My Words, My World

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

Archive for the tag “morning”

In the corner

Following my recent negativity, two days ago I started writing a small fiction piece, something I haven’t done for a while.  I wanted it to be light, happy and, I suppose, a little seasonal, despite my humbug sentiments which came through in my last couple of (apparent) poems. I wanted it finished for today, for a reason.

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A small triangle of light fell across the boy’s face and he opened one eye, squinting.  He looked at the gap in the curtains.

He threw the covers back and stuck his head through the gap; pale blue greeted him and not a cloud in sight. A perfect day for playing football in the park or riding his bike, if he wrapped up properly and his mother would see to that.  He climbed off the bed, put on his dressing gown and picked up the comic he had been reading the night before, his feet finding his slippers as he shuffled out of the room, ignoring what lay in the corner.  His mother was waiting for him, a box of cereal in her hand. The curtains were still drawn.

“Good morning, sunshine.  You’ve a face as long as your dressing gown.  What’s up?”

She placed the box on the table. Billy was still wondering about the curtains. He sighed.

“It’s meant to be winter, Mum.  We still haven’t had any snow, it’s just sunny all the time.”

He didn’t notice her smile that appeared and disappeared while he poured milk on his breakfast.

“You should be happy.  You can go out to play.”

He shrugged.

“Dad said it was going to snow at Christmas, and it didn’t.”

“He’s not the weatherman, love.”

“Then he said it would on boxing Day.”

“He must have heard it from somewhere, Billy.”

“It’s now New Year’s Day and it’s still sunny.”

She picked the tea-towel from its hanger just as the cat jumped through the cat-flap, shaking herself.  Billy didn’t notice.

“So, you looked out of your window?”

He spooned the last of the cereal into his mouth and finished chewing before he answered, to his mother’s delight.

“I do it every morning and it’s always the same.”

“Your little window, in your room at the back of the house?”

He scratched his head and wondered if she’d been at the sherry, like she had on Christmas morning.  He opened the comic where he’d finished the night before. She turned the light off.

“Mum. I can’t read in this dark.”

“Open the curtains then, love.  I’ve got my hands full.”

He frowned.  Well, he supposed she did have a tea-towel in her hand. She was definitely acting strange.  He put the comic down, walked over to the window and opened the curtain.  His surprise was audible.  Grey sky greeted him and the first flakes of snow were already falling.

“But how…?”

“It’s been threatening a while but your little window looks out in the opposite direction.”

He stood, hand on the curtain, smiling as the snow became heavier.  The grass on the lawn was changing colour.

“Mum, it’s starting to set.”

“You’ll soon be able to throw snowballs and make snowmen.”

Laughing, he left his comic on the table and ran upstairs, throwing open his bedroom door.  He looked in the corner where his prize Christmas present, his new wooden sledge, waited for him.

Somewhere

Clock tick, ticking in the silence of the apartment
or
the apartments because there are nine in the block
and
I’m the only one awake at this time,
in
these hours where I should be elsewhere
and
not writing, or reading or dropping benzodiazepine for sleeping
and
my body aches for sleep
but
my mind tells my body to fuck off
and
get up, get going and do something
and
I’m on the sofa with a pen in one hand
and
a notebook in the other and a book by my side
and
the clock keeps ticking
and
to think that somewhere the sun is rising
and
somewhere else it’s setting on another day
as
the momentum of our forward roll takes us around
a
big ball of light and heat that keeps us here,
alive,
going nowhere except forward;
rolling, rolling
in space time, in real time,
(who’s got the time anyway?)
as
somewhere to the east of me the sun is coming up
and
somewhere to the west of me it’s going down
as
10,000 lives have just left
and
10,000 have just begun
and
we just keep on rolling. Somewhere.

Slow is the night

Night,
split into two:
broken lines
black and white
drawn and then fade
merge
and become grey,
like the dawn;
if it ever arrives.
 
My eyes are heavy
and my face is sliding
like some lost Dalí canvass;
long dripping clocks
leaking slow time:
sluggish minutes
and
creeping hours
in the long dragging night.

