I was down in the dumps when someone praised
A recent poem of mine.
I know we should be immune to Praise
But it’s hard not to be lifted
Like a hot air balloon
Above the petty doubts and grievances
That beset us all
And to bask in the warm sun of appreciation
Knowing that, yeh, we’re okay,
We’re going to get there
We are not alone.
Hope is the helium that keeps us aloft.
can you think of an occasion when praise made a difference in your life?
what is the helium that keeps you aloft?
You haven’t got your head up your arse
Or in the clouds any more, he said,
But firmly secured where it should be.
Atop my shoulders? I suggested.
But my big brother was right.
I was a dreamy kid but when the hormones kicked in— boy!!
My head was every which way but loose.
It was like a beach ball bobbing along
On choppy waves,
A dog chasing after every rabbit which crossed
I’m still a bit like that but the hormones
Are quieter now
& if I don’t watch it I still find myself
Head up the arse or in the clouds,
A head’s gotta go somewhere.
The rain has begun.
I park the car close as possible, then dodging the drops, duck into the library.
“Ahh,” says the librarian, “we’ve been wading through your requests and look what’s washed up.”
It is like Santa handing over a present.
“Ahh, ‘Waterlog’”, I say.”The perfect book to read in the bath,”
“Just don’t drop it,” he says.
I should have seen that coming but Steve is quick, very quick.
“Thanks,” I say and we have a brief chat on the merits of reading in strange places, like baths.
“Have to go”, I say. “The rain’s getting heavier.”
By the time I get to the car, the book and I are waterlogged.
Steve would have appreciated that pun.
Now I don’t have to worry about dropping it in the bath.
I could go for a walk but I can’t be buggered.
I could check my Facebook status but I can’t be buggered.
I could cut back the bush near the letter box so the postie can chuff past more easily on his motor scooter.
But I can’t be buggered.
I could put more effort in getting my next manuscript together — the editor is interested — but I can’t be buggered doing that either.
I almost can’t be buggered writing this poem about not being buggered.
Would rather curl up in the sun out the back with a good crime novel and lose myself in the plot.
A good book is like a good fire. You warm to it. It glows for you. When you’re not with it, out in the world, in the cold cross currents of life, you long to get back to it. It is self sustaining like good food or drink. I always like to come home at night and cuddle up with a good book.
‘Zombie’ and ‘Motherlode’, two short stories by Thomas McGuane are what I’m into now. That I’ve read them twice before doesn’t matter. They give off warmth and comfort. ‘TEOTFW’ by Charles Forsman is a short graphic novel that gives out the furious energy of a blazing fire.
Which books have you read that do this?
There’s something about a cold, starlit night that gets me going: the glitter of the galaxies, the pixie dust of the Milky Way, the motherly eye of the moon, the peace, a full stomach. I drift to the back of the yard past the reach of the kitchen light and stand by the lemon tree — I’m told it’s always good to do it there. My flanks begin to shudder as I unzip and I piss like a stallion, throw my head back and neigh.
The great roads do not have them:
The Road Less Travelled,
The Yellow Brick Road,
The Road to Damascus.
Nor the vinyl ones:
John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’,
‘The Highway to Hell’,
The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’.
Only the lesser roads have them:
The pot-holed, crumbling ones,
The ones we have to travel: