The Five-Colour Rainbow

Grandad called her his five-colour rainbow. She did not think about it while he was still alive; it was his name for her.

But then when the sad days were over it took over her life – a degree, a doctorate, a professorship and, of course, that book. ‘The Five-Colour Rainbow’ was more pre-ordered than read, but those who tried really appreciated the chapter headings and the way it finished with a question.

Someone I didn’t like very much

Someone I did not like very much died this morning. I was taught not to speak bad of the dead – or the ill, just in case they passed while my dark thoughts wrapped round them. I hold scissors open near the bonsai and consider. Lop a branch and tell what I believed they had done to me? Leave it to grow and stay silent until my story bursts out as a bud, as a leaf? I close the scissors and put them down on the wooden floor. I look at them and half-open them again. That is more pleasing to the eye, though not to the heart.

Pros and cons. Benefits and not. I think of the family. Perhaps I would not have liked them too. I did not have the chance and would not have wanted it. I turn the scissors through ninety degrees. An improvement. I close them to a finger’s width and smile without meaning to.

I am not going to tell my story, I have decided, because if the truth once known can corrode. It would not be fair as the dead are not here to answer. Though they were never fair themselves.

One leaf, just one leaf and perfection. I pick up the cold scissors, close them, open them again to the sharpest V and finish shaping the tree. The dead remain dead for a very long time but trees can last forever.

Tea dance time

Sid faded away in tea dance time
slow
slow
then too soon
quick quick.

Foxtrot Oscar he used to say
when his knees would not lift him
and his eyes would sparkle.

Through the window
we would watch his face
and see the smile
as his left foot tapped out the rhythm.

One two three
one two three
one
and then no more.

Bet still held his hand
as she always had
from their very first dance with the carpets rolled back
and the piano in the corner.

One two three
she said.
One two three
again.
One.

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

and as it turns brings hope

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

and as it turns brings hope

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

and as it turns brings hope

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

and as it turns brings hope

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

and as it turns brings hope

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

and as it turns brings hope

sea-blue flowers sway

beyond the sandy slopes

the tide is on the turn again

and as it turns brings hope