Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tube Ride

Dragging a bag containing small trinkets, memories of the old life, Osler trudged across the platform.  They scraped and clanked with every step. Osler liked the noise and began to readjust his steps to move in time with the rhythm being produced by the holdall. A kind of primitive techno; a soundtrack for his subsidence.

Osler waited for the tube. He stood beside a poster exaggerating the sexual allure of men's deodorant.

The tunnel began to whistle and a crisp packet was blown upwards as the careering train arrived. A  squealing crescendo. Then, with a pffssht of the doors, suits exited and were instantly replaced.

Osler took his seat. He knew the rules. No eye contact, far less staring. He wedged his bag between his legs and closed his eyes. The train bumped on. Osler counted the stops in his head.

Four more to go.

He felt a tug on his trousers.

Through one eye, he could see that the boy was peering into the tiny opening at one end of the bag's zip.

"What's in there mister?"

Who was he with? Osler peered round. No one between the boy and the next handrail. Eyes were averted as if they hadn't noticed the boy's question. No one was claiming him.

Again. "What's in there mister?"

What was in there? How to answer that?

Default: "Nothing."

Osler closed his eyes again. Hoping for peace.

Again the tugging.

"Are you going on holiday, mister?"

Osler noticed the boy's keen eyes. Eager and blue. Dimpled cheeks. Blond hair. Looking for something.

"No."

"What's your name, mister?"

"Osler" said Osler.

With a sigh, he let him in. "What's yours?"

"Toby."

Osler nodded. The question was enough. The boy eased himself back against the faded velvet seat. The train gargled on, spitting out and re-swallowing passengers until Osler reached his stop.

The doors opened and he was gone.

Toby watched him disappear through the dirty perspex as the train fast-forwarded and was sucked into blackness. In the dull light, the boy quickly unzipped the bag.

Half a mile back, Osler escalated into the light and breathed the fresh air of spring.


















Thursday, 21 February 2013

february awakening

in the burr of dawn,
(a layered synth track settling underneath)
birds send tweets
ice is scratched from screens
a car door segue-slams
to a trundling wheelie bin
heading streetwise

engines scuttle in the avenue
a streetlamp flickers and floats
an energy saving bleary blue sky
switches on
dinosaur footsteps
crashing overhead
(why do children rush to start the day?)
and before you know it
the song of the
yellowhammer is revealed
as "little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese."





Shared with Poets United Poetry Pantry 139








Wednesday, 20 February 2013

infinite intimate (a Fibonacci Poem*)

you
went
for it
from the off:
expanding bright light
carving out canyons, star throwing,
infinite intimate etching hearts on lovers' trees,
calling seas, collecting tears in brimming bottles, writing up a space invasion plan....



This is a Fibonacci Poem* in response to todays Poets United prompt. Learn more about this structure here

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

on writing...

...we scribble on: a therapy both thoughtful and wasteful:
put messages in our bottles to remind us of us later;
freely forwarding our voices onwards to a sad new world
simply sending out our lonely liners on a sea of words...

...they are bobbing out on waves from the beaches where we stand
they go rippling out in rhythms that detach from our hands
at the mercy of the oceans, letters plentiful as sand
drifting, swept away in storms, washed ashore in distant lands.

although
some may find the ocean's bed,

some
will become
a treasure chest,
cracked
open
to be sifted
by a child on a quest.






Posted on dverse open link night 84








Saturday, 16 February 2013

Lincoln

Thrawn,
Strong,               
Pale and gaunt.       

Tall
Oak
Bent and drawn.

Battle
Scarred,
Sun down

Gone.

War
Wounds,
Scared to mourn...
   
    ***

Face
Up,
No blind eye.
Stand
Ground,
Let freedom fly. 

Scythe
Down
A nation's psyche,
Tangled
grass,
Hold
Steady ...

Yea...

Whiskers grey,
Streaked with strife...
You
Pay
The Price:
But
Live a life.















Note: I went to see Steven Spielberg's movie last night. Daniel Day Lewis's performance as Abraham Lincoln was immense and inspired this poem.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Meteor

meteor:                    
glimpse of glory,
tiny trace of space
sent
to trash our place.

agog
we stare,
the lame duck
presidents
of a galaxy,
e  x  p  a  n  d  i  n  g,
as we comb
our silvering hair.

meteor:
rock of age
hits history's
page and
what's to do but cower
and pray,
explain away.

meteor:
meet our
mediocrity
and blast our
blase
"whatevers"
with your
blazing tail.

reMIND us
of what's
                                              out
there.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21470205



Wednesday, 13 February 2013

wide receiver

(1)
straight
from the whistle                                          
i played wide receiver
to sacrificial
passes.

i turned to run
catching
nurture;
i tripped but
ran again
to catch
a country's
heritage.

