Being Brave

Bravery manifests in many guises. John was tired of fighting–he was assigned to the front line–and was terrified. But, like all his comrades, he put up a brave front. Besides, he would never let his side down, by playing the coward. He wanted respect and men in the front usually got it. It’s primal, the respect, that is. So was the fear. He had enough; he was drafted, he had no choice so here he was, some people in his platoon still left, and all he could think of was he going to be next? It was dark, he had no idea where he was and didn’t dare to light a match. The smell of decomposing flesh was nauseating. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a piece of Wrigley’s spearmint gum. He unwrapped the wrapper and carefully folded it into the smallest possible design he could and put it back in his pocket. Sort of like  a keepsake. Something to remember this moment by.  He was chewing the gum when he heard  rounds of fire coming from the north: enemy direction. He hit the ground the same time that his buddy was hit. The firing stopped. He felt icy cold and the deafening silence was unreal. It was then he noticed that everyone around him had been shot and he was completely an utterly alone. The illumination in the sky was sufficient to show the carnage around him.

He put his hand in his pocket and felt for the wrigleys spearmint wrapper that he had folded umpteen times. He felt secure by the touch of it, a moment of normalcy in what was an insane situation*. War sucks. His dreams of coming back a hero, medalled, to show off to his family, friends, girlfriend was insignificant. What was he supposed to do now? He rubbed the wrapper between his thumb and forefinger; thinking, thinking. In shock and, not a soul in site. The quiet was relentless.

So he did what any brave men would have done. He took his rifle, stuck it into his mouth and blew his brains out. The last thing he remembered before pulling the trigger was swallowing the piece of paper.

—————————————————–

Endless Preoccupation

fascination comes apart
when lovers meet
where do they start
missed phone calls
unread texts
forget the bullshit
snooker the rest

games played
only one
what is left
is the noonday sun.
drunken glasses
evening’s come
forget the masses
where is the fun?

sleepless nights
naked in bed
tossing and turning
politics unfed
desire vanishes
struggles to remain
what once was
is no one’s gain

Isabella at 21

IMG_9744

Isabella at 21
Is very beautiful
kind and all woman
she nurtures she cares
for everyone.
Her nature from birth

Has been one of
A sunny disposition.
She is also very smart
(she doesn’t think so)
But, we know so.

Her self-depreciating characteristic
Is typical of a Ceylonese
Especially from an Anglican
School
Such as Ladies College.

Isabella is a bella
The belle of the ball
In my book for sure
I would cast her
As the central character
She is unique

Extremely likeable
And resourceful.
21 years old.  I’ve had the
pleasure of spending
quality time
with her in Melbourne
for a week.

I note that she is interested in most things
Especially the arts
After we shopped we sat down and listened
To a musician busking
She then pointed out the MOMA exhibit
And there is one in Brunswick.

She has left me now in Melbourne.
She has gone back to Brisbane
I’ll be leaving on a plane
This Friday. Back to where I came from
Where Isabella was born
CEYLON

BE HERE NOW

 

BE HERE NOW

Be here now.
Said my father
How? I asked?
Puzzled by it’s
Seemingly simple
But complex notion
I am here
Isn’t it obvious?

No. My father, said
Your mind is all
Over the place
To be here now
One must truly
Be present.

In body mind and soul
At one with oneself
And the universe
Be here now ridicules
running away
From life experiences
And responsibilities

That’s when the anxiety
Sets in. the anxiety reminds
Me to feel
Really feel
The moment
Love truth anguish

Be here now
Is difficult
As the mind
Listens to the music
In the background
Be here now is interrupted
By Ashira walking in.

So all I can conclude
From this exercise
Is that to be here now
Is not easy.
It demands concentration.
A brain that focuses
Under different circumstances
I am all over the place
But here. Not here.

Usually , over there…

wedged heart

Deep in my heart a wedge does lie
I’m willing to throw a dart to hit it clean and fair
Instead I breathe, breathe deeply and sigh
The cause of the wedge is mine—let’s try.

