quiet words

i went home
to visit my father’s grave
to say hello and chat a while.

quiet words,
carefully chosen,
softly spoken. 

i choked

as i looked at
his grave, cuddled with flowers
left by my younger sister.

one in a line of neat plots.
one in a sea of black marble.

the cemetery,
ringed with woodland walks 
for lovers and thinkers
and those with heavy hearts.

hearts broken by parting.

as i left,
i walked awkwardly past
others with more recent grief.
tending earth mounds,
freshly dug and
waiting for their stone.

and those spirits
long in the ground,
with sadness healed through time,
wait for someone to come
and say hello and chat a while.

quiet words,
carefully chosen.
softly spoken.

Cherished #FP stories for bedtime.

Kim and Tim and Timmy (the schoolboy) and Bubbles and The Bandit and Cybil and Jeffrey annex Greece

Part 7.

It was a breathtaking morning in Kos town. Kim and Tim sat in the warm sunshine in a small cafe beside the harbour and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of melons and pastry washed down with cool sparkling orange juice. The melons were the biggest that Tim had ever seen. 

The cafe was a stones throw from their hotel. They’d measured it at 220 feet. A stellar throw. 

They’d chosen the cafe carefully. From its cobbled terrace they had uninterrupted views of the harbour and could see all the comings and goings and the goings and comings too. To avoid drawing attention to themselves, both were dressed as garage mechanics.

Tim ordered more coffee. Kim peered into a little compact and relined her lips. 

“How do I look Tim?”

“Is this a trick question?”

“No…”

“It’s a little trout poutish dear”

“What if I toned it down a little?”

“You’ve smudged it now. Not a good look Kim!”

They were distracted by a large yacht sailing through the mouth of the harbour. Tim peered through his binoculars.

“It’s her Kim! It’s Plaistow Patricia!”

“Can you see them?”

“I can just about make out…”

Then. Suddenly. The lights went out. 

Meanwhile, in a dusty railway bar outside Bogota, Bubbles was knitting a Fez. It was for The Bandit’s birthday. He’d lost his puce thinking cap and was looking a little more lost than usual. 

Hernandez lay in the shade of the old water tower. He wasn’t allowed in the bar, not since that rather unfortunate incident with the owner’s dog and a Swiss meringue.  

“Hey Hernandez! Wake up! It’s time to go. It’s almost nightfall.” 

………Bandit was keen to leave before anyone realised who they were and called the Policía (or the lunatic asylum for Hernandez…….

The wanted posters on the wall of the bar were almost invisible in the dim shuttered light. They weren’t very good likenesses anyway. They were almost ten years old and the Bandit’s beard had doubled in length in that time. It was plaited into tight dreadlocks. He’d gone through a Bob Marley phase. Bubbles had dyed her hair bright pink and it was in a tight bun held up by a gigantic paper clip. 

And Hernandez. He was insignificant. He wasn’t even insig……..

“You too Bubbles. Let’s go. We have a flight to catch!”

“I’ve got one last row to knit Bandit. Then I’m all yours, metaphorically speaking of course!”

Back in Kos, the sky began to brighten. The lights came back on.

“Look Kim!”

Tim pointed skyward.

“What on earth…..” 

Kim visibly paled.

“It can’t be!”

“OH YES IT IS!” Boomed a pre-pubescent voice. “IT’S TIMMMMMMMMY!”

Above Kim and Tim, blotting out the Mediterranean sun, was an enormous space ship in the form of a Cajun alligator. They could just see the tiny figure of Schoolboy Timmy standing in one of the alligator’s eyes. Schoolboy Timmy. The words struck fear into the hearts of Kim and Tim. 

“What now Kim?”

“There’s not a lot we can do until we hear his demands. Coffee?”

“And banoffee pie?”

“Nice rhyme Kim!”

“Thanks Tim!”

Under the cover of darkness, the yacht, the Plaistow Patricia, had moored in the harbour. Onboard a rather twee and eccentric English couple sat with aplomb in the garishly Laura Ashley saloon.

“Gin Jeffrey?”

“Yes Please Cybil!” 

(Watch out for part 32 sometime soon)

Granny’s Orchard 1966

Early August. The growing suspense.
A waiting game as fruit swells and calls.
And its whisper is irresistible. And loud.
And sweet like a summer kiss.