(2) 
nature
knocked me
down,
but i donned
my gloves,
got up
and ran
to catch
education,
freedom,
faith,
family,
health,
healing,
home,
sense,
sensuality,
spirit...

(3)
at half-time
i recognised and
began to revere
sacrificial
team-mates:
you who blocked,
and block
for me daily
at the line of scrimmage;
you quarterbacks
who fired me darts
of hope
to connect with.

(4)
in the final quarter,
the endzone waits
for all;

tactics, in time, change

and so i begin to
play the passing game
for my own
wide receivers.

with sacrifice and
grace,
let me pass the
ball
of all I am
to you.



Posted for Poetry Jam: Sacrifices.
(With reference to any American Football fans, I'm a complete novice and if I've mistaken any aspect of the sport I profoundly apologise!)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Haiku for my Valentine.

Unsolved mystery:
who kissed who kissed who kissed who
on back for good night?



posted on dVerse open link night

Friday, 8 February 2013

Safe Home

The fog, shape-shifting its way through the evening air, disoriented Joseph as he slid from one kerb to the next. Shop windows all looked the same now. Having retraced his steps several times, he once more cursed his decision to come to this country at all.

His short-term goal was simple. To find his way back home. But this was proving much more difficult than he had imagined. Home. The meaning of the word had degenerated in his mind; stripped back to simply connote the place where he had slept for the past three nights.

The silence was broken as a car drew alongside Joseph. With its headlights dipped, it lit up the mist like stage lights rippling through liquid nitrogen at the start of a rock concert. Joseph gazed into the light, searching for a clue...

The engine turned over quietly, like the comforting swell of a washing machine. A heady scent of diesel discharged from the exhaust as the car idled for a few seconds, then moved off into the night.

In its wake, a tall, silhouetted shape began to move towards him. As the outline approached, a tingling sensation ran down Joseph’s back and arms. Closer and closer the shape came towards him.

"You miss your home?" Joseph’s attention, until now focused straight ahead, was suddenly diverted by a voice which seemed to drop out of the ether into the space behind him.

Joseph immediately twisted round to find that a huge form now blocked his way on the other side. Little flashes of light seemed to glow around the figure's arms and legs.

Joseph had an urge to sit down on the pavement.

Under the man's long blue scarf, Joseph could make out what seemed like a purple and red tunic. It draped the form's long body like a magnificent royal ensign. In the swirling fog, Joseph felt unusually serene. In spite of the fact that he was now surrounded on both sides by complete strangers, he was calm.

"You miss your home," stated the same gravel voice, " and what you have only just begun to recognise in your mind about what home is now, is one way of understanding this fact. But it runs deeper than you will ever be able to understand, Joseph."

"Have we met before?" Joseph could recognise nothing familiar in the face.

"We have never met, but there is a reason why we are now here." The first man’s voice now pierced the night. "You have made a long and difficult journey. It may have seemed meaningless to you at the time, but we want you to know, that your steps have had a purpose."

Joseph could make out that this man wore the same outfit as the second. Squinting more closely, he noticed that the red and purple blended a little into cloudy bubbles. They reminded him in design, if not in colour, of army khaki. Joseph looked down to notice that both men were wearing what seemed like black Doc Martens. He began to search almost instinctively for a weapon of some sort, perhaps hidden in a pocket or belt.

As the first man spoke again light flickered from his eyes to momentarily provide a perfect view of his bearded face and sharply defined cheek-bones. Joseph fell to his knees, unable to withstand the tremor that was overpowering his body. It felt like an electric current was being sent through him. His tongue quivered but he could not speak.

It was the first man who broke the short silence: "You are right to be silent. It was Mark Twain who said that if we were meant to talk more than listen we would have two mouths and one ear." He turned to address the second man: "Sometimes I believe that you have two mouths, Rafa."

Rafa let out an infectious bellow. A wry smile creased the corner of the other’s lips. Joseph couldn’t help but smile too.

