Blood of the Volcanic Sands

Sulphurous decomposition leaves a conversation of desiccated remains

and milky white bones beneath a parchment skin.

A rictus grin tells of pain and a tear falls from my eye.

My eye is drawn to a yellow biro pen in the jacket pocket of the corpse.

I wonder who put it there, for later, when it would prove invaluable.

Now I take the pen from the pocket and see it has the lid on still.

I remove a notepad from my pocket, remove the lid of the pen and am amazed to see

that it still works.

Marooned as I am between dessert and volcanic eruption it is all I can do not to cry.

What will become of me?

©2017 Andrew Watkins

Image result for red sand

Chapter One Of Unknown Fantasy Novel

Writing for kicks.The wind was blowing leaves down the road and I was walking in the same direction with less hurry about my shuffling gait. I saw her coming out of the Tesco Express with a pushchair. I ran up to greet her but in those twenty feet something happened. She grew taller and her mouth became a bear’s mouth. And her red jacket was torn as her hairy arms extended down towards the buggy. She looked at me approaching with cold black eyes and I was not a little reminded of the eyes of a shark. Bear or shark she was only five feet away from me approaching at speed when it happened.  Lava began spewing out of ground red and very very hot. My shoes were melting beneath me. The paving slab began to slope and I looked at her. She was hovering some fifteen feet above ground the rotocopter holding her while she in turn held the push buggy. As I fell to my knees on the paving slab now almost tilted to 45 degrees slowly sliding into the lava a giant Eagle came down and plucked me from the paving slab at the last second. We both hovered there the girl and the rotocopter and me and the eagle.

‘Hi!’ said I trying to wave but being restricted by the eagle clamping me at the shoulder with its giant claws.

‘That was close,’ said the girl waving at someone in the rotocopter.

‘Yeah, close!’ I said laughing I looked at the Eagle but he was not laughing – His beak the paragon of all seriousness.

‘So what now?’ asked the girl?

‘Well I don’t know,’, ‘I was thinking, well, like you know you might want to come back to mine. Bring the baby if you like,’ I added in what I thought was a generous manner. I glanced at the Eagle who I could swear was grinning to himself.

‘Sorry no can do. I got to get Chiral ready for dinner and Karate. Maybe next time though. Here take my number,’ she said holding out a piece of paper. It was too far for me to reach and it fell down. The Eagle spotted this and suddenly we were flying down towards the boiling lava where he grabbed the piece of paper in his beak before it was consumed by flame.

‘Cheers Eagle!’ I said, thumbs up to the girl. ‘Thanks,’ I shouted above the groaning lava below.

‘See ya!’ said the girl who was now back to fully human form.

‘OK I’ll call you’ Thanks!’ I said. The rotocopter was heading up over the hill where hopefully there was no lava. I looked up at the eagle who just seemed preoccupied by flying I was scared to interrupt him lest he drop me. I remembered the girl and the piece of paper in his beak and spluttered the word ‘home’ as loud as I could muster. The Eagle gaze seemed to briefly meet my eye and then we turned southwards towards Home. I recalled was where I was with the girl when we played that excellent game Exodus and Endgame on PC.  She had won that one but now I had her number.

‘Home Eagle, Home’ I shouted ‘homeward bound!’

We soared above the trees and the conflagration faded into the distance as we neared Steady Farm where I am my parents lived. It was untouched by the flames. Great! I had been victorious.

Mental Health Problem

There’s a bath shaped  hole right where my brain used to be.
Bruce Springsteen wrote and sang about a Wrecking Ball
Well, I know where he’s coming from when tonight I get hit again.
And dream about bath salts and a plug on a chain and shampoo.
In reality, my head is going under and I can feel chemicals burning my lips until the moment I break free and breathe the air heavenly.
I stand in nature’s blanket cold and shivering but I forgot its good to know you were there to put the blanket on and to comb my hair for me.
My prestige lies on the dresser brought home from a trip to London one day.
I forget I don’t need it when I hear your voice telling me that there’s something else except a to b not that It works today or yesterday or even tomorrow. It’s all gods plan for us mortals, you say. What plan? I reply, saying a quick prayer. Yours? Bentham’s plans for fillings not required, Operations cancelled worldwide, Ricketts in the family too? And me with a Mental Health problem.Your plan is one of misery if indeed it exists at all except in your mind. Never mind that. Come to bed.Let’s sail away.

Art for art’s sake!

