Step

Some steps went up
and some went down.
But there were always steps.
I always had to be ready to step forward.

Fractured

Our parallel lines had so long been drawn together
but you now crossed me and I crossed you back
we were intertwined, some might think in love
but really we were strangling each other.
fractured.
broken.

Drink

‘Drink!’ he shouted.
The people around the table, who were already quite drunk, drank.
The next day they all questioned their actions, sat as they were, dud batteries aching with the loss of power. Later, the man who had shouted ‘Drink!’ the night before felt the cool, refreshing hair of the dog on his lips. He, and all the others who had joined him around the table again came back to life.
‘Drink!’ was shouted, fully charged they were, toxic.

Identity

‘PASSPORTS!’
We looked up, clutching our identity; the cover of mine was faded, faded like my blue t-shirt left out too long on the washing line in the southern sun, faded because everything fades: t-shirts, memories, empires. Losing colour, growing dim, disappearing. My passport was checked. I was moved on. As yet my privileges in this world hadn’t faded.

Hold me

Flying high like a kite.
The wind, which was unpredictable, carried me.
I was a bird, soaring.
Why do we go on?

While flying I understand why we go on.
Wisdom.
I must remember this when later I am pegged down like a tent.

The Cushions

The sofas looked messier in the morning
than they had done last thing at night.

Had the cushions, while we slept,
been having a massive fight?

Flinging against armrests, cramming into
corners and upsetting the throws.

I wonder what they were fighting about
as they cushioned each others blows.

Misheard

“Your grammar is bad.” said the teacher to the young boy.
Later, while the young boy ate hot stew and potatoes at home, he asked his parents why Grandma was bad.

The Fire

Sat by the fire he sank further into his velvet armchair. He wanted a moment to truly enjoy it but his head was disorder and elsewhere. The clock on the mantlepiece ticked onwards, striking half past ten and then eleven. How he hated the chimes when they were numerous, especially if he was listening to the radio. Outside the world was silent; the earth knew and understood this silence as did the cold mud as did the tree: stripped of its colour yet not of its knowledge. So he sat by the fire, the perfect image of winter contentment, like a painting, yet he wasn’t content – his thoughts were the sparks leaping to the hearth, each glowing ember replacing another. All that was needed was a pause, a counting of breaths and he too could join them all, the fire, the earth, the mud and the tree, be the man in a painting in a state of enduring wisdom.