When someone smiles at a tree,
A child cries in Germany.
When someone sings to a mouse,
Investors buy a brand new house.
When people laugh at a ninja,
brown haired people go instant ginger.
When tasty toast falls on the floor,
Elton John plays ten minutes more.
When soldiers play pictionary,
I look up ‘splodge’ in the dictionary.
When God has skittles for dinner,
Kate Moss wishes she were thinner.
When someone smiles at a tree,
Squeeky the squeegy is hot to trot,
He has all manor of things.
He goes shopping for small white dots,
to cover up his small white mistakes
so that his small white wife
does not get annoyed
and divorce him.
Why fall in love?
Why fall off walls?
Why fall into ice rivers?
Because it is more than fun.
“Christ, thats the fourth attack in two days.” Shadby said with a voice halfway between anger and fear. There was a thick dust in the air after the lightening commotion, forcing the asthmatic of the herd to reach for their inhalers. Nobody knew who had been taken yet, it always happened so fast. In the distance Shadby could see the three lions skulking off like guilty children not wanting to be caught smoking. They were draggiing off their prey, now just a lifeless body, that had been somebodies mother, father, child five minutes preiviously. The herd stood in small groups, talking quietly to each other, some smoking others crying. They knew that they were safe for now. Shadby recalled the first memory he ever had of an attack. It was a wednesday and he had just got back from Niffens birthday party. It had been a great day, all his favorite types of grass, games and a clown. And when he left he had been given a party bag„ full of cool things like a parachute zebra, some mint chewing cud, a toy car, loads of stuff really. He had showed his mother as soon as he saw her, and they went through the bag together, giggling and laughing like meercats. His mother was just about to give him his nightly lick, when the birds took off. It sounded great to young Shadby, a whoosing, soaring noise so intense that he just stood and listened, transfixed. But his mothers voice cut through him like locusts through grassland. “Run.” Quietly. “Run!” Louder. All around him the Earth churned like a flooded river. His aunts and uncles all baying and screaming, the sounds of hoofs on the ground louder than any thunderstorm. terrified eyes caught his as older beasts surged past him, their bodies already flecked with sweat. “RUN!!!!” Shadby ran.
Later when everything had calmed down, he asked his mother what had happened. When she looked at him, he could see the pain in her eyes. “Shadby,” she said quietly, “we are simple folk. We walk and eat and play. There are some that dont like that. They are jealous of us. They want to tear us, rip our flesh, gorge on our blood. That is what happened today. A youngster, a little older than you, was taken by a Lion. They chased him until he could no longer stand, then took him away from us.” Shadby didnt quite know what this meant. A lion? What was that? And why did they take someone away? He knew it was bad, the herd were standing sullen, no jokes were being made, no children playing. But he grew to understand.
After the days attack, the elders of the herd gathered to meet. Voices were raised and tempers flared as they discussed what to do. A beast named Toter had been taken that day. He was much loved, a poet, who would often sit with the children and tell them tales about Giraffes and Rhinos. He was old and feeble and the lions had targeted him. His widow had wandered away from the herd, to distraught to listen to reason and had been missing for hours. Shadby was present at the meeting. He was young and strong, in the prime of his life and very intelligent. He had been to these meeting before and listened to old men going in circles. Now was his time to speak.
“Ladies, Gentlemen please!!! For too long we have been victimised, hunted and destroyed. And for what? To keep some kind of cat alive? I have heard that in other countries cats are kept as pets by humans, or are hunted with rifles. We are better than cats! So why fight amongst ourselves? I have been working on an idea. Has anyone heard of a diversion? i was reading about it on the net, the ancient Greeks used something called a Trojan horse to lull their enemies into a false sense of security. We need to do the same. So heres what i say we do. I will be the Trojan Horse. I will limp past the lions, as if i am injured. They will see my firm rump and glossy hide and realise that i am prime meat. So they will come after me. When this happens, i will get rid of the limp and run in full flight. A group of other strong males will be in hiding and i will lead the lions to you. When they are close, charge at them, trample them, kill them. If we all work together then this will work!!!! Now come on, who is with me!!?!” A cheer erupted from the others and a stamping of hooves. “We are with you” the others chorused, “We are with you!!!”
That night was a long one for Shadby. Whilst others slept soundly, he went over and over in his head what was to happen. It seemed flawless.
