Pour out your skies
damp tears, fetid fears
feeding the machine again
there is this thing of
connectivity – do we need
or reconnect, when connection
or is connection
the last thing in the world
Our mothers arrived to collect us as school was to close early. I don’t know how the message was transmitted, as there was no mobile technology then, but there was my mother at the door with the others, their headscarves tied tightly around their ears against the wind. The storm was building on the tail of some hurricane from the Mexican gulf and lashed stinging rain against our faces.
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How to install a new bathroom: cover all floors with cardboard; spread your economically thin dust-sheet on top; tell the woman of the house that it will make a mess; make sure it is a big mess, she is paying a lot of money; find the longest route through the house; tread carefully, your boots are for building-sites not hardwood floors in Newton Mearns; do not spin round on your heels; that interesting circular pattern was not there before; yes it is unique, no, her neighbours will not be envious; wear a mask when you smash the walls, she is concerned for your lungs; do not call her dear or missus; do not let her dog, cat, rabbit, run out through the gate you left open; block the top and bottom of the doors to stop the dust spreading; if you have to stick your hands down the pan, wash them; yes…
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What is it that pulls you off the beaten path? The path you’ve mapped so that each day follows the next in well-ordered progression. Where love is constant, unquestionable and unassuming as the cup of tea you bring me before work, when my eyes are half open and the bed still warm on your side.
What is it that pulls you, no me, from that long familiarity where our hands seek each other’s, unknowing. Where the beating of our hearts is synchronised to the passing of the day, mornings, evenings and afternoons, in timeless rhythm, as tuned-in as dancers on ice.
I come into the house the way I always do, hang up my coat, throw my bag down, and set out our cups for tea. But I don’t remember you. Somewhere on the path I got lost, turned away. My hand has forgotten how to find yours. I wait…
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This sculpture chilled me. The man or boy seems to have emerged from the ocean. He is pale and holds something in a bag at arm’s length. The sculptor must have had a particular story in mind. Here is mine.
The man ascends the steep bank rising from the shoreline. His head appears first over the grassy embankment. His hair is short and pressed damply to his skull, so his ears seem unusually large and stand out from his head. You note that although his nose is not quite straight, no features are striking. Nor is his body distinctive. He is slim but not muscular and you can see that his upper torso is smooth and hairless, because he wears no shirt. You are not alarmed by his partially dressed state, for although it is late, at this time…
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