The Mark of the Beast

Today I have the mark of the beast upon me.

It came up overnight,

It cannot be hidden except by a mask

But when I take it off, to eat, to explain a matter,

to simply breather easier, friends,

people recoil at the angry red rash

that runs from the tip of my nose to upper lip,

like birds before a predator.

I cannot shave so look doubly abhorrent.

I am only grateful for covid where a face mask

can be worn without question.

It is my close companion, my Linus blanket.

Parable of the Breathing Tube

“You won’t even know it’s there,” said the surgeon.

          “My brother-in-law sure did,” I replied referring to the incident in the ICU which I witnessed.

          AS he was coming out of his sleep, he became aware of the tube down his throat and began struggling with it so violently that he had to be held down by three nurses while he was put into an induced coma. He stayed that way for three days.

          “You won’t even be aware of it,” the surgeon said, “and if you are you won’t remember.”

          I decided to go with that. In the end you have to put your faith in something.

          Still, some days later as I was wheeled into the operating theatre, the last conscious thought was of that tube down my throat.

          Many hours later as I slowly awoke, I remember the doctor saying, “the breathing tube is out now, you can speak.”

          “What breathing tube?” I asked.

          The thing is, if you don’t know something has happened to you, has it really happened?

Last Night was Brutal

Last night was brutal.

We fought like Godzilla vs Kong.

Boxers slugging it out in the ring.

Cage fighters gouging and kicking.

Oooops. Is that an eyeball in my hand?

We were earnest. Furious.

Mean as gorillas. Cut-throat as pirates.

In the end we smoked the peacepipe.

What was that all about? she asked..

I don’t know, I said.

Look, next time, can we please agree what we’re fighting about?

  • pic courtesy of maxsportstz.blogspot.com

Feathers

I don’t feel like meat tonight.

Red or white.

Perhaps bananas and ice cream

Though I remember what my son once said about ice cream,

How it’s made from the feathers of birds.

I’ve never felt right about it since.

I’m afraid to look it up in case it’s true

And I’ll feel even worse.

But ice cream feels right.

It’s a hot evening. I’ve had eggs and bacon for lunch

So something soft seems just the ticket..

I just wish I never heard that about ice cream,

That the thought would just grow wings and fly away.

pic courtesy of Pinterest by ehow.com

Midsummer Murders

We’re marching towards mid-summer now.

Midsummer can be murder here,

the heatwave capital of Australia.

I can feel the heat in its loins already,

smell its sweaty armpits

hear the swagger in its step.

I’m coming, he says, like a general

on the march with his troops,

heatstrokes and bushfires,

& his meddlesome minions,

mozzies, snakes, spiders,

outcasts from Eden.

Not looking forward to this

but at least there’s the beach to go to,

the air-conditioned palaces of libraries

and shopping centres, the reverse cycle at home

and, of course, beers with the boys!

It Must Mean Something

I was driving to the clinic about my disintegrating blood

thinking about the riots in Washington,

the four deaths,

when Barry McGuire came on the radio, singing his anthem, from the sixties

‘Eve of Destruction’. You know it?

And I thought:

it must mean something, a message maybe but could something

written that far back, sixty years,

speak to the present?

Barry thought so, his voice just as urgent,

just as polemic

as it was then.

Sure, the finger on the nuclear button seemed shrill,

a little hysterical — it’d be more measured now, wouldn’t it? —

but the hate in Red China and the riots in Selma, Alabama,

seemed less so.

He was really getting worked up.

I thought his passion would pulverize the speakers.

I was getting a little scared, feel my blood fretting.

Just as I pulled in the car park,

the song came to an end.

God knows what apocalyptic anthem

would confront me on the way home.





pic courtesy of Wiki Commons

Me and the Ant

Me and the Ant go way back, ever since we discovered

our mutual Achilles’ Heel: coffins made of steel: Lifts.

He’s not a big fan of car boots either or small caving tunnels,

so the Thai cave rescue would not have been high

on his agenda. One thing’s for sure: Ant is an SAS commando

& instructor and if he can’t handle lifts, what chance

have marshmallow men like me got? It’s in my Will:

‘to be cremated’; just in case

Courage

Sometimes I put up a post and no one visits.

No  ‘likes’.

No ‘comments’.

There is a terrible silence.

I’m like the wallflower at the dance.

The cheese that stands alone.

.I shrink. I shrivel.

I want to run, hide.

I’m the cowardly lion.

I panic.

I take the post down. I ditch it.

You must have noticed..

But once in a while, like my ‘Desecration’ post on Big Blue Mouth,

I leave it.

I stand by it.

I stand up for it.

Damn it all! It’s good, I say

Sometimes I have courage. Sometimes I don’t.

Is This How It Happens?

I have just come back from the shopping centre, I wrote, ten years ago

and have discovered the boot empty. Where is all that food I bought?

Back in the trolley where I left it in the car park ready to heft into the boot.

An action I never completed. I dashed back to the shopping centre

but the trolley was gone. I had supplied a needy family, I like to think,

with a week’s supply of free food. In the end, I remembered.

My memory had rebooted. But what if it hadn’t? Would you even know

you had forgotten something if you had no memory of it? 

Is this how it happens?