Running Jump

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What seems to be the trouble? he asks .

I cough and splutter all over the place.

He gets the message.

Sits down to write the certificate.

There, he says , handing the form to me . This should do the trick.

I peruse it quickly.

There’s something missing.

You haven’t written down the illness, I say . Why I had time off.

That’s right. If you had Alzheimer’s or a social disease would you want people to know?

Certainly not.

My point exactly.

But I thought you had to put something down.

No, he says . And if they ask, tell them to take a running jump . Better still, tell them to phone me and I’ll tell them to take a running jump . Only in stronger terms.

He stands up. Shakes my hand.

 

The next day at work I hand in the certificate.

The doc’s right .

They see the blank space but no one says a word.

I push it a bit further.

On the official form, the one you fill out yourself, where it says ‘Illness’ I put down ‘See Certificate’ .

It feels good. It really does .

I’ve found a new way to treat with the world.

Staying in with a Friend

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I’m staying in with a friend today.

Like me he doesn’t look for other company.

We’ll probably lounge around, watch Netflix, maybe go out the back for a spot of sun if it’s shining then back inside.

Telly, sleep, periodic caffeine hits.

Don’t answer the door if someone knocks.

Maybe check out this post to see if it’s got any likes or comments.

Think about food a little later.

More caffeine so we can stay awake long enough to eat it.

Not enough to bust any moves. No, No, No dancing today.

Oh and more meds to fight off this fucking cold — sorry, buddy —

which as the Kinks say, ‘has really got a hold on me.’

Cue Dave Davies. And The Two Ronnies.

So it’s goodnight from me, and goodnight from him.

 

 

 

 

The Factory

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The factory’s closed, he said.

Closed? As in Closed Down?

No, the security guy chuckled. Closed for repairs, renovations.

I understood.

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.

 

Miracles

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It’s not the big ones

like walking on water

that interest me

But the little ones

like walking freely,

doing gym again

without medication,

being able to hear

stereophonically

without ear surgery,

able to love again

without the king’s men

struggling

to put me together;

the body’s palliative care unit

working in unison.

 

Holiday from Blame

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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.

 

 

Heatwave

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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?

 

Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?

 

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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.

The Forest

haunted-path

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

Anti-psychotic drugs,

Two drugs for attention deficit disorder

& she takes what I take too.

Christ,

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

Without them

I can go the rest of the way.

I just hope that little thirteen year old kid

Makes it out of the forest okay.

 

 

 

Rain

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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.

Running Jump

doc

What seems to be the trouble , he asks .

I cough and splutter all over the place .

He gets the message .

Sits down to write the certificate .

There , he says , handing the form to me . This should do the trick .

I peruse it quickly .

There’s something missing, I say, why I had time off .

That’s right . If you had Alzheimers or a social disease would you want

people to know ?

Certainly not .

My point exactly .

But I thought you had to put something down .

No , he says . And if they ask , tell them to take a running jump . Better still , tell them to phone me and I’ll tell them to take a running jump . Only in stronger terms .

He stands up . Shakes my hand .

 

The next day at work I hand in the certificate .

He’s right .

They see the blank space but no one says a word .

I push it a bit further .

On the official form , the one you fill out yourself , where it says Illness I put down ‘See Certificate’ .

It feels good . It really does .

I’ve found a new way to treat with the world .