The Distance Between

The Distance Between


“The distance between one’s eyes and the object of their obsession cannot be measured, nor quantified.”

I thought that a bizarre statement, but held my tongue.

“Master,” said one of the bald-headed devotees. They sought to immerse themselves in their master’s teachings both mentally and physically and curry his favour. I, however, did not.

“Yes,” said the old man.

“That is because obsession does not exist. Obsession is another form of narrative for infatuation and we do not allow ourselves to become infatuated.”

The old man sighed at that, the willows in the garden sucking in then out to his breathing. He fingered his long, white beard and took a sip of water from his saucer.

“You and your brothers are exemplary.” The boy beamed. “You have taken my teachings to heart, allowed my words to flow through your very beings. What is more, I could not be more proud of you.”

I must have shuffled at that because he looked to me then with eyes that might have swallowed my soul.

“Johns-son,” he said — he never could get his lips around my westerner’s name. “Do you agree?”

The old man always picked on me, he, who at least in my opinion, had given up the most to come to him. I tried to shrink away, but my back was already against the bamboo wall.

“Johns-son?” he asked again.

“No, Master, I do not agree.”

A gasp went up from the twenty or so other students, the candles flickering off their bald pates.


I licked my lips, then said, “Obsession cannot be measured by distance.” A sigh of relief that I had acquiesced to the others beliefs rippled through the small room. “But…” a fresh breath by all “…it can be quantified.”

“Go on,” he growled.

“I feel it in my heart when I count down the hours to seeing my family again. It is my own personal obsession, master, though I realise it is not everyones.”

“So, you contradict me and your fellow pupils?”

“No, master, it is just what I feel.”

“You trust your feelings?”


The old man smiled at that, stood, as did we, and tottered from the room. I never saw him again because my teachings were over. I had nothing left to learn.

Conjoined Ghosts

I wrote this after a discussion with my evil twin….I mean long lost sister….I mean separated for her own good wonderful writer….I mean Candice ;p

You may know her better as The Feathered Sleep. Please check out her wonderful blog.

This rippling scar,
This reminder of you, or is it me?
Like saw teeth biting,
Snapping at memory,
Transgressing upon this reality,
This false impression of life;
It pains me,
I am in pain:
Are you?
Like a compass, I am drawn,
Pulled in your direction,
For I am missing
That which was taken
Abducted by force,
Stripped from my skin, our skin,
That other part of me
Who shared the womb,
Shared a space, our space;
Shared a heart
And still do.
Yes, I feel you in these stitches
That I would wrench from my side,
Tear from this wretched epidermis.
I feel you like a ghost,
Feel you like a reflection.
Do you feel me?

A Kiss on the Wind. (Micro-Fiction)

“She’s special,” he whispered.
“Was,” said I.
“She’d do the same for me.”
“She wouldn’t if she loved you.”
“Are you saying she didn’t love me?”
“No,” I replied. “Just that death is as much a part of life as life itself.”
“I don’t understand?”
“It’s like a kiss on the wind, you know it’s there even if you don’t feel it.”
“She loved the wind, storms. She’d go for walks in the wildest weather. I’d watch her from the window as she revelled in it, her hair like long grass on the plains. Nothing could contain her.”
“You can, you always could. Let her go, Dan. It’s time to let her go.”

Fingers unraveled. A ghost drifted away. I felt her like a kiss on the wind, my sister released. Dan wept, but the tempest smiled.

Visions Of Music Lost

A vision in white,
She twirled and whirled,
A mist in motion.
Who she danced for,
Who could say,
But as I peered through the hall windows,
Dirty, running with rain,
I fell in love with the music she portrayed.
I could not hear the violins,
The pianos, nor even the swelling base,
But I felt it.
Oh, how I felt it.
She danced as though her heart might break,
As though the world might end,
Then picked up her bag and walked away.
The music went with her.
I listen for it still.

The Difficulties With Time

I miss my little sister. Time slips by with relentless passage unwilling to relinquish its hold, the days only ever getting longer. Yet when we talk, text or laugh together it’s as though we’ve not spent a second apart. So how can it be that she has one child ready to leave the nest and another on the way? I cannot comprehend it. The curtains to a brand new dawn have been thrown open to a yesterday long gone. I fear for how many yesterdays still remain. Such are the difficulties with time.