Thursday, October 26, 2006

Two Boys

Once I saw two boys on the bus and they were obviously running away from something. They were full of the energy that only young boys can have. They almost smelt of growing.

I heard them talking, jumping over words, fleeing the day.
They were full of fight and defiance and hands tucked in pockets.
They were running away from all holds. Parents, school, brothers. Get off me, leave me alone. Get off my books. Get off my things.

Bouncing with the joy of it. They made faces at each other, out of the window. Laughed at trees, old ladies, poodles. They were fighting with the keep-it-under-control fizzy-pop of youth. And they were leaping, leaping up and down and sideways through the air of the bus, echoes of sounds of our past. Wishing we were there.

I reached for a flask of Scotch. It was in my pocket. I took a long gulp of fire. Ah, that feeling once more. Almost back there, back there with that energy. I was that boy once.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Train Times

Watching digital train times,
Moments of dotted red.

Flickering change:
How seconds can change everything.

1st:1 minute to Charing Cross.
2nd:3 minutes to Cannon Street.
3rd:7 minutes to Charing Cross.

And flickering red moments of hope.
Flickering dot-moments of take.
Ellipsis until next screen.
A touch-screen.
Flickering red dot dot dot.

I come home a different person.
You may have to change and take,
A replacement bus.

I have been replaced.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

She is the Builder

She is the builder, constructing an amazing feat of architecture before our very eyes. The structure is so very strong, you can pound your fists against it. It is a pile of one thousand bricks, reaching upwards to skyscraper proportions. Some might say it is a pyramid against the wilderness. Ancient monuments of stone stand in awe and wonder. She builds and sometimes she stops and pauses to look across at a fellow thinker. She is just as lovely for cogitating along the same mortar lines as our original worker. They are both studious and create with ease, designing it all upwards and outwards. They are conceiving new forms of construction. The building cobbled with faces, tailor-made to suit me. It is engineered to go up and through skies filled with cloud. It is masterful and proud, productive and exalted. The soaring forklifts have elevated it to new heights and it scales unchartered, heady escalator highs. It is, so it seems, head and shoulders above the rest. Our two builders sit studying their new skysucker! It is fantastic! They have dropped from the sky a real whopper and it has swoopstooped like a giant into my life. I have touched down somewhere in the middle of it, abseiled down the side of it, fallen like rain over windows and doorways. Popped my legs through a letterbox and got in. The stones dripdrop and buck against each other. Trilling and murmuring voices interlock inside bricklets. Pelting rain can mizzle and smir and we shall not be stopped in our progress once inside. Trickling and overflowing, it drains me through splashpercolation. On top of all this, you have still managed to stem the course. I have the seen the interior and it is to my liking. You have made it well. Is it not a masterpiece? I get to my feet in here! Spring up and hold my head just so. On tiptoe, I never thought I had it in me! Upsy-daisy! Up you get! I’m feeling fine again. The assemblage is wonderful.

For a moment was almost...a.......l......r....iiiiiii.....ght

Jewellery Box

She has just found,
My jewellery box.

As I watch her,
At the foot of the bed,
I suddenly think back to,
My mother’s jewellery box.
It was a white leather case, like mine.

My daughter says:
It’s fun! Shiny buttons!
These buttons are very, very shiny!
Look at that! That’s better!
These are big and these are small.
These patterns I think.
These spirals. Can I? Can I?
I show you how to make spirals.

She puts the beads in rows.
She finds a blue button.
She touches a key.
She shows me a spiral:
A blue bracelet.

I think back to what I saw:
- a gold heart with red paper inside, no picture
- pearls with a broken clasp
- a blue bracelet
- some buttons

I think of spirals.
I touch a key.
These buttons are very shiny.
I put the beads in rows.
I show you how to make spirals.

The Purple Lady

Intricacies, I love them. Twisting, turning, conundrums working back, in and around themselves. Some say "oh, the complex web we weave" as if it were a shame we had even started something. Me? I can't wait. I toil at that loom of tale-telling. I want to be a good person though. I don't believe people should get too hurt, or poisoned, or die or anything. Dark, dark life. Sometimes so dark you just can not find your way out so you just have to go deeper - and that was the mistake I made on February 4th 1976. It all began quite nicely, I got up as usual woolly-headed and in need of tea to revive. Two cups in a row - one for me and one for my elderly mother - and then to work! I make lists, many lists to remind myself of what is to be done. I must have my lists in supreme order otherwise I have to start again. For example, if I am to start at home with the basics such as cleaning my teeth, tidying up after mother, and end with some supplies from my local shop - I just simply must have it all in order. First I will write the order in which I will definitely do them and can not perform shopping tasks unless my list is written in order of how the aisles are laid out. Goodness, I've spent so much time shopping and not shopping, abandoning baskets and even been most unfairly accused of shoplifting all because I've had to go out and start all over again. I need to know in advance if they change the aisles around as I my shopping simply can't be done to the list of the day if that is the case. You might think it's the same with my appearance. I know people look at me and mother in the street. I'd like to think they are interested but probably not. You see, not many people know but black and lilac (all versions of except mother cheats and wears pink which makes me ashamed) are colours that sing to the soul. I dye my hair black and always wear my cats-eye sunglasses to protect my eyes. I've worn them so long now I'm used to the view from that side. Sometimes I sleep in them which can be a little uncomfortable but you can get used to it. I bought Iris my mother a pair. They were quite hard to come by as they are not so fashionable now. She hates them but I make her wear them when we are out together as we must be protected. I never wear shoes as such, just plimsolls. I like the nice soft white ones from Woolworth's. I only go to the childrens section as it makes me feel like the little girl that I am. My mother says I'm too old and that I pad about too much. She cries and says I creep up on her all the time. Well I do. I like to frighten her but she's not quite sure. That's why I wear them. And I'm creeping now. She can't hear me. She can't see me. And I don't think she ever will.

(This excerpt is based on a real person I used to see when I was growing up. We used to call her 'the purple lady'. She was quite an ecccentric and used to pad around Barnes dressed head to toe in mauve and black. Her hair was jet black and she used to wear the most pointy 50's sunglasses, with creepy little white pristine plimsolls on her feet. She occasionally used to drag her mother out who was dressed like a podgy overgrown little girl - hair in bunches and ankle socks with lace trim. They were a bizarre couple. I often wondered what the inside of their house was like. The mother died and the purple lady wasn't seen out so much. Last siting about two year ago which for some reason prompted me write this rather mean and cruel little story).

16/08/03 - back of red notebook found under my bed

The rot was definitely setting in she thought. Sitting in the once pristine garden, it was now awash with curled, dead leaves. The beds were splattered with weeds - an untidy reminder outside as to what was going on inside. Inside her head, inside her house, inside her world. Nothing obviously happened mattered anymore (sic). Everything had been left to get on with it. She gulped the tea from her favourite mug - a strange kind of comfort tea from your favourite mug. She was sitting on her favourite step drinking tea from her favourite mug. She thought how childish of me, how sad that life's little comforts and obsessions mean so much.