the hump is so high
but rolling downhill is fun
bring on the weekend!
I remember galoshes
A sign of fun
As we raced
On our short legs
To find the puddles
Turned our worlds
Into new and messy delights
Like so many cannonballs
To bring our feet
Into waiting puddles
And climates away
Galoshes are just an unfamiliar word
Garden shoes and flip flops
Rule the day
Until the downpours hit
And children stare
At filling puddles
At a loss
For what to do
They step – gingerly, carefully –
Into waiting water
Torn between shock
Of all of those rain slickers
And rubber boots
Down memory’s paths
by CAROLINE A. SLEE
© All rights reserved 2020
Our Dearest Readers and Budding Poets (and Masters of Poetry, of course!),
We’d be lying if we said that Open Source Poetry is one of our least favouritest features here on Unbolt Me. Why? Well, it’s easy. We love the element of surprise that it brings. What scintillatingly fabulous line will you come up with next? What will you write to make us gasp in envy and wonderment as we struggle to match creative minds?
In short, communal poetry writing is a whole lotta fun!
Now, usually we’re the ones to start a new round of Open Source Poetry. We suggest the first line and then allow y’all to run with it, but we figured it would be more fun if this time we allowed you to suggest the first line of the new poem instead! Cool idea, huh? And, actually, while we don’t wish to restrict you in your creative efforts, because it’s Halloween soon, we propose that the theme should be ‘horror film’!
Here are the rules of this devilish game:
1) You submit the first line of our new poem via the comments section of this very post.
2) We pick the line we like most, and write the next one.
3) We publish the first and second lines in a follow-up post.
4) You submit the next line, we pick the one we like, and then we add it to the poem.
5) Step 4 is repeated until we have a masterpiece!
And with that, we sit back, put on our 3D glasses, grab a monster-sized tub of All Hallows’ Poppycorn™, and ready ourselves to shake and scream in horrified rhymed delight!
ACT 99 SCENE 5
TWO AND TWO MAKE FOUR
TONY: 23,770… 23,771… 23,772… and… 23,773! Whew!
Tony wipes the sweat from his brow. He’s sitting cross-legged on the lounge room floor, peering intently at a laptop screen. He seems to be quite chuffed about something.
Tati comes into the room chewing bubble gum. She notices Tony at his laptop, and approaches with no small amount of curiosity. She leans over his shoulder, popping a whopping big bubble right next to his ear.
TONY: Jumping Jehoshaphat! Tati, what the hell?!
TATI: Well, pardon me! I thought you had your hearing aid turned off.
TONY: Why would I do that? I need to hear when you’re creeping up on me!
TATI: It looks like it isn’t coping with that task, otherwise you wouldn’t have jumped out of your pants!
TONY: Ha bloody ha. How very droll.
TATI: Anyway, what are you counting? Or do you just enjoy the fact that you can count?
TONY: I didn’t graduate kindergarten only yesterday! Give me some credit.
He indicates the laptop screen.
TONY: I’ve been counting our blog comments.
TATI: Really? And the point of this is…?
TONY: It’s nice to see how far we’ve come. I remember the days when we were hardly getting any comments at all. Don’t you?
TATI: I do, but what’s the point of counting them?
TONY: It reminds me to be grateful for all the attention we’ve been getting.
TATI: I get it, Tony. I’m not dense! But still I ask, what’s the point?
TONY: Well, these high numbers are getting me kinda giddy with excitement. I think I wanna go set off firecrackers in some letterboxes now… you know, to celebrate.
Tony offers a self-conscious smile.
Tati pushes past Tony and grabs the laptop. She starts to poke her finger around the touchscreen.
TONY: Hey! You’re getting your greasy mitts all over my lovely, pristine laptop!
TATI: What?! They’re as clean a newborn’s ass!
Tati licks her hand and shoves it under Tony’s nose—palm up—as proof of her claim.
Tony wrinkles his nose in disgust, visibly squirming where he sits.
TONY: Erm, okay.
Tati lets rip a snort of victory, and continues to fidget her finger over the touchscreen.
TONY: Okay, seriously, what are you doing?
Tati opens the admin panel on their site, and pokes at the section ‘Comments’.
TATI: Got it?
TONY: Nope. I’m not at all convinced that I’ve ‘got it’.
Tati rolls her eyes.
She jabs at a particular point on the screen.
TATI: There’s the exact number of comments in parentheses!
TONY: I can see that! It’s at 23,781 now!
TATI: Well… 23,784 actually… but I’m trying to figure out why you’re counting them manually? Are you some kind of pervert? Do you have a number fetish?
