Archive for April, 2017

Made

April 18, 2017

Eroded, ragged, losing its print in the air, sanded by the action of the wind that flaps it across the ground, softened by the rain. Carrier of symbols, wrapper and container, recipient and ground for marks.

Keeper and kept, multiple leaves pressed together, pressed against different dust jackets, dust emitted and collecting. Collected and collector of finger grease, skin, saliva, sneezes, tears, blood and beverages.

Fingers, your fingers touching, directing an instrument, your heart beating, your eyes burning with a distant solar light. Your legs and feet walking past the paper in the gutter, in the bins, on shelves, on tables and on the seats of trains.

Landscape

April 17, 2017

Barely raining, a troop of three of us head for Tesco Express, the route follows the line of a sheer drop, railed off by some concrete posts and thick gauge galvanized poles. Beyond is quarry which has been reclaimed by plant life, its earth consists of yellow clay and sandstone and I was told as a child that a fossil of a coelacanth had been found there. Now nettles, brambles and stickybudded sycamore trees rise above the bank, while bluebells and flame orange calendula heads laugh from the human tippage. Far below, deeper nettles, goose grass and rosebay willow-herb become one with hawthorn and spindle bushes, the blanket of spring green stretching far across the valley into the dim urban bricks and the grey feet of the Clent Hills, punctuated only by the unnaturally long white carcass of the Dudley Hospital. At least eight men must have heaved the safe to the brink of the precipice and probably ran pushing and kicking through the brambles, to make sure it landed deep into the thickets. Those same men whose destiny lies in that hospital, outside the main doors still hooked up to drips sucking on cigarettes held to their lips by their remaining mates.

Aunt Ruth

April 14, 2017

On the threshold of visible, a paler sort of shadow in darker air, solid with a slight sheen – that was her under the seat of a chair, behind the pine cupboard in the middle of the room.

Two cats hunting for the first time in the screaming stench of mice, sending round eyes flashing to every surface, ears swiveling, whiskers angled in a fury. Their long bodies stretch up, their soft paws spring and land a silent thud, ever moving, the first time knowing real work.

Aunt Ruth was my grandmother’s aunt, the bulbous heavy turned legs of her table once more fill their own meaning.

Cat, in the tactile silence of night time. Petrified wooden balusters, bent laths, the chairs of my childhood night creepings, though no fear, now that my mission is my own and I am in the employ of my two hunting cats.

The seven ghost cats of 1929, murdered by drowning in Aunt Ruth’s boiler, a crime against the beaded dress of my grandmother, Aunt Ruth calling their names, where is dear Putta?

My cats meet their lives, their purpose, alight in the legs of the table, in landing on the table, in sitting under the table with twitching tail.

Finite

April 10, 2017

The spring is a shock, I feel guilty to have lived beyond the dark small days into the blue sky that glides over the shimmering glass of rectangular authoritarian lies.

The hazy passing car afternoons where the self-conscious poor, hunch over our Formica tables, tea and leathery excuses, of buns. No matter about the silver soaring flights of the busy.

Yet still, exhausted I sit in someone’s semi-public back seat, he says I look tired out,  with a lisp, as I am driven through the back streets and the traffic of the match or no match and the radio sport and the Hollies. I am both leader and most vulnerable, this dangerous ride on the back of an eagle is easy and I don’t care if I fall off as the violence in my father’s van left me accustomed to accept death in a vehicle.

Offering

April 7, 2017

 

So I discovered that I can be a good listener and a good conversationalist. So much so that she who was unsure whether even to look at me, spoke for half an hour and would have for longer, and when I said it was lovely to talk to you, she hugged me.
So, I don’t always have to be the one who does all the saying, all the confessing, as some people need me more than I need to fill them up with my life, like I do to a very few people.
There is a reason for this.
There are quite a number of people who want to say a lot to me.
The thing that we both seemed to be reeling in shock about was: time flying, you look back at the past thirty years and think where has my life gone?
We agreed.
I have known her since I was three years old, when I had freshly landed upon this planet, and I soon found her strange brick house part of it.
Her concrete floored veranda with a fridge and cat food dried in the sun and a bluebottle buzzing the top windows. She would love to have a cat for company now, “They are more independent than dogs!” but this road would cause her so much fear and worry that it wouldn’t be worth it.