Lips To Kiss

A half finished painting that sits in my room, ready to be completed some day soon.  I am an amateur artist at best, rarely dedicating time to painting and thus rarely improving.  I do however enjoy the freedom to partake in it when I feel that urge to the push paint across canvas, to see what shapes appear and what ideas formulate before me.  This painting sprang forth one day in the garden whilst I was absently scraped paint and, using a brush, picked out the lines of the lips.  Lips seem, to me, so human in the variety of the ways that we use them.  That simple delicate touch of a kiss, which can be intimate and playful or formal and curt.  That these lips also represent another pair found on the human body is, of course, pure chance but they fit within the theme of love and all of the lust, romance and passion that this involves and entails across a life well lived.

Whatever you are doing today and whatever you are up to tonight, know that you are loved in some way by some one in this beautiful and harsh world of ours.


Acrylic on canvas, painted by the author. Lips are meant for kissing and for loving. If the photograph is shared please attribute as appropriate.

5 Minutes Late

An empty can of coke, or a wrapper left by the bench side, maybe a poem half scratched into the drying concrete.  These were all the tell-tale signs of being five minutes too late.

They were empty gestures aimed at trying to maintain contact when mouth to mouth, face to face, body to body, contact could not be kept.  It was in the inorganic artefactual remains that an attempt at communication was continually made.  It happened slowly at first, becoming more gradual and intense, and then, overwhelmingly, it ultimately became depressing as Henry couldn’t maintain verbal or physical contact with those around him.

He became an invisible body, lost in the ebb and flow of a time he no longer felt that he belonged in.

He tried, at first, to scream his welcomes, his hopes, fears and joys to anyone that would listen.  He stopped by the corner-shop he visited as a child, tried to speak to the vendor of sugar coated dreams with no luck, stopped by his schools, each in turn, searching for teachers old and new.  Yet it was a hopeless and a thankless task.  Everywhere Henry visited he was five minutes too late.

He could sense the swirling of the bodies that danced around him, yet they were just an outline, never sketched in properly.  They were intangible, un-contactable.  Each minute, each hour, and each day etched into Henry’s heart a feeling of numb pain, the kind that, if you do not warn it off, becomes entrenched in the very fabric of the body.  He knew this, of course, having seen his mother and father go through the same process, but he knew that they had truly loved him, that their gift had saved their son even if it had not saved them.

The days continued into months and the months tumbled into years.  Contact, truthful heart to heart communication, remained a dim and distant prospect to Henry yet a diamond hard dream held still in his mind, that there was someone out there with who he could contact, who he could talk to, who he could be with.

Station Song

It’s 2am on an autumn day,
I’m laying in the grass thinking of you.

Forgive me if I think of you so often,
but I am tired, oh so tired.

We never did consummate our love by the bedside table, 
Instead we drank,
we laughed,
we cried…

Oh I had to leave,
had to leave you behind,

Those challenges that you were not home,
they did hurt me so…

But I knew that you would soon be back,
cradling your drink of choice.

Who by fire knew it wouldn’t last,
who could give it one more chance?

We never said goodbye properly,
I never tasted those lips one last time,

It was true that I knew it was over, though, by the ringing of the bell.
I had given my parting shot,
delivered it by look alone,

Even though we never mentioned it,
I could tell by the tone of your c
racked voice, that you wished we had not met.

We drank to our knowledge,
our new fledged independence,
Dalliances of old and… of experiences new.                                                                 Hidden by its absence was our tempted love,
in the station still,
we bid it farewell.


Photograph by author (B&W film).

A Smiling Mutt

I was on my way to the shop to get my usual poison of a can of coke and a chocolate bar when I came across him.  Looking not unlike Nigel Thornberry he bounded to and fro across the pavement walking towards me led, in part, by his beautiful blond Labrador mutt.  The mutt was young and carefree, exploring every scent that interested her, sniffing every nook and cranny and every patch of soil and vegetation between us as they closed the distance.  I could see clearly the vitality of life in her eyes and the animation of joy in her owner’s jingling safari-clad body. I loved it even more when she tried to climb onto me and the owner lovingly cajoled her back down.

The Beauty of the Ride

Like the majority of the attention from beautiful women in my life, it was a brief one-sided affair.  A quickly ordered drink, alongside an equally quickly stolen glance, had confirmed my fondness for the lady serving the said goods.  She was older than I was by a decade or two, but I could see beauty in those years, her blonde hair accentuating her beautifully full figure.  A smile was playing fast and loose on her Nordic face, with full lips that I dreamt of kissing.  Thoughts lingered as I imagined her in the throes of passion, of the love that would consume whole days and weeks in warm beds in the depths of winter, on light sheets in the heat of the summer.  There was a radiance in her eyes that I thought had once been in mine but I wasn’t sure anymore.  Instead of delving further I took my place to sit, to read quietly in the cathedral of learning.

Love, in all its many forms, can be intoxicating, and whilst I have had my share I yearn yet still for more.  Perhaps it is the human condition.  Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic.  Perhaps I have been in the desert for far too long.