The Sky Goes Goth

the sky

has gone

Goth;

dyed its hair

inky black;

the dark clouds squinch

like too tight jeans

letting

no light

through;

a Greek chorus of crows

caw

from the bare boughs;

thunder

mumbles

like Nick Cave’s intro

to Red Right Hand

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?

That Man Looks Like You

That man looks like you, she says, as we pull up near a block of shops.

So he does, I say, having a good squiz.

Only he’s got more hair, she smiles, and less of a paunch.

Go easy, I say.

And look he’s going into the same shop you plan to go into.

Saves me going in, I chuckle. Hope he buys what I want to buy.

Only a minute passes and he comes out carrying a shopping bag.

Let’s see where he lives, she says. Could be fun.

So we follow his car down Pridham and Plymouth past the long Covid Testing queues.

Hello, I say, he’s pulled up outside your place. And he’s marching to the front door. Like he owns the place.

Saves you coming in, she says.

So I let her out and drive away in my little blue Subaru, scratching my cerebrals.

Ugg Boots

I like your ugg boots, I say to the jetty.

Thank you, it says.

They look sort of … clumpy though, I say.

Well they are heavy duty.

I reckon I wouldn’t mind trying on a pair. For the beach only, of course. Where do you get them?

Well, you have to become a pylon first. You just stand around. They sort of grow on you.

Whoa, I say, don’t reckon I’m ready for that.

Suit yourself , it says.

So off I go to the store on the esplanade to get a pair, off white to match the pylons.

Wilt

She’s not coming, mate.

Sure she is. If not today, then tomorrow.

Your flowers are beginning to wilt.

I can get new ones.

There’s a party under the bridge tonight. You coming?

You go. Have a good time. I’ll be here. You never know, she might ….

Nah, mate. She won’t. Don’t wilt, you hear. Just don’t wilt.

I’m Good at Last Lines

I’m good at last lines. I really am.

The rest of my poems are crap but my last lines

Are really something.

I’m thinking of bringing out a book called ‘My Fifty Best Last Lines’.

The trouble is it’d be like bringing out a book of punch lines without the jokes.

‘By gum, I wish I could do that’ or ‘It’s okay for you two. I have to walk out by myself’ fall a bit flat without the jokes attached.

I suppose I could make the rest of the poems as good as the last lines but it’s a pretty big ask.

Now I can’t even get a good last line to this poem.

A New Path to Enlightenment


Matt has been hired by a plumbing company to sell toilets.  His old man who works for the same company got him the job. What could Matt do but accept? He was good at nothing else.
Larry, a hotshot salesman goes out with him one day and lays it on the line: “I don’t tolerate laziness. It’s a form of treason,” he says.
Matt says it’s not his fault he’s not pulling in big figures. He has no sales experience and no one is willing to train him.
Larry shoots back, “Baptism by fire.”
But Matt whines and says it’s been over a year and he still has no idea what he’s doing.
Then Larry comes back with this: “Your job is to go out there every day and get your face kicked in. It’s the only path to Enlightenment.”



 I don’t know if Larry and the Buddha were talking about the same kind of Enlightenment and if they were would the Buddha have agreed with Larry’s method?
Is Larry right? Or can’t you find Enlightenment through the toilet trade?
Are some trades/professions more inimical to Enlightenment than others? Can a politician find Enlightenment? would it help him in his job?
 

Tethered

You could give it up, you know.

Nah, mate. I couldn’t.

Sure you could.

Think I haven’t tried ? I’ve cut back, mate. Cut back heaps.

Still ….

I’m in a happy spot. I’m not going to beat myself up.

But ,,,

Everyone needs one vice in their life, mate. It keeps us tethered.

How Could I Not?

I put up a post the other minute that I knew might offend people but I wanted to honour the veracity of the experience. Would it be more acceptable if the man was the one shouting, and he was the bear of the title rather than his female partner? She did unleash a scatological attack upon the poor guy. What he had done was unclear; more likely it was what he hadn’t done. The title of the piece was unavoidable, though might have been more acceptable were it the man hurling abuse.

It was what happened. Security was called. I overheard the remark, ‘woman screaming in the mall’. It was quite an event. It stopped everyone in their tracks. I could bend over backwards to sugar-coat the experience or ignore it but I’m a writer. How could I not respond to it?

Biros

I started to think about biros again, how mine was long and thin like a matchstick but it had no heft.

A biro should have heft if it is to write anything of import.

Mine is fine for writing light verse, things of flippancy and quirk.

But for something darker, more adventurous, a biro with girth is required.

Yes, I decided, for Father’s Day I’m going to request a biro with a stubby stem, a bit like its inventor Lazlo Biro

photo of Lazlo Biro courtesy of Wikipedia