Gerry Mark Norton

Squatting on the grass, holding the empty Newcastle United mug drained of its perfect cup of tea. I break off four leaves of ivy for the rabbits, which they devour ravenously. The sun has almost set on the day, the air patient as a spiderweb; calm and drowsy. The birds have stopped chirping, their territorial trills now replaced by the sounds of jangling cutlery coming from ajar high-rise windows.

I’m wearing my best outfit – Adidas with Caterpillar laces, jeans, small black t-shirt that shows all my tattoos and my modest muscles – and I feel like Me. So masculine. Ahem.

Topsy laps littlely from an algae-dashed water bowl on the patio; Mike sits regally by the disused sink that marks a rabbit’s grave. I hear the Chinese baby next door grizzling its eyes out again.

Galloping through the trees…my lips apart, with welling eyes, absolutely still…Delius’s Daybreak from somewhere, accompanied by the trailing echo of the entire outside world…I fly like Peter Pan…I soar…I am alive…I don’t fly anywhere, I crouch still, but I have a glimpse – or should I say another glimpse, a re-glance, like life is trying to reveal itself to me, having already tried previously, and countless times, because I never heed its advice…but it isn’t my fault! It’s too difficult…I’m at a loss…I can’t make it easy, I don’t know what else I can do…if it is possible to reach your world, then you need to make the directions clearer! I am truly, properly alarmed, that with all my will I am still telling stories of sitting in the same east London garden like it’s any kind of achievement…that I feel an inexpressible knowledge that does not benefit me, despite its transience and dimension-permeating splendour…wordless certainties are unprovable…my beauty can never be shared, only hinted at, only etched on littoral banks, tilled into wet sand before an oncoming tide…the seedlings disperse, become lost in the liquid vastness…

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

  1. MM welcomes Gerry with this fine piece of writing. I like his ability to relate the exterior world to the internal. I’m reminded of something Erich Fromm said about a man sitting still and relating to his environment in a conscious manner. He suggested that this is the most productive of things, since it’s only those who are aware who can commune thus, that the man out there driven my forces beyond his control, working hard, is a slave to something, whereas the thinking man is as close to free as possible…badly put, but something like that…

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