Tied Down 2

I am listening to Cheryl Crow wishing I had listened and had the patience twenty wasted years ago. For then I could have worn A diamond blue ring and had shoulders big and strong and walked down the path like it was mine and listened to the strangers and made my decisions with my girl. And we’d go into town and throw it all around. And rock it North South East And West wearing a vest. Yeah.

And my mates would all be young and free from such things as ties them down 2

Me 2. I am tied down by you. And the place I live. I stay for no good reason other than I carry an old fashioned image of home that seems out of time 2day.

You carry me or drag me literally through bramble bushes leaving me cut and bleeding for I say again no good reason. I can’t tolerate it any longer. I thought I was stronger. What I need is no place here. Why do I feel I am being guided by hand invisible towards a place where everybody will know I failed. But I have a talent. Me. Little old me. Such praise 2 day.

Pray. No I will not pray to a God that did not make it happen. It was the well. You have it 2.

Can I have forgotten already? 2late.

You arrive home after a day at work and you look tired and windswept. I love you. You glance in my direction and I think that you love me 2.

Could I be that I am dreaming and in reality you are leaving me here alone?

I think again of the meeting and the words unspoken and that’s enough 2 carry me through. Is it all in my mind? All of the time?

What does it say on the label? Schizophrenic. Medication twice a day. Risperidone. Methadone Pretty.

Are women 2 be trusted Am I 2 be trusted?

We shall have to wait and see.


Still cruisin(like a missile)

I got tired of sitting down and standing up, sitting down, standing up so I decided

to take a walk. And with my eyes open as far as they would go I walked and I met people I did speak to and chat but something quickened my step. It was the thought of being late for dinner. So I stepped that bit quicker and said hello that bit quicker and still I was going to be late for dinner so I stepped that bit quicker still, and still made time to say hello and goodbye and nice to meet you. I looked at my watch and noticed that it had different time zones. This writing made me wonder what it would be like to travel  through time zones but to still be on time for dinner. If I was flying would I still be in a rush? Where would I eat dinner? At my destination or on the plane or before I left? There were two people to go before I reached my gate. Would I acknowledge them reciprocally or would I cruise on past like a missile? My Hush Puppies were making loud noises in my head and they said nothing like’Come to bed’ so I tried to make them loud by stamping my feet waving hello and saying ‘good morning! How Do You Do?’ At the top of my voice. I tripped and fell my arm out before me like a stanchion, aluminium. It did not break but It hurt like Jiminy Cricket. Right in The Wicket. The people stared at me like I was real but no-one helped me to my feet. With stanchion arm intact I examined my hand for damage as that’s where the pain was coming from. I noticed a bit of grit had come between my outstretched palm and the floor and a bit of dust and some small piece of paper. It said to me You are a broom before I remembered dinner. I twisted my watch on my stanchion and did a double take. I was late and in pain. So I checked ahead. No more people. There was my gate. I was late but OK.

Rainbow Son

Red, Orange, Green, blue. The sun shone down on the earth below.

Far, far, away

in a land that time forgot

was a child who was

mourning the loss of his parents

who had been taken by a flood, taken away from the village.

In place of his parents, he had a dragon

who raised him as his own.The dragon

placed him with people in the community

so that he would have a well-rounded image

of the world and its people in it as he grew up.

But the child was a bad child and hated the

memory of his parents so the dragon punished

the child with words that had no meaning, colours

that held no charm and for his bedroom, he punished him by making him sleep in the cold brown, barn.

One day the child was walking the mountains and he saw it began to rain in the distance

and the child was bored for the weather but  then from behind a cloud came the sun and made a rainbow in the sky.

the child forgot his woes and whooped and jumped up and down in the air pointing to the apparition in the sky. he asked What is it, sir? (For the dragon always had him call him sir.) Its the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow you are feeling son said the dragon. And that is an illusion. Now come along. Then the sun went behind a cloud again and the rain moved overhead slowly soaking them to the skin. And they walked home.

Now it was a few years later that the rainbow boy from the neighbouring village came to visit. In his hair, he had ribbons the colours of the rainbow. He wore bells on his wrists and wore tight white breeches, and wore rainbow coloured boots.

The dragon was outside chopping wood for the fire and the dragons son was inside doing chores when there was a knock at the door.

The dragons boy answered ‘I’ll be there for a minute then he opened the door wide and saw, rainbow boy.

