Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

The Complete Works, (so far!)

Hey there, and many thanks for stopping by. On this site you’ll find a collection of my short stories and screenplays for your enjoyment. Please feel free to leave feedback both good and bad – as Plato once said –  the worst thing is to just be ignored!

Even better however, would be if you could find your way to actually purchasing one of my published books using the links below, that way I may continue to dodge bullets and bailiffs with your help. All books are available online, in all reputable books stores, E-books… and no doubt soon, all local Charity Shops.

Hope you find something here to enjoy….

Best Wishes,

Mike   x

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“SPRINGBOARDS”         – A further collection of original short stories, short scripts and feature screenplays.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Springboards-Michael-G-Zealey/dp/1291060103/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369732955&sr=8-2&keywords=michael+zealey

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“BUM NOTES”          – A collection of eighteen original and diverse short stories:

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1447839889/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1447823931&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=0G9A7XND7E5NS8XMQ3Z1

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“DIFFERENT STATES”           – One Man, One Credit Card, One Continent… No Plan. A travelogue from East to West Coast USA.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Different-States-Michael-G-Zealey/dp/1447824245/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366284192&sr=1-3

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“MOLEHOLE”            – Essays on the Human Condition. The story of one man’s dark and lonely three year journey so far up his own ass that he arrived out his mouth to recount the tale to a deaf world.  (Not suitable for minors or miners.)

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Molehole-Michael-G-Zealey/dp/1447824113/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332168305&sr=1-1

Thanks awfully x

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Hackney Dusk:  “This is the gun that shot Gandhi.”

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Dusk sitting on my step smoking a cigarette in a typical London backstreet on a typical Summer evening. On the corner, where my road meets the High Street, the Eastern European accordion player recites a Balkan melody, pausing each time he hits a bum note to repeat, over and over again. His fingertips are bruised purple by the endless playing, fingernails ripped and pitted, at his feet a McDonald’s Styrofoam coffee cup to optimistically try to catch any passing coin. The music acts as a counterpoint to the distant sound of police sirens wailing and overlapping each other in the gathering dusk – an urban whale song.

A few houses to my left I can see the old man dressed as always in a too small sailor hat, white beard and corduroy trousers which end above the ankle. He looks like an emaciated Father Christmas waiting hopelessly for his stolen reindeer to return. Each day, come rain or shine he waits outside his house, motionless, shoulders hunched, head down as if the weight of his life and loneliness has physically crushed him from above.  Despite this he waits leaning on his little wooden gate, a final act of defiance, refusing to accept that whatever or whoever he’s expecting have long since gone, never to return in this lifetime.

Across the street I watch the large black woman walk round in circles in her small concrete yard. She’s always wrapped in a grey shawl, eyes vacant staring into the long-distance sweeping from left to right like a lighthouse beam. Even when I cross her field of vision sitting on my step she looks right through me. Haunted, empty. At her feet she kicks a child’s small plastic football ahead of her, her long and jagged uncut toenails almost puncturing the rainbow coloured ball with each jab. The ball shoots ahead, and each time she seems to panic and rushes towards it, as if scared it might disappear forever. She seems to resent the ball with each violent kick away, but then changes her mind and realises she can’t live without it.

It’s got dark enough now to see into the window of the apartment opposite me. Lights on full blast, curtains open, a man in his early thirties sits on his sofa tearing feverishly into a cardboard wine box. He is sweating profusely as he fumbles with the gelatinous silver pouch trying to locate the wine tap, like an alcoholic baby impatient to suckle on the teat. Most evenings around this time I see him do the same thing and by the time I return for my last cigarette he’ll have sucked that breast dry and will be sprawled out on his sofa having forgotten to draw the curtains, eyes closed as a passenger in a First Class airplane seat, destination nowhere, travelling round his room on an internal flight of fantasy.

I finish my cigarette and flick it into the open drain, missing by a mile now the wind has picked up. The accordion player has finished for the night, off to spend his pennies on another coffee cup ready for tomorrow’s concert. As I stoop to collect the cigarette butt and throw it over my wall I hear the sound of running footsteps.

A small Asian man runs past me headed towards the main road, in his hand he waves a broken china tea cup. Upon seeing me he holds it up, wild eyed, as if it’s on fire or about to explode.

“This is the gun that shot Gandhi!” he screams, before the night swallows him up once more.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”

Henry David Thoreau

 

 

  The Long Second.

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The truck came out of nowhere.

A full stop, period, to a life that had been hitherto full of spelling mistakes but was still being written well.

My bike glanced off the truck’s shiny grey bumper, as insignificant as a fly swatted by an elephant.

I flew.

The long second.

As I spun high over the roof, a coin flip as to which side I would land on – life or the other, time slowed to a standstill.

The fever of life cooled by a chrome-coloured ice-bath. Where moments had passed before as a raging torrent, this moment became a frozen glacier.

My brain registered no pain, too soon.

My body felt no shock, too fast.

There was only a remembrance. My mind became razor sharp, diamond focus, as if every lazy thought I’d ever had became a pinpoint laser – a single thought: –

… There is a tax on life. A balance that must be paid, like it or no. If you’re lucky to live long enough beyond that initial thrusting of youth, where your obsession with always being busy is a mark of success and the need to convince everyone you’re having the time of your life makes you wear a mask, then you’ll feel it too.

Neither positive nor negative is this tax, it just is – you could see it as Angels wiping away the tears from your eyes or as Demons rubbing salt under your eyelids, your wounds… your choice – neither is real though.

Good times; Bad times, all are One.

For every action there is a reaction.

