I know you are at peace – but why did you have to leave?

The fear that you are there not here

The silence, the room, and your chair

Your voice I hear inside my head

Your face I see in my dreams, when I go to bed.

Whilst out and about I feel you near

The strong scent of your perfume

As another passes by, I ask myself why

You had to leave the way you did

Reminding me of your caring need

Now I am afraid, I might regret

I don’t ever want to forget

Sparkly eyes and your smiling face

As each day passes further away

I awaken with hope

I do understand, I really do

You had to do right by you

Now I know you are at peace

The sadness that you did release

The suffering is appeased

Ridding you of your dis-ease,

From the body you once lived,

Your spirit lives on in my heart forever

But still I feel this emptiness,

Now, that you are gone.

 

pink flowers with memorial benches: The Actors Church, Covent Garden

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I woke up. You are still not here… and so the daily routine ensues.

I don’t feel like I’m awake.  I mean, I know I am awake.

But I have to scratch myself.  I am dissociated from all that I know.

Dread pours over me.  I can’t bear another day without you.

The cats appear to miss you too.  Meowing at me.  Good morning.

I would like to think they are asking where you are.  But I know deep down they are demanding breakfast.

Roll up a joint and I go for a piss.

Cats follow

Brush my teeth.  Brush the cats.  Leave the tap on… for the cats.

They ignore their bowl of water.

Make coffee.

Cats follow.

Sit on the balcony quietly, the cats join me.

Trees rustling in wind. The birds sing to me.

The cats watch closely.

Moment by moment.

That moment will never be again.

I go back indoors.

Cats follow.

I look around.  A pile of shit I need to go through stares back at me.  I am living in a nightmare.

It’s the same thought every day.  I feel claustrophobic.

Why is it that you can look at something for weeks but not really notice.  Motionless.

You feel numb.  You see it but you don’t really grasp it.

Not really knowing where to start.

How do I get from there to here… from here to there?

A to B never seemed so difficult.

I will see you…

 

When the April showers fall, I will smell you

When the moon lights up the sky, I will feel you

When the sun shines brightly, I will see you

When the radio plays your song, I will hear you

When I open up a newspaper to read the book reviews, I will find you

When I walk through pastures new, I will walk with you

When the roads are quiet, I will think of you

When I am putting the world to rights, I will see you

When I am thinking of words to say, I will trust you

When I am seeking solace in peace, I will be you

When I am at an audition, I will remember you

For you will always be in my heart.

I will see you

 

 

I waited… but you never showed – gone too soon.

It was a quarter past the hour and you still hadn’t shown.  I wondered if you were caught up in the crowds.   I looked around but I couldn’t see you.  It was Sunday afternoon.  The caretaker was walking around jangling his keys.  The church closes earlier on a Sunday as does the garden.  The only things that stay are the memories… and the birds that feed on the trees or drink water that has filled from the rain last night.

It is not as warm as it should be.  It rained again last night but the sun is shining today.

You will be pleased to hear I met with a new agent yesterday.  She insisted we ate in the Tapas bar down on Newport St – how could I refuse.  She was welcomed with open arms, obviously a regular.  I think it went well.  She loved my outlook on life but it’s the showreel that should win her over.  She has a busy schedule but I would love to perform here in London – it is why I trained so hard.

I just want to be close to you.  I wish we could dance arm in arm to your song through the piazza and fall down on the grass in the gardens beyond the church, under the blossom tree protecting us from the noon sun.  The winters seem to be longer, I get worried the plants will wither and die too soon, as you did.  I missed you.  I miss you.  I miss you.

 

 

Blossom Tree The Actors Church Covent Garden
“I wish we could dance arm in arm to your song through the piazza and fall down on the grass in the gardens beyond the church, under the blossom tree protecting us from the noon sun.”

 

Do you know how much I miss you? A conversation with Eileen from a devoted fan:

They won’t let me sleep in the garden.   I wait outside until they open the gates at 8.30 am prompt weekdays, 9 am on a Sunday.  There isn’t anywhere for me to comb my hair or wash my clothes so I have to just come as I am.  A little worn and a little greyer.

I used to wake up in the middle of the night but you weren’t there.  I lost the small bedsit over in the Charing Cross Road.  I tried to hold on to it as long as I could… I was never good at managing the books.  I enjoyed the taste of the single malt too much.  It would be worth a small fortune now, mind.

I fall about as I make my way around the streets that surround the garden.  I have five entrances to choose from when I come to visit.

I haven’t seen Patty in a while.  She used to pass by every day with a sandwich or a cup of tea.   She was ageing well.  She always looked younger for some reason.

My leg got worse. I had to rip my old Iron Maiden t-shirt.  Such a shame, I loved that one so much.  I tied it around my ankle.  It was too late.  The infection had spread.  I wasn’t able to get to the hospital on time and I never took any antibiotics… You would think I am mad… well, you’d be right.   They saved the leg.  But the foot had to go.  There is a team that comes out and visit through the night.  Sometimes I get to the shelter.  Nothing permanent mind, but I wouldn’t want to leave your side anyway.  They referred me in the end… to the hospital.