Was it the afternoon I drove back from Galle?
Hail! Thunder and Lightning quite a scare
Voice on the radio warning us to go with care.
the highway is dangerous to drive anywhere.

Wait! is the wedge my children? My poor mother, too.
My husband, Dom, my in laws? ‘How do you do?’
A lost love, another life, what could have been?
it’s  bittersweet now, all that I have seen…

The wedge comes and goes. Today it sticks, like a thorn to a rose.
Tears pour down my face, I am thankful for god’s grace.
To analyze the pain, sitting in the car in the rain
One goes back in time, breathes, the mind arace.

To gratitude: of course, I’m grateful! So what if I’m Fey?
The wedge is lodged, embedded deep. I long for the comfort of sleep
Not yet, not there, the exit is quite far. Stay awake!
Don’t fall asleep. Keep breathing the wedge out, however deep.

At last the exit, I take the turn, drive to the booth to stop.
Pay my toll and on my way, keep breathing the hardness away
And suddenly, I am aware, that this feeling of a wedge
has disappeared, is not there?  was it the stress of the drive?

Maybe. Could be, should be, yes! Driving is difficult
When one can barely see, the car in front, the road, a tree.
The rain is ceasing, the breathing is easy
At last: Home. the dog runs to greet me.

Unpack my bag get on the mat
Do a few yoga poses, here comes the cat!
5 kittens to feed all are shivering.
My body feels better, no more dithering

I draw a bath then into bed, take meds, then cover.
Dream of mayhem and accidents oh what a shower!
I suddenly wake up to another day. Stretch and yawn.
The wedge has gone, the sun shines bright. Oh how I love, love, love the light.

N.S.  APRIL 15, 2018

 

Sweater Weather

 

 

Short days in Michigan

When the leaves turn to

colours of the earth.

 

The old man mowing his lawn

Wearing his slate cashmere v-neck with

holes under the arms, has never bothered

to get the thing darned.

 

Billy used the season to shoot

He would walk out into the woods with his Colt 45

Looked for Rabbit, Deer, if lucky, a Bear.

He wore a brown, round, wool neck sweater

that kept him warm.

It also camouflaged him really well.

 

No-one mentioned the time he was down by

The creek – – a body floated up, face down–

bloated and gross from being in the river for over

A week.

The sheriff hushed It up,

Billy was his son, you see.

 

The Sheriff wore a red lambswool sweater

to suggest authority, or perhaps, danger? and to keep visible.

He was beautiful to look at – A Cary Grant—with manners.

How us County people respected him.

The sole reason we never pursued the body story.

His word was Final.

 

Me, Autumn in Michigan, meant road trips—a six pack of

Molson in the car;  Ruben sandwiches and my best girlfriend.

We’d sing to Joni Mitchell and Carol King—perfect tunes for a fall sunset

that seemed to last forever. At night, Deborah Harry

blasted from the CD deck the stars shining brightly.

 

We did not need the moon or headlights to show us the way.

My girlfriend wore her purple sweater, made of Angora.

It smelled of Opium. I wore a cashmere jersey

in lime green.

 

We drove for days hitting the west coast

Got down at Full Moon Beach.

Threw our sweaters off,

and with it, our angst spinning emotions

Jumped nude into the Pacific Ocean

 

The water was cold.

We could very well had been swimming in

Lake Michigan—but,

It was worth it.

For the Road Trip.

2261 miles of it.

NS May 7th 2017.

Machine I loved

A low slung Volks

turbo charged, fast

(naturally)

did 130 miles on

the Arugumbay

Moneragala road

‘A poor man’s porsche’

my friend said.

Leonard Cohen crooning

as we looked

at the mountains

whizzing by

light poured in

the driver seat

comfortable enough to

race in.

I down shifted to third

then, back to fourth, fifth

as we turned the corner

on two wheels

the car did a one eighty

and smashed against

the hillside

we poured out

stunned, bruised, bleeding

we were ok

the car ok, too

German engineering

I thought

I loved this car

I was biased

Thank god we weren’t

driving the Prius.

NS FEB 13, 2017