2511

I’m out on my own
with my dancing –
romancing!
All soulish and lonesome;
all jumpy
and live.
In front?
Maybe once – but now
mostly behind!

It’s a frightening
awakening,
unabashed assault,
on my brain
every day
and it’s sending me old!

The Clear Out

She has bags of bags, filled with shoes, Christmas wrappings, old cards
And new ones.
Bags of overplayed records and unopened letters.

We keep clawing into the gloom and dust:
More bags, half open boxes, stuck to this sticky insect-shell-carpet,
Deep in the fabric of the long dead.

Box after box…
Some with bags in, some have letters, reams of aims,
Bags of dreams.

There are more shoes, a crimson coat of majestic massiveness.
Here is a box full of bags from the eighties filled with toys
– Battalions of soldiers in disarray eyeballing teams of alien muscle-men
Through the decades.

And last of all, wrenching the newspaper floor with it,
Dragged out from beyond,
A decomposing leather hold-all, filled with photographs.
Beaming childhood hopes, tiers of school pics, camping trips,
Instants of hurried-through birthdays and flashes of Christmases.

I clamber back. Kneel back, and, hands on knees, take a breath.

Our treasure-haul has piled up in the bedroom,
One trove stacked on a chair.
Inhaling the gasps of long ago,
The chatter of ages fills my nostrils,
Hits the back of my throat – the depths of memory
– And I gulp down more,
She shuts the bedroom window, Which abruptly suffocates us.

*** “Go get a bag then.”
Her hands already picking over the bones.

Another bag. This one heavy with dark implications
Heavy with its Black.
The crisp pliable plastic of sacks.

I bare my mind as I reach into the kitchen cupboard, downstairs.
Here dark, personal, thoughts swim.
So, again, upstairs ripping one finality after another off the roll
We empty years of what-ifs into these terrible cocoons.

We stay for days jogging back and forth
through shared and forgotten events.
All that’s dead is gone, all that’s dust is dead. In a bag in a box
In a hole. There’s a dream that once lit up her head.

 

 

Pop

You know, he’s the most enormous person there is in the whole wide world.

Where is he?

The music is fading.
Truck’s stopped and everyone else is getting off, entwined in mums and dads,
so where is he?
You glance from big grinning face to big laughing head… Nowhere!

Try not to panic!
It feels empty now.
Gripping hold, tight, to the bar.
Afraid to stand, you fight back those early tears
and bite your bulging bottom lip.

Two huge hands reach in.
Click. You’re free; those hands, in your armpits, thrusting you skywards!
A reassuring bass voice
“Hello Twinkle! You enjoy that?”

“Dadeeeeee” you squeal,
beaming your best tooth-filled Beam back,
as he hoists you snuggly onto one arm and presses you against his wall of chest, for a carry!

Now that you’re three,
your arms easily encircle his tree-trunk neck
and you both sail along past other tempting stalls and flashing rides.
“Dinner soon” He harrumphs, close to your forehead
as you quietly de-panic and enjoy the comfort of the best ride in the show
– your best daddy in the whole wide world.

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

Today

Love it: ‘cause you know it won’t last.
Live it: ‘cause yesterdays are best.
Last it: Be the one who’s happiest.

March on
Be strong
Recall where you went so wrong.
Be bold
Be joy
And true to every girl and boy.

’cause we’re all still kids
when the chips are down
and need a lift when
brows carry old frowns.

Moon through Sycamore blossom

Cranky Old Man

Having been duped by a touching ‘story’ with a fantastic poem at it’s heart, I made further investigations and found, what I think is, the original source of that poem. It has captivated me so is my first pressing of someone else’s work.

The original version of the poem:

Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see, nurses what do you see
Are you thinking when you are looking at me
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice –I do wish you’d try
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And for ever is losing a stocking or shoe,
Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill
Is that what you are thinking, is that what you see,
Then open your eyes, nurses, you’re not looking at me.

816px-Elderly_Woman_,_B&W_image_by_Chalmers_Butterfield

Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I used at your bidding, as I eat at your will,
I am a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another,
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet;
A bride at 20 – my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure, happy home;
A women of 30 my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last,
At 40 my young sons have grown and are gone;
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn;
At 50, once more babies play around my knee.
Again we know children, my loved one me
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel
’tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where once was a heart
But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few – gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses open and see
Not a crabbit old women look closer – see me.

Phyllis McCormack, 1966

*

Amazing right!

It has, apparently long been circulated online as some remnant of a forgotten life of presumed little value, found by nursing staff checking a checked-out patients belongings… However the true history and author are explained via http://www.hoax-slayer.com/cranky-old-man-poem.shtml.

 

Watching Others Lives

Empathy –
A forte,
called to him so quick
and potent.
Through eyes
so blue –
emotional –
he felt their pain
erupt.

So easy, callous,
young and free
a love-blessed life had he.
But anguish
was companion
as his cohorts’ lives
got smudged.

