Parachute School

If a parachute school were to open
next to my house just after midnight
(which is when I would have had a few)
I'm sure I'd be up for lessons,
bravery coming from the existential
nature of its appearance rather than the
booze, and after a suitable period of
tuition, freefalls would be my first
choice of action because that's where all the
excitement seems to be, and then I'd go for
precision landing - perhaps between the
two green sheds in the back garden
trying to avoid the car that is my only real
possession of any creditable status.



Kicks In

So what is it really
when you think the only good part
of your life is around midnight
when the bourbon kicks in
and you are no longer having to think
about when you can start drinking?
Obviously, asking this question is
getting there: either the illusion is not as
strong as the ennui of the day that
promotes its celebration; or being
wrapped up in the comfort of that
moment is all that matters.
But the question has been asked
and I am far too fleeting to answer.



Pain Management

1. Agnostic

If there is a god then god invented
pain because that's where the real power is,
but invented it with a sense of humour
tyrants have to have or else they'd just end it all:
for god created the moan and the
groan, the expulsion of sudden and sharp
pain through sound that if held long enough
goes both to heaven and hell before finding
catharsis. That's a journey any sceptic can take
with an outcome so obviously fine, if
transient, and I make the sound drag out for as
long as the lungs can bear and hold off the
pain that comes down to that
one sweet moment of this.

 2. Faith

Chandler might say god is like a

bourbon you nurse bravely through the

night, but in the morning it's Job's

submission that toasts the day,

and so it is with this pain that the whiskey
wraps it up in indifference and oblivion
until waking up I am reminded of its
teachings and expectations. There are
sufferings that matter which have made me
pray, but when it comes to my own pain
I would rather see how waiting and the
blind devotion to mutability takes its
chances and leads to something better than
someone else's idea of diminution.



I Did My Best

I'd like to think that
I did my best
would be enough in a
world so full of conflicting stories
and the dead art of just believing,
yet even setting up this idea
of a compassionate thought is
tugged down by the weight of prior
teaching: how I and everyone else
should be thankful for the given and
guidance prevailing in our
home towns or more universal
touchstones, as if the rule book
on living has pages turning long before
your fingers feel parchment on flesh.



High Tides at Sidmouth

Lying flat out on the pavement,
perhaps dying, she is inevitable
in a town full of old people,
but what should I make of the
whole three-foot cod floundered
high on the promenade's hard
(a lone seagull chaperoning
rather than on the gorge)
or the tern turned upwards on the beach
at the tide-mark's highest edge
(equally as dead as that fish
and its scavenger's appetite)
because once I am home later in the day
these high tides will be an irrelevance?

      Mike Ferguson 2007