Autumn Shuffle

end_of_summer_by_leonid_afremov_by_leonidafremov-d35gm8r

The smell in the air

has changed –

it’s more crisp

it’s more clear

but the sun steps up the day

still grateful when a breeze will play

with your hair

on your skin

the rays tan

a tanned shin

And evening strolls in with a quiet surprise

promising a summer’s eve but making it a lie

There’s still green in abundance

but a yellow starts to show

on the leaves further down

on the branches hanging low

And I wrap my blankets closer

as night saunters in

But I glow warmly in the dark –

it’s the sunburn on my shin

© Kait King, 2016

Do the Right Thing

do the right thing

I saw a man dragging a puppy

that didn’t want to go

And everyone else in the street didn’t want to know

“Don’t get involved!” said a nervous Mr Hay

And he crossed over the street

to walk the other way!

I saw a brother pinch his little sister

on her tiny arm

How could anyone want to do

another body harm?

“Don’t get involved!” said a spiteful Miss Melissa

She won’t play with me at school

and is meaner than her sister

I saw a man shout

and push a woman to the ground

She bowed her head and was crying

but you couldn’t hear a sound

“Don’t get involved!” said a crabby Mrs Mend

And I wondered for over a month

if that poor woman had a friend

But now I’m older and I know better

I want to pass this message on

If there’s a body in need

you must always take heed

Because nobody wants to go through it

alone

© Kait King, 2015

You know you know…..

you know you know

You already know –

You know you’ve

known for ages

But just didn’t

want to look into that ugly face

or go to that ugly place

You knew months ago

when he was angry with you

when all you did

was be excited he was home

and he turned his back

and left you there alone

You already knew

when you could

smell the hint of perfumes

that you know you

don’t wear

Those whispered

phone calls

He doesn’t want you

to hear

You already know –

you know you’ve known

for ages

but just didn’t

want to look

into that ugly lying face

or go to that ugly empty place

© Kait King, 2015

In spite of

inspiteof

I don’t believe you have nothing to say

that you don’t want to stand up

and shout

“don’t treat me that way”

I don’t believe you can keep quiet

for very much longer

the hate in you grows stronger

even though you deny it

it kills you every day

I don’t believe there is happiness in you

that you skip through every day

that your glasses are a rose-colored hue

that you are not reliant in almost every way

but that’s just not true

You drag yourself through every day

knowing that he will

punch you

humiliate you

control you

and you want to kill him

for killing you –

you try to think of another way

but nothing else will do

you have no money, no car or hope

this mean,

ugly-spirited human

says you can’t cope

in the real world

But you know that’s not true –

right?

© Kait King, 2015

You should be an actress!

You should be an actress

I didn’t want to

lay back

in the director’s

chair

I didn’t want to

take off my clothes

to help me get “up there”

I didn’t want to be

just bouncy breasts

on TV

I didn’t want my body

out there

for all to see

So I didn’t take

the money

I didn’t get

the job

not for any other reason

than I wouldn’t

suck his knob

© Kait King, 2015

Does it Sting? – aka Pointless

skeletal mona lisa

Does it sting?

Can you feel

my hate

my anger

blistering at you?

Inflamed and furious

that not even the

Herculean strength of my own

sanity will tie it down

My bitterness seeps out

of my pores

leaving a trail of

achingly sad tearful

nights and aimless lonely

days

Does it sting?

Can you feel me

loathing you from afar?

My hate for you is so

giant – it has to be visible

surely you can feel this

surely you know I am hating you

betrayed by you, unforgiving

of you – surely….

What do you mean, he’s got another girlfriend?
© Kait King, 2015

Foot in mouth disease

foot in mouth

I loved university. I loved being up to my eyeballs in something I was fascinated with. The challenges and deadlines were all bonuses on top of the actual subject and I rose to greet each one. Anyway that’s by the by, so I’m in the lecture theater and the lecture is about to end. I know I’m getting a phone call very shortly so I excuse myself to go outside to wait for the call.

