The March Batch (of poems) An Easter Cave Story


Darius!

Darius!?

DAAARRIUUUS!

Darius, it would appear, is long gone. The result of which is finding myself alone in this spring filled cave with naught but a pocketful of poems and a few travelling biscuits. Just like Jesus before me. Yes, that’s the vibe, a good old cavey Jesus Easter. How I ended up here is a tale in itself. One that won’t be told as it’s far less important than the fact that I’m in the cave now, alone.

If you’ll do me the pleasure of holding on, I’ll just light one of my five remaining matches and shuffle through my pocket inventory. Excellent. All of these poems are from March, a March in 2019. No hope of anything Easter related here then.* At least we have the cave. The dark, chilling, damp cave. I knew early spring spelunking was a bad idea. Why did I trust Darius? The guy clearly can’t even survive a morning scramble.

You have a perfectly adequate face.
More than good enough for my taste.
In that face you have some eyes.
They're fine combined with your thighs.
Which are great for helping you walk.
And you have lips to help you talk.
If I really had to.
I guess I'd say I love you.

This is the time I chose to describe a face. And some thighs because that rhymes with eyes. I did one of the rhyming poems.

DARIUS! DARIUS?!

Darius had a face you know. Not one you’d ordinarily miss, but then, you don’t find yourself lost and alone in a cave very often, do you? Should the light of my match flicker through the foreboding blackness of this hole onto Darius’s jowls, I’d be delighted.

He wears a helmet.
To protect his head.
The bullets rip.
Through his heart.

Faux meaningful tripe, inspired by some of the worst poetry I’ve ever read. Darius had a heart. A big, beautiful, beating heart. He was a good man. A good man with a face.

A man walks into a shop and asks for 40 candles.
Misunderstanding, the shopkeeper retrieves four teak handles.
After a brief chuckle the man enunciates more clearly his request.
The shopkeeper understands and directs him towards the candles.

This is just classic comedy, from a classic double act. I feel it mocking me. Does my pocket know of my lost cavesman? Does it know about my limited supply yet largely irrelevant collection of matches? Darius was carrying the torch. It was a Ledlenser too, that wouldn’t let me down. Not like Darius did.

That morning he puffed his chest with pride. 
Prepared for work.
Dragged his bin to the kerb.
He had never felt so alert, so ready for the day before.
It was the talk of the office.
The confidence oozing off the guy.
He returned home.
Discovered the bin was still full.
It was the wrong day!
He felt such a fool.
The bin was hauled back sheepishly and he hoped none of the neighbours noticed.

What a mess. The floor is all damp too. I shouldn’t have sat down. I just felt I should sit to read the poetry, you know? My underwear has sucked up the moisture like a sponge. My buttocks are cold, yet my fingers burn. My fingers burn for the touch of Darius. And also because the flame of my first match is quickly descending upon them.

A woman stands in the kitchen preparing her husband's dinner.
"Bugger all this" she says and throws a pan of barely cooked mince to the floor.
Scattering bits of meat everywhere and chipping a floor tile before running off to a zumba class.
Her husband peels himself from a comfortable chair to check what all the racket was about.
Sits back down with a bag of crisps.

Empowering feminist poetry. I bet that kitchen had a tumble dryer. I could really use a tumble dryer right now.

I’m roaming, tripping over god knows what. Probably stones, I’d imagine. I keep peeling my underwear from my buttocks. I’ll be honest with you, I’m tempted to remove it. I’d rather not be discovered naked from the waist down though, I must maintain some dignity. The sodden underwear remains where it should be.

The postman loved delivering letters.
It really appealed to him.
The mystery of it all.

My postman, before I ended up in a cave which I don’t even know the address of, was a woman. She had the strong hands of a good reliable letter deliverer, yet a voice that said “it doesn’t bother me that you took 30 seconds to get to your door”. Wonderful. Not like Darius, I’ll never trust another Darius. In fact I hope I’m tripping over his bones right now. Although if I’m tripping over his bones that must mean the torch is nearby!

Nope. It’s all rocks. Wasted a match on that. Well, almost, I bet I can get another poem out of it.

A shrivelled old pear potters about the living room.
The deep shag feels lovely on her slippers.
Last Tuesday her husband kicked the bucket.
He had eaten the last rich tea biscuit.

It’s not all bad I suppose. I still have my travel biscuits. Good old bourbons. Each one almost counts as two biscuits really, when you think about it. That means I could survive for twice as long on them. I just have to maintain my composure. A biscuit a day.

Oh my god.
He said looking up.
The sky looks really high today!
He was unsure whether the sky could move.
His hands were in his pockets holding up his trousers.
He forgot to wear a belt.

I have no sky. Only stalactites. Chewing on a bourbon, please hold.

He picked up a hair brush.
Applied some toothpaste.
Then tried to brush his teeth with it!
He had always been quirky.
But was taking things too far this time.

Ok, those bourbons lasted a good two minutes. The good news, however, is that I’m now filled with energy! I’ll read you one more poem and then we’re solving this conundrum. I will not be a cave dweller, no sir. Darius, I’m coming for you buddy!

A man built his own house.
One brick at a time.
Like they used to do in the olden days he thought.
He forgot to leave holes for windows.
It was very dark inside.

An unfortunate turn of events, that sounds an awful lot like this cave I’ve found myself in. The poetry pocket is clearly trying to drag my bourbon filled body back down to earth. I won’t let it demoralise me. I've come too far. I’m going to scramble up these rocks.

And...

There’s light!

Darius! Are you there my good fellow? I forgive you for possibly almost dying or whatever happened, the Ledlenser can be replaced!

I see a man. A man in the light. And… a forklift? A boulder? DARIUS YOU ABSOLUTE CRETIN. Stop flashing the torch at me! Flash yourself you rotten disease ridden torch wielding stench! Get back here and release the boulder!

You join me, as I lean upon an incredibly heavy boulder. I’m waiting for tourist season to kick off. Or some kind of boulder inspector to arrive, if that kind of thing exists.

*Please note that this was originally published in early April of 2021. Any references to Easter made sense at the time.

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