Sunday morning coffee

Early Sunday morning walk,
hungover.

Squinting in the morning light

Cappuccino with a double shot of coffee
and eyes that finally open

with the hoarse caw of the crow
and the hoarse voice of the barmaid
who must smoke a packet

or spend her life shouting
above the noise of the cutlery
being put in its place

as the coffee machine whirs
and the people sit
over their Sunday morning papers

as the cappuccino goes down
and the day opens up.

Observations from a waiting room

The stairs crush my knees and steal my breath

and I get to the top and I ring the bell

and I enter the surgery but the waiting room

is empty except for the noise

because the window is open

and the noise from the street competes

with the radio newsreader’s urgency

to tell me the headlines and I can’t hear them

but maybe it’s a blessing because

I don’t want to hear them because

everyone has a missile pointed at someone else

and it’s always someone else’s fault

and everyone is trigger-happy

or God-fearing happy-clappy

and it’s mine versus yours anyway

and now the smell of the floor cleaner joins in with the noise

and the headlines as they vie for my senses

and it makes no sense and my knees hurt

and I can’t hear myself think

and I can’t feel myself breathe

and then the doctor comes out

and asks me how I am…

I’m here, aren’t I?

Morning workout

I like to feel the cool air soothe my skin
as I stand outside on the balcony
and breathe the morning air.

I like to hear the leaves in the breeze-blown trees
chitter-chatter amongst themselves
in a language I don’t understand.

I like to see the rain roll down the window
and the streams run in the gutters,
now clean and ready to start again.

I like to watch the clouds chase each other
across the sky, racing in the wind,
making shapes only I can see.

Oh, and it’s Friday.

Morning story without the glory

The deep-water sound of someone pissing from a height at 4.30 in the morning
before the first blackbird has it in him
to wake up and start singing
and no car hums the tune of rubber on tarmac
and the night has its own sound
a no-sound
a “fuck me, well hello again, it’s you” sound
and I join in the silence,
eyes wide open and mouth closed shut
and I breathe in and I breathe out
and it doesn’t do much good and I turn over
on my side and wonder if I should read by reading light
or just get up and kiss the night
goodbye
so I say hi to my pen and paper and I want to write a story,
any story,
about the world and what goes on in it, within it
and all I end up writing, again, is my own.

Sunrise (I wanna sleep)

“The sun’s coming up.”

“What?”

“The sun’s coming up.”

“It does that, in the morning.”

“Wanna take a look?”

“No, I want to sleep.”

“You should see it, the colours and everything.”

“Pink.  It’s bound to be pink.  Go to sleep.”

“How do you know what colour it is?”

“Because it’s always pink.  Clear sky, pink clouds, pink sunrise. Pink.”

“I’ve seen sunrises that aren’t pink.”

“I’m happy for you, really.  So, get up or go to sleep, either way I don’t care about the pink sunrise.”

“You should you know.  After all, it may be your last.”

“What?”

“Well, we don’t know, do we?”

“Well that’s a cheery fucking thought.  Thanks for that. How am I going to sleep now?”

“Just think, it could be your last sunrise and you’re missing it because you want to stay in bed and sleep.”

“So then just think, it would also be my last sleep and I’m missing it watching a bloody pink sunrise.  Go to sleep!”

Summer heat

Damp sheet,
summer heat
I turn my pillow
over and over
and fuck off mosquito, you bitch
(it’s the females that make you itch)
and now the early morning crows
are crowing, or cawing
while the neighbourhood is still snoring;
except me
and I’m turning
like an undecided Brexit MP
as I can’t for the life of me
cool down
so I get up
and stroll on the balcony
in my shorts
it’s just me and the crows anyway
in this summer heat.

The longest day, the shortest night.

The longest day,
the shortest night

The summer solstice.
The sun rising between two tall stones.
The Pagan rites of five thousand years,
or more.
Time keeping time
Too hot to sleep
A midsummer night’s dream,
or nightmare.
Summer sticky heat.
The sweat from a thousand pores,
or more.

The longest day,
the shortest night.

