a fucked up lovesong

https://miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/track/a-fucked-up-lovesong

Sunday 19th January 2019 was a horrible day. one of the worst days of my life. it was the day i almost lost someone i love completely. i have never felt so scared, so helpless in all my life. those twenty two minutes, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, seemed like twenty two hours.

i caught a glimpse of a Death, his shadow, his black dog… i fought hard, and won. Death would not take his soul. not this one. not today.

having to come to terms with this trauma and process its reality, and the many subsequent questions, is something i never want to relive.

but from the intense discourse, in the days and weeks that followed, came an overwhelming realisation that my love for this soul was strong. stronger than i ever thought possible.

from this event, this ‘ground zero’, i learned a lot about myself. there was a lot to process. even now, after a year and more, i am still haunted by that vision of Death and his black dog.

although lessening in frequency now, i still have nightmares and panic attacks in the small hours of the morning. i wake up in a cold sweat, cradling myself and reassuring myself it was just a bad dream and that he is safe. but that coup d’œil of what life would be like had i not arrived when i did, still chills my bones, turning them to powder.

living through this has made me appreciate the little things. it’s those little things, that seem insignificant at the time, that really matter when someone is gone. and by gone i mean not just in a different room. i mean gone somewhere where you cannot follow. ever. one day, you will never see one of their two hundred forty one different smiles again, or hear them sing in the shower. and it’s then you’ll punish yourself for not appreciating the little things, like the little kiss on the top of your head as they walk past, or the smell of their hair. even their moods and grumpiness will be something you will miss with a crushing weight upon your chest.

so tell them that you love them now. don’t wait.

listen to them.

be mindful, watch out for them. ask them how they are feeling. let them know you are there.

listen.

listen with your ears, your eyes, and your gut instinct…. it could save a life.

people deal with trauma, shock and grief in different ways. for me, writing is a cathartic process. a compulsion. a necessity. it always has been.

and so, i picked up Julio, my 30 year old Spanish guitar, and wrote a song.

this song… a fucked up lovesong.

SAMARITANS 24 hr HELPLINE > 116 123

(c) Miaow McDonald (music/lyrics)

(c) Miaow McDonald Photography (image)

fire with fire

fire with fire idea5

so have you ever loved someone so much it burned?      <<< Shhh.. Listen >>>

 

p.s.

18 months ago, i began to put structure and integrity into a bunch of songs i had written over the past few years, using only chaos theory, my voice, a tenner’s worth of iPhone music apps and Julio (my 35 year old Spanish guitar).

three years ago, it had been an emotional storm: too much illness, too many deaths and one near death.

every day ago, lessons learned.

 

FIRE WITH FIRE is the second single from my forthcoming debut album, Year Zero.

you can stream/download from all major digital distribution platforms, iTunes, Googleplay, Applemusic, Bandcamp, Spotify, Napster, Deezer, TikTok, YouTubeMusic etc etc.

<<< LISTEN HERE, I LOVE YOU >>>

 

 

 

 

Thank You for the Music

The Two Ks

once upon a time there were two little girls and, for a long time, they were inseparable.  they spent all their free time together. they were the best of friends.

two little girls whose names both began with the letter ‘K’.  two little girls with April birthdays, one a year older, K1, and four inches taller than the other, K2.  two little girls in love with all things that 8 year old girls fell in love with then: roller skates, lip gloss, dolphins, puppies and ABBA.

two little girls who loved to sing.  and sing they did.  every day.

they called themselves “The 2 Ks” and, every weekend, they staged ‘concerts’.

K1 would save up her pocket money to buy every album ABBA ever released, or she would bribe her parents into buying them for her, by promising to tidy her room more frequently.  soon the girls did, indeed, have every album ABBA ever released, and their repertoire was growing.  they soon knew all the words to all the songs, by heart.

K1, being the taller of the two girls, with the fairer hair and stronger voice was, obviously, Agnetha.  K2, being smaller with dark hair and a deeper, rich, velvety voice was, naturally, Frida.

the two little girls would rehearse almost every day or night when they had free-run of K1’s living room and her brother’s stereo, with speakers that were as tall as them.  the TV would be turned off,  the door closed and nobody was allowed to enter the living room until the girls had finished their rehearsals for their next concert.  and every Friday or Saturday night, there would be a concert.  each concert would last three to four hours, or until K2’s mother decided it was bedtime.

planning these ‘concerts’ began every Monday afternoon, after school, when the set list was prepared and decisions were made regarding who would sing what song.  rehearsals took place all week with painstakingly choreographed dance routines. harmonies, and counter-melodies were worked out and memorised.  by the end of the week they were ready for the next forthcoming show.  costumes would be tailored to suit the theme of each segment: leotards with chiffon scarves carefully attached so that they moved like flames as the girls danced; silk pyjamas with grown-up strappy sandals; gypsy skirts with boob tubes, no boobs and boho beads; Bermuda shorts and shirts with bow ties. 

