Mountains.

Are they immortal? Do they feel their movements? Shaped in time, carved by ice, snow and rain, to name but a few of nature’s shaping tools. Winds blow over them, sometimes finding ways deep into the soul of the mass, but often unmoving little more than loose ground.

Rains, earthquakes, feet passing over, whether herd or bird, a plethora of life creeping and digging into it. What does a mountain sense? Does it see the land and valleys below? Can it feel the altitude changes of plants like we feel the differences between socks, shorts and a woolen jumper?

From the lowlands to the tips, diversity grows and taints every inch with colour and variety. Crags, crevices, crests, cracks, boulders, rocks, ledges and all spectacle of materials decorate the mountain. Waterfalls and streams bathe the light that shines brightly down between the gaps in the clouds.

Flowers give the wings of bees and butterflies places to compete for beauty. The banks of trees stretch from thicket to wood to forest. Some ancient. Some not. Insects occupy every level and avoid the preying spiders that jump, spin webs and roan the floor. Chasms of rock beneath overhanging shelves house fluttering sounds within. The darkness of the mountain’s belly home to frightful delightful shapes and shadows. Oh, majestic mountain, what is it that you know?

Penned, when trekking, during a break at Muse village, Nepal, 11th January, 2017.

Doubt.

Cutting into me, it twists like a knife. Confidence hasn’t been in my hand for too long. This companionship I hold drains me. An awful lonely feeling of dread and dreams that have disappeared.

Will I be disappointed? Will it all go wrong? What should I do now? WHAT SHOULD I DO? My soul screams at me. Echoes ping around my head like a thousand pinballs on a pinball board. Each ball finds a hole but no points join the scoreboard.

Silence hasn’t visited me in weeks. I’m trying. Oh, how I’m trying! Trying and crying. Solace? Where are you? I’m sensitive to you but you haven’t called for me in so long. Remember peace? I don’t recall it’s calm. My millpond is full of rippling waves. A cask of broken rocks plummets here and there. A plethora of circles expand ever outwards. This is my universe’s big bang.

A street that has no name is where my feet fall. I’m lost. I’m a shadow without a being. Am I a ghost without life? I want you to understand that I’m not looking for sympathy. You’ll forget me, as soon as you look at me. My skin is supposed to be thicker but every whisperer who whispers makes me want to shrivel away into nothingness. I’m not really here.

Religion and words won’t relate to me. Poems and stories won’t leap from the page. Songs won’t pull me together. I’m sure that I’ll see you again. Whatever you are. Whoever you were. We’re far apart. We’re not really here. Like the face of an invisible man. We’re not really here. We’re not. We are not. We’re not really here.

Oh doubt, you cut through me like fear. You tear me apart. You give me indecision. I’m in Dante’s inferno dancing without feet. My eyes are red-raw bleeding tears of sorrow and my lips are dry. Where did it all go wrong? Sometimes, no, all the time, I wonder why. Why does my soul wander? Why does it choose to wander hand-in-hand, side-by-side with you, doubt?

The unwanted alarm clock.

THUD! THUD! THUD! Clattering tapping, scraping, raking of metal on concrete, tapping to no discernible rhythm, whooshing of liquids of pressure too high to be useful (surely) and horns of an arriving concrete mixer. Jangling metal lifted by crane slams to the floor of an unfinished level. Thank you my neighbouring alarm clock that forever remains unwanted.

A yapping dog, barking, growling and filling the air with its territorial call of power. I imagine it’s been disturbed by the building site. The dull humming of pumped up storey after storey probably haunts the ears of that canine. Either that or the dog is angry that it is confined to an exposed balcony. Howling away without shame. Poor thing. Wouldn’t you be? Balconies should be silent, not living, breathing, wolf like alarm clocks.

The pressure is too much. It hurts. I’m going to burst. Can I sleep through this? No. Just no. I must get up. The call of my bladder has rang. Get up! Get up! Get on up! I stretch on wearying legs, reach up, straighten and with legs like Bambi, I strut awkward motion toward the bathroom. Here I greet the porcelain telephone and deliver my undesirable alarm clock’s stream away.

I settle back into bed. The din of the building site. The dog yapping. Wet hands from washing them after my body refused me a minute more of closed eyes. Vrrrrrrrrrr. The whirring of a power drill in the apartment overhead. It wakes a baby. Screams echo around the walls in a room somewhere adjacent to the drill hall above. Twinkle twinkle… What’s that? A piano thunders into life. Repeated notes, some off, some tuneless ditty from the apartment below. The nonessential alarm clock is an orchestra today.

