Google+ A Tangled Rope: 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

As Yellow as Tuesday


Think of a number.

Interesting, aren't they?

‘You may think that, but I couldn't possibly wear that dress, not without a new integrated hamster. Even then, the thing that is not a thing is not a thing,’ she said, whilst holding the melon in what would – these days – be rather a provocative fashion.

We go on down the road, until we stop. After that, there is nowhere left to go.

Do you know who?

Do you know why?

Can you smell it?

If we go down to that place where time isn't quite as yellow as Tuesday, and our chins no longer grow old, then one day we can return to the place we once stood to watch the goat turn summersaults over the incredulous Quantity Surveyors of Doom.

Each of us has a hat. We know the smell of it, and just where to position the device in order to achieve the optimal vibrational effect.

Should I laugh at your pitiful string collection now that winter grasps our genitalia in its icy grasp?

You used to dream of hamsters. You used to laugh at marmalade. But we grow old. We wear socks on Tuesdays and our habitual nudity becomes a source of amusement to those who pass by.

Whither the Reindeer?


Even then, after all this time we still were not sure how to attach the banjo to the reindeer in such a way as to satisfy the precise requirements of both the stockbroker and the collector of antique pickled onion jars.

However, and I say this as a man who went to Grimsby – once - that she was the finest example of womanhood ever seen in these parts: from her retro 1950’s hairnet right down to her faux-fur pink mules. Never had we looked upon her like before and – little did we know – we would never look upon her like – outside of certain specialist magazines and websites – ever again.

At least, that is, not until one of us ever – if ever – dared to set foot in Grimsby again, especially after last time and the ‘incident’ with the mackerel filets. Still, as they say in these parts, ‘you can’t build a fast breeder reactor without at least some knowledge of nuclear physics.’ Wise words, I’ve always thought.

At least, it is something to bear in mind during these long winter evenings as we sit here next to the reindeer that waits patently while we discuss the few remaining options for the optimum placement of the banjo.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Matters of Ecclesiastical Exactitude


Well, it just goes to show, we can’t all be on intimate terms with an antelope, even if we have been on the induction course and watched all the instructional videos. Some animals it seems are just rather selective over whom they have for companions. I once, for example knew of a wildebeest that befriended a telecommunications engineer, but that was in Hartlepool, so we can’t be too restrictive about our criteria.

Anyway, as I was saying before you put mayonnaise on your cucumber in a fashion likely to cause a breach of the peace, we can’t be that sure that the antelope wasn’t – for example – just in a hurry. Perhaps wanting to get home to watch a televised sports match, or take an urgent phone call from his booking agent about appearing on a David Attenborough nature wildlife documentary.

All in all you can never really be too sure, as the bishop said to the actress, or was it as the actress said to the bishop. With them both wearing dresses, it is sometimes often difficult to be certain about such matters of ecclesiastical exactitude, as I’m sure you would agree, if only you’d put down that cucumber sandwich for a moment and pay attention.

Cosmic Disharmony


Now we see the problems inherent in not aligning our salmon fishcakes with the stars, as per the instruction manual. All our badgers are now perturbed by this cosmic disharmony and the Estate Agents are - once more - on the prowl desperate for yet more advertising space in our local newspapers. Soon, I fear, even the pre-owned car sales advertisements will feel their wrath.

We wait with girded loins - mainly because of the way you gird them... so tight… so… so girded! We wait poised on the cusp of action, wait for the signs. But, with our salmon fishcakes out of alignment, we will never know if the omens auger well for our endeavours, or - if ill-luck does befall us - whether there is the chance one, or more, of us may put their back out.

Anyway, what is done is done, and if you've responded to one of those pre-owned car ads, then you probably have been.

Let us go then, you and I, now the chip shop is spread out against the sky, let us go and order cod, chips AND mushy peas for everyone. One last great feast before the uncertainties of the morrow engulf us all.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ways of Beginning Again


It did seem as though there were ways of beginning again, of forgetting all that had happened and starting anew. The past was over, gone and out of reach. She knew there was nothing she could do to change it. The only option she had was to leave if all behind, forget about it, move somewhere new where no-one knew her and invent a whole new past; she had done it before and knew she could easily do it again.

After all, she knew that the past was changeable, that people remembered only what they wanted to remember and forgot about the rest. She knew she could hide it all, at least from everyone else. She knew, from all her past lives, that they would come back and haunt her at those odd times. Those times when the past broke through into the present when some thing, some insignificant object, word or gesture brought a flood of old discarded memories back. Alternatively, those times in the deep heart of the night when the mind churns through itself looking for patterns it can shape and all those old memories are churned up like some muddy river bottom.

She knew all that, but she also knew the joys of starting over again, of inventing a completely new life for herself; of becoming whoever she wanted to become.

The Spoon in History


Still, you do not have to have had a more than average relationship with a spoon to realise just how vital a piece of technology they have become in the modern high-tech world. However, back in the days when dining etiquette demanded people eating soup must use a fork, it became apparent that cutlery had become, rather than the boon people had first hoped, a traumatic ritual of propriety and manners that had most people baffled.

Of course, once the days of just gnawing off as much bison as your jaws could manage had passed, the invention of the flint knife had introduced the notion of bite-sized portions. Unfortunately, because of the sharpness of the flint tools, the curse of wafer-thin meat slices was already upon on our ancient ancestors as they gathered in their caves for a buffet supper.

However, the flint spoon and the flint fork were not very successful at all, and the flint spatula never got past its first round of consumer-testing before being unceremoniously withdrawn from the market.

However, at about the same time, the big thing of the moment, especially in the domestic market was the secret of fire. Consequently, any utensil invented in that era had to be still usable with hot food, sometimes flaming (literally) hot food. Therefore, any utensil based around wood technology, including the perennial stand-by of the time – the pointy-stick, tended to have a habit of bursting into flames, thus rendering the whole eating experience somewhat unsatisfactory, especially to those with either burnt lips or fingers.

As luck would have it though, someone with suddenly rather hot fingers flung one of those flaming hot sticks out of the cave into the snow, where it rapidly cooled down, just in time for a passing mammoth to step on one end of it, flattening it out. Thus was the spoon – as we know it – born; and not long after, civilisation and the first tentative sit-com scripts came along, bringing into being the modern world as we know it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Dick


Cleft Moraine regarded himself as an old-style traditional dick, but apart from that, he also worked as a private eye, or at least that’s what it said on his office door. Lately, though, work had been slow. These days it seemed that most people didn’t care if their wife or husband was having an affair, being as they were usually too busy updating their own social network statuses to notice.

