Love is like a butterfly

You are too big to miss for a day, too loud, too busy, too many words on the end of the phone. I couldn’t feel you in a day. But over many days?

Over many days, the full impact slowly rams me down to the ground and I’ve been left winded, ribs caved in, bruises blossoming on my chest like defiant lavender.

Over many days I replay summer afternoons, lost slippers. I remember the answer to the Sunday crossword, the one that had us chewing our pens and sharing a biscuit – 6 down: artichoke. I tell other people about that time you fell off your chair, and we laugh together. My face feels tight.

Over many days a small crystal tear forms in the back of my eye. It is like a shard of glass, nestled in deep, and I can’t seem to cry it out. I carry it with me like a hidden dagger, only sometimes it shows itself. In the silence, in the grey days, it pokes free and glints back at me in the mirror.

Today is one of those days. Today you have consumed the sky and blacked out the sun, filled the inverted blue cup with criss-crossed fairy lights and wispy lace scarves.

I know this won’t be the only day, I know you will spill out into a thousand others and knock me senseless again.

I know I will wake up and think of your curled fingers waving through the air, conducting a silent orchestra; I know I will seek out breakfast and find myself singing Dolly Parton with you as you make a cup of tea.

And I know, that as I go to hang up the phone, I will hear your voice on the other end calling out ‘Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.’

Word Play


There is a thick lipped rumble tearing from the clouds above, and I think that I was wrong.

I step outside and stand in the porch, arching my neck and breathing in the close air. Rain paints polkas on the pavement at my feet and I shrug my cardigan closer, wrapping it around me like a straight jacket. Your words and mine are tumbling through my mind at break neck speed, crashing into each other and veering off course until I don’t know who said what. Or why.

To my left I can hear the shouts and excitements of teenage boys, their taut voices springing over the garden wall. They are waiting for the strike, just like me. The strip of blinding light that then ignites the sky brings stark contrast to the world. It is disorientating, to see night in the light of day.

Now for the wind: this is like a well-known performance. The flutes and oboes of the sky let loose and tongue great bursts of violent air at my face. Clothes and hair whip around me and into my mouth; I feel it scratching on my tongue but make no effort to remove it.

I fumble at the door handle and hurry back inside as wind tears at my hair. I am a set of scales, with weighted words clunking from your mouth and on to my heart until I dip under the strain.

The door bangs into its frame with a plastic thump, and all sound dies. My chest heaves.

Three, Two, One.

No one ever wonders if the tick of a clock will tock. It is inevitable.

When a swing arcs high in the air, there is no doubt that it will whoosh back to the ground.

The foamy breath of sea on sand is known to return again and again and again. Lover’s kiss.

Put a pan on a flame and listen to the hiss of searing metal.

But who can love predictability?

Pick up the phone to bluster through a whirlwind of choice; a labyrinth of lies; a web of changing thought.

Slip on the dress that once he loved and now he hates. Guess the motive.

Inch your claws up his chest and touch your lips to his. Gauge the tautness in his limbs, the urgency of his return, and gamble on lust.

Every moment keeps your heart beating even as it breaks it.




Drip. There it is – can you hear it? Drip. It’s a leak, there’s a leak in the pipes somewhere, god knows where. I can’t seem to find it. I can hear it though. Drip.

I saw Daniel today. It was the first time I’ve seen him in four months, one week, two days, and three hours. Roughly. He looked the same, exactly the same. His eyes were still brown, his lips still hooked into a smile. When he spoke to the guy at the coffee cart, his tongue was still thick with a lisp and he still wore that gold watch. On his right wrist though – that wasn’t the same.

He didn’t see me. There were a lot of people around; we were in a big crowd. I was third behind him in the queue. That’s the fifty-eighth time I’ve been third behind him in this queue. We used to joke about how we never noticed each other even though we were so close so many times. How could we have missed love when it was standing to our left ordering a cappuccino every morning? God knows.

Daniel was the first one to notice the drip. I woke up one morning to find him waist deep in cupboards, poking around under the sink. It was driving him mad, he said. So I put my hands over his ears and held him close.

It never used to bother me. I heard so much more when I was with him – the hiss of a kettle, the foot tread of neighbours, the thump of his pulse. And now he’s gone.

Drip. I wish this would be gone. Drip. It’s a leak, there’s a leak in the pipes somewhere, I think Daniel knows where. I can’t seem to find it. I can hear it though. Drip.

