memory

Non Rebel and Rebel Unite

“You’ll be starting at the farm on Monday,” my dad said. I stood silent, dumfounded. Words wouldn’t come. No rebellion. How could I, a bookish 15 year old, possibly cope with such a job? I’d just left school, after 3 years secondary education, and for this. The 2nd youngest in a family of 10 children, I was the only one given such an opportunity. Though brought up on farms I knew little farm work, and even less about horses. Gathering Kerr’s pink tatties into sculls every autumn, was the limit of my knowledge.

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In Between Days

A crack, and everything changes. 

Miss Coakley appears in the window, a shrunken head framed by fizzes of grey-black hair. Behind her, the girls bob in unison, ponytails twisted on the top of their heads so you can’t tell who’s who.

Mike’s giggling with the sort of glee that bubbles into your words, climbing down to find more stones, and soon I can’t hear him, only the sharpness of that rock hitting the window. It sits in the dense quiet of an afternoon that is heavy with the weight of all the summer that has passed.

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REBEL (possible definitions)

Warning: this piece contains strong language

Is it when you ask yourself,
'Why do this?'
and you answer,
'because I can!' 

Is this not the start of
manyarebelroad? 

Is it
quixoticadventures
featuring
tiltedatwindmills?

Is it
bygonedayhippies
spawned in Europe'ssleepysuburbs,
bankrolled by mumndad
en route to Essaouira
to hang out with Jimmytheman?
hashtaglovenpeace.

Is it
early20thcenturywoman
in waistdeep warfront mud
saving the lives of strangers? 

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Rebel Aliens

There was, briefly, an American girl in my class.
She can be called Casey Watts.
She must have been from the US Naval Base.
Why she wasn’t at their school I don’t know.
She was always trying to kiss the boys, to their terror and the other girls’ bafflement. 

The Mormons at Thurso swimming pool must have been from the Base too.
They unnerved us with their short hair, smart suits, fixed smiles and unshakeable politeness.
They would strip completely, astonishingly naked, use the showers, then, without going near the pool, dress and leave. 

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Nana's Diary

I search for you
on every time mottled page,
the girl who gave my daughter
those dark Jewish eyes
that olive skin.
Your words suck me
into an echoing tunnel,
a carriage full of tear-stained faces
pressed against windows.

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Not Just Another Brick In The Wall

When you think of rebellion a collection of stock images tend to flicker through your mind, playing like an old time newsreel.

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Thanks - but no thanks!

The knarled, twisted tufts of root are still caked in sandy, red earth - grains clearly stuck fast in the crevices and knots, pressed against the clear, tight plastic wrap. I absent-mindedly toss the celeriac toward my trolley.
"Sh**- oh, sorry, excuse me" I mumble as the slippery ball escapes my grasp, hits the floor with a dull thud and rolls away along the aisle. Sighing I crouch down, rummaging on the floor beneath bemused and slightly irritated Saturday afternoon shoppers. I’m painfully aware my neck is reddening with embarrassment.

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Rebel

I was a rebel, so I’m going to let you all know just how it was for me.

I just started looking around me, all the energy in me was needing to come out. I needed freedom, enough to give me a good look at things around me.

There were plenty of things to do where I stayed.  

I could get up to lots of things, no angel was I.

I was an out and about person and a law unto myself, as far as my family was concerned.

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Rebellion, Rocking and Reading

In the last year I’ve somehow unintentionally managed to get two mature strangers to confess their rebellious childhood antics to me. One nearly set fire to a small building aged ten, and the other ran off to another country with a friend at age fifteen. These rebellious acts were relived with some amusement and even pride. I feel my own rebellion seemed somewhat tame in comparison! However, here is my story and it begins in my birth place: Nelson city, New Zealand in the early 1980’s. I was eight years old. 

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Rebels At the Seaside

'Do you remember our holiday at the beach, Jean?'

'Oh I remember it well, Amy, We were both very naughty children at the time, I was eight and you were ten. Aunt Jessica, your mother, had said “After lunchtime I will take the pair of you to the beach for a treat.

It was a nice sunny day. Jean and I said to mother “can we play outside until lunch?”

Yes you can”, said mother.

‘We went out to play, and you said after a while, “Let’s go to the beach.”’

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