It’s raining, it’s pouring
Granddad is snoring
He went to bed and bumped his head
And he couldn’t get up in the morning
Old granddad Eddie
The wrinkles on your forehead bear testament to the time you’ve spent on this planet
And I know you’ve lived through more than I can imagine because the molehills on my own face created by nothing more than puberty can’t compare to the mountain range on yours created by decades of experience
And I know that every peak and crevice could be mapped out by the most experienced explorer but no-one could possibly hope to understand the beautifully complex person that dwelled behind the geographic wonder that used to be an attractive young man.
And I can’t get the words of comfort out of my head, they ring like knells telling me that the years won’t condemn you the same way they’ll condemn me, but I’m sitting at a laptop writing my feelings and you’re waiting to be placed in a hole in the ground, and the only writing that will ever get done in your coffin will get done by maggots as they dance trails of decay across the mountain range I won’t ever get to see light up with happiness again.
Scout master Eddie
My first memory of you is either when you taught me that scouts shake with their left or when I stopped to admire all your scouting trophies. I can’t remember which came first.
But I know that chronology doesn’t matter to a man who doesn’t have a heartbeat anymore, so I’ll cling onto them both as if they are the most precious things I own
And I remember how happy you looked when I started going to Beavers. I kept you informed as I progressed through cubs to scouts. Eventually school took priority and I didn’t have a Friday evening to spare anymore so I dropped out of scouts and time has caused me to misplace all the badges I earned.
But now you’re gone and those badges were the closest link I had to you. So I spend hours turning my room upside down and throwing objects around in a tear-stained rage but it’s no use because no matter how hard I look those badges have been gone for years and they (like you) are not coming back no matter how hard I pray to higher beings I have no faith in.
Blind granddad Eddie
The last time I met you, your eyes weren’t bright anymore. The dimmer switch of old age had finally been turned by life and not only were you unable to see me properly but you were also unable to remember if I’d ever existed.
You saw my long hair and couldn’t make out much else, so you assumed I was a girl and you kissed my hand before telling me how pretty I looked.
I laughed at your misplaced chivalry.
I laughed because you forgetting my very existence caused me so much pain that if I hadn’t laughed I would have ended up crying
And I’d give anything to go back to that last moment we had and remind you that I existed. If I had been erased from your head beyond all hope of repair then I would have built a new memory of me inside your mind using nothing but bricks of shared experience and childhood cement. I could have talked for hours on the moments we shared, telling you my life story just as you had spent many evenings telling me yours.
But you died not even knowing my name
Goodbye granddad Eddie
Goodbye from a grandson you forgot
From a relative who regrets spending so little time with you
From a schoolboy who dreads an inheritance because no matter how much money you had to line the pockets of your family, there aren’t enough granddads in my pockets for me to afford losing you.
But I lost you
So this will be the last goodbye I give you, this is my chance to fix a mistake.
My name’s Matthew. I’m 16, I’m your grandson and the hand you just kissed belongs to a boy. I used to do scouts because I look up to you but school got in the way of that and I’m sorry that it did. I’ve lost my badges but all the badges in the world can’t equal a good farewell so it doesn’t matter anymore. I want you to know that even though you’re not smiling anymore I’ve started smiling for two. Even though you’re gone, I won’t let you fade.
The young man sung himself to sleep
A small blade being the final part to his concerto
The composition that spanned 2 years was finally over
As the man took his place in the sheets of slumber
Amongst the likes of Plath and Cobain
Movement one was a bottle of pills in E minor
Cut short by an interrupting ambulance solo
And the beep of a heart-monitor
As doctors rushed to silence the lullaby
Before bringing the man away from his conductors stand and rostrum
The second movement was a rope in D minor
But the piece snapped in two as breath became scarce
And the kiss of life was administered
To the man who lusted for the angel of the abyss
But Samael was the object of an unrequited love
Then the orchestra hung up its strings and laid its brass to rest
As the conductor was spirited away to rooms with soft walls
Men with fancy titles poked around in his mind
And tried to analyse the source of his depression
But the darkness of a man with no will to live has no beginning
As it has no end
It seeps into every synapse of the mind
And exists as an eternal demon
The knife pierced the skin as the third movement started
Azrael turned its head and love formed instantly
The angel embraced the man as the concerto reached its climax
But the movement and the music all ceased in union as steel danced with blood
Nothing was left in the wake of a broken lullaby
And twice a failure.