Around him, beasts began to stir. Shadby had stayed awake all night, but he wasnt tired. The plan needed an early start, as the long morning shadows would help hide the other beasts. “Are you ready, Shadby?” asked Lokran, a shaggy herd elder. “Everyone else is set to go”
“Yes I am ready” Shadby replied bravely.
There was 22 of them altogether, the fittest and strongest members of the herd. They moved as one, like silent assasins, their feet covered in thick leaves to muffle any sound. Ahead they could see the Lions sleeping. Five of them. Yellow mounds of hatred. Shadby instructed the others to hide, then began his lonely walk.
The first Lion growled slowly as it woke to see Shadby limping past.
“Easy hunting today girls! ” She said jokingly to the other, now awake, lions. She stood and stretched, her muscles creaking with early morning tension, her eyes still half closed. She could see that Shadby was indeed a fit young thing, but he did appear to be injured. The other ladies of the tribe fanned about her, moving into attack postion.
In an instant they all leapt after Shadby.
Shadby broke into a sprint. He had let the foul Lions almost take him, but was now putting distance between them. He swerved this way and that, each powerful stride taking him closer to safety and victory. “almost ther, almost there” was the mantra pulsating through his alert mind. Then ‘Crack’. Shadby faltered, aware of a burning sensation in his chest. Another loud ‘crack’ and he fell, headlong into the ancient african soil. He could feel life ebbing away from him, he could hear strange sounds that he had never heard before. He looked into the distance and breathed his last.
“Excellent shot, dear boy! He never had a chance!”
” Yes was a beauty wasnt it! He will look wonderful on my wall. And did you see how close those Lions were? Ill remember this one”
“Humans one, animals nil eh? Alright back to base, Eggs and bacon should be ready when we get there.”
That evening the herd was silent. No one gnu what had happened.
Clive made his way from the Home Interiors showroom and got into the waiting cadilac.
“Are they ready Sir?” asked Reynolds, his driver.
“No should be done by thursday”
“Very good Sir”
“They should have been ready today. Its things like this that make me mad Reynolds, very mad indeed! I’ve a mind to report this to their superiors. Lets see how they would like being kept waiting for drapes! Anyway, drive on Reynolds, I still want to catch the butcher before four” said Clive agitatedly.
“Of course Sir” replied Reynolds
The sardonic green Cadillac petulantly meandered up to ‘Tom’s, A Family Butchers’
“Stop the car please Reynolds, but keep the engine running. I shouldn’t be too long.” asked Clive, in a chirpy voice.
“Of course Sir” replied Reynolds
The bell of the shop tinkled like children laughing in the sun.
It smelt of knives and aprons and meat products. There was a glass cabinet at the front of the shop, displaying all kinds of tasty treats, from lamb shanks to smokey bacon to pork hocks. Everything looked glistening and delicious.
“Hullo Sir” said Tom with a voice like setting concrete.
“Afternoon Tom, How goes it? Hows your good lady wife these days? Her liver still giving her trouble?”
“She died sir, bout three months back. Dont like to talk about it these days, still pains me somewhat.”
“Of course Tom, forget i mentioned it… Still playing the cricket?” said Clive, warily.
“Oh yes sir” replied Tom, instantly cheerily. “Scored a 54 against Drumchurch Grocers, few weeks back. Should have seen the looks on their faces as the ball kept sailing over their heads. Mouths so wide, they coulda swallowed the Queen Mary!”
“Ha ha” laughed Clive heartily. “Ha ha ha” he laughed again. “Still got the old way with words, Tom, wife or no wife!”
“Thankyou Sir, I do still attend my English language appreciaiton class”
“Well you are coming on leaps and bounds, a dozen sausages please’ asked clive, respectfully.
“Pork or Beef, Sir?” asked Tom, respectfully
“Oh Beef. No Pork… Oh you choose” blurted Clive, respectfully
“Pork then, they are our best”
“Thankyou Tom, keep the change”
“Thankyou Sir” echoed Tom as Clive picked up his meats and left the shop.
Reynolds was sitting on the bonet of the Cadillac, smoking a cigarette, and reading a small book. His eyes were squinting against the smoke, which curled about him in sinister blue tendrils, like vines climbing a statue. His breath came in short, stabbing inhalations, and thick wheezy exhalations. His hat sat at a funny angle, making him look like an overgrown schoolboy, and his shoes were more scuffed than a boxers cheekbone. He saw Clive, threw his cigarette on the ground, coughed loudly, and opened the passenger door.
