So I Tried Something New

Nothing would come.

Constipation of the mind.

So what do you take?

Something new. A photo. Chosen at random.

What to call it?

The Light at the End of the Tunnel.

That’s what it’s like now.

Masks come off just before Easter.

The QR codes are gone except for medical facilities.

It has been a dark and claustrophobic journey

especially for those in isolation.

There;s the Ukraine War.

We are still in the tunnel with that one.

But it looks as if the tide is turning.

Those rigid tracks

but the train of progress has to travel

along something.

O glorious light.

See, you can get something from nothing.

Slasher

I’m jealous of the scratching post.

Whenever she comes inside, cranky from some failed endeavour or an altercation with the crows and attacks the scratching post with feline ferocity like the slasher to the shower curtain in ‘Pyscho’, I’m envious.

It sure beats walloping the wall and pummeling the pillow when things get fractious or ululating expletives to the night sky.

Is it too much to ask: a scratching post for Xmas? Man-sized , of course.

the Bunny Holding the Ball

when someone says, the ball’s in yr court

you know you have to do some heavy lifting.

It’s up to you.

If the shit hits the fan,

yr responsible.

The ball’s in yr court, remember?

I used to play tennis a lot, so the metaphor’s

sort of apt, but I remember tennis as a lot

of to and fro, you and someone else at the other end

but somehow it ended up just me:

the bunny holding the ball.

I can’t even remember asking for it.

How does that work?

Abducted

Give in.

That’s all you can do.

It’s like being bundled

in the boot

of a car,

taken by an alien

spacecraft.

You’re abducted, baby.

Whisked away

in the arms

of creativity.

Go with it.

Don’t freak out.

Forget appointments,

routines,

even food.

Work, paint, sing.

Whatever’s yr thing.

You’re abducted.

pic courtesy of The New Yorker

The Cutting Caption

M is in her cups.

Any moment now, the kookaburra cackle

the cutting off, like a hoon driver on the highway.

But for the time being I’m holding the table, telling the tale of the silver hammer beneath the front passenger seat of my car, what happens when my girlfriend spots it.

The little group leans forward, intent.

But it reminds M of something and she’s hyper now, jumps in, raucous.

This time I’m ready for her.

I took a photo today I’d like to show you. It’s for you, I say.

You did? Really?

Yes, I say, bringing it up on the screen, passing it across to her.

It’s what you do when you cut people off, how you make them feel. It’s kind of a metaphor.

She has a close look. Ouch,, she says. Lopped?

Yes, lopped.

The Way

I did not know the way to the waterfall

I was beaten,

hollowed out,

lonely as the last leaf on a tree

tramping, tramping

when suddenly my phone leapt

in my top pocket;

it was my grand-daughters,

their voices

tripping over each other with excitement,

telling me

they were coming to Adelaide,

that I would see them soon,

and suddenly

I was there, refreshed in the waterfall

of their voices,

like a baptism





*pic by Pinterest

Affliction

It wasn’t an affliction

like polio

though it crippled you

just the same.

There were no calipers

for crippled speech.

You had to hobble around

conversations

as best you could

hoping no one would notice.

They did.

When things went badly

when you were teased

you put yourself into

the iron lung of shame —

& stayed for days.

*pic courtesy on Pinterest

Shame

351px-Anarchist_black_cat.svg

From a corner of my mind it came

a timid little mouse called Shame

no one suspected no one but I

yet I saw it clearly with its ruby eyes

 

looking all around , urging a retreat

its grey fur twitched , its tiny heart beat

you can’t be seen with her like that —

the thought pounced on me like a black cat

 

& so , it implored me to do as it bid

& though no one knew , to my shame I did

 

  • illustration from Wikimedia Commons

Elephant

 

 

elefante-in-corsa-pink

 

It looked like it would stomp any minute

trumpeting in terror from being woken

after all these years.

What had we done?

What if it went berserk?

Trampled on our good intentions?

Pooped all over the room?

[Have you ever seen elephant poo?]

Or, worse, collapsed on one of us like a slab

Of cement?