Turning

Read the word ‘Fluctuate’ somewhere on my reader and it triggered this…

Between the tides he fluctuates

The stir of dreams, the love and hate

seems far too late a pause he takes

And break the silence, then to wait

But echo’s are all that returns

While soul it yearns and passion burns

Like fire, fierce, consumes and turns

Man into cinders, so he learns

To quell the cravings, quiet the hate

Embrace the now, love out of reach

And leaves but footsteps on the beach

Corona Lock down Diaries – DIY Haircut

DIY hair cut and beard trim

I have a t-shirt which proclaims that a man who sacrifices his bear for a woman deserves neither. Think about it for a moment. Okay, got it? A deep truth and one I believe most firmly. I have the t-short so it must be true, right?

I do enjoy a good beard, and lock down has allowed me to cultivate a particularly large one. Well large by my usual standards. It is not of a hillbilly serial killer or suicide bomber quality, but it’s a decent effort I think. Okay so it’s not wholly out of choice – I couldn’t find my razor charger once it got to the ‘needs a trim stage’, but it is of a decent enough quality to probably scare dogs and small children.

When it comes to hair, I usually sport a number one crew cut also so the hair has been enjoying a summer of freedom also. It gets kinda wavy and curly when I let it grow which is usually a sign to shave it all off.

I found the beard trimmer yesterday and charged it so was able to have a crack at it today. It’s no easy feat to cut your hair with a beard trimmer but after about half an hour of carefully and gradually reducing the length I think I just about cracked it. At the front at least. I think perhaps I may have the beginnings of a mullet at the back but it’ll do for now.

Tomorrow I am hoping to have a crack at my youngest’s hair. He had a lockdown cut from the missus using only a pair of blunt kitchen scissors and whilst it looked okay at first it now looks like a scruffy version of Boris Johnson.

If that can even be a thing…

Corona Lock down Diaries – Day 1

How has your experience been?

I know it is not day 1, we are obviously at what feels like 427 days into lockdown, but this is the first day I have chosen to write about it. It may be my last too. Not as in it is my last day but in that I may not choose to write about it again.

On the work front, it has been a pretty easy ride for me so far. I run a team of financial modellers for a large bank and they sent us home even before the lockdown was declared and they have been brilliant in supporting us. We can order whatever equipment we need, they pay us whether we can actually get any work done or not, and on that front it has been pretty plain sailing. There are challenges of course but moaning about them would seem petty. Ive managed to move to a 4 day week, have developed a taste for home working and do not really ever see myself returning to the office full time even after this shit storm has passed. If anything, I think I am working harder and longer than before.

At home there have been a few challenges given that we commenced a building project to renovate the 3 cellars in the house two weeks before lockdown so have been living in a building site for a couple of months but we seem to have ridden that pretty well. Yes we only have a few usable rooms and yes, it’s filthier than a whore’s nickers but there are worse things going on out there right. Some of the builders have recently returned which has posed a few issues with trying to social distance inside our own home but now that they have fitted a toilet in the cellar and the separate entrance we don’t really see them much but we know they are down there because of the absolute bedlam of hammering and drilling going on.

Home schooling has been hilarious. I did some volunteer teaching a while back and quite enjoyed it so figured I might be good at this. Turns out I could not be more wrong. I have neither the patience, aptitude nor – at this is probably the most important point – intelligence to teach my own children. Fortunately the wife is far more intelligent (yes I have said it MRs Afterwards if you read this) and suited to it than I am so she has for the most part taken up the mantle of teacher. It still occasionally results in shouting, crying and threats of putting the boys up for adoption but all we can do is try.

So day to day things seem pretty much in hand. I will admit that the whole thing certainly has me anxious on a number of fronts – as it does most people I am sure. We have family members who are isolated on their own, there is always the worry of what if’ and there is the inevitable endless speculation about where this all ends. The wife is more pragmatic than me in these things so she has been doing most of the shopping as I definitely worry about going outside more than she does. On that front though I can;t actually get out much right now anyway because on Friday I fell down a step heading outside and have damaged my ankle pretty badly so am not particularly mobile right now. Funny thing is though, as I fell I knew it was going to be bad and in less than a second I clearly remember throwing myself forward to prevent me doing something even worse to it thinking “Fuck this, I ain’t going to no hospital!”