“Tom seems well, Reynolds. Did you know he scored a fifty in the cricket a couple of weeks back?” asked Clive to his weasly driver.
“Yes sir, twas all over the papers. Apparently he kept hitting the ball over their heads”
“Yes he did mention that. He said something else too, about his wife passing…”
“Passing what Sir?” asked Reynolds ignorantly.
“Well Passing, Reynolds, passing! As in she has passed over, she has died!”
“Oh yes Sir I knew that Sir, was young Bobby that killed her”
“What? I thought it was her liver?”
“Oh no, she was quite over that. No young Bobby Devlin accidentally shot her with his air rifle. He thought she was a Goose” replied Reynolds.
“Thought she was a Goose? Thats preposterous!! How can you mix a Goose with a fully grown woman?!?” asked Clive, incredulously.
“Well young Bobby isn’t right in the head, Sir. She was wearing a white sweater and yellow tights, and the young fellow got mixed up. Nobody blames him sir”
“Well what was she doing in white and yellow? She is a woman of 50+ years of age. Surely she knew the risks?”
“Well thats just it sir. When Mrs Tom had been saying she was going to embroidery class, she was actually going out to electro gigs, and getting cunted on meth…” said Reynolds, knowingly
“Ah ha. The old meth lover huh? Oh well lets be getting home Reynolds. We can get cook to fix us these sausages, whilst we play a nice game of draughts.”
“As you wish Sir” replied Reynolds.
When friends came over, i used to take them on picnics. They weren’t expecting it and they weren’t expected to do anything. I would pack my wicker picnic hamper with sandwhiches and mustard and chocolate and salami and cheese and turkish bread and dips, just all sorts of things. And then my friend would come over and see the picnic hamper and ask “whats that” and i would reply, “its a picnic hamper. You and I are going on a picnic. “Why?” “Because i want to go and dont want to go alone.” So we would jump in my car and pick a map page at random, and go and explore. We would go to the river or the sea, the park, the bushland, the street. It didnt matter really. And my friends would always have a lovely time, and would stretch their legs and take off their shoes and wriggle their toes. “Im having a lovely time” they would say. And i would smile at them cos i like my friends. And we would laugh and my friend would tell me what a great idea picnics are, but i would just nod cos i already knew that. Then i would take them home.
I met a girl called kelly. She was at a party and she was wearing green and pink. She was fun and friendly and smiley. She liked fun things and could talk nonstop. We laughed all night and decided we were friends. I got her phone number and she got mine, then she sent me a jokey sms. I liked that. And then she went home with her friends and i went home with mine.
Kelly phoned me up and said “hello its Kelly.” We talked for a while and decided we were still friends. Then she invited herself to my house. I was excited, i liked Kelly, she was a lot of fun. And because she was my friend I decided to make her a picnic. So i got my wicker picnic basket from its home under the stairs, and I got rug from the same place. I packed my basket with fruit juice, cold chicken, small custard tarts, salt, pepper, knives and forks, rolls and crackers. It all fitted in neatly and looked good.
Kelly knocked on my door even though i have a doorbell. It was a strong, fast knock and it made me think she was excited to be here.
I went and opened the door and Kelly was there, smiling. “Hullo stranger!” she said. Kelly was wearing a pretty summer dress that made her look old and young at the same time. I told her she looked lovely and she giggled. Then i walked and got my basket and told Kelly we were going on a picnic. She didnt say anything, but nodded.
I asked Kelly to choose which map page we would go to, but she said i should do it. We ended up outside the city, on a hill, with no-one around us. I was happy and didn’t talk. The wind ruffled my hair and sent little shivers all over me, as if i was geting walked on by hundreds of ants. It was quiet all around me, only the birds were talking. I could see Kelly out of the corner of my eye. She still had her shoes on and hadn’t stretched her legs out. I sat up and looked at her properly. Her face was drawn and tired, and when the wind blew her hair, i could tell it annoyed her. She turned and faced me. “I want to go home now” she said in a voice that reminded me of school. We didn’t talk as we walked down the hill, and we didn’t talk as I packed the car. We didn’t talk as i drove her home, and when we got to her red and white house, she got out and closed the door. I went home and took my wicker picnic basket out of the car and took rug out too. Then i put them both in the shed at the end of my garden, went inside and drank tea.
