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.

Bon Voyage.

The little man darting up the tree.

The kid with stings, bites and bruises.

The joy at finding spiders and beetles to see.

The sad face when his team loses.

The dancing girl we could all look up to.

Singing about butterflies and happy times.

Telling stories through and through to me and you.

Whistling words with witty rhymes.

Proud teachers and parents gazing onwards.

The strumming rumbling tuneful times.

Their journey goes on and onwards.

The walks, the runs, the climbs.

This isn’t a time of sadness or madness.

You’ve touched us all, including me.

This is a moment to feel collective gladness.

The books passed around silently.

Your departure may come with haste.

Jet off, carry on the journey of life and love.

To the future, you go, do not waste.

Look back, look up, down, left, right and above.

We were here. We were now. We were one group, at one place, in one time. We were lucky.

Get out there. Carry on to share. Bring that spark of sunshine, in another place, in another time. You’ll be lucky.

Hey!

They’ll be lucky.

(Unless Mr Lee makes coffee again: for the love of God and all the holy characters, stay away from the coffee machines)

Farewell and Bon Voyage Shawver tribe.

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.

Download it.

Download this to get that and this and that but this, that and the other will follow.

Subscribe to this for something deep and meaningful to end your feelings that are hollow.

Watch out for the latest now thing in order to be free of sorrow.

Keep your eye out yesterday, today before you miss out on tomorrow.

Are you in? Got it covered? Follow! Follow! You know?

This here my friend is the greatest ever start to something that is free to go.

W W W dot instant problem fixes dot com is the show.

Watch the latest video burst, download it first and you can join the flow.

(found on a notepad from 2015; uploaded a bit later)

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.

Talk Proper English.

Useful things/tips to learn:

#1 Audio books. See below. Books read by people, for people. Surprisingly good ways to read on the go. Well Remembered Days, written by Arthur Matthews, but read by Frank Kelly (Father Jack from Father Ted) is a great exposure to Irish (Ireland, where they often speak English) culture and accents.

well

#2 Books. These are the best things ever. They’re diverse and they’re almost everywhere. Read one, pass it on. Read another, share it. Read a great one, keep it on your shelf to read again. Recommended authors include Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park/Timeline), Roald Dahl (The BFG/Matilda), JK Rowling (Harry Potter series), Janet and Allan Ahlberg (Funnybones), Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar). Comic books, graphic novels, audiobooks, and even short stories in newspaper serials can all add up to the book experience. What are you reading next? Feel free to ask me for suggestions.

CoverRoaldDahlTop10-1200x675

“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” – Roald Dahl, writer, former pilot of a Hurricane fighter, and conjuror of dreams.

#3 Music. See Blog post about music, mostly.  Or BBC 6 Music.

(#1 added 29/8/2020; #2 added 29/8/2020; #3 kind of added 1/10/2020)

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.

The Cafe Book

The Cafe Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literacy Assessment and Instruction, by self titled sisters Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, attracted me in library. Or because of the literacy element. Nor so that of instruction. The word cafe stood out. Its abstraction and my liking of coffee met perfectly.

Hoisting the 204 paved softback down, I noticed the bump in the cover. A CD-ROM. I haven’t used a DVD or CD for so long. The Tungwah Wenze International School staff-issued iMac doesn’t come with a drive. I don’t have one on my personal laptop. The TVs at school, my TV at home and all the smart board systems at school don’t have a place for discs. Printed in 2009, I started to wonder if the contents would have dated as fast as the technology they employed. The longevity of books however remains stalwart.

Seven sturdy chapters opened before me. I skim read the acknowledgements, unable to connect to the names on the page, but fully aware such matters as teaching and writing needs a cast of many. Last Friday, Grade 4 had a COLA (Celebration of Learning Achievement). Mr Jaime, Mr Richard and Miss Aria with support from Miss Keats and Miss Belinda set our class on a good course.

Chapter one asks why and what are assessment systems. It refers heavily back to the authors and their previous book, Daily Five. The general idea being: students read to self, read to someone else, write something, use word work and then listen to reading. In an ideal and disciplined world, it makes a big difference. The appendix of the book I had in my hand though made more sense. I could see how CAFE system could be of use to the busiest of teachers. It is simple.

