Friday, 18 November 2011

The Day Uncle Derek Died

Just while we're on the subject...

The day Uncle Derek died
there was a knock on the door, but no-one there,
and his long-dead dog, much loved, was seen, for a moment, in the kitchen.
The family gathered with solemn face and downcast eye,
half-shrugs, handshakes, hugs.
Someone put the kettle on, so we drank some tea.

The day Uncle Derek died
there were balloons next door, and birthday banners,
a bouncy castle and the sound of children playing.
A car arrived and through the house a whispered echo spread
the doctor’s here...the doctor’s here...
best put the kettle on and make some tea.

The day Uncle Derek died
we sat outside, and watched some flies,
and talked of who would have his pigeons and two of the cats.
No-one wanted to be the one to phone the undertaker,
to say that he was gone,
so we put the kettle on, and drank more tea.

The day Uncle Derek died
his sisters sat and spoke of 
jokes and laughter, tricks he used to play.
I bought a lottery scratchcard, because that’s what Uncle Derek did
when he knew he was going to die. 
I didn’t win. Nor did he.
Back home, I put the kettle on, and made a cup of tea.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The first conversation I had after I learned that my brother had died.

I am sharing this because my dearly loved, unique, eccentric brother would have liked this story. I can hear his laughter as I write.

I was in Oakengates, Telford for a theatre performance which I learned, on arrival, had been cancelled. I had about 40 minutes until the next train for Wolverhampton so I decided to look for somewhere to have a bite of lunch. This was no mean feat in Oakengates but I eventually located a likely looking cafe and was walking towards the door when my phone rang. 

As soon as I saw it was my sister's number I knew what the call would be, and had little choice but to take it there in the street. She told me that Andrew had died. 
We knew he was terminally ill (he'd been in hospital over the weekend) but until three days before we'd all thought that he'd be with us for a while yet. We hadn't adjusted to the new timetable, had not enough time to prepare, but then again, is there ever enough time? 
My sister and I spoke for a few minutes and to be honest I'm not sure what was said by either of us. As the call ended I put my phone into my bag, took a deep breath, and walked into the cafe.

I looked at the menu, walked to the counter and asked if I could have scrambled eggs on toast.
"and could I have mushrooms with that, please?" 

 "Yes..." said the lady behind the counter.
 So far so good.

"...and do you want brown bread, or white?" 

I burst into tears.

"Oh, sorry," she said, 
"perhaps I shouldn't have asked"

I apologised but was quite unable to tell her why I was crying.

There is now a woman in Telford telling people about the strange customer she had in the cafe who obviously needs help with her bread issues.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A Fishing Prayer

Worm and pellet, corn and bread,
Cast offerings to the riverbed.
By chub and perch, by roach and dace,
Grant me good fishing in this place.

For stone and gravel, reed and bank,
The water goddess I must thank,
And leaf and flower and branch and tree
For shade and for tranquility.

To bream and gudgeon, ruffe and rudd
Respect I offer, true and good;
To grayling, salmon, barbel, trout
Reverence and praise devout.

Hook and line and rod and reel,
Thy rituals help my soul to heal.
Carp and eel and tench and pike
Please grant forgiveness for my strike.

Friday, 4 November 2011

all apologies...

...this is just a short post to say sorry for the big gaps between blog posts at the moment.

strange times.

hoo hars and 
occurences occuring.....

UN nerving

a sense of 

The glass is neither
half full nor
half empty
>flinches< away
out of range


for it.