Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Written on the back of a bus ticket by Adam Parry

The bus, over the bumps in the road
flirts with the countryside
as it pauses and it passes
winks at a tree,
grins at the rabbits in their field,
waves goodbye to disinterested horses at the far edge of green
where the river bends
as smoke bends away from fire.
The bus, over bumps, drives on without a backward glance.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Silent Spring by Adam Parry

Oh eyes so blue I came to think of you
No natural answers to your calls
I'm far to busy climbing walls.
Oh eyes so blue, there's nothing quite so true. And I
behind the trenches of my enemies
I fight with only my helpless heart
I drowned the foe in unnumbered tears.
I'm always ready for the revolution to start.
Some days I feel if I only forget my fears
I'll see your oh so blue blue eyes again
and again, they close so sleepy now
sweet blue as dreams abound.
Daddy has gone to face the bogey man
you'll never, ever know.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Pathway to the Beloved




I was small once, always hunched over on my tricycle racing after my friends on their bicycles half way down the street, I felt happy though racing and pedalling after them: wind whistling passed my ears and the rattling rush of the wheels.  They stopped for me to catch up, I said see you later and went to the guy Chris’ house who had a railway  line outside his garden and shot his air rifle at the passing trains.  He was fat and smelt, but he was always doing things I would never consider doing.  James my other friend got his foot stuck to the roundabout, the same one I handcuffed myself to, in the schoolyard in a protest against the school dinners.  James had to get a pig skin graft.  I laughed and threw an egg at him.  Mark hit me a lot and he was a lot cleverer than me and when my class went out to view a solar eclipse, he was doing a mathematics exam and frowned at me.  He tried to beat me up again, but for once I got the better of him, punched him, my fingers pulling his hair, just as I was about bang his head senseless, all the bigger kids pulled me off. Typical. The only time I got the better of him and they pulled me off.  Next time I saw him I threw a dart in his palm.  I don’t know whether this was before I got run over or not.  My dad creosoted a lot and told me never to go off the street.  He was cement mixer driver and snored, even before I got run over.

I left a school grey jumper in a park garden halfway home and my sister, and I, unaware I’d lost the jumper traipsed behind as I raced to the colourful library just at the side of a long grey road wet with rain.  We got a bag each of library books.  Then some bigger kids, snorting with snarls, wrestled them off us, and we flew home.

‘Where’s your jumper?’ Mother asked me.

‘I lost it.’

‘Well go an unlose it’

So I went and searched and wandered back to the little park, there was no sign.  I didn’t really want to go home, predicting ‘World War Three’ as Dad referred to these arguments where I am always causing ructions.  So, in trepidation, I went back to the field by the library, trying to find our library books.  I imagined that the big kids hadn’t actually wanted to read them.  Sure enough, I walked in a big green hilled area and found piece by piece the ripped and scattered books strewn about.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do next.  Loaded with bundles of pages and covers I sheepishly went into the Library.  I assured the lady librarian that this was not my doing.  I was greeted crossly.

‘I was attacked and they took the books and I came back and they were all like this.  I tried to get every page.’  Time for tears, I thought, but her look mellowed. ‘I will pay for them if you want even though it wasn’t my fault.’  The librarian took the books, most of the torn pages, and said it would be alright.

Even so I was pretty miserable on the way home.  I still hadn’t found my school jumper.  I was in for it.  I bought some refresher chews and meandered up our street.  Mother was asleep, Dad gardening.  I retreated to the safety of my own books and bunk bed until the call for teatime and the twenty questions.

I fell asleep and I was bigger on my way home from The Manor School, cycling home, freewheeling on my way to the corner to our street.  Then a sight caused me to slam on the brakes and I almost went over the handle bars.  There, there was an opening to a cave; I pulled the bike to the side of the road.  I was alone as I watched and watched as little men with casks of treasure hover down from a tree and one by one went into the cave.  I knew that I shouldn’t go and follow as I would get lost in the darkness and twists of the cave, yet, still I sat on the bike.  Before I woke up I had laid it by a fence and began to scramble over toward the wonderful cave.

‘Sam.  Your Dad wants to see you.’ Mother called from the sitting in front of the telly room.  I wasn’t sure whether I should weep first and tell the sorry tale of the Library books, soften him up a bit before the blow: no, I had not found my Jumper.  Maybe a bit of weeping after that would do the trick.

He was alone, shaving, giving me a grimacing look, but he always looked grimacing when he shaved.   I sat in my chair, quavering, holding the blubbering in until he’d finished shaving and I could better judge his mood.

