Homeless children playing football with cans.”
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.
“We measured time in paper cuts.”
Author’s Note: As you all know, I have a memory like a sieve. I’ve been turfing out some old writing, the following being one of them. I have no idea when or why I wrote it, but it seemed a pity to waste. I hope you enjoy.
I flew between ancient oaks skimming their acorns with my wingtips. I hoped they might tinkle like the bell in the old church, but they didn’t.
Out of the canopy and into a cobalt sky twisting and looping with the sheer joy of freedom, I sped unafraid, free. If this was a dream, then I’d dream it forever. If this was perfection, then I lived it through joy. I was born on the wing, born to fly. Nothing would take away my pleasure.
The pain came swift and stinging like two squadrons of wasps at my shoulders. Darkness took me, the blue sky gone.
I woke in a nest made of twigs, my feathers shorn, an aquiline face looming. Had I dreamt myself a man who wished himself a bird, or a bird who’d forgotten himself a man? And as a shadow fell and a scimitar beak loomed with cruel intentions, did it matter?
Two years! Two years of drinking more coffee than a whole family of cocoa bean addicts. That’s what it felt like, anyway. And I preferred tea. Would I have done it all again? Damn right! When I asked the barista out? She just raised an eyebrow. Still, wasn’t a no.
The elefrump flicked its long, bulbous nose, swiped at a monkling that teased it with a bullrush, missed, and stamped its massive, hairy feet. If ever a creature regretted wearing a one-piece bathing suit decorated with daffodils, it was the elefrump. Nothing else had fit! The poor creature went red with embarrassment.
Sick of being teased, and determining never to be so again, the elefrump launched itself into the lake hoping to drift away.
When the chaos settled, and all that remained was the elefrump sat in a large, muddy hole, its frown turned upside down. No more monklings. No more teasing creatures. And no more water. Mud was better, anyway.