& every now & then she’d stir

she wasn’t a bad person

just had nothing to say

could sit hours straight

watching the box all day

soaps reality tv gossip stuff

& every now & then she’d stir

go make a snack put the coffee on

I’d drop in suggest we go out

but first the recorder needed on

schedule consulted in case

she might miss some programme

then & only then having considered

she might put foot out the door

& somewhere along the way

I began to forget to pick her up

found myself involved elsewhere

she wasn’t a bad person

just had nothing to say

the drug had taken her over

losers club rules

another one leaves

as you climb the walls

looking for the losers club rules

knowing you will get over this

over her

but first

there will be pain

you will feel lost & alone

then comes the emptiness

the endless bargaining of

if only

if only I’d done this

if only that had/had not happened

lack of sleep appetite

increased drinking drugs

the obsessive thinking

those things we did

is she doing them now

& who with?

until one morning

you can face the day

eat a little healthy

tear up the losers club rules

begin again

wild tigers free

had to look twice

check the memories

she was talking of BM’s

going for a peepee

like butter would not melt

in that once giving mouth

was this the same woman

that hot afternoon

cliff top overlooking the sea

going at it like wild tigers

free?

screaming my name

harder faster do it to me!

face twisted in passion

who later threw the tv

trashed the place in fury

but no

that was then

this is now

the caterpillar has pupated

to deliver this soft mouthed creature

no longer a wild tiger

free

walking with the dog

in my troubled teens people tried to reach me

the one I remember most my English teacher Mr. Adams

who got permission to take me out of school

for a day to go walking me & him & his dog

walking the trails where he lived

& he tried all casual to talk me out

though the closer he got the more I shut up

he did all the usual tricks of just between you & me

what you say here goes nowhere

what he did not know for certain but wanted to

was to know the violence the shit at home

& telling that would only lead to more or worse

tears fights recriminations put in a kids home being fostered

because for sure there was nobody else to take me in

where my strategy was hanging on to get to an age to leave

just GTFO & go live somewhere miles away

so in silence we walked with the dog along the trails

listening to the birds checking out this beautiful day

feeling the bumps

in another’s footsteps

walking these green hills

feeling the bumps

buildings abandoned

aeons ago

there the stock fence

here where we hunted then

ochre sand desert

sepia & dull green sage

crunching noises underfoot

here where we came

looking through those eyes

used to green finding bright

scarce water thirst the day

in another’s footsteps

here where my ancestors lay

just just

wind through the trees

ruffling your hair

blowing grit

into my eyes

talking difficult words

explaining divergence

parting of our ways

not through lack

distance or care

just just

the words falling away

our paths

just just

mine going this way

& yours

not with mine

as the wind waved branches

just passing through

holding onto nothing

yet creating commotion

as people will

there are guides

will take your money

as people will

for anything

offering themselves

as leaders in the lore

wanting followers in their wake

when all you need do

is sit

observe

watch the world

wait for the patterns to form

see the unseen

let all of that

come to you

for you to be

rather than

put your pennies down

be told

how to do

took it all in

seemed everything they said was a lie, that was my seeing of adults as a kid.

I’ll take you fishing they’d say & then they never did. Our neighbour took me fishing once & bored I wandered away along the river bank which scared the crap out of him.

We’ll go again he said but the next time he took my old man & not me, which was what always happened, I’ll buy you an ice cream, we’ll go to the beach, we’ll go on the rides and…yeah we’d be at the beach but they’d be at the bar drinking while I skulked the shore alone again.

& stuff disappeared the whole time, toys, chocolate, presents, just stuff. They’d tell me that I’d lost it, broken it, eaten it all in one go, but I knew that was untrue. Like I had a money bank shape of a head, put in a coin in the hand flip the lever & it’d put the penny in the mouth. Gone one day & I was told that I’d given it away. Couple of years later I found it sitting in a cupboard at my uncle’s place, oh no they said that’s a different thing. But I knew. I knew.

This was how I learned not to trust adults, to trust anybody, ‘cos kids fuck each other over constantly, always looking for an edge, I got more than you, I get better grades, my dad earns more, our house is bigger, we got a better tv.

So not only was I not comfortable or safe at home, the world was unsafe &

uncomfortable too. & Then they, my folks had the nerve, the balls to question my attitude.

Better still, years later they claimed to not understand why I’d moved so far away from them

pills

I had the blues

the real bad kind

where the panic sets in

there behind the eyes

the sad thoughts

is it to be this time?

& the man will offer pills

to take it all away

& I say

listen man you don’t understand

this is how it is now & then

I know this will pass

but if you got something

like the giggle pills

I had as a kid?

& the man he says

we don’t offer that kind

which right now

I feel to be a poor business

AFAIK

nobody wants it told

straight

you don’t care

& the truth of that

stung

after a while

having convinced myself

the ladies coming & going

never hanging on for long

was just

my freewheeling lifestyle

I could even try now

explaining to you

it was all just

the fuzz in my head then

got in the way

of not being loving

caring enough

to find a keeper

& maybe

just maybe

kindness is not enough