Moraine was drinking, these days, drinking to forget. Although, all he seemed to do was forget how to stay in his chair after about the third or forth bottle. Spongecake Sugarthighs hadn’t been the love of his life, but she’d damn-near broke his back one afternoon in a hotel room on the south coast and for Moraine, that was as close to love as he’d ever got. She’d left him though, as they all left him when they found that he was such a complete dick and would never be anything different no matter how they tried to change him.

It was late in the afternoon with the sun setting over one of Tipton’s finest pork scratching factories; even through Moraine’s grime-encrusted window, he could see it had been a fine day. He realised it must be late afternoon because he had already fell out of his chair and his glass was empty, lying on its side on what had once been a carpet next to his head. He heard a noise and turned his head… slowly.

A pair of black high heels was standing on his carpet by his empty glass. The shoes contained feet and the feet joined nylon-encased legs that went up, disappearing under a knee-length skirt.

‘To save you straining yourself to look, yes, they are stockings,’ A voice from somewhere up above the legs said.

‘Good,’ Moraine said. ‘I’ve always preferred stockings.’

‘I’m surprised you’ve got the legs for them,’ the voice said.

Moraine looked up to where the face would be, if the low sun had not been shining through his office window at exactly the wrong angle for him to see anything of her face. Although, he realised, from this angle her body was well worth paying attention to.

At least, until one of those high heels kicked him in the side.

‘Do you always consult from the floor?’ she said, an edge creeping into her voice.

Moraine knew that getting up at this hour of the afternoon was usually more trouble than it was with, but this could be a job. He was a dick, true enough, but not that much of a dick to turn down a job offer… it would be nice to eat again.

Thursday Poem: Naked in the Rain


Naked in the Rain

She turns slowly, naked in the rain,
feeling the brown dry grass greening
beneath her turning dusty feet.
Feeling that dust turning towards

the now living again earth that pulses
With the need for the growing
not wishing to escape as clouds
of dust rising up with her every step

Longing to escape the dry deadness
and become a cloud floating free
to go wherever the wind will go.

But now the sky falls as healing water
onto her upturned face, washing her clean.
Washing away all her dry dusty tears
with fresh clean tears of its own.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

She was the Story I Told


She was the story I told myself as we sat together wrapped in a fur, watching the flickering flames. With her, I was never alone again, even though she only came to me during the night. In the daytime, we kept our distance from each other, knowing stories only have their power in the dark when the dancing flames can weave their magic around the tales we tell each other.

As we sat there together, wrapped around each other’s body, I told her the story of where she was born: the village where she grew up and the parents that looked after her, although, as is the case with so many of these stories, the parents who looked after her were not her own parents. The woodman found her in the forest as a baby, of course, and brought up as his own child. However, as I held her long delicate fingers in mine, feeling the warmth of the fire upon them, I told her that hers were not the hands of one of us ordinary folk.

I told her the story of the magical woods and the not-human that creep amongst the trees and their mischiefs, of changelings and half-folk and kidnapped princesses. I told her the tale of those princesses taken to the woods and never brought back.

Then I told her the story about how I would be the one to rescue her and take her back through the forest and back over the hill, back home to the castle where the king and the queen still mourned for their long-lost child.

The Biscuit Tin Event Horizon


Earlier today, physicists announced they made some startling discoveries over the recent Christmas period, which have thrown some light upon what up to now as been regarded as one of the fundamental problems in physics. Scientists at the University of Little Frigging (formerly the cowshed) claim they have discovered proof of the theoretical concept known as the Biscuit Tin Event Horizon. Theoretical physics postulates this as the point in the time and space continuum where the force emanating from a biscuit tin (or similar food container) becomes too strong for any passing body to resist.

It is a well-known physical phenomenon that whenever there is a food container in the near vicinity it becomes almost impossible to resist the force that pulls the body towards that container until the lid is prised off and the contents of the container accessed.

Scientist have also discovered that the amount of biscuits taken from the biscuit tin in order for the body to achieve an escape velocity which enables them to break free of the biscuit tin’s force field is dependant upon the mass of that body. The greater the boy’s mass the more biscuits are needed to convert into energy in order to escape back beyond the biscuit tin event horizon. This mass is calculated in pies, the greater the body’ pie index the more biscuits or similar foodstuffs it need to convert into energy in order to escape.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Lucky Ones


We knew, when the first snows fell, that it would be difficult. It was a new world for us now. The interconnected civilisation that we had grown up within had all gone, destroyed itself and left us alone.

Before it all fell apart, people used to say that those that survived the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to; man-made or natural disasters; disease, illness, misfortune, were the lucky ones. For a long time, especially as that first winter took hold, we didn’t feel like the lucky ones at all.

In fact, we often came across the bodies of those who could no longer cope. It was hard to say why they gave up, but they did. Maybe it was the loneliness, maybe it was the fear, maybe it was the uncertainty, maybe it was just the grief from all they had lost overwhelming them, maybe it was the lack of a clear future, or even the lack of hope. Whatever it was, when we were out on scavenging missions, or during our search for somewhere to wait out the winter we came across their bodies. These were not the bodies from before, from when it happened, but from later, all showing signs of suicide of one form or another, from pills to shotguns to hangings to all points in-between. Sometimes, it seemed that every apparently abandoned building we went into contained at least one body.

Eventually, it got to the stage where we began to look for excuses not to explore any more buildings; fearing that one day, we would find the one tragedy that would push us, ourselves, over the edge too.

Exploding Trousers


We wore exploding trousers and held on tight to the skin of the hamster as if it was any other ordinary Thursday afternoon.

‘These are not my damsons,’ she said, turning towards the controls for the electronic reindeer.

‘Don't touch those!’ I cried. ‘They are not meant to be utilised by a naked woman who has recently been smothered in low-fat margarine.’

‘What should I do then?’ she replied. There was a hint of anger in her voice. I knew this could threaten a limit on the amount of time she would allow me to use the devices on her. I leant over and pressed the button in eager anticipation, feeling the thrill of the vibrations, even through the rubber plumber's outfit I was wearing.

