Sunday, October 26, 2008

re-inventing the smile

He tells me the story of the family photo.  All the tricks of the trade that bring four generations together in one ten by eight inch space.  United forever in two dimensions.  Some focused, some less so.  Some smile in today’s technicolor, while others grin through a 1970’s sheen.  The living and the dead and those still hanging somewhere in between.  Ghosts with shared chromosomes.  A new hierarchy - centre stage claimed by those who have spread the gene pool farthest and widest.  And the three extra pounds to grease the palm of the virtual wizard who can remove the scar from her face.  The fun we had with those face paints, pulled from a cracker - all gathered together some thirty Christmases ago.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

three's a crowd

[it seems I missed the third anniversary of this blog - sometimes its hard to believe that I’m still finding things to say that people actually want to read - I’ve got a few bits ready to go that are just lacking a picture, but in the meantime three observations from recent days]

Royal Road, relatively innocent at any other time, suddenly shifts pitch to a threatening tone.  A man runs round the corner, thin arms gangly triangles at his sides.  Fumbles mobile to his ear, doesn’t speak, only breathes.  He looks at us.  We look at him.  Try to communicate that we have seen him but would be willing to forget him too if he prefers.  A hasty diagonal takes him across the road where he joins a gender vague friend on a corner wall.  Without greeting or goodbye the friend stands and walks away.  And a few yards further along three men get into a topless car the colour of long stewed tea.  All events apparently unrelated but feeling somehow significant, somehow weighty with the flavour of danger.

- - - - - 

Our old knives have marks bitten deep into their plastic handles, paler blue breaking through.  Like they’ve been fighting in the dark, chewing at each other with serrated silver teeth.  Their knife nature unstoppable even when the kitchen drawer is closed.

- - - - - 

A crow chases a bread crust down a roof.  It bounces tile to tile and he follows.  Black after white across the red.  Like a strangely slanted game of chess.

Monday, October 06, 2008

where theres a will

Cocooned in faded brown sleeves.  She looks down at her arms, spindled and bent and moving very little, and wonders if she could pass for a tree.  If she stood still in the park would people overlook her.  Would the little white dog cock its leg in her direction.  Would that girl with the faraway smile come and sit beneath her as she ties and unties knots in that piece of blue string she always carries.  She looks at that string like most girls look at a best friend - only more unique, more treasured.  Not like something she’ll have lost and forgotten by the time she’s wearing faded brown sleeves.