A different light

[for Sammy]

this is not life
this is just existence, just about
hours, days blur by
blurred by grey
feelings, or
their absence
chasm,
into which we’d leap?
no, step back from the void
and turn around

someone is calling your name
from a distant light
running, yelling,
“wait!
don’t go
we love you.”

“why?” you ask,
not rhetorical
demanding an answer
they take your hand
and you see their heart and mind
and those of all your presence has touched

and all of it is love. and all of it is good
they see the same you, but in a different light
a golden one you don’t recognise
but through which you look…
different.
beautiful.
whole.
how can one person feel this way about you,
let alone this army sent to save you,
drag you back from the brink?

“how?” you ask, dumbfounded.
and they take your hand again
and you see times you never knew counted
when a smile, or a word, or
just your presence
helped not one soul
but dozens
and brought warmth into the hearts

you have one last question.
“how did you know?” you ask, trembling
a third time they take your hand
and now place it over their heart,
cold.

“your absence,” they say,
“was keenly felt”

silence
long silence

“What now?” you ask.

“Come back to all of us,” they say,
“and be our light and warmth again.”

You can do nothing but smile, wipe your tears, and agree.

Praise and Harmony

[Hi all! I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear I’ve managed to keep up my strenuous one-post-a-month policy with this piece – boy has it been tough! For real though, sorry I’ve been so quiet – work and holidays have consumed me in (almost) equal measure these past few months. Anyhow, here’s a piece that’s been sat gathering dust (haha, you’ll see why I laughed there) for a while now. It’s a soft one this. Enjoy!]

 

my heart was gathering dust

as others flashed by

they were

lightning to me

bright & exciting

& all too brief

how could I recognise the sun having seen only lightning?

 

each flash had, brief & blinding

imprinted itself on my mind’s eye

to colour my vision of all that followed

& dull my senses further from bright

hope and optimism

 

meeting you

was a slow sunrise to me

indistinguishable from a flash at first

you grew into my world

made it lighter

until you were all I could see

and would want to see

until hand in hand

we walk off into the sunset

Showstop (jhewsyol)

I dream I’m not on a train with 200 other people
(I didn’t count them all, just my carriage before extrapolating)
but in the thick of all that’s troubling me, wading through the minefields
of love and friendship

and though by day I long for simplicity –
that we can be without reproach or interruption –
I shake awake, still on the train,
and pine, thinking ‘at least it was exciting’.

[No, I’m not quite sure what this piece is either.]

My Traditional February 29th Post

For as long as this blog has existed, I have posted every February 29th. This is but the latest edition of a long-standing series of pieces you can’t find here. As is traditional for this occasion, here’s a stream of barely-related thoughts:

Did you know Monday is the joint-most popular day for February 29th, along with Wednesday? Yeah, I did too. And that three leap days in every 400 years that should happen don’t? You knew that too? And that dragonflies can’t walk??
Boom.

It’s Darren Ambrose’s birthday! You know Darren, right? The former Charlton Athletic winger of course! Ok fine, but he was a boyhood idol of mine. I remember a silky cushioned volley he scored that I tried to emulate every time I met a cross for months. Never quite managed it like he did. Happy birthday, Darren.

I’m really looking forward to being proposed to in four years. I think women taking the initiative is always cool and, in these enlightened times, should no longer be one-offs for ‘odd’ days like today. Admittedly, for this to happen I would need to be ready to marry and in a committed relationship with ‘the one’ (and have to have realised their identity as such) in four years. Which likely means finding them soon. Hmm… 2024 maybe!

Leap seconds aren’t strictly related to leap years, though their purpose (to recalibrate ‘time’ because of human measures and astronomical ones that don’t quite align) is the same.

I saw ‘Deadpool’ in the cinema yesterday. A LOT MORE to come on this, but for now, it’s fantastic and you should go see it. If that doesn’t convince you, I’ll write 100 reasons why you should.

