Friday, 15 March 2019

Senga




She hadn’t chosen the name ‘Senga’. The Tour Guide had given it to her, along with a list of rules as long as her tail. It was just meant to be a little break from the daily grind, just her and her sister taking a tour of that weird little solar system out at the edge of the galaxy. 

After a longer-than-was-needed visit to that dull satellite which revolved around the planet, they had finally visited Earth itself. It wasn’t at all what she had been expecting. It smelt and was a lot dirtier than she had been led to believe. She’d talked to people who had done the very same tour, and most of them had an opinion on Earth. You either loved it or hated it.

Now she had no option. If her sister hadn’t dropped her medicine, and if her sister hadn’t asked her to pick it up. I mean they were all strapped in for a whiz around Mars. Senga (to give her, her Earthly handle) had unbuckled and ran out to get the medicine just as they took off. Without her.

She had no idea when they would return. So she had started walking along one of those highways that the humans push their metal cars along. One had stopped, and she was informed that the human driver’s name was Anthony (‘just call me ‘Tony’, babe’).
So she called him ‘Tony’ all the way back to town.

Tony was married with eleven children and would occasionally go for a drive in his car to get a break from shouting. It was fortunate that he happened to be driving past Senga at that particular time, as he had been looking for a lady-friend for his best pal Gerald.

Given that Senga wasn’t sure when the tourist module would be returning for her – if at all, she couldn’t remember ticking the insurance box about getting lost along the way – she decided she’d better make the best of it, and eventually (after a whirlwind romance) she got around to marrying Gerald.

Gerald was an ‘accountant’  - something they didn’t have where she came from, but then this planet Earth seemed to be full of lots of types of jobs that didn’t involve anything in particular. If these people and their jobs had inhabited the same planet as Senga – they would have been pushed down the Great Hole of Trident – with everyone cheering (relieved that it wasn’t them, this time).

Senga couldn’t get to grips with the life that Gerald had provided for her. It seemed to consist of Gerald working Monday to Friday, after which he went for a drink with his buddies. On Saturday, they both would watch a little box in the corner – and a thing called ‘Something’s Got Talent’ or very similar. Gerald would cry when the judges took too long to decide, or if the wrong person was sent home (the one who had a dying grandmother and the old woman was hanging on to dear life in order to see her grandson win this stupid contest).

Senga loved a Friday night when Gerald was out drinking, and she could take off that ridiculous costume, get it washed and ironed and slip it back on again - before Gerald came staggering, drunk on something called Gin, up the garden path. That would be when Gerald would get amorous and request a kiss from Senga (goodness, she didn’t even have the same organs as humans, so Gerald didn’t stand a chance). Instead, she would just give him the usual death grip and send him to his bed.

Tomorrow was Saturday, and there would be that man on the box in the corner – Simon Cowell – Senga was sure that he had been left behind too and that she had bumped into him on her planet.

It would explain a lot. 


bobby stevenson 2019

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Hope Street



“Only two kindsa folks in this life, boy. Thems with a conscience, and thems who ain’t got one.”

Then my grandpa would suck on his pipe, chuckle a little, and finally rock back on his chair.

After another couple of minutes, he reaches over to me and ruffles my hair. I’m sitting on the steps of his wonderful home, just getting ready for the night, getting for the rest of my life, getting ready for a way to my dreams.

“I know you got a conscience, boy. Just like me. The only downside is that you have to pay for it all your life. Those lucky folks who don’t think they need a conscience, well in a strange way the world belongs to them. They just go about their little lives hurting and hurting without a second thought as to what they is doing. Us, on the other hand…”

And this is where he points the end of his pipe at his chest and over to me.

“Us, well we gotta pay every day for caring. Every day forever. All on account that we was born with a conscience.”

He cleared his throat, then swallowed some.
“You need a few more bucks, kid?”

I shook my head. I didn’t want to look at him, as I knew it might start the tears – for us both.  He’d brought my brother and me up when my folks perished in a bus crash just outside Atlanta. My brother had since moved up to Massachusetts, where he’d started a little business. I was going to follow him up there. My brother had only been back a couple of times since he’d left and I guess that was what was going through my grandpa’s head as I sat there looking at the sky.

“I want you to know; you’ll always have a home here, boy. Always. And if you don’t make it back anytime soon, well, I’ll know you and me are thinking about each other. I loves ya boy. You know that — more than life itself. I know losing my daughter in that bus crash felt like the end, but bringing the two of you up, well – that was like the start of something new. You gave me hope boy. You and your kind-hearted brother. I wish the two of you well, and perhaps sometime I might just take a little trip up there and see how you are doing.”

