Call for papers for July, 2017 issue
Share your research, creative and inspirational writing in Cloverleaf: Journal of Education in Evolvement and All Encompassing Spirituality
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Monday Night Outing

Author: 
Author: Dennis Haskell

 

Monday nights, one kilometre
of Beaufort St is strung
with stalls: Sicilian arancini
crepes francaises, curries, kebabs,
kangaroo skewers, crème brulee…
The atmosphere is purely
carnival, friendly, casual, and
deliciously inexpensive.
Amongst the throng
we went to sit
on a low brick wall

 

when suddenly I keeled
out of the world.
My friend, a cardboard
plate of Moroccan something
in hand, screamed
and grabbed my shoulder
–  I know these details
only from her –
a stranger jumped
and stopped me
hitting the pavement.
When I came back
the ambos said,
“Come to our van”,
but I needed
to just sit
in the cold, clammy sweat
up and down
my face and arm.
Fluttering-stomached
I sipped their water
then stumbled over.

 

They put me in a chair,
torchlit my eyes,
and pricked my fingers
as in a fairy tale.
When I went again
out of existence
or existence went out of me
they were worried.
I was soon back
but they were firm:
“See a doctor!”

 

Hazy-headed and queazy
I vaguely directed
my friends the cornering,
darkened way to hospital.
Taken through into
medically organised
frenetic night actions:
people staggering,
people on crutches,
behind curtains
an eight months pregnant victim,
a man whose rat of pain
ran up the clock
of his spine.
I lay back
for an ecg,
for all the tests,
gave blood and urine,
and was drip-filled
for hours. All tests
fine, then
they took out
the canula,
ripping the hairs
from my arms.

 

The experience of nothingness
is nothing
but somehow you
know you’ve had it:
a vacancy registers
in the brain.

 

I staggered out
with my friends,
wondering if it was
a warning, a dry run
for the nothing
I and we
will all become,
for there’s nothing like
five hours in Emergency
to make you think,
“How quick?”, “How long?”