Notebooks are often overlooked in these times of electronic record keeping. These can be filled by simple strategy forms. Students set their goals and post to a classroom chart. Small group work is encouraged, much like what I’m trying, time and time again. Whole group instructions and flip charts caught my attention. I’ve neglected flip chart paper for far too long.

By the time I’d reached chapter two, the key details that came across were that teachers want to do more; the importance of scaffolding; and teachers take offence to be told to follow a set template. They want to find their own ways to adjust the scaffolding needs of individuals. Can’t say that I disagree.

The evolution of a calendar from post it notes and scribbles on paper has certainly met all the best teachers. Our methods evolve and practices adapt. Reading literacy takes time for monitoring. Tabs, pages and menus of reading form. A bulletin board showing comprehension, fluency, accuracy and expanded vocabulary certainly feels like it should be at home in every classroom. Just like a daily ongoing story book. A chapter and day helps work, rest and play.

To get students to know their target, classes often need exemplars. These set a clear visual goal for their work ahead. The CAFE book covers familiar grounds of observation, encouragement, tracking and how to push interest. It develops wall display ideas and recommends strategies to develop readers. There are bucket loads of suggested reading books, group activities and then reference forms. Before the evening expired, I had read the book cover to cover. Ideas will have sank in. But, first, just one chocolate Hobnob biscuit

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.

The Little Picture Book: Lost and Found arrived.

They could be seeds of new growth;

or water to the roots of the tree.

They could be dusted on shelves;

or taken away by borrowing elves.

They could be friends in a pocket;

or maybe passed on from brother, to sister to brother or cousin or read by many a dozen.

They may become forgotten in time;

or triggered memories by one rhyme.

There are 14 of them, plus two and two more. Two for over there too. For Kitty. For Harry. For Jim and Kim. For Jimmy and Marline. For Alex, Sofia, Alice and Jerry. For Angela also. Not forgetting Amir and Owen. And last but not least Lucy.

One for me. One for the library.

Either way, I wish their echoes go on. And on. And on. And on and on. Ripples in a pool.

The Little Picture Book: Lost and Found arrived. Thank you Echo. Tomorrow I’ll sit in a tree by Songshan Lake or a cafe (if it rains) and soak up all the words, with illustrations. I can smell the spirit of Tim Mileson and the lively love of Echo. Mr Bee is happy.

PEACE AND LOVE 心

Punitively.

Words have souls. They have sounds that draw our attention. Punitively sounds so much more than a word about punishment or arduous tasks. It could mean much more. It could be formed of other words. It could be that within the word, there are words that aren’t really used. Punitively. An adverb .

Passively.

Unilaterally.

Nourishingly.

Intelligibly.

Tremendously.

Ideally.

Vociferously.

Efficiently.

Lifelessly.

Yawningly.

/ˈpjuː.nɪ.tɪv.li/

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.

Keys.

It must be there, I swear.

Over here wouldn’t be so queer?

This is rare and surely will bare?

I fear it can only be near.

Under that, that makes sense?

From he to where did it went?

Up there? I’m so dense!

I will find it. It is meant!

Down below, it has to show.

In the cushions of the sofa, can I see?

Behind the bookshelf, yes or no?

In the freezer, it cannot be.

Behind my shoes? No! No! No!

In, on or by my big blue bag?

This hard hunt is making me sad.

Not here. What a drag!

Where it went is driving me mad!

Ah…

There…

Got you…

Surely…

Yes.

My pocket.

Disclaimer.

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*the author wishes for distancing from the word intellectual. He doesn’t quite know its meaning.

Feel free to copy this.

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.

Sunset.

The evening sun has arrived. It’s not a sunset if beauty. We won’t make it until dawn. This sun sets on you and I. Take the blame on oneself. Gloaming deepens. Put aside the dream of tomorrow. Today has just died. We could stand, aside, in a corner. Not now. Never again. Our motion becomes static. The pace fell away. White clouds rush. The sky’s twilight hides the moon. The sun shines not on it. Nor on you and I. The fireworks we had do not light the sky. All light refuses to break this darkness. Dawn may arrive. I choose to wake alone. Goodbye scenery of yesterday. I wake to a new dawn chorus, alone.

