Thursday, 22 June 2017

Once Upon, A Long Ago





Once upon, a long ago,
I saw a life of hope
And so,
I dreamed myself with smile
And mirth,
A charming life to death, from birth
But living twisted all I did
The rules were changed,
My fortunes hid,
I wish my days had run just so,
Like once upon,
A long ago. 


bobby stevenson 2017

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Every Breath You Take



His name was Charlie and he was a kid. Charlie was lucky enough to be living through his best years. His mother, father, brother and sisters were all well, all happy, and all in that little perfect bubble that happens from time to time in life.

When Charlie was eight, he had his first birthday party which involved all his friends coming to his house. This was Charlie’s first proper party.

Charlie’s parents were like ducks on water, everything seemed calm on top, but both of them had to paddle extremely hard to keep themselves and the family from sinking. Not that 
Charlie knew any of this, or of the double shifts that his father had worked that previous week to afford Charlie’s first grown-up party.

Charlie, his brother and his dad all blew up the balloons. Charlie inflated the red ones, his brother the green balloons and his dad the yellow ones. Both Charlie and his brother used little air pumps to inflate them all, but Charlie’s dad just blew them up with his own breath. This was his youngest son’s first real party and he wanted to give it everything he had.

That night, after the party, Charlie’s dad felt a pain in his left arm, then his chest, and with only time to quietly say ‘goodbye’ he closed his eyes for good.

The next morning, Charlie’s grandfather took down all the decorations – anything that reminded the family of happier times – and burst all the balloons. Or so he thought.

Charlie sat in his bedroom, scared to cry for his dad, since he felt that if he started again, he would never stop. That was when he noticed the yellow balloon in the corner of the room, with a little note attached ‘Happy Birthday, my boy, I am so proud of you, love dad’.

Suddenly it struck Charlie that there was still a part of his dad alive. In the balloon was his dad’s breath – a little piece of him – something that he had made while he was happy.

So Charlie, very, very carefully drew a little face on the yellow balloon and talked to it, as if it was his dad. In the corner of his room was a little bit of his father and he was still with him. When Charlie woke in the morning the balloon was still watching over him.

The next night he could hear his mother crying in her room, and so Charlie took the balloon into her room and told her the story. That night the two of them slept in her bed watched over by the balloon filled with his dad’s breath.

Charlie tried everything he could to stop the balloon getting smaller and smaller – his dad was disappearing and leaving Charlie for good. Charlie’s grandfather heard his grandson crying and came into to the room to help. Charlie told his grandfather about the balloon and how it was losing his dad’s air.

His grandfather held Charlie and told him that it was only his dad returning home. His grandfather, and Charlie, and Charlie’s dad didn’t come from here, they came from out there – far away in space. He told him that Charlie’s dad would need his breath out in the stars and that it had to return to him. Charlie’s grandfather said that Charlie could keep the balloon with him to remember his dad, but in the end it was what a person left in your heart that counted – nothing else.


bobby stevenson 2017

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Idle In 100 Words






In that long, ago summer, the city was like an inferno, there were ain’t no place to cool your heels. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the heat’s fault, at least not directly. It’s just that I had come back from a war, and all those devils were still dancing on my shoulders.  I checked my pockets and I counted 53 bucks and 17 cents; not enough to change the world, perhaps, but maybe enough to change mine. I jumped in the first cab I could find and headed to Idlewild airport; I just needed to be happy again. 


bobby stevenson 2017

Rest


I know you’re tired of that twisted road,

Tired of climbing those hills,

Tired of getting to the top of one,

Only to have to drop down into another valley,

So why not just kick off those dusty shoes,

And sit with me a while,

No need to talk,

Come listen to the birds sing,

Feel the sun on your face,

Or the rain in your hair,

Know that we are sitting next to each other,

Neither of us is the enemy,

We are both only trying to keep going,

Remembering that some days are harder than others,

It’s life that we are both battling,

So, close your eyes, breathe in gently,

And know that we will both get back on the road again,

In a while.

 

bobby stevenson 2017

Monday, 15 May 2017

THE SECRET OF LIFE




He wondered if maybe everyone else in the world knew the answer to it the question, and that perhaps he had been in the restroom when they were all being told.

He couldn’t see why everyone else was able to smile, walk and talk at the same time and he found it impossible.