The second man became serious again: "Don’t be scared Joseph Elijah Takana. After what you’ve been through, fear is natural, but you should try to let yourself smile once more. Laughter is like a medicine which can heal you, if you will allow it."

With that, the two turned and headed off into the fog, their bodies quickly disappearing from view, but the surge of the light that surrounded them, was clearly visible from where Joseph knelt, immobile and tranquil, on the tarmac pavement.

"You’ll not find home from there!" Rafa’s voice ricocheted through the air and the words seemed to hit Joseph’s ears from various unforeseen angles. He roused himself and began to follow.

As the two men walked on Joseph was never able to catch another glimpse of their faces, but by keeping his eyes looking forward, he was able to discern the two bright shapes. Moth-like, he was propelled through the bitterly cold streets in the right direction.

Finally, the glow died out and Joseph, catching his rasping breath, felt his way across the pavement to the nearest wall. His throat was raw with the taste of the biting winter air. His emotions were raw too.

Reaching the end of the bricked building, he turned into the next street. He immediately recognised it as Sitevale Lane. He had been brought back to within five hundred metres of his flat.

Shaking his head in disbelief, Joseph pulled the thin, silver key from his pocket and opened the security door. A few seconds later he was back inside the flat, crouching by the electric heater. His heart was not here, but for now it was home.




Note:
This is the third part of Joseph Takana's story. If you want to read more it begins with
 Unforeseen Arrival and continues in New Start

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

freedom speech for a dreich weekday

damp afternoon
daffodils snoozing
underground slumber
yet
poised for the push;
eyes go heavy,
adjust to the gloom,
boil some water,
remain in the room
and curtain the day
away.

peek at the road
as cars trip forward,
menisci remoulding
in puddles of potholes,
sloshing and slipping
their way up to Westwood,
reaching the care home,
where memories battle
to find their location,
get lost in the headland,
and gradually merge into
fog.

monday's return,
mid midwinter's reign,
means darkness holds sway
and chases your day;
but
winter's an empire
that's now on the wain,
as soil agitators
dream spring revolution
on steady strong stalks;
lift heavy heads high,
exhale deepest sigh,
and let your heart fly
i see sun in the sky
get ready
my children...

Note: According to the Urban Dictionary "dreich" is an Old Scots word meaning "A combination of dull, overcast, cold, drizzly, misty and miserable weather." At least four of these adjectives must apply before the weather is truly dreich. I enjoy using the word as it applies to Scottish weather quite regularly.

For pronunciation, drei rhymes with three, and for the -ch part, think about the guttural ending of loch.


posted on dverse open link night 82

Monday, 4 February 2013

An Undecided Glaswegian's Haiku



"Ah cannae be arsed;
mebbe's aye, mebbe's naw, A
huvnae a scooby."


Posted for Poetry Jam: Yes or No





Rough English Translation:

I cannot be bothered
perhaps yes, perhaps no, I
don't have a clue.


  




Sunday, 3 February 2013

Call to / Prayer

on the tip of my tongue
waits the gift that
prises opens the deadwood door,
loses religion and saves faith;
invites SPIRIT loose to
burst out, break through, baptise,
submerge,
immerse,
saturate,
flood
and re-emerge

Ruach Olam:
light the blue touch paper,
and
spark a forest fire inside;
though You may burn my lips,
I fear no coals
that set the world
ablaze
with astonishing acts.


Posted on:
Poets United Poetry Pantry #135

Saturday, 2 February 2013

...shadowing the verge...

i
sit
alone
unbinding heart vaders:
loosing silent slaves
shadowing the verge of me
for long, so long;

unwrap their hands
and brittle,
twig fingers
will point me out;
they are arrows homing
in
on their
target;

unravel their bruised feet
long bound; frozen still;
as maligned
as an Empire's daughters
on a tyrranical whim...

Unfettered now
their fraught kicking spills reason
forward
into a cloudy pool of
light.

i
am
swept by a tidal stare:
eyes benign for all time
pierce their sighing mirror
to glimpse and recollect
their former face.

slowly so slowly
they are circling me
ululating freely
"it cannot be done"

caressing to my soul
their words
subdued,
i turn
with them
and run /




posted for the dverse prompt of "Bright Shadow"
Note:
In life we are all faced with coming to terms with our past; facing our demons; accepting ourselves and moving forward.That's kind of what this poem's about.