"Except for that woman in housekeeping"
Roger Turner - Poet 

I was twenty two when the war ended
I was in hospital in Burma
Served in the 82nd West Africa Division
Lost a leg, silly thing losing a leg
My own fault, war took it, but silly bugger
It was my fault
We were in India at the time
Not much going on
Waiting for orders, ready to move on
A few of the lads decided to
well, you know...do what lads do
And we got a footy game going
Just a few of us
Major was on board, officers on one side
And Noncoms on the other
Rather civil game if I must say so
The heat was dreadful
Sweat was pouring off of us
And the mozzies were eating us alive
We'd cleared a field in the jungle
Imagine, clearing a pitch in the middle of India
Just to play football with the lads
Well, we did it
I went off after the first half
Walked out past the end line
tripped and heard a click
Nothing much, just a click
I thought, bugger...ready to move on
No enemy around, and I'm going to die
In a jungle in India, playing footy
I didn't move, didn't breathe either
But, ten seconds on, it blew
And I went with it
woke up in Burma, field hospital
Leg was gone, two fingers and my eye was covered
But, I was alive
All I wanted was a tea
And to know who won
silly bugger, no leg and I want to know who won
Never did find out
It seems I stopped the game
silly bugger
Well, here I am now sixty eight years on
Can't play footy anymore
Live in a veterans unit in Warwick
Oh, sorry, where are my manners?
I'm Arthur Johnston, lance corporal
No medal like those American chaps
No leg, but, no medal
Victoria Cross and St. Georges
not for this lad
Just doing my duty
Playing football in an Indian jungle
Wish I knew who won though
Getting dressed to go down stairs
Ceremonies start in half hour
I'm the last one left from my lads
Tuttle passed last spring, leaving me
Oldest one it here it seems
Except for that woman in housekeeping
She was a warden with CD
Got everyone in the tubes
During the blitz
Tough old crow she is
Took a brick in the head they say
Made the paper for that one
I lost a leg playing footy
Got a free trip to Burma
Can't get around too well anymore
They've got a special chair for me
Just for the ceremony
I have to lay a wreath
Funny thing, I looked at it
Plastic thing, poppies and ivy
Made in India
What are the chances?
I lay the wreath, salute the flag
and they put me away for another year
Well, better me than that old cow in housekeeping
At least that's what I say
Next year it could be me gone
Never can tell, eh?
Picked that up from a Canadian chap
Ridley Wilson, from British Columbia
I think it was British Columbia
Oh, here they are
time to go down and do my duty
Just like I have for the last 68 years
And the two before
Imagine, 70 years in service to the crown
That's longer than the Queen
Bless her cotton socks
Well, one thing I do know
It was worth it
Every last second of it
Up the empire I say
Even though we don't have one
A Commonwealth now,
Come to think of it
India's not ours anymore
and I think Burma's gone
funny thought,
I lost a leg playing footy
In a country we don't have
ending up in a place that doesn't exist
Just my luck....
Eyes's front, Salute
Oh am I going to feel that tomorrow
God save The Queen

Marsha Singh Aug 2011

When you are over me,
I'll pluck my poems from your hair
and shake them from your sheets;
I'll take longer than I should.

"all debris under the bed left behind by housekeeping. Her lifeless eyes began to close and s"
Jene'e Patitucci 

She knelt there on the dusty, stained carpet that stung her bloody knees through torn nylons. The lighting was bad and the air was heavy. Her frame shivered in the warmth of the cheap hotel room of which she wasn’t even sure how she made it to. Her chest rose and fell violently as tears stung across her cheeks and fell like bullets to her sides. Her heart, or what was left of the mutilated muscle, pounded against her ribs like mallets to a vibraphone. She could no longer feel the pain.

