Many happy

Some or many years ago of course my mum was there. Nine months earlier and the man they called my father had been too. Now both are disappeared, one too soon before the other, and the counting of the years wears thin.

The best thing remain the candles – if you forget the jokes about the fire risk and the firemen and now the fire service. Each candle stands for a memory, a year that has passed or a friend, and calmly shines its light into the future. The more candles on the cake, the brighter the light they cast, the better they show us what is to come.

Though, through fear, we may not want to know. So we blow out the candles and pinch out the stubs and blow away the memories and shade out the light. The future is arriving fast enough; I do not want to see it.

How did our paths meet?

So how did our paths meet?

Did I track you through the needle-green forest?


Or did you follow my footprints along the dried earth

between the long grasses

across the river

in the dark?


I do not know or don’t remember.

But the lines of flame that come to an arrowhead

that meet and stop and flare and entwine

the lines of flame point to a destiny

where we have now arrived.

Old dreams

I piled my old, dried-out dreams into the bottom of the bare wooden boat. With the strength in my shoulders I heaved it out towards the horizon and, almost casually, dropped in a match. The flames flickered higher as the boat flared into the night, dreams becoming stars, each for their moment.

Flames danced

The stranger looked past Kelly as the fire cleaned, hollowed, scoured the building. Flames danced in his dark eyes.

Kelly could not look away. The flames flickered higher and higher, the spinning blue lights behind her lit and shadowed his face.

Later, the sun coming up behind him darkened his face. The fire was dead but still they stood there, flames in his eyes still flaring.

He pulled the hood closer. He lifted her cold hand to his lips and blew gently on it. Time stopped. Blackness.

The stranger’s fingers were still linked with hers, the sun still rising. He began to walk away from the black dead building. Kelly followed and they ran side by side, fingers still locked together.

On the wasteland beyond the not yet burnt buildings they stopped, breathed heavily, the flames in Kelly’s eyes reflected in the stranger’s.

“Gonna do another one the mornin’?”