you’re in the biggest bowl of
apples. Wow! wow! wow!
cardboard flip book (finger puppet)
Ants getting on with their day.
Each blinded by the capability of the other
Each jealous in their own particular way
Each wondering why me here today.
The farmer cleans up the yard not knowing
of the turmoil amongst the cows, straw and hay.
And I wonder to whom do the farmyard animals pray
when they dream of having a better day.
Once Upon A Time There Was A Little Girl.
And one fine day she took it upon herself to go to the shop to buy groceries,
She took the list prepared by her mother and with the money in her purse went out wearing a hat
The sun was shining and her journey was a good one.
At the Store Mr Patel greeted Pamela ‘Hello Pamela, Come to do some shopping?’
Mr Patel handed a basket to Pamela and she set off on her way.
Half an hour later she was done walking home with the groceries.
When she got home her mother said to her ‘Well done Pamela! For doing the shopping. As a reward tonight you can cook dinner’
‘Hurrah’ said Pamela laughing
Pamela’s mother got out the ingredients mince-beef, tomatoes, one large onion, and various herbs and spices and put them on the kitchen table along with a sharp knife.
Pamela followed the instructions followed by her mother until it came to the onion.
First, she peeled off the hard outer skin. Then she peeled off each layer of the onion one at a time until she reached what look to her like a large walnut.
Pamela went to the kitchen draws and pulled out the largest nutcracker she could find and cracked that nut in two only to find inside a red apple.
Pamela took the plunge and took a bite only to find that the apple contained hundreds of little black spiders in a red sauce.
She put the apple down on the table and watched as the little black spiders ran everywhere.
She rubbed her eyes sure she was in a dream and then looked again. and a big black spider was knocking at the kitchen door and then her mother walked in on eight hairy legs and Pamela fell over backwards and hit her head on the tiles, knocking herself out.
She awoke a couple of hours later with the doctor there who said ‘There’s nothing to worry about. Just a bump to the head. Children will be children, and children will fall over!’ This brought a laugh from her mother who was fussing nearby.
Okay, Pamela. Goodbye! said the doctor, placing a large red apple on her bedside table.
Pamela looked at it and inwardly groaned. Her mother, now back on two legs thankfully, smiling said ‘I’ll put this with the others downstairs, O.K. Pamela?’
Pamela went to object but at that moment, a hairy spider came down on its silk and dangled inches in front of her, centimetres from her eyes.
Pamela shut her eyes and then opened them again. The spider was still there and the apple in her mother’s hand too was dripping a red goo onto the floor.
There was only once thing for it. Pamela opened her mouth took a deep breath and screamed.
I Like it low and Loud because that’s how I roll!
Well, get up and smell the roses, today is a brand new day.
Shut up and put on some poses lest you end up like I dunno. Something that will die in a ghetto.
It’s time for the morning to have its time ignored or not
And for the night to be the same. You are not playing the game.
Tell me how I almost made it in a timeless buttercup glow
of how I walk in the black man’s shadow. The rapper of
dubious means and character knows enough not to get eaten
and to rise to the top of his miserly kingdom (on beats and rhymes)
Show him a router and he’d grow weak at the knees and for shouting
about the birds and the bees which we all took for granted aged nine and ten.
He is Humpty Dumpty putting us back together again.
But we are not broken, lost or misguided people like you who guide those in the image of you but humans and amazing creatures too.
So put down your mace and pepper and pick up some-thing to make you better.
A pen or a sword might do without needing to ram it down your throat with hate
but to run you through that I might do, to see what comes out of you.
I bet it’s deadly serious stuff, black goo with lumps of ‘hello, how do you do?’
And you’d think that this couldn’t break a rose head on its branch but the hip is hard
and solid yet contain feathers that are honest and sometimes nature comes in hard packages but I don’t want to listen to your empty promises shouted morning noon and night. I don’t like the aggressive person I become when listening to your dum de dum, dum.
So shut up your hate and replace it with something great. Lest I become like you
another soul lost to the ghetto.
If I call out, they have won.
If I stay silent, they have won.
