‘Making Peace with Distance’ by Harrie Costello
She was telling me about the walk she took every day. I couldn’t see it, but I could. I sat back and stared at my ceiling and forced it into a canvas. I didn’t have to try hard, my mind obviously filed all these pictures away for a series of rainy days like these. She helped me too. I saw an avenue of trees over her head and a clearing at the end, enough space to share if you cared to. I could hear it too. The whoosh of air through the long grass either side of her and the faint sound of music playing through her headphones. I hadn’t decided what kind it was yet, but I did decide she was subconsciously taking slow strides to the rhythm. I tasted it too. The light dew in the air, and how it made her nose run, and in turn the back of her sleeve made her nose red. It was fresh. Fresh Air. Fresh space, fresh emotion. The space to feel how you feel and understand it.
I was jealous but I felt lucky. I wasn’t there but the piano playing from my laptop speakers and the stillness of the air in my bedroom was about as close as I was going to get.
I was frustrated because I was jealous, for more reasons than I care to discuss. She went to the country with her Dad, just the two of them. That’s something I never have done or will ever do. I don’t know why I even want to. The idea of it is so far from reach. There’s such a vacuum between us now and I just find it getting bigger and bigger as the days go on. All these years and you’re a stranger as you stand before me. I came to the conclusion that it was something I never wanted to do. I just decided that if I ever get the chance to envelope myself in peace like that, that I’ll be selfish. I’ll do it how I want. I forced my head to deviate, he spoils everything anyway.
Although the reality was probably that she was on some boggy farm, with grey sheds and bales of hay too tall to see over, I wanted to put her somewhere else. I knew either way her air was clearer than mine. I knew her sunshine was richer and the lifestyle for those few days was certainly simpler. She was on holiday and she was safe. Her routine is different, so she changed with the world, she moved with it. I imagined she had a small white house on a hill with a fire, a really old one that never seemed to burn out. I saw fields upon fields that lead on to more hills that held more mystery than beauty, and they had an unfair amount. I wanted to imagine they had a body of water nearby and possibly a boat. Lily seemed like the type that knew how to steer a small boat, or even just give it a go. I wanted to touch it. I wanted to go out in that small boat with a paddle and my guitar and notebook and a flask of coffee. I don’t mind being alone when I have the space to do it, be really alone. Immerse myself in me and let myself enjoy the aspects of my surroundings that I genuinely enjoy, get inspiration for a melody from the wind whistling different tunes through the tall trees or the frequencies from the glaring sunlight.
But it all seems so far away. I sat up and whirled back into my room like a bad spiralling frame cut from a film, and I brought the noise of this water and the taste of the dew. My coffee was cold now but I was too focussed on the moments I just had out of my room to care. I took a sip of it anyway and opened the window and did my best to drown the sound of the cars on the main road. I closed my eyes and took a breath that was deep enough to daringly taste the air but not disappoint myself. I liked it, but for a different reason. The air here was familiar, it tasted like tap water ice mixed with the smell of the bread factory, the farmers manure, the grit on the road and the exhaust from the countless 39A buses that passed me by. I liked it because it was familiar. The air in my dream was ever changing, it moved with life around it, much like mine but if I had air of tap water ice, she had air of still spring frost. If I had the scent of bread factory, she had the wheat and the yeast from her fields and a stove to nurture her kitchen into a bakery. If I had exhaust emissions and manure, then she definitely had exhaust emissions and manure but hers just seemed to be more bearable. She had long quiet walks, I had short turbulent strolls. She had space and I had time. Too much of it. It was so close but so far but for those split seconds, I was ok with it. I took a whiff of the pink roses on my windowsill and chucked the cold coffee out the window to add to the concoction of putrid and pleasant perfume outside. I went and made a new coffee and started to re write.
"This Distance Comes in Morphemes" by M.A.A.
A purple fog, an outer mist, grabs the weight of the desert sands, brings it up, lifting it around the rim, drawing circles with its hands, and then comes the last feat, throwing it all at the Moon, its light turning green soon. The rock gives in, so long has it been, the whole world now a purple dream, entangled is the space in between, a new modal of all that can be seen, and so the mist calls all the screams, this distance comes in morphemes.
"Poem for a Friend who is Leaving" by S.J. Saighead for C.I.G.
A chara, I watched you walk away today, The pain tore me in half. The summer’s light bled into grey, and it seems no one can laugh. You had to go I know you did but too soon I felt the ache. So of these words I must get rid and this poem is yours to take. This summer past was one of joy, together we make some team. I know you will always be the boy with whom I can blow off steam. You listen to me rant all night and forgave my bitter edge. Though I know I’m not always right; to one can fact I can pledge: I am so lucky to have found you and luckier still you stayed, of this fact I know to be true my love for you will not fade. The space between us is tiny, compared to the size of your heart; and you know you can always find me, I’ve always been there from the start. As far away as Korea is, I’ll always be there by your side: Just give me a call, anytime at all, and I promise I’ll be by your side. I’m sorry for doing what poet’s do and going all soft in writing. All I can do, is say to you, That I look forward to us reuniting. King regards your loving friend the one whose poem has come to an end. Slán agus beannacht.