I think that is about enough for now. That has you mostly caught up with our general situation and I will possibly write more now that I’ve started…

Sunset

Words and more words and more words still…

Memories in monochrome, sweet youth now seems so far away

and slowly memories ebb and flow, sandcastles crumbling in the tide

And walls fall down she cannot hide

Heart’s windows closed, doors locked, inside

She waits, so frail, her mind to long lost days does stray

Remembering, those rainbow days

Grey swept away, bright lights so shine

And lovers limbs do sweet entwine

Once more taste embrace divine

And hand in hand he finds her there in summer’s perfumed haze.

And so he leads her, barefoot, laughing, youth restored

Down paths familiar painted through the years

In love and joy, devoid of fears

And through the door, there no more tears

At last she rests, home, much loved and adored

Forgetting

Blah blah Blah words

The brightness of the things that were

Like summer sun warm on the skin

Now shadows cast, and blind her gaze

And endless days to night give way

Until they set, horizons crimson

Set ablaze just one last time

No more remembers, dawn will come

Follows the embers, She remembers him no more

And light once more reveals her beauty

Safe in the warmth, new days embrace

Fatties in Isolation

Bet you’d forgotten about these two…I had…

The last year I have not been particularly active on my blog, but there was a time when I was prolific. Having more time on my hands has me returning a little more often and dusting off the ideas I had parked. Today I think I will revisit one of my favourite series of pieces and bring it up to date. You can see all the previous pieces at the links below. I think. It’s mostly just dirty poetry about a curvaceous couple having sex in space as I recall. I think I even did an audio poem version.

https://afterwards.blog/2017/07/31/fatties-in-space-not-one-for-the-kiddies/

https://afterwards.blog/2017/09/23/fatties-in-space-the-poem-not-for-kiddies/

https://afterwards.blog/2018/07/15/fatties-in-space-the-poem-audio/

https://afterwards.blog/2017/10/14/fatties-in-space-part-3-definitely-still-not-for-kiddies/

https://afterwards.blog/2018/07/28/fatties-in-space-part-4-the-poem-audio/

https://afterwards.blog/2019/01/14/fatties-in-space-part-5/

Bloody hell I did a lot of that didn’t I…

Anyway let us return to the present…

____________________________________

So some time has elasped and our couple content

watch tv, go for walks, quiet evenings are spent

with warm slippers, and tea and a nice box of chocs

Now she eats praline creams where she once ate his cock

And sweet caramel swirls feed his most basic cravings

Seems an eon since balls deep they were misbehaving

But we’ve all been there, right?

Grown complacent and settled

Since the humming bird sampled from soft pink sweet petals

Work gets in the way, rowdy kids take their toll

Rather just read a book where you once rode the pole

If efforts arent made then lusts embers can fade

Now you’re getting quite fat instead of getting laid

But seems things are afoot, it’s a changed situation

For our couple are now in enforced isolation

Social distancing worries have them safe at home

And for weeks now they’ve been pretty much all alone

And without the distraction and stresses and strains

And with time on their hands seems they start to refrain

From excuses and reasons not to both enjoy

The pleasures of flesh and fun toys to employ

Like the bike not forgotten theyre back on the horse

Shes not wuite as flexible, he’s breathless of course

But the thril of the bliss and the gratification

Oh the sweet benefits of this home isolation…

Walls

Blah blah Blah words

I scratched your name into these walls

Of discontent, and love’s betrayal

And red raw, blood drips, slowly pools

Reflected, crimson, stained teeth bared

Wild eyes, I see your laughing face

These knuckles white, your cackles sharp

Like razors cut, pink flesh, clean through

Skin, muscles, sinew, fat and bone

Spilled violently with no regard

Your words, dark deeds, most ill intent

Until a shadow’s all that’s left

Which fades as light tries to caress

’till dark returns scars to embrace

Whisper

Blah blah Blah words

Cobwebs thick, paths overgrown with memories grey

and twisted boughs so old and gnarled

they lead the way and whispers call us on.