Her weak hands grasped the handle of the blade like a child holds mother’s hand, and she realized then that the furniture here wasn’t waiting for her to put on a show. There were no cameras. There was no microphone. No people. No bodies. No eyes. No ears. She was alone. There was no use imagining it as a heartbreaking scene in a movie; a tear inducing, award-winning music video; a postcard. But she moved like a dancer in her mind’s eye as she tightened her grip on the knife in her hand and a tear played across her lips, now bringing in air between them softly and lightly; barely alive. All she wanted was for him to burst through the door, screaming, and run to her; and hold her. She imagined it in her mind; she thought of the whole act, but she wasn’t sure when his lines were. She waited, hesitated as the ceiling refracted shadows of a different world with each passing car on the highway that brought her far from home and into comfort now torn from her soul. No one was running to her, no one was chasing after her, this time.

The blade plunged deep into her chest with an unstoppable force from something preternatural within and without her. Her breathing was fast and harsh as her eyes darted around the room they had shared briefly. Her head spun faster than the walls. The red stain grew across the front of her dress like a flower blossoming. Tears filled her mouth as she finally accepted the realization that she would die here alone and he wasn’t going to find her just in time like in all the stories; even the real ones.

She fell gracefully like feathers from the sky to the floor, to her side. As she bled out she hoped she would think of all of the beautiful moments she had experienced in her life. She hoped she would think of all of the things in life that used to make her happy. She hoped she would think of his face, his touch, his smile, and her love for him.  She hoped she would regret her choice. She hoped she would feel something, anything at all; but all she could think about was how she’d like to notify management about the collections of dust and small debris under the bed left behind by housekeeping. Her lifeless eyes began to close and she knew for the first time she would actually get some rest. In her last moment she felt like the universe; beautiful and infinite and empty. She faded from the world like snow on warm skin as the door opened in slow motion and his blurry shoes couldn’t carry his body to her side, like in all the stories; even the real ones.

He knelt there on the dusty, stained carpet. The lighting was bad and the air was heavy. His frame shivered in the warmth of the cheap hotel room of which he had only paid for hours earlier. He collapsed into himself, weeping silently, wishing he still loved her.

This was a flash novel I wrote earlier this year to a piece by the band Caspian
you can find the music here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMdvdpHph9U
I suggest listening and reading along slowly
I have no rights to the music

© 2012 Jene'e Patitucci
"She kept up with her housekeeping."
emma joy 

She kept up with her housekeeping.
Typically. Very Neat. Shelves everywhere.

Today, the melon baller was out of place
and she was busy batting flies.

Actually, there was only one fly.
Senses deceived.

The humming was too loud to go undisturbed.
Attention becomes focused digitally

on enhanced minute wrecks.
Hours spent trying to get the flies.

Illusion.
One fly.

She didn't know. Suspected worst.
Kept at it.

The sexless man walked in with a tophat. Brimmed.
Asks why the dishes weren't done.

Too Busy.

Why the floor not swept.

Too Busy.

Vacuum.

There's flies to get. I'm busy.


The house is a mess. The house is a wreck.

"sp; where Harriet and Peter set up housekeeping after their marriage."
Judi Romaine 

I¹m not sure how I came to be obsessed with Dorothy L. Sayers and her
beloved Peter Wimsey.  At any rate, I was determined to go on a pilgrimage
to England and walk in the places where she walked  and to see the place
where her ashes lay.  And  to ostensibly find a signed copy of one of her
books  every copy of which was beyond my economic horizons on my internet
searching.  So  I went to London  I saw her heroine, Harriet Vane¹s
Bloomsbury.  I went to Russell Square and stepped back into a time when
hotels smelled of potted meat and wet wool  and it was always raining.  I
saw    where Harriet and Peter set up housekeeping after their marriage.
Finally, I wnet to St. Anne¹s Church in Soho  DLS¹s final resting place
where she was warden for some 12 years before her deaeth in 1957.  It took
three trips to the small tower where her ashes lay under the concrete before
I could get inside and stand in that place, but I finally got there  What
is it that makes us feel connected when we stand where someone else is
buried?

