A visit from Mr Leonard

Tersiiska Key


A knock startled him from the drowsy afternoon, and he pushed himself up from his armchair to open the door.

‘Hello ?’ he said to the stranger just outside.

‘The name’s Leonard.   I’m looking for a Mr Guido.

‘Well, come in.  Take a seat.. over there..Mr Len,  by the window.’  Said Guido.

Leonard picked his way through an untidy room carefully and sat down.

‘Like a glass of water then Len ?’

‘No thanks Guido, I won’t be too long I suspect.

Guido, now wide awake and a bit worried took a seat back in his armchair across from Mr Leonard.

Guido, let me introduce myself, said Leonard.  I’m a monk and actually from another time, far back in the past. 6th century France that’s me. Don’t be alarmed though anything is possible to God who gets me around anytime and anywhere depending to help out.   I’m here now though responding to a significant amount of prayers which had been said on your behalf over the past few years.

Guido responded simply, ‘That’ll be since the war broke out then. I’ve been stuck in this far flung sun burnt country since that time and spent the whole time as a POW, incarcerated here.

‘Well I presume you’d like you’re freedom back wouldn’t you.’ said St. Leonard. [he was in fact St. Leonard] who brought out a large key from one of his coat pockets. ‘Here’ he said, handing over the key to Guido. ‘Just hang onto that for now.’

I don’t know if I really want to leave anymore.  you see it’s ironic in a way.  When war broke out, we were all rounded up in trucks by the military police and sent to these vineyards here to work the land and the vines and keep the economy rolling along. At the same time, the local boys were all conscripted sent off to the way, leaving their crops, dogs and women all behind.  While working I met up with Sally a local woman whose husband was sent overseas to fight and she’d needed people to help run the place and keep things ticking over. Well since I stayed, we got to be close, her husband didn’t make it back and so now we’re as good as married I guess.’ said Guido.

‘Oh I see.’ It seems you would be happy to stay, but still the wristband.’ said St. Leonard.  How restrictive is it ?’

‘Well I can go anywhere I like within about 1 km.’ said Guido. It’s on a fail-safe, so if it comes off and stops transmitting, the cops will come running.  I’ve been quite lucky really and feel quite protected, even though how long this war will go on for we don’t know.’ said Guido.

Guido got up from his armchair and walked over to the window. Something seemed a little odd.  He looked down at the spare chair and noticed it was empty and the person he’d been talking with, this Mr Leonard was nowhere to be seen.  He looked at the key in his hand, the key given him by Mr Leonard.  It had a small cross on the end where the key should be.  He put the key down on the chair and looked out of the window.  The sun was setting over the nearby hills.  Perhaps he’d mention it to Sally, about Mr Leonard and the key to his freedom.


Key Photo : Tersiiska : Flickr – Used with permission 2014

When the mo-poke calls

Tersiiska Tense Dark Chocolate


night sparks

and the tension starts

quiet – still

the mo-poke marks

the time

of the bitter night dark

Its good chocolate to take just in case. Dark tense and bitter sweet. When memories strike back, I gently push them into the compartments in the train, on tracks of memory creased into the land and  held down by the iron gravity of a slight bend in time.  The time we’re here to make our mark.

Memories start as pages nice and neat and friendly categorized. On floors on stairways and on the darkened corridors of the upper floor.  Pages and pages, but non so organised as to be in a brightened book.  But recently now in November dark, I remember things that happened, the bitter chocolate things that shouldn’t have been and for many years with tense energy I had pushed them. Pushed them again into those far flung corners of the house.  Out of site and out of everyone’s mind.  But now unfortunately those memory doors are unlocked and ghosts coming out of the cupboards with broken locks and swinging hinges.














photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tersiiska/15618922691/

Para Sol Para Memo

‘Its going to be hot. 40c today  – no rain though – maybe bush fires!’.

‘do you think the spiders hiding behind the lizard thermometer on the window will notice ?’ she’d said.

‘You know there’s only one little black guy – perhaps it ate the other one’

‘Yes they weren’t the same kind – so maybe ?’ – I agreed.

I had dressed looking forward to the early morning walk to the train. Took some care. not too much. Then thought about the hat – perhaps the white one from Seville – been round the world a few times and a great design for the sun. Perhaps the black Akubra with a range if native bird feathers. A guy with a trumpet smelling of alligator had stopped me in JFK. He’d acclaimed how bad the white hat was and perhaps I’d sell it to him – the black hat a bit too formal and winter season – not good and therefore not bad enough.

I stood near the door – looking through the glass at the solitary thermometer hugging spider – – 30c it read  and it was only 8 am.

I remembered of Bogota Columbia where in Chia, a nearby village I remember the band at the local restaurant on a Sunday.  The leader had a parasol which doubled as a conductor’s baton – terrible bad music with raucous trumpets, strident violin and a single side drum, no alligators, but massive strong sun – under the parasol he conducted and sang the lead.

It was the light that reminded me of that time, perhaps the light and the spider, perhaps the light, spider and lizard.  But that’s the beauty of memory for ideas.  They come straight out memory beaming at you like.

I grabbed the umbrella as I opened the door.  Perhaps it would make a real bad parasol para mi.

Had to see a man about a dog.

Stand all alone, bare beach

Cold hands warm waves sandy feet

Bag of oysters – sharp as rocks – good to eat

but the love, of his life, out of reach

Should she ever coming back forgive the heat of the conversation when they meet last time ?

He really wasn’t sure of that and feeling quite level headed decided that actually there may never be another conversation.  He turned around and stepped southward along the shore walking along the water margin and whistled to his dog to catch up.  At least Oscar would stick with him he hoped.  The stars were coming out and he stopped and looked into the sky.  There was constancy there in the dark with the celestial sphere up there.  Gradually rotating inexorably at the same speed day in day out.

‘Oscar! – he shouted over the sound of the waves.

A bark and the dog was up to him already standing back and waiting for him to throw something.  He picked up a bit of driftwood and through it into the waves. The dog bounded in after it and after some few moments came bounding out of the water, flicking salt slake all over the place and then giving  a good shake after dropping the wet stick at his feet.

“ok you old joker — Oscar, I suppose you’ll miss her as well – eventually.  What if the whole world slowed down and the days got longer and the stars moved slower, he asked ?  Would the moon care Oscar ? Just because the days get longer, doesn’t mean the year would. Still take the same number of heatbeats….. all totally wasted no doubt.  Would she notice ?”

The dog barked – still waiting for him to pick up the stick.

He picked up the stick and started drawing in the sand.  First a heart, then some initials then – the dog sniffed and barked again.  They both sat down and got out the bag of oysters.

Shucks the oysters

wags the dog

moonlight glistens

stars are gone

warm waves sandy feet

suck the oysters – aftertaste – feel the beat

but the love, of his life, out of reach