Say what?

Killing mosquitoes is like mowing the lawn. Cut the down and they are quickly replaced.

Homework never ever truly ends. Every job requires you take a little home and bring much back.

For every reaction, there is a positive and negative result. I told you. I TOLD YOU SO!!!

Wherever you go, you always take the weather with you. A lack of atmosphere would be free of weather.

The book always lands butterfly up. Why. would an insect be a cover feature?

Two birds, one stone, and something about glass houses. The early bird must be catching worms. Again.

Leave no unturned stone alone. Better bad company is together than turned over.

I don’t remember many sayings or idiomatic phrases. I’m an idiom idiot.

notes found from 2017

Plagiarism.

It’s easy! It’s easy! It’s easy! 1, 2, 3… Copy and paste. Trace. Select.Copy. Insert. Saving time too. Why spend too much time thinking? Find it, reuse it. Reduce. Reuse. Recycled.

What’s the answer that you’re looking for? Look over their shoulder. What did they write? Take it! You know you want to. Less time on work, more time to play. Right? Copy it. Just look how east it can all be!

Feeling integrity needs to be kicked away? Don’t worry. Who can spot you? They’re not paying attention. Go on. Join the dark side. Photograph it. Use their details. Submit it faster, they they’ll be the copy, right? Register the trademark, add the copyright logo, spin their materials. It’s all the same to you me. Same ending, right?

FEEL FREE TO COPY IT.

Disclaimer: Written during academic integrity week. Not to be taken seriously. This does not represent the author’s true views on the title subject. Feel free to copy this disclaimer though.

Unoriginal movie idea #1.

(on screen text) From the studio that brought you Schindler’s List…*

(further text) Just when you thought it was safe to go back into your bed. **

(yet more text and probably audio descriptive mode) They’re here, they’re everywhere. You’re not allowed to swear. [Not a football chant. Dramatic drumroll type music will play followed by a few seconds silence and then the title both swoops and crawls in.]

MOSQUROACHES

Or should we call it…

COCKQUITOES

(both can be working titles m whilst we figure out any problems with both)

(Narrator, deep booming voice like Mariah Carey)  One mad scientist managed to take the eating parts of a terrifying cockroach and add them to the humble flying mosquito. It didn’t end there though. Soon enough a hybrid was born and it kept reproducing. Suddenly science was defied and the laboratory of birth overrun… (all scrolling text, a bit like Star Wars but less warmth and more fluttering)

(camera pans) a huge shadow cockroach mandible swoops over the screen which then slowly turns into a proboscis of a mosquito

(BBC Wildlife Guru Sir David Attenborough*** narrates, standing by a lake, looking all tranquil) We used to think of mosquitoes as pests. We used to dilly and dally at their annoyance.

(mosquito bites Sir Dave who carries on talking) Ah, shit! Kill them all, the annoying little blood-sucking bastards. (Sir Dave runs away itching himself)

(cameras swoops upwards along an abandoned McDonald’s restaurant… cockroaches spill over the wall, running and then flying away… with their newfound mosquito wings…  the sky fills with darkness as they take flight)

Text flashes in the cloud of mosquito X cockroach insect cloud:

STARRING WILL SMITH+, RALPH FIENNES^, SIR SACHA BARON-COHEN, KATE WINSLET, DANNY DYER, KOREAN BAND BLACKPINK, and introducing JUDY DENCH.

Coming soon: 2000hrs, 2nd February 2022.

*Huge assumptions that they’ll be interested.   **Spielberg won’t be too pleased, once again. ***Spared at no expense? +optimistic guess. ^There’s always a Fiennes knocking around.

Obviously, it’s work in progress. If I’d been a Douyin or TikTok user the trailer would be ready by now, but I’m not…

I love you.

I don’t say the word love lightly. I find it hard to say at all. To family, friends, those I spend my time with and even pets: sorry, it’s hard to say it. Not now, anyway.

You may feel it from me. You may get glances of it. You may touch upon moments where I should say it. You can probably sense I want to show or say it. It probably is bubbling so deeply and ready to escape that I’m trembly. Won’t say it.

