The factory’s closed, he said.
Closed? As in Closed Down?
No, the security guy chuckled. Closed for repairs, renovations.
I had been going there for years, churning out my poetry, those little dispatches from the frontiers of perception. Lately however the software had stopped working, the hardware was getting cranky too.
Someone had noticed.
When will it be re-opened? I asked.
Soon, he said. We’ve got people working on it. You work here or something?
You could say that. Guess I need a break too just as much as the machines. Thanks anyway.
He watched me go as I trudged down the street. I gave him a little wave just before I turned the corner.
It’s not the big ones
like walking on water
that interest me
But the little ones
like walking freely,
doing gym again
being able to hear
without ear surgery,
able to love again
without the king’s men
to put me together;
the body’s palliative care unit
working in unison.
I want a holiday from Blame.
I’m sorry I ever knew its name.
It should be sent up in flames.
I know its nasty little game.
From small beginnings it sneakily came
into our lives. Could not be tamed.
No love affair can be sustained
In the endless barrage of Blame.
So let us now both abstain.
I want a holiday from Blame.
A holiday from Blame.
Won’t you come with me?
We can start again.
Yesterday was really something.
A race to the top after five grueling days.
It was like a marathon.
The bureau reported, almost gleefully,
we had done it! we had broken the previous record.
It almost made it worthwhile.
The hottest day in the State’s history!
Yet people kept their cool
Even when the grid crashed.
Emergency Services stayed on top of things.
No one died.
We phoned each other.
Are you okay? We asked.
Yes! I’m okay, I barked after the tenth inquiry.
I was losing my cool.
Other states get floods, fires.
We get heatwaves.
By morning the cool had come.
We waved the heat goodbye.
have you experienced similar conditions?
what’s the worst weather conditions you experienced?
My body alarms me.
It rings two or three times a night.
Who’s in charge here anyway?
Poetry flowed from me
Like water from a garden hose.
Days were diamonds.
My feet horses’ hooves.
Nothing defeated me.
I was sharp as Sherlock.
Prolific as Zola.
I had two hounds.
The wheels turn.
Accept, my friend tells me, Embrace.
Loss is gain.
Now is the new normal.
I like them too.
I thought I was a basket case
But there’s this thirteen year old
I read about
Who takes anti-depressants
Two drugs for attention deficit disorder
& she takes what I take too.
I know growing up is tough
But I didn’t know it could be
Tough as this.
I could take other drugs,
Ones that she takes
But the doc reckons I’ve got this far
I can go the rest of the way.
I just hope that little thirteen year old kid
Makes it out of the forest okay.
For nights and nights and nights I lay on my pillow, worrying, listening to the rain, even though the skies were clear and starlit and the moon shone through my window like a lantern and I wondered what else I was hearing that wasn’t there or not hearing that was until one day I had my ears syringed with warm water and the wax flowed out in little honey-coloured clumps into a dish the nurse held for me and I no longer heard it rain except when it did.