My Words, My World

First drafts – A few pages in the large wilderness of the world of writing

Archive for the tag “Knife”

The dark kitchen

Another tip of the hat to Morgen Bailey and this time her poetry prompts. “the dark kitchen” immediately took my fancy and this time I had it down in less than a third of the allotted time.  Once again, thanks for that Morgen.

The Dark Kitchen

The dark kitchen
The darker drawers
The still darker knives,
Each telling their story

The darkened oven
Black from the roasts
The un-cleaned fat
That spat; and sizzled.

The dark old woman
Dressed all in black
Black widow in waiting
Black venom giving

The death-grey husband
Now ever in the dark
Her dark kitchen her web
Her poison pernicious

The dark pantry
Away from the light
Locked in tight
Opened only at night
When all is black

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The Train Window

I was still breathing deeply and out of breath as the train left Milan and entered the countryside.  My heart was beating like a hammer on an anvil.  Did I really just witness someone killed?  Did I really see those men take a life?  Did those men see me as I ran for the safety of people and the station?  I was too far away to do something and hopefully to far away to be considered a witness, at least by those men.  Who were they?  What had the dead man done?  I relax into my seat, breathing under control and look out of the train window.

The flat, still-green farmlands speed by my view at about a 100 miles per hour; la Frecciarossa – the Red Arrow – is the train taking me across the northern Italian plain.  The vineyards; with vines now stripped of their fruit and displaying their autumnal dress.  Shades of green, red, yellow and brown fill my view: The window view.  Like the mother whose son has upped and left home, bearing the weight of the grapes is now a memory for the vine, which will soon be bare for the coming winter.

The low pylon wires running parallel to the track, powering the great train on its way, keep me company but spoil my view of the pale blue sky, slowly suffocating under fat, moist, grey clouds from the east.

The tilled earth of the northern plain, the soil, freshly turned, contrasting with the green, showing brown but somehow…clean.  The appearance of a hard job done well, of a tidy desk left in its place after a day at the office.  For the farmer it is his desk.  Where is that farmer now?  Enjoying the fruits of his labours?  Probably not; it’s a little early to get on the wine but I appreciate his spotless fields.

Now I’ve left the fields and entered a town.  Grey, monotonous concrete destroys any view I might have had.  It’s strange how grey feels so dismal, especially concrete, even in the sunshine.  If I can’t see out the window then I prefer the black of night, at least I can use my imagination.  God forbid it rain; there’s nothing more depressing than a miserable, wet winter’s day, with the light failing early and the concrete, sodden and cold, both to the touch and eye.  But it ends.

The fields have returned.  In the sunshine the fields come to life, even in the autumn.  The sunshine brings animation, inspiration, motivation even.  Motivation to keep moving; to follow the sun.  To not allow the autumn sun to set forever on another year and be followed with a violent sadness by the arrival of winter.  The sunlight flickers continuously from the flashing shade of the pylons and I shield my eyes.  Then relief comes as the train enters a tunnel, if I remember rightly it’s a long one.  I continue to stare out of the window.  The train roars through and I can’t hear myself think, so I don’t: I just stare, waiting. 

It’s then I notice in the window a shape behind me, blacker than the tunnel wall.  A man; standing…also waiting.  In the reflection is that a knife I see in his hand?

A Time for Tea

“Does one ever learn to trust again after that trust has been abused and rejected?”  She was in one of her post-relationship moods.

“The matter of trust hangs on a knife-edge”, he said, sat squarely on the fence.

“I know that”, she replied, “I have been stabbed, deeply.”

“We live in fields of blades”, he sighed.

“Now you are being pessimist,” she retorted. “I think in the end our choices lead us to these fields you refer to as being filled with blades, or could they be filled roses?”

“Both may cut and scratch you.  Many times we sow the seeds of our own crop of blades”, he said.  “Others, unfortunately, wander too into these fields, time and again”.

“So we have experiences to avoid revisiting?”

“Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid wandering in,” he said, offering some comfort.  “From a distance these fields look beautiful, only once your inside do you realize the swaying, green stalks are really chrome blades, chopping.”

“Then the experience one had is defective as he still needs to learn further lessons.  He shall wander into these fields until he learns,” she sighed, despair creeping in.

“It’s not defective; unless you call hope a defect.  It’s hope that brings one again to the field.”

With relief that was tangible.  “Therefore I am doomed to wander the rough-made footpath and stray back into hurt, cuts and pain.  However seeing you start this conversation with pessimism and ending with a flirtation with optimism gives me strength to walk once more.”  She was warming to the idea.

“I never started a pessimist, as I have never looked upon this subject with pessimism.  Even blades have their uses, but only while they remain sharp.”  He responded, as pragmatic as ever.

“The only useful blunt utensil is a spoon,” she replied.

They exchanged glances.  He got up and put the kettle on.

 

Red

My hands worked quickly. My left hand sliding and slipping on the form it held,  the knife I held in my right hand sliced down and red seeped from the cut it made.  The knife went deeper, still the red oozed and spread slowly across the table, forming little pools, so red.

Half an hour I had been here, my knife working continuously.  I sometimes had to pause while cramp took hold.  I shook my hand, working the fingers slowly.  The cramp passed, it had to, there was no time to have cramp, my task was too urgent.  My hands were stained red.  The colour soaked into the pores of my fingers, it would be the devil to scrub them clean afterwards but I continued nonetheless.

The knife, ever hungry, crying tears of red.  I tried to clean up as I worked but to no avail.  Sweat started to drip from my hair into my eyes, the stinging sensation forcing me to blink and stop cutting.  I wiped the sweat from my forehead.  Finally my work here was done.

Only a salad chef can appreciate the finer points of dicing a fresh beetroot.

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