Every cause an effect.

Only at the end do you see, looking back in that long second, that it has all balanced out and we exit, even.

Tax paid.

Balance = Zero.

The Revolving Door

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“Step into the light, yes, that’s it, nearly there, let me get a good look at you… Welcome…”

The voice was familiar and reassuring, the very sound of love itself. She entered the hospital room as quiet and soft as a silk scarf sliding down a banister, but a slap on the back released the fluid she’d been breathing those past 9 months and begat a scream of creation, a mix of joy at being alive and horror at being born.

In a nearby hospital cubicle her great-grandfather heard the same voice, still familiar despite the passage of 93 years:

“Step into the light, yes that’s it, nearly there, let me get a good look at you… Welcome home…”

This time there was no screaming accompanying the pat on the back, only a fulfilled and grateful exhale of breath so soft that even the nurses rushing round him couldn’t hear it.

“One in ; one out.”

Outside in the afternoon sun people went about their business as usual, car horns honked, dogs barked, and the breeze blew through the revolving door carrying on it secret messages.

Our buzzing planet, so crammed full of unstoppable life continued to revolve uninterrupted in the infinite and empty silence of dead space ; much the same as the Entrance & Exit door of the hospital which my waiting family now rushed through…

This is the Size of a Heart

Posted: May 27, 2013 in Poem, Poetry
Tags: , ,

This is the Size of a Heart.

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This is the size of a heart  – in case you were curious.

About the size of a hard fist of coal – to explain it in terms you would understand.

It is soft and wet on the outside – could you ever imagine that?

I doubt it.

 

Inside,  fragile pathways and secret chambers – imprisoned in a bone cage.

These hot, glistening walls throb in darkness to electric rhythm.

This is the sound of a heart – beaten, still beating.

I hear it.

Pity Party

Welcome…

You are cordially invited to the first annual Pity Party.

Come one ; Come all*

(*All entrants must be over the age of 35 with ID to gain admittance.)

All refreshments will be provided:  a salt water punch made from the tears of middle-aged men and women who’ve just woken up to realise that their first instincts all those years ago as teenagers were correct – they ARE fools.

There will be a finger buffet of stale wet bread served with wrinkles and flab. Hot charred bingo wings and beer bellies marinated in despair. For vegetarians there will be a salad of fear with a disappointment dressing.

The dress code is informal: Come as you are, not as you want to be.

There will be party games. Everyone must bring their own personal sack of misery, stored whichever way suits them best: a monkey on your back, a leaden backpack weighed down by stones pulled out of rivers you never had the guts to walk through.

Ladies: bring the make-up case full of the artificial faces you spent $$$$ needlessly creating only to be washed away each night before you went to bed. Bring the dresses that no longer fit you but you promised yourself one day would again. Gentlemen: bring the comb you wished you still needed and the empty wallet once bursting with borrowed money. Both, fill your pockets with the broken dreams and desiccated plans that once got you out of bed but now just weigh you down like so much small change. Stick your ancient fake smiles now cracked and unusable into your suit pockets; throw in your unused and dried up wombs. Bring along all the things you’re trying to hide, all the inexcusable and unlovable secrets. Relax and take an evening off from convincing the world how ‘fabulous’ everything is because, let’s face it, you aren’t fooling anyone anymore.

Etiquette must be observed at all times: Don’t walk away. Don’t pre-judge anyone else’s misery pile unless they have taken their shoes off for you to walk around for a mile in.

Upon hearing the gong sound, all misery must be placed into a large pile in the centre of the room, a true bonfire of the vanities, a yard sale for the soul. And then once we all feel loosened up and relaxed enough, we’ll have a poke around in the entrails, picking out, comparing, choosing which of each others misery we’d like to take back with us in exchange for our own. A baby shower of unwanted gifts for the slowly dying.

It’s going to be a great night, I trust you will be able join us…

RSVP.

Streetsweep

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The First Day of Summer, real summer, happy summer: sweat in the eyebrows and squelch of dirty flip-flops dug out from the back of wardrobes unseen since autumn. The street rejoices as one, exhaust-pipe belches mingling with body odours and kebab juice.

 Happy sidewalk summer: To the black boys kissing their teeth on the street not knowing why: wailing at ATM’s as they put their card in again and again like toddlers trying to understand the square block can’t go into the circular hole, whilst behind them a line slowly forms, impatient and pitying in equal measure.

 To the new mums attacking ankles with taxi-sized buggies, too self-absorbed by their precious fare to see beyond the front wheels.

 To the dustbin-Daleks shuffling in their burkhas, welcoming in the fresh season with their new fashion range, black is the new black, is the new black. Pillar-boxed and pilloried yet taking a perverse satisfaction from their self-imposed exclusion from society as flies in the ointment.

 To the mentally ill tramps lurching past them at the edge of the curb and sanity, nothing but warm spittle washing around the bottom of their empty cans, pockets rattling with pennies and forgotten medication.

 To the unemployed new media ‘freelancers’ draped over their coffee-tables begging to be admired, blocking the pavement with chrome chairs, chrome glasses, chrome laptops, the sun bouncing brightly off their sweaty foreheads as they stare forlornly at empty screens and diaries. Desperately preening in the shop window and to any passer-by who may give validation to their peacock dreams, offsetting their nervous and fragile aspirational egos.

 To you all who fill my first day of summer with a deep and predictable joy. Tomorrow, rain is forecast and you will all be swept away back behind your closed doors, watching, waiting for a break in the clouds.

But I will still be here, pounding the streets and sweeping up your messes and near-misses, I am always here…