Into the Mystic : Belfast talk

We communicate with ourselves saying a great deal hoping others will agree and have the same thought. There comes then the Belfast punctuation, seeking response, the call and response, like it’s not them saying it but it’s ordained truth. “Know what I’m saying” some say. “I mean” others may say. “You know” as if their saying it’s already your thinking. I spent a Will musing on this and here’s the result. With a nod towards Van the Man.

Into the Mystic

It’s deadly

So it is

Can’t see it

So it’s not

He caught it

So he did

I’m OK

So I am

What some tea

So you see

Time moves on

So they say

God still loves you

So he does

I’m certain

So am I

We’ll pull through

So you see

We’re strong

So we are

Things will change

So they will

Gone before you know it

So it will

Your resilient

So you are

Deaths for everyone

So it is

We’re the same

So it seems

We’ll be OK

So we will

Everything changes

So it does

This teas grand

So it is

It’s deadly

So it is

It’s no joke

So it’s not

Your an old fool

So you are

Can’t beat it

So that’s it

So what now?

We’ll see tomorrow

So we will

What happens happens

So it does

We’ll have our peace

So we will

The big wheel spins

So it does

We can’t get off

So we can’t

Stick with it

So be brave

Remember Miles

So what

That’s what he meant

So what

John Graham

31 March 2020

Don’t run this by me : Shopping

In it and with it. Just do it? – no that’s not correct – Do the right thing.

While it’s important to be very careful and be ultra cautious there is a time for lightheartedness.

This is not exactly of that variety but it was a diversion I needed.

The Canary is a selfless creature and wants love and has been the tiny bird used in history as a sacrificial one. If only we were able to identify without resorting to that method the harmful things we need avoid including the personal awareness everyone now seems to be forced to engage with.

Sketching without drawing

Stand back please your too close to the counter.

Thank you now what can I get you?

This is a dead parrot.

Sir don’t slam it down on the clean surface please?

It’s dead When I bought it yesterday you said it was just a bit peaky.

Sir it’s a canary not a parrot.

So you lied about that too?

You are obviously upset, did you feed it correctly?

Yes.

Did you put it in a clean cage?

Yes.

Did you ventilate the room?

Yes.

Then Sir it’s obviously caught the virus from you.

No it didn’t I washed my hands.

Sir that’s not enough and stop leaning towards the counter.

The parrot had a virus when you sold it.

It’s a canary and I didn’t sell it with a virus. And it’s a zoological virus, you can’t catch it.

Oh yes I can and it’s now in my house.

Well Sir I suggest you self isolate and don’t buy anymore birds.

I want a refund immediately and take back this bag of seeds.

I can’t do that I’m not using cash today only contactless.

It’s the principle I’m concerned about. You sold me a pup and it’s now dead.

It’s not a pup and it left here alive.

Stop this nonsense and give me a refund.

I can offer you a token of something else as you are obviously angry.

Angry I’m bloody livid.

I can give you a box of Ibropropgen they will calm your nerves. Or some candles to relax you 4 should do it.

Four candles and painkillers? You must be joking. Haven’t you any masks or sanitiser?

That would be stretching it a bit far, your the seventh customer this morning to come in for a refund and this is my last face mask and I’ve desanitised this counter I don’t know how many times.

My shelves are clear and this bin bag is full now. Will you be taking the 4 candles and the painkillers it’s the best I can offer and it’s not my fault there’s a virus.

Look you can keep your dead canary and stuff it where you like. I want none of this. Have you got forks?

Sir I want you to leave and please don’t swear.

I need forks for my fork handles I’ve a dead dog who your canary spat at. I’ve got to bury it.

Ok Sir if you would just deposit the canary in the bag I will see if o have those but if you swear once more you will be getting no goodwill gesture.

Mmm

That will be £12.50.

What four forks an ache and you expect £12 quid? Are you having a laugh.

No Sir I told you to stop swearing, yet you continue.

I didn’t.

You said four forks ache.

I said What Forks ache?

Stop leaning over and take your hands off the forks and leave my gas mask alone.

It’s a face mask not a gas mask and have you any gas masks out the back your hoarding? And do you have any D fork handles?

What?

Fork handles have D handles and Spade handles have T handles Hace you got a fork handle with a D handle please?

Dear lord Just take your 4 candles … these 2 T handle is all Ive got and put the handle on the fork and spade no one will know the difference and I’m giving it to you free I’ve just about had enough.

Fork and Spade – now your at it – will you stop swearing please

Sir, these are difficult times just please leave, there is another customer behind you.

Next

This parrot I bought yesterday is cream crackered.

It’s not a parrot it’s a canary and it was alive when I sold it.

(The previous Customer picks up the 4 candles and painkillers and leaves – and has the last word)

I told you this virus would catch on.

Sir it is a canary and it’s unfortunate has not been cared for or kept in a clean safe place since.

OK thank you kindly I mustn’t have looked after it or washed my hands properly of cleaned my cage at home.

Indeed Sir, If you could put it in the black bag over there please. Thank you. Anything else I can help you with?

Toilet rolls?

Aisle be back.

(They both stare at each other. Unmoved.)

Sir, those are self service, Aisle B back.

Where did you get those?

End.

John Graham

March 2020

Belfast

Each day is different : A poem

The time remains the same Passing to return again Humbling Consoling Terrifying

Today a new discovery Formally I greet you Informally I want you This is life in raw emboldened urge so formidable No keys are needed to enter its fate A phase of Gods turn

Friday 20 03 2020 I no longer have dreams Instead there are wishes There are day dreams For others new riches in survival Things always – change irrevocably Survival of mankind Has somehow disappeared Gone to another plain

I no longer have nightmares The relentless anxiety

Fixed realities instead instilled The equinox of the mind Shedding fear hope too Is suppressed

I go through the years

I have known loved A roll call of people Or just been with In simpler times

Those already gone

I reach to them

Ask what their reaction – would be

They come visit me

A mind in lockdown

I see they are free

They tell me their ease

The things I loved with them

Their troubles shared were lightened

The ghost of their life

Is alive in both now

Same thoughts and feelings

Never truer than now

Air is a lifeline

Ventilators silent friends

Rotation of lung oxygen

Replenished holding strings

Of life together while

Inside an enemy runs amok

Sliding days anticipate

A cohort of new integrities

Soul yes Values Yes

Belief No Virtue Yes

Purpose on hold as

Time itself rolls by

Seconds still turn tides

The Sun circles us

Keeps the earths seasons

Has somehow disappeared all life

Furrowed people

Ploughed people

Humans – people they all

Are us.

John Graham

20/21 March 2020

Belfast