Our Last Walk

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I dreamt last night that you were with me
and we walked along that path leading to the river and the ferry across.
(do you remember the ferry?)

It was summer, or so it seemed,
and the air was heavy & hot.
The sky was blue, cloudless, except for distant flecks of white.
Insects and small birds shared the air –
I’m sure I saw a dragonfly, iridescent blue/green
hovering over a flowering thistle

The path we walked was as I remembered it;
narrow and hedged on each side
by waist high wild plants & flowers – blue and white, some blood red,
green, alive, hosting many flying fauna that buzzed and flitted
from bloom to bloom.

But interspersed among the verdant growths were
angry-thorned wild roses, nettles
and the dark brown and black of dying flora.

I wanted to hold your hand but the nettles and harsh-thorned plants
grabbed at our clothes and gashed bare skin.
So we plodded single-file, not talking;
I knew you were behind me but had to keep turning round to be sure.

It felt as though we had been walking for an eternity
until rounding a bend in the path,
we saw the river in the near distance.
Blue-green-still, dappled by sunlight,
its surface broken by occasional movements
from creatures beneath.

As we drew close the to river’s edge and the grey wooden jetty,
I noticed the buzzing insects and flying birds had ceased their aerobatics;
there was silence, not even the gentle lapping of water against the riverbank.

Looking across to that distant bank it seemed blurred and indistinct;
an eerie mist hovered at that far shore.

There was a brass bell atop a post standing at the back of the jetty,
aged and stained.

You came to my side and took my hand but spoke no words.

I reached out to ring the bell but you squeezed my hand.
I looked to you and your eyes were fearful.
Shaking your head, you mouthed ‘No!’

I nonetheless reached up and grabbed the cord tied to the striker
and rang the bell.
Three times I did this.
But no a sound was made.

The silence was oppressive now & looking skyward I realised dusk had crept upon us.

I looked out at the river and the mist that moments before
had been at the distant shore was now edging towards us.

The air chilled suddenly and in the silence
I could hear my heart pounding in my ears.

Your hand still clasped mine; it was clammy, cold.

I looked at you but your eyes were drawn to that distant river’s edge
and the mist that crept towards us.

I strained too to see into the approaching brume and saw a yellow light
in the now black, starless darkness around us.
It appeared to be hanging in the air.

Moments later, a small boat loomed from the mist,
the light bobbing on a spar at its prow.
And the ferryman, thrusting his pole into the green-dark depths of the river,
tall, thin, indistinct in the half light.

Silently the boat came to rest at the end of the jetty.
The ferryman caught my eye: I do not recall his face,
it was as though it was devoid of features.

He raised an arm and gestured towards us.
You pulled your hand from mine.
I looked at you but your eyes were locked on the ferryman.

He gestured again and you turned to me, smiled, and walked onto the jetty.
I wanted to reach out to you but I was frozen, paralysed.
I tried to speak but could not form any words.

In a few steps you were at the end of the jetty and stepped onto the boat;
it didn’t rock, almost as though you were as weightless as the mist around it.

I tried to call out to you but again no words came out.
You turned to me then.
Your eyes were sad.
You touched your hand to your heart then turned away.

The boat began to move away, back into the brume
and was soon lost to the night  …

 

© 2017

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Encounter

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He spoke a truth; I ate the lie.
He gave me his word; I gagged on the hollow promise.
He touched me; my skin crawled.
He kissed me; his breath was foul.
He spat his sins in my face; I absorbed them, bore them.
He held me; my heart stuttered
He looked at me; his eyes were empty.
He loosed his hold; I moved to him.
I grasped his hand; it was clammy, chilled.
He pulled away; I tightened my grip.
He begged for release; I ignored his pleas .
He whispered, “Why?”; I would not hear.
I struck him down; he was still.
I mouthed “Amen” and turned away.

A Rhetorical Question: ‘Is Thinking About Writing The Same As Writing?’

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At the start of the year, I made a resolution to myself that 2017 would be the year of #writingeveryday2017.

