THE BASIN

Over the basin columns of rain run thick against the dying land. A landscape bruised ochre by Autumn’s swinging fist. The trees shake. Coming darkness moans. We run.

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Image created using a plastic lens and old 35mm cinema stock.

WHY IS HAVING GOOD PEOPLE SKILLS IMPORTANT?

The year is 2020. Tensions between the Trump administration and North Korea climb with ferocity to nuclear boiling point. With the slam of a few fists, missiles streak across the pale morning, mere dots against an infinite and cloudless blue sky. Soon other nations join in the fray, and a radioactive hellfire sweeps mercilessly across the planet, engulfing the civilised world, nature and all.

But somehow, you survive. Emerging from the ruins of your once proud office block, you stumble over the charred pencils, blitzed computers and melted coffee machine. Wandering through the empty streets, you search for others.

After days of no luck, surviving on only a few drops of water and an empty stomach, you see a campfire burning in the distance, and hear the muffled sound of voices. Your heart leaps. Survivors! Your mind and mouth excite with the promise of food and drink, so much so that you can feel a desperate sliver of saliva collecting on your parched tongue.

Clambering over the mountains of rubble, you speed towards the other survivors, wildly swinging your tired arms and legs as if dancing a mad tango in celebration. Then it hits you. You freeze, and gaze upon the ragtag camp of survivors in despair.

You didn’t attend the people skills seminar in the office last month! Not only that, but you even phoned in sick - said you had been on the toilet all night, that you couldn’t possibly make it in. Then you spent the whole day just lounging around the flat in your pants eating ice cream. Oh how you miss ice cream.

And it was true: you should have attended! You aren’t a great people person, you come off as rude and impatient, you don’t like communicating with others, you’d rather listen to the voice in your head than the voices of others, and the word positivity  was certainly not in your vocabulary.

Panic runs through your veins - how will I relate to these other survivors? How will I strike a conversation, share with a smile, listen to their stories of old, and help out others in need?

You collapse to your knees, on a heap of broken glass and jagged stone. Clutching your fists, you cry out in anger to the grey and hopeless sky. Bringing your head to the floor, you wish that you could go back in time, to that fateful day of the people skills seminar. Then you would not phone in sick, nor lounge around in your pants eating ice cream all day (oh how you miss ice cream!).  No - you would attend!

You’d sit on the front row, shoot your hand in the air to answer every question, take the lead in team building exercises - and all with a smile of positivity  on your face! Then you’d walk out of that seminar a new man, a people skills man, ready to make the world a better place.

But you can’t go back. The seminar, the office, civilisation as you know it is gone forever. Standing to your feet, you shoot one last look at the campfire and walk away, the sound of laughter disappearing into the air.

https://www.activia.co.uk/scholarship-uk

 

 

SPRING

Thick with tall grasses waving their solemn green heads in a slight of summer wind, the meadow is littered with purple orchids that dwell brazen between the slender blades, whilst buttercups reach their tender yellow heads for a taste of the warm breeze. At the edge, red campions tremble nervously beneath a gruesome brush of blackberry and gorse.

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WINTER

I sit alone on the lichen-licked bench where we would spend those sad Sunday afternoons, our lives interlocked and flowing with foolish impossibility, the world rolled red carpet before us as we watched it sigh slowly by. Only a whisper of icy wind can be heard tonight, broken by the occasional drum-hum dour of humdrum soul passing home via headlight, unaware of my eye peering indifferent to the below.

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MIDDAY

Caked-up in makeup, seventy-plus old standing cold under broken bus shelter, wishing it would fold -

already-drenched drunks huddled in midday hovels, illuminated by the flickers of TV sets, trapped in their liquid nets - 

then the sudden bell slap for noon, another sad Saturday -

Sunday soon.

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Image created using a Lomokino.

MORNING

Preacher stands at the fore, blazing light of truth on either side, directs this cut-down congregation to the up above commandments, carved on stone unseen.

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Image taken using a Lomokino.

AFTERNOON

WATCH, as the clouds recede from dirty blues fringed with a dying red, as the sky shifts through a million and more cool tones
more welcome to the naked body than any ocean. The midges begin to nip at my flesh in desperation for a final meal before dark, to taste our blood and maybe my memories too. A bat begins to weave impossible through the hanging air, its plan laid to perfection whilst avoiding the sun’s sweet burn, a ballet before the revealing moon. 

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Image created using a Lomokino. 

 

FAL ESTUARY #4

Estuary today is like wet between woman’s thigh.

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Image created through the wet lumen process.

FAL ESTUARY #3

The estuary is like man who sits quiet behind doldrum desk - flat, smooth, ruffled by a change in wind but barely changing himself, existing but rarely intruding,

yet beneath is a salt-strewn murk, where a myriad of secrets fury away within, all feeding and fighting - fucking - where most can only drift on the surface, occasionally dropping hook in and hoping for the best,

few plunge their bodies but ne'er more than an hour or so before fear takes grip on their once warm hearts: ESCAPE,

the mind screams fraught with shattered fear, drowning in filthy green.

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Image created through the wet lumen process

FAL ESTUARY #2

At night the shipyard blazes with light of sunken stars, creamed sweet from a galaxy not too distant to the milk of ours - cold, gnashing steel, suffocating to the brim - no place to go go gone.

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Image created through the wet lumen process.