A skinny five-year-old with wiry hair and copper skin,
Falls in her exhaustion, breathing dusty rubble in,
Gazing out in hope to hear her mummy’s muffled cry,
Not understanding any of the how, or what, or why.
I need to crawl beyond the screen and take her in my arms,
To help her take her mind off all the panic and alarms,
Did that Like keep you from slipping away?
Did it sing to you sweet lullabies to conjure up silence?
Did it comfort,
A light breeze rocked the baby birds asleep in their nests as the sky drew them a vast, starry blanket. Clouds became scarce, and so did all activity below. Stray cats and dogs settled under their various shelters for the night, and the dragonflies came out to play. The loudest sound that could be heard was the soft, swishing dance of the autumn leaves twirling on the pavement.
For a long, beautiful moment, everything was peaceful. The stars had all aligned for everyone, and everything was as it should have been.
CRASH! BANG! SCREEEEECH!
All moments, however, must end to make room for new ones.
If you didn’t know this about The Smiley Poet, I work as a waitress in a little Italian restaurant, and because of this I get the joy of being able to observe how different humans behave in their own individual ways. It’s fascinating, and the majority of the behaviour I observe is lovely, and makes me certain that I can help a customer enjoy their day a little bit more even though I am only a small part of it.
Some of the behaviour, however, doesn’t. The following is a plea to the people involved in that latter category.
‘What he thought of were his four children. The last time he had seen one of them was about two weeks ago, and he had received a phone call from another last Saturday for his birthday. Pauline was overseas, David had been starting up the new venetian blinds business, and Linda constantly had a sniffle, so none of them could visit. Linda was the one who had called him last Saturday on the train ride back from work.
Michael, the youngest (the youngest being 47) visited his father sometimes, but never stayed for very long. Isaac was convinced that the visits were the result of a nagging wife.
He couldn’t resent them, by any means, because he hardly knew them anymore.’
He had been in the hospital, incarcerated, for what seemed a lifetime, and preferred being around busy people. His frown lines had become deep, protruding crevices faintly covering his veins.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of when the greatest man I ever had the privilege to know – my Papa – let his heart beat its last. When it finally sank into my soul that we were actually in his final days, I became overwhelmed with memories, snapshots in my mind of all that I would consider his legacy. For his funeral, I wrote and recited the following poem. It isn’t the best for rhythm and metre and all the technical whatnot, and I’m pretty sure ‘philosophic’ hasn’t ever been a word, but it carries the most meaning for me. The words came from a teenager’s raw mourning.
Thought I’d post this today as a little half-decade anniversary tribute.
PREVIOUSLY: ‘He glared at the window, sighed in exasperation at the miserable bushes on the outside ledge, closed his eyes and tried to get some more sleep before his tea came.
If it came.
Maybe he’d get some toast.
No, they wouldn’t allow that just yet on account of his new dentures.
An hour passed. It was now 9.24am. Peter Granston had been quelled, but Cavendish was still tea-less and sitting upright in his pyjamas, staring at yesterday’s newspaper.
As the sun tiptoed ever closer, a pale, sickly hue covered Ward 57B and spread itself over the furniture: the cracked leather chair, the reflective laminate floor, and the painfully symmetrical cupboards… Most vexingly, the thin sheets of the bed of Isaac Cavendish became swathed with brightness, creating irregular shapes of white and grey across the patient’s papery legs.
Stone cold, dark grey rock sits
in the ceiling, the floor, the walls and my fingers.
No person enters herein,
No-one comes with a solution to my shackles,
I grew up amongst a very churchy environment. One of my favourite books as a toddler was my treasured Lions First Bible, in which the text was enormous and the pages danced with large pencil-drawn cartoons of men in beards and women with halos. I then went to Sunday School, Kids’ Church, and Youth Group until finally I was mature enough for the big peoples’ church services. My favourite part of all of these groups, as long as I can remember, was not the colouring in or the games or the message for the day, and it certainly wasn’t the elderly ladies who reminded me how tall I’d become during the week.