Now, as the end of the month approaches and 338 writing days remain, it has been a sporadic start.

I have written something some days and on those ‘off days’ I have [mostly genuinely] thought about writing: ideas have come and but more often gone before I can note them, but a few have survived and irritatingly fewer still have made it to the creation stage.

But I am thinking about writing most days, more than once during the day most days …

So to return to my question: Is Thinking About Writing The Same As Writing?

The Confession

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The first piece in my ‘Write Something Each Day’ project for 2017.

Your comments, shares & trackbacks appreciated.
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“That confession isn’t going to write itself,” she sneered. “Get on with it.”

She was very close behind him speaking in an almost whisper. He could feel her hot breath on his neck. It was almost erotic.

He sat at a small wooden desk, the only furniture in the room other than the metal-framed chair he sat on. On the desk was a thin pad of lined A4 paper, a desk lamp and nothing else. In his left hand, hovering over the blank page, he held a pencil.

She was still behind him.

His arm jerked backwards and the pencil found its mark embedding itself a good few inches into her left eye. An “Oh!” of surprise escaped from her lips and seconds later she fell with a thud to the floor. He looked around. Blood had started to seep around the pencil obscenely jutting out of her left eye. The right eye was wide open in surprise.

It took a moment for the watchers behind the one-way window to realise what had just happened. They sprang into action and burst into the room, two of them manhandling him to the floor and tying his hands with plastic restraints. He offered no resistance. They lifted him up and marched him out of the room.

The remaining watchers stared at the corpse at their feet. A dark red halo had collected around its head, fed by the blood pulsing from the left eye socket with its pencil decoration.

In his cell, still cuffed, he allowed a flicker of a smile to cross his lips. “I confess,” he whispered to no-one.

David Simons © 2017

The US Election Nov 2016 – Think Before You Vote

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I am not a political analyst but I like to think I have enough sense to read through the chatter and ‘clickbait’ headlines surrounding the US Presidential Election and come to a reasoned and educated viewpoint.

I fully acknowledge that Hilary Clinton is far from the ideal candidate but please just think for a moment, if you are an American & thinking of voting for Trump about the following.

If Trump were to become President, how will you feel, as an American, to have, by all accounts, an untrustworthy and allegedly duplicitous, failed & corrupt businessman and reality show host representing the USA? Think too about the controversy surrounding him in regard to race and attitude towards women. What about the support he is attracting from the nasty & dangerous far right in America – ‘alt-right’, white supremacists. What impression will that give to the rest of the world? Could he ever be taken seriously on the world stage?

Furthermore, Trump’s election would very likely result in triggering another crash wrecking the world’s economy.

Think too about how he would react in a crisis; will he be calm, rational and considered in his decision-making? There is a real danger of the resumption of the Cold War and the likelihood of Trump pushing the ‘big red button’ in response to a future crisis that unfolds or even in a fit of pique because someone in some foreign country has slighted him is not impossible.

I really hope you think beyond the borders of America and acknowledge that there is a world beyond the USA and what you choose to do when casting your vote on Tuesday will have far-reaching implications across the world.

‘Who are you?’

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‘Who are you?’

I don’t understand the question.

‘Who are you?’

I don’t know what you mean.

‘Who are you?’

Why do you keep asking that?

‘Who are you?’

Please stop asking me.

‘Who are you?’

I am just me.

‘Who are you?’

I told you, just me.

‘Who are you?’

I don’t know!

‘Who are you?’

I am no-one.

‘Who are you?’

I am nothing.

‘Who are you?’

I am dead.

‘Who are you?’

I told you, I am dead.

‘Who are you?’

I am an echo.

‘Who are you?’

I am you. I am your echo. I am your shadow. I am your ying. I am your id. I am your ego. I am your psyche. I am your reflection. Who are you?

‘I am your soul.’

© DS 7/2016

Travelogue – July/August 2016

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The title ‘Travelogue’ may suggest a journey of epic proportions. I see it as any journey, even one that is within a few minutes walk or drive from home.