Slowly and precisely after he had finished shaving, he took a little black brush and cleaned the inside of the shaver, and once finished, put down it out of sight by the side of his chair.

‘So what can I do for you? Your Mum said....’

‘Sorry’

‘Why are sorry?’ he smiled sarcastically.  ‘I mean, you were away a long time so you must have found the jumper.’

‘No.’

‘O so now you have to go out again and look for it until you’ve found it and it is getting dark.  You better go soon or there won’t be light to see.’

‘But you said I wasn’t to go off the street.’

‘Seeing as the brand new jumper that you got two weeks ago cost  me more money than you can count I don’t really care if you are wandering about all night, before school, after school and every day until you  have found it.’

He got out of the chair.  I smelt tea being made as he went through to the kitchen and closed it behind him.  I put a Refresher chew in my mouth and let myself out, banging the door loudly behind me.

I went and played some football with two or three school friends.  I was in goal and saved a few for a change. When it got dark they trailed off and I sat on the wall by the Scout Hut wondering how serious Dad had been.  I let myself into the kitchen door.  No-one was about.  I ate some Stovies out the pan on the cooker and wandering about the kitchen on my tip toes I saw on the calendar a picture of The Horseshoe Path.  Tomorrow’s date had written beside it.

‘SAM, Dr Gwyn 10 o’clock.’

I wasn’t ill I thought. Yet a day off school would make up for the mess I had made of today.  I crept to my bed.  In the morning the missing Jumper wasn’t mentioned.  Mother was all light and smiles, told me to put on the good clothes she’d hung out for me and took to me an unfamiliar medical centre and there, by a very scary lady, I was semi-castrated.  I got three days off school, unfortunately.  I only lost a jumper, in agony I thought, they didn’t have to do that to me.

One day I had no money for the bus to school and met Phillipa Jones on the way up the road.  She was the age of twelve, not my first love, I’d been dating since I was three coming on four, my first love’s mother became a Mormon and wouldn’t let us in when we came to play.  Eventually I moved on. Phillipa was dark haired and black of eye, with a pale complexion, she was wearing a golden jacket and skirt and low heeled shoes. We walked arm in arm to school, passed the tree where to my surprise a tattered grey jumper was caught in the branches.  I knew it was mine, but I was too content chattering with Phillipa to go and retrieve it.  Anyway Mum had bought me a new one to make up for the scrotal operation.

Before we went into the school gates, Phillipa held my arm and told me that her Dad had got a job in Belgium. 

‘Oh that’s nice. ‘  I tried to kiss her so I could get to my class on time as it was drama and the only class worth going to, but she held onto my arm as she took her cheek away from my approaching  lips.

‘We’re all going with him.  In two weeks.’

‘Oh and when are you coming back?’

‘Never.’

I ran away from her, blindly, catching my new jumper on the school gates, hearing her shout ‘Sam, Sam.’ I’d ripped another jumper, I was dead. See what you made me do, I almost turned my head and shouted at her.  I never wanted to see her face again. ‘I’ll write,’ she shouted as I ran further away, so I could not hear her voice.  I stopped then and turned back.

‘Oh please write Phillipa and I will write to you every day.’ Then I walked as calm as ninepence to my Drama class.

Mrs Fitzgerald glowered at me, and I found a corner on my own in the studio. 

‘As I was saying. This summer we are going to be doing a play for the whole School.  And the play has lots of parts and lots of sets and props to be made and there will be a terrible lot of costumes to be made.  So it’s all hands to the deck’

One of the third years asked what the play was.  I sighed at his ignorance. If he hadn’t figured it out yet, Mrs. Fitzgerald had been dropping hints for weeks; in the exercises and improvisations we had been doing, being Dwarves and Dragons and sending us out on treasure hunts, building caves too out of glue and old newspapers. Occasionally she’d call someone precious out of the blue, and I could not stifle my laughs.

When she finally handed out the scripts, the studio erupted in glee and anger.

‘Oh no.  At least it’s not a musical version.’ Philistines.  Or:

‘I will be the lead, no maybe the wizard,’

 ‘I want to be the Dragon.  Does the Dragon have a song?’

I could perhaps see them as villagers without much dialogue, if any.  As for the girls they’d all be in the Wardrobe and Set building departments for as far as I could remember there weren’t any females in the Play.

The other Sam, cheese breath, walked over to me, I turned my nostrils away from him just in case he breathed on me. He gave me a copy of the script.

