You are the quiet ponder behind a secret smile.

You are the couple walking hand in hand, the girl giggling on the phone, the outfits in shop windows. In the coffee shop you are in the corner, legs tucked up beneath you, reading a book. In the newsagent you are the woman behind the counter with her hair pulled back. You are cakes on display, the puddles stepped round, the gentle rain caressing my skin.

You are the slick, swirling colour of a passing umbrella, the click of heels on concrete, the curve of the banister, the smiles and laughter of a small child, the deep red of your lipstick echoed in the passing cars.

Below the fading blue I stand in a field of grass, rippled on the breeze, my hands raised to the sky, reaching, reaching, embracing the comfort found there.

Sitting quietly, sipping coffee, the empty chair across from me, forlorn. Looking around at the quiet glances across other tables, the knowing smiles and comfort found in idling conversations.

Every luxury item, decadence and desire. All the hidden treasures, quietly announcing their wares. The hustle, the energy, the quiet sanctuary found in alleyways. A sparkle of jewellery, a carry and poise. The cute puppy bounding along, the feline stretching her claws, outstretched and unhurried.

A hidden glance, the swirl of a coat pulled round shoulders. A word caught on the flow of the crowd, the tone crackles and sparkles of her.

A gentle hand resting on my wrist.

Woven threads.

You are everywhere.

Happily, I cannot escape you.

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He is the child that can’t wait. Pensive, tense, excited, irritable, his mood swings back and forth from feigned nonchalance to fervent fretting.

One moment he is oozing laissez faire, content to let life swing onwards, safe in the knowledge he will pick things up when he must. The next he is arrogantly unforgiving of anything that doesn’t suit him. He will pander to no-one, then placate them on the upswing.

Turning to the usual outlet, the words spin from my head, delicate threads draped on a well worn carpet.

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bookmark_borderThere was a tree

It was a large tree, all leafy and green as a tree should be, standing tall and proud at the top of a small hill. On the ground beneath it spring flowers were bursting into life their vibrant colours proclaiming new beginnings, fresh growth,  a new season full of heady fragrances.

The tree was old and wise, with countless rings and scars testament to the experience it had gained, the life it had lived. Every now and then the tree would think back, reliving each moment when it had grown a little more. It knew it was governed by nature, that it wasn’t in control, and was more than content and willing to submit to the whims of the breeze.

Like all trees it understood that sacrifice was envitable, leaves had to be shed, rotten branches had to fall. The boughs would break.

Looking out over the fields and hills that lay beneath its roots, the tree was happy and content in the moment.

But an ill wind was blowing.

At some point during the summer, the tree realised something was changing, that something was different to how it had been before and at that point it knew that time, as far as the tree knew it, was coming to an end. Basking in the summer sun, the tree prepared itself, soaking up the energy for one last push towards autumn.

It was with a mighty crash that the tree fell to ground, but as no-one was around the tree decided not to make any noise.

As it lay there, the tree realised it had a few moments left and took those seconds to enjoy the change of view, the closeness of the grass, the blueness of the sky above, silhouettes of birds flying to pastures new. And, with that, the tree was finally at peace.

Months passed and slowly the tree started to wither and rot, feeding the ground beneath it.  Soon enough fresh saplings poked their heads through the soil and started their long slow climb up towards the blue. The tiny trees thickened and spread their wings, repeating the cycle once more as the world continued to turn.

bookmark_borderLost Key

It is a ramshackle place, half-closed blinds filter streams of dusty sunlight across the threadbare carpets. Somewhere a breeze creeps through a gap and dances through the hall, ruffling the thin trail of smoke as the joss stick quietly smoulders.

The furniture is old, loved and carefree, a random matching of patterns and leather. Echoes of parties and laughter remain but are quickly fading. The painting over the fireplace is offset by the tiniest fraction, remains of the last fire lie in the grating.

It is time to move on.

From upstairs the sound of drawers sliding open, doors banging shut as the occupants hunt for the key. As soon as they have it, they will pack up and go their separate ways.

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bookmark_borderStuck in draft

Patiently they sit, biding their time. Eager for limelight and growing nervous. What if they pass unnoticed?

As the slow trickle of sand reaches an end some of them wonder if they have already missed their opportunity and, if so, what then? In past times they were given a new life under a different guise, a subtle shift of opinion or view rendering their colours vivid, but now their fate is less certain. They have watched, with transfixed gaze, as others have been removed and deleted and, whilst this knowledge offers little hope, some succumb quietly knowing full well that this is always how it was going to be. Fate is a fickle mystery and holds no comfort.

And still, silently, they remain. Waiting and hoping for that one brief orgasmic release,  that sublime moment of dazzling light and unfettered attention. They wonder how it will be to sit alongside their own, to be considered whole and part of the same rather than singular outcasts viewed with sympathy.

Why do we tempt them so? Why do we write them only to watch as they writh and languish as our eyes pass over them each in turn only to fixate on the empty space below. Is it that we prefer the blank canvas? The renewed possibilities that tease us and offer new directions, a view uncluttered by hindsight?

We must, for how else can we suffer the incomplete, the ignored and neglected?

The lonely congregate together, drawing little solace from their shared condition, but quiet unspoken strength from their numbers.

Silently, and patiently, they wait.

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