Tag Archives: night

1971. Oh sugar!

Pamela was a sound sleeper. She lived alone. She locked the house thoroughly each night before she went to bed. The neighbours were a bit strange – especially the wife. She was a bit of a recluse. Pamela had met her just the once. Word had it that she had been in and out of psychiatric care centres throughout her life.

It may have been because of this that Pamela was nervously suspicious. She had suspected for quite some time that strange things happened in the night. She was always meticulous about things, and sometimes she noticed that some household items had been moved ever so slightly, or even that she ran out of tea bags faster than she should. In fact she counted the tea bags. She used two tea bags a day. The seventy-eight tea bags in the box should last for thirty-nine days. She marked the date on her wall calendar.

Ashley, the neighbour, was a bit strange, but not as strange as his wife. He would come over once a week to Pamela’s for a cup of coffee. Pamela had never warmed to him. But a neighbour is a neighbour and it was after all only about thirty minutes in her week that his visits lasted. His wife never came with him.

Now the doctor had told Pamela to go easy on the sugar, so she filled the sugar bowl (in case visitors came and took sugar) and put the sugar bowl high in the cupboard. That was the last time she used it. It was a lot easier to give up sugar than she had expected.

When Ashley came over next she filled the conversation with the usual small talk. She had given up sugar. Did he still want sugar in his coffee? Perhaps he would prefer a cup of tea?

“Oh,” said Ashley, “I think you’re out of tea bags.”

Poem 31: Rain

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.
The refrain is taken from Edith Sitwell’s profound poem, “Still falls the rain”. This ghazal is NOT intended as a reflection on her poem; it’s simply a phrase that’s stayed with me for fifty years or so.)

Night has turned to day yet still falls the rain.
Accept what floods you get. Still falls the rain.

Lovers steal the hearts of one another
And leave the lost to fret. Still falls the rain.

Mollycoddling keep us warm and dry but
Socks, shoes, and feet get wet. Still falls the rain.

Frozen clouds gather on far mountain hills.
It’s cold this night? You bet! Still falls the rain.

Sun brings its joys to those who ever hope,
Yet sleet shall caste its net. Still falls the rain.

Our days are predetermined, are they not?
So Bruce’s steps are set. Still falls the rain.