Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Last weekend.

How did you feel? Were you upstairs, hiding from the shouting and the anger; were you nursing an anger yourself that was close to flooding over; were you unaware of the drama before... it happened? What alerted you? The shout. The crash. The cry. The noise of the stamping footsteps, the yelling voices? The din of your brother slamming into the room and hauling him away? The sound of your little sister's crying, sobbing screams?
Your feet pounded against the hollow stairs. You swung through the doorway and before you had even reached him, your hands were grabbing for him. Your hands grasping the rough fabric. Your wrists grazing his collar. Your fingertips digging, blunt, into his skin.
She is awkward on the floor, her hand cradling her arm. Is she crying out at you? Is she rising, fast as she can, to her feet? Is she reaching for you, clutching at your jacket, pulling you away? Who is it that drags you from him? Who is it that prevents the anger from making its mark, the fury from fulfilling its task, the guilt from paying its due?
Who is it that reaches for the phone: dials the number with cold fingers, asks for the authority with frozen voice, waits in stagnant silence until the doorbell rings?

She cannot answer your call. She sits in a heavy chamber and remembers and apologizes and prays. She cannot help you all.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


All I can think to say is thank you. Just look at all that beauty. In a second of magic, the dreary, grey street is transformed.
Walking along in a cocoon of quick notes and harsh voices, deaf to the people marching by, and around me the trees suddenly burst into flames. They send flat, paper-like sparks swinging lazily towards the ground. At my feet, the tarmac's black gown glitters, it's burnt orange and bright green accessories complementing it's attire with surprising competence. Remind me to send my regards to the designer. Up above, nestling softly on grey cashmere, the cotton scarf shimmers with gleeful translucence. The wand that started the spell; the needle that embroidered the detail; the paintbrush that finished the picture.
I glance up at it and feel the smile spread across my face. It opens my eyes, soaks my head with colour and places a bright filter over my pupils. I look down at the street. The rain brushes against my cheeks as the sun pulls the clouds further apart to gaze down in surprise on the sudden beauty.
And all I can think to say is thank you. Just look at all that colour. In a second of magic, the dreary, grey street is... transformed.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

One inch at a time.

The intensity with with you watch us scares me. Your posture is the same; leaning back slightly on your heels, your head tilted away as if you're observing something strange, but not wholly remarkable. And yet the look in your eyes...
What is is you want? If i could get you to understand us, I would. I would open up those half-lidded eyes to our plight and rub the dirt grains under your eyelids and press the sand granules into your cheeks. Maybe then you'd understand the pain.
We didn't want it to start again like this. But what can we do but answer the call? Suddenly now we have the energy to drag ourselves out of this mire. So that is what we do. Who wouldn't want to escape the deadening suffocation that was claiming us below?
You. Do you enjoy watching us? Do you enjoy seeing the way our gnarled fingers scrabble at the rocks and scratch deep into the mud? We've made progress since last you came. Now our wrists and elbows are free, reaching towards the sky like dead trees, swaying in the beautiful, oh so beautiful breeze. We crook our fingers towards the sun, clenching and reopening, straining skywards, pushing our limbs up, up, up towards it as if we can grasp hold of it and just float our way out...
Go away. We are dreading the first breath as it is. We don't want you to witness it.

Army Boots

Remember that Saturday when we were walking in the area where you used to live, round by the river? We'd left the river, and were walking towards the train station, through those new, red brick houses that rose, empty and lifeless, around us. The heels of my office-type wedges were clopping noisily against the rust coloured road, the sound echoing round our heads and bouncing off the walls. I felt like I would wake the emptiness. I felt I would see the curtains twitch and the irritated faces peep out. I felt so damn self conscious. Especially as you weren't making a sound. You never did when you walked.
At least I was still shorter than you in my heels...

Monday, 2 November 2009

"And when we meet, which I'm sure we will, all that was there will be there still. I'll let it pass, and hold my tongue. And you will think that I've moved on."


Blonde hair. She flickers.
Faulted porcelain, watching.
Blue eyes reflected.

Help me, I cannot
Get out of this cold world you
Stare at. Look at me.

Movement stops to look;
Fear, familiarity.
She gazes into me.

Help me, I cannot
Escape from this frozen slow
Show you watch me in.

Quick blink, think aloud,
She mouths the words that I say.
Each peach pear plum ripe.

Help me, I cannot
Break this sharp mimicking land
I mirror you in.
I mirror you in.

Stop thinking.

It has been a while. Sometimes life takes over and you forget that you write. You just know that you live and you breathe and you work and you relate and that's all that matters right now.
I used to think writing was something you had to work at. Some days it feels like every word you are putting on the page is being pulled out of you by a thread and it's like a marathon just getting something down. But that's only if you're working too hard at it. Because a couple of years ago I met someone who somehow proved to me that writing is something I, at least, do naturally. They didn't show me this by anything they said or did in particular, they showed me this by just letting me talk.
Okay, so some days it doesn't make sense. Some days nothing you write means anything when you look back on it. But then, does it? Because at the time it felt... right. The words just drifted, dribbled, dropped out of your mouth and onto the keyboard and were swept up onto the screen and it felt good. Because who says you ever have to write for someone else? Who says that writing, when someone else looks at it, has to be something someone can connect to, understand, be interested in?
I've realized that by spending those six months (was it really only six?) writing to someone else, it's somehow showed me how to write for myself. What a strange thought that is.
So here I am. Writing musings while the real reason I opened up a new post page is still lying dark and hidden in the shadows. I think I may well leave it there. It's not that important, anyway.