A response to the prompt “listening to ourselves”

How are You?

How are you?

A simple greeting,

most of us use it.

What does it mean?

Is it really asking

the question,

or is it code

to be deciphered.

Does it require

an answer?

The Irish will say,

expecting it

mirrored back,

“How’r ya…”

which , translated,

means, hello.

So often, “how are you?”

is short for,

hello, nice to see you,

but please don’t

actually tell me,

how you are,

I haven’t got time

to listen to you today.

But occasionally,

with upspeak tone,

and a soft pause,

we hear the question

and know someone

will listen.

“What about this one

“Wow, love that.

Put it here, in the bag.”

Rosie runs on the beach,

looks for more shells,

for a few seconds,

to be sad.

Her soft hair

Wafts in the wind.

Waves rush in.

Within me oceans rise up,

to meet them.

With my sleeve, I

Wipe tears from my eyes.

Musn’t let her see me cry.

Only three, not aware.

The seriousness,

the sadness,

the significance,

of the morning’s events,

Wash over her.

Just for these moments,

she is free.

She run’s towards me.
“Gram’s, I’m cold.

Can we go home now?”
I pick her up, hold her close,

bury my face in her coat.
Can we?

I wonder.


Slowly, the butterfly

emerges from its cocoon,

opens wide it’s wings,

reds, yellows, blues,

all hues,

sparkle in the sunlight.

It readies itself to take flight,

You, like the butterfly,

you also, have gone

through many changes,

you also, have had

a long journey.

Now, you also

are beautiful,

you also, are free.

Fly little butterfly,


Like entering the tomb,

I step from grassy hill

through an outer, modern, brick wall,

down, into this small, dark space.

There, feet in two inches of

muddy water, my eyes try to focus

in the dim light.

A whiff of ancient ancestors,

still held in these old stones.

Jangling, clinking

rosaries, haunt

the ruined altar.

I expect an apparition of St Piran,

in brown habit, halo round his head,

to shimmer past.

In silence I pray for

a new life.

Snippet memories of my nan.

A few poems

The Range

Scrunched up newspaper in hand,

You rub the top of the range.

Every morning,

You perform this ritual.

A little bit of spit,

Your strong arms working,

Back and forth,

Then, circular movements,

till it shines.

Standing back, you inspect your work,

Your sigh of satisfaction,

Is not just in the job well done,

It says, I’m still here, still alive

You throw the dirty newspaper

Into the oven.

And smile


You take your old black bag,

One, you’ve had since

way back in my memory,

One, who’s leather

The Coffin

I peer down at you,

Your face serene, wrinkles smoothed out,

A heavenly countenance.

Your hands clasped together,

Resting on your favourite dress,

The blue one,

What is that weird, stretchy, material?

I’ll remember in a minute –

Oh, yes, crimplene,

In your hands-

Hands, that milked cows,

Toiled in harvests,

Baked soda bread,

Scrubbed kitchen floors,

Softly caressed loved ones-

In those hands, gnarled

with a full life lived-

your rosary,

wound between your fingers,

as it used to be,

when we,

prayed together,

in the kitchen, or

in your bedroom.

Your sing song voice,

Speaking to love itself.

A little piece from a few years ago, written when me and my husband found ourselves with the house to ourselves as the children had all left home. Two have boomeranged back in the meantime so, there is no more butter, except at Christmas.

Butter or Margarine

Are you a butter or margarine person? Why do you make that choice?

Is it that you love butter but it costs twice as much as margarine , so there’s no real choice, you just can’t justify having the butter?

I slurp as I lick my lips and my fingers as butter melts into and drips…

Staring at a blank page is disheartening, especially when I don’t know what I am going to write.

But, here I am. I stare out of the window, watch clouds move quickly across the sky, watch trees sway as if they’ll uproot themselves and walk away.

Back to the page, that white space that my eyes don’t want to focus on. I make them. Right. Now. What do I write? How do I start?

Since finishing, for the present, with the memoir, I’m at a loss as to what to write about. My Ideas don’t seem to want to know…


This old building needs restoring after long grey years,

scarred with use and abuse, concrete slabs crumbling,

broken windows of shattered dreams, vacant eyes staring.

Shape a scaffold with forklift and crane…

and mascara …

Cover the cracks, the tracks, from every tear that smacks

of fear -

who hears anyway?

Fill in the holes of memory loss, though no one gives a toss,

that it’s going that way.

Repaint the facade of this body, scrub white, green slime-

Disappointment, pain,

leave in the rain,

stand tall again,

proud to be noticed.

No More Mourning

Staring out of the hotel window, Grace noticed the motorbike, almost hidden in the side street, waiting. She’d seen it the morning before, when she’d watched as a handsome, middle aged, Italian man strode up to it purposefully and rode it away. She’d watched him throw his head up against the wind as it blew through his dark hair and billowed through his open shirt, exposing his tanned body.

Now she waited by the window. Three minutes, four minutes.. She was rewarded with a repeat of the day before, but this time he lingered, turned around, as if looking for…

Maz Green

Family minded writer of short stories, poetry a blog and other stuff gramswisewords.blogspot.com

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