Summer Storm

Photo by Max Larochelle

Electricity fills this heavy afternoon

with the aftertaste of a copper coin

and leaves a bitter puckering,

a thirst for freshness.

Birds swoop in manic dives,
in-flight fuelling on insects
under high pressure, shocked
into a brief low-level existence.

Earth opens her pores and

releases her oldest odour.

Distant sounds carry with eerie
clarity, disturb equilibrium,
infuse numbed senses with
a hint of imminent danger.

The valley holds its breath….

except for the rabbits

coupling in apocalyptic frenzy,
drawing comfort from everyday activities

on this,
the last day;

trying desperately to increase

their species survival statistics
as the end of the world approaches.
Until, at the last moment,
even they seek sanctuary.

The air trembles, and stretches, and

shatters into sharp light, jagged
particles ripping normality
apart,
tracing a pattern too large
to be understood here, at local level;

explodes into magnetic sound
so loud as to be utterly silent
here, at ground zero,
where the nerve centre receives a signal
from eardrums too shocked to comprehend,
via a brain in the process of liquation.

Awestruck.

Helpless.

Awestruck.

The valley is frozen in space, in time,
isolated in white stroboscopic light,
suspended inside living sound,
naked within a force of creation.

In an instant,
in a quick blink:
it never happened.

The pressure lifts, and heavy

drops of rain wash the air clean.
The thoughtful earth drinks deep.
Memory stirs like an unshared dream,

filed away for now.

For now the earth hums,
the stream sings,
the trees drum,
and the rabbits dance.

 

Achievements

Photo by Perla de los Santos

My brain is operating at slow ME speed today, and that’s no surprise, because I’ve been working it hard to meet an open call deadline.

The open call was at Tor.com, the SFF publisher who were inviting submissions of science fiction and fantasy novellas. The submission window was open from the 1st to the 15th of May, and they announced it in the middle of April.

I didn’t have anything ready to sub, but one of the titles in my ideas file jumped up and down shouting, Me, me, me! It was for an alien invasion story called Quiet Resistance.

All I had was a single-paragraph idea and a small cast of characters, so I had to start from scratch and crack it inside a month. And of course I was still (still am) recovering from a winter of scarily bad health. But I threw myself at it in a nothing ventured, nothing gained frame of mind.

And crack it I did, helped and encouraged by my friend and crit partner Deb McGowan. I submitted it last Friday, four days inside the deadline, and I’m happy with it.

Then, next day, I took part in the international ME Awareness Day. It’s held on 12th May every year, and this was the first time in several years that I was able to participate. Only online, of course. That’s where I live as far as the outside world is concerned. But I wasn’t alone in that, because so many of us #MissingMillions do exist only online for the outside world, when we exist at all.

I took that theme of invisibility and the ME meme Can You See Me? – and wrote a brief explanation beneath a nude selfie.

Eek! I can hear you thinking. WTF, David?

Don’t worry. It’s an arty rear view with my bum in strong shadow. Only my legs are on show, really. It’s still there on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, if you want to read it.

So I posted that and then spent a few hours sharing posts and photographs from other people with ME who were each participating in their own way in our day of awareness.

And then I crashed. No surprise there. It’s Monday now and I’m just surfacing. Carefully. Being as gentle with myself as I often urge my chronically ill friends to be with themselves.

You know what? I’m chuffed to bits with my achievements. The novella subbed and the day of action actioned. Chuffed to bits! 🙂

I was interviewed about life with severe ME

Photo by Rob PotterLast week, Emma over at Not Just Tired interviewed me about my life with severe ME.

“My main symptom is and has always been pain. It’s constant. The best I can hope for is that it doesn’t get worse than bad. Bad is bearable. Unfortunately it’s often worse than bad, and sometimes it’s unbearable. In February and March for example this year it was unbearable for 8 weeks without a minute’s relief. Difficult to describe what it’s like existing inside of those long episodes without getting darker than I’m comfortable sharing here.”

Interview: An insight into life with severe ME

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