I get outside and there’s a kid doubled over, sitting pretty much folded over on the side bench. I wander to the bench, my phone out, texting and looking up as I walk. And I sit down on his right side. He shuffles over a little to make room. He is not moving much and my curiosity gets the better of me and I surreptitiously glance sideways at him. Yep, he is totally bent in half, but I do see his phone in his hand and he’s got his left hand side of his face plastered to his phone. Not the left hand side as in, his ear and talking, I mean like with his eye and not talking. Possibly taking a picture of his eye? Or the pupil of his eye? So without thinking for another second I pipe up with “I think you need glasses by the looks of things!” and chuckled a little, breaking the ice and everything. And this is my problem – my brain doesn’t engage with my mouth or vice versa – they work independently (against me!) so this is where I have ended up with this Foot in Mouth Disease – I’m a a frequent flyer.

Well, this kid looks up at me and one eye is covered with that cloud, the cloud that means that they can’t see much of anything out of that eye and the other one is scarred too.

He says, “It’s the only way I can see my texts – glasses won’t help…” I’m sitting there like an idiot. But I did what I usually do and chose not to ignore the elephant.

“So what happened to your eyes?” I asked.

He looked up from his phone again – well, as best as he could, and explained that he had been walking down Queen Street and it was winter. A super stormy day, and Queen Street can become like a wind tunnel on days like that. He had a jacket on that zipped up and as he grappled in the wind with it, the zip sliced across his eye, blinding him totally in his right eye and severely impinging on his sight in his left.

“I’m so sorry dude – really impressed you’re at university…I didn’t mean to be rude by the way….” I trailed off. He smiled, “It’s OK,” he says to me, ” at least you didn’t just walk away – that’s the worst. Everyone knows something’s up with my fricken vision. Lots of people don’t know what to do when they’re confronted with something unexpected…”

We were silent for a split second.

“I’m sorry this happened to you…. but I see in spite of a universal fuck-up in your life, you’re still here, still givin’ it all that!” he laughed at me and I laughed too.

“Often people so let the wrong things define who they are, or the worst things. The fact that you rise above this defines who you are.” He looked at me with a serious frown, somewhat created due to his lack of vision.

“Thank you for that, I needed to hear that right now…” he said.

I didn’t know his name but I did know much more about him than just some letters to identify him to his friends, family, fellow students and work colleagues. Not only that, but I found out even more about myself, or maybe about people. We all share commonalities – common likes, enemies, feelings, injustices etc. We all share bonds and those deeper threads of what make us who we are are far more interesting and important than your name, your clothes, your home, car, bank account…we truly are here to fill our souls and not our wallets. I take my soul with me when I go – I will leave my earthly belongings behind.

© Kait King, 2015

The Empty Room

the empty room

I remember being trapped in a lift once. At first it didn’t occur to me to panic – being the reasonably stable individual I am. I just slid down the elevator wall and squatted at the bottom, thinking of other things to while the time away. What really planted that little seed of fright was when the intercom crackled on and some disjointed voice announced that there was going to be a slight delay – yeah right! A delay as in repairs being made to cabling blah blah blah. That’s when something started chewing at the base of my brain. I could feel that icy trickle of panic beginning to seep into and numb the rational part of my brain. I imagined the lift plummeting down thirteen storeys with me in it. A compact human body, being mine of course – discovered under the dusty rubble. Or maybe in three years time, after not wanting to repair the lift they find a grinning skeleton – or perhaps just my crushed bones…

Well I started chewing my fingernails. I say that, but it’s not the actual nail bit but the little pieces you can shred off the side. Making my thumb bleed didn’t help at all and I was eternally grateful to the Universe that I wasn’t a hemophiliac. So then I started pacing out the elevator for size. It was four by four, or by six or four by eight or something. After a while the size didn’t matter – and I never thought I would say that with absolute honesty, but it didn’t. After a while my squares turned into circles and I was still gnawing at my fingers, nails inclusive now.

The appalling thought of needing to pee enveloped me and I was shamed into believing that I would just have to release my bodily functions in this confined space should it come to that.