‘Who are you going to audition for?’  He wafted gorgonzola towards me, it seemed to completely encompass my head and my pores sucked in the stench, until I almost tipped over and projectile vomited like an out of control water fountain.

I had to get out of there.

I snuck out in the mayhem and went to the classroom where I knew Phillipa Jones would be.  The classroom was empty. I wandered through the empty playground, picked up a few stray chipped marbles and a silver button.  I decided to climb a tree. I walked over the white lines of the football pitch, but by the time I reached the copse of trees I felt tired and it was not even noon.  I looked sneeringly back at the school.  I could hear them all now gossiping about who would play the part of Bilbo.

God and I had worked it out.  I would be Bilbo.  I sat on a fallen log for a bit.  I saw a couple of 2nd years kissing behind a bush.  Over at the cricket pitch some of the School team were practicing.  I decided that I should go back to the drama studio and collect a script.  I wearily got up, as I was crossing the football pitch. Something hit me in the face and I blacked out. I was not sure if that was before I was run over the first time or the second time.

I was in a tree looking down, near were the road steeply curved beneath the railway bridge then swept up Upton Drive. A hand held mine and I looked around a small black faced creature covered in a red robe and silk tapered hat sat beside me on the branch.  He wanted to show me the cave beneath the railway line.  I told him a panic that I had to see Phillipa Jones away at the Station.  I will never see her again.  The creature smiled, let go of my hand and I climbed down the tree swiftly and  he helped me onto my bike.  I scissored between the white markings of the centre of the road.  Peddled as fast as I could to the Station, but Phillipa Jones’ train had left.  I wept myself into unconsciousness.  Then woke in my bedroom.

I had been hit by a cricket ball. My head hurt, but apparently I was getting a week off school. I asked my sister to get me a copy of the script and to find out when the audition was.  I never said anything about Phillipa Jones; in fact it was if I had already forgotten her.  A letter came. It was an invitation for her going away party.  I frowned at it.  As far as I was concerned she had already gone.  I lay back on my four pillows and read the script from start to finish then started to learn Bilbo’s lines. Also Gollum’s just in case, and the week lasted a long, long time.

I used to peddle and peddle after my friends the rushing through my hair, but they went too fast and I couldn’t catch up with them.

 I remember now.

 I did not go to the station; I went to Belgium. The red masked man zipped me to her as if it knew my heart. I got on the station up the line. I saw a red light over me as I passed beneath the railway bridge. Always a red light.

 I am now unstrapped the cotton buds and wires taken away. I remember the little man in red and black took me to her in time and I flew through the train window and sat beside her and she kissed me and I hugged her as if we were old friends parted for a lifetime. Somewhere along the corridor to the TV room I forgot about the red masked being slowly it all dissipated like dreams on waking up as we waiting in line for morning medication. 

I look out at the Garden of Roses, red, and I do not remember anything after that.

Friday, 24 August 2018

View from the top of the bus by Adam Parry


The Lady Ivy embraced the old Oak King,
and they lay upon each other's lips for a day of days
in the time before Summer had a name,
or before a day ran out of time.
Entwined and verdant leaf
like a winter waistcoat about him
the Lady Ivy grew and twisted round,
growing almost touching
the rare old wood of the King, exiled,
Lord of a lost continent, within.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Sale of the Century by Adam Parry

Eyes for sale well washed
Fingers for rent long nails extra
Nose £350pcm no unemployed
Lips unused buy one pair get one free
Teeth only one owner slightly chipped
Ears only needed to hear listening extra
Fifty percent off cheeks or buy 4 for the price of 3
And chins cheap as chips batteries not included.

Monday, 6 August 2018

A voice calls from the morning by Adam Parry

Cure me of these dreamless sleep,
inoculate my heart from fear.
Over there something shines
and a voice calls from the morning.

The day! the day is begun again!
taking all the tired eyes upward
to blue sunshine, to a fight of song on the wind,
pushing us, flowing about us-

our footsteps on the damp grass, regulate into a dance
we levitate upon lips as she kisses the red earth
levitate to some cloud city floating, below drenched in sun
watch the sleepers wake.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

To take and hold by Adam Parry

 


 
 

 

Unknown, unknowable,

this spacious gift.  

This World we wish for, waiting there,

it pretends and jokes and laughs

but, doesn’t promise out loud.

Our world so shrinking

in the awful cold.

Yet it’s arms to outstretch and hold.