What the Eyes Can’t See

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A little mouse in the kitchen
Quietly hidden
Behind lower cupboards.
He seems hypnotized
By cooking smells.

He wants to escape
His hiding place,
But a dog lurking around
He senses.

Some breadcrumbs
Fell off while dishing away
A poor man’s toast,
so I leave them there
for the little mouse's tea.

The suave hunter
Now enters the room.
The mouse is scared and silenced,
As he can smell
His early morning death.

Momo is shedding,
The floor is full of hair.
His stomach is rumbling,
The mouse will turn
into woolly snow one day.

I turn a blind eye
And leave the room.
A new chapter is
Waiting for me
By my bedside table.

There are no sounds,
And on the floor
The hair remains unswept.
There are no dry tears either
For what the eyes can’t see.

Lantern

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Poetry
With green and yellow shadows
Your ferocity I admire,
You misbehave
Like a house in ruins.

Yet everyone is there
To pick up your rainbow pieces
When your stride falters.

Peripheral vision 
Does not abound
In your sea of cobblestones.

If only I had a lantern.

You sigh, and that sight
truly pierces
Through my thick skin.

You didn’t even know I had skin,
and when it got dry, 
It blistered
Like your little soul
Of Green and yellow shadows.

If only I had a lantern.

The Olive

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Girl in mousy sunglasses
Arrives on her date.
Unknowingly the guy
Has set up the meetup
In a pretty beer garden
belonging to her favourite
bookshop.

You picked a lovely place.
Did I?
Yes! I come here often.
To buy books. 
They cheer me up
On my worst days,
Regardless of genre.

Left eyebrow arched.

Do you like reading?
Of course - I love it. 
Don’t you?

Right eyebrow arched.

Well, yes. Who doesn’t?
I prefer sport though.
Oh, I love to exercise too, 
I go swimming often.

Well, I tend to enjoy
activities
far more social
Than that. 

We are a bit dry over here. 

Would you care for some wine?
I would. Dry if they have it, 
Thanks so much.

I will see what I can do.

This is a real winner. 

I brought some olives too.
Great, I love olives.
He takes one,
Proceeds to eat
His way around the pit,
without taking his eyes
Off her.

That lovely, Mediterranean-skinned olive. 

So what else do you like?
Cinema?
Travelling?
Well. Yes, I guess. Who doesn’t.
Sure, who doesn't.

The girl cannot help
But perceive a tiny yawn
Coming out
Of his beautifully contoured
Italian mouth. 
Such muscle spasm
Faithfully reflects
The way she is feeling
About the date
At that very moment. 

They are kindred spirits after all. 

Suddenly, he abruptly
Spits out the chewed up olive.
Apologetically, he says:
I love garlic...
Just not tonight.
I see.
Do you happen to have
Some food intolerance?
Well, erm, no.
So what's happening tonight?

Arched eyebrows (now the whole set).

Our date? 
Oh, of course. 
She stares at the olive
For a long time.
The virgin olive, 
The one that still hasn’t
Been spat out
Due to garlic interference.

She puts on
Her mousy sunglasses
And gets up,
Ready to go.
The self-assured, 
Semi-seductive stare
Now falters.
I am off to buy some books.
I hope you enjoy
The rest of the olives.
They were so yummy.

The wine was not dry enough though.

He takes the phone
Off his back pocket.
Opens up the app,
And swipes right
On the next picture
That captures
His olive imagination. 

They are kindred spirits after all.

Summer Be Gone

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Poetry
 Close your eyes
I am here, by your side.
I want to see
the withering hibiscus.
Once more.

It yearns for water,
Yet you are condemning it
To an early death.

Switch off the lights,
Until Momo comes along
With his languid stride.

Forever imbuing the room
Of tranquil wisdom.

Self-induced ostracism
To some it appears,
But I call it instead
The calm purity
Of solo living.

Close your eyes,
I am here, by your side.

Let light be gone.

Forever imbuing the room
Of tranquil wisdom.

I do not want to see
The withering hibiscus
Any more.

Just close your eyes.
And let summer be gone.

If only they were butterflies

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Random

This is the life. The life of an online dating aficionado. If only I could go back in time, how many connections and conversations I could have started. How many winks and smiles and drinks to drain the ennui away. And I am getting old and people around me are slowly languishing. All I am thinking about is virtually fucking my next date before my Faceapp wrinkles start taking control of my real face.