Shuffling slow through time as thick as mud

not looking back, accept our lot

And knowing, come to die.

For in that place I find you there

and one last time immersed in love

give all I have and know this race is run.

And on the wind and to the stars I’m lifted

To beyond and unto nothing I return

Well lived, well loved, content.

Rest

Some words that dont rhyme

In this place where dragons slain

lay, beds of bones, and winds whip wild

leaves back unto the clawing earth

and on this bleached cold pyre you lie

consumed by all we once fought brave,

to hold and have and tender spills

a love fire tested, burnished, red

now faded, folly shows true face

And to the heart the arrow true,

harsh barbed with lies and sweet deceit

light fades, sun slips and darkness wraps

her arms in coldest loves embrace.

Beyond this now

Word soup

Far beyond this fragile grasp of things I claim to know

Seem clear at first then fade so fast

through fingers slip and do not last

there lies a truth I claim to see in places I daren’t go.

Ears fall deaf when loudest voices call with clarity

Light unexpected blinds my eyes

A fool I’m made, no longer wise

and do despise the things I know that ring most true with me.

So take my words, these thoughts, those deeds and judge me for their worth

For all I am is laid most bare

When in the dark and without care

Return myself to skies above or cold beneath the earth.

Now in the calm

Some rhymey stuff

These words, these thoughts, these in between

The lines, the sheets, the days and dreams

This place he finds her,madness screams

As nothing ever lasts.

Each syllable twists in the wind

Words whisked away, she cant rescind

Or even hide where they have sinned

And clings to hopes now dashed.

Forlorn until time heals and mends

To keep from harm the heart pretends

Until new starts warm cold dark ends

Their pain slips to the past.

Always you – Part 2

The second and final part of this short piece…

Part 1 is here

The cold metal frame of the trolley digs into my hands as we wander past the bust station, the street lights flickering into life in the growing gloom.

“It’s Just around the corner here” Tom says pointing as he shuffles along beside me, directing me down a long street of identical red brick houses that sit squat over the road like dark haired fisherman on a river bank.

Again he tells me how grateful he is and I reply and tell him that it is no problem at all.  

“Have you lived around here long?” I ask avoiding the puddles trying to keep my good work shoes dry.

“Oh yes” he says, a sense of pride in his voice.  “Been here since they went up new in the seventies.”  He straightens his flat cap and then pauses for a moment as if remembering before I jog him from his thoughts.

“This way?” I ask, shifting the weight of the trolley from one hand to the other.  I can feel the splashes of water soaking through the bottoms of my trousers. 

“Yes, yes straight on, not far now” he says pulling his coat tight around him as the rain continues to fall.  “Quite a thing it was back then you know” he continues.  “To buy our own home, took every penny we had saved up plus some we borrowed from the family.  But it was worth it in the end.”

“I’m sure it was” I reply and he leads me across the road and down a smaller side street.  Cars line one side, the water swirling and swerving around their tyres sweeping litter along.  Weeds strain through crevices in the path, and as we pass the houses the cracked paint, cluttered yards and stained net curtains tell of better times now past.

He tells me how he’s seen everything change so much over the years, and I’m reminded of my own grandparents who I see less than I should. 

“Just over there” he says and nods to a house with a neatly tended front garden and freshly creosote stained fence that stands out from the others.  The Gate squeaks as he holds it open for me and he looks almost embarrassed.

“Better get some oil on that” he says and pulls it closed behind me.

The gravel path, dark from the rain,  leads to the front door and Tom fumbles for his keys as I let him pass.  Eventually he pushes the door wide open and encourages me to head inside.

“It’s straight ahead to the kitchen” he says as I step into a small entry hall.  I’m uncertain if I should take off my shoes but head down the short hall anyway, desperate to put the trolley down. 

