heed the silence that follows
truer than any promise made
the sound and fury of a hidden life
you cannot dream this into submission
by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020
at world’s end hung the bearded axe of doom
waiting to hew from all trees their ravens
i hugged to myself as if this would protect
teeny in my chest such tremulous clot
but still it was a seedling at my core
but still the stramash was hard to ignore
through arch at twig’s end i quailed to see
yond the chaos and atom of dark design
clung did ravens to my denuded branches
with talons adamantine and whetted
but still there was the theurgy of fate
but still fear uprooted to axe’s dictate
when will for always intersect with my growth rings
or will i weaken at the root and fall to ruin
dare this seedling float on the eddies of wind
or from cradle to grave grow through rain and pain
but still brute divines have smote me
but still to the sun as new tree i devote me
I wasted no time, stepping into the stormwater drain to retrieve the kitten before it drowned. Wind railed at my back, and the first huge drops of icy rain began to plap on the scruff of my neck. I shivered, my foot slipped on the slick ladder, and I fell in.
I flailed momentarily before my head cracked into the sewer wall. The last thing I remember was my face in bloodied water, my scattered manuscript pages, and a title that read ‘Look What the Kitten Dragged In’.
There was a mewl from somewhere in the darkness.
The day was cold.
I hugged the walls, trying to hide in dark corners, but a bitchy wind found me everywhere I went, and gnawed at my neck and cheeks with its merciless teeth. I had no respite.
I was huddled in the pokey gap between a tattoo parlour and pool hall when I heard what sounded like a squeaky toy. There was a frail, drawn-out release of air. Like it had been sat on. Like it had invented misery.
I checked. No. I hadn’t squashed anything, but there was a tiny ball of fur there.
…with two pointy triangles.
It came to life in an expensive arty-farty Moleskine—maybe I fancied myself as the next Hemingway. I even bought a posh Parker pen. Only the best tools, right? But as time went on and times got desperate, the Moleskine got swapped out for paper from bins and skips, and the Parker for biros I’d stolen from cheap snack-bars and post offices.
But I didn’t give up. I continued to scribble beneath dim streetlights, in dingy alleyways, and as close to the neon glow of storefronts as their owners would allow. Come hell or high water, I’d complete this book.