Sunday morning (and Sunday Morning)

Wake up, stuffed nose, can’t breathe
can’t see, light switch, where’s the light switch?

Get up, still house, silence, silence
and the clock tick-tocks the night away.

Walk around, bare feet, cold feet
need a glass of water I’m parched.

Wine and bitter mouth, that last digestive
getting festive on a Saturday, as you do.

Sunday’s here and I’m the only one to see it
and when it’s time to get up I’ll go back to bed.

Not much to do but write and read and
Lester Bangs talks to me of Lou Reed
and The Velvet Underground.

Well, at least it’s Sunday Morning.

Winter, let it go

The black night draped
in mourning
for the morning.
The first feelers of light
yet to be felt.
The first rays of the sun
yet to be raised
above the horizon,
as the long and tiresome
night drags on.

While the world outside
and me inside
wait for spring.

My pen

The morning after the night before. Which is good, it means you’ve survived. Lived to tell the tale.

My tongue licks sawdust and cries out for coffee. I agree and duly oblige. My tongue cries out again when I put the steaming cup to my lips.  I think of my plans for the coming day but nothing materialises. It seems too large a step from where I am now to where I should be later.

My mind is grey, a bit like the January day which sits heavy outside my window; even the birds are reluctant to make themselves heard over the nothing in the air. Everything is flat, except my tongue.

The day seems to be wrapped in cellophane and I am the Clingfilm Kid. Get off your horse and make a Western out of that.

I’ve no revolver but my pen works fine and that’s something to go on with.

Monochrome

January
damp and cold January
I have a cough and I cough and I splutter.
Does it matter? Does it matter?

My cough plumbs the depth of my lungs in the night like my soul plumbs the depths of despair in winter and the clouds…
…and the clouds are pigeon shit-grey and they roll in then roll over then roll away and leave me…

bathed in monochrome
and the rain…and the rain.

It’s water and I’m dancing
I drank more water than what fell to earth last autumn
so we rain-danced for a drenching soul-cleaning and yet…

it’s January
damp and cold January
let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
pour your monochrome down upon me.

Whore of the morning

That old adage about “write what you know” – I should laugh in its face and stick my fingers in its eyes.

I started this blog , as it says on the tin (well, the heading), as a pin-board for airing poems and flash-fiction first drafts and ideas. Of late, after a barren summer, I’ve hit a creative vein, with no idea why except it runs in tandem with another bout of worse-than-usual sleeplessness. I don’t want this blog to become a shrine to insomnia so things will change in 2018 (that’s two days and, possibly, two nights…). 

This is this blog’s last insomniac poetic hurrah!  If I couldn’t write anything else then I would stick my pen where the sun doesn’t shine.  Luckily, I can and I have been (just not here, o bored and tired reader).

Have a great New Year everyone and thanks for looking in.

Chris
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And still the treacherous night lingers on
and pulls me along with it
incapable of leaving me behind
in a dreaming world of slumber;
the fucker.

And still my words spill across the page
and takes me away for a while,
pulling me into its world
where pen and hand work in unison;
the saviour.

And still my eyes remain open
and my awakened mind rages
full of ideas that fall on paper
as my head wants to fall;
on my pillow.

and yet, and yet…
and yet I love these early hours;
the quiet, the still, the night sounds
– or early morning sounds – take your pick.

A slave to the whore of the morning
fresh on her rounds and as yet untouched,
the sheets still unblemished
and the rose cheeks of her sunrise.

Dawn queen

Mind muddled, befuddled
hours awake,
hours reading,
hours doing everything but sleeping
crawling on my knees
to the dawn queen.

Lying there in the dark
looking at every darkened shape
of every angle of every wall
and feel every stubbed toe
on every piece of furniture
lying there in the dark;
like me.

Alarm clock; you are redundant,
again. As ever.
Your services are limited
except when you tell me
how long I’ve been lying there awake.
As I crawl on my knees
to the dawn queen.