“Anywhere in there is fine ” he shouts taking off his coat and hanging it on a peg behind the door.  I place the trolley down gently on the light colored linoleum.

“Would you like a cup of tea?” He asks.  I check my watch.  Not sure if will even be worth going to the pub by the time I get home now.  Even so I decline politely but Tom insists and takes an old battered kettle from the stove and fills it.  “Please, take a seat” he says waving towards a small wooden table and chairs against a wall.  A biscuit barrel in the middle of the table in the shape of a bear grins at me as I sit down.  He seems grateful for the company and I find it hard to refuse.

Slipping off my coat I hang it over the back of the chair and It begins to drip onto the lino.  I start to apologise but he laughs, a glint in his eyes.  “Oh don’t worry” he says, “now if my Kathy was still here that would be another matter.  She liked things just right she did.  Very particular.”

His words are a mix of pride and sadness, and it seems to me a fair assumption that she has died.  Looking at Tom I guess he must be somewhere in his eighties at least.

“How long since you lost her?” I ask looking about. The kitchen is simple and compact with clear work surfaces and plain white cupboards.  A single plate and glass are drying next to the sink and a small vase of tulips sits on the window ledge which looks out onto the garden.  

“Oh nearly eight years now.” He looks out of the window as he drops three tea bags into a pot on a tray with two white china cups.  “One for each of us and one for the pot” he says smiling.  Steam begins to drift lazily from the kettle spout.  “You’d have liked her.” He fetches a half pint of milk from the fridge, “Everyone around here did.  Not a person she wouldn’t help if she could.”

For a while he says nothing more, concentrating on the tea.  He pours the boiling water into the pot and gives it a stir before bringing it over to the table and setting it down.    

“Do you take sugar?” he asks.

I shake my head even though I normally take two.  I don’t want him to have to do anything else.  He moves so slowly as if distracted, yet each action is so purposeful.  I wonder if this is the pattern of his days. A quiet private existence filled with the routines developed over a lifetime which are now all that is left.  

Waiting for the tea to brew he remembers that he has not yet asked my name and apologises. 

“Oh you have the same name as my father” he says when I tell him and his hand shakes as he pours the tea, the china cup clinking as he lifts it from the tray and offers it.  I accept with a thank you and add milk.  Just a little.

“So do you have any children?” I ask.  I don’t like the idea of him being alone all of the time, dragging that trolley to town once a week and then straight back home.

“No, it never happened for us.  it was just the two of us.  We would have liked a family but I guess it just wasn’t to be.”

I take a sip and add a little more milk.  

“Looks like the rain’s stopping” he says and asks if I want a biscuit, reaching for the grinning bear.

“No I’m fine thank you” I reply as he takes a KitKat from the jar and slowly opens it.

“Kathy loved a KitKat, always used to hide them from me.  I knew her hiding places mind, just pretended I didn’t.”

A distant single chime of a church bell tells me it’s half past six.  I check my watch to confirm.   I could actually probably still make it if I set off now, I might be a few minutes late but nothing major.  

“Do you need to get going?” Tom asks taking a bite of his KitKat. “It’s okay if you do, I am just so grateful for your help.  Not sure what I would have done if you hadn’t stopped to help me.”

I check my watch again and then pull my shirt cuff over it and reach for the biscuits.

“Maybe I will have one after all” I say lifting the lid on the bear barrel. “And then I’ll help you put that shopping away shall I.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then

We set the night ablaze, the shadows
scuttled as infernos burned
and in your arms, soft thighs, sweet sighs
a dance of life lived to the full.

We set the night ablaze, the shadows

scuttled as infernos burned

and in your arms, soft thighs, sweet sighs

a dance of life lived to the full.

Not ever did I all those nights

wonder would we ever be

a thing not this, not all consumed

a violent tempest, blissful still.