So here is another of my occasional Travelogue entries. I am being lazy and rolling two trips into one: a 10 minute walk from my house is Darley Park (in Derby, UK) and just up the road – literally, 5 miles away is the stunning Kedleston Hall, a National Trust property once the home of the Scarsdale baronetcy & a little further afield is Calke Abbey, tagged as the ‘Un-stately home! A visit to both houses strongly recommended if you’re in the area,

The pictures  were taken with a Canon A-1 35mm SLR because in this digital age, why not? Analogue is good! You can read about my rediscovery of film photography in this entry from a couple of years ago.

Darley Park, Derby, UK

 

Kedleston Hall & Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Rat-Tat-Rat

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‘Rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat,’
Is that a rat with that rat-tat-tat?

03-rat

 

I asked the cat
But he hadn’t heard the
Rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-rat.

 

So he went and fetched his hat
To hunt for the
Rat-tat-rat,
A feather hat for hunting rat
As I was told by the cat

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‘Rat-tat-tat, Rat-tat-tat’

There it is, can you hear: rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-rat?

And the cat in his jaunty feathered hunting hat
Went to hunt for the rat-tat-rat,
The rat we heard with the rat-tat-tat.

But the cat in his hunting hat,
His jaunty, feathered hunting hat,
Could not find the rat-tat-rat.

And so, that is the end of that.

© 2016 David Simons

My Bear

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I have a bear. A teddy bear. He is small, around 5” when he stands up and raises his arms above his head.

steiff1

My Bear

But most of the time he sits, usually on my bedside table. It’s comforting to know he’s there. Especially at night.

steiff2

My Bear Again

I haven’t had him very long, maybe a couple of years. I don’t remember my bear from childhood. I imagine I had one but that was a long time ago.

I don’t know why I decided to buy him. Maybe it was a whim or perhaps something more deep-seated; my subconscious telling me there was a need for him to be with me. Maybe I just had need of a companion.

“Bears need people. People need bears.”
-Pam Brown

He arrived in a well-padded cardboard envelope and I remember thinking that I hoped his journey from the warehouse – bear-house? –  wasn’t too traumatic. I realised at that point that I was already thinking of him as a person and why shouldn’t I?

Since I have had him, I haven’t had actual conversations with him, out loud I mean. rather, non-verbal communication has clearly passed between us. He may be my inner voice that had a different form before he arrived, I really don’t know. I do know that his presence is comforting.

He has also been on travels with me, quietly stowed away, not making his presence known to others, just there for me.

This may all sound quite mad, eccentric and frankly disturbing in some people’s eyes. The way I see it, it is those people who have the problem, certainly not me or him. And my research has shown that there are many adult men who have a bear, their childhood one or one acquired later in life.

“You really don’t have to be young to find a friend in a teddy bear.”
-Rachel Newman

“It is astonishing, really, how many thoroughly mature, well-adjusted grown-ups harbour a teddy bear–which is perhaps why they are thoroughly mature and well-adjusted.” –Joseph Lempa

As it happens, he’s sitting now on my desk as I’m writing this. I think he approves.

steiff bear

My Bear Watching & Approving

 

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Travelogue – February/March 2016

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I’m going to try and post a few of these travelogue entries as often as I can though not necessarily regularly!

I am no world traveler, in fact, at the top of my ToDo list is to renew my passport. But I do get out and about in the East Midlands from my home base and there is a wealth of beautiful, interesting and forgotten location a stone’s throw from where I live.

So for my first of 2016, a mashup of visits made last month and this in and around the East Midlands: Bolster Castle on an atrociously bitter cold day, Calke Abbey and Sudbury Hall and a recent visit to Cresswell Crags. Enjoy and please comment.

Travelogue – Feb/March 2016 around the East Midlands

 

Calke Abbey
Calke Abbey, Derbys.

Creswell Crags

Creswell Cargos - one of the cave entrances

Bolsover Castle

View from Bolsover Castle Ramparts

Sudbury Hall

Sudbury Hall nr Ashbourne, Derbys.