For all the years
he saw their tears
and felt
his salt spies swell,
each day some more,
each pain
more drawn:
They aged
while he stayed well.

Their hearts so broke
were his console
his own fair pump
unblemished,
so to his mix
of borrowed pain
sometimes
real pain he wished.

Now all the days
his smile
is held
for friends with far more folly.
And though he caught
their youth die young
he tries
to keep them jolly.

To Each Their Own

Everybody’s different baby
And they’re not ALL after you
You can appreciate others pathways
Don’t waste thought
on what they think of you.

Chill out, like a cucumber,
Live like it’s all about you
Kerb the melancholy that pokes your days,
don’t let your sad juice bleach all blue

Where does all this ire rise from
Who made your life so dire
Perhaps you need awakening
Something to re-fire those hearts desire

Morning Tongue

Morning tongue my furry pink pal
It’s time now to wriggle
and rise up, yes now
Are you ready to lick on at life
and click time
In my warm cosy head
Are you fine with this mind?

So my morning tongue, bit swollen:
Furred with our parties of night
last night
In today’s clean morning promise
Get ready to translate –
To curl and roll over
To cut and rebut
And be nice

Avenged Beast

Suffer in silence
insolent pig!
Grovel your sorrows
tragic cow!
Pray for forgiveness
wretched dog!
Show not contempt
pathetic beast!

When you were not so lowly
not cowering on the ground –
you spat upon my helpless corpse
I needed not your curses;
so when your dying starts to bite
how can you expect forgiveness?

Now you are going, insolent pig.
I know not where
tragic cow.
I will not watch wretched dog…
I do not care.
Pathetic beast.

Sightlessly Hopeful

Smoking Utopia
Numbly draining
unstraight thinkingness –
Self-image confusory.
Lost?
Temporal aching for focus.
What if one’s already on the greenest side of the fence?

Blankly hankering
(insolvent lungful),
regurgatory states
where memory plays the strongest link!
My weakest link,
my thoughts…
Feelings of floatyness
openness
blankness – like a virgin canvas.

Body painage.
Recently used-up
everyday the cycle uses me more.
Old and reliant on mothering still
where does/can one go from here?

Dreams of living on own, not loan
dreams you see
My base is flawed
So naked
As friends slip sandily through limp, feeble fingers
Good for shrugging and waving
and precious little else.
Oh good – to be here at the bottom again!

Cracking Up

Once a soft touch gliding skin
Wrapped taught, fit bones and twine
Beneath a splendid epidermis,
Free from graze or aging twist.

Then swift as time
The cuts catch up
Wreaking havoc on hands in slices;
Ripping skin, boring within
Roughing freckles, knuckles and digits…

So now.
So now split skin cracks on
These gaps in the cover tell stories.
And under the layers
For no other reason
Blood flows, clots up and scars finely.

Derrière Mastication

Dear Sir,
I am a man –
though I may dress like a girl
and smell like a pig
a man is what I am.
So do let me by
with my lazy eye,
with my nineties cut,
with my face – like your butt!
And with this limp (why I walk like a pimp)
let me pass.

Let my skinny arse
breeze by your frame.
Let my dim-dull brain
and my too-big feet
tread this nowhere street.
Give my erroneous nose
the space it needs,
as it goes,
do not stand in my stride
as my knock-knees collide.

’Cause I’d do the same
for your irksome name –
and I’ll let your flat face pass on free
if you’ll just shut it tight
and let me be.

BLUE LOOPS (B)

Clarity arrives, in from the rain
just as the nurse jabs a prominent vein.
Glibly you joke on the weight of the rain
and quietly – in solitude and briefly –
you’re allowed to reflect on the weight in those veins.

Coolly these fabulous drugs run their course.
Deeply they permeate down to the cause.
Gooey and caustic, all reaching of course,
by killing you slowly – from inside and minutely –
the medics explain that they’re killing the cause.

Just as the last drops of drip flow within
I’m drawn to the bruise that remains on a skin.
To ponder the reason and drive that’s within,
where to find a direction – and place to direct
the future of you, once clean to the skin.

2020

Finally managed to have a chat with my future self last week

Adam 2020 told me to follow my heart, live for the day, and other platitudes

Whereupon I pressed him for details

He says I should wank and smoke less, take women seriously – especially my wife – and spend more time with the little B’s

He also encouraged me to make more money as he was tired of being almost poor

After some other literary gems (I promised not to share) he told me I’d always been conceited

I poked him in the eye, kicked him in the nuts and shot his left big toe off

So now I’ve got that to look forward to, too

Damn technology

Creeping Ages

Rumbling through some troubled skies
A giant plane flies swiftly
Ignorant to the dark and lies
That past my thoughts shores drift

On a torrent lonely ebb
My curled lips oath no more
For only an abyss seems now
To end where once was shore!

Ages rush my young blood old
Drawing lines even through my smile
Yet ever swifter streaks light air
That stretch your sky by miles