A scream for good measure echoes down the corridor by my apartment. The immediate neighbour’s daughter is in a singing mood. Their cockerel on the balcony let’s out a few sounds. Little does it know that it’s on the menu tonight. Their washing machine had finished. I can hear it beeping. The treble electronic bleeps come every minute, and have been doing so for at least this last hour. I hear as the grandparents of the family rip up large packaging boxes and slam plastic bottles together before compression by foot and body. They sing a song, gently, no doubt, but to my alert morning ears, it is at karaoke level. My neighbours are a reliable alarm clock. But please… not today.

De trop. Redundant. Rejected. Unsought. Unwelcome. Unsolicited. These alarm clocks aren’t of my choosing. I close my eyes. Trucks and cars honk on a nearby road. An ambulance siren is piercing the air, screaming at traffic to move aside. Judging by the duration, the selfish traffic is refusing to assist. Blackballed the ambulance shrieks a lonely sound of hope to narrow-minded folk going about their day, unaware of an emergency vehicle probably on the way to something more important than my desire to snooze a little more. These alarms are not in the picture of my plan to doze.

The body clock, programmed by weeks of morning necessity has won. The Monday to Friday alarm clock of my mind has triggered. Saturday is now a school day too. I wonder if Sunday will be any different.

Blast notes.

Swirling swirls swirl around, swirly and softly to the ground. Drops drip and drop beyond. Down, falling high and low without sound. A roar of wind breezes through, pushing all air aside, drawing every room’s breath outwards. A vacuum for a split second, all life freezes. The rip of heat singes and severs flesh from bone. Dust from stone fragments, as waves upon wave of pressure jump and ripple in circles ever outwards. Heat rises. Metal buckles. Fragrance ceases to exist. The particles refuse to cooperate. Iron tastes flutter but refuse to reach the tongue. Rainbows of orange, red, gold and yellows in every known shade flicker, flash and flurry. A crack of sound, as if the sky itself had collapsed. And. In one brilliant flash. It was all over. Gone. Blank and no longer.

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.

Spun.

Twisting and turning, weaving and looping, over and over again, the thread winds and binds itself together, securing passage, places to capture and sending signals far beyond the centre. Each radiating line sends ripples outwards and inwards. A prang here. A twang there. Waves of delight or despair depending on your view. As wings flutter, powerless to escape, out I step, ready to drink the juices of life. The sun beats above, or it doesn’t, I’m ever present. Ever ready. Ready to feast. All on the web of life, that I spun.

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?

A.C. v Me

The air conditioner light is on. It’s seventeen above zero and the power still feeds it. I should stand up and disconnect it. I should. But I don’t. I’m worried if I stand up that the machine will win. Tomorrow it could be warmer. Then I plug it back in like a faithful servant. It shouldn’t be warmer tomorrow. The machine knows better.

That air conditioning unit of mine has seen much. It’s wise. It’s witnessed heat and coped with far worse than I can handle. Storms. Lashing winds. Torrential rainfall. Zipping daggers of lightning. Hailstones as big as marbles. It’s felt me hitting it as I pursue a bloodsucker of a mosquito. It’s been deadened by lightning and my operatic singing. It still clings the wall resolutely.

I say clings. It perches. No. It hugs. Hugs tightly like a giant curved fat bat with huge jaws. It just watches and waits, lifeless and cold. It’s heat setting is hidden away, unneeded. It knows that I don’t like warmth and I like the air to move. It waits for my moment of weakness. Patience is key. It’ll get me. It senses my needs.

But, after all that thought, I change my mind. Out pops the plug. Socket empty. It’ll be hot tomorrow. Just you see. It knows. Oh, how it knows. See you tomorrow.

The Fly

A familiar smell, tepid and lacking freshness emits outwards. The sound zips by. It’s mouth so small yet so present. This one is a shiny metalic black but they come in other colours.

Fear surrounds them, but somehow, we keep them near and close. Too close. Too close for comfort. They feel and look so cold and lifeless. They press against us from time to time, reminding us that they’re forever hiding in the shadows.

Their sounds are almost undetectable, however, we know when they move. What’s their real motivation for hanging around us so freely? Don’t they have a better place to belong? I’m sure they could be part of a carrier system or help fit a cover somewhere. But, no, they are here and this one in particular is draining the colour from my face.

I heard they’re a major killer around the world, more than wars ever cleansed away life on Earth, or was that something else? I stare down at it. The fly. The dreaded evil fly. It’s red. That’s the last time I catch myself in the fly.