Stage IX: Dali (and the mysterious Aubergine)

你好!Nihao! Hello!

Salvador Dali has nothing to do with the Yunnan city of Dàlǐ (大理). The draw to Dali has been the art district, cycling, the coffee and cafe culture and my friend Echo. Also, wherever I’ve been in China, everyone mentions the comfortable weather of Yunnan.

Echo or Eck published a poetry little picture book recently. She’s made her nomadic home in Dali. Here she’s honing her artistic talent, existing comfortably and living happily. I dropped by (via Guiyang and Kunming) from Chengdu, Sichuan province to say hello. I told Echo I’d arrive on Sunday but Saturday afternoon, walking by the Terra coffee shop seemed as good a time as any. Yunnan is great for growing coffee and Dali has no shortage of coffee shops.

A good old chinwag and catch up preceded a walk through the ginnels of Dali’s ancient old town to a door in a wall. The door was open and smooth tempting beats were gently rolling out. Ducking below the low entrance, an Old-styled yard with greenery and tables greeted us. Echo’s friend (or should I say complication?) Yali and his brother were serving up delicious pizzas. The pomegranate tree nodded towards the range of locally-produced liquors. Here Echo introduced me to Myrtle Bee, a girl named QiéZi (茄子 or eggplant/aubergine). There were several others but my recollection for names had by now been overwhelmed.

Meanwhile my mouth had been delighted by a cream cheese and tomato pizza, followed by a further shared pizza with zucchini and deliciousness on top. The pesto dip was a smart move. A side salad featured a baked cheese and rocket lettuce. It was a bit too salty for my pallet, but overall very tasty. The funky beats faded and a disappointing bar called King Cat followed. The music wasn’t my cup of tea, but it saved wading through deep puddles and high-bouncing rain. After a later than expected hour, I arrived back to the Jade Emu China Australia International Youth Hostel, only to find my swipe card to enter didn’t work. The matter resolved itself and I slipped off into dreamland.

I didn’t need a sign for Cāngshān (苍山). The imposing green and cloud-kissed range of peaks. The Didi taxi driver from Dali railway station to the hostel had given ample chance to view the waving weaving green peaks. So, with a late rise and a belly full of good food, I set out for a waterfall recommended by a friend. On passing a set of small waterfalls, I headed up a track made by goats or sheep or possibly very narrow humans. The steep track disappeared and I soon found myself jutting between soft earth, trees and huge fluffy plants. By which stage I’d reached a ridge, with a very confuddled water turbine worker, who then directed me up a hidden pathway towards the top ridge. It was a tough but pleasant trail.

The undergrowth swept away to reveal a near-hidden valley tucked between two mountain ridge lines. I wandered down, dipped my feet, watched the butterflies and listened to the idyllic birdsong. One can definitely relax when clouds cuddle the mountains above, and gentle breezes softly drift around your chest whilst your feet are in chilly flowing waters.

Once again Busa called for dinner. Their second opening night led me to catch up once again with Echo, her Yali and other friends. The waitress Hazel, from Changde, took an interest in the book I was reading. A few days later, the tatty and soggy paper back was left for her to read. Echo’s friend QiéZi invited herself to my next walk the following day. Cāngshān (苍山) once again would be the wandering space.

With little barefooted QiéZi (who is no taller than 155cm), we set out towards the Cloud Jade pathway of Cāngshān. Passing the chair lift to our left, then our right, then left again we ascended. Stopping for Pu’er tea, a coffee and a snack at a park Police point seemed reasonably normal. The local boss had her grandson playing with leaves as she served a refreshing brew to us both. We left behind the options of hospitality and wandered paths here, there and everywhere. My pigeon Chinese and a relaxed mood made the afternoon to evening a satisfying and contented ramble.

By about 8pm, after almost eight hours of moving forwards, we descended through dark shadows and paths more at home in the deepest darkest parts of JRR Tolkien novels. Emerging from utter darkness, with only the company of fireflies, seemed to take a while but the adventure was nevertheless a great day out!

The next day (which is today, now) I decided this town needs a little more of my presence. I decided for the remainder of the holiday that I’d be here or there, but not so far from Dali. Why not? A place that puts a smile on your face and opens you to the nature around it, isn’t all bad! Ian Fleming penned some of his books in his Jamaican home of Goldeneye. Perhaps a few days in Dali and I may have found my Goldeneye.

