Dig

Digging a hole,

Digging it deep,

Somewhere for me,

My secrets to keep,

Secrets of love,

Real love and true,

But love unrequited,

All thanks to you.

So I keep digging,

A hole so to hide,

My love, my anger,

Your body, my crime.

 

(C) Jennifer B Goodwomangonetowaste.wordpress.com

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For The Birds

Ava clumsily slipped her feet into her garden shoes. ‘Must still be half asleep,’ she thought as she picked up the seed bucket and headed down the yard.  ‘Did I have to bend further to turn the tap on?’ she wondered.  ‘I do feel a wee bit taller today, must have slept well, stretched out more.’  She cleaned bird baths, hung seed blocks and scattered seed to hungry beaks.  ‘They are getting tame.  There was a time they wouldn’t come near, and now they’re coming right up to me.’  She smiled and hurried inside to get ready for work.

Although she’d worn her new red velvet heels three days in a row, she reached for them again.  She noticed the soles as she took them out of the shoe rack.  Hardly a mark, a scuff or a scratch.  ‘Well, you were worth the money,’ she said slipping them on lovingly.

Two days later, the alarm went off and Ava slapped at it sleepily, sat up and stretched.  She swung her legs over the side of the bed and slowly stood up, but something was wrong and it took her a moment or two to work out what it was.  She couldn’t feel the carpet under her feet.  She wiggled her toes, looked down and fell back onto the bed in shock.  Her feet weren’t touching the floor. ‘Nonsense,’ she thought to herself and stood again.  But it was true.  She was suspended, less than a centimetre, but suspended nonetheless, above the floor.  She tentatively took a step and drifted, rather than walked forward.  What on Earth was going on? How was this happening? What should she do? Maybe it was only a temporary thing, a glitch of some sort and perhaps no one would notice.  So, maybe she should just wait and see what happened?  All was fine for a couple of days, but then there was no hiding it.  She was now drifting a foot or two above the ground, and all it took to move around was a tensing of her muscles in the direction she wanted to go.  Now it was time for help.  She of course, rang her mother. ‘You’re not taking drugs are you, love? Sounds like you’re hallucinating!  No, well then surely you should see a doctor. Doesn’t surprise me though, you always have had your head in the clouds.’

Ava sat staring out the window, watching the pigeons wander around a rooftop below.  Over the last few weeks she had been examined, tested, x rayed, scanned, poked and prodded.  The doctors had called in scientists from labs and universities nationwide, but none could discover the cause of her ‘condition.’  She’d even been quizzed by ASIO, and CASA assessed her and insisted she comply with many of the laws governing drones.  Finally, the experts had concluded that although they didn’t know what was causing her to fly, she posed little threat, and could be allowed to go home.  She felt like a side show exhibit.  Everywhere she went in the hospital, people stared and pointed and wanted to take a selfie.  Or they’d called her names.  Freak, abomination, the fear of a thing that they – or she – did not understand.  She’d had to turn off her phone, she’d been inundated with phone calls from media outlets and agents wanting to represent her.  She’d dumped her boyfriend.  He’d sold his story to a tacky current affairs program and tabloid newspaper, the lure of a quick buck more important than her and the struggle she was going though.  Her parents daren’t visit, they were hounded by press and locals alike in the small town they lived in and now rarely left the house.  She’d never felt so alone.

At home it was no better.  The media were camped outside her house, she kept the doors locked and the curtains drawn at all times.  She couldn’t even venture out into the back yard.  The first time she had, she’d been photographed by a journalist who had paid her neighbours to stake out her yard.  She knew that eventually she’d have to face the world, come to terms with what was happening to her, but for now, all she wanted was some company, some comfort.  A kindred spirit.  And then it struck her, she knew the answer.  Hadn’t she always loved being in her grandfather’s aviaries? She’d often napped on the large swing in the chook house as a child and now she spent most of spare time photographing and drawing birds.  She opened the back door, and before long her house was full, she was surrounded by them.  To people she may be a freak, but to birds she was just another creature of the air.  And as her mother had said, perhaps she always had been.

(C) Jennifer B Goodwomangonetowaste.wordpress.com

 

Who’s Who at the Zoo

There’s a queue, I thought there may be,

Families, lots of kids,

And here am I alone,

I must seem strange,

Although I suppose I could be meeting someone here.

 

It’s crowded, not ideal,

But it’s so long since I’ve been here,

It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for ages,

And it is my birthday treat,

 

It’s hotter than I thought,

Should have worn a hat,

But then there’s hat hair, can’t stand that,

And for some reason I can’t take photos with a hat on,

The shadow puts me off,

And I intend to go snap happy.