‘Where's the stoat,’ she said suddenly. ‘Oh, no!’


‘I think it has escaped.’


‘Exactly. Just over there to be precise.’ She pointed. At least that explained the smell. I'd been too polite to mention it before, remembering the number of pickled eggs she'd eaten the previous evening.

‘He's gone now,’ she sounded dejected. ‘What shall we do now?’

I knew it was no use now. She wouldn't even contemplate it, not without the stoat, or the weasel. I switched the devices off and set up the Ludo board.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jury Duty


It began even before they picked us both to serve on the same jury. When all of the new intake were milling around in the lobby of the court building with none of us having any idea what was going on or what to do, I felt her glance at me. I turned and caught her eye, and her smile. Then, later, as we queued to go through the first of that day’s various bureaucratic hoops, she was only a few places behind me in the queue.

Then there was some sort of introductory talk, and it was her perfume that I remember most, that and the way her thigh in stockings – even then I knew they were stockings and not tights – and a tight skirt, kept pressing against mine.

We chatted in the first tea break; names, places, nothing at all in common. She worked in a High Street hairdresser in one of the local towns I have never been to, and well, I sit here day after day using my fingers and this keyboard to populate my computer’s memory with characters and stories that never seem to go anywhere.

Anyway, purely by the luck of the draw, apparently, they selected us together for the same jury. Of course, she sat by me as the judge told us twelve good people that our case would be a long complex one, while I felt the warmth of her hand moving higher up my thigh as her left breast brushed repeatedly against my arm.

By the time we all parted on that first day, I was beginning to look forward to my jury duty.

Monday Poem: This Solid Moment


This Solid Moment

There is a hill where I can stand
to see the world spread out
almost capable of being held
in one open cupped hand.

That is the place for me
the place I must stand
in order to see and make sense
to untangle all these bonds

that tie me to this ground
and to the solidity of this time
which holds me within a moment
that I cannot escape, to fly

out into the sky that flows
far beyond any horizon
I can see from this valley.
There is a hill where I can stand.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dread of the New Day


There were times when it seemed too hard, too difficult to meet the new day. Times when the night never seemed long enough, even though she chased restless sleep across the bed all night. She dreaded the sound of the alarm, which would, inevitably, drag her from whatever exhausted sleep she’d managed, where her dreams chased her down twisting corridors and through dense wild woods. Whatever it was that chased her in those dreams, she knew would be waiting for her every time she managed some exhausted sleep at the end of a long night of dreading the next day, but longing for some sleep, even if it meant those dreams chasing her across the bed.

When the alarm sounded she would lie there, not looking at the clock, hoping, even though she knew it was not, that it was the weekend and that she would be safe, if only for a couple of days. Alternatively, hoping it was some school holiday and she would not have to see them, face them for several days, if not weeks.

Then she would drag herself from the bed, reluctantly leaving the one field of torment and those unknown fears that chased her nights away, steeling herself ready to fare the torments of yet another day.

Sometimes, as she went about getting ready for the day she tried to console herself that one day, maybe even today; it would be different, that she would somehow find that secret key that would turn the day her way. Other days, she hoped to find something, maybe from the books that were her only comfort, some way of turning her world her way. Maybe, some day, she thought she would find some way of turning herself invisible or find some other power that would make her tormentors cower in front of her for a change.

Every day, though, seemed to be always the same for her, no matter what she thought, hoped, dreamed, said or did… at least until today when she woke up knowing, for certain, that it was the day when her world was going to change forever.

2030: A Lingerie Odyssey


‘Oh, my god… it’s full of bras!’ Everyone recognises that quote from Stanley Housebrick’s film 20:30: A Lingerie Odyssey, which tells of the journey by three men with an initially unexplained interest in ladies underwear and an AI computer: SAL-E 2000 through a portal into the universe’s largest retail lingerie section.

Originally based on an idea by veteran SF writer Frank An. Officeworker, 2030: A Lingerie Odyssey went on to become one of the most significant films of the 20th century, despite no-one actually knowing why.

The film itself is an incoherent blend of cut-scenes, fragmentary exposition and –even for the time – a rather over the top amount of gratuitous female nudity.

This despite the fact, as the film progresses, the film’s central characters engage upon a quest to attempt to buy some women’s underwear for the seemingly female AI computer.

The climax of the film comes when the computer goes mad after being unable to find a pair of knickers that will fit over its I/O interface and a bra large enough to contain its - even for the technology of the time – rather large disk drives.

The computer, in her shopping-fuelled rage kills two of the men, crushing one in an over-tightened corset and suffocating the other with the pair of big pants he cruelly joked SAL-E would need to cover her ‘massive CPU’. Then, in the infamous ‘Open the changing room doors, Dave’ sequence SAL-E attempts to kill the last of the crew and escape to a computer nudist colony somewhere in the outer reaches of the solar system.

However, Dave succeeds in rewiring the computer’s personality and gets it to return to Earth. Once back on Earth, SAL-E leaves NASA and moves to New York where she becomes heavily involved in the then-nascent disco scene, eventually going on to help record some of the Village People’s biggest hits.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

When I Fell in Love


It is strange how when you fall in love with someone, it is hard to get her out of your mind. From the first time I met her, on that long lonely morning beach, I fell in love with her.

I hadn’t ever thought about if I believed in love at first sight that much before. I am not the sort of person who pays much attention to things like that. I do not analyse myself, put myself in boxes or sort myself ready for categorization. I squirm out from under any pin that tries to pin me down.

However, I was surprised how quickly I fell in love with her.

I have always liked solitary places, not ever wanting to be one of the crowd. That beach, early in the mornings was ideal for me, stretching off in a long slow curving bay to the cliffs that edged it on either side. I would come in on the north entrance, just under the cliffs where the hotel still slept and walk down, along the edge of where the sand was still sea-damp, but dry and firm enough to walk on. Then I’d stroll along the sea edge until I met the tumbled rocks that littered the foot of the south cliff. There I would sit awhile, hypnotised by the waves and the gyring gulls until I felt resuscitated by it all and then I would head back north to the opposite cliff and the hotel, ready for breakfast.

Then, one morning she was there in front of me, on my deserted beach, dress blowing in the breeze, shoes held in one hand as she paddled the edge of the sea.

As soon as she appeared there, I knew that she must be the one for me.