However, a few hours later, I changed my mind. Have shoes, will walk. I will keep looking for answers and smiles.

Zai Jian! 再见!Goodbye!

Hard sleeper.

Six cubic square metres. Space teeters.

Six bunks for warm souls. Sheets full of holes.

Sun beating in from the west. No rest.

Mountains to the east. Facing it with a feast.

Crispy chips and crunching cake. Smelly food they did take.

Coughing and spluttering. Aisle cluttering.

Masks off blowing noses. Ring a ring of roses.

Hot as a desert sauna. Flying biting fauna.

Whatever is that smell? Food bell! Food bell!

Smooth until the shunts. Wheels at the stunts.

Clickety-clack along the long track. No way back.

Bow.

Can’t you feel it? The constriction as the noose tightens and the drop comes closer. The darkness is consuming the light, casting a deep shadow over hope. The smell of victory blew away in a storm’s gust. The sound of a clock’s hands tick ever louder and the pendulum swings with urgency raising your heart’s beat to higher peaks. Chalky dry dust whips up to the lips, parched, cracked and dry in the moonlight. Will another day bring a new sunrise?

What am I?

I breathe deeply yet have no air.

I shuffle and jiggle not in a chair.

I play hard, read well but do not share.

I’m round, long and not a fair fare.

I’m the riddle that you tweak and fiddle.

I’m the sound of the tinkling-rinkling piddle.

I’m the puzzle that at night you diddly diddle.

Giggle all you want, I’m the wink at the tiddle.

I’m the value of the bat’s shadowy wings.

I’m the voice the icy valley sings.

I’m the rhyme at a time that brings.

I’m all manner of great abundant things.

Scribbled whilst trekking in 2017.

It shall pass.

Just as the hour seems darkest;

and your energy seems the lowest;

with your mood at its most testing;

remember, it shall pass.

As darkness battles hope;

raging on relentlessly;

Crushing and pushing your boundaries;

take note, it shall pass.

Because your heart is stronger;

and all before you is more powerful;

we’ve been here before;

it too, it shall pass.

Kneeling down regurgitating water;

grasping the walls as your sphincter trembles;

convulsing on an empty stomach;

soon be over, it shall pass.

The wind of hope messages;

kind acts replenishes;

a moment of support noted;

I believe, it shall pass.

I wanna follow you

I wanna follow you.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna follow you, wherever you go, whenever you know.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna go there. I wanna be there. I wanna feel there.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna show myself to you. I wanna be completely true.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna open up and let myself go. I wanna give you all my show.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna find the path together. I wanna ride through stormy weather.

I wanna follow with your shadow. I wanna run with you in a meadow.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna go wherever you may go. I wanna see ourselves grow.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna follow. I wanna follow. I wanna follow you.

I wanna follow you.

I wanna.

I want you.

I will follow you.

Inspired by the opening music and poetry of ARGH KiD‘s Never Drinking Again. ARGH KiD is the official poet for the NSPCC, UEFA and Man Utd.

Where’s the next mountain?

To sit and wait.

Hasn’t it been a long time since the wind whistled lightly down the valley? Hasn’t it been so long since the book’s pages flipped over gently in the breeze? Hasn’t it been so long since the smell of a campfire spun on smoke from a place unseen to the eye? Isn’t it a pity that these places seem so far away? If only I had more memories to sit back and unwind with. Where’s the next mountain? Where’s the next wander? Where?

Rooted to the spot.

The feeling is like you’re trembling without moving. Your feet are rooted to the ground like earth beneath them is shaking. You’re still. The earth is still. Yet, all seems to shudder, bend and fold. Feet planted firmly feel they will fall.

Flashes of vivid light, breaches of Technicolor, lightning jagged rays and strobes penetrate darkness. There’s no light but for moments night becomes day. A lightning storm without clouds.

Thunderous calamity like a dozen orchestras each competing to be heard at a rock festival. For a moment the noise ends. Just as suddenly it envelopes and surrounds all. Whistling wind rips apart into a treacherous typhoon. Yet, it is silent. Absolutely hushed.