 

It’s far too peopley,

Ironic, as that’s why I’m here alone,

Just can’t deal with anyone at the moment,

They’ve disappointed me too much,

So I look at the wild animals,

And try to capture their essence,

And realise they are far better behaved,

Than the ones on my side of the barriers.

AlteRing

I look at the ring I am so familiar with,

That I saw thousands of times,

On her left hand,

Worn for years, decades,

In place of the wedding ring,

No longer binding.

I place it on my finger,

As I have done before,

When she was in hospital, dying,

And it became too loose,

But now in her absence,

It looks so strange, so foreign,

I have to look twice.

I know it has not altered,

So I must have.

Much Loved

Someone actually said it –

Well, wrote it –

‘You are much loved,’

 

And the only image that sprang to mind was Goldie Hawn in Death Becomes Her,

With her middle shot out by Bruce Willis,

And a song lyric from Kate Bush’s Lilly kept going around in her head:

‘It feels like life has blown a great big hole in me,’

 

And that’s exactly how she felt,

Because being loved,

Isn’t the same as feeling loved.

 

She used to think that perhaps she wasn’t capable of feeling loved,

But now she knew it was just that she wasn’t being made to feel loved,

Because saying you love,

Isn’t the same as showing you love,

And it was rarely said, let alone shown.

 

The hole grew bigger and bigger.

Haiku/Senryu 2

Wooden retaining wall

Holds soil in

A spider web fills a knot hole

The sound of the wind

Echoes down the chimney

While I clean the stove

 Ant slowly crawls

Around a shopping centre food court table

People scurry by

 After rain

A sunny day

The whir of lawn mowers

 Overgrown nature strip

Zoom lens

Hidden wonders revealed

 In the bird bath

A lorikeet flaps

Droplets of rainbow

 A spring day

Succulent spikes redden

Illuminated by the sun

Steel bollards

Line up

In front of an open door

 Branch of dead gumnuts

Lies on the lawn

Before a line of newly planted trees

 

Her

(Yes, this is a re-post, the original was taken down and expanded for a writing contest which I didn’t win.)

The house felt cold, not just because it was autumn and the sun lost its warmth by three in the afternoon.  It was more than that.  It was the cold of emptiness, the lack of human spirit.  There was no talking or laughing now, no mess, no annoying little habits to silently curse at as he went about his day.  Just quiet and stillness and the cold.

The moment the police had come to tell him of Her accident was still as fresh and clear in his mind as if it had just happened.   The moment it felt as though the world had somehow shifted slightly.  The moment his world crumbled.  And he couldn’t understand it. Her driving had always been a source for jokes and teasing.  So slow and cautious, he’d called Her a granny at the wheel.  Erratic and speeding just didn’t sound like Her at all.

He had packed up Her clothes and personal belongings, but hadn’t had the heart to get rid of them yet.  It helped not being able to see them, to not come across little pieces of Her as he went through his daily routines and break down crying – again.  It made Her not being there anymore feel more real.

He hadn’t made any changes to the house.  People kept telling him he should, make it his own, instead of theirs.  But he couldn’t, and anyway, he liked it the way it was.  It suited his needs and they had decorated it together.  It was as much his choices, his style, as Hers.

Sometimes, in the morning, when he was just waking up, he was sure he could hear Her, sense Her moving around in the kitchen and he’d wait for Her to appear beside the bed with a cup of tea, as was Her way.  And then reality would dawn on him.  He sometimes wondered if there was another reality, close by, that he could almost reach in those drowsy, waking moments, where it was Her, where Her accident hadn’t happened.  He’d even started to discuss alternate reality theories with his colleagues.

At other times he was sure he could still feel Her presence close by.  He’d shake his head and remind himself that he didn’t believe in ghosts, but still…  And why not? It was no more bizarre than some of the theories their work involved.  Thoughts and ideas would come to him in Her voice and he knew it was probably just wishful thinking.  His imagination willing Her to still be near, still looking out for him.  But what if it wasn’t?

He sat in his study unable to work.  He missed Her, missed everything about Her.  He hadn’t yet been able to return to the office, not without Her there, but he decided he must work.  He must try to occupy his mind.  He turned to his desk, looking for his pen.  It was nowhere to be found.  ‘Blast! Where the bloody hell is it,’ he said under his breath.  A breeze shifted a pile of papers even though there was no window, no source for the moving air.  There was his pen.  That was one of Her talents.  Knowing where he had left things.  Always there with just what he needed, just when he needed it.  He smiled to himself.  It couldn’t be, could it?