“Sure grandpa. You’ll always be welcome.”

I still couldn’t look at him, and I could hear an emptiness in his throat.

“I want you to stand up boy, when you’re ready and walk up that street and just keep on walking.”
“What’s out there, grandpa?”

“Whatever you want it to be. But that street, well that’s your first step boy. That’s hope street.”

I stood and waved without looking around.
I never did see him again.

bobby stevenson 2019
photo: Larry Morgan Photography.

Friday, 15 February 2019

YOU'RE OKAY



Stop confusing, abusing and using -
The one that you see in the glass
Stop berating, deflating, and hating -
That soul which you treat as an ass
Stop telling and dwelling on matters that sadden
Stop blaming and shaming a heart
Make it harden
Stop knocking yourself to folks near and far
Stop saying you’re sorry
For the person you are. -------------------


You’re okay. 😊

bobby stevenson 2019

Some Thoughts for a Less Than Perfect Day......



Love and Hope
You asked me, my young one, as we sat by the sea
What life had brought to my heart.
“Was it joy, was it sadness,
Was it laughter and tears?
The kindness of lovers?
The friendship through years?
Or the dreams of a life
In a heaven above?”
“It was none of these things,
It was hope,
It was love.”
______________
 

Brighter Days

The smell of the coffee lured her in and so she sat blowing on the steam from her cup. The war had only been over a handful of weeks but already she felt that things were better. Bravely, she took a sip and looked out over the Boardwalk knowing that what lay ahead were brighter days.

He was going to hitch all the way no matter what his mama said. This was the 1950s: things are a whole lot different mama, we ain’t like you. He packed a small bag, kissed her on both cheeks and headed out the door, by tomorrow he’d be in the same town as Elvis. One bus journey was all that stood between him and brighter days.

He hadn’t asked God for much out of life, well not since the cancer hit his younger brother – and God had been listening that day. He hadn’t really pushed God for anything in recent years, so that was why he was asking him to let England beat Germany and win the 1966 World Cup. He just knew that God had caught that one too; brighter days, indeed.

She’d been walking her kids to school when the plane hit and as they crossed around into the avenue, they could see the flames shooting from the building. She was scared and she wasn’t sure what to do except hold their hands tighter. She tried to remain calm and think of brighter days, just then one of the kids asked why the bird coming from the building was on fire.

He lost everything when the bank went under, everything, the house, the car, his job and no matter how much pleading, his wife. He was working in a car wash now and the depression had disappeared down the drain with the soap suds and water. He had nothing left, let’s be honest, but he had his health and he knew that brighter days lay just up ahead.
It was all we ever needed, the smile of brighter days.
_______________________________________

We Need Your Heart To Sing Its Song

Don’t cry too long
My little one
The world is waiting on your smile
Don’t listen to the midnight whispers
It is their way
To make things dark
Don’t feel
That other hearts are hardened
Sometimes they need
To take a rest
Don’t wish that you were someone
Other
This life is only meant to test.
Don’t think
That you are somehow chosen
For all the trials in the world
Don’t cry too long
My little urchin
We need your heart to sing
Its song.
__________________________________

Today Is Going To Be A Great Day

“Today is going to be a great day,” said the little boy
Whose mother unexpectedly opened her eyes
Today is going to be a great day, smiled the old man
As the pain in his hands stopped for a time
Today is going to be a great day, laughed the young mum
As she picked up the money from the street
Today is going to be a great day, thought the doctor
As he put the diamond ring back in his pocket
Ready for the big question
Today is going to be a great day, chuckled the large man
At the bus-stop, with the sun on his face
Who was just happy to be alive,
Today is going to be a great day.

__________________________

The Luckiest People Alive

When he stood on the hill top and bathed in the sun’s rays, he wanted to celebrate his being alive. So he tapped his toe to the sound of the wind beating on the trees and he smiled.
Then a tune swept inside his head, one from before he could remember - one that his grandmother or great-aunt had sung to him as a baby and he tapped his foot.

But his other foot felt it wanted to join in too and so he hummed a tune out loud, one that had made him happy as a boy.

Now he was dancing a little jig at the top of that hill and laughing and laughing and laughing still.

Then he saw his friend, his pal, someone he had known from the start of his life, make his way to the top of the hill and his friend stood beside him and faced the sun.

And his pal started humming a tune that he knew as a boy and they both danced a jig and both laughed and cried for all they had seen and all they had heard in their lives.

