Thursday, March 12, 2020

I ask myself what will they remember when I am gone 
or when they are grown and cradling the hurts of their own childhood.
I wonder which pieces of this magnificent, messy effort will be worthy of recall
and which will fall by the wayside, detritus of days lived in the sunset
colours of our love for them. I know that much, if not most, will be packed away
in the recesses of what I hope they think of as a happy childhood.
Will moving be one of the sharp shards they carry gingerly? Angrily?
Perhaps tenderly? Will they demand explanation and reasons
for the wanderings of my heart? Will I have any?

Hillary BowenA Home
This piece of writing rings in me as his laughter echoes between the pavilions.
I don't remember learning to ride a bicycle. As I think of it now, I can't
remember cycling at all as a child, even if of course I know I did.
To me much, if not most, is packed away in recesses of what I think of as a,
if not happy, then beautiful, - childhood.

What I remember is my mother's stunning feet. Bronzed and
glittering between the water's surface and the jetty, they were
my benchmark in the lake where I learnt how to swim.
The one which held sway to blood-red water lilies and pappa's
tortoiseshell glasses forever lost from a rowing boat.

What I remember is the light over the lake.
What I remember is pappa angling over me, blotting out the light,
where I lay on the asphalt after having fallen backwards from a truck.
I remember how he lifted me up and carried me laying over and in his arms,
up to the still empty apartment, where we were helping a friend move in.
I remember my body against the aged parquet flooring and that I felt,
just the way it used to look like it felt when a contused cartoon character
developed as if a halo of chirping birds and flickering stars
circling in a delirious dance around their head.

I don't remember us ever visiting that flat again.

I remember it as the summer I then spent laying under white sheets
hung like a veillike nordic bedouin tent between the appletrees, resting after
my cyclopean concussion. What I remember is the tree's shadows caressing
the linen, how they arched over me like nurses on guard.

What I remember is the gargantuan Giant Hogweeds skirting the railway.
I remember their flowers being so alluringly airy, in dainty white
against the gloomy dark tracks. And I remember them standing there
seductively; dressed in mamma and pappa's premonitions.
'Bear hogweed'. Poison. Burns.

I don't remember any cautions about the trains
that roared passed there through our parts of the woods.
Every Giant Hogweed was a storm bird, a rumble in themselves.

It was the time when we lived in that vast
turn of the century house with a round, budding tower room and
almost too many other rooms to hide in; to disappear in.
The ageing beauty had several staircases, with dark wooden bannisters
worn to soft perfection by the hands and the years moving by,
much too tempting to resist straddling and sliding down.

Once, there was a large brown bear rug with a mounted head,
thrown sprawling in an open skip in the neighbour's driveway.
Its jaws were open in a now forever soundless growl and its eyes
blind by glass. We saw it from where we were laying on our bellies,
up on our sun-warmed garage roof eating sticky plums
scattered there with us from nearby branches.
'Bear Hogweed'. Damnation. Brownbear.

I remember it as an instantaneous sensation,
invisible but dense and my very first, - suspicion that man is
more dangerous than any speeding train or toxic flower.
What is it that you remember..?

cassius's first bicycle is from banwood
(i wonder if he'll remember learning to ride a bike.)