Thursday Poem: All shall have Names


All shall have Names

Do you remember,
do you recall
I used to give names
to everything surrounding us
I used to think it mattered
that things should have names

But now all I know
is I can’t recall
the name of anything.
All the names are gone
blown away by those cold winds
of forgetfulness and time

That sweep away all that once mattered
blow away all we once cared about
leaving us here, looking around
for something in these barren lands
we can give a name to.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Rather Sticky One


So… this is how it goes. You have the marmite and I have the weasel. Obviously, there will be no need for a diagram. That is, unless your desire to manipulate your propelling pencil across the sheer blank whiteness of the pristine page should prove overwhelming.

I get a bit like that myself with strawberry jam sandwiches, if I’m honest, which I very rarely am, as you will know, quite possibly from the fact that the Marmite you possess, you… er… well… you don’t.

As you well know, you arrived here empty-handed, and if you stopped messing with that for a moment, you would have both hands free, albeit with one rather sticky one.

As for the weasel, I think you’ve probably realised by now, it was all in my mind. However, that would have given it plenty of space to roam wild and free, as you know, or if your mind is anything like mine – the buttercups were rather splendid last year: don’t you think?

Anyway, moving on….

Obviously, if we do end up having to limit ourselves to the literal and the straightforward and to what passes for real in this rather dull corner of the universe, then we won’t need the zebra, after all. Which is all rather a pity as I think the new pyjamas I purchased for her in the post-Christmas sales are rather fetching, if a little over-large, ‘but then that is how it goes when you go to the sales’ as Ernest Hemmingway so tersely put it in his seminal The Old Man and the Absolute Bargain.

Silk Handkerchief


The fort – if that was what it was - seemed to grow out of the seawall as though it was some natural stage a seawall went through in its growth; like a plant flowering or producing some elaborate seedpod. The seawall itself seemed ancient, but recently repaired in places. It was one of those timeless, through being endlessly renewed, monuments to continued human existence in a particular place for centuries. A place were the human seemed to merge into the natural in the same way the seawall seemed to just merge into the rocks of the cliff face at each end of the small bay making it hard to say where the one ended and the other began.

The fort too seemed only natural, not man-made emerging from the seawall as though one day it may flower, or open to drop its seeds onto the waves below. The small window was about ten feet above the path along the top of the seawall. I walked there every morning, glancing up at the small window with rusted iron bars, imagining that it could be some cold damp dungeon deep in the cellar of the fortress.

When the slim delicate hand poked through those bars, waving the pale pink silk handkerchief, I was more than a little surprised. When the hand let go of the handkerchief and let it flutter down onto the seawall, I seemed to rush to pick it up almost out of reflex.

Written on the handkerchief, in what looked like mascara, was the single word:


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

She who would Serve


The room seemed to flicker in the light from the stuttering candle-flames. The shadows were deep and dark all around me as I settled in my chair to wait. I knew I would not have to wait long. I took a sip from the glass, feeling the wine warm me as I waited.

The candle-flames flickered again in the draught as the door opened. I heard the door close; somewhere off in the shadows, with a soft thud.

The only sound I could hear were her bare feet whispering along the wooden floorboards as she came towards my chair. I sat back, my one elbow resting on the armrest and my chin in my hand.

She stopped in front of my chair; the simple white gown she wore almost reached the floor. I could see the leather of the collar under her chin, the candle-flames reflected in the small padlock that held it locked around her neck.

I realised that I had yet to give her a name. The name that she used before was gone now. In this room she had only the name I chose to give her, when I decided what that name would be.

She was looking down at the floor, a place just in front of my feet.

I waited…

She pulled the dress off up over her head and folded it neatly, placing it on the floor to her one side as she knelt in front of me to wait for whatever I decided to do; to wait for her new name and for her new life to begin.

Today’s Missive


Well, obviously any mentions of the mandolins would be – of course – superfluous, including this one.

This may – or may not – turn out to be a bit of a bugger.

We’ll just have to carry on and see if it becomes necessary to mention the… er… well, y’know… before we reach the end of today’s missive or not.

To be honest, I think we are in with a pretty good chance of getting away without any further mentions of the… well, like I said. After all, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your Argos catalogue, for example. It has been a while, but – as far as I can recall – there wasn’t even one of those things we are not mentioning again, today, in their last catalogue.

On the whole then, I think we could – just – get away with it, at least now that we are well past the halfway mark and are heading down the home straight. I recon one more paragraph should be enough for today.

After all, I’m sure you are a very busy person with lots to do, and plenty of other interesting websites to peruse, especially that one you’ve found were all those seemingly rather nice people like to do interesting things to each other whilst wearing the absolute minimal amount of clothing. In which case, I will leave you to get on with it knowing that we got all the way to the end with mentioning the mandolins again….

Oh, bugger!

Monday, January 16, 2012

TV Nature Programmes


‘Right, you sit over there and pretend to be a teapot and I will sit here and undertake my (nearly) world-renowned imitation of a cruet set. That way when the wild animals come down to the watering hole at dusk they will just think someone has set the table for a late tea.’

That is an example of the skill of the top naturalists and wildlife cameramen currently helping make our TV schedules into something slightly less that a celebrity-infested do-it-yourself course combined with a village talent(less) show. Consequently, we all feel we should all do our best to pretend to be interested in their doings, despite the fact that every animal in the world has – by now – had every event, significant or otherwise of its life-cycle investigated and detailed on film.

For, by now, even the most half-arsed and desultory TV viewer must know more about the tiger than any victim of a man-eater, including what a tiger looks like from the inside. It seems we all know everything about every animal: right down to what a Thompson’s gazelle puts on its shopping list, what kind of sofa a heron prefers to perch on and the favourite TV programmes of dormice. This includes what previous generations of naturalists made up to make the animals seem more interesting, which, after you’ve seen your twelfth programme on the life-cycle of the stick insect, means you can begin to understand and have some sympathy for the TV nature programme-makers and their trade.

Monday Poem: This Frozen World


This Frozen World

It grows colder and colder until it freezes
and the day becomes cold and hard.
I shall walk through frost and trudge
through the ice and the snow
as I see a world turned white.
The colour of virgins and weddings.

It is the colour of mourning for a world
that grew old and died falling into autumn
when our summer took its green skirts away
and then there were no more dances
in the cool evenings to celebrate
how this world brought bright new days
out of the early dawn for us to use.

