You all know the idea now. Be honest, be fair, and no email stacking please, not that anyone would, of course.
1 I Love You
He stood frozen. She had never said that before. They had been friends for years. She had even spent weeks in his country. Now here he stood about to leave hers and through the unfamiliar tears she says I love you.
His brain fires off multiple thoughts at once grinding everything to a halt. It’s like the old movies with steam coating the train platform in a haze of nostalgia and everything runs in slow motion. Except this is a city bus station and the driver looks like she ate puppies for breakfast.
Should he say it back, she looks so alone. What does she mean by it? They’ve been friends for so long. Does she want more or is she just sad to see her friend leave? The biggest question of all though is does he join the departing travellers or rejoin her?
2 To Leaf or Not To Leaf
Red and yellow leaves floating on the breeze from the south.
Climate change has not affected the autumn fall as the trees shut down from the icy blast.
Chain saws remove the last two years of growth from the plum and banksia trees.
The falling leaves reveal nests hidden for so long in their protective cape.
Leaves lying on the ground covering the soil and weeds, waiting for the rain to turn them into mulch.
Sun hiding behind the clouds, the smell of fresh quince pie wafting from the kitchen.
Time to enjoy the warmth from the crackling wood fire.
Poet’s Corner red mellowing the mind.
But wait its May, time to pay the Writer’s guild and enjoy another poet’s corner at the Java lounge.
I think today might be a good day to die. I’m 70, and I am tired. I never thought I’d make it. Depression knocks you about but life drags you back. Its kids due to be picked up or a knock on the door or would be hypnotized by a dance of sun and shadow on the flooboards, or a phone call or the dog licking my hand. Suicide really can be avoided just by getting through the next 10 minutes. In places where gun control is lax the highest number of fatalities is suicide. Its easy to skip 10 minutes when death is a slip of a finger away. No more abyss to claw out of. Thoughts drift, and invade out of context and cornet of my mind reminds me I haven’t checked if the pink rose by the shed has flowered yet? I would like to die in my garden. To melt into the earth, the roots of a rose curled in the palm of my hand. I must force this old body from the chair though it takes all my strength. Reality is a picture with no depth yet an image of soft pink frilled petals and perfume calls, and I stand, I rejoin life, I will see the rose’s first blooming. It will only take a few minutes.
4 Join or Rejoinder
I really shoulda warned ya.
Be using grammar that Grammarly will scorn, yeah.
Turn the page if you’re feelin’ torn, yeah?
The premise is the audience you’re to reach,
oh this you’re to ponder.
Means and ends, you’re feelin’ mean.
because you’re seein’ wicked kings.
But who speaks out, rattle their status quo?
Is it somebody you doth know?
Audience to such ends, grow.
But reach, a platform, a rebuilt step on the king’s broken ladder.
A place to launch mission.
Take a seat if you’re a fellow mad hatter!
Yeah, king’s coin at entry to tea party.
Ends and king’s meanness emphatically thematically can’t be told apart-ly.
Have to play the game to break the game,
contradiction and conflict at the heart of art.
You wanna live forever, marine? Or do you wanna head start?
Re-join to rejoinder, I’m gunna say it matters.
For a rejoinder at a TV screen just spatters.
En masse they hear our sabres rattlin’,
Re-join to rejoinder, audience be matterin’
Find your cause, writing prose no pause, open doors, rewrite laws, compassion calls.
But above it all, resist the fall, find the gall, re-join to deliver rejoinder all!!
Zeitgeist is waiting
5 You’re In or You’re Out
‘Hey, come over here and join us,’ Ted hollers, gut straining against a dirty shirt, the belt losing the battle. He wipes his nose on a sleeve and pulls up another stool, beckoning.
‘Pour us another one Pat,’ he yells to the barman. ‘And one for this good looking sort,’ he adds, leering at the woman approaching the bar.
‘No thank you, I don’t want a drink,’ she retorts, lips pursed as she backs away.
‘Hey don’t get uppity with me missy,’ he snapped. ‘Doesn’t hurt to be civil; too good for us here hey?’
He lunges towards her, falls off the stool and plunges head first onto the edge of the bar. Blood spirts from his crusty scalp.
His mate grabs him, hauls him to his feet. ‘Come on Ted, you’ve had enough, time we went home.’
‘Bitch, who does she think she is,’ Ted grumbles and glares at the woman. ‘What do you expect, coming in here to the men’s bar, dressed like that,’ he barks.
‘Don’t worry about it Ted,’ his mate mutters, giving him a pat as they head towards the door.
‘I’ll be watching you!’ Ted yells out.
‘Take no notice of him miss, he doesn’t mean any harm’, the barman chortles. He gives a jerk of his head. ‘The ladies lounge is out the back.’
6 To Go or Not to Go?
It’s that time of year again. Australia Day. Which means only one real thing – start of the school year.
Tomorrow I start the treadmill again – try to get him up in time for school. That means try to get him to bed tonight at a decent time. But can’t stop the in-bed stimming. No iPad, no TV, no radio, not even a book. But still he stims. And loud. Enough to keep me awake. Allowing me the pleasure to lie in bed and worry.
Once we are finally there, it will be dealing-with-the-new-teacher time. After that is dealing with the new integration-aide …
I’ve learnt to dispense with homework long ago. Don’t bother with the readers. Once he’s home it’s Golden Gaytime, Playschool, then the trampoline, right up to teatime.
Imagine. Imagine. If we didn’t join, if we homeschooled. I take him to the zoo, the beach, bushwalking; we could try to identify every bird in Australia, then maybe the world. Go to bed when we want, get up when we want. Maybe after a few years I’ll regret it – but sounds too attractive now.
If I can … reach down … find the phone. Good. Scroll through, switch off the alarm. Sigh! Now roll over and go to s l e e p …