Apr 27, 2017

words like onions


I am conscious, and so the dream stops.

No moving pictures, shapes, color, or sound.

A blank rectangle like an old turned off television set.

My eyes are stitched I cannot open them.

A little hand inside my mind is pressing the wakeup button.

I am still sleeping and yet aware!

The world is already made, a used, reiterated, exhausted world.

Everything has been said before, chewed on and spat,

like a popular book that’s been borrowed a thousand times

put back on the shelve for another pair of hands.

In this magnificent crack between what is and the tenuous,

I can go back as far as my imagination allows, the before is endlessly vast.

A fetus in a dark womb, with fins for hands, before the split of fingers.

I learned to use them, on and on. Opening and unwrapping, to reach

an understanding, which again and again, slips through split fingers.

When people gave me words and told me to be grateful. Words, like onions

I peeled and peeled on them, tearful.





Apr 13, 2017

The Memory



I try to grab on to a beautiful memory. Nothing particularly special or grand, we’re in the park, Jori playing on the bungee trampoline, me watching from a distance, smiling because she’s smiling, while eating what seemed to me then (and still) like the most delicious bar of Twix I have ever tasted. The memory a few years old, but vivid. Hold it, I say to my heart – my mind shooting from one negative thought to the next like a monkey -  Hold that image. Surrender to it completely. I can’t describe it in detail, describing it diminishes it; the colours, the sounds, how the breeze felt, how the trees swayed, the smells, the powerful feeling of being there, fully there. The ethereal nature of memories, how they exist so beautifully when not captured in words, or pictures, in the limbo of time and space, on the edge of reality, in the belly of something resembling a past.

I am still walking while holding on to my precious memory. Sometimes I can change what we were wearing that day, today I decide I was wearing my red coat, Jori was wearing a blue jumper. “I want to be at peace, I want to be at peace, I want to stop hurting, I want to stop hurting” I wrote in my  affirmation journal this morning. I will write more tonight: “I want to be at peace, I want to stop hurting, I want to laugh again”. A cockerel wanders out of a front garden. I stop and stare in amazement; its unusual shape, its mesmerizing colours, the magnificence of its stride. It considers me with interest for a moment. I am struck by the beauty of its creation. What incredible imagination, what skill, what majesty can conjure up this being, this fascinating design?

From my window, I see the old man from the building across, tired looking, out on his little balcony, smoking. Sometimes, our eye meet for a split second, he turns his gaze not wanting to seem invasive. In that split second we communicate, no words, no previous introduction, or encounter. I say how hard life is, I say how pain - in some twisted way - is good. I say, I don’t approve of his smoking, but I understand, because I’ve used similar methods of escape too. He says, don’t worry I’m not a creep, I’m not trying to invade your privacy, I’m not a pervert sneaking a glance in someone else’s home, I just need this little release, this little escape, my family won’t let me smoke inside the apartment. He sits down, in what seems to me like a very uncomfortable squatting position. In profile, he supports his tilted head with his free left hand, and lights up another. Behind a selection of dusty brooms, hanging laundry, and a small empty bird cage, he’s almost completely hidden. He says, life is hard, and strange, and wonderful.

Somewhere, in another dimensional existence, I’m wearing my long grey coat, Jori is wearing her fluorescent pink jumper, she’s smiling while bouncing high up on the bungee trampoline, I’m watching at a distance smiling, munching on the most delicious bar of Twix I have ever tasted.   



Apr 6, 2017

27 bones



There are 27 bones in a hand.

I examine my left hand carefully, I think of how much work it leaves up to my right.

I try to imagine how many hands I’ve touched, thousands? None memorable.

None particularly soft, or particularly kind, or particularly warm.

I love to hold my daughter’s hands, the smallness of them, the honesty of them.

My hands are bodies, they are souls in their own right, they have a knowing and a conscious.

The way they naturally long for something, the way they avoid, the way they pray,

the way they wrap around me when I’m enduring, to comfort me, pretending not to be me, and yet belonging to me.

My hands can love and they can hate.

My hands have eyes.

My hands have dreams and aspirations.

My hands; passionate, talented, strong, loving, severe.