Positivity flows between us like electric eels swimming upstream through unctuous sweat: electric, and hard earned. We blast away the toil in excessive bursts never before seen or expected. Loud is our keyword. Youth is our slogan. We wink and nod and laugh and scream. We’re ready. Bring it on. Turn up the music and to hell with them all. Then the bomb hits and we’re covered in glass. Well, it was good whilst it lasted and we’ve still a few minutes to go.
They labelled me an unnecessary expense, a price too far. I argued my case, fought my corner, but ultimately lost. Half a life gone, and all I had left was a well-bitten pencil.
I swore that day to rebuild. That pencil became my symbol, my Phoenix from the flames. I drew and planned, planned and drew until all that remained was a stub of blunt lead.
I took my plans to those who'd cast me aside, plonked them on the table and watched them drool. When the offer came, which I knew it would, I rolled up my papers and left without saying goodbye.
I own the building now. Those who caused my rebirth sharpen my pencils. They're grateful for the money. I'm grateful for the reminder.
When we are young, the transition from a crawling baby to a scampering child does not come without disaster. There is a certain inevitability about the fact we shall and do fall many times. And, that after it being witnessed by our parents once or twice, it will no longer hold the same fear. There is even less fear for the child. A baby sets its sights on something, clambers up onto its own two feet and lurches for that objective with a single-mindedness that any adult can admire. Yes, they will fall, but that child will just get right on up and try again.
As adults, we do not remember our own trials to a bipedal existence. For all those times we fell, the memories are obliterated. So I ask: when as an adult we fall even once, why is the struggle to stand again so difficult? Where is that childhood desire to regain our feet? Why are we inclined to give up? Is it to learn to keep going and never give up?
I can’t answer these questions with assuredness, but I will try like hell to act like I’m two until someone tells me to stop.
We heard the geese flying high in the sky long before we saw them. An armada of determined avians, the birds sliced through the storm backlit by lightning, their defiant honking rising above the booming thunder. So brave! Hollow of bone but strong of heart. A lesson to us all.
Brass handles spoon your palms. A shiver from head to toe; you are still alive then. The crowd bays for blood separated only by ebony doors. They’re manic, desperate.
Dark eyes close, chin lifts, fingers tighten, as the doors are flung wide. "Damn them!" you shout. "And damn me too."
Living by a river fills one’s head with dreams. You can never be sure where it leads but love to imagine where it might. I think more so at Christmas, when the water’s edge coats in ice but the river itself refuses to submit to winter. Like life really, determined.
Slipping between the pavement cracks
Chasm-like, they swallow the cities detritus
Others seem not to notice the gaping highways
Escalators straight to Hell, but I do
Each one seems wider than the next
And I fear I can no longer leap them
Don’t go out the others say, ignore them
But the challenge, the double dare if you like
Precludes that option, as I will not be swallowed
I shall not be engulfed with the filth
No, I shall run faster, jump further
Until I take flight and need to leap no more
Beneath the flickering fluorescents a moth seeks escape.
Relentless in its pursuit of freedom it strives
Banging and crashing with velvet wings,
Fragility in determined motion,
Hurling itself into an exhausted oblivion.
Pitiful, you might say.
Ridiculous, you might think.
Whereas, I admire its singleminded pursuit of destiny.
I think I’ll be a moth and strive for the light, too.