“Wicked, wicked child!!!”, she shouted at me and threw her shoe. I ducked, it hit the wall and bounced onto the cat sleeping nearby. “Now you’ve hurt cat” I retorted, before running to my room. My bedroom door was already open, so i couldnt make a big show of ripping it open, and it would never slam cos the carpet was too thick. I tried anyway and was rewarded with a pleasing ‘swoosh’ of rushing air. No big bang though. I stood still for a second, letting anger bubble over me like heat blistering paint. In the corner, my fish gulped at me, inviting me over. Oh God i loved my fish. Not shitty goldfish either. I hated Goldfish. Everyone can keep Goldfish. Even five year olds have Goldfish, and they give them ridiculous names like Goldy or Sooty or Bubbles. Stupid people keep Goldfish because they cant look after real fish. And i can. I have tropical fish. I have a 4 by 2 by 2 tank, which means four foot long, two feet wide and two feet high. It is very big. I can sit my whole body in it when it is empty. And i have an Eheim filter. They are the best. Mine filters 1500 litres of water an hour through four different filter mediums. Nobody else in my house even knows what a filter medium is. I use Bio balls, activated charcoal, filter wool and a sponge on the top layer. And because my filter is the best, it only needs cleaning once every four months. Sometimes i will talk to my fish, and tell them about what country their relatives live in, what size they will grow to, and their life expectancy. I feel bad about telling them how long they will live as it does not give them much hope. But then i remember that they are just fish.
I go and lay on my bed and put my new CD on. I turn it up loud and dont care about the noise. It is good music to have loud too. It is by a band called “The Music” and it rushes at you and grabs you and holds you and wont let go. It is fast and hypnotic and the louder it is, the sleepier it makes me. Listening to it makes me wish i was older. And then i wouldnt have to have fights with my mum over broken plants, and i could stay out late and meet girls who wanted to do more than just hold hands. My brother is 25 and has been away from home for ageeeessss. He does what he wants. I dont know why, but i just think he is so cool. Like the other day, when he came over for tea and mum was sort of nagging him, so he just smiled and flicked his middle finger at her. And she smiled too!!! Christ, If I did that i’d be whacked with a spoon. My brother always tells me about girls he is seeing. I dont know if it is true or not, but I like hearing it. As if each of his triumphs is also one of mine. Its weird how that happens when you have brothers. Their stories become your own. He had a girlfriend for a long time, they were going to get married, but they broke up. Mum says its because he is useless and she is growing up, but I just reckon they ran out of love. And you can run out of love. Its easy. You can use it all up too early, just cos you like the look of someone. And cos you like the look of ‘em, you gloss over the flaws, and they appear perfect. Then one day the love runs out, all of a sudden, and you wake up next to someone you dont even like. Im scared of that happening so Im not rushing into anything. I think maybe Mum and Dad rushed things a bit. They are still together and all, but it just seems weird. I think the only thing they have in common is that they have the same kids. Its like Dad is a surfer and mums a punk and they are in the same maths class. And sometimes they speak, but only about maths. Maybe that only makes sense to me. I get scared about getting married. When i think about my life stretching out before me, thinking of staying with one person forever, and loving just them, doesnt seem right. Nobody at school stays together for more than a couple of months, and if they do then suddenly become teased. And its not even other kids being jealous, it is just dumb, kids going out with kids. Im guessing when you become an adult, you just want to have sex with other adults, and so just settle down for a while with someone who likes having sex with you. Im just guessing. Im not scared of sex like im scared of marriage. When you speak to older kids or boasting adults, its as if they have had sex with a thousand ladies. Well shit, it cant be scary then. Just a bit of wriggling around and a bit of kissing then you just fall asleep, in a contented heap as they say. I almost had sex last year. It was on camp and i had walked to look at the water with Renee. Ha, i even did the gentleman thing and gave her my jumper. Then the next thing i know, we are squirming around on the floor like lost worms. I had my hand on the edge of her bra, but her hand was already down my pants, fumbling for my cock like you would fumble for the remote control when it falls down the side of the couch. It was the most exciting moment of my life to that point, and even now when i think back, i wished it had gone further. But we heard someone coming and flew apart like opposing magnets. God, this CD is good. I didnt realise how much music could move you, change how you think. I reckon it says a lot about who you are as a person, or what you are going to turn out like. It has certainly gotten rid of my anger. Think ill have a nap…..
When i wheeze cos of asthma,
I think of you.
Standing there with a puffer in one hand,
Flask of soup in the other.
Waiting for me. Always waiting for me.
And i run right past.
Past the puffer, past the soup.