Rotten roses mix with sweet garlic and freshly chopped onions. They join lavender, mint and thyme in a coriander sauce gently dipped into sticky runny melted honey. Although absence of olfactory senses does not allow this. There’s nothing at all.

On the tongue a smattering of rich sweet tastes, twists in and out of salted sour lemon infusions with the tastes of childhood favourites abound. Of course the mouth is closed and salivation long gone. No tastes present.

This is death.

Heartbeat of life.

You can only see yourself.

But look around you, on the hoof.

There’re millions of souls in bad health.

Those with less, having more truth.

You may be feeling low and blue.

Things may be getting too much.

Will the world gobble and swallow you?

Piling up like a tidal mountain and such.

Look beyond your glass mirror or window.

False portraits of glamour and status?

When you see it, you’ll know.

Take away your self to hiatus.

Be kind, care, aware and share.

It could be a brighter day.

Give a smile, give some fair.

What say, today, add love to our play?

Listen for the heartbeat of life.

A look, a hug, a hand on the shoulder.

Talk to remove the awkward strife.

Lift up and discarded the whole boulder.

Take away barriers when you carry us.

To war children, bring good cheer.

Bring flowering meadows filled with a buzz.

Take away the bombs pounding, fear.

A gesture, a notion and a worthy feeling.

Warriors to worriers to the calm-minded.

Exploring ways to start the deep healing.

End feelings of being soullessly stranded.

Rain! Rain! Rain!

How do,

“Rain, rain, rain, a wicked rain
Falling from the sky
Down, down, down, pouring down
Upon the night
Well there’s just one chance in a million
That someday we’ll make it out alive” – Wicked Rain, Los Lobos

Pluviophile means a lover of rain. I heard that people who identify as lovers of rain are generally down to earth and calm. I’ve even been told that daydreamers and those inclined to imagine are usually associated with that of rain. I’ve never fact checked these matters as I was too busy dreaming.

The beat of the rain droplets finding their way from way up high to land and join their countless companions. Some land on trees. Some impact puddles. Many land and immediately get swept away.

Many days without rain make my heart feel dry and untouched. Rain is my pacemaker. I’m from Manchester, a city with a heart of regular rainfall. I now in Dongguan, a city that gets a fair amount of showers throughout monsoon season. Every drop of life that falls from the sky brings

The energy of the downpour fills me. The damp smell opens my nostrils. It fills my lungs and soaks into my blood. I’m drawn to puddles and want to stamp in them, no matter the cost to my sodden shoes. That’s when I know that running is needed. Not in sun. Not in cold. Not on a dry hot evening blazing with colourful light. No. I choose rain.

Thank you kindly and ta’ra for now!

Trail of blood.

Heartbreak was never the aim of the game.

Not was collating the rest as conquests.

There wasn’t intentional slurry to bring worry.

Only the trail of blood said he should.

Be more careful and less wasteful, more tasteful and less hastened and dull.

His heart still longed for the romance that never gonged.

The sound of dreams slipped from his seams.

Hope bound to him and wound around his frowned face. He drowned.

Tears leapt from his eyes to skies like waterfalls hitting ledges and wedges of rock. His shock.

He clinged to hope, like a rope ascending a tough slope.

If it happens, happenstance will make it happen. If not, then now what?

Mistakes, shakes, and high stakes versus mountain walks, sea swims and great lakes.

Life goes on. Life. Goes. On. It goes on. And on. And onwards he goes.

Wishes tied to the wind.

A prayer for the fairy sits in the wind;
From my whispers the words are thinned.

She floats on high waiting for its arrival;
What the prayer speaks could be truth or survival.

Only when it arrives to her glow;
will she know, and so go, on to the great show.

Wishes you’ll be here with me; give joy to melody.

Wishes we can share song pleasure of song; throughout the day, night and all along.

Wishes you will want my words and self; bringing days, weeks, months and years of health.

A wish is a terrible thing to waste; so here it goes without haste.

The breeze sails after light dimmed; wishes tied to the wind.

Vaccinated.

It wasn’t so sharp. I didn’t feel the coldness until it withdrew. The tiny fierce syringe shot inside like the wind blew.

