it has rained and rained on the hills upstream
the river flows deep, the colour of builder’s tea
beyond the last fields the sea waits
sun arrows down from cloudless skies
winter wind bringing ice to skin
in the distance the hill burns
and time and time and time
will catch us in its oily grasp
and hold us there unmoving
as people places memories all fade away
My brother was my brother. There, always there when I needed him and when he needed me. Years later I paid him the greatest compliment I thought when I called him my friend.
I met Deep through friends of friends of friends. Three degrees of separation or of closeness. Long time no see a lot of times but still close whenever. I called him brother from another mother and he did the same.
Then Deep met my brother. They were more than close, they were tight. Still are. Love them both.
in the darkness snow falls, covers snowdrops
green heart quivers
daylight cracks unclouded sky
iced snow shields the living
He was sobbing. I stopped. It was minus five degrees.
His ma had just died. She was a great wee woman who hated that her son was a junkie. It was minus five degrees.
He sat crosslegged on the filthy thin sleeping bag on the pavement. Someone had paid for him to stay in a B&B for two nights but then the money ran out and he had to leave. He sobbed. It was minus five degrees.
He could have a hostel bed in three nights’ time but now he was on the streets and scared to death. His ma had just died. It was minus five degrees.
She loved him but she just couldn’t cope. I held him tight as we hugged. He sobbed. It was minus five degrees.
once they would have celebrated a goal with a cheer, a punching fist
but now older men complete crosswords and smile
they know the past and its value
and the warm contentment that enfolds them into the darkness
dark night, dark dreams swirling
eyes flicker, will they open?
blue bruised sky slowly lightens
I read your letter
breathed the ink, the scent of you
paper cuts my heart
See the dog? Yeah, watch the dog. Watch the dog… watch the doggy… don’t look at the bag. What bag? Oh yes, very good, what bag, there’s no bag there. Just watch the dog…. See him? Yes, he does look heavy, you’re right but just wait a moment – don’t look at the bag, there is no bag there. The bag has gone. Just focus on the dog. Focus on Dougie, focus – yes, that’s his name. Or that’s the name he answers to rather. Who knows what his dog name would be? But he answers to Dougie so maybe that’s his name. No, not Baggie. Hahaha. Dougie. Did you see how his ear twitched then? Just when I said his name. OK. I was getting a little distracted there. Let me sum up and begin. Dougie’s the dog and there is no bag there. Now, can you all put your hand in your purse or your pocket….
Inspired by a photo by Trish Malley @trishsky http://www.broaddaylightltd.co.uk/tricias-stuff-1/ (fourth photo from left)