that’s what I picked up in a game of scrabble.
what could you do with a rack like that?
throw it away, pick up new letters.
no, too easy.
I thought of a better way though I’m not up to it.
I thought I’d throw it open to you to see what you could do with it.
write a short story, a piece of flash fiction: horror, comedy,; a poem , a snippet.
go ahead, use this as a photo prompt, see what you come up with.
post it here.
I hope you all come out to play
I’m out the back waiting for the cat
to come home.
It’s Bev’s cat. She’s gone to bed.
Left me in charge.
Somebody has to do the dirty work.
I rattle the biscuit tin.
Rosco, Rosco, I call out
but Rosco doesn’t come.
Rosco will come when he’s good
The stars have come out. The moon’s gone down.
I rattle the tin a little more vigorously.
Rosco, Rosco ,,,, a little more loudly.
A plump shadow shuffles around the back.
O there you are, I say. Nice of you to drop by.
Where have you been?
Out, he says .
It’s like talking to a teenager.
Well, I hope you practised social distancing,
Show me the food, he says, then we can talk,
What sort of name’s ‘Rosco’ for a cat, anyway?.
Ever since the Corona virus took hold,
I’ve been trying to write this poem about silver linings,
about looking for them in the darkest of days,
and I know there’s a name for this condition,
for someone who’s insistently optimistic: Pollyanna —
& I think of Haley Mills who played the part
in her film debut for Disney, only she was thirteen,
female and wore pigtails, while I’m a senior,
white male and insistently balding; but Optimism,
like Corona, does not recognize age, ethnicity or gender;
we’re all in this together and can find silver linings
in the darkest of storm clouds
- what silver linings have you found during the past few weeks?
- is there cause for optimism?
Why aren’t you laughing? I ask the laughing kookaburra.
What’s there to laugh about? he says.
Well, I begin, there’s the …. and the ….
Exactly, he says. Nothing. Zero, Zippo. Zilch. Where will I begin? Lockdown? Coronavirus? visitors with hang-dog faces? zoo keepers worried about their jobs? and the Bad News Bears blathering on TV in the office next door.
Well, you’re supposed to be ‘the laughing kookaburra’.
Maybe, he snaps, but I’m no ninny. I’m allowed to be morose if I want to.
Okay, Okay, I get it, I say as I shuffle on, shoulders slumped, head on my chest, rummaging in my pocket for the Lifeline number.
I read about the sad shopping centre, the one that’s going to close in Surrey Hills and turf out all the shoppers who like to hang out in the down-at-heel coffee shop where even broken light bulbs are not replaced, all the lonely people.
I read about how it’s going to close anytime soon, maybe tomorrow, next week, how it’s going to be replaced by shiny new apartments purchased by a Chinese business conglomerate, that there’s going to be flashy new shops to replace the deadbeat ones, the shuttered ones. Only the liquor store is thriving, all the lonely people.
I think of a world that’s closing down. Hotels, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, stadiums, places where people congregate. The city is emptying. People are retreating, even the parks have fewer people, the beaches and winter is closing in. It’s like a city that a neutron bomb has hit, all the lonely people.
People shuffle back to their homes from the seedy shopping centre, the old, the destitute, the disabled, the friendless, not knowing if they’ll have somewhere to go next week, somewhere to meet up. Winter is closing in. And the Fear. And now the churches and libraries are closing too. All the lonely people.
I like a guy with sandals.
Jesus wore them.
I bet Mahatma did as well.
All the good guys wore sandals.
Allan Ginsberg did when he delivered ‘Howl’
on that memorable day
and The Archies when they sang ‘Sugar Sugar’ on the cartoon channel.
They’re not exactly power dressing
but you can trust a man who wears sandals.
My yoga teacher wore sandals.
She taught me the value of non attachment
though we were both attached to our sandals.
He died in his sandals like cowboys with their boots on.
And so it goes.
I don’t know about celebs.
I think Clint Eastwood did in ‘A Few Dollars More’.
and Justin Bieber in his clip ‘Love Yourself’
Our Prime Minister wears sandals when he goes to the beach.
There’s a picture of Jesus walking on water in his sandals.
I tried it.
It doesn’t work
but I still wear my sandals.