A sea CRASHing across the Sahara
A palm tree growING in the Arctic
A tear f
g in the ocean
A climate turned in(OUT)side
Mother of a gay son
Aunt of two gay nephews
And their partners
How can I live with this fear?
How can I look at the pain
Over there in America
And worry that it could happen to us
What had those young people ever done?
How had they ever hurt anyone?
They were being themselves
How could that be wrong?
They were having fun
Everyone likes to have fun
Apart, perhaps, from some idiot with a gun
I remember when people wore a mask
In order to fit in
They often married the wrong person
And began to live a lie
Some of them even lying to themselves
They might have had children
Who they loved with all their heart
But there was always potential for unhappiness
On all sides
We went to a gay wedding last year
A wonderful event
With people of all persuasions
Of all colours and religions
With the tingle of love in the air
And happiness all around.
What right has anyone
To tell another who to love?
What right has anyone
To spray their venom around?
Everyone should be themselves
and follow their own desires.
NO ONE has the right to interfere with that.
A baby crying in an empty house.
A name is more than three, four, five, six letters.
A name makes its own shape in your mind: thin, fat, tall, short, dark, light, solid, insubstantial.
A name can make you smile or cry.
A name can wrap itself round your heart and stay forever.
A name can linger in the air for an instant and then fly away.
A name is greater than words can say.
Alone is sitting at a table for one in a crowded place.
Alone is having no one to share gossip with.
Alone is when you say, 'look at that,' and there's no-one to look.
Alone is when you wish there was someone there and there isn't
What a Wicked Game
'Wicked Game' was playing on the radio when I woke up this morning and I thought, 'Why didn't we play that at your funeral?'
When you were a young teenager, you talked to Chris Isaak on the phone on one of those Saturday morning shows for kids. Chris had been a bit flirty with the girl before and Philip Schofield was trying to keep you from talking to him just in case, well, you know. You weren't happy about that because, although you really liked Philip, you loved Chris. It was near Valentine's Day and Chris asked you who you would be sending a Valentine's Day card to. You answered, 'Chris' but it wasn't that Chris, it was another Chris from school. Two Chris's and both unrequited love.
It was ten years later when you died and it seemed appropriate to play 'Everybody Hurts,' by REM and 'With or Without you,' by U2. They were your current loves. But just think, those beginning notes in that packed crematorium at the end of the service!
And it was a wicked game we were playing. You collapsing the day before your graduation. You on a life support machine while the graduation was going on. Me holding your cold hand and saying,'You'd be putting your cap and gown on now.'
It was a wicked game when all your newly graduated friends sat in that packed crematorium on that hot day and listened to me talking about you. And your dementia-ridden grandmother knowing she was at a funeral but didn't know who died. And your loyal school friends who are still in contact with me. And me and your dad and your brother.
And it was a wicked game to make us go on living our lives without you. To make us find new ways of living with a big hole, right there, in the middle of us. We've survived but, seventeen years later, it still hurts like hell.
'What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way.'
Why Do You Write? (A Brief Poem)
Sometimes, language can break down barriers.
Sometimes, language can remove hands from a monkey's neck.
That's what it did on that day.
The monkey opened its mouth and said ...
My Cat is an Addict
Bilbo is 'my' cat. He's a character. He likes to go into the toilet with me so I can stroke him with my feet while I'm on the toilet. He taught me how to stroke him in the correct way. He likes to collect and hide things. He thinks if anyone is standing next to the treat cupboard they should give him a treat. He likes things to be done his way.
Yesterday we bought a cat scratcher from Tesco. It's made up of layers of cardboard and had a pack of cat nip with it. We've never had success with cat scratchers or cat nip before. Bilbo and the other cat, Frodo (sweet but thinks he's Top Cat and bullies Bilbo something chronic), ignore them. I'm always hopeful that one day we'll find the right thing for them.
I waited till they were both sleeping and put the scratcher on the kitchen worktop to add the cat nip. It was in a small packet and thought I'd use it all. Big mistake. First problem, small packet doesn't mean small amount of cat nip. There was tons of it. Second problem, I thought the scratcher had a solid base but when I picked it up there was a pile of cat nip on the worktop. I thought, I'll put the scratcher where we want it and tidy up the cat nip after. This was a big mistake.
When I returned to the kitchen Bilbo was awake and on the worktop worshipping the cat nip. Sniffing it, licking it, rolling in it. At one point he put his chin on the worktop and pushed himself forward until every possible inch of fur was touching the cat nip.
Frodo turned up. There was a fight. A big fight. Frodo lost which is very rare. I got out some disinfectant wipes and tried to clean the worktop. Managed half of it. Bilbo refused to move. We went out.
Came back two hours later. Bilbo still there. Any stray cat nip had disappeared. Eventually, he moved. Call of nature. We cleaned the other half of the worktop. He had a good sniff of it when he came back but that delicious aroma had gone. He sniffed the air and went off to find the scratcher. He cuddled up to it for a while but then managed to move it so he could lick the fallen cat nip from the carpet. Then he stayed there until we went to bed. He didn't go for his tea and, apart from the odd fight with Frodo, he didn't move.
He has wandered about a little this morning and he ate his breakfast but he's still sticking pretty close to the scratcher. He didn't even come to the toilet with me. I think I've lost 'my' cat to an addiction.