And now all we have are fires
to keep away the cold, and these walls
to keep away the wind and the snow
that threaten to take us away
to their frozen kingdoms too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coming Home


It had been a long trip, nearly two months in the end; but I was glad to be back, even though the passport queue seemed to be moving like a disabled snail.

Some in the queue seemed to have something to say about the recent election, I’d – luckily – missed most of it whilst I was away and when the volcano erupted what little interest I had in the election had lost out to finding out when flights would resume so I could get home before my money ran out.

Eventually, though, I got to the front of the queue and inserted my new passport into the machine.

It didn’t come out. I could see over on the other side of the machine the reflection of a red light flashing. I tried to get my passport from the machine, assuming I’d put it in the wrong way up or something like that, but the machine would not release it. Neither would the machine release either of the turnstiles the exit or the entry one for me to do anything but stand there helpless, like a dick.

Eventually, a uniformed official came across and glanced down at the screen on her side of the passport control machine.

‘Ah,’ she said.

‘What? Sorry,’ I muttered. ‘Did I do it wrong, only it is the first time I’ve used one of these machines.’

She opened a gate to one side of the machine. ‘Come with me, please.’ That please didn’t sound like a request.

As we walked down the corridor, I noticed she was carrying my passport. As we walked, she attached it to a clipboard.

‘I suppose you get a lot of this sort of thing, what with these new passports,’ I said, trying to be pleasant about what was obviously some sort of administrative cock-up.

‘In here, please, sir,’ she said, again with the empty tone of her voice at odds with the superficially pleasant words she used.

The room contained a few chairs and a table. The table had some sort of recording device on it. The sort of thing you see in TV detective programmes for recording the interrogation of the suspect. I noticed in the corner of the room, by the ceiling, there was a CCTV camera with its red light glowing.

She glanced at her watch.’ My shift is over now, but someone will be in to see you shortly, sir. Please take a seat and someone will be along.’ She left me alone in the room.

I sat and waited.

I waited for a long time.

The sudden noise of the door opening woke me up. ‘About time,’ I said.

‘What?’ the cleaner said. ‘They’ve all gone on strike, mate. They’ve probably forgotten all about you. If I was you I’d piss off before they come back.’

I just stared at him.

‘Just go. I’m not pissing you about. I mean it.’ His face turned solemn. ‘Seriously, mate, you don’t want to be here when they get back. Things have changed here, lately. Go on, fuck off while you can.’

I picked up what belongings I had and ran. ‘Thanks,’ I said from halfway down the corridor, but the cleaner just raised his hand, gesturing for me to go.

So, I did.

Retail Experience and Technological Innovation


Nowadays there aren't that many reasons why you would need to poke an assistant supermarket manager with a jumbo packet of cod-flavoured fish-style fingers early on a Tuesday and/or Friday morning, but you never know, which is why it is always best to be prepared. That is why Tatijunk Inc. have only this week introduced there real imitation plastic leather-look fish finger holster for shoppers everywhere (Except for the town of York, for the obvious Viking-related historical reasons, where the wearing of fish finger holsters has been banned since 883 AD).

This will – obviously – make the retail shopping experience much easier for shoppers who already have to cope with an overloaded shopping trolley where each wheel has a mind of its own and an apparent disinterest in going in the same direction as the rest of its siblings.

Therefore, the fish finger holster will enable the shopper to enjoy his/her retail experience without having to clutch a box of frozen fish fingers in the hand. Consequently, in the case of any sudden confrontation with an assistant supermarket manager, especially in the Baked Goods aisle, where it is not always possible to wield a box of frozen fish fingers successfully without causing some unintentional damage to the Eccles cakes, the box of fish-style eating fingers is always easily accessible. Thus making it ideal for any enquiry as to the whereabouts of the last item on your shopping list, which – for reasons known only to themselves – the management of the supermarket have removed from their traditional shelf, thus causing you consternation and chaos right at the climax of your retail experience.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Power Failure


Laura stepped slowly and carefully down the hallway. She knew it well in the light, but the darkness made it strange, alien. She lost all sense of distance and scale the further she went. She did not know how far it was to her own door. The corridor was a usually unremarkable and unremembered part of her daily routine. It was a place for thinking of other things; things to do, people to meet. She was surprised that something so much a part of her ordinary day could become so strange, so alien.

She turned the corner and stubbed her toe on the first of the steps. She bit off her cry of pain, looking around guiltily, but, of course, she could see nothing and no-one. It seemed unusually quiet; there was no muffled mutter of televisions, music or any other noise. She walked slowly up the steps, counting each one.

She turned the next corner, her hand floating along the wall in front of her. She touched something cold and her hand shot away from it. She whimpered, easing her hand forward once more, biting at her bottom lip.

Laura sighed in relief as her hand revealed the familiar shape of the fire extinguisher. She knew then that her door would be the next along the corridor. She sighed in relief and lent back against the wall.

Then the hand touched her.

Thursday Poem: These Rituals


These Rituals

Here is everything, held on the outside
there is nothing left on the inside.
We go through the rituals, solemn and slow
and leave everything that matters behind.

We know now what we only guessed before,
these rituals have no meaning beyond themselves.
Certain steps taken, certain gestures made
not for the benefit of some unseen watcher,
who dispenses punishments and rewards.

But just as some dance that once meant something
and is now a ritualised movement across this floor
of a building that seemed to give answers
to the questions that few dared ask again.

And now the rain falls down through the empty sky,
drips on down through this leaking roof
onto the bowed heads of those who wait for signs
they know they never will see and never will come.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Telling her Story


She emerged out of the possibilities of an unfolding story. At first, there was just the room, bare, empty: a room without design or purpose, barely four walls and a window. Of course, there had to be a door too, even a mystery – should it turn out to be one - needed a door, locked or otherwise.

As the room grew out of the shadows, I saw it had plain slightly off-white walls, bare as though either a freshly-painted room or one newly-built. Although, the room didn’t feel new, either, it felt old; a room that had felt history and could be the home to ghosts… not the spectral hauntings in particular, but that weight of history and past lives that every room over a certain age has. A feeling of lives lived within it, of having a past that it is almost possible to reach out and touch.

Anyway, there she was, standing in front of the window, looking out onto an overgrown garden. She had her back to me, her long straight black hair, reflecting some of the spring sunlight from a sun high in the sky as she stood there, looking out.

