I try to write serious, sensible poetry, about love and loss and disabled dragonflies with a weak spot for cable ties, oh dang it, I’ve done it again. I start off contemplating the true meaning of solitude and then things quickly escalate into talk of fridge magnets with algebra issues.
It just happens. The green squiggly line in Word has a field day, yelling out, ‘this makes no sense!’
I guess that having a kid, and being a big kid myself, really helps.
My daughter Emily once spilt a glass of milk and it looked like a little person, and then she took the glass away and it looked like a little person playing with a ball. We called him Geoff. We still talk about him, and reminisce about the good, milky times.
Another time I asked Emily to please get me my pear from the kitchen, and she replied that it wasn’t there. We then spent the whole morning making a book, titled ‘The Pear Who Wasn’t There’.
It was kind of sad, Clare (the pear) was in a wheelchair and she met a bear who had a threadbare jumper, but they enjoyed each other’s company nonetheless and shared an eclair, which was a high point in their relationship, but then the bear realised that Clare wasn’t actually there, so things got dark again. I think it had loads of hidden meaning, not quite sure what though. I’ll leave that to Cliff Notes.
I like to bring things to life (sandwiches, spectacles, card-readers etc) and show a different side to them, because their world is just as interesting and bright as ours, but it just gets drowned out by their purposiveness.
Strip them bare (ask them first, obviously) and you’ll find such things as the Pear who wasn’t there. Maybe even an eyelash-curler with a serious lack of self-esteem, or the salt-shaker who forever has ‘We Will Rock You’ stuck in their head.
Your cutlery drawer is full of ill-mannered forks and well-meaning spoons and that one tin opener who nobody mentions (Christmas Party ’08).
There are stories and poems everywhere, and in everything.
I waited for you
Like an expectant mother
Tracking your progress
The words scalding me like a car seat safety strap buckle which has been inside a car, because that’s where it is, on a scalding hot day
Out for delivery
Like you, Pedro
I went to the shops that day
Monday 21st December 2015
That date etched forever in my mind, my heart
Like the Wednesday 4th January 2012, when I bought a magical sieve
I saw the van
Bold, yellow, striking
Ran like the wind, ran like a runner
A bad runner, with poor eyesight
I ran to you, dear Pedro
I caught you
Or did you catch me?
The first time I saw you
Wasn’t so great actually, for I could not see
But then I put you on
And everything became clear
I showed you my world
For you enabled me to see it
You were my protector
My closest ally
The first thing I reached out for in the mornings
The last part of me I took off at night
For you were a part of me, dear Pedro
An integral part actually
I knew your shape
Your tender parts
But then, you broke
And I fixed you, dear Pedro
With speed glue (superior to super)
Again you broke
Black nail varnish
Again, oh Pedro, why?
And then came
The gaffa tape
Carrying scissors and gaffa tape in my rucksack
How could you?
How could I?
Pedro, I’ll never sleep with you again!
Pedro, I’ll clean you with a proper cloth specially designed for cleaning glasses with!
I stroked your bandaged arms and ignored the speed glue (superior to super) irritating my ears and the gaffa tape getting wet from my tears and slowly peeling away and the black nail varnish flaking away like my soul
It’s time, dear Pedro
Rest your weary arms
So goodbye, dear Pedro
Fare well, Godspeed
You gave me more than just sight
You gave me, me
The ABC of Violet and Zachary
A long, long time ago there lived a sandwich.
Bacon, lettuce and tomato were its contents.
Cucumber was not.
Days went by and no-one ate the sandwich.
Every day, the sandwich longed to be eaten.
Fourteen days went by and still, the sandwich stood eagerly on the shelf.
‘Gee’ said a bag of salt and vinegar crisps, ‘you’ve been here for ages.’
‘Hmm’ said the sandwich.
‘Indeed I have, but I shall not get disheartened, for it is my destiny to be eaten.’
‘Jesus’ said the bag of salt and vinegar crisps ‘you’re mad, no-one will ever want to eat you, you’re starting to smell!’
Kissing in the corner were two grapes.
‘Love’ thought the sandwich ‘one thing I will never know.’
Midnight fell on the shop and the sandwich wondered if he’d survive til morning.
Next day, the shopkeeper opened the doors and a flood of people scurried in.
‘Oh’ thought the sandwich ‘this looks promising.’
‘Pickled onions, yum’ said one man.
‘Quavers, yum’ said another.
Realising that the competition was fierce, the sandwich decided to do something he’d never done before.
‘Tasty! Yummy! That is me! Have a bite! You will see!’
‘Unbelievable,’ said a lady in a pink tracksuit and a green ribbon in her hair ‘a talking sandwich!’
‘Violet is my name and I should like to eat you.’
‘Well,’ said the sandwich ‘that is all very well, but I am full of bacteria and do not wish to harm you, for you are so very beautiful.’
Xylophones, glockenspiels and violins suddenly began to play the sweetest music, as the two realised their love for each other.
‘You truly are an amazing sandwich’ said Violet ‘and I love you to the ends of the Earth and back, and to show my love for you, I will eat you, as the bacteria I shall feast upon will give me a long-term illness, which will remind me every day of the love that we shared.’
Zachary, for that was the sandwich’s name, cried out in ecstasy as Violet sank her teeth in to his mouldy flesh.
Intro and poetry by Samantha Lacey
Feature shot: Emily in good old milky times. (Photo by Samantha Lacey)