When the townsfolk heard the commotion from the hilltop, they ran to see what all the noise was about.

Then they too started to dance and laugh and celebrate all that was good about life.
All of the townsfolk and all of their friends sang the same glorious song to the sky.

And each of them realised that with their friends by their sides, singing, and dancing, they were the luckiest people alive.
_______________________________

One Day, My Friend, We'll Soar

One day, my friend, we’ll soar,
Far, high above these streets of darkened hearts,
We’ll tilt our wings to freedom,
And scrape the highest of the skies.
One day, my friend, we’ll soar,
Up there, all wrapped in splendid sunlight,
Riding azure blue jet streams,
Breathless with that rush of life and air.
One day, my friend, we’ll soar,
So let me take your broken body upon my back,
And both of us shall climb in painless flight,
I’ll let you rest up there, but promise I’ll be back.
_________________

Be Who You Are

Be who you are,
Be magnificent,
Be strong,
And except to those who cared too much,
The one who never quite belonged.
Be who you are,
Stand tall, unique
Be grand
The one who smiled at little jokes,
That no one else could understand.
Be who you are,
Let laughter roll the same as tears
Take pleasure in the here and now,
Not in the days or months or years.
Be who you are,
Be loved
And loving everything,
Don’t back away from chance nor dare,
You too will have your song to sing.
Be who you are,
Let happiness and joy
Break through,
The universe was wise enough
To only make the one of you.
______________________________

Just 'Cause You're Breathing.

Just ‘cause you’re breathing,
Doesn’t mean you're alive,
Just ‘cause you’re clever,
Doesn’t mean that you’re wise,
Just ‘cause you’ve faith,
Doesn’t mean that you’re kind,
Because you can see,
Doesn’t mean you’re not blind.
Just ‘cause you’re loving,
Doesn’t mean you know love,
And by sitting in church,
You don’t speak for Above,
Just ‘cause you’re hurting,
Doesn’t make you unique,
And because you feel down,
Doesn’t mean that you’re weak,
Just ‘cause you're thinking,
Doesn’t mean you don’t strive,
Just ‘cause you’re breathing,
Doesn’t mean you're alive.


bobby stevenson (some Friday in) 2019 x

Thursday, 14 February 2019

The Fine Art Of Being Different





The story was written for a charity.

Every one of us is made just that little bit different from the next person. It’s what makes us all special. Sometimes we are happy with our little special differences, and sometimes it can make someone unhappy.

And so it was with Tommy. Since the day he was born he had what the doctor called, a cleft lip. When he looked in the mirror, Tommy felt so very different from his friends. There were times in the village when he saw people staring at his lip. His grandmother used to tell him that no one else was that special and so they passed through unnoticed, but her little grandson, Tommy would always be someone to notice.

But as time went on, Tommy became more and more aware of his differences, and he wanted it all to stop. So one day in August, he went to his room and stayed there. His mother would have to bring his food to his room, and Tommy didn’t want to join the rest of his family. He was schooled in his room, and he no longer wanted to go to school.

At night when the moon was full, Tommy would sit at the window and wish with all his heart that he were just like everyone else. And then he would hum a little tune to himself.

Tommy grew big and tall, but every night he would still go to the window and sing songs loudly across the valley. It made Tommy feel good and less different.

What Tommy didn’t know was that the villagers in the valley below would listen to his signing and they all thought it was the most beautiful music in the world. To the villagers, it was the breath of an angel.

The mayor of the village sent out a group of men to find the source of the signing that made everyone so happy, but they failed. They came to Tommy’s house, but his mother didn’t mention Tommy as she thought that it could never be him and anyway he was always locked up in his room.

Then the day came when his grandmother died, and the whole family attended the funeral in the village. Tommy wore a large hat to hide his face, the one that he considered so ugly.

Tommy was very sad as they lowered his grandmother into the ground, so much so that he sang a song for her. He sang loud across the land, and all the villagers heard him, and they knew this was the boy who gave them so much pleasure.

Tommy continued to sing to stop himself feeling so sad, and as he sung, his hat fell from his head. When he stopped, he saw that everyone was looking at him. Tommy started to run for home until the mayor of the village told Tommy to stop.

The mayor told Tommy that he sang like an angel and that his singing made everyone happy. “It is the goodness of your heart and your soul that makes you sing like an angel. That is your gift from God. That is what makes you different,” the mayor said.

Tommy liked this difference, and so he continued to sing at night across the valley because he knew that it made the people in the village below happy and that was his gift from God. He was different, we are all different, and those things should be celebrated.


bobby stevenson 2019