Source: Frank Baron,

To the Captain, From Flubber

The world has been mourning a great man these past few days. Great in the characters he played, in the energy he brought to the stage and screen, in the dedication he showed to each new role.

He did not die the death he deserved.

* * *

He deserved to go out in firework spectacular of multi-coloured fizzes and bangs. He deserved dancers and silk scarves waving in the air, and a party that shook the ground with the stomping of excited feet.

Every Disney character from Aladdin should have risen from the ink and flown around his head on magic carpets, or swung from the sky in an ape-like frenzy, singing to the Heavens.

As he moved through the crowds of people reaching out for his hand and holding him close, he should have had boys saluting to their captain, Matt Damon nodding his head in appreciation as he grasps chalk in front of a blackboard, and fat suits stacked high against the walls in the garb of Mrs Doubtfire.

Closer to the end now, and more movement than before as the party swells behind him. He is in a museum and instead of ancient tribal figures and cowboys on horses, there is an array of fans and awards. Roses fall from the ceiling, thanking him for the encore. Spotlights swirl around the room and catch the glistening tears of thanks on his cheeks. He bows to the crowd, waves a goodbye, and hurls a blob of green into the audience, which immediately begins zipping between walls and bouncing off of precarious hats on heads.

He passes with the sound of cheers ringing in his ears, the sound of laughter from children across the globe, and the touch of his daughters’ hand squeezing his goodbye.

That is the death a great man deserves.

Genie, you’re free.

* * *

Whatever mistakes he made, whatever demons he struggled with, he deserved to feel the same joy he gave to so many. No one deserves to die alone with heaviness in their heart and with hopelessness as all they know.

If you ever find yourself struggling, know there are people to turn to. Contact for someone to talk to. Don’t ever suffer alone.

Stumble Upon Magic


We all have a place where we find magic. It might not always be in a place that makes sense, it may creep up on you, it may only reveal itself to you in its absence – but we’ve all found it.

I’ve found magic on my travels this summer. In the people I have fallen in love with, the places I have discovered, and the challenges I have overcome, something everlasting and pure and fizzy has bubbled under the surface of the everyday. I felt it in the air last night: in the brightness of fairy lights as they hung from trees, and in the furry skins of stuffed toy animals. I piled my bags into the taxi on my way to finding home, and I met a man who held a very different kind of magic.

The driver had a thick tongue that caught on the roof of his mouth as he spoke, and a lawn of midnight black hair wrapped around his lower skull. He gripped the steering wheel with an attentive hold, and would anxiously glance back to make sure I was comfortable, pointing out bottles of water and offering me gum.

Soon he began telling me stories about his past as a musician, his qualifications from Trinity College in England, his passion for the drums.

‘But I don’t play for the world anymore. I play for Jesus. I play for him.’

I am not a religious person. I don’t know if my faith would have a label, but if it did, it wouldn’t be Christian. I wouldn’t name a being called Jesus. I wouldn’t clasp my hands over rosary beads and mutter to the heavens.

But I am in awe of the faith that resides in those that do all of those things.

I asked this man why he stopped playing for the world, asked him why the world doesn’t deserve his music any more.

‘Ten years ago, my life did a 180. I was a bad man, doing bad things. I drank too much alcohol, and I smoked – oh I smoked 80 cigarettes a day. Soon, everyone hated me. My wife, my children… they only stayed because I had money.

Then one day, during a rehearsal, I fell down with a heart-attack. For two days I lay in a coma, and while I was unconscious I had a vision. It was Jesus. He came to me and said ‘I want you. Come to me.’ When I woke up, I told my doctors and my family. My wife was always religious and she cried on my face. They ran tests and found no nicotine in my blood, no alcohol. I don’t care what scientists call it, I call that a miracle. Jesus brought me back and gave me new blood.

‘Every day since, I play in the Church. I serve. I don’t play for the world any more, but I do serve it. I make sure people like you get home safe at night, and I play them my music, and I tell them about God.’

So it was at midnight last night that I found a new blossom of magic on the freeway to home. I saw this man and I felt that buzzing feeling when he spoke. Something extraordinary was thrumming behind his words; that something that I had felt earlier in the lights hanging in the air. Like me, that man knew magic existed.

And like me, he was going to hang on to it as hard as he could.