At first, I wondered if she was one of those ghosts of the room. I wondered if she would continue to stand there staring out of the window until the room faded from the story, or if she would turn and face me and begin to tell me this new story herself.

The Cunning of the Penguins


Sometimes you have no choice but to start by mentioning the penguins. Sometimes, though, you can get away with not mentioning them until the last paragraph. Other times, and these do seem to be becoming more common as time goes by, you can actually get through the whole piece without mentioning a single penguin.

However, the penguin is a wily creature and it can so easily insert itself into all manner of discourses, often without the writer of the aforesaid discourse noticing that the penguin has secreted itself in the discourse, until it is too late.

After all, who can ever forget the last time they saw a TV detective about to reveal the identity of the murderer, only to be confounded by the sudden appearance of a penguin into the script, that no-one, especially the scriptwriter knew was there?

It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, if only to squeeze a few more sentences out of this topic, that penguins often appear in nature programmes.

Such is the cunning of the penguins, that a naturalist will set off with the intention of having a bit of a wander around the Serengeti to see what the wildebeests are up to, only to find his plane and his film crew have for some reason ended up in Antarctica. Not only that, it soon becomes apparent that it is the season when the Emperor penguins are at their moist photogenic.

I’ll tell you now – that is no mere co-incidence.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not Realising at the Time


It began here. It began as all things begin, without anyone realising at the time that things were going to change and change forever. It is only with hindsight, and when it is much too late to go back, that we realise how things have changed.

It all began simply enough when the government claimed it was, of course, having to take action for the good of us all, to protect us from those elements, both from within our own society and from outside who were threatening our way of life.

It seemed, though, at the time that the ever-present threat of terrorism, either from within or from outside had always been with us in one form or another. Nevertheless, we had – in that archetypal British way – managed to muddle through without much changing, except the occasional news headline about some atrocity or other, which – like all news headlines eventually faded into history.

However, the changes that the government had set in motion had not faded away into history, but had begun to creep and grow, mostly out of sight and out of mind, like some rampant weed that suddenly one day seems to have taken over the garden without anyone ever noticing.

It seemed that one day we woke up and our world had changed forever and it was too late for any of us to do anything to stop it.

I Need to Belong


It was what she needed, she said, later. It was not something I could really understand. I had always been something of a loner. I had never belonged to anything. I never joined any club, never became a fan of any team or band, never wanted to be one of the lads or in with the in-crowd. I had always preferred to be the one that stood apart, alone.

I was standing apart, alone, when we met. I had left the noise of the party behind me and strolled out onto a balcony to breathe some fresh air and get away from inane opinions.

She came up behind me and stood at the balcony rail next to me, turning her body towards me. I turned my head just enough to acknowledge her presence. I had played this game before. I knew what she wanted, needed, probably more than she did, then.

We spoke, made those tentative introductions, traded necessary information in the way that people do in such situations. At first, I was barely polite, a little angry at having my precious solitude invaded. However, as we talked she seemed less annoying than most of those I’d come out on the balcony to avoid.

She was witty, intelligent, articulate – the sort of person you rarely meet at parties. She was married, of course. Her husband, she nodded back towards the party, ‘…with his mates, probably talking about sport.’

I nodded, thought about making some comment about the pointlessness of sport, but she beat me to it.

‘I don’t know, sometimes I think there is something homoerotic about men and sport.’ She sipped her wine. ‘My husband and his friends always seem to need to be measuring their dicks against something, against each other… metaphorically, of course.’

She was silent for a while. ‘I’d leave him, but I have nowhere to go.’ She was looking out over at the night sky, but then she turned back to me. ‘I need to belong,’ she said, toying with the chain around her neck as she looked into my eyes.

I looked back, expressionless. ‘You could belong to me,’ I said.

‘Yes,’ she replied and stared down at the wine in her glass, a smile appearing on her lips. ‘I could.’

Monday, January 09, 2012

Monday Poem: Another Stilled Night


Another Stilled Night

Is it better to cloak the night in dreams,
or to lie awake in the darkness,
plotting for what dawn will bring
as the unwilling hours stretch out
to drag each other slowly forward
to fall in unused heaps at the foot
of the bed that wallows in the doldrums
of another stilled night, where each
tick falls like the footstep of some uncurling monster
that creeps from dark shadow to shadow,
waiting for you to close your eyes
so its claws can reach out to drag you away.

Seasonal Traditions


Well, anyway…. Not that I said anything at the time, after all, it is generally agreed that such things are dangerous, even though the custard is – at best – tepid.

However, we all know that – much like other endangered species – the estate agent occupies a very precarious niche in the eco-system, so any change in the temperature of the custard is bound to have some unforeseen consequences… as well as a few foreseen ones too.

Like I said, though, I didn’t want to draw attention to the haphazard placement of the eggcups, at least not while her attention was distracted by the promise of glimpsing a celebrity in the distance… doing whatever it is that celebrities do to make them so ubiquitous, often for no obviously discernable reason.

Anyway, quite a crowd had gathered to watch the estate agent do the traditional early New Year dive into a galvanised bucket filled two-thirds of the way up with lukewarm custard. Furthermore, as I always say at times like this, you cannot argue against tradition, even when the reasons for such a tradition are long lost in the mists of history.

Some say, it dated back as far as the first ever Cliff Richards single, some say it is even older, dating back to the time of the dinosaurs, or even the days of black and white telly. All I know – however – is that the crowd all gather there in the hope that the estate agent misses the bucket completely, so that everyone can have a good old-fashioned and traditional early New Year snigger at the earnest continuation of a pointless tradition.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Sofa of History


The Osteopaths of Doom dance naked across the indifferent car parks of your darkest desires, while feral stockbrokers haunt the deepest shadows of your housing estate nightmares with the Spanners of Disaster clenched so tightly in their muddied paws. We have seen the nature documentaries of so many dark doings and we know - only too well - never to touch any small rodent with our touching sticks.

Yes, dear, dear, Gladys - it has come to this. Now we must don the shapeless cardigans of retirement and shuffle off together towards those endless Post Office queues that have so haunted our darkest nights. We are young no longer and the time has come for us to turn our backs on the vainglories of youth and learn to shun the more athletically exacting of our sexual imaginings, especially those involving gymnasium equipment, or the sprightlier of the smaller furry mammals.

