Dog Roses (3)

Kid's drawing Nerja

It is 4.20 am on a Sunday morning and the Pier Pressure night club is still open. A man and his friend walk down from the club towards South Beach. A group of people have gathered on the wooden steps leading down to the sea. There is laughter and music. The man opens his mouth and shouts, Susan! Susan, he shouts again, sort yer fucking shit out! His fists are clenched, his shoulders hunched up tight. He pulses with anger.

Each day there is rain. Persistent she called it. The author. The author who keeps bees. The rain is keeping them in their hives, she says. They’re eating all the honey.

It’s because she put her finger in a foxglove, he tells me. My sister, he reiterates. I know. I know the story but I let him tell me again. My sister put her finger in a foxglove before I was born, he says, so that I would be a boy.

I used to do that too, the little trumpets felt furry inside. Sometimes there was a bee.

A woman’s handbag lies on the ground next to the gate into the children’s playground. I hear voices. Laughter. Four young people are on the climbing frame. A girl giggles. It’s wobbly, she says.

The rain has taken the petals from the dog roses. A confetti of pink on the tarmac. The scent still lingers though. An innocent, gauche sort of sweetness. A memory of walking through long grass, wet against my legs.

There is only forgiveness. And love. Just that. It is enough.



The Boxer

drawing from Joanny's 17 June 2016

There is too much to write. Too much to off-load, unload onto the page. And it is early, before breakfast. I just thought I’d make a start. Begin. There is power in beginning Goethe said. I love this time. The quietness, the stillness. Quiet enough to hear the mewing of a cat done below.

I was walking through the Castle gardens yesterday morning. It must’ve been about 4.20 am. A man was coming towards me. He sees me and begins to bounce about on his feet, his arms raised, his hands as fists. Just like a boxer. A boxer preparing to spar. I continue to walk, steeling myself for an encounter. As I came closer he smiled and stopped punching the air. Sorry, he said, smiling. I was cold. Just trying to keep warm. Did I reply? I think I smiled, possibly said, it’s OK. He walked on, as did I. Great shoes, by the way, he shouted. I laughed. Thank you, I said, continuing to laugh all the way down Great Darkgate Street.

You see there is nothing. There is nothing to fear.


Farmer’s Girl

Scan of love text tapestry (2)

Only a few stragglers left. A mere scattering this morning, some on the beach, some in the shelter. Lip Lickin’ Chicken was open. And a gaggle of seagulls were fighting and worrying over a discarded carton spotted with grease. Pier Pressure was also open. A girl and two boys were sitting on the shelf of the Prom, there legs hanging over the ledge, their bodies leaning into the railings. The girl was crying, one of the boys was trying to comfort her. She cried noisily. A young gull screeched insistently for its parent. Momentarily lost, abandoned, like a seven-year-old Japanese boy. Punished. To be punished. I told you so. A warning, rarely seen through, this time it was. He seems none the worse. A thumbs up in a picture in the paper.

Last week was busier. Just after exams. Lots of singing. Kids in the sea. Skinny-dipping. Let it go, a group of them were singing, just by the clock tower, let it go. All together, reaching a crescendo that reverberated all the way down Great Darkgate Street. The theme song from Frozen, I think. I am not up to date. Separate.

The weather has been glorious. The man across the way mowed his lawn twice. They grow brown that family. Always in the garden.

We sit in our seat. I peel off my clothes and lift my face to the sun. A baby dragonfly settles on my naked shoulder. It stays.

Coffee at the University café. It’s convenient for work. She’s a chatterbox. I can hear her. He can’t get a word in edgeways. Non-stop. She is a good woman, clearly, who needs to talk, to pour it out. She’s going away, yes, in the autumn, yes, to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Not her cup of tea. I’m a farmer’s girl, she says, a day out at Aberaeron is more my thing. And again, yesterday, he likes it there, bringing the stories home. Liz said it was hay fever, he says. Oh, I say. Yes, she says she has it now, caught it off her husband.

Getting ready. I feel a little distrait. I can’t start things. Winding-down. It will do me good. The space to think, away from the need to do. I must just succumb. Place myself in another’s hands. Yield.

He talked about the old country custom of sewing red speedwell into the lining of their coats. It was thought to bring good luck.

No sun today, just a milky stillness. Nice.