Life was stupid, and sad, and basically it got him down. He saw the kids in school who all seemed to be able to cope with things. Now and again, he imagined he saw a look in another person’s eyes that said – I don’t understand this either – but if he looked again, it normally had gone away and he thought that perhaps he had only imagined it.

So one Friday morning, he decided that he wasn’t going to bed that night until he found out the secret of life. Was there a book they had all read, and he hadn’t seen? Were there classes he could go to that would tell him everything he needed to know?

The first person he met in the hall was his Grandfather.
“Granddad, what is the secret of life?”

And his grandfather thought carefully, scratched his beard, and then smiled.
“The secret, my little special boy, is to tell everyone what they want to hear. I tell your Grandma she looks lovely everyday of her life. I tell you you’re good at football.”
“But I ain’t good at football, Granddad.”
“Who says? Not me.”

And his grandfather walked away whistling to himself.
The boy went down to the kitchen where his mother was making breakfast for him.
“Sit down, little one,” she says to her son.
“Ma?”
“Yup?”
“What is the secret of life?”

She thought for a while and then looked up at the ceiling. The boy looked at the ceiling too, to see if there was something his mother was reading – but there wasn’t anything. Just a big stain from where his grandfather had let the bath overfill, last Christmas.
She ruffled her son’s hair.
“What’s got you in this mood?”
“Just wondering, I guess.”
“Well let me see. The secret of life is to get up every morning even when you don’t want to. When you know there are folks depending on you, that’s what makes you jump right out of bed.”
“And that’s it?”
“That’s it.”

His dad walked with the boy down to the school bus.
“Dad, what is the secret of life?”
“Is this a school project you were supposed to do?” Asked his father.
“Nope, just wondering.”
“Well ain’t my boy growing up.” So his dad thought for a while and looked up at the sky. The boy looked up too, to see if there was writing in the clouds, but there wasn’t.
“Well son, the secret of life is to do what your Mom says.”
“That’s it?”
“That’s it.”

Later in the morning, his teacher, Miss Sycamore was teaching about the Arctic Circle. She asked the class if there were any questions.
The boy put his hand in the air, and when Miss Sycamore, pointed to him, he asked:
“Miss Sycamore, what is the secret of life?”

All the kids looked at the boy, who had gone a little red in the face.
“That’s a strange question for a lesson about the frozen north. Let me see.”

And like all the adults, she looked at the roof too, as if she was getting some sort of inspiration.
“The secret of life is to do your homework, wash every day and pray every night. Yep, that’s it for sure.”

The boy thought that maybe this was more to do with Miss Sycamore, than the secret of life.

That night as he lay in bed, he realized that everyone had a different secret for the way they dealt with life.

Just like Miss Sycamore, the secret seemed to be to do with what made you happy. But what, thought the boy, if what made you happy, didn’t make other people happy?

So he got down by the side of his bed and started praying.
His older brother, who he shared a room, started whispering real loud.
“What you doing?”
“Praying.”
“At this time of night?”
“Is there a good time?”
“Yep, never. What’s got your goat?”
“I want to know the secret of life.”
“The secret, little brother, is to keep your mouth shut so you won’t get beaten up.”

And with that his brother rolled over and went back to dreaming of being a big baseball star.
The boy clasped his hands again and started praying.
“Dear God, if you could tell me the secret of life, that would be really good. Amen.”
With that the boy jumped back into bed and fell asleep.

It was in the morning, at breakfast, as he looked around the kitchen. There was his Mom cooking, as she always did, and like she always did, she looked over and blew him a kiss. There was his grandfather and brother arguing about some sport thing or other, and both of them tussled the boy’s hair as they passed.

Then it struck him; wasn’t the secret of life just to appreciate what you had? There was always something good in a life, and sure there were lots of bad things.

But one good thing, sunk a thousand bad ones, and the boy smiled all the way to the bus stop.

All the way.

bobby stevenson 2017

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Waiting For The Winds To Blow





I’m waiting for the winds to blow,
And someday soon, or later,
They’ll take me on a voyage,
To a land of somewhere greater.

And if we do not get the chance
To wish you ourselves goodbye,
I’ll look for you in kinder places,
As I go sailing by.

I’m waiting for the winds to blow,
To take my heart away,
And ‘though, we drift apart awhile,
We’ll kiss again, someday. 

bobby stevenson 2017