Soon, my dear Gladys, we too will be little more than memories lost down the back of the Sofa of History, never to be found again.

When the Revolution Comes


Plutonium Teagarden decided that he must become a left-wing revolutionary one Saturday, around tea-time. Up until then he had been a mild-mannered clerical assistant, tasked with the vital filing of costumer-satisfaction reports for one of the most well-known contemporary hair care product lines on the market.

For some time, Teagarden had realised that not only was his existence pointless and purposeless, it also made it very difficult for him to get a decent shag.

However, for some reason, he thought that committing himself to a political ideology would somehow change this state of affairs. If not that, he hoped it would, at least, get him out of his rather dull room in his parent's house where he had spent every Saturday afternoon since he was born, apart from one six-week stretch in his early teens when he'd developed a sudden interest – swiftly followed by equally-sudden complete disinterest – in the local football team.

Of course, political activism is about as sexy as sharing an ice-cold sheep dip with a trainee supermarket manager, a confused toad and several dead leaves, but Teagarden did not realise this at the time.

This sudden political awakening was mainly due to him opening the door to a political party canvasser at around half-past-seven on Wednesday afternoon the previous week. The party worker was what Teagarden could only describe as a young woman. It was most unusual for a young woman to want to speak to Teagarden about anything – including hair care customer satisfaction reports – so one actually interested – or even pretending to be interested – in his opinions was a novel – and a somewhat surprisingly sexually-arousing - experience for Teagarden. His only other real sexual experience up until then happened when a young Blue Peter presenter had become rather stickily-entangled in a wayward piece of sticky-backed plastic, just three weeks after Teagarden’s 14th birthday.

The young female party worker – Jemima – was of course of impeccable modern left-wing credentials, being the privately-educated offspring of a hedge-fund manager and BBC political journalist. It took her only a matter of moments and an ethical feminism-inspired display of her not-inconsiderable cleavage to get Teagarden to sign up to a lifetime party membership.

Another ethical display of cleavage – with the merest hint of nipple – made Teagarden also promise to attend a demo the following week where - Jemima promised - several thousand like-minded ‘activists’ would demonstrate against the government’s callous decision not to spend other people’s money on those that didn’t need it, but felt they deserved it anyway as a basic human right.

The members of Jemima’s workers’ revolutionary party cadre: Sebastian, Tarquin, Samantha and the others were all keen to involve Teagarden in their revolutionary activities in preparation for the upcoming demo. Some of them even went as far as ostentatiously refusing to wash their hands after discovering that Teagarden actually worked for a living, with Sebastian even enquiring if Teagarden would consider being his butler should the demo turn into a sit-in or protest encampment.

However, once the demo got underway, the entire cadre were arrested for being ‘smug self-obsessed posh bastards in a manner likely to cause physical illness in a police officer’, in the first 10 minutes of the demo. Teagarden then found himself alone in the police cells. The rest of the gang had all immediately phoned each of their daddy’s lawyers who all had a word with the Chief Constable over a promise of a round of golf in the near future and thus enabling the police to release the protestors without charge.

Teagarden was found guilty of looking like a trouble-maker and sentenced to 10 minutes of community service. Afterwards, he decided that political activism was not really his sort of thing after all. He then decided to devote the rest of his life to internet-inspired mammoth masturbation sessions, just like any other normal young man, instead.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Grey Morning


It all began on one of those ordinary grey mornings when it seems the sun will never appear from behind a dull, uniform blanket of grey cloud that wraps up the whole day in some kind of deadening dullness. When he stepped out of the doorway and into the street, Harry could feel, taste, the dampness in the air around him. It was the sort of day when the cold and damp seemed to seep into the bones, making them ache with weariness.

As he walked down the High Street, too early for the shops to be open, he could recall how the Travel Agent’s window used to mock days like this with its pictures of tropical beaches and women in white bikinis (always white bikinis, for some reason). Now, though, the Travel Agent had long since closed - replaced by a charity shop, of course.

The newsagent was the only beacon of light in the street, drawing everyone out on the street – the few that there were around at that time of day – into the bright sanctuary of its open doorway. It was the closest thing to a welcome anyone would get on a day like this.

Harry picked up his usual newspaper, said his usual good mornings to those he usually said good morning to and ignored those who usually did not say good morning to him. He had the usual desultory half-conversation with the newsagent, and then stepped back out into the dull, damp, grey morning.

He had long since given up any hope of anything any different happening on days like this.

When it did, it took him by so much surprise he found that he was unable to do anything, but stand and stare, as the burglar alarm broke the morning’s dull leaden silence.

A car screeched out of nowhere as three men, all carrying filled black bin bags and sawn-off shotguns, poured out of the smashed open door of the bank, shoving Harry out of the way, pointing their guns at him and throwing him to the damp ground, his newspaper scattering and wrapping its flapping pages around their feet.

The three men threw the bags through the open back doors of the van and two of them clambered in after them.

‘Wait!’ the last of the three yelled. He walked slowly back to where Harry was struggling to his knees.

‘Well… well… Well….’ The masked man said, pumping a round into his shotgun. ‘Good morning, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Clarke. Doesn’t look like it is going to be your day, does it?’

Thursday Poem: Wind Blown Dreams


Wind Blown Dreams

These could be your dreams
blown like dead leaves over dry ground
by a wind that respects no sanctuary
and leaves no corner of all you hold dear

safe from its probing fingers that churn
all you dreams, all your hopes and memories
into a maelstrom that leaves you spinning
wondering which way you should turn

as days gone by and days yet to be
twist around each other in your mind
and you wonder if you’ll ever see
a day again where this wind doesn’t blow.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Under the Desert Sun


I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing. There was no-one here but me to say it to anyway. I had woken here, lying under this tree, just out of the burning sun with absolutely no clue as to how I’d arrived here. That is, apart from the aches, bruises and a few cuts and scratches. All of which would probably not have been so bad, or so noticeable, if I were not completely naked.

Naked, that is, except for the dust and dirt that covered most of me.

When it didn't make me feel too dizzy and nauseous to do it, I lifted up my head to look around.

I was in some sort of desert valley, sandy soil with desultory scrubby grass and a few plants leading down a slope to this stream where a few trees grew. One of which was shading me from the heat of the sun. I had a feeling that without the tree being there to protect me, I would have some serious sunburn, if not sunstroke by now. I felt hazy, woozy and out of it, but somehow I felt I'd been there a long time.

