The willow did weep

‘Our breath steams up the glass, in which we write love notes to nature.’

A pregnant silence held the night, and the machine clutched the people within its many cogs and wheels.

Headlamps lit up his features, a ruddy complexion, with dirt marking the lines on his face. His teeth shone with the yellowing white of too many cigarettes and cokes.
With a brown roll-up gritted between his teeth, he spun the cogs and wheels, occasionally looking at the men and women around him who spun and spun the cogs that turned, making the big machine lumber through the plantation.
He wanted to return to his little room, just up the corridor and around the bend.
He stopped churning the wheel momentarily and held still then, he exhaled a cloud of smoke before him and swiped at the beads of sweat on his forehead.

There was a buzz and then the sound of feet stampeding from their wheels as people rushed out from the mechanical room, swiping their cards in the slot to sign off from their shift.
Atwood followed the crowd, signing off with a great resignation in his soul that this was his life.

‘Good shift t’day, eh? Atwood?’ A woman with long silky black hair asked him; her teeth were white as white can be.
‘Is there such a thing?’ Atwood replied.
Sally smirked, ‘Eh, it weren’t anythin’ we can’t ‘andle t’day. No rough terrain.’ She said, her eyes shifting from Atwood to the men and women signing in for their shift.
‘Reet, true enough, ah suppose.’ Atwood replied.
Sally tilted her head, ‘Do me a favour, At,’ She jutted her chin towards him, eyes narrowed, ‘Quit ya smokin’ will ya! I worry ’bout ya, ya know.’
‘You be worrin’ on ya own life, Sal. Never be mindin’ me, like!’
‘Well, I am mindin’ ya so, I guess ya better listen up, eh?’
Atwood smiled, ‘Reet, so ah will listen. Don’t promise I ‘eard ya though’
Atwood turned to leave, walking up the corridor.
‘I’ll confiscate ya fags,’ Sally shouted after him, humour in her voice, ‘I’ll throw ’em off’t balcony!’
Atwood turned to look over his shoulder as he walked away, ‘Sure, sure, Sal.’

Atwood went to the mechanic’s balcony and looked out in the vast darkness of the night.
Sickness pulled at his stomach, and a heavy sadness afflicted his face.
Leaning over the barrier of the balcony, he looked at the shadows of all the tall conifers that surrounded him.
A tear rolled down his cheek.
He looked up toward the highest balcony on the beast they lived in. Up at the top, the balcony glimmered with a golden glow; the people that headed the government were at the head of the monster they lived in. There they sat in cosy chairs, the brains of the giant robot they inhabited.
A lone owl hooted in the distance with no reply.
Atwood sobbed.
The owl hooted a few more times in desperate need; silence held her loneliness.

The sky held no hope, for the stars could not be seen.
He made his way back inside the machine and lumbered to his room.

Diary of Atwood Harrison:

2nd March 2099

I am restless in mind and heart, besieged by the horrors of humanity. I mourn for things I cannot know in the flesh, and I hold it in my heart that I wish I had never opened up those godforsaken books.
They talk of birds like Starlings that sparkled and shimmered, that flew in their thousands, millions and made patterns in the sky.
They talk of wolves that howled their essence in the wind even longer ago.
Black-tailed godwits, The Curlew, Barn owls, pine martens, otters… The list seems…endless. Yet even they were only a small list of the whole through centuries gone by.
Oak trees stood majestic, windswept. Weeping Willows bent over riverbeds.

3rd March 2099

Oscar came around to my room tonight, and we fucked away our blues, it was at once amazing, and then it was…Shame.

I stared at myself in the mirror for a long while afterwards, my fathers ghost sat behind me – metaphorically for I don’t believe in such things – and I saw his disgust along with my mothers.
Disgust drew itself on my face, and I couldn’t bear it.

I was not the man I had envisioned. The mirror now lays in broken shards, and my hand is bloody.

When down at the cogs later on people gave me funny looks, ‘What happened to your hand?’ Sal had asked me; I told her it was nothing for her to worry about.

7th March 2099

I wept on the balcony, but I couldn’t say what for, but for everything. Everything that I have yearned for and pictured was a significant loss, even though I had never held onto any of it.

The world is a depleted canvas, and I am a hollow man built from masks and false hope.

I told Oscar to leave me alone. He left and then I wanted to beg for him to come back. If only for a night in my bed.

8th March 2099

I keep hearing a lone owl; she cries loneliness. In her hollow sounds, I am reflected.

15th March 2099

I stormed my way to Oscar’s room.

He was angry. Told me ‘fuck off.’

He was right to tell me to go.

I was ashamed of my shame.

19th March 2099

Tonight I stay in my room, where I may safely feel alone.

Stream of consciousness

The music matched the swirl of the leaves
or it was the other way around
and down another layer
that one prolonged note underpinning it
wrote my feelings in the air space
a sadness I felt remote from
yet there it was, a dark spot that harnessed my breath
harassed by the accumulation of matter
closed in by the shadows i must accept
my conscience drifting in the utterance
of leaves falling with indifference
the world seemingly born from negligence
an apathy I can’t stomach
butterflies reaching my nervous disposition
trying too hard to abide

An experiment: Fall

I feel like a computer that has eaten space cookies
sitting here on cloud 0.9
it’s like a hammock contouring to my body
holding me afloat
in the middle of the storms that are ever looming
and when this cloud bursts full of rain
I will fall head first
as if a rain drop
and on my advance, I will feel the exhilaration of falling
heartache exuding via sweat
I a fellow humanoid, being part of the fall
my heart soaring the skies of summer
before the drop of autumns blunder
and as I fall into winters backdrop
Christmas carols erase my desperation
as it travels to their voices
and colours the world in Christmas hopefuls
anything to colour the winter with something akin to joy
lest the bleakness remind humanity
of its own downward trajectory.

And as I plunge
to the place in which we’re all destined
I feel more certain than I have ever before
it’s something we all know
and it’s this moment that counts
as the seeds of my life disperse
not a nullification of my form
but a nutrient-rich dust
in which I become
Becoming the fall
and feeding the seasons
of the coming years.


I’ll smoke another cigarette
to put another nail in my coffin
I keep thinking I might be getting close to rest
but still, I keep on going
torn between fear and loathing
Why do I keep trying to do my best
Can’t I just stay in tracksuit bottoms and vest
loafing around with no will to do anything
but in jest

Why is everything always about progress
what if I just want to stay here
where I regress?

They say it’s okay not to be okay
but I still think I feel ashamed
Is it okay to not be okay
and stay the same?

The mighty Oak

I crawled into the pocket of a caterpillars universe
I saw the mighty snakes
hanging from beastly boots
the beaks of blue tits pecking away
to which they were my T-rex
and I saw time slowed
to one long blink of an eye
at night I prayed
Garrulus glandarius
Glorious Glandarius
Garrulus glandarius
Glorious Glandarius
Screeching your way through the sky
thank you for my home
the mighty oak!

There is always something that can live in the crevices of death

My words are cheap
and empty
just like me.

I say what comes
to the tip of the tongue
but underneath the letters
is a skeleton waiting
to discard this flesh.

I keep trying to commit to life, living
but I think I prefer death
without the dying
maybe I’m just afraid
of continuance

Like how the world turns no matter
the begging for it to stop
or how there is always something
that can live in the crevices of death

Because what the fuck does that mean to me?
It’s no comfort to me
that our energy continues to feed
the continuance of this monstrous world’s greed


Alternative ending

Because what the fuck does that mean to me
when the earth consumes you
while I’m still above the soil
shedding skin, dying and therefore still living?