what can you say?

his old ma fell in love with yet another man
who wasn’t even his pa or secondhand dad
just a third party guy way down the line
who should have known better
who should have stayed the visiting friend
not the constant companion

but hey, what can you say?
what can you say?

and now he finds he is losing out on love
he cannot find the empathy she demands
he wants it all to be over so quickly
he doesn’t even need the inheritance money
only the peace of not having to worry
about what may or might not happen

but hey, what can you say?
what can you say?

he should phone and say hello but he knows
the call will be tainted with negativity
and that’s not what he needs on this sunny day
when one life should not feel trapped by another’s
or feelings of anger welled up to the surface
but hey, what can you say?

what can you say?
what can you say?

life is what you make of it and maybe tomorrow
he will make that call and her spirits will have lifted
as if she has no more cares in the world
which of course will leave him feeling much worse
guilty as charged for being the unloving son
with the uncaring and callous heart

but hey, what can you say?
what can you say?

what can you say?
what can you say?

 

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addendum

when I was born
my mother wasn’t there
the clouds parted
I tasted my first air

when I was a child
my father chose to die
the country widened
beneath an open sky

when I was a man
my love abandoned me
the birds began to sing
setting my soul free

when I was old
my heart declined to beat
the setting sun burned
consuming me in heat

when I was reborn
my life began once more
mistakes and lessons learnt
repeating like before

north (sons and daughters)

we travelled south
east and west
each taking a bone
to plant and tend
we grew great forests
gave them names
like laughter, love
tundra, teal

there were swans and lakes
hills and streams
swallows flew
dreams took place

and then one summer
years from then
I caught my breath
inhaled again
and there before me
on the shore
a skiff, a whale boat
nothing more

north (mother)

we found your bones
recumbent
in an abandoned skiff
bleached and burnished
wind weathered
but there on your finger
the ruby red ring
and around your ribs
intricately knotted
the matching necklace
identifying you
laying claim in this
wasteland grave boat
connecting us
in no uncertain terms

your sons and daughters
they built a fire
with driftwood and dried kelp
and using the stars for lanterns
sang your name until morning
when light shone
and you were at last
at peace

Shepherdess II

I wear the fleece of my mother’s skin
around me wrapped like a body blanket
a bag of gifts and good intentions
warm affections and familiar smells

no sacrificial lamb am I
for through this needle’s haystack eye
do I travel through the birth canal
my Shepherdess has opened wide

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

Shepherdess

my Shepherdess cradles her little lamb
she comforts him with tender hands
abandoned, desperate, stumbling blind
her breast she offers for him to find
suckled, nourished, love divined
Shepherdess save me from my mind

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

as if my birth was only an echo of yesterday’s calling

eyelids heavy
sun setting
between lashes of rain I nod my thanks
like a pigeon full of shot
on a bed of autumn leaves
the little traces of blood spattered
amongst the green
yellow
brown
camouflaged bed now careening
on swivelling casters

an overfilled trolley dash
to death’s door

it’s a
bump
bump
of a ride
that rollercoasts me to the sea
it’s a
dive
dive
that parachutes me
to the bottom of the blue
it’s a
gulp
gulp
that delivers me
to the entrance of your cave
it’s a
kiss
kiss
that welcomes me
in the arms you hold open for me
it’s a
why?
why?
that haunts me

your door – always open to the brave
the barnacled handles
wrought lattice portcullis entwined with kelp
that helps hide your underwater domain
that helps keep your castle cave secret
amongst the shoals of fishes and seafoals
and dragon breath’d seals who guard your inner sanctum

and there
in the corner
coiled in a cockle’s mouth you lie
like the coral queen you are
I venture forward
I stumble on my own breath
the bubbles foaming in my nose
I know I am not drowning
I know I am under your spell
I know why I am here
I know now the answers to all things
and I know nothing else matters

deep down inside your mother belly
to which I have come to return
as I knew I always would
as I knew time would call me back
you waiting patiently
as if my birth was only an echo of yesterday’s calling
and I would have no wish to leave
as I had before

the good soldier

there’s no such thing
as a good soldier
said the girl with the bloody doll
you come and rape my mother
then you want to marry me

there’s no such thing
as a good soldier
said the boy with the wooden gun
you come and kill my father
then you want to enlist me

there’s no such thing
as a good soldier
said the old woman in the black shawl
you come and burn my family home
then you pity me

there’s no such thing
as a good soldier
said the good soldier to himself
I don’t know what I’m fighting for
then I fight some more

Mother Nature’s Neighbours

In the backyard battleground
The mother wants rid of her daughter
But the daughter wants more worms

Time to fly the nest little blackbird
The mother tries to persuade her daughter
But the daughter has a broken wing

They argue beak to beak upon the ground
The mother determined to force the issue
But the disabled daughter won’t let go

A stand-off dance of sorts now ensues
The mother twelve inches from her daughter
But the daughter mirrors her every move

Flicking autumn leaves as blackbirds do
The mother finds a tasty morsel or two
But the daughter dashes in for the steal

Another fight and flying feathers
The mother’s had enough of this pantomime
But her daughter’s bond is that much stronger

Than Mother Nature would care to admit
With winter waiting beyond the hedgerow
Where the weak will succumb to cold defeat

 

(These past couple of days I have been watching a pair of female blackbirds fighting and bickering in the yard. One appears to be injured and I have surmised that it is the young of the adult which now appears to be growing impatient for it to leave her side. The adult tries to chase it away but it keeps hanging around and dashes in when there is any chance of being fed.

I love all the birds that visit my garden and always have nuts and seeds in feeders for them. Living on a smallholding away from other houses and people they are my closest neighbours

Mother Nature is also often a cruel neighbour who waits next door with harsh winters and her very own and very effective mechanism for dealing with the weak and injured. I wondered about drawing comparisons with the way we treat our own weak and injured but the story of the birds felt too self-contained to add another dimension. Sometimes it’s best that we just observe and leave our emotional footprint out of the equation.

By chance I was writing this poem as the Daily Post prompt came through. The word ‘neighbors’ (spelt ‘neighbours’ here in UK) seemed to fit the theme quite nicely despite my having already posted the poem elsewhere under the title ‘Succumb’. Have a lovely weekend friends)

Home Schooling

I don’t like the smell of these candles! said Peter.

It’s all I could get hold of, his mother replied.

They smell of sick and dead things!

When is the electricity coming back on?

I don’t know Peter. When it can, I suppose.

 

Peter and his Mum sat huddled together,

Curled up under blankets on the comfy sofa,  

Watching the TV that would never work.

Not without electricity. The candle flickered,

A reflection in a screen of blankness.

 

When is Jane coming home? asked Peter.

Your sister has found a new home, mother replied.

Is it up in Heaven? asked Peter.

Yes dear, I’m sure it is. Mother smiled.

Did she take her arms and legs with her?

 

Outside the street was deserted,

Ominous thunder shook the world.

Peter imagined it wasn’t thunder.

He imagined his Dad up there somewhere,

Like Jane, but in a different way.

 

No school again tomorrow, said his Mum,

We have to go fetch water, find some food.

I’m hungry! said Peter, and bored!

I know, said his Mum, I know.

This game’s not fun anymore!

 

home-schooling