My hormones want more but my nostrils sniff the pheromones away. All the better for it. 

Let’s navigate together through a sea of ones and zeros. Let’s make away with our sweat and cherry-picking fingertips.

You couldn’t kill a fly, let alone unzip my flies. Take care, love, yeah? With this, adieu! And forever bless you. 

Here I am again, playing the online dating game. As if I hadn’t had enough with the advice from my beloved Selfie Girl Down Under

So here I am again, swiping left and swiping right, and all I can hear is the cheer of my fingers tapping away at the keyboard.

The sheer madness of banal understanding.

Fly #14

Victor, 36 years old, 3 km away. I like reading, photography and taking my dog for walks. Series junkie. Boring. Average height. 

Promising intro.

“Hi, Victor! Boring and average height! I love it. What series are you watching these days?”

“Hi, Nina! Lately, I have been watching “Easy”, it is about sexuality in the thirty to fifty age range. Well, not too bad, not too many episodes…And yeah, I am indeed boring. Whenever I can I just sit there doing nothing. Quite understated these days. But I can’t get enough of it. Guilty as charged.

As for my height – I described it as average but I should have said quite short, as I am roughly 1’70. This has been traumatising me for months. Thing is, it never bothered me before.

Anyway, my height has never deprived me of getting to places.

That’s enough from me. How is it going?”

“Well as they say. Good things come in small packages. I quite liked Easy, even though I only watched the first season (there are three of them?)

A while back I went into a series frenzy and I just needed some detox. Lately, I am coming back to it, slowly, sensibly, with the fragile moderation of an ex-addict. The most recent one I’ve watched is Fleabag. Simply brilliant stuff. 

Series aside, I do this and that. And right now, trying to see this heatwave through, as I believe you must be too, 3 km away from me as you are. Wanna join forces? There should be a swimming pool nearby”. 

So here I am again, swiping left and swiping right, and all I can hear is the cheer of my fingers tapping away at the keyboard. 

The sheer madness of banal understanding.

“Toc-Toc. You there?”

Let’s navigate together through a sea of ones and zeros. Let’s make away with our sweat and cherry-picking fingertips.

“Hey, are you sure you didn’t take your doing nothing too far?”

Online dating radio silence.

This is the life. The life of an online dating aficionado. If only I could go back in time, how many connections and conversations I could have deleted.

Fly specimen #14, Time of Death, 10 pm, CET. August 2nd.

If only they were butterflies.

Sunburn

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Random

The day after my dad’s corpse burned to ashes, we went to pick them up by the scenic hillside crematory. 

I was numb for feeling and my mum was still reluctant to cry. 

My little sister was just blunt, as she displays herself during working days and weekends alike. No matter whether she has just won the lottery, or her father has died.

But we had to go. My dad’s ashes were there, waiting for us.

It was late June. On the way to the train station, I’d witnessed a stray dog trying to get across the road. He was nearly run over, but a kind driver harshly hit on the brake pedal, thus avoiding canicide.  

The dog froze in time so I called over to him. The car driver looked relieved and waved at me in honest gratitude. I petted the dog for a while.

But I had to go. He saw me leave. He kept wandering about.

To this day I still wonder where he ended up. He most likely got plastered on to the asphalt. I still feel sorry I could not help him much.

But I had to go. My dad’s remains were waiting for us. 

We turned up at the crematory. We were waiting at the queue, which was not too long for a Saturday, I thought. 

I couldn’t help but wonder if some families just left the ashes or corpses behind. Safe in the knowledge that even if they did not get the dignity of their own grave, they would still get buried in a common one. 

Deep down over six feet under

It was now our turn. My mum approached, presenting the desk clerk with the paper tag. It read my dad’s coffin registration number. Stiff and concerned, the guy took the number off my mum’s arthritic hands. He disappeared into the inner office. After a few minutes, he returned with a beige, nondescript urn. 

Opened it up. I thought he’d show us the matching registration number. We glimpsed into the ash bag instead. They were there indeed, ashes to ashes.

But were those my dad’s? 

We took off. For a walk. Under the blistering sun. I suggested a taxi but my sister insisted on taking the bus, so we headed to the nearest stop.  

We spent there almost thirty minutes, dad-in-the-urn and the three of us, patiently (grumpily) hoping that the bus driver would come and save us. 

Do ashes get sunburnt at all? 

They may turn darker. They may turn sad. They may turn oblivious to the fact they are dead and no longer exist in this world of tedious, unaware solitude. 

