My sweetie

My sweetie
at school

Friday, 23 October 2015

All Manner of Things

I would like to start living in my bed.
Like an invalid.
 In a wonderful long nightgown. Soft pale feet. Translucent. With very clean toenails.
Surrounded by books and a tea tray.
And a small wise woman who would bring me things.
All manner of things will be brought to me.
Ancient maps. And China teapots.
Pebbles from the sea.
Tiny books of poetry.
Sometimes she would help me into the chair by the window. And I would rock gently and stare at the sea.
 Or perhaps
Wild horses in a field.
And I wouldn’t want to go anywhere.
My room would be the whole world.
Letters would arrive. With stamps from France and Tunisia.
People with orange trees. And jasmine. And tea.
Begging me to visit.
Take the train they would say. We will meet you.
Your bed will be ready. Clean sheets. Rinsed in rose petals.
And your tea will be brought. They would always promise me that.
 The air they would say. From the sea, they would say.
You will grow stronger.
On the train I almost die.
 All manner of things will be brought to me.
 Priests and Lamas. Hermaphroditic scholars. Dogs with three legs and cats with six toes.
 People will lay their heads on my lap and pray for me. They will conjure images to make me well. They will bring me bowls of blueberries and plums.
I will only eat dark fruits.
All manner of things will be brought to me.
Blackberries and plums.
They will feed me soup. Dark soup.
And there will be dances. Primitive dances. Drumming.
Dervishes will be summoned and they will whirl.
 I will be brought back from the brink of death.

When I wake I am wrapped in a blanket. A soldier is kneeling over me. He is stroking my hair. He has these beautiful hands.
And there is a child in a tiny wheelchair. A crippled child who cannot speak. She has these floating athetoid movements. She cannot stop moving. And she is smiling at me. Strapped and shackled in a wheelchair.
 And her wrists are twisting this way.
And her skin is like petals. Peony petals.
 And she is smiling at me. And laughing. Because I am lying on a floor wrapped in a blanket.
The air in Tunisia is soft.
I bring the crippled child with me. And the gentle soldier. We stay with friends on the sea.
Carthage. Settled by the Phoenicians. Queen Dido. The purple people. Slaughtered by the Romans. Cursed and covered in salt.
They bring tea. Oranges.
The soldier builds a ship. The crippled child’s hair turns white in the sun. Our feet turn brown.
On the full moon we sail away.
I learn about the wind. Celestial navigation.
The language of boats. Winches and blocks and shackles. Ropes are called sheets.
The little girl loves the sea. We fashion a seat for her and she rides at the top of the mast.
When storms come she laughs.
At night we sleep on the deck and the soldier tells us stories of places he has been.
 Palawan and Surabaya. Sumba and Buru and Seram.  I tell him that I used to live in a very beautiful room.

On the full moon we sail.


  1. Jody, your writing is rich and lush and luminous.

    1. Thank you Gali for these words. Thank you again for reading.

  2. Again, the calming effect that your words bring ... it's like I finally found the right room - everything is ok now, I am here.
    This dream was exquisite.
    Thank you.

    1. Bless you for putting these words to 'paper'. Thank you so much Liv.

  3. Replies
    1. (((((((((((((((thank you friend))))))))))))))))

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  5. That is delicious! Jody I agree with Elizabeth, your words take me where you lead.

  6. Thank you for the wonderful journey.

    1. Thank you for coming with me. Thank you.

  7. Overwhelmed by beauty and sadness. Thank you.

  8. Really beautiful. Now I want some tea brought to me