At least two hours had passed and I was beginning to feel strange – almost like I was in a shimmery bubble. Fortunately they let me out, tearful and shaky, about twenty minutes later. Two and a half hours is a long time to be stuck in a lift – I truly thought I was going to go insane.

I’ve never been one to be claustrophobic or anything, but that lift episode really scared the begeezuz out of me. I always took the stairs after that, I just couldn’t get in a lift. Well I went for a drink with a friend of mine who had always been really terrified of heights. He said his worse fear was that he would be pushed out of a window or fall out of a building from too high up to survive. He said he had nightmares about it and it was absolutely ruining his life; work-wise and socially – let alone emotionally and the psychological toll a lack of sleep was taking on him. He said he dreamt of his arms frantically flailing to reach a hold that he could see but always he clutched at nothing. He screamed for help helplessly, as no one would ever hear him. His lover would wake him up as he had been screaming in his sleep and often hit them with his flailing limbs. Now I’d never experienced anything like that. Never had I suffered from “bad dreams” or nightmares of being trapped in a confined space at all, or trapped. When I was a kid we would hide in boxes and cupboards during games or to give someone a fright. I never felt trapped or scared then, just anticipatory. I was the frighter not the frightee and it was exciting. I could wait for ages in the crawlspace, tiny aperture or cupboard waiting for my prey to step by. Or huddle tightly and quietly in some of the darkest and smallest places, waiting to be found.

Many so-called professionals say that you should live out your fear and it will solve your problem – but I wasn’t afraid. I met my friend again and we went out for lunch. I asked him about his own phobia about heights and falling. “Well, y’know…” he said between bites, ” I know myself that this stuff is just in my head. I’ve spent a fortune on shrinks and been to a few – they all say the same thing – it’s in your mind, babe.” He stopped eating and looked at me while his tongue sought the escapee’s around his mouth and tidy teeth. “Doesn’t mean I’m cured though….” he mumbled and carried on eating.

But it did make sense. It was all in my head, my stupid brain, my over-active imagination and analytical mind. No matter how many times I told myself this though, I still could not get into a lift. Moving or otherwise I couldn’t do it. I knew I had to be brave and thought of ways to make it less traumatic. In fact it might be easier if I see a bunch of people in a lift I could squeeze in – at least I wouldn’t be all alone. There would be someone to talk to.

So today’s the day! I have decided to find a people-packed lift. I will walk through those lift doors and they will close. I will be carried up to my destination and everything will be just fine. Absolutely fine. Well…I did it! I went in the lift, sure I hyperventilated a little and blamed the air-conditioning. It’s not like I was scared or anything like that. I journeyed to the first floor but walked back down via the stairwell. The lift was busy, too packed. All you do is stand around waiting to get in and then get spewed out on one floor or another – it was a waste of time when you could just walk.

Life seems to be so much better in the summertime. Everything regains its glamour and beauty. Even people do – well some of them. Summer is a time for barbecues, hot late nights, swimming, playing and loving. We went on wild yachting weekends, champagne breakfasts and innumerable parties. We took off for an amazing holiday in Honolulu – total luxury and decadence. There were white sandy beaches, hot sun, beautiful people and drinks served in hollowed out fruits. We were there for three weeks and came back home ready to knuckle down and work. Refreshed, renewed and invigorated. No time for lifts – what lifts?

Ignorance is bliss. It’s no big deal – I’m just not interested in travelling in elevators or lifts. Some people are not interested in baking or stamp collecting either. I had heard a story about a woman who was terrified of germs and she used to hold her breath when she was in a hospital or medical clinic of some sort. She kept fainting, she was so terrified that her brain overrode the fear so that she could keep breathing and would knock her out! Now, come on – I am no way that bad. I mean that is silly, air is a necessity – I know, I’ve been trapped in an elevator.

The weird thing is, I’ve been having these really weird dreams about elevators. I was mainly travelling through space in them and I feel very very edgy, unsafe. Like some feminised Doctor Who in an elevator not a phone booth…ridiculous. But I would wake up sweating and feeling incredibly anxious, as if I was waiting for something to happen to me. No, more like expecting something to happen to me. It’s no biggie though – I can cope, it’s just a little disruptive to my sleep pattern, is all.