Nightly battles #2

I thought black was black
as in: the night was pitch black
but when I close the windows
and pull down the shades
I see shades
of black:
pure black,
light black,
eerie black and
rich black
which is not pitch black;
the night tattooed on my mind
With my eyes closed
I see black
With my eyes open
I see black
As I wait to see
the grey of day

Nightly battles #1

Awake. Again.
Counting down the small hours.
Counting out the night.
“Come to bed, baby.”

No one sleeps anymore.  Have you noticed?
Curse of modern man.
Stress of modern life.
Stress?  Ah yes, that new old chestnut.

It’s not exactly the same as being kept awake by the crackle and spit of the fire you need to constantly tend as you peer into the darkness looking for the reflected firelight in the eyes of a predator; a sabre-tooth tiger, for example.

The caveman knew stress.
Did the caveman sleep?
Did his weary body recover after a day traipsing across the plains, spear in hand;
looking for soul food and a place to sleep?

“Oh, I haven’t slept in years”.
It’s the arse-end of 2017.
What’s my excuse?
What’s my sabre-tooth tiger, baby?

Song of the morning

In the dark,
a candlelight in my head
as I’m pulled from infinite dreams
(of what?)

Eyes closed but the mind
opened to a thousand possibilities
in the coming dawn
(at least I hope it is)

I want to hear the morning’s chatter
among the birds
and their song of the morning

The silent scream of pain

Tortuous night
in pain, in the dark.
Piano wire nerves scream
in a white-heat silence,
searing through me,
blazing as I lie
longing for the morning
to bathe me in light
and chase away
this tortuous night.

Morning mist

Waiting for the kettle to boil I took my usual 5-minute breather on the balcony, around 5.30am.  It had rained heavily the night before and the morning found itself under a heavy grey cloak.  I always enjoy standing out there; breathing, observing, listening and thinking.  The mountains wore skirts of cloud.  I came in, tea in hand and sat down, with just the first sentence in my head.  Strange how things go off on a tangent as they develop.

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The cloud clung to the sides of the mountain.  Beyond it, the sun had risen but the day had dawned pale and would remain that way.   Water from last night’s rain clung to everything.  Hidden blackbirds chattered in the trees and every now and again a crow would raise its voice above the drip, drip of the water.  Pine scent filled the air, which was clean but sombre.

It was time to move.

There was now enough light to get a helicopter in the air and heat imaging would see through the cloud.  He was sure he’d heard dogs in the valley below, and the rain wouldn’t cover his scent for long.

He grit his teeth as he tipped a little schnapps from his flask onto the blood-soaked gauze on his thigh.  The schnapps was the only thing between a usable leg and infection.  In this humidity gangrene would take hold soon if he didn’t find the help he knew was waiting for him.

Four miles to the border.  Four miles till the forest sloped down on the other side of the mountain.  He put all his weight on the pine branch he was using for a crutch and placed his holed leg forward.

It was time to move.

Positively Monday

Monday dawned, lumpy, grey and wet; weather to add a few kilos to already burdened shoulders. The Saturday sun had already done another circuit of the Earth and was now on it’s second; unseen.

He felt good. As most people struggled with the idea of getting up and going to work, he felt Monday as a renewal. Its sober slap in the face a reawakening.

As the rain fell and washed the streets so did this Monday morning cleanse him. Its sodden purgatorial followed the weekend’s excess (was it really excessive?). Yes; a whole new week lay ahead and who knew what it would bring? He was back in the seat, hands on the wheel, foot on the peddle and the long, sweeping curve was coming up.

Dark morning

Morning
Dark, dark morning
If you were an emotion
you’d be despair
If you were a state of body
you’d be fatigue
If you were a state of mind
you’d be confusion
At this hour my brainwaves
should be delta or theta
but I’m full-blown conscious
brainwave beta
If you were a book
you’d be Skeleton crew
because we that walk the corridors of night
are few
If you were a song
you’d be The Sound of Silence:
Hello darkness, my old friend.

Mon stylo

My pen
is a stranger to me,
estranged from me.
L’etranger.

My pen
has sat for weeks,
idle, spent, silent.
Oublié.

My pen
turns in my fingers,
once a part of me.
Perdu.