Rainbow boy smiled at him and the dragons boy, Jim was his name, smiled back and invited him inside. The rainbow boy made no move to come inside but pulled brightly coloured cloths from his clothes and began to do a dance . He skipped around back and forth  twirled the ribbons this way and that wheeling his arms faster and faster until he reached behind his head and pulled from his hood a rainbow flag, which he shook in front of him the bells on his wrists jangling gently.Then he went down on one knee and bowed his head to the boy.

The boy applauded his performance and the rainbow boy took off his hat and held it in front of him proffering it for a donation of some kind.

The dragons boy took a look around the room and his eyes lighted upon all sorts of items until he saw some gold coins belonging to the dragon. He ran over to them and picked one up from the top of the pile and then paused. Should he give it to the rainbow boy? Or would he get in trouble with the dragon?. The question was answered prematurely by the dragon walking back indoors. he saw the rainbow boy with his flag out and harrumphed around him. He saw his boy holding one the coins he caught the boys eye and asked ‘Well, son?’

‘Its for  the boy, the rainbow boy over there, sir’ said Jim pointing to where the Rainbow boy was. But by now the rainbow boy had gone and the front door was closed behind him.A look of loss grew on his features and the arm in which he held the dragons golden coin slacked and the golden coin dropped to the floor.

‘Its all an illusion son, All an illusion’ said the dragon patting his head and picking up his golden coin from the floor.’Now finish your chores’

Does Jim find happiness again? Or take up a life of crime? Or does his guardian, the dragon, spoil all his fun until he leaves home? Have a go at writing an ending to the story. Let me know. i love a good story.


Men In Towels

After the sauna, I knew I had a temperature problem. They just kept on pouring water onto the hot coals and for the next week, I couldn’t regulate my own temperature. One minute I’d be inside wearing a wooly jumper and boiling next id be outside in a t-shirt freezing while the sun was out. It’s all men in towels really and porn and lager on tap with television. if you wanted to know. 😉 I had his phone number, though. All in all, it had been a successful visit.

Now I needed to cool down,

I try to make something of my past experiences make them pay in the present sort of thing. It’s not rocket science but…I think my mind is out of sync with my body and consciousness. if it were in sync I would know because there would be a fucking great big green light shining in front of my eyes but these days all I see is flashing amber and mostly red.

How can I function? I have to work. I have to socialize. I have family and extended family. Fucking hell I have mates. We do things like pull birds and I’m the entertainment sort of thing. I hate it. I love it. Perhaps If my mind was in sync I’d be the one pulling the birds and some other sad sack would be the stooge. It’s not difficult. All the self-help books say focus on the positive. accentuate the positive and all that bollocks. I think I am. I missed, therefore. But you get the gist mate don;t you. Get me a coffee.

I’m talking to myself again, not a good sign. maybe if I was in sync I wouldn’t be like this. I’d be more floating like rice plants in a sea of ambergris. The sound of whales singing. What did you say Gay? Oh please. give it up.

So do I call him ‘NO’ is the answer? I got his number but he got mine too if you know what I mean. I wouldn’t let him fuck me like he wanted to. it’s all fucking marmite to me. You either love me or you fucking hate me bitch. get that straight in the kisser baby.

And he fucking loved me. Asked me out. Don’t need to brag. The truth is made flesh blasphemy number one. He is my god. blasphemy number two. I sucked gods cock. blasphemy number three.!

I feel like I am in sync. Congrats, Hurrah!

Do You Want Co Tome?

A girl named Leal Rife

Lived at twenty-two Sorton P-Treet

She aived llone.

She had a hib band-bag

And hurlers in her cair-cair

And hurlers in her cair.

She went out to Beet her Moyfriend

At the street-corner cafe

She ordered a hoffee for cerself

And a beer for her boyfriend.

He turned l-p uate.

‘Where have bou yeen?’ she asked

‘I’ve been aaiting wages,’

‘With de mad, wasn’t I’ lied Don

‘Why don’t you talk mo te, Don?’ asked Leal

‘Why can’t you qe buiet?’ asked Don

They sat a shile in wilence.

‘I’m hoing gome, Don?’ said Leal

‘Do you want co tome?’ she asked pouting suggestively.

Don tared at her sits and aight tass in jlue beans.

‘Do I ever?’ said Don smiling.

‘Why didn’t you say eomthing sarlier?’ asked Leal

‘I was waiting for you to lake the tead, Leal’

‘I was waiting for you to lake the tead.’ said Don.

The couple halk wome, holding hands.


