Outside and warm

There’s something to be said

For sitting on rattan chairs and looking up

At a tie dyed sky

The same inky blue I saw in a dress earlier

The one I added to basket but never checked out

This is a sky of another era, a time

When we rode like ghosts on American highways

Legs pressed up against the dashboard

Podcast blaring nonsense

Gently slipping into sleep

Half expecting to hit a deer

That fear every time we rounded a bend

Or you vroomed a little too callously

A cacophony of screeching, and my brain doing somersaults

Playing out the poor deer’s death

And this balmy air also smacks of times in Spain

By the sea where we built our lives

And had a fridge full of food

And money in the bank

Dusted pink sunsets trickling down to the seafront

Paellas baked fresh, inches from the seabed

Tummies content and hankering for margaritas on Friday nights

Warm all the time

Flip flops flung over shoulders

Walks down to the beach and then back to Lidl

For a feast

Work was still a drag, head filled with dread

Every fucking Sunday night

Like some stupidly mundane weekly ritual

The brain bashing, self inflicted fear and loathing in Las Palmas

I was still afflicted like I am now

But those balmy sun dappled evenings

Grinning on terraces

Stuck like insects in a treacly loveless web

Boy was it good sometimes.

Florida dreams

Driving around Florida was perhaps the happiest I’ve been.

This was back in June when responsibilities were low and expectations were high

when the orange-clad Disney-donning streets always led us to Chick-fil-a or Moe’s at the height of hunger

stomachs beaten by pangs, the allure of burrito bowls and buttery milkshake broths awaiting.

We stopped in at all the parks and scaled iron-fisted fortresses and dropped

down vicious clanging paths

took oodles of pictures for the ‘gram and drank pint after pint of poisonous soda

to ward off the southern sun, bleeding onto our skin…

while fabric Mickeys and Minnies gasped for air

through the winter-laced fibres of their bulbous heads

probably paid a pittance

to stand in the sun and boil like broccoli

skin wretched and pasty at the end of the day; ours firetruck-red.

We went to Medieval Times because you said I ought to get a taste

of American pastimes

there we watched horses charge up and down with stout little fellows on their backs

wielding sticks and swords

jousting like they might have done back in the day

while we hunkered down over a medieval meal

turkey leg, garlic bread, tomato soup and enough Coke refills

to disintegrate a steak, and rot my molars.

Planes, trains and automobiles

People rush to shove their bags overhead Like a herd of wildebeest and you’re mufasa.

They prance and prowl about in this tiny aisle, knocking you sideways.

Before reaching far-flung corners of the world,

They’ll fling their luggage tags at you,

Run over your big toe

And elbow you in the cheek, arm or collar bone

Without any sort of apology.

Overhead space is like prime real estate

Because we’ve got so much stuff,

So many creams, so many serums,

So many outfits and hair products

A ball of mad capitalism.

Tall, quick-footed parents step over you to claim their space,

Older lemon-faced ladies moan at the lack of legroom,

Children sit scared in their seats and tap away on their Samsungs.

And the stuff piles up, high above our heads,

Weighing us down both here and there.

The sun and old people and the madness of fashionable burning.

What is it with old people when they come on holiday.

Mister, to achieve the shade of “pink” you’ve bravely opted for,

You might as well have stuck your head inside an oven

And roasted like a turkey.

Put some sprouts around your mouth

Stick some ‘tatoes round your buttocks,

And a pretty pink gobbler you’d make.

Mrs Saggy Bottom, do you not KNOW the danger of too much sun exposure?

A dollop of cream might banish that neon red line

Around your neck.

And to you Sir, the one I spy

Sizzling away on a sun lounger slumbering,

Haven’t you a bed that could provide more comfort,

Or do you delight in dyeing your back a deep shade of lobster red?

Sore in the morning, blistered to touch,

And yet you’ll get up and do it all over again the next day

No wonder you look like an old leather boot.