If you live in plain sight of the school yard
you will never go further than home
when the bell rings your legs will not dally
but will tread the few meters alone.
Though inclined to the path least resisting
don’t be frightened of stretching your self
take the back gate and go round the houses
for the ultimate good of your health.
Sir sharpened pencils;
it was done to perfection:
nothing is pointless.
Have you forgot the fairy child
its face a rose from Heaven
who danced upon your attic floor
with you when you were seven?
Have you forgot the world we made
from dust of fairy shoe?
I took you in with fairy ways –
you wondered what I knew.
Have you forgot your whispered wish
when you were shaped a child,
and I was something different?
the promises we smiled?
Another life undid our bond
and closed the door I made
betwixt the breath of butterflies
where fairy children played.
But in this altered time we live
I hold a space for you
and you’ll return in time, you will –
All fairy children do.
I didn’t know the lad, but he was part of our community and I know he will be missed. As each cherished person is missed. If he has to be gone, the lad, then I would like a picture to remember him by. I didn’t know him, but I want to remember him now, even though it makes me sad. So I will sketch him in a few words, and when he sees my sketch, he might point and laugh, and say “Silly, that’s not me!” But I won’t mind. I won’t mind at all.
Swimming in his shoes
Red sparkles on white horses
An angel spoke to me one night
when I sat in my youth
he told me I should be aware
of one unerring truth:
That like or not the time will come
when I will need a hand
to guide me through my daily life
– not quite what I had planned.
He bade me think, this angel fair
of loving volunteers
and low paid carers struggling
to tend my ageing years.
What will I want when I am old?
An elephant that rages
because we locked the cupboard door
and wouldn’t pay her wages?
Am I so sure I will not yearn
for love’s sustaining patience
when I am old and on my own
with similar relations?
Why do we lend so little heed
to those who hold our future?
For I’ll receive what I beget –
if I forget to nurture.
“So pay the carers what you will,”
the angel said, “be certain
that you will want the gentlest hand
to close your final curtain.
1 Guilty betrayer of all cats
2 fully occupied
3 selling comfort for a coin
4 driving far from home
5 in Wellington
6 dressed as a zebra
7 eating roasted vegetables.
1 The pigs came
2 we shared the pie
3 three lay curled upon our bed
4 chasing imaginary flies
5 earrings on your cabinet
6 slept on the other side
7 missing you.