She Needs Cheering Up

I need cheering up, she says. I work better when happy.

A shared laugh would help, she adds.

So it’s down to me. What am I? A stand-up?

I can’t think of anything funny to say.

It’s a lovely sunny morning in spite of the forecast

so that’s something to be happy about

but happy isn’t funny.

I riffle through my corny joke book but she’s heard them all

even the good ones, like what do you call an Igloo without a toilet?

An Ig !

I thought that was pretty good but all it elicited was a groan.

And anyway, how necessary is it to be happy when you’re working?

Take art. Some of the best paintings were birthed in rage and fear.

Think ‘The Scream’ by Munch, Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ or Bacon’s ‘The Screaming Pope’.

You don’t read ‘In Memoriam’ for a good laugh or listen to ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ for a bit of a lift.

These did not come from a happy place.

Sure, being in a happy place helps, but you’re not going to get the dark matter, the weight if you’re buoyant as a balloon.  

pic by John Currin on Pinterest

Zen

This is Max.

He’s a happy lab.

Bathed in love.

Now he’s bathed

in water.

A dog wash.

Every muscle,

every fibre

slouches in a beanbag

of content.

Max is in the moment.

Talking to You

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Talking to you was great.

I felt the weight

lift off me right away.

Going to you was like

passing from night to day.

You gave me validation.

Said what I was feeling

was okay.

You were the genie that took

my anxiety away.

No more heft, no more gloom.

I floated out of that room.

* have you got someone to talk to who can lift the weight right off your shoulders?

Maria

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But when I go to pay the fine

surprise, surprise, there’s no waiting game.

Someone picks up straight away.

The voice is chirpy like a canary.

It’s like a change swept through the place

I tell the lady.

I tell Maria.

She even has a name.

People always quick to take your money, I say.

She even chuckles.

I don’t know if it’s put on or genuine

You take what you can get.

The lines to the other sections I say, the ones

asking for extensions, leniency,

were always clogged with callers

And when you finally got through

a graveyard voice answered. like Lurch from ‘The Adams Family’.

She chuckles again.

She brings out my inner stand-up.

But your line, I say,  lit up like a Xmas tree.

She glows,  gives me the receipt number.

She’s still chirpy, wishing me a good weekend.

I feel light as a glider. The fine is off my chest.

 

 

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.

Greater Expectations

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Someone once said to me, Expect the Unexpected.

It seemed daring at the time so I took it on board.

The only problem was because I expected the Unexpected all the time I wasn’t really surprised when it happened.

It was expected, right?

Life was losing its surprise factor.

I felt heavy as a watermelon.

My counsellor suggested — wait for it — Expect only the Expected.

So I do,

When the Unexpected happens I light up like a lantern

twinkle like a star.

It wasn’t expected, right?

The Perverse Mathematics of Anxiety

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Something niggles you

All week

Like a nail

 

in yr shoe

And you put up with it

That’s what

 

You do.

And then it’s all over

In two minutes

 

Flat

and you wonder

hey! why did I

 

Ever worry that?

But listen up! here’s

the sting:

 

The very thing

You gave no thought

to at all

 

burdens you all week

like an extra ball

in yr pants.

 

Life is brief.

Loosen up. Don’t worry.

Dance

An Optimistic Place

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It’s in an optimistic place.

You can tell by the smiley face.

But multiplied some twenty times?

Such duplication seems a crime.

“It’s over the top. Visual excess.

One of you is enough”, my son-in-law says.