****************************************

She’d watched the car slam into the back of the truck.  It had all happened so quickly, but now thinking about it again, it all seemed to happen in slow motion.  She’d thought of fleeing, of driving away as fast as she could, but then she’d realised there was no need to.  There was no one to know she had been following Her, no one to make the connection between them.  She’d be just another witness with no idea why the car had been going so fast, so frantically, so erratically.

It was a coincidence, a happy accident (bad choice of words, huh?), that she had been following Her.  She had seen Her by chance and was curious as to Her life and what made Her better, what made him want Her.  She knew he was the love of a lifetime the first time she had met him and she thought they had been happy.  They were happy, until he met Her.  Then everything changed, life was shattered.  She was shattered.

They’d certainly been an odd couple.  He was so different to the men she usually ended up with. He was sweet and gentle and so, so smart that she’d felt smarter just by being with him.  And she was so, so beautiful, he was punching well above his weight there, but maybe that’s why it had worked.  They had balanced each other out.  Beauty and brains.  And then he’d said that they needed to talk and she well and truly knew what that meant.  He’d said that it was over.  That he needed more.  How dare he be the one to end it, the one to need more.  And for some reason that she still couldn’t fathom, he’d found it with Her.  Why did he suddenly want Her, plain, and seemingly ordinary?

Following Her to the hairdressers, she had waited and watched.  Then she found she was following Her everywhere, to the supermarket, the shops and the post office.  Boring, ordinary tasks, what was so special about Her?  At some point she’d been noticed and it occurred to Her that she was following.  Then the panic, the speeding and the crash.

She hadn’t intended that, or any harm at all, but she wasn’t sorry either.  She could now bump into him somewhere, accidentally (oops, there’s that word again) of course, and she could play the supportive old friend.  Perhaps he would see all that he had given up, what he had thrown away for Her, and they would get back together.  Maybe now, she could be happy again.

****************************************

It is always assumed that ghosts haunt houses, places, but they don’t.  They attach to people, those who loved them, those they loved.  Her attachment was to him and it was Her intention to protect him wherever he went.  Now, here she was in Her house, playing the understanding counsellor.  Helping him through the hardest time in his life.  Surely she hadn’t planned it, an accident that was no accident?  She hadn’t coped well with the break up, but surely she wasn’t driven to murder? Still, she couldn’t have him, especially now, when he was so vulnerable, so lonely and grief stricken.  Surely he knew he wasn’t alone, that he still had Her.  It seemed to Her that he did feel Her presence, notice Her helping him out when possible and it appeared to Her that he needed Her help again now.  If she could drive Her to Her death, what would she do to him, especially if she were rejected – again.

It would be Her biggest task yet.  It had taken Her ages to master the small things.  The breezes, moving little things, suggesting ideas so that he could never quite decide if they had occurred to him naturally or come to him from somewhere else.  This would take practice, timing and all of Her tricks.  It was up to Her to do something so that she would leave him alone.

He was going through their wedding album, when she had turned up.  He made tea while she sat scowling at the open book.  The pages were heavy, it took Her such effort to turn them, but it had the desired effect.  She screamed.

‘Are you ok?’ he said rushing into the room.

‘The page turned by itself,’ she said shakily, standing staring down at the album on the coffee table.

He laughed.  ‘Don’t worry about it.  Her presence won’t hurt you.’

‘What are you talking about?’ she said, eyes wide.

‘It’s just Her way, being helpful,’ he said returning to the kitchen for the mugs of tea.

‘You mean it’s Her?’ she said pointing at the album.

‘Well, who else would it be?’ he said smiling down at the photos as he placed the mugs on the table.

‘You’re mad,’ she said sitting down once more.  ‘You need me more than I thought.  Your grief has driven you mad.’

It was too much for Her, it was time for something drastic.  Using all Her might, the mug of hot tea flew off the table and she cried out in pain as the scalding liquid soaked into jeans, jumper and shoes.  She jumped up, eyes wild.  ‘It is Her!’ she cried.  ‘I didn’t mean it, don’t let Her hurt me.  Don’t let Her take Her revenge,’ and she ran from the house.  He didn’t know what she meant.  Revenge for what?  Anyway, he knew revenge wasn’t Her thing, nor jealousy, but he knew there would be a reason for Her actions.

The job was done, she wouldn’t be back, she wouldn’t dare, knowing she would be at Her mercy.  One day he would meet someone who would be right for him, and it would give Her pleasure to see him move on.  Until then, he had Her to watch over him.

(C) Jennifer B Goodwomangonetowaste.wordpress.com