The liquid vial, so small in hand. The nurses steadiness and readiness. One swift move, into a groove, of my skin. That’s it. It’s in.

Social Security pays for the ways that give days to this phase that ends slays. With every jab and prick, the world gets closer. Closer to open doors, walked floors, airplane snores, and many less bores.

My arm became heavy, unsteady and a weight I just carry. The doctors, the nurses; and the once-upon-a-time they married, but not now; the lost souls lost deep in books; the young who cast withdrawn looks; the babies and toddlers who haven’t yet seen grandpa and grandma; the grieving and the upset beyond feeling; we’re all getting closer.

The new norm is now. The now is new. The normal normality of the norm is here as a dawn. We could slink away, sink today or sail that way. Lay down your fear. A new beginning is near.

Drowsy side effects mean you feel. If you feel then it’s real. If it’s real then here’s the steel. We’re stronger than before and living longer what’s more. So, take the first hit. Go back for the second stab. Curl up after, roar in laughter. Stay bright, feel right and let go of uptight. The new now is the norm that is is next to you. Let’s go.

Taken for granted.

We’re lucky, you know. When you think about it.

We’re standing here tall, and fit. Filled up on our wit.

We don’t die of hunger or diseases like we used to.

We have passed away those through and through.

We don’t starve or face wars anymore.

We’ve shut that door, for sure, in truth it’s pure.

We’ll not quite, or maybe worse, or not as bad. It’s hard to tell.

Whatever is the matter that needs a yell?

We haven’t quite become friends or ended shouting at our foes.

We’re focusing on looking down our nose.

But, on the whole, overall it feels better for most.

Gone with the wind is that fairytale ghost.

Or most live relatively safely in safety, without doodlebugs overhead.

Tucking one into a silk-lined bed.

The point is: we’re lucky.

Stand up and be plucky.

It was worse back in the Dark Ages.

Turn over those bloody news pages.

Famines are on the down, I think.

Prisons are working, in with a clink.

Live Aid isn’t so frequently needed, so Bob Geldof can relax. Almost.

Concluded, resolved and above all: done. Foremost. For most.

No poverty in such a country and certainly none of THAT or THIS or other problems.

All fixed: Moss Side, Merseyside and other places like Harlems.

Don’t believe the news and the views and the social media conspiracy machine.

Sold you a dream, they did it with a sheen.

The leaders shouldn’t be trusted too, even if they did hug a stray kitten, wearing special mittens.

Good old English, Welsh and Scottish. And other new Britons.

Democracy, autocracy, bureaucracy, European disunion, division by incision. Don’t worry. Don’t weep.

Lambs to the slaughter. Run along sheep.

No need to stop and stare.

We’re too busy on our phones to care.

Dear Wendy

Best laid plans fall apart. Follow the feeling that leads your heart. Throw your full mind, and you will find. It, it, it, there’s something out there.

What it is I do not know, wish it’d clear and then show. Open a door, give me for sure. It, it, it. There’s something out there.

With a tickle in the finger, this itch does linger. One telling thought, is all it ought. It, it, it. There is something out there.

The words softly spoken, could well be the token. The wish had been heard, and with it a word. It, it it. There is something. Out there.

The eyes they do see, they imagine what could be. It could be the one, one I thought had gone. It, it, it. There is. Something out there.

I wonder if it’s a mutual feeling, to feel on the ceiling. Wanting to know for sure, if I’m at that door. It, it, it. Is there something? Out there?

If the wall can be broken, words can be spoken. I can lay down my head, and slip off into bed. It, it, it. I’m sure something is out there.

Stand #1

How do,

The steps leading up were worn and damp. The turnstile had swept me inside. The cool depths of the stand arched left harshly, then opened to a space aged yet far from antique. Brilliant white reflected harsh overhead lighting. Dad grabbed a match day programme. A chunky magazine booklet featuring the teams of the day. I tottered along on tired toes.

We’d strode at pace from the Clarence pub across streets far away. Eventually we swept up Kippax Street, around alleys and ginnels in to a brick wall gate. The rustic metal clanked and turned as a stub was ripped away. The darker than sky blue, yet far from royal blue panels fitted here and there gave a code to the area around. The bricks and mortar moulded to concrete and metal alike. The whole thing fitted together.

