Mistrust

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 I’ve come to mistrust the little guy who lives inside my head. He used to be such a nice guy but over the years he’s become a little loopy, his thinking transgressive. Now I hardly know him. He’s a loose cannon, an IED waiting to be stepped on. Look, I say, let’s be reasonable. You can’t say that! And you definitely can’t do that! You want to end up in prison with me? Sometimes I give him drugs to quieten him, talk him down, try to get him to see reason. I love the little guy. I just wish he was more like me.

 

do you find yourself warring with yourself sometimes? how do you resolve differences? is there such a thing as a fully unified being?

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.

 

 

The Parable of the Breathing Tube

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“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 while he was put back to sleep. 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?

 

* inspired by Billy Mac’s ‘A Daughter’s Love’ from his ‘Superman can’t find a phone booth’ blog

Dodging the Bullet

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So far I’ve dodged the bullet

The Damoclean sword

But I know it’s coming for me.

I have its word.

 

It’s waiting in the rafters.

It’s waiting in the pews.

It has interminable patience

& that is not good news.

 

It knows my area of weakness

My Achilles heel.

It’s waiting for me to slip up.

It knows I will.

 

It will not be beaten.

It will not be assuaged.

I open the door tentatively.

It maybe in the yard.

The Stare

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“What are you staring at?”

“You,”

“Me? Why?”

“We are watching you unravelling.”

“There’s a word for that, a German word like watching people in road accidents”.

“Please don’t get distracted. Continue unravelling.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“We’ve been watching you. You won’t be able to prevent it.”

They were right. I was like one of those wall-mounted paper towel dispensers.

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Once the roll starts unravelling there’s no stopping it and I wasn’t done yet. There was still a metre or more of me to go.

 

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?

That Helicopter Kid

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There was this kid who stood at the back of the class

When I came to read my poems

And whenever I got boring he’d rotate

His arms like the blades of a helicopter

& the more I banged on the faster

His arms would whir

Until it looked like he’d take off

 

His teacher and the other kids paid him

No mind.

 

In the pause between poems he’d say,

You done yet?

And I’d say,

Almost.

And he’d say, Good and slow down.

And when I stopped, he’d stop.

The eagle had landed.

 

Whenever I do a reading I see

That kid at the back

His arms set to rotate.

It keeps me honest.