Thought # 1 | Running

mitchell-orr-222165.jpgWhen I was young I never liked to run.

When the teacher blew the whistle I would walk to the line having spent my hour beneath the tree by the playground fence, talking to my friends about things in the news that scared us or watching the boys in our class run around after the other girls, the nicer girls, the girls who loved to run.

As I grew up I learned to love running, too. I learned to run without ever moving my feet. I loved to get as close as I could and then as far away as possible; to chase and then be chased.

The years ran by too, and with every race I won I found only a new starting line, another whistle blown, another face on the terrace watching as I ran away.

I glued the medals in a scrapbook; the envelopes resealed, my name in black ink.
No postal address. No stamp.

And, now, I try my best to be still.

My mind no longer runs. Though she wanders from time to time.


Poem #1 | Washing Powder

The Poem That Inspired The Blog.

andrew-welch-330269 copy

Washing Powder

I couldn’t tell you why the taste
of early October that
freckled my lower lip through an open
bus window beside a building site reminded me
of your Saturday late-afternoon
kitchen, but the heater beneath the tiles
that warms the edges around the floor
where I used to sit in front of the
tinned food entered my mind just then –

and soon after came the broken beams
on your stairwell and your neighbour’s gate
creaking in the winter, and Bernard Black
mornings with scrambled eggs and
the coffee thing,
the cigarette thing,
the garden shoes and stolen QE2 bathrobe thing,
the polite cat on the footpath thing,
the royal blue, turned up collar thing,

and it’s easier to do this
if I pretend I was just your summer
girl; it’s really not your fault that you
found me
in the spring.

And we would have never
made it to the Cotswolds on a bicycle,
or done the “picnic on the Guild Wheel” thing.
I know how to be outside, after all, and
if I was your summer girl you’d have ditched
me in the fall,

which makes it easier to remember the
painting on your bedroom wall, and the story
she wrote about it in the back of your
tab notebook, in your basement in
Liverpool two years before
the picture of you laughing,
shaking hands with Paul
Mcartney, and I know you thought
you shouldn’t be there at all so
you blushed when your parents hung
it on the hallway wall.

I remember her sitting on the edge
of the sink, and she said she
must love him, really, because she felt it
in her bone marrow but then
she doesn’t know how poetic
she gets when she drinks.

And she asked me if I thought we’d
remember these times when we were
old and on our own and I knew then that
we were living out our good old days; the
stories we will tell when we are fully grown.
We will look back on these memories
and know we had it good; days were warmer
we were thinner and we’d go
back if we could.

And I’ll remember the five of us in our booth or
plastic bar seats, drinking cheap cider while you
bartered your talent’s worth in number of
paid drinks and ignored tab receipts,
and here’s a boy I’ve known forever but
when I speak he’ll just speak louder,
so I’ll think of the night we sat on the floor in
my living room, and I kept your head on my
shoulder until I could smell the washing powder.