If I grind my teeth, they have won,
If I gape like a fish, they have won.
If I go…ape then go
ghost bull, horn to horn…
Throw down fresh sand and be prepared
for ghost blood in the halls
and on the street ghostly gore.
Put out ghost flyers on the walls
Two ghost bulls go, now three, now four
Are ghostly gladiators on the floor?
Where in a silent battle, where no quarter is given
and inches are precious like gold. We take the strain in a nose to nose, forehead to forehead battle of force in the ghostly sawdust ring.
Night after night, fight after fight; battering ram blows rain down on my head,
made of bone and horn and not sensitive at all; that
absorbs all your blows and gougings of the horn.
We can do this all night …if you have the stamina…Ohhhh!
Crescendos of ghostly cat-calls ring out and the battle rages on
until finally it is no more.
The combatants weary yet idle for more.
Will I see precious peace in the place of ghostly wildebeest?
Or will I spend my time alone and go mad with only blades of ghostly
grass for company?
I vouchsafe on this ghostly wreath for nights made of more horn than you bargained for on this heath.
Now go in peace ghost bull, go into whatever place IS NOT IN MY FACE!
The road was long, at least, that’s how Ephraim remembered it.
On his way home and reaching the bottom of his road where the bucket and slop cloth awaited him the following morning. He let out a sigh.
‘That’s one for Mom none for me. Again. At least, the bricks are red and the bucket black and the slop cloth a nice shade of grey and smells nice. And at least, home is still here, and at least, dinner will be on the table and mom will tell me to take off my shoes and put on my slippers and hang up my coat where it belongs. And in the sky, the clouds will float on by without exploding on a summers day in a blue sky. At least, I know that the red balls shine and drop into the pockets without a sound on the snooker table and I know I will cry myself to sleep tonight.’ thought Ephraim as he took his place at the dinner table.
‘How can you eat that meat?’ asked his sister of Ephraim.
‘I dunno. I just sort of chew and up and down it goes.’ said Ephraim without an ounce of malice towards his vegetarian sister.
A disappointed look passed between sister and nobody else in particular.
‘Here’s your vegetarian gravy,’ ‘Now get started, before it gets cold. Ephraim. Elbows.’
And after the washing up was done Ephraim watched Star Trek and then played a little snooker and then went to his room and listened to his tapes. Then his mother came and told him to get ready for bed. He changed into his pyjamas folding his clothes carefully on the back of his chair and depositing his underwear into the Ali-baba on the top of the stairs. Then he got into bed and his mother came around and turned off the lights wishing him good night and pleasant dreams.
Ephraim turned over in his bed hugging his duvet tight. And then he cried for an hour before going to sleep. Later that night, in his dreams dolphins played violins and a big bear wearing a top hat sang a sad tune. It went something like this.
Why do you misbehave?
Why don’t you do as your mother tells you?
Why do you torment your sister?
Why can’t we trust you?
Ephraim awoke at seven the following morning and was eating his breakfast and looking forward to the afternoon when he would play ball with his neighbour Tom when his mother said to him.
‘Ephraim, those trees need cleaning. I’ll put the kettle on and you get the bucket from outside. MmmK’
‘Mmk, mom.’ said Ephraim looking forward to his afternoon’s playtime.
He went outside and noted the clouds passing by in the otherwise blue sky and thought to himself.’This is a good day, and I’m cleaning now but will be playing this afternoon’
It was at this point that a passing cloud exploded taking out Ephraim his bucket and his house on the street and turning him into ash that fell gently like rain over the big smoking hole that was once his home.
The newspaper reported it as a freak weather cloud pressure abnormality rare and very dangerous. Of course, nobody had mobile phones in the Eighties so the event did not get recorded. Rumours circulated for weeks that Ephraim’s mother had stashed explosives in the outhouse but nobody ever was sure what happened that warm summer day.
Life carried on for everyone else and in naughty children’s dreams the bear still sang and the dolphins played the violin.
Now Ephraim has passed over to our side
And now plays in our band as we go
into the dreams of children everywhere
Where on his banjo he plucks at their heart strings
imploring them to see the other side and to be good.