Welcome to my blog; inspired by Hemmingway's A Moveable Feast, a desire to record the more succulent and misshapen nuggets of my Parisian adventure in nibble-size lobes for your light-entertainment and my anticipated future memory failure, and to get some things off my chest and onto yours.

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Paving Slabs

On a return visit south, in the garden:

'Would you do me a favour?'
'Sure, what do you need?'
'It's the paving slabs- they need a clean'...

A hunch was beginning to show
beneath the faded old brown garden coat
the first admittance of weakening
clung to the greatness of a tree

the first gymnastic, savage dance of the dying sage
a balletic parody of burgeoning fragility
pockets cloaking tender hands,
collared up.

'I've done the damp moss that runs the gaps
but these slabs are going to need a good scrub,
I'm afraid my back's playing up...'

He presented me with the appropriate tool
as a Samurai's inheritance, as a wooden plea

Ended with a good, strong wire brush
attached at the handle, with perfectly coiled twine
to a macgyvered retractable pole from elsewhere;
a bespoke implement for a bespoke task

'What are you going to call your invention...?'
'Long-armed wire brush'

I couldn't have described it better.

On a friendly host the algae spreads relentlessly
and left untreated, will take over completely.
I put my back and my whole into it
This was one pesky bunch of cells that would not win.

I grabbed the weapon with both arms
and scrubbed like his life depended on it.

This stone for the freedom you empowered me with
This stone for kicking the football with me when it was never your thing
This stone for your head of invention, passed on down the line
This stone for putting me through college, and life.

'You're doing a great job'

Because if a job is worth doing...
I gave that paving hell

And the crazed white noise of wire scraping stone only added to my zeal

'It makes such a difference you see'

Internalised sobs, gated from earshot;
the flat, angry slabs, shaking and blurred;
the wailing breeze flushes my head;
a cistern of liquid sad

'Looking good, Tim'

I'm sure it was you who taught me
that water evaporates

What do tears do?

You know more than most
that even water leaves a stain.

I'm sorry we couldn't keep up the schedule without you.
But that moss and grime has grown back

How do we protect ourselves now?

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