My pen
welcome back, great
to see you again.
Ça va mon ami?

Spotlight

Hanging in the air
in spectral suspension,
in anticipation.
Then, animation:
a slow sweep,
a bob, a curtsey,
a pirouette.

Framed in light,
a dancer’s spotlight.
I get up from my chair
and in the slant of sunlight
through the Venetian blind
a million others go dancing.
Dust.

3am weather update

3am,
the devil’s hour.
The wind shrieks through the trees
and on a balcony
(mine?)
sends a flower pot flying.

Horizontal rain
sprays the blinds
in a machine-gun scatter.
With heavy head
and heavy lids

I sit
and wonder why.

A little piece of me

Once in a while I look back over my previous writing just to try and gauge whether, over time, it’s improving.  I think it is.  I also look for patterns.  Patterns reveal the state during a certain period.  My writing of late, especially the poetry, has taken a darkened path.

10 years ago I started having massive sleep disruption.  This quickly grew into chronic insomnia, which I chose to ignore at my peril for a few years.  6 years ago I went under the ‘care’ of the local hospital, following visits to psychiatric specialists who tried to fathom out what the problem was.  I was depressed, apparently.  No shit, Sherlock.  A few years of sleeping no more than 4 hours a night was conducive to wiping the smile off my face.  They put boxes of pharmaceuticals in my hand and sent me away.

During this time I started writing.  I was trying to read a book, unfortunately I can’t remember the title, which was so bad I gave up after 20-odd pages, which is something I never do.  One dark morning I decided I would try and write something, surely it couldn’t be as bad as that crap I’d just given to the charity shop?

Writing became a regular in my life and it helped me where no amount of Benzodiazepine or Escitalopram could.  In fact, I stopped taking anything after two years, against the hospital’s wishes.  Fine, the pharmaceuticals help you sleep, but they leave you feeling hollow, devoid of emotion.  I decided I’d rather not sleep.  So here I am, not sleeping.

For anyone who doesn’t know, insomnia is a bastard.  Mentally, it’s a dark and lonely place that leads ever downwards, where you will eventually come to your own private Niflhel.  It cleaves you open and wrenches your tortured soul from your body while leaving you running on empty.

You stop telling people.  You have to, because all you hear is “Yeah, I had a terrible night as well.”  What?  You can’t explain and they can’t understand so your interactions become sullen standoffs.  You spend the day with a head full of cotton-wool; thinking becomes laborious and even the most banal of tasks requires consideration and reconsideration.  Clear thinking is a reality enjoyed by other people.

Physically it leaves you hollow, like a wind-blown wheat husk dried in the summer sun, light and directionless yet always hoping for a respite, a resting place from its torments.

On the other hand, creatively it has been a wonderful input and output, where my notebook, 2H pencil and I join hands in the early hours and together we chase away the demons that frequently slip the pillow out from under my head.  Those deep still hours of the morning welcome me, absorb me in their serenity and give me time and space to write.  Ideas form and become words because of this.  The majority of what you will find here was written while the world outside slept.

I hope reading this blog gives you at least a little of the pleasure it has given me.

Night kiss

3am, Sunday morning.
Dragged from dreams,
where feet walk on frosted blades
as a million stars fall from the sky,
which shivers
over silent faces hidden from me.
I reach out, they turn away
I call out, and they fade
 
The day,
still hours distant
is crawling round to meet me
 
I stand in the moon’s shadow
as the snow peaks stand hard and white
against black sky brushed with sweeping cloud,
the air cold on my skin
and I awaken under its kiss.
Nocturnal sighs in the blackened boughs
and, once again,
I have been tossed out into the night.

Lugano night, 3am.

Lugano night, 3am.

Green numbers

The hand reaches for the button

that flashes the green numbers

counting down the hours

of a night that is endless; and awake,

as I long to fall into sleep,

be it restless and haunted,

sleep it remains.

I envy it.

Cat’s eye

I’m not a cat;

I can’t see in the dark

yet it’s always dark

when I awake

and draw the line

under another night’s sleep.

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