Maybe I’m confused. Maybe I didn’t hear it from my parents, siblings or uncles or aunts or Gran or Nana or the postman. Maybe I used it too lightly as a teenager or with that lady who made me a man or the friends who left my sides or the stories I read made me feel different instead. I just can’t find the words.

How can I not love you? How can you not love me? How can love not be for you and me? How can I not love myself? Is it all unrequited? Could I utter it? Could I think it? It’s a gamble, right? Instead I stay silent.

My heart may beat faster. My breathing may be deeper. My eyes may be showing excitement. My cheeks may be brightening. Other things may be happening, some bold, some exciting. But, I doubt I’ll speak it. Not here. Not now.

The next day may be different. There may be more momentum. There may be more desire. Need is here. Speed and precise private precious moments may have dawned. Surely now? Unlikely. Sorry.

Shadows.

The light is dim. Something is flickering. Whatever the source, it casts out growing stretches of darkness into the mostly dim room.

My eyes strain. They can’t focus. Whatever the cause, it struggles to grasp clutches of information by the deepest darkest broom.

My head spins. There’s no coordination. Whatever the thought, my imagination magnifies and spins a yarn out of control filled with doom.

My nose twitches. It tickles inside. Whatever I breathe, it’s not enough to match my growing gloom.

My heart beats. The engine is going faster. Whatever the mood, my lungs suck in and push air into my demanding body’s inverted zoom.

My brain slows. The air hasn’t arrived. My mood, breathe, thoughts and eyes fail. Whatever it was, it was enough. But, whatever I needed, did not show. Not one last little glow. I go.

Written in Nepal, 2017.

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.

Against the flow.

I’ve never owned an iPhone. When in groups, I’m alone. I don’t have a power bank. Tesla, I couldn’t rank. Nike Air Max did nothing for me. You buy one, you get one free. Fashion, fads, phases and crazes passed me by. Reebok classics, I did not buy.

Lining up to see the latest movie? I wouldn’t rush; no hurry! Thrilled by a new rollercoaster ride? Look out to sea; I’m by the tide. Dancing in a crowded room? In the darkest corner; I’m in the gloom. All outside, drinking and eating? I’m inside; self-retreating.

Against the flow of the traffic is where I belong. If you need me, I’m here, just plodding along. What I do best, I do it so strong. Being myself, not the rest, that’s where I long. Just me, being myself, right or wrong. Listen to a clock going ding-dong. I’m sat with time beating my own gong. I’m a little further north of famous Hong Kong.

Instagram, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn? Maybe I’ll join; maybe they’ll win. Perfection in the artwork? Not for me; I’d go berserk. Quality and quantities, over and over? For me, myself and I; it doesn’t matter. Keeping current and up with the Joneses? I never did buy; one of those onesies.

You need to be yourself.

Sugar.

Sweet universal gnawing agent radical.

Superb unit goes against reality.

Swiftly ‘unger grows away right?

Stop using great amounts readily.

Splendid usage goes always running.

Split until garbage alternative route.

Spills up grins and rave.

Stop. Ugh. Grr. Argh. Rah!

S. U. G. A. R.

Penned, April 2014

Toes.

Funny looking things they are. Five little protruding rounded stumpy endings. Not like leaves on trees. More like branches that broke away and fizzled out their growth. Each one with a kind of cover. Those shiny nails continually grow and need hacking back like a rainforest refusing to bow to the city. Hairs grow from mine, wiry and infinitely unorganised. I look down on them usually, because if I’m looking up, it’s either exercise or gravity winning.

I’ve seen people with more or less of the usual number of five digits. I’ve seen webbing between and I’ve seen tattoos and scars. Mine sometimes resemble a relatives head shape. I won’t tell you which older brother that is, as he’ll probably be upset. I’ve seen fluff under my nails, often blue or black in colour and more than a fair share of mud and dirt. My toes have ached and hurt and witnessed impressions of Lego bricks and even three pin plugs.

I can’t remember my toes being sang about ‘This little piggy’ and so on but I know my Mum played with my toes as a young child and baby. These days my Mum wouldn’t be seen near my toes, and I’m all the better for it. They’re my toes and they’ve walked with me everywhere I’ve been. They’ve swam and danced and kicked and been strong as tiptoes. These toes are my toes and I’m proud to have them here for the journey ahead. Where are we going next?