5min pressing a day (#806)

#806

For Natasha
flower tea

Made from petals
of the last
surviving apricot
rose

Caught
before if fell

Winter is upon us
says Marina
in faux seriousness

Rose petals
slowly brewed
in warm water

It is Thursday

On Wednesday evenings
she has drama
class
at the library

And until Sunday evening
she will practice enunciation

Natasha sets her up
with
‘accent targets’
by which all conversation
and social intercourse
be conducted within

This week it is
pre communist
Tsarist royalty

Which has proven itself
to be a particular challenge

For Doris
coffee
robusta
slightly underbrewed
in a thick mug

One litre

She adds

Not sure where
to place accent and emphasis

No sugar
no milk

They
‘destroy the taste’
she enunciates
slowly
in a voice
mimicking Tsarist royalty
speaking to
the proletariate

Without knowing
the original

And for Stella
seasonal
juice

In an
unbreakable
plastic cup

Adds Doris
giggling

You know why?
she says
looking at Marina

Who herself looks
at Natasha

Who seems to be
engrossed
in studying paint drops
on the ground

The paint drops
are a reminder
of Gordje von Stroms last
exhibition

She says

Which he hadn’t finished
on time

And was hung
whilst still
wet

He would sneak in
late at night
and add finishing touches

Where did he go?

Stella
she says
reaching
for the green foamy juice
that he always orders

He said that he was going out
to look for Poyndexter

Who hasn’t been seen for a while

Because she always knocks things over
adds Doris

Everybody ignores her

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5min pressing a day (#805)

#805

Stella and Natasha
take glances
at Mr Scowleyface

As he picks through books
in the war section
in the library

In walking here
they had three roads to cross

Doris had stopped
at the cake shop
looking at the rain

Natasha said to her
this rain looks to be
particularly
wetting

Doris scoffs
at her

I don’t believe you
she said

But I’m not crossing the road

Gordje points out
that the raindrops are
generally  the same size as the others

Doris looks at him
mimicking Mr Scowlyfaces
gestures

Did you measure them?

I will take refuge
in the cake shop
says Doris

Did the families all know each other?

We had planned on it
being the happiest days of our life

Mrs Brunt and Mrs Crannach
are involved
in a serious discussion
at their usual place

They will go to the back of the library
where proper books
were
shelved

Anyway

Gordje sits amid the section
dedicated to small poetic volumes

What are you writing Gordje

I found this
slipped under my door

It is from my
Minister

I didn’t know you were
religious

My Minister
Of Foreign Affairs

A small booklet

An instructional volume

On the correct
use of the beret

On the front cover
the photo
of a happy couple
each with a beret
casually
and styley
slung on their heads

The look of innocent hope
on their faces

The colours had
clearly
been enhanced

Natasha whispers
it looks like the happiest
day

Of their lives

They’re getting married
announced Stella
clapping her hands

In berets!

On the back cover
is the official stamp
of the French Embassy

Gordje and Natasha
both
study the booklet

Forty three
appropriate ways
of wearing a beret

Officially sanctioned

Says Natasha
firmly

What are you thinking
Gordje?

I have heard
that there have been
complaints
about my beret wearing

What will you do
Gordje

We wouldn’t want this
to become an international incident

What will you do
Gordje
says Stella

I have long been thinking
about this

I already have
compiled
a long list
of design shortcomings
about the beret

Starting with the fact
that you must break
rule seven
to have it cover
both
the ears

On a cold day

It doesn’t have a peak

At all

It isn’t large enough
to put your dreadlocks
in

If you have them

Stella said

Worst of all
and woe-est
is that if you lose it
there is nothing
nothing
to facilitate its speedy
return

Natasha looks at him
for a long moment

Softly
and
silently

 

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5min pressing a day (#804)

#804

At the meeting
Natasha decided
on behalf of the group

That they would go
on an adventure

Over the hill

Is how she described it

Once you have gone
over the hill
there is no return

That’s what Mr Forbes
said

When he came inside
after an afternoon
in the garden

Recalled Gordje

It is over a different hill

Natasha replied
her words
fading
quickly

As they mixed with the atmosphere

I’ll drive
and you can be
navigator

Co-pilot
said Gordje

I’ll be co-pilot

We’ll soar among
clouds

I hadn’t planned on flying
said Natasha
but
we’ll see what happens

As she said it
her words
flew-off

Like a plane
performing
rolls
as it weaves around the clouds

Anyway
they have installed new
nets
on the hill road

She said

To stop the cars
flying
over the side

And falling
into the clutches
of
gravity

Said Stella

A touch of fear
in her voice

And a touch of excitement
too

Natasha is a very
slow
driver

Said Gordje

Slowly

My aim is
perfection
stated Natasha

Doris seemed excited

I love the Hill Road
she said
enthusiastically

I’ve heard
they are adding new
lanes
on the outside
of the corners

For those whose
love
is to squeal
past the other cars

To squeal past
slowness

Oh
said Natasha

Gordje asks
how is Mrs Susan?

She said she has
been at home
all week
crying

Any particular reason for that?

