Tag Archives: relationships

Excerpt from ‘An Appropriate Act of Love’

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lynda-tavakoli-copy

Lynda Tavakoli is the first of my author friends to share an excerpt from her book of short stories, Under a Cold White Moon.

Thanks Linda, that sent chills up my spine.

One evening my father failed to return from work. The house had been, as usual, quiet during the day, my elder siblings having by then dispersed to lead more normal lives elsewhere and I now wonder how I never noticed their leaving or indeed how long it had been since I was the only child remaining. The food was on the table; bacon, sausages, tomatoes, potato bread and two eggs – all fried as he liked it and now coagulating on my dad’s plate. Mother sat across from me at the table, hands tidily on her lap; mine stuffed in the pocket of my sweatshirt making bigger the hole already there. Where is he?

For an hour, maybe two, we sat like dead fish frozen into an icy lake and still he did not come. Beyond the window of the kitchen light was being sucked slowly out of the day and finally the grey gloom of evening started to invade the room. A fear was beginning to gnaw at me and although my mother had moved not an inch during that time I regarded the subtle change in her manner with growing panic. The eyes that for so long had scorched her resentment into my soul had taken on the look of a hibernating tortoise reluctant to accept the onset of its awakening. They were dead eyes to match the dead words that finally slunk out from in between her teeth,

“Now are you happy?”

To read her book click on the link above or visit her publisher here.

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The Relationship Bazaar

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I was greeted this morning with a Whatsapp message that was really moving and expressed in an almost Gibran-like ‘voice’. It was written in Hindi, and another friend, whose Hindi has fallen into disuse, couldn’t read it as fluently as he would have liked to. So I made a quick and hasty translation.

But, as with a lot of poetry, once something starts buzzing in your head, until you sit down and actually write it it won’t leave you. So, of course I did just that, and here it is:

The Relationship Bazaar

As I was walking in the marketplace

My feet stopped at the Relationship Bazaar.

I looked around and saw it filled

With kinship on sale for near and far

 

Relationships of every kind

Were offered everywhere

‘Relationships for sale’ they cried

‘Come buy a few to spare’

 

Each seller had a lively trade

And I walked up to one

‘Aha!’ he cried, ‘What will you buy?

I have everything under the sun!’

 

With trembling lips I asked the seller

‘How much and what’s for sale?’

With a flourish he said

‘Most everything and some beyond the pale.’

 

‘What would you like? What will you buy?

I have a wondrous range

Special ties with a son, or father

I have all good, some strange.’

 

‘Choose from a sister or a brother

Dear shopper what’s your choice?

Humanity or the love of mother

Faith? Pray, where is your voice?’

 

‘Come, come,’ he cajoled me,

‘Come, come, don’t hesitate!

Ask for something, anything

Your silence on me grates.’

 

With fear and sorrow in my voice

And with a great unease

I sighed and asked him, whispering

‘Do you have friendship, please?’

 

He stopped mid-sale, he stopped and stared

As if I’d lost my mind

Then tearfully he turned and said

‘Ah that is hard to find.

 

‘For friendship is the relationship

On which the world depends

It’s not for sale, it has no price

No price that can be named

 

For friendship is worth everything

This earth and then some more

It is a pure and selfless thing

And this you can be sure

 

The day that friendship’s offered

For a price and put on sale

Why then my dear, dear shopper

The world it will have failed

 

This globe will be uprooted

And lose its orbit quite

The day that friendship’s offered

And can be quoted for a price.