Don't cry Because the pot is broken; It had long been cracked. But gather the shards Dig a deep hole And bury them.
And the rain will smoothen The disturbed earth The sun will bake, and wind trace New landmarks Till finally you won't remember Even the place...
A NOTE ON THE WITHERING Kevin Griffin
The first thing he noticed as he awoke early that Saturday morning, was her shock of dark hair lying over both of them and how their scents had mingled.
Unmoving, he watched her for an hour.
He sensed her stirring, but was distracted and amused as the memory of yesterday's thought-bubble persisted, along with the promise of the paths he would travel today.
While she was gone, time subsided.
She brought coffee for herself, tea for him, as he liked it, black, no sugar, but too hot, and brown bread toast, bitter with jam.
Casually, she asked about the train. Merciful God, the train, what else had he forgotten?
THE LAST RAINS IN CUTTACK Bibhu Padhi (for William Meredith)
Their long arrivals have turned episodic now; now they come between long waitings. They do not embrace the earth anymore with that perfect angular gesture of a kind mother. They have lost their old sense of touch, their feeling of growth and new life.
My trees are dry now, like my own fingers; they no longer bear the smell of wet green and loving rain. The last rains are falling now on the mango tree widespread against the sky, on my closed eyes, on the seeds of winter, softly, on the last blade of grass. Let them fall.
OUT OF FAVOUR Laura Sheridan
That day at Hampton Court we came out through the back doors and stepped into a Looking-Glass scene, a Dali dream; those trees, clipped into precise cones alongside stone paths – open, free. Later
the Maze, planted for a listless queen, trapped us in its leafy walls our fingers rushing dusty green where she had once walked, paused, touched her neck, shivered.
WELSH RAREBIT WITH AUNTIE MARGARET AT THE EMPORIUM Christine Gray
She led me down the hilly streets of Bradford to a large department store, a Co-op grandly called the 'Emporium’ inside, its 1930's décor had pale green walls with pink concealed lighting round the ceiling and pink wall lights with fluted glass shades.
It was my ninth birthday (though it didn't feel like it) away from home. The restaurant was on the top floor white tablecloths with gilded chairs.
This was my birthday treat, afternoon tea for two. She ordered Welsh Rarebit. I wasn't at all sure about this I needn't have worried. When it came, it was only CHEESE ON TOAST!
HIKIKOMORI Stephen Albones
Opening the wardrobe door, I was surprised to find my grandmother.
« What are you doing here, Gran? I said. We haven’t seen you since 1988. - I was getting a bit sick of the world, she replied, so I thought I’d spend some time in the wardrobe; and, d’you know, I felt so safe and protected that I decided to stay. - But what have you been living on all these years? - Moths. They taste horrible, but they’re actually quite nutritious. - Thanks Gran, without you there’d probably be no clothes left by now. - That’s all right. Could you shut the door now, please? There’s a bit of a draught. - Okay. Before I go, is there anything you’d like me to get you after all this time? - Well, I wouldn’t say no to a bag of Werther’s to get rid of the taste of moths. - Righto. Do you know they do minty and chocolaty flavours now? - No thank you. I’ll stick with the originals: I can’t see the point in changing a winning formula. »
I closed the door, pondering on this meeting. Then I realised I’d forgotten to get what I’d originally gone to the wardrobe for. Never mind, I thought, I’ll get it when I give Gran the Werther’s. And, who knows, perhaps I can persuade her to leave the wardrobe for a minute. Or perhaps not.
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