In her eyes anyway
Her dazzling eyes, set in a beautiful face
Her critical eyes, a curse she developed with age
But she’s only 16
I see an Aphrodite with an Athenian mind
A mind garnished with self-loathing and decorated with depression
She sees the reflection of a not-quite-human girl
A girl garnished with blade-cuts and decorated with long sleeves
She is a girl with a hideous body
A distorted face
A corpulent figure
An abhorred personality
A simple mind
And a million other blemishes
But she is only that girl as she gazes upon herself with her own critical eyes
And she is only repulsive in her own mind
Because when I look at her,
When I carefully scan every inch of her being
I see hundreds of pulchritudinous features and a single blemish
A solitary fault
Her ability to hate herself
With disregard to her own perfection
And disregard to the value of her own life
When I saw her, I saw a wonderful human-being
A girl any guy could proudly bring home to his parents
A girl any guy could show-off to his friends
I saw someone to be jealous of
I saw an exceptional teenage-girl
I see her coffin
Sometimes impossible decisions have to be made. Gut feelings, weighed up against logic, fighting internal battles. Never has a decision been as difficult, as the time I had to choose between chocolate bars on the journey home from school.
The scene was set; a greedy teenager and a store that had foolishly forgotten to stock up on Crunchies. Events were about to unfold that would make the play Macbeth look like a disagreement over favourite Scarlett Johansson movie between Nobel Peace Prize winners.
As images of Mother Teresa glassing the Dalai Lama whilst clutching an “Avengers” DVD case faded from my mind, I crossed the threshold into what I would soon come to view as hell on earth. I strolled round the edge of the biscuit section and past the drinks –making sure the cola I had tricked my best-friend into giving me was concealed so that the shopkeeper wouldn’t think I stole it- before stumbling upon what could only be described as a malnourished chocolate shelf.
My eyes scanned the carcass of a once magnificent creature; my heart sank as I was unable to locate a Crunchie anywhere amongst the chaos. Tears didn’t so much roll down my cheeks as they did cascade, waterfalls of salty bitterness flowing freely from both of my eyes. I stood there, hollow and broken; a young man feeling the full force of the horrors of badly stocked shelves.
But against all of the odds, against all of the oppression attempting to keep me down, I got up. I held my head high and I made one of the most difficult decisions a person can be faced with in their life. I chose amongst chocolate bars.
First on display was a beautiful twirl. I marvelled at her crumbly charm. I knew that if I chose her I would be treated to a delicate sensation that few other chocolate bars could provide. I envisioned us walking out of that corner store together, hand-in-hand, leaving the 65p we didn’t need behind us in the dust. But I was wary of her devilish side. I knew that she would leave me and move on quickly. I knew that I would not be satisfied by the time she was ready to depart. I knew in my heart that she was not the chocolate bar for me, so I turned my back on her and continued searching the shelf.
The second sugary treat to catch my eye was a delicious Kinder Bueno. She promised me an easy relationship with her easy-to-break-off-chunks and caring creamy filling. She dared me to take her out of her packaging and take a bite. But an emerging shopkeeper laid her flirtations to rest. I looked over and smiled at the small man who needed to stand on a box to see over the counter; he scowled back, no-doubt suspicious of my potentially-thieving fingers. I turned back to Miss Bueno, but her attention was now fixed on a particularly muscular and tanned galaxy bar. I knew I could not compete and left those two to Cupid’s mercy.
The penultimate princess, waiting for her saviour from a fire-breathing old man, was an eccentric curly wurly. She was sprawled comfortably alongside her more sensible friend, Mr Cadbury Bar. Her flexible figure allowing her to comfortably squeeze into spaces that would probably break a lesser bar in half. She grinned at me, hinting at the gooey treat she hid from prying eyes. However, I saw right through her and her lies. I knew of the tangled web of deceit she would inevitably spin around my braces if I were to choose her. Moreover, I knew the tears that I would shed in frustration if we were to become one. So (just like her competitors before her) I left behind Curly Wurly and turned my last hopes on the edge of the shelf.
And then I saw her, I didn’t believe in love at first sight before that moment. But standing there in that shop, I suddenly knew that I had found the one to take home with me. Her smooth, pale skin beckoned me to come closer and her sweet aroma begged me to free her from her prison. She wasn’t hiding anything from me and I believed in her honest promises. We stood there and exchanged silent conversations for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably no longer than about 5 seconds. Her laugh ripped through my body and made my heart desperately palpitate in my chest. I felt Eros’s blessing as I carefully lifted her off of her shelf and (after paying the hefty sum of 50p) took her out of the shop with me. She accompanied me home and I can honestly say I have never made a better choice in my life. Every time I enter that run-down heaven of a shop, I hear a voice in the back of my head. It whispers sweetly to me, it says “Buy it, Sam. Milkybar Buttons are a promise; Chocolate is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.” And every time those words run through my head, I look to the sky and (being unable to see the sky due to my state of indoors-ness) I study the mold patches on the ceiling. And every time those words bless me I think “Thank you almost nonsensical pop-culture references. I don’t know what I’d do without you!”
Never have I been so proud of a decision, as the time I took a packet of Milkybar Buttons home from school.