A couple of nights later I’m lying fast asleep and I dream I’m shooting unpredictably through space and it suddenly jolts to a halt. I wait – the doors open and it’s a hospital. I have to hold my breath or the germs will get in and smother me, my lungs, eat through my heart and brain. This is not good – panic has set in and I’m holding my breath, holding. I’m pressing the buttons in the lift – even just to close the door! I feel like I’m pressing the buttons through the wall and nothing is connecting. I’m stuck in this lift – the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I can feel my face cracking as tears and sobs are overriding the desire to not breathe in disease. Thank God I’m breathing though. The breathing is turning into convulsions, I’m going to die in that elevator and it’s dawned on me. I scream so hard the veins pump blood in rushing gulps to my head. My face is all screwed up and ugly. Somehow I’m looking down on myself – I’m watching me die, it’s almost funny.

I wipe my face with the back of my hand. The snot and tears are all down my face and like a gibbering idiot I am begging anyone and anything to let me out. I see myself in the metal walls, my clothes look so dishevelled and I don’t know when it happened but the doors had closed sometime during my hysterical tantrum. I bang on the doors and walls, air seems to be hard to suck in – like it’s syrup. Suddenly things slow down, I watch my tears thud into the company carpet. Slowly it occurs to me that the elevator is my coffin and I am dying in it. I always thought I’d be dead before I got this far! You are supposed to be dead before you got put in a coffin. This is unbelievable. But here I was, scratching at a coffin lid. Splinters of wood from the detail around the metal find their way up under my fingernails. It hurts but I don’t care. I’m bleeding but I don’t care. I’ve gone beyond. My clothes are drenched with sweat and the heat and closeness is overbearing. I feel the walls getting closer and closer and fortunately I blacked out and don’t remember anything else.

Apparently they found me in my bedroom wardrobe. The door was pretty scratched up and covered in my blood and so was I. I was unconscious when they found me, as I mentioned and I guess I’m lucky to tell live to tell the tale – passing out is most probably what saved me.

I woke up screaming about the elevator apparently, and that still happens now and again – maybe even more now. Everyone here at the hospital tries to tell me it’s only an empty room. But I know better than that. They have elevators there if you wait patiently – when you’re a patient there’s not much else to do but waiting. And like they say, it’s all in the mind and mine goes there.

My Dancing Feat

My dancing feat

There were just

too many

in this crazy crowd

Crushing in on

me

So I’m unable to

shout out loud

It was just

way too

noisy

in that clamouring

sweaty swarm

Body smells too

pungent

The air I breathe in

is warm

The darkness

has a dampness,

a claustrophobic clamp

The lighting bulbous

and hypnotic –

like a giant lava lamp

A pulse

united in

a passionate beat

And ignoring all

the warning signs,

I’m led by my dancing feet

© Kait King, 2016

Thought # 1

thought 1

If you’re very rarely or never told “No” or don’t have to wait or work for anything, will it be a harder struggle to get on in the World? (This is based on most normal and reasonable of situations – single or separate parenting included and of course, on a continuum).

In the “Real World” no one else treats you the same way as your parents do. No one else cares the same way for you as your parents do. No one else in the World will give you the same leeway. Will one lack a certain resilience because one can’t deal with a No, or don’t understand why it’s a No?

Your Ego takes a beating, hearing all those ‘yeses’ and how wonderful you are at everything and then a No would just take the wind right out of your sails, it’s a shock. Is it about that resilience? Even against adversity and with all the curve balls life throws you, wouldn’t it be better to be able to face that adversity? I am not talking about being a nagging No Hound about everything – but I do think we need to prepare our children for “out there”! Just tell them the truth, make them stand for something, let them know what their strengths and weaknesses are and let them embrace them all and use them to their best advantage in this crazy Life.

If it is about resilience then we must give our children that strength and fight. They need these things to be able to survive – and not just survive but to live well.

Kait King 2017