An off-white speckled egg
The shell complete
Heavy in the hand.
The first crack on the bench
The satisfying crunch of shell
Like feeling the marriage cup shatter under-foot
Reminding me of all relationships
Where tough people can be vulnerable;
Where to be resistant to forces from
Sudden piercing emotions
Makes it easier for cracks to grow
I dig at the crack and scatter the
Lightning traces, the fragmentation of the shell.
Some bits drop to the bench
A scattering of off-white lies and half-truths
Shared secrets that bind us together
The soft white cushion
Bounces robustly in the hand
I look for the opaque lining of denial
Around the white surface, roughly
Tug so that the protective shell that has caged the egg
Can be lifted off
bits of egg-white cling to the fragments
Elements of trust and belief that
Permanently attach to the armour
I tear like a hungry animal
Careless in my greed
And end up with an imperfect shape
The egg-white pocked like a moon.
The honey golden glow of yolk
True love’s fertile centre
I devour it to strengthen my love
Like a cannibal absorbing the strength
Of his enemy.
A half finished roll-me-own
One end chewed and soggy
The smoke rises and falls of
Its own mind
Hanging between two fingers
With the intention of falling
But not the commitment
His rheumy eyes
Clouded with pain killers
A faded photograph
Like moles not quite
Breaking the top soil
A wet tear irritates his skin.
Sniffs coughs puffs
His brown black teeth
His too red gums
His tongue constantly breaking
Through dry lips
An annoying inquisitive child
His voice rasping and crumbly
Like a burnt biscuit
Never straying from
The pattern of half
Lost words and merged memories
Laughing at unsaid jokes
Breaking when his thoughts
Scramble for coherence
Or when he realises
There is no one sitting near him
And he is the island
In the sea of practical sofas
In his adjustable bed
In the dark
In his soul
He dances through his memories
And then it was quiet
The dust settled into the cracks
Fine particles of disbelief
Torn pieces of votes
Ripped in disgust
The shuffling of shoes fading into
A gentle breeze
Made of collected sighs
And the faint splashes of tears
It was like the air after
Thunder and lightning
Tore a hole of discharge
Vacant and desolate
The bush after a fire
Lots of burnt trunks
And smoking branches
And no hint of regeneration
A dead starting point.
Glistening spheres reflecting
balancing on silk
Scattered on a spiderweb
A cartographer’s map
Towns and villages
at the junctions of highways
A close examination reveals
It’s all the same town
Each drop, a slightly different angle
But all have a mountain in the background
A building on the right
A spreading tree sparkling with dawn
The web is a multiverse of decisions
The spheres branch into discrete outcomes
In one a tavern closed forever
In another a tavern sleeping
Before the day awakens
Another globe, a mansion on the cusp
The owner rising from slumber
All the same man but not
All the same building but not.
Does silk connect decisions and outcomes
A pathway to travel between them?
Is the spider predator or guardian?
To catch the travelling morsel
To protect the lines
So that each decision plays out
Before the sun evaporates the outcomes
If this is but one web of a multiverse
Then there must be more
Each web collecting
Each web reflecting
Each web existing.
This is a compilation of three stories I told on Facebook’s Dad Jokes Australia Page.
1. Got my son real good. He was talking about his maths exams and how he had not prepared for it. He had to calculate the surface area of a cube. So he guessed the method and was confident he got it right, Next he had to calculate the surface area of a shaded part of a trapezium. I waited until he finished describing the method he used, once again he guessed the method. Then I pounced….
I asked if the trapezium had wings
He said “Dad, don’t you dare complete that thought…”
Of course I ignored him.
“Because that would be a flying trapezium.”
“OMG Dad, that’s terrible.”
But wait, there’s more….
“And since you took a risk on the question” I continued,
“Dad, I swear I will jump out of this car and roll roll roll”
“Would that make you a daring young man on the flying trapezium?”
“Dad you tell worse jokes than any of my friends telling bad jokes.”
Was worth every second.
BTW he passed the test, but did not ace it.
2. My wife, my daughter and I were driving her to school. We were travelling through some bush and that prompted a conversation on bush craft, and how Dad (me) was terrible at bush craft. I said yes, I am terrible at bush craft but your mother was great at it, so great that she new the names of trees. Without thinking my wife said “Yes I do….That’s Fred, the one next to it is John, Just past that is Roger….” Daughter and I cracked up.
3. A great way to annoy your son during a game of Uno. Any time it was his turn to play I said “pick up two, Thomas” ANY TIME. The first and second time he’d stop to look at the cards. After that he got very annoyed and sometimes got quite flustered. The payoff came several times during the evening. I had got the right card and said “Now I can quite legitimately say “pick up two, Thomas” before playing the card. One other family member played the card against me and I got in “Now it’s my turn to pick up Two” But the biggest payoff was the laughs at the constant repetition. Best. Game. Of Uno. Ever