Grandad’s aged worn hands Counting his shrapnel Saving for his granddaughter’s birthday Remembering the days when his time Would have been spent Looking in shop windows for her gift These days he is trapped Telling himself he will see her soon As they both gaze through their windows Looking at the same moon…
The forest floor found her lying still Naked, seemingly new-born Gently covering her with soft green foliage The forest spirits gathered Their whispers carried to the high-top trees To the low born mushrooms Birds held their trill Breeze stopped between the leaves Their sigh held in abeyance The word spread throughout the forest She has come, our new Queen We must be ready when she wakes Birds now sing the news Each leaf swayed in applause The forest floor ran with life The breeze had the last word God save our queen…
Three walked the riverbank, their wellington boots sucking the mud with every step. The cold wind whistled about their ears, making their eyes water as they searched for the missing child. On the other side of the water, teams of police officers systematically covered the area, heads down, grim expressions on their faces. To a man, they all hoped the search would be called off when the child was found safely elsewhere…
( For the visually challenged reader, this image shows a puppy wearing a Christmas hat, sitting in a bed. You can see the Christmas tree lit up in the background)
Jack, my husband brought home A golden four-legged friend What he doesn’t realise is This furry bundle of joy Is terrible twos wrapped up in one He is going to eat us out of house and home Literally anything that stands still The couch, shoes, slippers, you get the idea Just when we had said goodbye To the last of our two-legged bundles of joy I finally had the house to myself Everything where it belongs Now we must go walkies Pick up small, warm bundles to carry home After a few days you will find This furry stranger has taken your heart And made it his own He will lead you where he wants to go And you will be happy to do so Another happy new year With my new best friend Toby…
My youngest son ran off across the park I thought he won’t go far He crossed the bridge Over a large pond, the water almost black I am screaming now, Stop! Too late, he falls in With me a second behind him I dive in, fully clothed, visibility poor I could just make out the form of a small body Grabbing hold of an arm Letting go swiftly, telling myself Not that one, he’s dead Grabbing a second floating arm I pulled my son to the surface I gave him my breath Pushed against his heart So limp in my arms but alive Later I got to wondering Did I save a soul from a different lifeline? As my own son has never fallen in a pond He is in his fifties now and doing well…
We didn’t want a big tree this Christmas, so when we saw this pretty fibre optic tree in the shop window, we took it home, content with our preparations.
The next time we went to town, we spotted a wonderful tree in a charity shop window. This was a small tree too, although quite different from the one we already had. Old fashioned ribbons and flowers gave it an old-world charm, as if it had come straight from a Dickens novel.
We had to buy it, even though we already had a tree.
It was decided that the Dickens tree would be in pride of place in our decorations, relegating the fibre optic tree to the dining room.
And this, as they say, is when the fun started.
On the first night, the fibre optic tree turned itself off at 10 pm. Puzzled, we checked the instructions, but it wasn’t supposed to do that. It hadn’t overheated either. Before we could turn it on the second day, it turned itself on and then off again at 10pm!
We made sure it was switched off, thinking it just a fluke, although it felt distinctly weird. We are quite used to weird in this house. Remember that red light reflecting on our window, the one we never could find the reason for?
The next night, we switched it on and waited. It felt uneasy, as if someone we couldn’t see was controlling the tree.
It was one of those trees that has the capability of a choice of different light patterns. Twinkling, fading and several other combinations. We only wanted the static light, so we were very glad it didn’t decide to muck about with the sequence too.
Despite the weirdness, we have kept the tree… and it has turned itself on every afternoon, and off in time for bed.
What would you have done in these circumstances, chucked it out or run for the hills?
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows an outdoor scene. An old fashioned radio is placed next to a couple of candles and a wicker basket. Behind the radio is a pot full of blooming red flowers)
Step back in time The scene is set As it was sixty years ago The radio still works Wine in the wicker basket Red flowers in bloom He’s ready to pop the question again To the one lady in his life He will have to do this standing Time has taken its toll on his knees He waited for hours Until his daughters came to take him home Each year it’s the same He waits for their mother to renew their vows His daughters know this time next year He will do the same, on their anniversary Since their mother’s departure They know this is something he must do…
My tv controls are beside me on my side table Every now and then, they crackle As though someone is handling it The phone too, makes the same noise Today I had the tv controls beside me on the couch There it goes again, someone touching it. I got to wondering if the previous occupants are Still living here with me and my family Touching strange objects and wondering what they are Do they sit and watch tv with me? If so, they may realise what they are touching Trying to change channels I often have the controls beside my leg on the couch We might be watching something long waited for When the tv changes channels I get, ‘Mum, I’m watching that!’ from my son A sideways look from Jaye I say it wasn’t me. I didn’t touch nor did my leg These are old cottages we live in, built in 1887 One last thought The people living here must be very clean For the bath creaks late at night Could be their time is different to ours? I don’t mind the noise, It has been said that houses can speak to you Do they also have the odd shadow Passing you in the hall?
The creak of your bed, long after you have left it. I have the feeling they know I don’t mind them being here Sharing our space After all, they were here first…
“What’s your name,” I ask the old man, sitting on the park bench feeding the pigeons. I liked the look of him. Small, with a slight hunched back. White hair and the beginnings of a beard.
“My name, do I have a name?”
“Everything has a name.” My reply did not fuel the conversation. Something about the way he moved his hands, the way the small bag of seed did not empty, the way the trees around us held their breath. The silence and the sharp pain at the back of my head, stirring, waking something in me.
“You are Merlin.”
“Am I?” His blue eyes sparkled with the mischief of a five-year-old child. “Yes, yes, you could be right. My memory is not as it should be these days. I have little to offer you, young man. You are wondering who you are.”
“Not true, I know who I am.”
“Do you know when you are?”
“Yes, I am here, in the park, talking to you.”
“Look around you, do you see what lies before your eyes?”
I did look around me and the trees parted, like an ancient curtain being pulled aside. Wondering if I had named him wrong. Could he be Moses with no sea to part, he split the trees. I see a castle, dark jagged rocks surrounded by vast ocean. I look again at the old man. I could see a tear in his eye, the smell of apples filling the air.
He vanished. The air had taken him. It looked for all the world as if I sat there, talking to myself.
I cried out, “Merlin, where are you?”
Rushing through the trees, calling again, I heard his voice.
I found a pot on my windowsill A tiny flower growing Who placed it there is still unknown I watch it grow, lost in dreaming A pure white land, filled with voices screaming I step on in, hope to help Swallowed by cotton wool I recognise the voice calling It’s time to wake from your world of dreaming Turn back before you are lost The flower scent, a warning meant Tell him now, you’re not the kind of girl You hold for one night only…