On watering three small tubs outside my door, with a litre of water
I’m lying on my bed,
the sound of my breathing drowning out the music,
wondering how much oxygen I’ll need
to finish watering eleven small patio tubs.
More than I’ll have
if I get up again today.
I hate getting a cold,
to others it’s a discomfort, a nuisance, they ‘soldier on’.
Even when they think they have ‘flu
I’m sure for most it doesn’t feel like this.
I never get a sniffle
or just a mild cold.
No, for my lungs rebel,
making me fight for every breath if I dare to walk,
every step a struggle, every movement exhausting,
the whistling loud in my ears.
My airways tighten
become the adversary.
If everyone felt like this,
or worse, as people with more serious conditions,
for just one day or perhaps a week
I imagine they’d take more care.
I dream of a world
where everyone washes their hands
and doesn’t sneeze at me.
(C) Tricia Williams 2017
I saw this, copied yet again on Facebook and this time just had to respond.
It starts so innocently:
“I remember the corned beef of my childhood
and the bread that we cut with a knife
“I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore
Anorexia and diets weren’t heard of
And we hadn’t much choice what we wore.
Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And I think life was better enjoyed.”
The word privilege is used a lot these days, but it just fits here so well.
What follows is just part of what could have been a saga:
I remember the secrets of childhood,
brave smiles that we wore every day.
Hiding our life behind closed doors;
easy, when no one would speak.
The casual cruelty was common,
whacks on our legs and our cheeks.
Worse beatings accepted in silence,
she must had deserved it you see.
Hunger accompanied too many,
corned beef then a luxury food.
The rich blamed the poor for their trouble;
perhaps not much changed after all?
But at least now the abuse is emerging,
the children, now grown up, do speak.
And the horrors of past childhoods
can be told, and egos of adults exposed.
Life was never an idyllic story,
there was never a rosy viewed time,
when a simpler life gave us all joy and peace,
when shut doors hid no dark secrets,
and childhood was fine
I see the long, pale neck stretched out before me.
A blood vessel pulsing gently;
faint warmth under my hand.
Others would write of beauty here,
admire the etiolated form,
but this is not me.
I see a pallid worm, smelling of death;
skin stretched taut over bone,
blood thinned from hunger.
A parody of womanhood.
I yearn for flesh covered with gilded skin,
warm from sun kisses,
veins running rich with iron.
What use is a flower grown in the dark;
a wasted mockery.
© Tricia Williams
Dense balls of nutrition;
more nutrition than I usually eat at lunchtime when alone.
Is this my protein?
Or my one-of-five-a-day?
And in such a low calorie mouthful or three.
That now I can eat the usual rubbish too, and not feel guilty.
© Tricia Williams
or was it splash, clunk?
The repeating noise led to a repeating pattern,
forcing its way across the paper,
and then across my room,
before inserting itself into my mind.
I love the swirls of autumn leaves in the wind,
waves breaking on a shore,
spring buds opening on a bush.
I love the patterns deep within Julia sets,
intricate fronds represented
in such beautiful colours.
I love the patterns in numbers,
such beauty in maths
that only a few recognise.
But splash, clunk?
Angular, ugly blocks on walls,
my mind endlessly counting.
no thank you
The Prompt this week was Bells, and I was thinking about possibly writing a poem – bells clanging, clashing, etc. Or a short story – maybe an alarm clock, waking from a dream or waking and going out to … somewhere? Or an evacuation in a war?
and then tonight my thoughts wandered in a very unexpected direction, not poetry, not fiction.
“Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell” was a volume of poetry published jointly by three poets in 1846. It had little success at first, selling even fewer copies than my own more modest collection, although one person did write to the publisher to ask for their autographs.
It later became famous.
The Brontë family shared many creative interests, and Charlotte Bronte had an ambition to follow in her brother’s steps and become a recognised poet. She had written to the poet laureate Robert Southey to submit several poems; but she received a discouraging reply, after several months – ladies could not write great literature! In spite of the lack of encouragement, she continued to write. She was also impressed on reading some of Anne’s poetry, and persuaded her sisters to collaborate in producing a book of poetry to be published under male pseudonyms.
Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell was the volume of poetry published jointly by the three sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne in 1846 – their first work to ever go into print. The book was printed by Aylott and Jones, London. The first edition failed to attract interest, with only three copies sold. However, the sisters decided to continue publishing their work and each had a first novel published in 1847, still using their male pseudonyms.
But the three Mr Bells had a short lived success as poets and writers, as they were soon overtaken by the Brontë sisters. Evidently ladies could write after all.
They closed down the shops,
and the families suffered,
but so did their villages and towns.
They dug up the graves,
and the families wept,
but so did their friends around the world.
They burned and killed the trees,
to punish the owners,
but polluted the air for everyone.
They tortured the believers,
who did not cry,
we cried for them.
Do they really expect to defeat
love and truth
through violence and fear?
On the ninth anniversary of the imprisonment of the 7,
As a statistician, I obviously love the numbers that describe our lives. But sometimes my brain wanders off to things like this:
I have 12 different items on my repeat prescription list. At the moment.
But I was recently diagnosed with some other ailments by a specialist. I haven’t seen my GP yet, but this means I will be probably getting another drug added to the list.
As you can imagine, I wasn’t happy about this. In fact I was very upset. I fretted about it in the four weeks between seeing the consultant and reading a copy of the letter he’s sent to my GP, listing the new diagnosis and suggesting treatments.
But then, in the postscript there was news that I have yet another thing wrong with me – that is four new things in total, two of which need new drugs.
So I’ll be getting 14 drugs on my repeat prescriptions, not unlucky 13.
I am so pleased.
Although, I just had another thought.
I’ve never counted up how many things are wrong with me – four news ones might just …
no it’s OK, I only have 12.
Four short pieces about the seasons. The first on Dreamwidth and WordPress, the others will only be posted on my Patreon page.
It was a warm spring day when I awoke this morning.
As usual I struggled to wake, then struggled to get out of bed. By the time I’d finished my first mug of tea it was already 11am.
Breakfast took another hour, even though it was just toast and coffee. Then I rested before my shower. Getting dressed was easier once my hands had warmed, and only took me 30 minutes. Followed by a brief rest of course.
Finally I was ready to go out, but the warm spring morning had turned into a rainy, chilly, afternoon, so I settled down with another mug of strong coffee and a cheese sandwich.
The clock ticked on, and it was time for an afternoon nap.
It was a cool dry evening when I awoke. Just right for a stroll. The early spring flowers were refreshed from the rain and their scents filled my nose as I opened the door. I walked slowly down the path to the gate, leaned on the wooden bar and admired the bright colours of the gardens around my home. My neighbours had done me proud this year, and their plots were filled with deep blues, purples, yellows and reds in a clash of vivid hues against the bright leaves.
I stood as long as I could, enjoying the evening light fading into dusk, then walked back into my home. It was nearly bedtime, but I’d had a good day today.
Selling my books is even harder, and I have been very bad at it.
So, after thinking about this for at least a year, I’ve signed up on Pateon.
I’m hoping that people who don’t buy a book from an author they’ve never heard of might be tempted to sample a few short pieces for a $1.
And that some of my friends might decide to support me, then actually support me. This isn’t just about money, but me trying to gauge if you believe I have something interesting to say too.
So for a dollar, plus taxes of course (there is a rule written in stone in an ancient city, if I want some money the government want a share too), you will find a little something to enjoy, I will get a contribution towards the trip to join the European choir in Germany and the knowledge that, however bad my hair looks, I’m worth it.