Days of Indolence and Roses

I’m really looking forward to today.

Today’s the day I don’t exercise.

Oh, I may lift a finger to pen a poem

or two,

stretch a limb to reach for the remote

or break into a walk to put out the bins

but that’s it.

Today the body gets its chance

to plonk itself down in the armchair of life

and not feel guilty.

Have a glass or two. Eat some chocolates.

Read ‘The New Yorker’.

A day of indolence and roses.

The Void

You’ve got to do something, mum. Volunteer. Take up a hobby [This was after dad died]. Quilting, for instance, or drawing. You used to draw as a kid.

Everyone draws as a kid.

Just trying to be helpful, mum. Mongolian throat singing, foraging. Anything. Otherwise you’ll face the void.

What void?

You don’t want to know.

A few years later she discovers it.

How’s it going, mum? I ask on a moribund Monday.

Awful. Nothing to do and all day to do it in.

That’s it, I say, the ,,,,

Don’t say it, she says.

So I ,,,,





I‘ve never posted this but seeing it was chosen as one of the top ten Drabbles of 2020 I thought I would

Tricky

toadstool

You’re tricky, she says, which is sort of ironic ‘coz she’s tricky too; and my best buddy can be very tricky and we’ve come to blows on more than one occasion over our mutual trickiness which is even more tricky seeing he’s in a wheelchair though he gives as much as he gets and tonight we’re over a friend’s place for a fuck-you covid meal and although there are a few tricky moments we manage to get on over pizzas, two bottles of red, Bailey’s Irish Cream and a few espressos which just goes to show what a resilient species we humans are

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

 

 

Red Rubber Ball

index

He came bouncing into the world like a red rubber ball. Over time he lost his redness but never his bounce. He knocked over problems as if they were pins in a bowling alley. Hurts and insults found no purchase on him for though he was hard and rangy, his soul was round and smooth. He took the global view on things and realized that the earth had lost its bounce and needed nurturing too.

Archangel

Luca_Signorelli_-_The_Archangel_Gabriel_-_Walters_37520

My neighbour worried I was having a meltdown. She came by one evening with her three Pomeranians in tow as my brother-in-law pulled in to pick me up for a barbecue at their place. She assured me there was no need to panic, that I could stay as long as I needed till I found a place of my own. The front porch light shone down on us. Wings of light enfolded her as the dogs wound their way around her legs.

Who was that, my brother-in-law asked.

That, I said, was the Archangel Gabriel. Deliverer of glad tidings.

Huh? my brother-in-law said as we hopped in the car.

Good news, I clarified. I get to stay.

Execution on the Golf Course

new-york-adirondack-mountains-golf-course-view

We sit on the deck, sipping our gin and tonics, watching the sun go down over the golf course when we spot a police vehicle drive onto the fairway and towards the rough where the car stops and an officer gets out. Three shots ring out.

Over dinner the head waiter fills us in. A king ‘roo had been hit by an SUV and wandered onto the course badly wounded, terrifying golfers whereby the manager phoned the RSPCA who suggested they phone the police. The ‘roo had been put down.

We drink our wine subdued as the dark creeps in.

What Happened Out There, Out in the Garden?

flowers

 

Stephanie was out in the garden, chasing chooks out of the vegetable patch. She was some way from us, out on the back porch, so I was surprised that she responded to something I said.

“Yes. I remember when …” and then her voice seemed to get swallowed up.

”What’s that?” I said.

But she stood there helplessly waving her hands as if signalling to us to disregard what she had to say and to carry on our conversation. We did and when my friend left, Stephanie came over and sat beside me.

“What happened out there?” I asked. “Out in the garden?”

“What I was about to say got swallowed up,” she said.

“Like in a sinkhole?” I said. They had been in the news lately.

“Like in a sinkhole.”

“It’s all right,” I said. “Tell me when you remember.”