Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


A Day

A million thoughts. Tasks undone. A list of new tasks. Neither written down, just scribbled into some obscure part of my mind, from which they surface from time to time. A spreadsheet not working quite as it should. Old stories to be refashioned. New stories yet to be written. Meetings. Dates and hours and times and fitting them all together so that everything suits and works as one. Pictures. Music. Words. Other people who need tending. Seedlings of living. That spreadsheet. The days roaring by. This constant wind of time, this hurricane, this shaping of the stone of existence into a weatherbeaten shape that doesn’t resemble in the slightest the smooth thing which emerged, unblinking, into the light of life all those years ago.

Numbers and letters, sums and words, sounds and songs, tunes and musings. Legs working to try to keep the softness of middle age at bay. Dancing lessons, crooked backs, aching extremities, sleep, lack of sleep, light and lack of sun, those vitamins to be checked and taken, those stretches, that Greek which still isn’t fluent, words of all those languages (but not enough of them) swirling around in that 90% of my brain that I still don’t use. Chess games, chess moves, puzzles that I only sometimes solve. All of this is a puzzle, all of this is that middle-class angst that I try to steer away from. The missing of hard sport to tame my anxieties and worries, that sudden expulsion of momentary and fragmentary triumph, just to let it all go (and cheering when real athletes triumph isn’t the same; no real catharsis in being a spectator).

The office is a half-finished state, notebooks and journals and loose pieces of paper just strewn where they first fell when I moved back. Loose cable, loose ends, loose this and loose that. The screen not quite right, probably a millimetre or three too high or too low, or too far left or too far right, work day book open on the desk (actually originally a dining table) with scribbles and scabbles and questions and answers, and actions, bookmark ribbon untidily draped across the right-side page. Biros and USB sticks and pens and ink and cartridges, and the mute printer, notes blue-tacked to the wall behind the screen – The 8 Lessons Of Therapy; Slow Down!; Think Through!; Read Attentively! Pictures and photos and old teams, and dead people, and those still living. Goalkeepers and outfield players, and hockey sticks, and cricket bats and cricket teams, and poems written by others, and paintings painted by others. That spreadsheet still. Must wait till tomorrow. All those spreadsheets, in fact. Those poems not yet hand-written.

It’s a glorious cacophony of living. And the eternal calendar that will still count the days when mine are gone.

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