The Innocent Ones

If you could see those things

through my eyes

see everything anew.

Sense daffodils,

laugh at trees,

full of awe at the world.

There’d be no war, no crime,

just innocence,

if you were an infant child.

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Going cheap – Sunday morning somewhere in England

I found North America for sale at a car boot sale. In a box together with some old CDs and a one armed tiny-tears doll. The old man selling it said he would chuck in a pair of cowboy boots (size seven and a half) and a moth-eaten kiss-me-quick hat, all for a fiver. But I was not sure, what did I need with a continent. I was tempted though, as the boots were my size, and I told him I would think about it.

‘Don’t be long,’ he shouted after me, ‘I’ve already sold Africa this morning and I’ve got this Russian interested in Antarctica!’

I mulled over my potential purchase as I walked about that field in the spring sunshine, the tinny sound of Showaddywaddy blasted out from a car stereo “Under the moon of love,” they sang, to the accompaniment of an approaching ice-cream van playing Greensleeves.

People had travelled far and wide to be there and the field was packed with fervent bargain hunters who circled the car boots and rickety trestle tables, piled high with goods, like carrion crows. I looked on, just content to watch it all as I walked about licking an ice cream cone, wiping strawberry sauce away from my chin.

As I walked I thought of America, I had always wanted to go but had never got round to it. Hollywood, the Grand Canyon, Disneyworld were as familiar to me as the streets on which I had played as a kid.

But the rest, I was pretty sure there must be a rest of America for all the cowboys and stuff to live in; well I knew nothing about that. And as he had only offered me North America perhaps that meant he was only offering me the icy bits, not the good bits I wanted. So in the end I decided to give it a miss.

I walked past the old man’s stall later in the day; the cowboy boots were still there so I haggled him down to 25p.

‘Aah, go on then,’ he said, ‘I’m feeling generous. Coz these Chinese men just bought most of the world for fifty quid and a whole box full of mint condition Elvis Presley LP’s.’  

Memento

war kids

Ethel looked at the photo it was the only image she had of her with her siblings. They were sitting on a bench happy and together. It had been taken about six months before the bomb, before their house had been destroyed by the doodlebug. Their parents had been killed, but somehow the three children had survived, hidden in the cupboard under the stairs the fireman had found them huddled together shivering and crying, but alive.

Ethel remembered the place they had been taken too, the place where all the children cried throughout the night, shouting for a family that would never come back for them. Eventually the new parents came, but they were old and felt three kids were too much and so they just took her. She last saw Gladys and Johnny when she had been taken away kicking and screaming by her new family. And to this day she could still hear Johnny’s screams as she taken away. The Micklewhite’s were not bad people, they looked after her well, but they were just not her Ma and Pa and it was like having a limb removed growing up without Gladys and Johnny.

She was eighty now and she had had a good life. There had been two husbands, both now in their graves. She had raised four children and there were eight grandchildren to visit and fuss over her. But all that mattered as she sat alone in the coffee shop nursing a strong cup of coffee as the world went on its merry way outside the window, was that in a moment the door would open and Gladys and Johnny would come in, they would be together again for the first time in seventy-five years.

The Usurper

I opened the door to a stranger. I could tell he was not local due to the bluish tinge to his face which obscured his features and the severed head that he held up by the hair in his left hand. I recognised the severed head immediately for it was my brother.

I had not seen my brother for over thirty years and time had not been kind to him. There were maggots where his eyes once had been and bluebottles crawled leisurely in and out of his mouth.

“Darius,” the stranger spoke, though the voice was that of my brother “it is time for you to come join me beneath the green valleys where the River Styx flows.”

“You are mistaken.” I replied shaking my head “The deal was signed with blood; yours, your children, our Mother and Father. My victory in battle and life assured for your blood sacrifice. “

“What life is this hiding out on a mountain afraid of those you have wronged?” spoke the stranger gesturing with his right hand to the vines that grew upon the slopes of my meagre plantation.

“It is life eternal, to the end of days. A deal with the Gods.”

“Brother.” I looked up into the stranger’s face, the ghostly bones of a skull stared back at me. In his right hand he now carried a sword which glowed pale blue “I am Death. I do not recognise the Gods and only I determine the end of days.”   

Will you love me?

Will you love me for eternity

or whichever is sooner,

‘til the world finally collapses

in on itself

or the end

of my bitter days.

The Suburbs

You have seen them all around, they are everywhere the Witches and the Warlocks. They follow you when you are walking down the street; they serve you in the supermarket; they take your order in restaurants, muttering curses and incantations if the tip you leave is not big enough.

Of course, they don’t fly around on broomsticks any more, not when EasyJet can get them to most places for a very reasonable fee. Very few of them have green skin or even a hairy wart.

Though they do have a fondness for cats, four cats or above in a semi is a good indicator that there is a high magical coefficient to the light emanating from beneath the garage door in the dead of night.

You would be naive to think that it is just black magic; most of them are white witches. Fortunately the dark path is usually only undertaken by those who enjoy a round of golf or a game of bowls. The Rotary club is teeming with practitioners of the black arts.

Yes beware the witches of suburbia.

The Chameleon

Gheerhaets_Allegory_iconoclasm

Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder, Allegory of Iconoclasm, c.1566–1568 etching 15” x 10.4”, British Museum, London. {{PD-US}} {{PD-old}}

 

Who are you looking at?

What do you see?

If you look real hard

Do you see me?

 

© 2014 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

 

Why blog?

ImageBecause the bits and pieces I’ve written up until now need a home. It’s going to be a real mix. A little poetry, some fiction, even an essay or two on life thrown in for good measure.

Perhaps even Mr Graham will make an appearance and invite you to a tea party!