I hold the fractured crystal to the light and it reveals its colours to me. As I turn it, I find a yellow part which must resemble a world where they can still see the sun. People tell me the sun will never peep through the smog, but just holding this crystal I feel sunny warmth spreading through my fingers.
When I turn the crystal a bit more, I find a deep blue that must come from a wide clean ocean and I smell the salt. Another turn brings me a lush green and I taste the clean oxygen of an enormous forest with trees so tall they take my breath away and I clutch the crystal tighter.
With a crack the crystal splinters, cutting my fingers, releasing red and as the stained fragments shatter on the rock below me, I wonder whether the world of trees is lost forever.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on April 16, 2014
My updates have been a bit erratic recently, but I hope to get back on schedule after next week. I’m visiting my sister until next week and will be back on Sunday the thirteenth. I’ll do my best to get something written then.
Thank you for reading.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on April 4, 2014
I have a bag of memories which I don’t know what to do with. If I burn them, they will never again warm me as they once did, but as it is now every time I pick them up they scorch my heart. So I suppose I’ll just have to hide them away for a while and hope that the pain fades faster than the sunshine.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on April 1, 2014
She smelt of oranges and cloves all year round. She had a closet filled with hats and never wore the same one for more than three hours. For long trips out of the house she brought a large hat bag and sometimes I was allowed to pick some from the closet for her.
We went to the zoo and flapped our arms at the penguins and with sticky liquorice in our hands we walked through the forest without using the paths, but never losing our way. In the forest, she told me about bog monsters and trolls and the kind of fairies that pull you off to another world to be a pet.
‘Don’t ever believe that Tinkerbell is a real fairy,’ she told me as the liquorice cloyed my tongue.
After a long time without walks, I went to church with my parents and shortly after they sold all her hats except a brown bowler which I took. When I ran off to hide it, I got lost in the woods and when I sat down and held the bowler over my nose, it only smelt of dust.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on March 26, 2014
I like thinking back on your cereal ritual in the mornings. The crunching as you stuffed your face with Kellog’s. They way you held your spoon was so clumsy that it made you look younger and I felt so old.
Now I’m five years older, but my life has just begun.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on March 23, 2014
A thousand bees buzz around in his head as he floats in the ever flowing river, catching glimpses of memories he thought he had forgotten and while his worries dive to the bottom and bury into the mud and honey spreads in his mouth, he lets himself be caressed by the waters and when he breathes them in, poppies stick in his nose and he smiles at their scent and as he comes up for air, he can almost touch the pleasure dome of Xanadu.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on March 22, 2014
Looney Tunes always made him cry, and it was not happy tears. The shenanigans and comic sound effects provoked powerful hollow sobs and wrung streams of snot from him. It was worst when the roadrunner sped across the screen.
‘That poor thing will be running for the rest of its life,’ he said blowing his nose, ‘and the coyote must be starving. It would be better for both of them if one of them just gave up and died, but they’re both blind.’
At work he was known as the Stand-up, and he never went home without having made someone laugh.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on March 17, 2014
I wear my bare feet to the fair and dodge first livestock then farmers to get close to the tumblers. They make me smile with their cartwheels and take my breath away with their great feats of balance, so I forget looking over my shoulder for the innkeeper. When they take a rest, I find a fiddler and then two singers with lutes singing a duet. The woman from the duet dies for the sake of her love and tears spring to my eyes when they sing their goodbyes. I hardly notice when my stomach begins to rumble. After the duet, I watch some actors perform the last half of their play, then I go back to the tumblers.
When the first booth is packed away, I wonder if the innkeeper will still let me sleep in the stable even though I did not take care of the horses today. I shake my head and find a musician playing a lullaby. When he reaches the last note, a few more coins are tossed into his hat and I wish I had some to give him. He puts his harp into his bag so gently; it is like he is putting a baby to sleep. When I look up again, he is gone and it seems most of the other people have gone home too. A woman with a basket of green apples stops beside me.
‘Are you crying, dear?’ she asks and I look up into brown eyes framed by long lashes and then I see rosy cheeks just as I imagine a heroine from a song or play would have.
‘Here,’ she hands me an apple and smiles with her small mouth and large eyes, ‘you can eat it on your way home.’ She continues on her way before my throat unsticks.
When I get back, the innkeeper shouts at me a lot, but he allows me to sleep in the stable for just one more night. As I curl up in the hay and the tart taste of the apple fills my mouth, I thank God and the whole world for letting me meet an angel.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on March 12, 2014
Don’t you feel cold?
Will words warm you?
Will they flesh you out, give you substance?
I’ve heard it’s not a good idea to depend too much on others to define oneself,
But I understand that it must be tough just being a frame,
Waiting for someone to put in their picture.
These are my parents, and this is my childhood sweetheart whom I never saw again after the third grade.
Du you like my picture?
This is the cat I found, but was not allowed to keep.
And this is the old lady who lived next door and always waved at me, when I went to school.
Sometimes I pretended she was my grandmother.
Sometimes I pretended she was a witch and her wave was a curse.
Does this make you more you?
Does this make you more someone?
Who are you?
Posted by W. R. Woolf on March 7, 2014