The steps into the stand opened up a tiny sliver into an outside world. Bright light forced its way in. It pierced all. The opening spread and unveiled line after line of seats. Wide to either side. Kippax blue. Glorious shades of blue, filled with those dressed in blue. Blue denim, sky blue football shirts and scarves of blue and white. Big bold lettering. Wonderful sounds. Waves of chants. The lullaby sounds sank and rose over and over again. The roof up above and the stands opposite bounced all the ambience back.

The smell of chicken balti pies reached me almost as fast as my Dad handed me the crusty sweet curry savoury snack. I gripped its warmth and shivered as the whole sense if occasion matched the cool air. I knew it at that moment that my place of worship was here.

The Maine Road home of Manchester has been missing since 2003 but the spirit goes on. We all long for those days and those feelings, but they live on, inside us. Sentimental as it is. I miss those feelings. That cool fresh Mancunian air. The longing for home is strong. But today, I feel something new. Only time can tell what it is.

Ta’ra for now.

Stay in or go out?

COVID-19 risk. Be aware! Cover your mouths. Do not scare.

It’s tick season. Take care and reason.

Traffic is heavy and bad. Stay home and be happy or glad.

QR Code, vaccine history. Where to go is no mystery.

Foreigners not welcome here. Sit home with a cold beer.

Camping is strictly not allowed. The Policeman shouted rather loud.

Didn’t you hear me? You need a permit to travel, not free.

You’ll be followed around. Don’t make a sound.

The trains are all booked. My plans are royally…

The Little Picture Book: Lost & Found

Eck and Timu, otherwise known as Echo and the late Tim Mileson, can be found in a book just shy of sixty glossy pages. The compact pocketbook is presented through poetry and story alike. It is conventional and yet unconventional. Interpretation is a skill you can choose to use, or just float on the muse.

Sandwiched between Tim’s personal writing, Eck explores emotions such as loss, belonging and echoes nature throughout. Cute eye-catching illustrations using a variety of sketching styles follow an imaginative route to deliver a peaceful and loving tribute in the form of a poetic manuscript.

There are lines throughout that transport the reader, catch them, hold them and bring them downward. There are uplifting words, moments of hope and flashes of light. It’s a sweet little book deserving of a wider audience. The book comes in both Chinese and English editions. My grade four students at Tungwah Wenze International School greeted that with joy. Next up they’ll interview the author…

In China? Further afield? Order directly from Eck by scanning the above on WeChat.

Aching to achieve.

The chocks are not moving. The engine is keen to roar into life. It wants to roll, taxy and take-off up into the sky.

The engine started purring, then growing. Now snarling. It begs to be released. The wings are strong. The body is ready. Yet, something is holding back.

There’s a loose wire, you see. There’s a rattling song. It threatens. The flight may get cancelled. The pilot’s navigator is absent. Some of the ground support are there, but not quite there.

The pilot is distracted. He’s taking readings, throttling too soon, and forgetting his instructions. The flight check sheet has been misplaced. Take-off is scheduled.

Will the flight happen? Will the aircraft lift up or skid to a perilous doom? Will the aircraft pilot be told to turn off its engine? Will gremlins strike in the cold internal wiring?

Like the pilot, doubt covers my mind like the storm clouds gathering beyond his airfield runway. Our intended pathways have obstacles. We must overcome. We must.

We shall. We will. We will never give in. We’ll be relentless. We’ll find a way to soar. Or, go for a pleasant enough sandwich with a beer.

Toxic Positive Negativity.

Persist, insist, never desist. Let others resist. They won’t be missed.

Move on, it’s gone, voyage of bon. New days don. Move off the con.

Wrong ways, long days, hard plays. Some card lays. Time to seek a raise.

Tough path, don’t laugh, hard math. Take a hot bath. Sometimes you can’t get the staff.

Taken aback, forced whack, cut slack. Lives matter, white or black. Why’d do racists offer a crack?

Equal opportunity, low equity, not pretty. Rappers ditties. City’s witty and gritty.

Division here, always fear, hollow ear. Hate of queer. Too much abuse of beer?

