It’s 5.54am and I’m wide awake. Continue reading
Hi and welcome to the new bat cave. It’s with great sadness that I have to show you an empty cup and seat at the table today. My friend, work colleague and a great supporter of my work, has passed away. A gaping hole will be left in our school and our hearts at her loss. She was a true fighter, battling cancer and still putting others and her work first till the very end. There are few people you meet in life who show such strength and endurance beyond a normal human capacity – she was one of them.
So, as we sit together in the new bat cave, I propose a toast: to Rebecca. May we continue with even half the strength, motivation and love she shared with this world and change the lives of those around us for the better, just as she did.
This is a poem I wrote the year my mum passed away. Even though Christmas has passed, I thought I would share it again as a special tribute to her, my little bird!
Now the clock is ticking
Santa is drawing near
We’ve put up your Christmas decoration
Since you won’t be here
No struggling, cursing, crying
To get you through the door
And the happy sense of achievement
When your wheels touch the kitchen floor
We won’t choose the meal together
Since last year’s meal was your last
No fighting over whose house to visit
Now that you’re in the past
I’m going to try not to miss you
When I don’t see you sitting there
Children reaching to open their presents
They’ve kept back, so that moment, with you, they could share
Every minute of Christmas this year
Will breathe in for a new tradition
As you, dear Mum won’t be there
Since you’ve taken a life-long intermission.
They say, running away from your problems solves nothing. Well, I love to be different! Continue reading
Three weeks ago I sat here, in my living room, watching my companion – my shadow – suffer through dehydration and what I thought was just a severe gastrointestinal problem – curable and recoverable. Sprockets are notorious for eating crap when given the opportunity. Little did I know that in a few hours, I would lose him.
If typos appear, blame the blurred vision. To say that time heals all wounds is as comforting as punching me in the gut and expecting me to say thank you. Imagine, just for a second, that a sliver of light appears that changes your family from self-absorbed consumerists into loving, attentive people worrying about another creature’s well-being more than their own. Now picture Henry.
I loved Henry and the family loved Henry. He now sits on our fireplace in a wooden box and we pretend we have him close. The dust in the box and the empty spot next to me tells me otherwise.
Yes, I’m still grieving. Deal with it.
Consume my physical receptacle
Pool your passion as you will
Favour the inevitable
As I swallow the bitter pill
Of realising your incompetence
Of being more than a physical presence
Leave me yearning for more substance
In my search for a soulmate’s essence.
I feel as though bits of me are slipping away. The more I fulfil my dreams, the more my essence fades. Where is the balance between my destiny and my provenance? The journey doesn’t secure a link to both. Though I’ll gladly discard the parts that are unsecured and tangible, the rest I want to retain.
I feel as though bits of me are slipping away. Maybe one day I will awaken to the butterfly and not the caterpillar. Until then, my doubt lingers like the promise of metamorphosis.
You’re sitting at the coffee house, Mihran’s house band is playing and Harry is reciting some of the poetry from his blog. In walk your three favourite people in the whole world (these are the shiznits; the people that make you wake up in the morning and smile because they are still on this planet with you). The barista calls out your order and you find a larger sofa, snug enough to accommodate the three and big enough to allow your elbows to reach for coffee mugs steaming with your favourite beverage.
Suddenly, one of the three favourite people in your world disappear. Poof! Just like that. Forever. What would you do? Would you go searching for the one or watch over the two that remain next to you, upset but safe. The music plays on and the poetry takes a sombre tone. You don’t mind because in your head, you’ve lost someone that captured your heart at some point.
Now if you decided to run out and find the lost soul, your journey takes a sad turn. You end up close to the river that runs alongside the lane leading out from the coffee shop. Though the stars are there to witness your heartbreak, there is no-one to comfort you as you’ve left the coffee house. You can turn back. It’s up to you.
If you have decided to stay in the coffee house, your special two hold onto you as you confess how much it hurts to have lost one of them. They take it in turns to reassure you that they will be there for you and will comfort you in your time of sorrow. But…(you know where I’m going with this)…Poof! Another special someone disappears leaving the last one remaining. What do you do? Follow the same path as before or choose differently now that you know how the loss feels?
For those who run out after the lost soul, the same rule applies as before: you end up by the river, alone with the stars, weeping into the dark waters that don’t stop for time nor sorrow. Return to the coffee shop or go home, alone.
Those that stay and hold onto their last remaining special someone, you know what’s going to happen. I confess, it’s like playing Russian Roulette. I could lie to you and say your special someone is safe in your loving arms, never to be taken away, but life isn’t like that, is it? Just as you recover from one loss, another special person disappears from your life and leaves you bereft. Maybe I am too cynical for some, but reality bites. Shit happens. We all die.
In all honesty, I am that someone sitting on the yellow sofa, hugging onto my special someones. Each day, I watch them either disappear or someone close to them go and it hurts. It might not need to affect me directly, but their pain indirectly hurts because we all know what it’s going to feel like. It’s similar to taking your firstborn to their first round of vaccinations. You know that it’s inevitable and a necessary part of life, but you want to cry before the needle has even appeared!
My waffling today is driven by another loss; another person left this world and with their parting, a gaping hole appeared in the ether. I hope I don’t lose you – any of you, but I’m not naive enough to believe that you won’t go at some point. We all do, one way or another. At least, in this world, when you go, I know you will still be living on the same planet as me – maybe not following me and supporting me, but breathing and loving and eating. That for me is enough.
As I lift my mug and salute you, I thank you for being here, in my coffee house with me and sharing my madness. For after all, aren’t we all a bit crazy to believe we meet for coffee in the ethereal world? Maybe. Maybe not.
When you heart stops fluttering
When those thrills stop coming
I was your one, your forever
Sending chills to your members
Stop the cussing, I still love you
Broken hearts fusing without glue
Hold the angry words, the hatred
I shared your bed, love unabated
Cold nights alone, you’re out there smiling
New sweethearts, new relations shining
Still as my tombstone, you remember
Celebrate my memory, birthday’s in November
Image courtesy of favim.com
I couldn’t resist participating in Hugh’s Photo Challenge as the theme was in keeping with Valentine’s Day. Hugh posts a challenge each week, adding a special touch with his own photo on the theme and the story behind it.
Here is my contribution:
A gingerbread man with a heart might not reflect love, but it’s the memory of it that makes it so special. This little gingerbread man was made by my children over Christmas last year. So much time and effort went into his shape, decoration and taste, and it was the pride of the bunch.
We have always wanted to make a lovely gingerbread house, and we plan on building on our baking skills to that end.
He was the start of something new for our Christmas tradition, something to replace the empty moments my mum filled with her presence and love.
So, there’s a lot of love and memories in that little gingerbread man!
Don’t forget to check out Hugh’s challenge and maybe post your own picture.
Thanks for reading.
Writer, Creative Writing Tutor
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