Month: June 2015

On driving in the early morning wind

The electrical wires, swaying in the wind like the hair of a crucified witch began to fall one by one.

Fluck

Fluck

Fluck

they cried like obscenities as they fell to earth. White and yellow sparks flashed out, exploding in fireworks or tears from a strangled child.

The truck one with the road, was the only vehicle in sight, picked its way along the black tar. The driver is tired and yellow eyed like a demon who is deprived of sleep. He had eaten sixty dollars worth of drugs to keep him active and awake but his brain was trying to sleep.

Green pus spilling from a wound, the driver sees the sparks and wires but drives through them, laughing. He swearves the truck into the next car he sees.

A green sedan, going faster than it should because the speedo always exaggerates. A family groggy with the early morning, frightened by the wind, sit in the darkness of the vehicle. The children, three little kiddies, are asleep in the back. Their mother is awake but looking out the side window. The father is looking straight ahead at the truck that is crossing the line. He thinks; the wind is making it unsteady, is it coming toward me?

Too late.

The truck engulfs the small car, the flames engulf them all. Death rides heavily upon them, a skull upon a dark figure riding a war horse with huge heavy feet.

The road is cold and dark, except for where the flames leap and spill. The wires are silent now, the sun sits heavily below the horizon a red glow zaps across the distant hills.  The wind knocks a tree over, the hard wind keeps on relentlessly.

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Adventure Short story

The beach reflected the sunlight, burning golden hot under Molly’s small gentle feet. She trotted across the hot dry sand to the edge of the ocean where the cool salty water washed gently over her toes. The soft wet sand gave way under each step, leaving small indents which, when the waves drained away, contained small pools of water. Molly stopped and looked back at her footsteps as she went and then purposefully began to drag her toes in the wet sand.
‘People will think a turtle has come ashore when they see these marks,’ she thought to herself. She stopped after eighteen turtle-steps and looked back to see that the marks were being eroded by the gentle waves.
Being carefree she forgot this game and stared out to the horizon where dark blue storm clouds were gathering. White caps on the rough sea broke in the distance and Molly pretended they were the tails of thousands of whales slapping the waters surface.
“It will be a storm,” she said to herself, having heard her mother say so to Aunty Joan as she left the house.
Further on, only five minutes walk along the quiet beach, were huge granite stones. The stones caused the waves to become dangerous and they smashed into the huge house sized boulders sending up wild spray. If Molly were to fall in, she imagined, she would be smashed into thousands of pieces and then dragged into the deep water where animals would eat her. She had been told not to go there and climb on the rocks. She was allowed to go that far as long as she turned around and came home as soon as she reached them. It was her morning exercise during the family vacation, a chance for her to get out of the rented beach house and work off the morning energy that would tear her apart internally if she did not run it off.

The rocks loomed dark and mightily before her, crooked ancient trees grew along the highland behind them. Their huge heavy branches reached out to the sky, creating a beautiful effect of green on blue. The grey clouds came closer to the shore but did not worry Molly, she hoped it would rain, she loved the rain on these hot slow days.
She climbed up the closest rock using the large dimples to gain ahold. It was hard work, but soon she was on top with only a scuff on one knee where little drops of blood formed. It was nothing to worry her. She brushed herself and delicately touched her knee for a moment and then looked for a puddle to wash with. She froze, the terrible pain of a sudden shock ripped through her chest. A man with long grey hair and dark eyes sat on a stone which jutted out from this nest of rocks. The man was looking out to sea, but as Molly watched the man turned his head and looked at her a while before looking away.
Molly struck with the old man’s attitude, watched him while the waves smashed upon the rocks sending a delicate spray into the air, which rained down on her in tiny bubbles.
It would be a difficult job to cross over to the man, if she wanted to go close enough to speak. There were large gaps between the rocks where if you fell, you would disappear into the darkness and an unknown depth. For a while she satisfied herself watching the man who after sitting perfectly still, reached down and raised a long staff into the air and waved it about as if he were trying to control the clouds above. As if loyal and submissive the clouds rushed over and soon the summer rain fell in heavy fat drops.
Molly edged her way across a split, looking down into the darkness as she crossed. She climbed the rise of a rock until she could speak to the old man.
“Hi,” she called.
The man was silent.
“Hey!” she yelled again, “What are you doing?”
The old man turned his glare away from the ocean to the girl. “I’m commanding the waves.”
Molly looked back to the ocean, the waves were rough and coming in high and fast. “No you’re not,” she said.
The man began to wave his stick harder. “What would you know?” he asked.
“I know that if you stopped doing that the waves would be exactly the same. In fact if you weren’t even here nothing would change.”

