After a couple of days of torrential rain…


 
Jan made a trip down to Coffs Harbour
yesterday to see her accountant.

So we caught up for a coffee and dog walk
where the ocean and the creek meet.

by Rebecca L. Atherton


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Unexpected gifts


 
All around town,
balconies drip plant pot water
into the street –
forming puddles where,
for weeks,
we have had no rain.

Passing underneath,
I get caught on the head:
a blessing from the sky.
Which helps me later,
when I am blessed again:
only this time my benefactor can fly. 

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Pea Soup

image

The river today stagnates,
and the air around it is pillow-thick
and heavy like soup;

…the kind that comes in off the sea as mist
and swallows you
(and everything else that surrounds you)
up.

by Rebecca L. Atherton
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Juxtaposed

image

Underneath, the river snakes by in silence –
happy, tranquil;
peaceful and undisturbed.

Above, a dustcart grumbles –
mute on plastic, paper,
glass and gum.

by Rebecca L. Atherton
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Early Evening

The raindrops on the washing line
look pretty after the storm.

by Rebecca L. Atherton
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A drowned rat

imageYou know the phrase: “the best laid plans?” Well, today is a bit like that: high expectations, no air. I guess I should have known, what with it starting on a deprivation of sleep. My partner snoring and coughing, my dog snorting and shuffling, trying to get comfortable but for some reason failing to do so: I rested not a jot. Watching the clock, I forced sheep over fences and pushed cows into pens; only my cattle were words and my constructions lines. I’m not sure how much I wrote or if it was any good. Not that it matters… I can’t remember any of it.

At 10am, I chose to vacate my flat, ignorant to the day’s disposition and my very-soon-to-be-entrenched response. It was quiet out. Wet too… and grey, with very little light. I acknowledged the temperature and the lack of pedestrian traffic, went to a new place, sat by a fire, drank hot coffee and wrote. Admiring the walls – metal moulds shaped like hearts, houses, eggs, hens – I snapped and posted until my enthusiasm was satisfied. In the space that opened up, I then transcribed, starting with my most recent diary.

At 11.30am, I made my first mistake, packing up and leaving instead of deciding to stay. Wandering the streets; window shopping, popping in to talk to shop assistants when the mood took me, loneliness descending like a cloud: I carried my sorrow until, heavy, I had to put it down. Then, leaving it in a doorway, I went to find a length of yarn to tie around its neck and subsequently dragged it behind me, where it became increasingly irate.

It’s now 4pm and I have only just sat. My hair is flat, my coat is wet and my nose won’t stop running. Sitting on an uncomfortable chair – wooden, slatted; what is it about London these days and the obsession with impractical chairs: doesn’t anyone realise they are totally unholistic? – I’m self-medicating with my keyboard and tea. By no means perfect: it works for now. And even if everything I am writing is a miserable waste of time, at least I feel semi-productive.

Time lags. Light fades. Background chatter rises. I want to get off, but there’s nowhere to go.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Spilt Milk and Tomato Ketchup

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The anger burnt her tongue
and her stomach churned violently.
Her mind disengaged.

He used to love her more than his ipad,
pay her more attention than his phone,
but she had given up on that.

Their keys were cracked, faded;
their screen was smudged and scratched;
their battery redundant.

If he were Pinocchio,
he could have planted trees with his lies;
there would have been hope.

As it was, there was nothing for it,
save stepping off and diving.
But could she swim?

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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