And  wandering around London on our second day there  I stumbled into a
small book shop and, wonder of wonders, I asked if they had any Dorothy L.
Sayers¹ books and they said ³Are you her to look at her private library that
they had recently purchased at auction?¹  So  I now have three of DLS¹s own
books  and I have one signed and annotated in ink by her from her private
library.  I have the books sitting in my living room in a small house, in a
small town in Indiana.  But I have a part of something in my bookshelf  I
take it out periodically and fondle it  and feel like I can reawaken some
lost show in some other place and time.

"Housekeeping, taking care of myself,"
NitaAnn 

Sometimes the case of the letter
makes all the difference.  
God or god.
An important personal I or a misplaced letter i.
Summer the girl or summer the season.  
The uppercase letter delineates between importance and the ordinary.

Perfectionism is a haunt of mine.  
It is a ghost that follows me
And does not stop no matter what I'm doing.  
It kills a day in a blink.  
It turns anxiety inside/out.  
It takes away my care for something good;
Even the smallest of outcomes.

F@#k it.

That is perfectionism in two simple words.
If I cannot do it right then I refuse to do it at all.
  How dangerous is that?
Or rather... how stupid is that?

I see my world in black and white.  
Absolutes.
  You are either right or wrong.
Good or bad.  
Smart or stupid.
I have a ridiculously logical brain.
Logic is the glue that holds the shards of me together.
Without this reason,
I probably would have landed in the crazy house a long time ago.
Logic is my reality.  
If I can reason it; it exists.  
If I cannot; it must not be.

And there is the problem.
There is nothing logical about my past.
Although it seems that abusers have a handbook;
the logic chapter is always found
To be ripped out, shredded, and burned.
  They left that part of it up to us to figure out;
To understand their evil.  
That is what makes us crazy in the first place.
So the harder I try to understand;
The crazier I get.  Literally.
I cannot reason what was done to me
And so sets in denial.
I can't understand it;
I can't make it right.
So f@#k it.

The abundance of f@#k its has really slowed me down.  
Nearly to a halt and I'm not just talking about my mental healing.
This is my real life too.
Housekeeping, taking care of myself,
Dieting, exercise, blah blah blah...
you get the picture.
If I can't do it right and perfect;
Then I won't do it at all.  
All great thoughts to live by.

This thinking is not something easy to change.
It is a deep part of who I am.  
It is also something that makes me feel normal.
Normal exactly long enough until
I realize that normal people don't do math and physics problems for fun.
But I digress because my weirdness belongs in a whole other post.  

I have steps to take.
  One at a time.  
Crying just one time worked for me.
  And then I did it again.  
Getting up early once
Led to me getting up early again AND working out.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing
Sometimes it's alright to be somewhere and in between.  
I don't have to be completely healed or entirely wounded.
  
I'm still crazy;
Even with the steps towards tears and feeling.  
But I have progress now
Because I have downgraded letters;
Even if it is just one.
Now I'm just crazy.

crazy with a little "c"...

"A good housekeeping award, she ain't gonna win."
Nat Lipstadt 

Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast.
Maple syrple, microwaved hot.
Secret ingredient,
Secret no more!
A splash of vanilla in the batter.

We chat about this n' that.
About the play,
She didn't love it.

About the daughter-in-law's cleaning skills,
A good housekeeping award, she ain't gonna win.

Her grandma from Austria,
Seeing ugly would call it
Unlovely.

I am thinking,
Your genetic humanity, betrayed.
What a great poem that would make....

She is thinking, boy,
You needs haircut bad.
But she don't nag,
As my hair has drifted to one side,
Instead she just calls me
Gumby....

There is always a way.
There is always a way,
To say it softer,
Say it easy on the ears,
When you can't say nothing.

It takes practice.
It takes into account,
Nobody at this here breakfast table is
Perfect exceptin' for the
Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast,
Which has left the table.

It takes a splash of vanilla in your
humanity,
To say it right,
When sometimes, what needs saying is the
Unlovely.

See banner photo of my hair.  So I email her my poem. Ten minutes later she is weeping in my arms uncontrollably.  What idiot (me) wrote, women, so easy to read...
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