And so we headed off to the funky neighbourhood. I suggested a nice restaurant to celebrate dad’s birthday, which happened to be on the day of the ash pickup. 

I placed the urn on a seat right next to me. We chattered away and ate and I had my glass of wine.

All is good with life. And so is dad. Even when all that remains of him is grey matter. 

I still think of that stray dog sometimes. 

Baroque Nights

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You look so calm. She says.

Ohm. Bloody Ohm. I purse my lips.

You could do with some housekeeping too. She continues, as she enters Nina’s apartment and scrutinizes every dusty corner in sight.

So many hairs around. Stained floor.

They’re just back from the nursing home, where the undertakers collected Dad’s stiff remains – ready for embalming.

What a dirty home. And yet you look so calm. Pour me a glass of red, if you don’t mind?

I don’t have any red. Vodka and coke only, in case you care for a nightcap.

That’ll do too.

She lights up a cigarette. Draws a stuffed cat on a post-it pad lying around.

I purse my lips. I slowly, reluctantly, inhale the smoke. I am a calm person. Ohm, bloody ohm.

Yes, you should hoover around, some tidying up around the shelf area could help too. May get rid of this stuffy baroque feeling as you enter, you know?

I am calm, bloody calm.

Yet don’t let me tamper with your stuffed cat.

I am a dog person too, just in case you don’t know.

Dusty Roads

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A day in the life of Aidan, technical communicator, and mayor of Phillips, Oklahoma, a town well-known for its dusty roads. 

I am really proud of this town and my fellow co-citizens.

Aidan gets fairly emotional as he dives into his thirty-five-pager presentation. 

Right now he is walking us through his second slide. 

The Oklahoma PowerPoint tour de force has been requested by the department manager. This speaks ever so nicely about the company – they care about their employees and interesting pet projects, nice work-life balance and blah-di-blah.

A small dusty town in Phillips, Oklahoma, where he has been working on his community service duties by fixing its unsophisticated plumbing system, making use of his engineering-minded prowess.

Joie de vivre to mere mortals. 

One of the central slides features a picture of himself in firefighting gear. That was his previous hobby, he announces. 

Everyone on the small Zoom split-screen window smiles and congratulates him about his passions and enduring dedication to community service. 

I must look puzzled (the Zoom camera is still on). Is it just me or is he taking himself (and by proxy his slides) too seriously?

I resolutely yawn. 

My mobile starts vibrating. I am slumbered with slide tiredness yet I still doubt as to whether to take the call or not. 

The phone buzz keeps going. 

I reluctantly answer. 

Come over as soon as you can.

I hang up. I don’t give a shit about Phillips, Oklahoma, and its dusty-minded townsfolk. Aidan can keep caring about his plumbing community service duties but as my dad’s breath has started languidly extinguishing, I exit the session without a goodbye. 

Dusty roads in Phillips, Oklahoma will be worth visiting one day in the far-distant future. When dad is no longer here. 

But dad will always be around. 

The spiral walk

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Poetry
 Spiraling over the edge,
Yogic palates
Are out of bounds.
If only I could undo
The spiral walk.

Because it is full of lies,
Death,
Insurgences,
And despair.

Spiral in,
Spiral out,
And all I want
Is for the flowers
To wither.

Memento
To heaven.

It surely comes in knots,
Which I untie,
When I am out of bounds,
As is my yogic palate.

The thin line
Between good
And flavoured pains.
The full range
Of human nature,
From envious
To gracious.
The fears,
The tears too.

This is the circle,
Of beginnings and ends,
And I feel so blessed to be here.

This is my death too,
The death of the old me,
The birth of a new heaven.

Spiraling over the edge.

If only I could undo
The spiral walk.

Yet I am not even capable
Of giving her my condolences
When I hear about her loss.

Glass

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Poetry
Aseptic death,
Like glass,
Bloody cold,
Indecent in her blind
And superficial
Grief-inducing fear.

I could not cry
Through his wake,
I felt however reassured
That he’d come a long way
To finally kiss me
Goodbye.

The big frameless window
Separating us.
Aseptic.
Death as a business,
Like glass,
Bloody cold.
The stake is ready,
To purify your soul.

Please knock down
The senseless divide.
I want to hug you
One final time.

Aseptic death,
Like glass,
Bloody cold,
Indecent in her blind
And superficial
Grief-inducing fear.

Like glass.