Other, Sunnier Days

sunnier days

“Give me my money,” the girl says. She is identical to all the other girls with her green primary school uniform and her close cropped hair. You have probably walked past her dozens of times. On other days she may even have greeted you in the exact same way. On other days you may have even returned the greeting with a smile and shrug.

On other, sunnier days.

“What?” You stop walking and look at her. Her legs are ashy. Her feet are shoeless. A thin crust of dried snot hovers just below her nostrils. On other days you would have kept walking. On other days you would not have said anything.

On other, sunnier days.
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Steak Out

Hippo

It took me a few days to notice that Mr Steak had disappeared from school.

“I have not seen our friend for a while,” I say to Mr Jerry in the elliptical vernacular that is common in this part of the world. He looks at me quizzically. “That one,” I say, motioning in the direction of Steak’s desk.

“Oh. He has gone to get a transcript,” Jerry says, “In Mzuzu.” Thyolo is in the South of Malawi. Mzuzu is in the North. Nothing unusual about the journey taking a few days.

But then he is gone the whole week.
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2015. New Year. New Resolutions.

Tree
1. Lose weight…by being cursed by a gypsy.

2. Get the best job of my life…by pretending I am a woman.

3. Become a better athlete…by turning myself into a werewolf.

4. Become more family oriented…by being shot in the head and getting amnesia.

5. Make my friends happier…by causing a shuttle mishap that sends them into space.

6. Help a troubled minority teenager…by teaching him about football.

7. Help save the community rec center…by winning the annual break dancing competition.

8. Expose school corruption…by becoming a pirate radio DJ.

9. Solve unsolved murders…by using my ability to talk to ghosts.

10. Prevent World War III…by working with/against time traveling robots.

11. Eat less red meat.

Many happy returns

On the day that you left,
hope was thrown out
the window and 
into the 
snow.

Of course there really wasn’t
much hope to throw;
to throw into 
the melting 
snow.

There was no peace left. 
Nothing to drag me 
from the gutter 
to the 
glow.

So I sat in the room 
with the laughing chairs
watching each frozen
moment slip 
away.

….the white ribbons and pony-tail,
the thoughts that gave me
warmth at night and 
the book with 
the clasp 
that 
shut too tight.

…the silent dinners and phony smile,
the thoughts that kept me
up at night and 
my mouth like 
a book with 
a clasp
that 
couldn’t close right…

All of the things
we had and
used to 
be.

All of the things 
that meant the 
world to 
me.

Lost. 
Forever lost
in the noise
and all the heat.

Lost like melting snow.

Enter sandman

image

Malawi has a new president. It took a week and a half. During that time there were fears and accusations. Threats and counter-threats. Injunctions and injunctions to block injunctions. The Overlords kept us all on high alert. They feared violence, recriminations and general apocalyptic destruction. Told us to stay vigilant. Stay put. Stay safe.

The results were announced on Friday and… Continue reading

An anniversary, of sorts

he looks solemn
          in his dark coat and tie
his shoes polished
          to a shine

he smells of Old Spice and
          shower steam
eating Cheerios and
          going through the routine

white shirt
          starched and pressed
black pants
          ironed
curly dark brown hair
          combed

He stands
          and kisses his family
                                                Goodbye
                                             

A lament

Strawberry Tree

Oh! To be a sexless tree!

To not have to lose any leaves.
To not watch them wither
and fall.

To not bear any fruit.
To not worry about the apples or the pears
or fear the early Frost.

To stand in sunshine.
To stand in rain
and bear witness to the passage of time.

Without tears.
Without joy.
Without pain.

The Courtship of Jimbo and Shi-shi

Jimbo and Shi-shi

It is Becky’s special day, so she gets to choose what we do. She could have chosen anything. She chose the zoo. We see the turtles, a giraffe, the elephants (of course), and a mountain lion that probably hasn’t spent a single day of his life anywhere near a mountain. But it isn’t the menagerie of birds or the countless exotic fish she wants to see.

“Monkeys!” she says, her too pale face lighting up as she races to the railing.

“Honey, don’t get too close,” Her mother says trying to keep up.

There are five of them in the grotto. One walks around the perimeter, shaking branches. The others take refuge in a rapidly shrinking area of shade underneath a large climbing rock. It rained earlier but as the afternoon wears on, the temperature soars. The heat threatens to reignite the dying embers of an early morning headache. My shirt is damp from the humidity.

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A hole (in the fourth wall)

image

Greetings APObservers.

Apologies and such for my recent absence. The Overlords called me away for meetings and then I did some traveling.

Spent a little time at the Lake. Spent a little time in space. Celebrated Christmas with a migraine pulsing through my eye socket and a chicken hopping on my back. Celebrated New Year’s with the usual mix of fear and optimism. It was good. And now I am back.

I hope all of you had a joyful holiday season. Best wishes for the new year and all those things.

And now we return you to our regularly scheduled programming…