Scratching His Cerebrals

Oberon,_Titania_and_Puck_with_Fairies_Dancing._William_Blake._c.1786

What are you doing? I asked.

Scratching my cerebrals, uncle would answer studying the crossword before him, his right hand deftly scratching his scalp, between loose strands of sandy hair, as though he had nits.

It seemed to work. The more furious he scratched, the better he got, the crossword soon solved.

Then uncle would go out in the garden and within a short space of time, as aunty used to say, he’d be ‘off with the fairies’.

Perhaps the two activities were allied.

Perhaps I caught it from uncle but whenever I work on a poem or a piece of stubborn flash fiction, I scratch my cerebrals too.

My partner caught me at it one morning.

Stop it, you’ll go blind, she says.

We both chuckle.

It’s good to make light of things then go back to scratching your cerebrals should things become difficult.

 

  • picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Love Song of the Garbage Truck

ACT_recycling_truck

Come to me, says the garbage truck to his love,

Waiting on the edge of the road for him,

You’re late, she says, looking at her watch.

I’ve been here since early morning.

Never mind, he says. It’ll be worth it

Grabbing her firmly around the waist,

Clutching her with his cold metallic hands,

You could have warmed them first, she says

Never mind the temperature, feel the grip,

he answers. Come into these loving arms,

Closer, closer,

Now. Doesn’t that feel good?

Wasn’t that worth the wait?

I bet you say that to all the bins, she says

As he gently places her back on the sidewalk.

See you next Thursday, he calls back.

Getting my Mojo Back

mojos-header-2015

I wish there were a place called Mojos

Where you could go to replenish

Your creative juices, to kick start that poem

Or story that won’t budge, where, in short,

You could go to get your mojo back

Should you lose it, and then I find there is!!!

 

It’s just around the corner, down the road a piece,

where ‘it’s  local and foreign, hard and soft,

obscure and obvious, friendly and furious’

& it’s open ‘seventeen days a week’! I just knew

There had to be a place like that, a place like ‘Cheers’

But where creatives go. I just hope they still run

flights there, and I can get in.

If I Sleep In *

1 AOqIfJZqy34IdO2romiT9QI am learning the pleasures of sleeping in

Not leaping up at the first bounce of whimsy

Things can wait.

The Mad Hatter will still have his ball.

Blades of grass still grow tall

If I sleep in.

There will always be another train pulling in at the station.

Things will not be rationed any more or less

If I rest.

Wendy will still be in Neverland

& I can still hold your hand a little longer

If I lie in.

Dreams will not evaporate.

We can still meet each other at the gate.

Beneficence flow free.

I will still be me,

The lambs still bleat.

If I sleep

in

 

* with thanks to Chelsea who saved it & David R who inspired it

 

the Color of Hope

20200209_154027

I show him my little book of poems.

Hey, it looks good, he says. Can I hold it? Can I have a look?

I can do better than that. I’ll give you a copy.

Really?

Sure, you’re a mate. Have a read. Tell me what you think.

Gee, thanks.

You don’t have to read them now.

It’s not a big book. It’s only 24 pages. Why, so short?

It’s a chap book, I tell him.

What’s that when it’s home?

A mini collection on one topic or theme, I say.

So what’s the topic?

Hope, I say. Like the title.

Why are the pages blue?

Remember the blue berets worn by the United Nations peacekeepers?

Yeh.

Well, blue’s the color of Hope. The poems are upbeat, funny, cool like me.

He smiles.

I’ll have a good read at home, he says, and get back to you.

Meg

Silky_bantam

Meg is wandering again

in smaller and smaller circles

driving us round the bend.

What is she thinking?

She worries the others.

 

A few days later

when we let her out she begins

circling again until

she huddles beneath the bird bath

and will not move.

 

We shift her.

She crawls under a bush

where she’s hard to reach.

The cat who often bothers the chooks

leaves her alone.

 

That night it rains and rains.

In the morning she’s bedraggled.

Dead.

I lift her into the earth.

There isn’t much of her.

The chooks settle after that.

So do we.

Maria

800px-Christmas_Tree_Lane

But when I go to pay the fine

surprise, surprise, there’s no waiting game.

Someone picks up straight away.

The voice is chirpy like a canary.

It’s like a change swept through the place

I tell the lady.

I tell Maria.

She even has a name.

People always quick to take your money, I say.

She even chuckles.

I don’t know if it’s put on or genuine

You take what you can get.

The lines to the other sections I say, the ones

asking for extensions, leniency,

were always clogged with callers

And when you finally got through

a graveyard voice answered. like Lurch from ‘The Adams Family’.

She chuckles again.

She brings out my inner stand-up.

But your line, I say,  lit up like a Xmas tree.

She glows,  gives me the receipt number.

She’s still chirpy, wishing me a good weekend.

I feel light as a glider. The fine is off my chest.

 

 

Bars

damir-spanic-lb7q0iLOaSE-unsplash

They gave me a number to phone

And when I phoned that number —

When I eventually got through —

They gave me two more numbers

With even longer waiting times,

 

But they all said the same thing,

tone deaf to reason and compassion,

the Shylocks of bureaucracy.

 

Whichever way you turned

You got the same answer.

They had it all sewn up.

You were already in prison

Behind bars intransigent as iron.

 

  • photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

 

 

Ants Doing Yoga

ants-doing-yoga-beautiful-83914112

I was watching ants filing back and forth the other day

When two stopped for a chat; and I wondered how it was

 

They knew each other seeing they all look the same; and I

Concluded they must have individual features like us:

 

Hooked noses, for instance, bushy eyebrows, little pot bellies

And carry nicknames like ‘Shorty’, ‘Ginge’ or ‘Spike’

 

And further ants must have little to say seeing they say it

So quickly, but mostly I wondered where ants are off to

 

All the time; it is hard to imagine them doing yoga, or chilling

Out at the cricket or at the beach in a deckchair or anywhere

 

Else for that matter.