Do you suffer as I do?
With a melody in the back of your mind
With words you cannot find
Taking the 45 bus to Brixton
A middle-aged woman in the seat behind you
Humming the tune in your head
Do you ask her, only for her to say
She has no idea why it’s in her head
Days later you’re passing a building site
Where the tune is being whistled
by a burly bricklayer.
He too cannot answer your question
A child in the playground, skipping to your tune.
You end up standing in a record shop
Humming it for the assistant
He places an EP on the record player
It’s the tune from an advert,
no longer stuck in your head
The title of which was ‘Many Rivers to Cross.’
It almost drove me crazy
I wondered if we had all crossed the same river…
I had awoken before dawn again and stood at my window, searching the velvety night sky for the first signs of dawn. That barely perceptible lightening of the blackness that seems to happen almost without warning.
I found myself staring at a star, defiant in its lingering and as I watched, it seemed to be moving. My eyes must still be clinging to sleep for it couldn’t possibly be moving.
But it was.
So very slowly, it crept across the sky. I strained to see if it could be a plane but could see no flashing lights. As I watched, mesmerised, it seemed to grow bigger, which meant it was getting closer to me. I stared at the star, desperate to see what it could possibly be.
When the flashing lights appeared, I knew it must be a plane, or maybe a helicopter. But wait a minute. I counted several flashing lights all in a row and as far as I knew, planes didn’t.
Fascinated, I kept watching. The sky was beginning to lighten, revealing the outline of the craft. It did look like a plane now, but not one I recognised and far too small for a commercial airline. It glided slowly past my window, all the lights twinkling like a Christmas tree until I couldn’t see it anymore…
I have in my many years seen shit float
Heard it speak many languages
So the other day I was surprised
When my granddaughter asked
“Nana, if the moon takes light from the sun
Does she cry tears of gold?”
I was taken back by this for a moment
Unsure how to answer
“I believe the moon has shed tears of many colours
Over the millions of years, she has sailed across our sky.”
She seemed content with my answer.
Aged six, I wondered where her thoughts came from
She carried on with her painting
Later, I placed her small picture on my fridge
The full moon in a dark sky, below, the land
a strange quilt of many colours
A twisted kaleidoscope
As I looked at it, I wondered
What kind of adult she will become…?
Something familiar disturbs my sleep, my thoughts
Knowing is not enough to reveal all
It feels old, far away out of reach
Yet demanding, needing to be found
Music I don’t recognise steals part of my day
Strange scent assails the air, faint, almost recognisable
The way of passing someone wearing perfume
as if walking through a half-remembered fog
Leaving sticky fingers on my memory
Nails clawing the dark corners of my mind
Where the knowing hides
My dreams like the dark spaces
I remember him, but sunlight washes it away
All but his voice, my name whispered from his lips
Wait for me, I will return
This voice I know from the many lifetimes past
Why must love be lost like ships passing
Can destiny be tricked to let us love again…?
I need you here in my world
How do I claim a soul taken too soon?
If I slam on the brakes, fly through the windscreen
Would I find you in the dead zone?
In my half state, would I be able to hold on to you
Bring you back
Does the memory of me live with you still?
Do you hear me calling late at night?
For one last moment
One kiss, one touch of your hand
Our daughter is calling
Daddy, I’m hungry
I am called back to my own world
By the sound of her voice
There is an empty space walking beside me
An outline of you I cannot touch…