The rain came down harder still, Molly could feel her hair hanging heavily down the sides of her face.
“I am controlling the rain too,” the man added.
“Pshew!” the girl dismissed him. “Where are you from?”

“Town,” the man nodded toward the town that lay over the hill.
“Do you swim?”

“Sometimes,”
“Is that your wand?”

“It’s a staff,” he corrected her and as a ferocious wave hit the rocks, he waved it high above his head.
The rain began to annoy the girl, “Can you make it stop raining?”

“If I wanted to.”

“Stop it then.”

The man stood up, “I will grant you this one miracle,” he shouted, “But first tell me, aren’t you afraid of me?”

“No,” she lied. “I mean you are a bit weird, but you couldn’t cross between your rock and this one, the gap’s too wide. I’d think I could run faster than you too.”

The old man smiled. “I will stop the rain.” The man held his staff above his head and began to yell and jerk about, occasionally pointing his hands and stick aggressively toward the sky. The rain continued, the clouds rolled over the land from the sea.
Suddenly the man turned pale and clutched at his chest, he sat back. “When I was younger I could have stopped this,” he said.
Molly nodded and suddenly felt very sorry for the man.
“Have you had lunch?” she asked.
“No,”
“I’ll go and get you a sandwich.”

Without waiting for an answer she dashed across the rocks and leaped down into the soft wet sand. She ran along the beach, back to the cabin where her family were and grabbed three sandwiches from the table. Molly, dripping with rain, turned to leave.
“Where are you going?” her mother asked.
“There’s a man on the rocks who is hungry, I’m gonna give him some sandwiches.”

“Hang on Molly, you’re not going back now, not in this rain. I’ll come with you this afternoon and you can show me your friend.”

“No, I gotta go now.”

“No.” Her mother took her by the shoulder and steered her back, taking the sandwiches. “You’re all wet, go and dry off and we’ll go later.”
“He’ll be gone,” Molly complained but it was beyond her control now. She turned to the window. Rain streamed down the glass, the ocean waves rushed to shore.

Upon seeing Caesar Augustus

Lying alone on a hill, in a grotty part of town, in a park

I looked into the sky and saw huge in the clouds

the leader of Rome from two thousand years ago

Caesar Augustus stood in the sky

mighty, powerful, robed in purple and wearing the leaves of power

golden sceptered and crowned.

He looked not at me, but at the world and said

‘All things made from dust return to dust, even Rome’

A strong wind blew up and leaves, paper and the clouds rushed away.

Caesar was gone.

A bird landed nearby in a tree and the sky became clear and blue.

Library

The library was dark, the only windows were small and outside the sun had fallen behind some heavy clouds. Martin crossed the thick red carpet looking at the shelves full of books, the colors of the spines, the sharp clear titles, the dazzling thoughts of so many stories awaiting his discovery. Three people apart from him stood about reading and moving books about. No one stood at the sales desk.

Martin stopped before a large bookcase of self help books. He looked at the meditation section and ran his finger over the books, feeling the difference between hardcover, softcover, ridged spine and curved. There was a ladder near him and he looked to the high shelves well out of reach. There were more books high up and they looked like books on discovering sexuality and better ways to find intimacy. The sexier books were higher. Martin moved the ladder and propped it comfortably under the top shelf. He climbed the rungs, ignoring the sign that read: “Staff only.” He reached the top and began to read along, searching for books. There was one he wanted a long way to his right, he stretched his arm as far as he could, he took a foot and put it on the lower shelf and moved further across, then the ladder gave way, slipping out from under him. Martin’s stomach sank but he held fast to the shelves, knocking a few books to the floor along with the ladder. People looked up to see the man clinging high up near the ceiling.

