Falling Awake

 

Grapevinesnail_01I am reading a book of very strange stories.

One of them is called ‘Falling Awake’.

It is only six sentences long.

Here it is in its entirety:

 

I have no trouble falling asleep.

I have a lot of trouble falling awake.

Sometimes I sleep ten to twelve hours a day before snailing towards the light.

One day I will fall asleep and not fall awake or fall awake and not fall asleep.

Neither prospect daunts me.

I like adventures; no matter how short.

 

Uncle Bert

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I remember Uncle Bert.

He had had a stroke.

His mouth was always open

Though he never spoke.

 

He sat on his armchair

Alongside Aunty Pat

Who did the speaking for him.

She was good at that.

 

He once looked a film star

A Gable or a Flynn.

And often charmed the ladies

with a rakish grin.

 

But then one day he emptied

and forever after that

Loyal as a labrador

he followed Aunty Pat.

 

 

No One Saw it Coming

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No one saw it coming. Least of all me. I was happily ensconced in a book when it EXPLODED. Such was its force that it blew the toupee off the man in front of me and propelled the stationary bus in which we were sitting two metres forward. The sneezer himself, a dread locked man in a canary yellow suit,  whooshed around the aisle of the bus startling passengers until suitably deflated he flopped beside me flatulent as a whoopee cushion.

That Helicopter Kid

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There was this kid who stood at the back of the class

When I came to read my poems

And whenever I got boring he’d rotate

His arms like the blades of a helicopter

& the more I banged on the faster

His arms would whir

Until it looked like he’d take off

 

His teacher and the other kids paid him

No mind.

 

In the pause between poems he’d say,

You done yet?

And I’d say,

Almost.

And he’d say, Good and slow down.

And when I stopped, he’d stop.

The eagle had landed.

 

Whenever I do a reading I see

That kid at the back

His arms set to rotate.

It keeps me honest.

Falling Short

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I thought of the times I had fallen short.

Let the side down.

Not been up to scratch

Been urged to pull my socks up,

My finger out

To take a good hard look at myself.

But I was always a few kangaroos short

Of a top paddock

So it didn’t get to me like it could have.

And anyway you can lead a horse to water

But you can’t make it drink.

 

The Cat and the Canary

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The cat had just killed a canary.

Bad, bad cat, said the bird lover who was staying at my place for the weekend.

Easy, I said, Remember what happened at the restaurant last night when you ordered barramundi for the first time and complained it was too fishy?

Yes. So?

Well, I said, you may as well berate a barramundi for being a fish as to castigate a cat for killing a canary.