Reflections in the Glass

I look out of the window in the morning, to look upon the world anew after a heavy sleep, and I wonder just what is happening to my country as I take in the news.  Antics that belong to the actions of the Freikorps in the 1920’s have taken place in the capital, and every day a new banner headline rolls across the TV sprouting more nationalist or jingoistic nonsense.  Where is the spirit of the liberal democratic freedom I grew up with?  Where are the dreams of a generation to be found?

I close the curtains, push back the duvet and climb again into my warm bed.  My voice is silent once again, but the day will come where I will raise it.  Will it be too late?

Invisible Strings

In this aged body that wonders to and fro, how it surprises me still that it can make decisions that challenge me so.  That even as I trot and roll, tumble and fall, I know not always where I shall lay either by night or by day.

In so short a time, as one drink did follow another, I chose a path that led to nowhere and satisfied nothing, but one that was taken and one that shall never be retaken or retraced.

The waves lap against my feet, sit and I stir, squirm and I fear.

The step on the train, to stay on or to get off, to work one more day in a mind numbing environment or to take that step and explore anew.

As ever my mind wanders far ahead of my body, far over green fields and glazed mountains, gliding through the fresh grass, flying through the earthly smell of animal shit.

The invisible chain is rankled only by the illusionary option of choice that lies behind the intoxicant drink but lo, no it was no dream, no it was no freedom call nor lions roar.  It was squalor to make me think that I still feel, that I still have voice or a choice.

Do I hold it dear or throw it off, should I still remain flightless but forever moving – do I dream anew or do I scream forever more?  Chained as I am to nothing new or old, nothing solid, nothing to anything or anything to nothing.

What is this fear that controls me, that so taunts and bids me do by invisible strings?  Why can’t I shake my hide and begone, begrown anew as one should do.  Do I think or feel too much or not enough, emotions barely stirring beneath the shaggy mess of adipose filth.  Or am I contained by knowing I shall never be strapped to a bed for so long as compared to when I was young, leg tied down and healing ever so slowly one day at a time.

Is it my body that is restless or is it my mind never being satisfied, my curiosity never being quite sated.  Routine, damn routine, though I hold it dear, I try to forget it’s power and forgive its fear.

Another day, yes another day then.  Give me that morning light, give me that chance.


And Slowly The River Flows

It was, he said, a matter of corporate vandalism that the building had been left an empty shell, slowly rotting from its insides.  Despicable that such a cultural landmark was left to rack and ruin by the winding river.  His dog, loyally and eagerly, bounded after the ball that he threw into the grassy field.  The park was a welcome break from the terraced housing that surrounded the area.  The gently upwardly sloping centre of the park offered treeless views of the city, of the towers of glass and steel, of the hustle and bustle of capital life, and of the four chimney building that stood vacant and listless by the waters edge.  A theme park they said!  How he laughed a hollow spiteful laugh, and now it is to be flats!  Another chuckle at the wanton piecemeal partition of business deals conducted behind closed doors.

The biggest brick building in Europe represents a suitable metaphor for the degradation of the British state, empty and morally bankrupt.  Did he say this?  I am not sure, but I felt he could have.

At night the water laps gently against the sandy shore, against the slowly rotting wooden wharves, and against the beating heart of the city itself.  The chimneys stand silent and majestic against the dark night sky, the starlight shining through the empty and barren windows.


“Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere,

underneath my being is a road that disappeared,

late at night I hear the trees,

they’re singing with the dead,


– Eddie Vedder, ‘Guaranteed‘  from the ‘Into the Wild’ soundtrack.

The thunder rolled overhead as heavy drops of rain continued to cascade over the landscape helping to soak every available surface.  It should have been night, with the lights being switched on all over the house to combat the gloom, but it was barely midday.  The three men gathered around the body of a fourth, who was laid out on a bed in a white walled room staring apologetically at those three pairs of eyes.  His body had been broken upon the rocks and amongst the waves and his soul was slowly dying as his dreams evaporated into thin air.  Nothing needed to be said, the creases of their faces passed across each and every silent message effortlessly, the passive body language no barrier to futility.

The three men stood still and as silent as ancient monoliths.

One step forward and two steps back, there was no getting away from the integral pathology of a weak body.

To combat this required not the physical exercise of the body but of the mind, to be constantly engrossed in one or another subject, to expand horizons beyond the physical.  Could it be done?  He did not know.

A Little More, A Little Less

I can see you hiding behind the delicately placed flowers, swimming in seafood colours.  I knew you were there, I didn’t want to break your incandescent smile, your wavy blonde hair bobbing up and down.

Come here child and listen to me ramble.  Among the brightest lights there are still dark spots.  Even when you think all around there is nothing but lightness they are there lingering in the background.  They protrude unwanted every now and again.  Like an unwanted relative bartering on your door, ‘let me in, let me in’, they cry and cry.

I tried to drown them out at first, thinking as one so often does that yes, yes they can be coped with unbidden ignored.  Until they start rotting slowly, festering, and then they silently feed, taking their time.  Here my child is where the fun does really start.

I notice you have a small flower, it is very beautiful.  Small and radiant, clasped tightly in your hand you are strangling it.  Let it go and watch it grow.  Bees and bugs will visit and the sun will beat down upon it, you will give it life once again.

