ANNIVERSARY by Barrie Purnell

ANNIVERSARY by Barrie Purnell

 It is a day I try to ignore but one I cannot avoid

The day that you left me and my life was destroyed

It is a date that will always be engraved on my mind

The last day of happiness the last day my sun shined

My skies became dark I heard the lonely dogs bark

Raindrops and tears combined to make my eyes blind


I remember oh so clearly the bright spring day that we met

Your eyes were moss green and hair a shade of brunette

I see the swell of your bosom and the sway of your hips

The smell and feel of your skin and the taste of your lips

I see the tilt of your head hear the things that you said

All my previous courtships this was going to eclipse


The day that I married you was a day I could never forget

You took me without reservation said there would be no regret

Said your love was enduring your love was constant and pure

You said “I won’t let you go and for my love there’s no cure”

You promised never to leave me to hurt or deceive me

We were both so very sure that our love would endure


Our friends were there for your birthday in a country house by the river

Where our wedding vows were renewed so how can I forgive her

When she has left me without warning it was heartless and cruel

That’s what love does they say it can make you look like a fool

Love can tear you apart love can break down your heart

With love there isn’t a rule that they can teach you at school


I hope you’ve found happiness wherever it is that you are

You know my love goes with you I’ll be your lucky star

We’re not the first to have loved and lost many go before

But this avalanche of sadness has me pinned down to the floor

Everywhere I can see your face but my loneliness fades into space

I stare at the bedroom door where hangs the coat you once wore


So why did you leave me here why did you go away

I find no comfort in others’ embraces or in what they say

Not every anniversary is happy some can make you cry

Holding memories of sadness that don’t fade as time goes by

I know when truths are laid bare life is not impartial or fair

And our mortality would imply one of us would be the first to die


Then and Now by Angela O’Connor

Angela’s response to the trigger ‘then’.

Then and Now by Angela O’Connor

The party starts at 9pm. It’s 7.45 already, I haven’t washed my hair! Panic sets in. 15 minutes to wash, about 20 to dry then make-up, shit I don’t even know what I’ll wear.

‘Just put on that wool jersey tunic, you know the green one, or what do you call it “sage”. It’s got a great neckline if you know what I mean. Throw those new cream trousers on that you came home with yesterday.’

‘What about shoes?’

‘Mmm, ah yes these strappy bronze sandals, you haven’t worn them since last summer, at our party, go on they’re sexy. Perfect, you look gorgeous darling’. The smile in Steve’s voice was reassuring.

‘Thank-you, you are too kind. It’s just, well, I haven’t been out in ages. And look at the time now!’

‘Look, you have to calm down Georgie, it doesn’t matter if we’re late, sorry, you’re late. People are people, all of them our friends. Anyway, don’t they say it’s fashionable to be late.’

The words ‘true, very true’, massaged my mind as I gave myself the once over in our unforgiving full length mirror. It would have to do. I tried to remember when smiling came easily, gone, gone like my joy. I really need to change the wattage in this room.

I arrived at 9.38pm, late but fashionably so. So, with customary bottle of wine, a dry white from New Zealand, I sauntered up the driveway following the fairy lights, acting as my luminary guides.

Classic Phil Collins was playing with gleeful streams of laughter bursting out at regular beats. Surprisingly, I felt at ease – calm almost.

‘Ah Georgie, you’re here, it’s so good to see you! Let me take your things for you’.

‘This is for you Anne, happy birthday’.

‘Thanks, Georgie, my favourite white, from the Marlborough region, you are a good mate. How are you anyway?’

‘Good, yeah a lot better, thanks. I’ve even managed to stop the meds’.

‘Wonderful, that’s great news … baby steps. It’s been a horrible year, but am so very happy you made it tonight. You have to start interacting again babe. Look, help yourself to anything, everyone is here, I’ve got to rescue some vol-au-vents from the oven’. Anne leaves after a quick kiss and embrace.

An hour has passed and I’m standing, by myself, at the French doors gazing into the party at the party goers. Observing them but not being one. Detached and weary is how I feel, even in a great neckline! I want to leave. Then I feel you near me, you whisper in my ear ‘I’m sorry I left you, left us, too early but remember my love, I’m with you, always’.

I dry my tears and join the others, the music has changed.

Then by Michael Healy

Then by Michael Healy

Then is where, when or how

Though usually in the past.

Rarely is it now, nor does it often last,

Wherever the viewer recalls events,

Single or Multiple memories:

The Battle of Britain,

The Second World War.


When was then?

Simply when the memory was special,

good or bad.

When man first walked upon

the surface of the moon,

Then that was a definite then.

But, as to when he might walk on Mars?

That is a definite when,

not then.

Michael Healy

Closed Quarters by Angela O’Connor

Closed Quarters by Angela O’Connor

I hated this time of year, early June. Because it led to July when the painful memories were brought crashing into my father’s heart again. At least that would be some emotion I guess!

Walking across our cramped yet functional bare room, I shut the lounge windows, not even glancing at the park across the way. The chorus of birds could not camouflage the silence between us. Papa and me.

Work was his life these days. When he came home he sat on that hideous leather chair and read every single word of the newspaper. The piano he bought me was supposed to be my companion. It was more like a burden. Mama was a superb pianist. She died 12 years ago.

I am not her. Indeed, I cannot even remember her. My young heart is screaming for Papa to talk with me.

‘Lucia play me a song that your mother wrote.’

‘Of course Papa.’

I knew this pleased him but he couldn’t see the tears falling down my face. As they dropped onto my gliding fingers, my heart was breaking. With both pain and pride.

Suddenly, the windows burst open from the Chicago wind.

‘You’d better go to bed Lucia.’

‘If you wish Papa’.

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