Overgenerous happy, angry snappy, feeling crappy. Invalid invaluable emotionally. Tippy on the tappy.

Authentic prick, red brick, held trick. Fargo, Groundhog Day, filmed slick. Breaking Bad sequel filmed quick.

Persist, insist, never desist. Let others resist. They won’t be missed.

No appetite.

You should eat something. You really should. You must. Why don’t you eat some little? You could try this. What about that? Try some soup. It’s piping hot. Some other goop? A stew? Hotpot used to make me feel better. Feeling cold? Put on a sweater. Eat this now!

Don’t drink that! Cold water? You just be crazy. Don’t lay down. You’ll get too lazy. Go rest. Try a nap. Wake up. Too much sleep! Trying to get up? You’re not feeling it, yet? You need hot water. Take a sip. Take a gulp. Swig it down. Drink it all.

We’ll fix you up. You’re not dead yet. Look. We believe you’ll be right soon enough. We’re asking you to believe. We can do it. We’ll get you shipshape. We’ve got this! We’re already making strides. What do we want to do?

Beat.

I ache. I throb. I hurt. I feel my pulse in places I’ve never felt the beat. I find I don’t want to eat. The face I wear is brave outside. Inside is different. Inside, I want to cry. I’m beat.

I slouch. I trust. I turn. There’s pressure in my muscles I’ve felt before. This time it’s different. The shapes I move are difficult. Inside it burns. Outside, it darkens and bruises. I’m beat.

I blink. I squint. I scratch. I’m restless and mindful I don’t want to be beat. at hey say rest. I know I must rest. I feel lazy. I feel guilty. I lay down. The day is going. I’m beat.

I hop. I twist. I hope. I know it’ll be better soon but I can’t feel then what I feel now and I can’t feel now what I will feel then. When? Oh, when, Oh. When. I’m beat.

Right to write?

Good evening from China.

I’ve received many complaints (3 or so) from bloggers in relation to the post: plagiarism. I’ve copied the link so you don’t have to. Perhaps some are of the feeling that my brand (style) of writing to be offensive. Good. I had to write a disclaimer. I’ll write a better one after researching disclaimers using valid sources. I’m surprised that a piece of free thought slapped down as writing and labeled as ‘creative writing’ gathered such impassioned battle cries.

I started blogging to document a journey and as a diary. It began as a replacement for letters that I used to write to my grandmother on an infrequent basis, but still they were important. I used to anticipate her replies and love opening a letter to her magnificent hand writing. Gran was truly remarkable in her writing. Every sentence pushed wonderful words through my chest an into my heart. It was here that I learned creative writing was about feeling. Not through many books. Not through documentary or textbooks. I long for the return of letters from my grandmother. It’ll never happen.

At first I had to check if their replies came on April the 1st. The upset parties to my post even worried that I’d censor their disgust to my attempt at creative writing. Last time I checked I thought satire, humour and mock documentary sat within the scope of being creative. At home with poetry, short stories, novels, movie scripts, plays and so on. Then I started to think about mythical and known internet trolls. Perhaps their wonderful work was too of a search engine result and suddenly ousted for the briefest second by a piece penned as a thought after school. It was a busy Academic Integrity Week at school. Maybe, it influenced my thoughts.

Gallows humour has allowed countless opportunities to tackle tough subjects through making light of that problem. It’s got people in better spirits to engage (research and debate), inform (discuss and present), and educate (probably through pie charts and digital presentations. British people use humour often, rightly or wrongly. Censorship is something that is opposed. Freedom of thinking and expression is celebrated. The hook of some writing can appear strong. It can be on varied emotional levels to draw in a reader.

Not all creative writing follows the same pathway. Nor should it. Diversity spins new genres outwards. The line between visual art and poetry can be transdisciplinary. I’m not saying that anything I write is entirely original in thought or movement. Everything I write is either from my head, thought about or to encourage further thought. Quotes and citations come often. Anyone can blog. Many copy and paste quotes, create graphics and most adhere to respect of the original writer. Some do not. This mirrors a world that is neither good not bad, just merely grey and blurry.