And to this day, this hour, this now

this very moment still we rage

and burn, sheets scorched and satisfied

and tender smiles such tales do tell…

Awake

Words…

These scars u bare etched on your skin

While smiles spread sweet across your face

Soft sighs, clenched fists, eyes red like dawn

love’s vows, now bitter on your lips.

Each broken promise, empty words

Ring in your ears quite deafening

And into darkness breathless screams

As tempest black consumes your voice.

Back bent, weighed down you claw and stretch

Cold fingers, dragging from your mire

Face to the sun, new dawn, new day

Slowly emerging free once more

Always you – Part 1

At this point I remember why I wanted to work in an office.  I’ve never been any good with my hands, unless you count typing, which most people don’t.

It was raining the day I met old Tom, my light summer coat proving completely inadequate against the violent deluge that fell from the dark November sky.

“Did you not check the forecast?” Joanne asked me as I stood huddled in the office doorway as she locked up.  I started to answer but the question was more an admonishment that an actual interest in my ability to plan for meteorological eventualities.  She didn’t wait to find out though and scurried under the shop awning of the bakery next door and lit up a cigarette.

“Those things will kill you” I told her trying to be funny.  Her withering glance told me I had been anything but.

“See you tomorrow then.” I shouted. 

She nodded and waved as she took a long drag on the cigarette, the embers lighting up the sharp features of her mostly unremarkable face.   

Waving back I turned as the rain cut through the pall of silver smoke and pulling my coat around me as best as I could headed off to catch the bus.

The number 45 runs just a few minutes from my place and If I hurry I’m thinking I might catch the Five-twenty which means I will be home before six and at the pub by seven.

Not wanting to get my good work shoes too wet I avoid the puddles as best as I can and trying to stay under cover I head past rows of unremarkable shops all closing for the night.  Lights blink out and shutters rumble closed as people, seemingly as grey as the sky above, head home after another day not wholly different to the day before and likely quite similar to tomorrow.

The place has certainly seen better times I think to myself, and that’s when I saw him.  

He had the posture that only age can bring, hunched over an old blue shopping cart and the rain cascadied onto his flat cap and spilled down his long brown coat.  

“You alright mate?” I ask him checking my watch.  I’d normally not bother asking but somethign about him said he needed help.  And if everythign is okay there’s still time to get the five-twenty.    

He looks up slowly, his face long and gaunt with thin lips and deep set dark eyes.

“Bloody wheel’s come off” he says pointing a long bony finger at the right side of the trolley, which I can now see is sitting quite lopsided.  “Typical when I’ve just bought my week’s shop.”  He shakes his head and fumbles with the wheel.

I tell him I’ll take a look if he wants and he nods appreciatively. “My eyes aren’t great, thanks” he says.

At this point I remember why I wanted to work in an office.  I’ve never been any good with my hands, unless you count typing, which most people don’t. That said even with my limited knowledge I do know though that it looks knackered and tell him so.

“Oh that’s no good” he says shaking his head and he asks me if I think he needs a new one.

“What do I know” I think to myself and check my watch.  If I don’t leave now It’ll be gone eight before I get to the pub.

I nod and scratch my chin as if I’m suddenly a shopping trolley mechanic.  “Do you need a hand with it?  Are you going far?”

“Oh yes please” he says, his face brightening.  “Are you sure?”

I shake my head and tell him it’s not a problem really and he smiles.  “Not too far” he says, “it will only take ten minutes.”

 

Would you?

As seasons turn and memories fadeonce vivid, love like mist gives wayto vistas new and fresh caresswhere once we lay in summer sun.

As seasons turn and memories fade

once vivid, love like mist gives way

to vistas new and fresh caress

where once we lay in summer sun.

Those vows, heartfelt, made evermore

so easily spilled from our lips

where kisses soft and sighs so sweet

such promises we swear to keep.

 

Such declarations sworn that I would be the first,

and last thought every day 

and undertakings to not fail

loves lustre binding tarnished truths.

Through tests and trials and seperation 

Face lined, time urges to recall

Let slip for blurred my recollection 

will you, like me, forget at last…