No

Oh
that’s good

I thought she might be sick

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5min pressing a day (#803)

#803

It had taken much
longer
than usual

Natasha’s morning walk
in the garden

Both Mrs Forbes
and Mr Forbes
had been out
looking
for her

That’s what Gordje said
to her
when he found her sitting
near the Cassandra statue

Maybe I was invisible
to them

She said to Gordje

Maybe I was too quiet

As quiet as the statue?

Asked Gordje

Much quieter
than the statue

Replied Natasha

Sometimes I have trouble
shutting her up

She talks
all the time

It’s just that
you
can’t hear her

Don’t feel
special
because you can’t hear her

No one else can

She told Gordje

No one listens

She told me that you will
lose
your beret

And will tell you
how
to find it

But you will have to listen
to her

No I can’t help

Yes I asked her
about the snapdragons
where they went
and when will they return

I don’t know Gordje

Suddenly Cassandra fell
silent
and didn’t answer

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5min pressing a day (#802)

#802

What do you think of this
in the Warbler

The newspaper?

Well yes
but this article

It looks like an advertisement
to me

Ok
this advertisement

There will be ceremony
in town
on Friday

Oh look!
Mrs Linda
will be conferring blessings

What?

Yes!
Mrs Linda will
be
conferring
blessings

On whom?

Well it doesn’t really say

Maybe it is for children
or pets

Or anybody
or anything
that needs them

By why is she doing it?

Maybe she has too many

I suppose she could potentially have
too many
blessings

But I doubt it

And where will the blessings
come from?

I don’t know

Anyway
why are you asking
all of these questions?

Says Doris
looking perturbed

Don’t you
believe

Well I….

What about you Stella?

Does she do spoons?

What do you mean?

Spoons
does she bless spoons?

I don’t know…

Why?

All of the spoons at my house
have become
bent

I don’t know what happens to them

Usually we take them to
Mr Geller
who strokes them
softly

The spoons like being stroked
by Mr Geller
and they return to their
original
happy
shape

I don’t know if Mrs Linda
will bless your spoons

But bring them anyway

What about you
Natasha?

Cotton socks

I have heard
that they are a
favourite
amongst
blessers

I will bring my cotton socks

What about you
Gordje

I’m not too sure
about this

It doesn’t sound
quite
right
to
me

But I will come

Just to try it out

I’ll bring socks too
woollen socks

I prefer woollen socks

Woollen socks
yes
woollen socks
I’ll bring
woollen socks
for blessing

Okay?

Okay…

Lets go then!

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5min pressing a day (#801)

#801

This morning I woke up
and felt like
dancing

Says Natasha
to Gordje
as she pushed the flowers
that were floating in her tea

Around and around
the teacup

Like goldfish
making the most
of their confinement

I went to
Ancar’s dance studio
straight away
but she wasn’t there

I saw her earlier
riding on her bicycle

Says Gordje

Past the fruit shop

Past the place
where the magnolias are
waiting
for spring

Towards
Dr Griffith’s clinic

Oh!
That sounds terrible

You know he specialises
in chopping things off

And out
added Gordje

That’s what I think happened
to Mrs Linda
during her heart surgery

I think he might have
just
chopped it out

Ooooohhhhh!
says Natasha

Are you sure?

Gordje looks down

It seems
logical

Ancar is so
sad
that she can
no longer
fly

A terrible thing
for a dancer

Perhaps he will
chop off
her legs

That would force her
to fly
again

Or swim

I heard her talking
yesterday
at Mabruks
to Missy Niksy
who said
that when she has
too many tears
she sees her doctor

Who gives her
a special
injection

No more tears

Said Missy Niksy

Flexing her few muscles

And then I grow
a  bushy beard
she said

No more sads
Gordje

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5min pressing a day (#800)

#800

Others might have spent days
in laboursome thought
before a decision had been made

Others
the lucky ones
would go to bed
and wake
with a course of action
laid out before them

Natasha had been
unusually
perplexed

Normally she would act
in the same way

That rain falls

That a watercourse
would make its way
to the sea

That a snapdragon would grow…

She had imagined her letter
in the notebook
Melissas notebook
that Natasha
had been helping
by filling out for her

Her letter
to the snapdragons
saying
how things had been
since they had left

How
her letter
would fall
from Melissas notebook
where it had been
slipped
between the pages

It would jump
as Mrs Carruthers
and Mrs Cunningham
open the book

And in a delicate way
almost in a lazy way
it would fall
towards the ground
occasionally
twisting
and
turning

Mrs Carruthers
would be surprised

What is this?
A love letter?

As she caught
glimpses
of the handwriting

As it floated
downwards

And Mrs Cunningham
would snatch it
from the floor
where it lay

And announce
definitively

That it is
merely
a note about the weather

Natasha would imagine
the letter
recoiling
when held
and addressed
in this way

She immediately
knew
that she should fold
the letter
to be like an
aircraft
a jet aircraft
that would be capable
of flying

Beyond the reach
of those two
ladies

It would fly
beyond the
known
world

To the snapdragons

Wherever they were

Carefully folding the letter
and kissing it
then closing her eyes
and throwing it

Out the window

Not wishing to
interfere
in its journey
by looking at where it went

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