Green as grass, the dewy plums,
A magnet to my sister’s greedy lips
Tumble, barely chewed, stones and all
Into her rumbling tum to burp and bubble.
Tummy fireworks, duodenal back flips.

And we play tig amongst the fruit trees,
Look for late hatched scaldies in the ditch,
And inspect windfall cookers for worms. All the while
Itching with grass rashes and hawthorn welts.

The journey home, asleep in the back
Of dad’s green Cortina is uneventful,
Save for my sister’s farts and groans
As the half ripe fruit claws and creaks
As she hunches double and fitfully sleeps.

Home at last. Carried in one by one.
Half asleep, and in my sister’s case,
Half dead. And there was no pity.
No comfort. Just a hot water bottle
And a clip along the ear. And stern words.

‘What did I tell you?’ My mother said.
‘Don’t eat the plums!’ As my sister
Gurgled and moaned and blew
Like a green volcano bound for the loo.

The next day, green around the gills
She swore that plums were evil and
She would eat no more. Ever again.

Next Sunday we went to Granny’s,
And let loose from our silent hell,
From our colouring books,
From the gaslit good room,
We raced past the duck pond to the orchard.
To the orchard where the dewy plums,
Green as grass, called out my sister’s name.

Again.

perfect crimes

i watch a herd of hoppity wagtails

flit from blue sky to black tarmac

bibbing, bobbing, galahumpazizing……….

i crunch another crusty malteser,

wolf down another bar of caramac

and

think

about

nothing

much

at

all………

perhaps after lunch i’ll have a nap

and dream of better times and perfect crimes.

Mother Nature’s hissy fit.

Stained brown with overnight rain,
the river licks its banks as ducks ride its flanks.
Bobbing in the corkscrew eddies stirred up by
nature’s breath.

I sit, snug behind double glazed panes,
as gales and gusts whisper in pain. Snatching, grasping, snarling,
like a rabid dog whipping foam over the river’s skin.

Bewitched by the pushing, pulling, biting wind,
spindly trees enchanted, entranced,
dance to Boreus’s tune, releasing a snow flurry of leaves
to swirl and coat their underbellies.

In the grey rushing sky white tipped gulls twist
and fly, dipping in and out of harm like wing-ed lucky charms.
Playing the wind, conducting each stanza of Ein Aplensinfonie:
wings as batons beating stormy time.

I prefer to sit in my comfy lair, warm air and unruffled hair.
Playing Riders in the Storm on my stereo. Being in rather than being out.
Drinking steaming coffee and daydreaming of Summer 

as Mother Nature has her hissy fit.

 

Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire

The Sea.

Neptune’s trident churns and turns
snarling chastising chastiser.

Hissing boiling white water tips.
Punching the decks with salty fists.

I.
Safe inside the threadbare snug bar
have a jar or two (purely medicinal of course)

and through a porthole eyeball the sea
as it eyeballs me.

And children.

Noisy feral snotty wretches.
Ruddy faced urchins, and teens with issues
and giggles and angst.

Teenage angst.

Run wild to a child.

And mothers soft with love
and hard with life talk shit
aboard the ship.

Then.
With headphones on
and volume set to 21.

block the insipid, driviolic chatter
with Level 42 and Sum 41.

Later.
As we near port,

the feral kids, their mums and I.

Neptune’s sea.
A millpond.
Welcomes.

With gentle ripples
and salty kisses.

On land we lubber.

Engulfed by Irish wind and rain.

Feral kids blubbering
from a smack around the head.

GOD!

It’s good to be home again.

 

a dangerous blue sky

on the fifth floor
in my vertical home
i am eye to to eye
with the sky
and the sky
is blue and delicious

syrupy
beguiling
infectious

and bloody dangerous

and
little people far below
are dotted here and there
social distancing aware
walking in little people groups
no more than two or three at most

an ambulance, all blues and twos
huffs and puffs and whizzes by
as little people far below
catch little people achoos
in soggy little people tissues

and i
press my nose
to window pane
licking the outside
with my eyes

i can taste
freedom
i feel alive

and then as i die a little inside
i curl up in a cosy nook with
my favourite Flann O’Brien book

“When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When life looks black as the hour of night,
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.”

is 11.30 am too early for day drinking?
i wish i could day drink with you

and you
and you
and you