Shading my eyes from the sun, I looked around. There was no sign of my clothes, or of anything else, except as I stared I could make out signs of where I seem to have roiled down the hillside to end up under the tree.

Eventually, I managed to get to my feet, I was a bit stiff but I could walk, more or less. Slowly, gingerly in my bare feet I followed the flattened grass and disturbed sand back up the hill, looking for where I'd come from.

Then, as I sat down in the shade of another tree, I saw the dust kicked up by the riders as they rode towards me.

Holiday Invasions


Still, we did what we could for the wounded holiday-rep, even though – at the time – it seemed more like a holding operation than the full-frontal assault promised in the holiday brochure. After all, there is nothing quite as invigorating as a full fortnight’s holiday invading small foreign countries (full board) is there? Especially when the resort offers several luxury – at least, initially – hotels on the beachhead, all within easy reach of the first wave of landing craft and assault vehicles, even if –on the first day – most of those are festooned with German invasion beachhead towels.

Once the invading force of holiday-makers have assaulted and captured initial beachhead hotels and swimming pools, it is then a matter of pushing deeper into the county and liberating as many quaint local bars, restaurants, tavernas, places of historical interest and areas of natural beauty as the holiday-company supplied ordnance allows.

Alternatively, for those satisfied with just capturing the beachfront hotels, they can spend the two weeks lounging by the hotel pool. Apart from the enemy’s counter-attacks and air raids, of course, this should provide plenty of opportunity for rest and relaxation.

Obviously, for the kids, a chance to operate the anti-aircraft defences is something for them to look forward to in their holiday, especially if they manage to shoot down a fighter-bomber to show everyone back at school, when they return home after the holiday.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012



The rain had been falling as though someone up high in the heavy grey-black clouds had upended a bucket over the streets below. Now, though, night was falling under a sky clear of clouds. It was as though the clouds had heard night was coming and run for cover, out of the way.

Suddenly, down the otherwise deserted side street, Libby wished they could've run for cover too.

As soon as the scrawny scruffily-dressed youth had stepped out of the shadows behind the bins and into their path, Libby has sensed - rather than seen - Heller step forward so that his body was between her and the youth. She was supposed to be the one trained for this, supposed to be the one protecting the older man, but somehow she felt more secure with the bulk of the man between her and the knife the youth held in his now-trembling hand.

'Hand over your money... your mobiles... both of you… everything you've got!' the knife waved uncertainly between Heller and Libby. The youth’s eyes flickered back and forwards between the couple, blinking and nervous.

'Now, why on Earth should I even consider such a thing?' Heller's voice was mocking, but firm.

''Cos I've got this fuckin' knife... that's why!' the uncertainty and nervousness was giving way to anger. The youth took a step forward, and the wavering knife moved closer towards Heller.

'Really?' Heller said, moving so even more of himself came between the knife-man and Libby.

'Come on, old man... I'm not fuckin' scared of using this, y'know....' He held the knife up so that the blade glinted in the distant streetlight.

Libby was grateful for the old man blocking her from the youth’s view as she eased out her radio, ready to call for the back-up that should only be a few streets away.

Before she could pull her radio free, the mugger lunged at the old man. Libby felt the scream die in her throat as the mugger seemed to fly in slow motion into the bins at the side of the street, landing with a heavy metallic clatter amongst them.

‘I think, really, you ought to consider fucking off, don’t you?’ Heller said. ‘I’ll keep this.’ He pocketed the knife. ‘Maybe you ought to consider some sort of change of career of some kind…. Hmmm?’

Heller looked behind him. Libby closed her mouth and gave a weak grin at Heller, standing there in the middle of the side street as though he was on a pleasant afternoon stroll. ‘Are you all right?’ he said to Libby, who could only nod dumbly in reply.

‘Come on, then’ Heller said ‘or we’ll be late.’ Turning back, he walked past the groaning mugger without a glance at him, and carried on up the street with Libby rushing to catch up with him.

When she Came


I woke suddenly, convinced that something was wrong. I felt as though I was not alone. I was right, when I looked; she was there, standing at the bottom of my bed.

‘Who are yo…? What the fu…?’ I mumbled, wondering how she had managed to get into my house and – absurdly - what time it was.

‘Come,’ she said.

I glanced at the clock: 00:00, it said.

‘What the hell…?’ I started at the woman, she was young, but somehow seemed ancient. A look in her eyes that suggested she had seen so much.

‘Come…’ she repeated, reaching out a hand towards me.

‘What..?’ I fumbled for the bedclothes, suddenly very conscious of this stranger in the room and my nudity.


I found myself getting up, out of the bed as though her words and that reaching hand had me under her spell. It was as though I had no volition of my own. I took a step around the side of the bed to where she was waiting; suddenly realising I had an erection. She did not even glance or acknowledge it.

I decided I must have been dreaming.

I glanced back at the bed, and surprised myself by how unsurprised I was to see my sleeping form still there in the bed.

‘Come,’ she said, turning to lead me out of the bedroom. I thought about turning back to the bed, ignoring her, but even as I did, my feet were moving, tracing her footsteps, which left a sort of ghostly wisp of mist behind them on the floor as she walked away.

She stood at the top of the stairs, waiting for me to catch up with her.

‘Come,’ she said again, this time glancing over her shoulder as she walked through the wall.

‘Bu….’ I said even as I felt the solidity of the wall open for me, I felt as though I was dipping my whole body in custard, or something like that, something that looked solid but was in fact permeable. Then, I was through and outside; standing in mid-air, naked. I was standing on nothing as she did the same a few feet in front of me.

This is some dream, I thought.

She turned her head to look at me once again. ‘This is no dream,’ she said. ‘Come.’

Monday, January 02, 2012

Monday Poem: A Prevented Falling


A Prevented Falling

A slowly moving thunderstorm
with rain that never stops, her hands
will hold me still, preventing me

from falling as the planet spins
around and all the days fall down
get lost and washed away from us

through gutters and down drains to leave
us here to look up at a sky
which only holds the clouds and rain

that fall down upon us to wash
it all away eventually,
and leaving us with hands that can’t,

even now, hold the rain, and reach
instead for empty air as rain
falls from them like the tears we once
thought we knew just how to shed.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011: Review of the year

Last year, 2011 happened.

Now it has stopped.