The bookcase shifted and began to give way. It fell forward so slowly that Martin hung on and wondered what would happen and how much it would hurt. The people watched as the bookcase and hundreds of books hit the floor. The building shook for a moment and Martin was crushed under broken timber and self help.

——————————————————————————————

The Bomber is available to buy now.

1

To You, after hearing bad news.

She comes in the room as the sun is sneaking under the curtain

and tells me that they can’t beat her

and I believe it.

He took a free ticket to a live taping of a news program

told the country that he hates them on camera

and they should know

Even the man in the fruit market is angry

it’s hard enough to sell fruit

let alone have lunatics making it harder

I agree but I have no idea

the professor tells me I have a lot to learn and

I know it

it makes me happy

I have a lot to learn

it means years of new books and documentaries

it means going to lectures on topics I have no idea about

the wonderful feeling of listening to a new song

or seeing a new movie

or when that author touches you in the spot

(touches the spot – it’s near the heart)

it means that when I grow old

and I think the room is cold so I put more wood on the fire

wood I cut myself with my old and tired hands

I can still go to the books and find one I haven’t read

and read it with joy

and then just then like lightening

into a field

bad news.

The black scar across the yellow grass

the smoke and scream

of midnight air

being sucked

into the darkness

and my room window

left open

swings lightly in the breeze

what would happen, if the lightning had hit the house?

the hot weather

brings lightning

brings fire.

I dream of ice covered lakes where the pine trees

under the grey skies

look greener and nothing sad ever happens

one man is a brother

five hundred are a plague

That you shall never know

brings a tear to my eye and a heart that is growing older with every beat

with every beat.

Today –things I did– day before

Tomorrow is the launch of my debut novel The Bomber, I can’t believe the date has arrived so soon. I hope everything goes well, I hope the book finds success.

Today I spoke to a journalist from the local newspaper and he was great one of th nicest journalists I have met. We sat in the park and it was a beautiful day, sunny, the trees were dropping leaves around us, ducks walking about the grass.

I borrowed a book of poetry from the library,

I moved some plants.

I am speaking on the radio tomorrow.

My sister sent me a gold pen she had engraved with ‘The Bomber June 24 -15’

I went for a walk past three lakes and saw that they were all full.

I watched the sun move through the pines.

I thought a lot about the book and I know it is not the most important thing in the world but I hope it does well and people read it.

2

B-2tJnsUUAAcyW2

RELEASES TOMORROW

June 24th

not long now until The Bomber and In praise of W B Yeats

I do not feel like writing too much today. I am tired and feeling strangely about my debut novel and its arrival in two days. I am twisted like an old branch. Will it do well and be well received. Will it find those that love it and will read it and perhaps come back to it years later and recall ‘yes, it was good to read, I shall read it again.’

I hope so. I have no control.

My favorite poet is W. B Yeats. I have below one of his poems. Not his most famous nor my favorite. But it is well written and full of truth, thus as it has been scientifically proven by Keats, full of beauty.

Adam’s Curse
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
We sat together at one summer’s end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world.’
And thereupon
That beautiful mild woman for whose sake
There’s many a one shall find out all heartache
On finding that her voice is sweet and low
Replied, ‘To be born woman is to know—
Although they do not talk of it at school—
That we must labour to be beautiful.’
I said, ‘It’s certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam’s fall but needs much labouring.
There have been lovers who thought love should be
So much compounded of high courtesy
That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
Precedents out of beautiful old books;
Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.’

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

I had a thought for no one’s but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.
Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)

Moonlight swims

Once I get my drivers license I can go up to Rennicks Lake anytime

but for now it is too far away and I can’t afford the train ticket.

I ride my bicycle to work

even when it’s wet or when it’s cold.

The worst is the cold, when my fingers freeze and numb

on the handle bars

and the wind cuts into my face.

The best time is 6am

summer

and there are no cars

just the gentle sun waking in the east

and the streets as quiet and gentle

as any christmas cartoon

or poster image of Ireland’s pastures.

After work I spend time in the second hand shops

buying art

what I look for are oil paintings

or water colors.

But I will buy posters if they are really interesting

or well framed.

Can you imagine me

trying to get a big painting

home on my bicycle?