SHAKING OFF THE DARK STUFF:
Back from Manchester, Essex pulls the sky-milk over it’s head
like a duvet diver.
I was liberated walking the streets up North. The muscles flexed,
the legs strode with purpose. Blood pumped, eyes looked, colours &
sounds flowing in like the most basic food to the undernourished.
The energy & rhythm of a city buzzing with hope-filled youth is a
beautiful thing. I realise now how starved I’ve been.
Back here last night in the Essex I love, the night was damp &
clinging. The carriage lights of the train cast a lonely light.
Passengers dressed in black sat alone hunched in corners, avoiding
eye contact with me like they know what’s coming, but don’t have the
love to say. I flinched, stepping out into what used to be the first
sweet hit of clean country air. That green aroma used to lift me.
Now I resume the defensive position, remembering wait’s out there.
Tense-up, what direction will the first blow come from? In 24 hours
I’d shaken off this heavy overcoat. Now I find it waiting for me,
like road-kill hanging in a tree, pockets filled with self pity.
A scarecrow mantle, a state of mind. 18 years leaving that one
behind. But now I remember, I’m thinking ahead again, not living in
the here & now, so starting with the basics, counting my fingers
again & ‘Thank you for this’ & Thank you for that’, looking
out at the fields lay under their milk duvet & starting to recall
how used to feel every time I saw them.
Still in love with Essex.