I DONT NEED YOU!!! Who are you?!
What do you want? I dont want you!
Why would i want you?
Where are you going?
Hey come back!
I want the puffer, i want the soup!!
Where are you going?
I have noticed
that when I get home
and I have made some tea
and buttered some toast,
That I, without fail
will check to see if someone I have never met
has left a note for me.
Or just a few words.
Or just a sign.
I have noticed
that I don’t know why or how this should be
important to me
It just is so.
And sometimes I will look
at the picture of the person I have never met
and not know if they are real
and not know their presence
and not know their voice
And not know if any of that really matters..
As he followed
her swaying hips
up the tired stairs,
treading worn and weary carpet,
Was out of his depth.
Pepperoni! Ta ta t t t t t t t t t t t
Mushroom! Ta ta t t t t t t t t t t t
Tommy Sauce! Ta ta t ta ta ta t t ta
Cheeeesse!!!! Ta ta t t t t t t t t t t t
Oregano! Ta ta t t t t t t t t t t t
(click click click click)
Ham! Ta ta t ta ta ta t t ta
Spicy Chilli! Ta ta t t t t t t t t t t t
Doughy, chewy base!! Ta ta t t t t t t t t t t t
Ta ta t t t t t t t t t t tTa ta t t t t t t t t t t tTa ta t t t t t t t t t t t
when playing with a girls breasts,
That they were not the same size.
it was due to the angle
that I was looking at them.
Or that I had squidged one a bit much
and it now had to regrow like a scrunched up stressball.
They were different sizes.
Looking hastily attached,
as if she rushed to glue them on.
Or she had been given
two different sized shoes
at the bowling alley.
And closed my eyes.
As she jigged about on top of me.
was washing up today,
I started thinking about Vampires
and their teeth.
And if there was a Vampire
who just had normal teeth.
No sharp ones. Just stock
standard, normal teeth.
So he looked
like a normal chap.
So he couldn’t bite,
with one quick nip
Into the neck
of a virgin.
Instead, it would just be a normal man.
Clunking awkwardly with his normal gnashers.
Leaving teeth marks on someones neck,
So it looks like they have a lovebite from a spotty teen lover.
A lovebite is not sexy. But bleeding to death from a Vampire inflicted neck wound
So now I know.
Blunt teeth are not sexy.
But sharp ones
Mark, an elegant Ginger Tom cat, strolled lithely into
Confidently he made his way to the counter and asked the attendant,
“A box of your finest Cigars please shopkeep, for tonight I celebrate”
The tobacconist looked at Mark quizzically before exclaiming back,
“Miaow, miaow. Miaow miaow miaooooow?
The tobacconist did not speak English but did speak cat
and so hoped he had his pronunciation correct.
Unfortunately, although born a cat,
Mark had not been raised
And so did not understand.
The two characters looked at each other
saddened by their inability to communicate.
Mark padded out of the shop with less pomp than he had entered.
Carrying only a box of matches.
Right near where I live,
a chubby girl is generous
With her time.
Each day (cept Sundays)
A queue will form
in front of a baby blue door,
paint blistered and cracked.
From four til six the local lads
wait their turn.
For Spotty Nancy.
The door will open just a bit,
each boy suddenly alert
“My turn, Nance?” they enquire
and Spotty Nancy picks one, her chubby arm reaching out and plucking him like
a Quality Street toffee.
The door closes.
And one by one she has her fun,
discards the boys when she is done,
them like empty crisp packets,
flutter home to waiting mums.
At six, and this is the time she loves the most,
no more boys for she must feed.
Grease is her favourite and salt and fat,
Chips, burgers, drinks and that.
Chicken fried then dried
in incubators of death.
Select a piece, or three or four,
coke as well? And ribs? Sure.
And Spotty Nancy feasts.
For she needs her strength.
For tomorrow is another day and
Jeremy Kyle wont watch himself.
And at four, at her baby blue door
The boys will wait again.
For Spotty Nancy really does give the best wristies
on the Estate.
“So there I was,
A sailor behind me, two soldiers in front of me.
My hands on their willies.
Im sure people were watching,
I didnt care.
I pretended I was a slutty fish at a sex aquarium.
The air raids started and I thought about heading
to the air raid shelters. But I couldn’t.
I was trapped in sexual bliss.
I gave up my ration book for this.
The sailor finished up, the soldiers not far behind. Then we all ran to the shelter,
Claire wished she had never asked her nan about life during the war.