothing to leave behind.
Slurp me up through a straw and leave me wrinkled and deflated like a discarded raisin.
Watch me disappear down the plughole, hugging the metal as I fall away.
Stirring around and around with the sun and the moon and this ladle spine.
Sometimes I feel like soup. And sometimes I feel nothing at all.
March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
It is at times like these that I let my mind wander back to those days. I look away from my computer screen, letting my head fall back over the top of my chair so my face is parallel to the white ceiling. My eyelids close and the four blank walls around me dissolve away.
My hands shrink and my body grows small and clammy. I am barefoot and can feel the hot hardness of stone on the soles of my feet. I am naked apart from a hat that my mother has clamped onto my head as she blows smoke into my face from a cigarette dangling at the side of her mouth. I see myself in the refection of her huge dark sunglasses. I am five, with squinting blue eyes and a wild hatred of hats. My mother pats me on the bottom as an indication to go away and I happily jump from rock to rock, arms outstretched either side of me for balance.
“He’s going to fall,” I hear my mother’s friend Sally say from the red towel she has stretched her tiny body across. I clench my fists. Sally obviously doesn’t know how good I am at jumping rocks and she doesn’t know that I am going to be an adventurer one day. Sally knows nothing.
“No he’s not.” I hear my mother reply and then the pop of a wine cork. I am finally not an object for their attention.
We call it a beach, like ‘last weekend we went to the beach’, but it’s not really a beach because there is no sand. The ground is made up of smooth rocks which reach the sea then drop down to an ocean cliff. My mother won’t let me jump in but I know that one day I will and I’ll go explore right down to the bottom where fishes look like monsters.
I don’t miss the sand because I get something better: rock pools. Tiny oceans between every rock, just waiting to be explored. I keep jumping, expertly, until I reach my favourite pool. It’s over to the left of my mother’s towel, just under a huge boulder that looks like a table for a giant. It’s deep and always full of crabs and mussels and little sticky insects that run too fast to catch. I kneel down, the rocks pressing into my knees, indenting my skin, and reach a hand either side of the pool. I lift my weight on to my arms and pull myself off my hunkers so I am right over the miniature seaworld, able to see everything, like God.
I hear my mother’s laugh echo around the boulder. It’s loud and shrill and makes me jump. My hand slips and plunges into the rock pool, splashing salt water onto my lips. A crab appears from the shadows, red and flat and frowning. He scurries away, over another rock, disappearing into a tiny cave and I wish I could follow. But I can’t.
Because I am here, sitting at my computer, trying to write something that won’t reveal itself to me. It is hidden away, like a creature in a rock pool. I am hoping that it is there, waiting in the damp dark to pounce up at me with fists. I hope I am not just staring at some bare pool of water, full of empty seaweed shadows and a beer can ring pull.
I go and make lunch because I am tired of waiting.