Blogging and writing is a free outlet for many people. Some can. Some do. Some cannot. Freedom to blog is arguable in some boundaries. Adding a note at the end of a blog that says: feel free to copy, following a tongue in cheek stab at the serious subject of plagiarism is acceptable. It was and remains my work. If someone can find identical work predating it, well done, and how did you change the web date stamp?

I know that I often write nonsense, gibberish or poppycock. I like words. I like language. Please don’t ever think I’m looking to cause offence. Even if my tone is perceived as aggressive, I won’t hide faceless behind a username or in the murk of the internet. I’m me. If I slate a world leader, or berate a popular celebrity, it isn’t something I wouldn’t do face to face. Give me ten minutes with former President of the U.S.A. Trump, and I’ll treat him as a human but roar like a lion.

So, was I wrong? Or was I right? I sure as hell don’t feel like I did something wrong. What bothers me, is that somewhere three or four (or more) people feel that I wrote something ‘disgusting‘, that made someone so ‘angry’ that their blood was boiling. Worryingly, this came in a world of racial and gender inequality, poverty and careless environmental attitudes. I’m thankful I didn’t denounce COVID-19 as a conspiracy or talk about lizard-people overlord kinds. Still, not could be the next topic, providing CTRL+ALT+C works. Just kidding. Seriously, feel free to copy my thoughts. Use them as our own but never ever believe plagiarism is good.

Tally ho and away I go.

DISCLAIMER:THIS COULD BE MY FINAL POST EVER!

Additional disclaimer: not bloody likely!

Obituary.

If you checked out now, how would you be remembered? Fondly by some? Infamous by others? Perhaps. Not. At. All. Maybe you’ll be forgotten, like a lost teddy bear on a train bound for nowhere in particular.

What’s your legacy? Did you do something good? Did you make someone better? Maybe you broke a heart, or a string of hearts. Maybe you’re but a regret to most and a faded memory to another. Perhaps. Nobody. Will. Recall. You.

What did you do right? How did it go? What did you leave behind? A divorce? A fatherless child? A mother grieving over an unborn dream? It could be that words won’t be spoken about you. Perhaps. Silence. Is. Best.

Who’ll be there? At your funeral. Will there be shadows cast from people? Or the shapes of memories dancing in fading lights spun by the branches of trees dancing in the wind? Perhaps. No one. Will. Know. When. You. Go.

Will you get a choice when to go? Unlikely. Most never know. Some expect. Some arrive at an unfortunate moment. Some prepare well ahead but it arrives far too soon. Some get through extra days and leave as heroes. Some die another day. Some have no time to die. Perhaps. You’ll. Never. Know. Until. It’s. Over.

All aboard.

I’m the commander of my own seas. I don’t mean to control them but I shall not let them wash over me. The waves crash beneath me, around me and by my side. They do not sweep me away in the tide.

The ship I choose to sail often changes. One day a frigate, one day a galleon. A skiff here, a galley there. On board a passenger liner with much company. A lonely kayak. A canoe floating along the river of life. Wearing a windbreaker in a windjammer. A rag boat struggling against the battling riotous rip tide. Schooner for later. Luxury aboard a catamaran or yachts heading for the high seas. Drinking tea aboard a clipper.

The undercurrent changes its spaces too. A still torrent floods in ebbs and flows. The rush and drag leaves me bobbing along. Up and down. Side to side. Over and under. Around in circles. Swirling. Staying motionless staring at stars. A whirlpool of dreamy dawns and dusks swishing directions. A flushing sound scolding my ears, drowning out yesterday’s sorrows. A puddle so smooth it reflects the sun like a giant glass mirror. Clouds visible far or vast shadows atop.

So, of you see me sailing through stormy waters, recall the saying of smooth waters not making for great sailors. A storm passes. As do I. Time claims all. I traverse a journey of my own. Will you sail with me? Now? Later? Never? All aboard.

Gratitude.

Gratitude is a faithless twat who hates you. It spits on you. It shits on you. It laughs in your face. It spits into your eyes. Right into the corners. Filthy dirty fucking flem.

As you kneel on the floor wiping the green and yellow saliva of another man’s flem out of your eyes, gratitude takes one Usian Bolt-sped run from a distance of far too fucking unsuitable, swings its legs up, full flying Jacky Chan and boots your balls harder than the moon colliding into Earth.