Tony’s face turns redder than a stop sign on Mars.
TONY: Erm… no. I just didn’t see the little number in brackets…
Tati looks genuinely shocked.
Suddenly realising the magnitude of his mistake, Tony looks at her with heartbreakingly wretched hangdog eyes. He says in a tiny squeak…
TONY: I know. I’m not a man.
TATI: And how long have you been counting for?
Tony’s voice is now a pathetic whisper.
TONY: Three hours…
Tati suddenly remembers that there’s bubble gum in her mouth. She resumes her chewing, her face taking on a musing look.
TONY: Why are you looking at me like that?
His voice has risen above a whisper again. Tati pops another bubble.
TATI: Honestly? I’m torn between contempt and respect.
TONY: Okay, just gonna go hide in a cupboard now…
TATI: No no no! You really are a lovely idiot, Tony. You’ve valiantly spent three hours on this fruitless task.
Tati ruffles his hair.
TATI: Let’s finish it together, yes? After all, we have a lot of readers to be thankful for.
We at Unbolt Me have a special message for you.
WE LOVE YOU!
Seriously, we could not have lasted these five years without your unflagging support. The fact that you keep coming back to read our silly little offerings means more than we can adequately say. In fact, we’re not particularly adept at conveying gratitude at all, and now neither of us is able to think of an elegant way to conclude this thank you message.
So… let’s just stop there, shall we?
(At this point, Tati is whispering to Tony in a menacing tone. She hopes he hasn’t actually been counting followers too. Tony’s tapping his hearing aid, pretending that it doesn’t work.)
ACT 77 SCENE 549
DUCKIN’ & RENOVATIN’
Tati walks into the living room to see Tony standing on the wall, jutting out horizontally. He’s inspecting a mark on the ceiling.
TATI: What is this? A new kind of fortune-telling? Using spider webs and desiccated flies?
TONY: Nope. I just thought I’d try looking at life from a different perspective for a change.
TATI: Uh huh. And how does it look?
TONY: Erm… Very skip trowelly, I guess?
TATI: What? Your life looks like you’re skipping a trolley?
TONY: No! Skip trowel. It’s a type of finish that ceilings can have.
TATI: Tony, I don’t understand. Are you gazing at the ceiling or at your life?
TONY: Can’t it be both? Perhaps this ceiling represents a developmental point that I cannot get past as a human being. Perhaps this is symbolic of my personal limits.
Tati peers up at Tony with a long musing look, then leaves the room. She’s back a few moments later with two large pick axes. She climbs up onto the wall and stands near the ceiling with him. Then she hits the ceiling sharply with one of the pick axes. Tony looks at her, wide eyed and open mouthed, as bits of debris rain down on them.
TONY: What are you doing?!
Tony swallows some ceiling, and begins to cough and splutter.
TONY: Jesus. That can’t be good for my asthma!
TATI: Yes, Tony, you’re not Michelangelo. Where’s your swing?
A bird’s nest and some cockroaches fall onto Tony’s face. He splutters some more, and very quickly flicks them away.
TONY: Well, duh, I’m not Michelangelo! What’s your point?
TATI: My point is this stone. Would you be so kind as to help me with it, Tony?
TONY: What stone?
A huge piece of ceiling stone clocks the side of his face.
TONY: Oh. That one.
Trying not to pass out, he holds it up for Tati to see.
TATI: Hit it! HIT IT!
TONY: The stone?
TATI: No, drop the stone. Hit the ceiling!
Bemused, Tony drops the stone. He takes his pick axe and tentatively swings it at the ceiling. It catches on the edge of the hole Tati’s already made, and more debris comes tumbling down.
TATI: Watch your head! Duck! Duck!
Tony and Tati duck and weave like Neo dodging bullets in ‘The Matrix’.
TONY: Wow! Are we naturals or what?
TATI: Nope, we’re supernaturals!
Tony stumbles and falls over. Tati chuckles and helps him up again.
TATI: Rise up, Neo! Rise up!
And so, they keep swinging their pick axes and hacking a larger hole until finally they’re satisfied. Tati and Tony down their tools, and climb back onto the floor.
TONY: That was fun!
They lay on the floor and gaze back up through the hole in the ceiling, taking in the view of the night sky with its many twinkling stars.
TATI: So, what is your limit, Tony?
TONY: Through that ceiling and beyond!
TATI: That’s it!
They continue to lay there happily, but then…
TONY: Is that…
TATI: Yes. Rain.
TATI & TONY: Dammit!