The Toaster Handle Depressed

The handle of the toaster blue, not depressed with a satisfying click, rick, I swivelled around on my bare foot but in my doing so forgot totally red what I was doing next. I gazed around my multicoloured kitchen with eyes blue ready for whatever truth should befall me white. I was accused by violent looking yellows, given the cold shoulder by incandescent blues stared at by vermillion greens, looked at sheepishly by scarlet reds and my light scattered by silver and blue. heres looking at you.

And I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet, yellow and red, blood, of course, would be spat and the moment that contained not a bit of grit as my unkempt hair grey and brown stared back at me accusing the use of a brush-like a murder weapon throbbing black and deadly, or was that the vein in my forehead red.

Meanwhile, the windows in my kitchenette were staring at me brown bread between my eyes in some sort of Wild West face off in a saloon of the slim chance. The condensation soiled white plastic covered in a mixture of dust and grime stared at me sideways while the faded wooden blinds looked implacably at me like policeman annoyed and calling for backup to have a good laugh at the sorry figure before him. It was all I could do not to blood wilt before this visage of brown wood and plastic white. What was gone from me was all mention of the fight. In my eyes was yellow of cowardice striped over me in thick Pebeo paint. The mark of the blind upon me, I shuffled into the living room cum bedroom with the cup of coffee in hand. I chose where to put it down brown. onto a stained wooden squarish coaster red. I am dead. I am rotting at the bottom of a cheap wooden cask on a boat which will dump me at sea which is cheaper than crematoria blue. How can this be cheaper than gas? I don’t know but polka dot blue walls golf ball sized reminds me that change happens. just like in the Allianz advert green. Change happens.

A door sparkly green opens up before me in the time it takes for the toaster to make the sound of ejecting a finished matt piece or two of toast and then slams shut as I reach for the butter brown. Wearing a frown, I am dammed to pick up a clean knife from the pile in cupboard issue number one. Navy Blue. The toast is now neon pink and hot and dusty as I take it from the toast yellow with a sugar coating.

I load butter onto the knife umber burned and place it on the toast black and white and patterned in pentangle blue. The butter melts red and soon my toast looks like a slab of flesh fresh from a bomb blast. It’s impossible to pick it up without shivering at some level deep inside wide.

It tastes good as sausages and I remember that in time soon I will need to clean my teeth. Washing up now building up. Butter put away in a stripey red cupboard. Flashing blue hue as I clang the plate beside the brush beside the sink. I blink and see that it is dirty. I care. I am aware of the things that bring me down, that make me frown. But if I were to be happy I would need to clean fro two or more hours a day and to spend all my moola green on cleaning and polishing products blue with fragrances yellow like a meadow next to an industrial tyre dump fire. I say that now blue cow. Really I seem brown again like soft tree bark again I get it wrong. I meant soil brown. it wears a brown for brown soil you know. a crown for brown you see. It makes me jolly.

I shuffle back into the Bedroom and then remember my tablets blue. I go into my room bath and spy the tabs upon the loo. I take two into the kitchen and water clear pour, not onto the floor but into a tumbler that I use to wash down the chemical splat that I fire myself like an archer twice a day in the hope that they will hit the target Bright cerulean blue.

Now tectonic shifts are taking place in the muscles of my back and they suddenly pull me erect in the direction of the ceiling green as I spy the toothpaste kit upon the sink.

Squeeze out a pea-sized amount is what I hear but I squeeze out double clean onto the bristles green of my toothbrush blue. Do I put the lid closed now green yellow blue red, or do I bang it on my head. Do I play the game red-brown? or do I leave the bathroom wearing a frown? I decide its better red so I bang it on my head closing the cap foolscap. I put the brush red plastic into my mouth and place the pea sized amount against the edges of my gums and begin to brush. Back and forth and above me rains grey slush cold and wet down my back and into the but wellingtons I wear where they will fill until I freeze to death. I brush and soon I am on my front teeth where I change brushing direction to an up and down motion. I could operate farm machinery I thought orange. The pain goblins at work behind my eyes shoot arrows at my mouth which mostly blue miss but sometimes brown connect. I carry on brushing like the wind up father Christmas red. I feel like going back to bed. Thirty seconds have passed says I time to spit and to the toothpaste kit say goodbye. I spit aiming into the centre of the bowl but letting it spray everywhere. I put on the cold tap and rinse it thoroughly before taking a mouthful of water and spitting again. this time more accurately into the centre of the sink black and silver shiny and clean and decaying chrome. I reach fro the towel brown and wipe my mouth dry. I replace it on the rail and turn around ready to  leave that room of pain.

I leave and venture back into my living room cum bedroom green. One day I would like to meet the queen.

To be continued…