Short story – Voice recognition

‘Hi George, how are you feeling today?’

 ‘I’m having trouble with my hearing. You’ll have to speak up.’

‘Okay is this better? We might have to keep it brief today if I have to shout. People are staring.’

‘But the shore is empty.’

‘How do you know?’

The only sound is the soft wash of the waves lapping the stony shoreline, and my breath echoing back on the line.

‘Why don’t you meet me at the pier and we can get a hot chocolate. They put a marshmallow on top. I wouldn’t have to shout then.’

‘Hmm, it’s too cold, maybe next week.’

‘You know you can ring my mobile. I gave you the number. It’s cold inside this box. It would be nice to sit somewhere. Or better yet I could come to your place. I can bring my marvellous marble cake.’

Silence across the line meant the answer is the usual no. Over the past two months, every Sunday morning, George had revealed by his moments of silence that he didn’t go out of his home and never allowed anyone in.

 It had been by chance that I answered the phone the first time. I waited in my car until the market ended and there were only a few stragglers walking past.  I’d set up my easel and was sketching outline of the coastal inlet, trying to create the depth of field with the mountainous rainforests in the background, when the phone rang in the red box.

At first I tried to ignore it, but it kept ringing, stopping and ringing again. In frustrated annoyance I entered the booth and said hello. The low toned voice on the other end engaged me instantly and I couldn’t hang up.

The conversation continued for over an hour with me revealing more than I anticipated and much more than what I usually share with anyone else. It felt easy to talk with another person without having a physical connection.  From then on I had set up my easel every Sunday, painting while waiting, for the phone to ring.

 ‘I don’t eat cake.’

‘By the way George, I entered my painting of the boat into the local art exhibition.’

‘Wonderful. I’m very happy you did.’

‘Would you like to come to the opening of the exhibition, I have two tickets. Only the entered artists will be there.’

‘Hmm, I’ll think about it.’

I catch my breath in my throat. This is the first time George has said he may meet up with me. My mind goes into overdrive creating pictures of the man on the other end of the line.

‘Oh, that’s great.’ I try not to sound too excited. I bite my lip trying to calm the instinct to nervously laugh.  ‘I would love it if you came. Um, how will I know it’s you? How will you know to find me?’

‘You’ll know by the sound of my voice, and I already know you.’

Natures magic

Photo taken Far Nth Qld, Australia

I stand in awe

where the wild roses grow

Sweet perfume overwhelms me

enticing me

to surrender

and lay my body down

In between Eves garden flowers

grown over years gone by

with Mother Natures tender touch

there is an impressive display

of bright stars above

that delight the senses

A flash of a shooting star

gives the gift of surprise as the world turns

aligning with the moon

shining it’s soft light down

upon me

It brings the explosion of life

in oceans older than the earth

and coral reefs bursting with colour

Connection with this magic

brings the pleasure of

natures music to share.

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Grade 4 – (me, front row far left) Happy days

The old school desk

weathered and dark in tint

faded memories

in  carved initials on wooden lids

mask secret lovers messages

left behind

After the Tempest

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Canberra ACT, Australia

 

Hungry flames ignite the landscape

in a raging tempest

 confusion and disorder

create an augmented reality

 reducing all to ash

in a 3-D landscape 

The beast within devouring fuel

until the welcome respite begins 

and life breathes anew

with heaven’s rain

 

Travelling to the unknown

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The moonlight shimmered across the rising tide water

The waves lapped the shoreline

with the wash smoothing the sand

of past footsteps

Days have been numbered

before the minds of the elders

decided if the sights of the city

disappear

 

I drink in the cool sea mist

reclaiming long ago memories

that may be torn away

with the world I have known

 

Friends and strangers connect with silent stares

all too afraid to ask

‘Are we there yet?’

 

Every person’s journey to this point

an unwanted reality or a happy confrontation

Different with past experiences

but now we are on the same path

 

All that is left here on the path

is the spirit of survival

whilst an outsider, minor few

decide the fate of many

 

It’s time for me to choose

isolation and turn away

or give my life with the many

on the dreaded roller-coaster

before my travels are over

 

 

What time is it?

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(7DayTale on twitter @BarbAnn )

Day 1 –

A long breath extended. What time is it?

Expectation initiated.

How do I measure the length of time waiting for your entrance?

Day 2 –

I wait, while ‘time’ draws us closer to a place where the revelation that perhaps ‘time’ is all but a structure,

of a cartoon parody moving across a page perpetually,

with the power of the artists bare hand

Day 3 –

Caught moving in time,

floating in our lifeboats,

to the daily, weekly, yearly, movement of others

What time is it? Will the truth be revealed?

Day 4 –

Waiting for the break in time Staying quiet when the urge to scream becomes overbearing

When can I breathe without difficulty?

What time is it?

Day 5 –

Intimate voices whisper within the walls of silence,

creating an associated expanse and a mutual relationship,

of perseption and physical elements.

I wait in this confined space, for the show to begin.

Day 6 –

Are you real?

Are you just the artist?

Watching, waiting for my compliance to join in the illusion when the time is right.

Day 7 –

It’s late

I feel light as a feather

Sunset is upon us

I wonder what time it is

I’m tired of this game

I’m ending the show

The Artist

 

 

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Irrelevant but connected time draws us close

to a mindful revelation that perhaps time

is all but some sort of cartoon image

and we are all caught

in the artists’ bare hand

The Art of Time

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Student sculpture, zoology education centre, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

 

Irrelevant but connected time draws us close

to a mindful revelation that perhaps time

is all but some sort of cartoon image

and we are all caught

in the artists’ bare hand