The Birds and the Bees
The leaves hung like hummingbirds hovering for food. In swarms of suspended metals, autumn’s glinting deposits waited to settle on the scorched ground.
Next came the wind. Warmer than a lover’s kiss, colder than a refusal, it took me in its swirling embrace unsure whether to throttle or enfold. Me and that last of all trees in that last of all places.
Those leaves that remained whipped about like bees stinging at my skin, my throat, my everything. In beauty, I died.
We all did.
“Watching the lonely grow lonelier, I grow lonely too.”
The Ghost Writer
Homeless children playing football with cans.”
It was an idea, a fanciful dream. I packed nothing and left everything.
The plantations were green, not brown. A prevailing wind filtered out the sounds of humanity’s pickers but the life I had wished for never existed.
I returned home deflated. My mum smiled and offered me a coffee.
Beneath the veneer, the sparkling wit and quaffed hair lay the remnants of a soul in despair; it was his eyes that gave him away. They were lost. He would always be lost.
I pitied him then, turned away with the broadest back. And though he spat venom, riled and roared, it missed on all accounts. So weak!
I left him to his collected friends and so-called compatriots like grapes on the vine missed in the picking. Worthless, a vintage fit only for insects, he’d rot into the soil without ever knowing what it was to taste champagne.
Folded. Yes, folded. They bend and score and twist and press, but I will not be made as they. Not for a day. No, not a day.
Opened. Yes, opened. All flowers must bloom, petals unfurling to take in the sun. The butterflies will come. Yes, they will come.
Beautiful. Yes, beautiful. This world of colour and texture and light and sound. It’s magical when you look. Folded? No, not I.
“Like my writings, I’m erased.”
The Ghost Writer
Forgotten to Bloom
Every morning the flowers in the meadow raised their heads. I watched them from the riverbank as a scirocco licked my bare legs and arms, the birds and the bees, too.
Summer lasted longer than normal; each new year the same. Still the flowers clasped shut unwilling to colourise my little corner of the planet. Still I waited. We all waited.
The first snows of a late winter happened overnight. I stepped out into a world of freckled frosts and individual snowflakes. The flowers, at last, cold and confused, had bloomed.
They died the same day as confused by man’s earth as us all.
They attacked with banging guns and booming rockets, an unnecessary commotion, striking as though we were leaves on an autumn tree awaiting winter winds. Perhaps we were in our russet way?
Fall, some called it, the time when one generation made room for the next. Whether or not the giant oak wished it, all it had nurtured, its beloved children, were expunged.
We fell tumbling to the ground in swamped screams. They heard us though. Everyone heard us. And like the tree that bore us, our country, we’d be reborn. For leaves die in silence but their rustling echoes forever.