But back to my little story shall we say, be what it may.  Imagine a cold dark alley with clouds far above the tall grey buildings, litter hugging the street and not a shade of green to be seen.  Walking along you are the only one.  Sometimes it’s once or twice a week that you imagine yourself here and then suddenly you find yourself walking among the same path everyday of the week.  It is a sudden shock, a sudden realisation.

Sometimes my child you just have to escape, take a break.  Let everything go and become nothing.  Sitting in my metal chair drinking my cup of coffee, one more before I go please waiter, I know what you will have to face.

Every day, my child, becomes a race.  Can you run a little faster?  Can you push yourself before you break and cry?  I mean not to disturb you but to bring you to your senses.  Remain a child forever more before you to grow with age, bending to meet mother earth in a cold reunion.  Enjoy what is around you each and every day and you will be fine.  Go along to your mother waiting, I will say no more and bid you, my young listener, a fond farewell…

Forgetting Is Harder Than Remembering

To all the things I haven’t done, will never do, have done or are yet to come…

Holding a loved one close as they fall asleep in a shared bed, waking up and kissing excitedly in the rush of a brand new day, walking up the highest hill in the lake district, eating a roast chicken in a car park with a friend whilst the gulls scream overhead, dance in the rain, swim in a lake as the thunder roars in the distance and the clouds gather and turn to the darkest deepest gray, walk down the aisle without metal inside my body, excavate a human body knowing that the last humans to see them were the people that buried the person, watch a person die, eat all of the salad, enjoy the sizzling sun kiss the horizon and bid the waking world goodbye, walk into the sea and swim amongst the fish, enjoy the full thrust and passion of sex, cuddle afterwards in the warm glow of two worn out bodies, taste the freshest made bread and watch as the butter melts, laugh with my nana and her best friend in the shed that they converted to a boudoir so they could smoke in peace, welcome my grandad and grandma to my hospital bed and watch with delight as they unload a heap of food out onto the waiting hospital table spilling chocolate whip warm mince potato carrots and coke, to watch the attractive form of older female nurses and wish they could kiss me good night, watch as the next muse takes off her clothes and I start to paint, to make love to a person who is older than yourself, curse the night away in a howl of desperation and pain, to ask your own mother and father to end your life as misery results from broken bones and misaligned broken stones, sitting in a graveyard reading my books and thinking thoughts,  wanting to break out of a family mentality and escape the country I was born into, flying out into the eastern bloc,  anticipation mixing with nervousness, being so happy to be away from every person you have ever known as to be stumbling over your own words, to be thankful that your friends have never changed, to be annoyed that your friends have never changed, to awake in a foreign land, feeling the rush of anesthetic as it rolls up into your arm as your blood takes it to the major organs and you start to drift off, to take a train and relive a passion, to just be happy with a finished painting, to cover and destroy and remake art, taking that perfect photograph, to being unplugged from social media and the internet, to take pictures of naked body parts in public, to bring your partner to orgasm in lush green grass and startling blue skies of the natural world, to be kissed again and again for the pure of joy of it, to reading a classic book and to get bored by it, to read a book and for it to move your world, to drive and to be driven, sleeping in and feeling the warmth of a person you love next to you, kissing the golden sands of land and drinking the lush liquid of the sea, to being selfish, to smoking the first joint of the night, taking the first pill, to not remembering when you last had sex, to want to visit all the corners of the globe, kiss every women in the world, to love yourself, and  to be thankful to be alive in this brash rude beautiful world…

It Was Not The Scattered Shot of Bullshit

“The sun was high in the sky but it was coming down, it had to.  There was a mix of clouds hovering over above the heads of the five young people as they headed north at a steady rate.  A grey gravel path, strewn with half bricks that had been buried until only a small portion of the body was visible helped pockmark the way ahead.  The air was fresh, the evening slowly coming to an end.  Grass and the occasional bulrush hemmed the gravel, whilst the trees were placed along intervals a slight distance away from the free growing vegetation.  The sound of the voices did not carry as far as he had hoped.  As he pushed on he could hear the wind rustling the leaves that dangled and grew so freely amongst this sculpted park.

Pushing up the embankment, the rubber tyres gripped the loose pebbles in a forlorn embrace, gently forcing them backwards, arms and shoulders tensing to release the forthcoming locomotion.  The journey was not to anywhere in particular, but heading only certainly away.  Was it running away?  No.  Was it a test of speed, of improvement?  No. It was the breaking away from the group at a molecular level, a tiny revolution.  No niceties about pushing, no ball haranguing the back of the chair.  No hearing of the voices drifting aimlessly over topic, time, and distance.  None of the voices accountable for the thread of human relationship, of threads that had long since broke.

Mediation on the idea and valuation of the friendship process has caused a fault within the cranial cavity.  A revolution of thought processes that, in truth, had been lying in wait to rupture for some time.  The necessary faction that was missing was the catalyst, and it surfaced as soon as the opportunity showed itself.  Missed opportunities now relate to a total rethink of current situation, perhaps too much, perhaps too little.  Now the outwardly signs of me are me.  But can the author accept the changes so readily and accept the differences in the qualities of variables?  Do friends last forever, unchanged in basic essence since time immemorial?

The man walking the dog had said that it was a nice night.  He spoke the simple truth, the essence of simplicity in a remark thrown away.  It was not the scattered shot of bullshit.  It was not the aimless topics that meandered through the night air, that so drove me away.”