They have a good selection of tea.  I had cranberry tea the other night.  Cranberry tea! They said it would keep me calm.  I had a small flask wrapped in my coat and I had a few swigs… not sure the tea worked at all.

Things have changed around here.  We get moved on more than we used to and the road sweepers have machines.  It doesn’t seem to make a blind bit of difference though other than more noise.   I was listening to an opera singer over in the square the other day.  You must have heard her… voice of an angel.  They all sing out in the piazza now, down in the courtyard by the Roadhouse.  They even had a live performance there a few weeks ago.  I was moved on though.  I think the sight of me frightened them.  I don’t scare you, do I?

I wouldn’t want to do that.  I don’t mean to scare anyone.  Life has taken its toll now and I have to accept my fate.

I know you hear me when I speak to you.  Sometimes I feel you breathing on the back of my neck.  The blossom tree rustling as the birds feed on the hanging seeds.  I feel safe in the garden I can sleep with ease.  The birdies sing to me and I am transported to my own little paradise.  I hope you are sleeping well.  I will be back tomorrow – same time.  God bless.

 

Eileen Way: Actress memorial bench, Actors Church
Eileen Way.  Actress born New Malden, Surrey 2 September 1911 – married to the late Felix Brown in 1934  (died 1972) She died in Canterbury 16 June 1994.

 

The Mid-Morning Crowd

I arrived at 11.21 am.  I walked in through the entrance on Bedford Street.  It was cold in the shade.  The sun was welcomed.  It was beginning to warm up the church patio.  The flowers sparkled in the sunshine.  A lady appeared at the grand doors of the church with a wide-brimmed pink hat.  She had her watering can at the ready and her clippers in hand.

The green bedding knew it was time to be pruned.  The benches were surprisingly busy.  I had to squeeze in next to three men sitting down in their white overalls and dusty boots.  They weren’t speaking English so it was difficult to listen to their conversation.  It was a shame because I often like to listen to the conversations around me.  Their voices were soft.  I like people watching.  I took out my notebook and flicked through the pages.

Mostly dreams.  As soon as I wake I like to write the first thing on my mind.  I don’t keep records of everything.  I have learnt over time that freeing these morning thoughts enables me to clear space for new ones.  Each day is a new beginning.

There were three more benches filled with workers in the same outfits.  A woman dressed in black also wore dusty boots.  She was laughing loudly and dancing around as the sunshine moved towards her. She circled her lunch box as if it was a ceremonial gesture.  I laughed to myself.  When I eat I often jiggle around with happiness.

The lady moved towards us.  Her face was younger than first thought.  Her kind eyes smiled as she weaved towards the grassy bank behind the benches.  One of the men said something and they all laughed in unison.  They smiled at the lady as she passed by and said hello, in English.  The lady didn’t respond she floated past as if she were a ghost in her own parallel universe.

I peered up towards the aluminium structure towering over the garden holding one of the houses up that overlooks the far side.  That is where all these workers must be from.

Three women arrive at the gates.  One opens a small book as another opens a larger map.  The third lady looks around for a landmark and points towards the plaque on the wall on the church wall.  The sun has moved fast.  It glows across the whole path now.  The calm wind is colder than expected.

Another couple cycle through on their city bikes.  A man emptying the bins tells them to slow down.  They get off their bikes and walk through, heads down.  The man was polite.

The girl serenading her lunch box has sat down.  She grapples with the lid and a few grapes spill out on the floor.  The man with the bin liners calls over to her “Pick those up… immediately” The girl laughs playfully but her face flushes red.  She swoops down, her long arms glide out from next to her and she reaches down.

The ladies pass by us and a bench over the other side becomes available, they sit.  They are talking in Italian… I think.  There are a few words that a little familiar.  They are pointing at the plaques and talking.  One of the ladies takes off her coat.  She rolls it up gently on to her lap and they sit back on the bench.  They close their eyes facing the sun.

It’s relatively busy.  It isn’t silent.   The workers don’t seem to be bothered with the plaques.  They are merely here to rest before they begin their shift again.

A woman is curled up on the far side of the raised bank.  I hadn’t noticed her before.

The lady gardener takes no notice.  She plucks away at the roses and clears some leaves away into a bag.  The man finishes up the bins and takes a seat.  He must have read these memorials over and over… but he still takes the time to read the message.   He wipes the bench down.  It has tomato seeds squirted across the back.  Standing up with ease he heads back into the church.

The lady in the hat climbs down the steps from the bank.  She has a few wrappers in her hand.  The bins will be full again in no time and the man will return.

The lady is still sleeping on the grass and the three ladies from Italy starting walking around to read some of the memorials.

A few of the workers return to the site.  The benches become vacant once more.  The human traffic continues and rotation begins.

 

 

Mid Morning Crowd the Actors Church Covent Garden.jpg