Stuck in the Moment

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Once I was stuck in the moment.

It was like being stuck in a lift.

I was going nowhere.

Not even up and down.

There was no way out.

No alarm button to press.

No keypad.

I tried not to panic.

Tried smoking a cig.

Humming a tune

Studying a fly on the wall

Studying me

Reciting my nine times tables

And then suddenly SNAP

I was out of it.

I don’t know how long I was in it.

It did have its moments

I must admit.

But you wondered if you’d ever

Get out and join

The flow of life again.

Running Jump

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What seems to be the trouble , he asks .

I cough and splutter all over the place .

He gets the message .

Sits down to write the certificate .

There , he says , handing the form to me . This should do the trick .

I peruse it quickly .

There’s something missing, I say, why I had time off .

That’s right . If you had Alzheimers or a social disease would you want

people to know ?

Certainly not .

My point exactly .

But I thought you had to put something down .

No , he says . And if they ask , tell them to take a running jump . Better still , tell them to phone me and I’ll tell them to take a running jump . Only in stronger terms .

He stands up . Shakes my hand .

 

The next day at work I hand in the certificate .

He’s right .

They see the blank space but no one says a word .

I push it a bit further .

On the official form , the one you fill out yourself , where it says Illness I put down ‘See Certificate’ .

It feels good . It really does .

I’ve found a new way to treat with the world .

Waiting to be Called

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Please Wait to be Called,

The sign said

So I did.

I waited and waited

At the head of the queue

outside the pearly gates

And when, growing impatient,

I stepped forward,

St. Peter held up his hand:

“There seems to be some problem,”

He said.

“You’ll have to wait a little longer,”

I stamped my feet a little

When a light flashed overhead

& a door opened behind

& I was whooshed back

To the operating theatre where the surgeons

Had revived me

One step from paradise.

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.

Runt

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“Bugger”, says Scruff. “Bugger”.

He’s back to his old intemperate self.

“What’s got your goat now?” I say.

“How am I supposed to get to the top branch now?? You know how I love the top branch. Someone took the tall ladder away and replaced it with THAT RUNT!!”

His wing is pointing at the little ladder against the weeping myrtle.

“Excuse me,” I say, “but you can’t expect the gardener to consult with magpies every time he shifts a ladder.”

Scruffy has that evil look in his eye.

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“Besides”, I add, “has anyone ever pointed out those two appendages, one on each side of your body? They can get you places.”

“Sarcastic snob!” he snaps. “I use them all the time like you your legs. Aches and pains. I prefer to hop up rungs.”

“Have it your own way,” I say, but my heart goes out to him all the same. “I know what you mean,” I add. “I’ll speak to the gardener.”

I notice a little spring in his hop.

Waterlogged

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The rain has begun.

I park the car close as possible, then dodging the drops, duck into the library.

“Ahh,” says the librarian, “we’ve been wading through your requests and look what’s washed up.”

It is like Santa handing over a present.

“Ahh, ‘Waterlog’”, I say.”The perfect book to read in the bath,”

“Just don’t drop it,” he says.

I should have seen that coming but Steve is quick, very quick.

“Thanks,” I say and we have a brief chat on the merits of reading in strange places, like baths.

“Have to go”, I say. “The rain’s getting heavier.”

By the time I get to the car, the book and I are waterlogged.

Steve would have appreciated that pun.

Now I don’t have to worry about dropping it in the bath.