It all wants to smash you. The establishment and the unknowns. They gather in shadows and whisper out of earshot. You know it. Gratitude rings their ears and directs their blows. It sniggers and wheezes distorted taunts. They say you’re paranoid. You yell back that you’re not. You fucking scream it until your voice is hoarse and your head throbbing with echoes.

Screaming from rooftops bucket fulls of curses, you could send thunder into the mountains and torrents of anger down to the very stones that hold them up. You kick and stamp hard, so hard. Your toes bleed and bruise against the inner soles of your shattering shoes. The threads tear and break away. Your gratitude is kicking dirt back in your face.

You could walk off and not stop walking for days, weeks, months or even years. Fueled on rage, anger, gritting your teeth. You shake inside. Your heart beats like a Slipknot album. You breath deep, but too fast and too hard trying to suppress this stupid furor. Temper and madness are your bedfellows and you hemorrhage a mania unknown before. Gratitude is grasping your heart, twisting it like child’s soft plasticine.

Your knuckles are white as you clench animosity and refuse to let go. It holds inside and around your chest like a jellyfish tangled to prey. A spasm here, an eruption teetering and ready to blast out there. The spleen ferments more than agitation. This huff is pure wrath and gratitude is unwilling to submit.

That’s what you should say, in some shape or form, when someone asks you casually, “How are you?” But, you find few words come out: “Not bad, thanks.” Gratitude has won.

Feeling the music.

Help I’m alive. It’s the end of the world as we know it. Comfortably numb. Fall. Still feeling blue. Boulevard of broken dreams. Everybody hurts. I’m so lonesome I could cry. If you’re reading this. More than a feeling. I’m so lonely I could cry. Nothing compares 2 U. While my guitar gently weeps. Apologize. Mad world. Is there life out there? I just wanna dance with somebody (who loves me). You don’t even know who I am. Creep. All by myself. Hurt. Life is a lemon and I want my money back. O my heart. Left outside alone. Act naturally. Only the lonely. No hard feelings. Don’t let me be lonely tonight. Here comes that rainy day feeling. If you’re happy and you know it (clap your hands). Smile to keep from crying. Say something. Peaceful easy feeling. Into you. I feel the earth move. Dancing with myself. Hooked on a feeling. I feel fine. I can feel a hot one. Electric feel. I got the sweetest feeling. I got you. The way you make me feel. I will rise. Cum on feel the noize. Make you feel my love. I feel free. Feels like the first time.

Feel Good Inc.

Dripping.

What are tears? Are they escaping emotions from deep inside us? Is it fear, worry and strife jumping overboard? Does each tear represent the birth of hope? Each emerging drop must mean something. What do my tears mean?

I’m homesick. I’m alone. I’m lost. I’m without you. Terrifying panic as you’re lost in an Altrincham shopping mall? The day after a school day full of bullies pushing you around with hateful words. Thoughts of a day hidden under a bridge, unable to attend a funeral of a grandparent. Pup. The wonder dog. No longer by your side. No longer. It all means something, surely?

As momentum builds with each rolling droplet, your cheeks redden. Lips dry. Inside your mouth a new taste emerges. Raw. The taste of your own cheeks. Holding your hands to your face. Imagination flashes back to memories and forwards to dreams, good and bad. Sniffles break out. A stuffy nose hides all smells. You try to gain composure. Did it work? No. A tidal wave of locked away emotions surge out like a river bursting its banks. What does it all mean?

Friends fall. Time ages you. They remain unaged. Gone. Not forgotten. Far from home? Where is home? Why am I here? Why am I not there? Working hard. Working. Work keeps many busy. The lucky busy ones. Others don’t work. They can’t. They don’t. There is no work. We lucky busy workers. Some sleep early. Some late. Some nap. Snooze. Wake up. Lucky. Busy. Workers. Lucky. Where is this meaning that we all work for?

Interpretation. Judgement. Don’t judge a book by its cover. If you see my eyes red and tearful, judge me kindly. It doesn’t have to be this way. Or does it? The tears recede. Breathing slows down. The calm after the storm. Feelings. Feel. You feel. We feel. I feel. I felt something more. I felt again. I felt it rush back. Tears mean something more. Has hope been born again?