I hope y’all had, or are having, a wonderful Monday and a fantastic leap day. And I hope any guys out there, who wanted to be proposed to, were, indeed, proposed to. Lucky sods.

P.S. Did ya click on the link? Tee hee hee.

Healing

For Binks and Magic, who have great people around them.

*

It stings at first, like antiseptic clearing cuts
burns as scabs will, knitting us together
and aches the ache of muscles pulled apart
with perspiration to come back bigger, stronger
Our hearts must exercise as any other muscle.

Births are painful for a reason
Only from ashes do phoenix rise
Spring follows the bleakest season
and we know pain throughout our lives

The consolation’s simple: equilibrium
Happiness soon to return as you are due your turn
Tears: life grows where they fall in the desert of desolation
and their sparkle catches the eye of a new hope
one with the sense to see all you are worth

We learn to fly by falling
We laugh just as we cry
Rejection stings like healing
to tell us we’ll survive

*

The Game Changer

It was a fair fight until then, until the bomb.

The two sides traded blows, the sparring tongues of lovers.
Playful exchanges like scraps between brothers.
Never saw it coming; no guard posted for sight of the horizon.
Who would expect an advance so brazen? Sudden

time

slowed

Eyes widened, as it dropped

The infamous L-bomb
that changed the game beyond all expectation
The fling: flung
and in its place:

“I love you,” she said
and his defences crumbled like bombed bricks.

Tinder: The Burning Truth

[Ha ha ha ha more puns]

–Parts One and Two

Having started Tinder as a bit of a joke and then got far too invested in it as soon as I started considering my decisions, it was nice to realise something that toned my stress levels right back down: people worth talking to will reply to almost anything.

In my case at least, I believe this to be true. If someone’s not open enough to the possibilities, not willing to take a chance on talking to a total stranger, caught up in some ‘I’m here to be impressed’ mentality, then I’m not all that keen to talk to them anyway. The people I want to talk to are open, friendly, and looking to chat just like I am. As such, they’ll reply.

By ‘almost anything’, obviously there are certain things I’m not going to say. I get a lot of joy on Tinder by not being creepy, so suddenly deciding that ‘what are you wearing?’ will draw replies is not going to work. But I’d go as far as to say that ‘hi”, while it should be avoided if possible and followed up with some very good subsequent messages, shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. Better to say something and get the conversation flowing than stew in silence regretting missed opportunities. My most successful Tinder conversation had the good fortune to start with a discussion of her unusual name, but there have been plenty of good ones that started with…

*checks phone*
Oh well this is awkward…

So it turns out all my lasting conversations have come from unusual openers, from pet dragons to life-guarding skills (twice) to a (totally meta) discussion about openers.
This article is not turning out how I expected!
I’ll try again…

I guess a more applicable point is that you can be a bit random, as long as it elicits a response – just find something to comment on, or ask. One of the aforementioned women was wearing a generic Newquay lifeguard top, but my message allowed me to question her qualifications and mention having lived in Cornwall and as such got the conversation going.

I’m rapidly losing the ‘golden thread’ (I might make inane scraps of corporate jargon a regular feature in this blog, signified by highly sarcastic scare quotes of course (thoughts on this new feature?)) of this post but hopefully will distract you, lovely readers, from that fact with interesting asides (see interesting aside [insert interesting aside]). If you’re still reading, well thanks. A few closing thoughts on Tinder:

It’s pretty versatile. You can use it for ‘overnight’ dates, as a game, to chat to people, or even just to get restaurant recommendations in a new city (I will confess to doing this when losing interest in someone but still respecting their food establishment judgement).
Girls will generally talk to you and be nice. I can’t speak for the guys. Their definition of ‘nice’ may include invitations to overnight dates. Be warned – these are not slumber parties.
Having your mum in your photo with you will make more girls talk to you. I can swear to the validity of this claim. It makes you look like a nice guy. Helps if your mum is a bit shorter as well – makes you look tall. Thanks mum!

And that’s about that.