tickets and signage were other important aspects of the shows that the girls meticulously prepared: signs such as “No talking or smoking during performance”  were hand-drawn.  K2 was particularly artistic.  she would spend hours designing and colouring in posters, with a full spectrum of felt tip pens at her disposal.  she would often embellish the posters with glitter or fresh flowers glued to them before pinning them up in obvious places: the hallway door, and the living room door – the entrance to their ‘auditorium’. tickets were issued the night before.

One of K1’s older brothers, S, was in a band and he would often set up an amp and microphones for the girls, to which more chiffon scarves were attentively attached.  the volume dial was, after being set by S, strictly out of bounds. they were told not to touch it but the girls often cranked it up regardless – especially if they thought that their audience wasn’t giving them the attention they felt they deserved!

the concerts were all the more special for the two little girls with microphones. however, if K1’s brother had a gig of his own, then singing into their hair brushes would have to suffice.  this happened on many an occasion.

every weekend K1’s house would be full of music and joy.  the two little girls would sing their hearts out.  a mixture of singing together and solo performances, while the other ‘K’ went backstage to slick on more lip gloss, brush her hair and sip some water, or to pet the dog.

to the two little girls, the concerts were real.  in the wilds of their minds, they were performing in a stadium, in front of a crowd of thousands of screaming fans – not just singing along to records to an audience made up of their long-suffering mums, their neighbours, the neighbours’ kids and the dog, in a mid-terrace Council house living room.

these two little girls had feral, unfettered imaginations. for the duration of these shows, they really believed they were ABBA.  An ABBA without Benny and Bjorn, however.  their Bennys and Bjorns would remain invisible.  they did, however, at one time ‘audition’ a boy to join them.  the boy had huge ears and lived next door to K2. he was a firm friend to both girls but he turned out to be completely tone deaf despite the size of his ears (wholly incapable of singing any key played on K1’s piano, despite their best efforts to teach him) so they abandoned that idea, post haste.  he would remain their friend, however, and was often bullied into being their compère for the evening, or invited to ‘mime’ the vocal parts of Benny or Bjorn, should that be required. for the most part, Benny and Bjorn would remain being merely the girls’ left hands, as the girls would practise their kissing on the back of their hands during the intermission.  the tone deaf boy with big ears never got any kisses, but he lived in hope.

backstage, it was chaos.  a trail of discarded chiffon scarves,  thick tinsel boas, the odd ballet pump or long black velvet evening glove would leave a trail upstairs to the “dressing room”.  once again, K2’s artistic skills were put to good use where a big Broadway style dressing room door sign, complete with glam gold Hollywood stars, would adorn the bedroom door.  more scarves; fancy patterned tights, with one leg inside-out; kitten-heeled sandals; a pink hairdryer and curling tongs would be scattered on the floor of K1’s bedroom floor.

little pots of iridescent green and gold eyeshadow and loose translucent powder spilled over the dresser;  lipstick kisses smeared many a mirror;  skirts, sunglasses and furry hats were strewn across the bed; hairbrushes, that just happened to land spiky side up, on the floor would be hidden hazards to small bare feet rushing “backstage” to change costume.

and there were a lot of costume changes.  every half hour, and that meant a lot of hairspray.  it is no wonder smoking was not permitted.

but these two little girls could really sing.  they sang with everything they had, belting out hit after hit.   they sang with such emotion and raw power that their parents’ friends suggested they enter talent competitions, or apply to be on some televised talent show, join a theatre group or even write to Jim’ll Fix It.

but like all little girls, they grew up.  by and by, the ABBA obsession ended as, eventually, did their friendship.

K1 went on to make her first real public performance as a vocalist singing with her brother’s band at the tender age of nine and a half.  she sang ‘Daddy’s Working Boots’, a real heartbreaker of a song written by Dolly Parton, one time at a local Country & Western club.   K2 joined the local church choir.

the reason i know all of this is because i was one of those little girls.

 

The Two Ks_collage

 

(c) Kat McDonald 2020

dedicated to Karen O.  wherever you may be now…. big love, my dear friend, and thank you for the music.

 ❤️

 

 

year zero

so this happened…

ambulance_miaow_mcdonald_2020

18 months ago, Kat McDonald, the former chanteuse of Little Buddha and Bedhed, finally gave in to the burgeoning suggestions, from her fellow Pilgrim and lover, that she record the songs she had been writing.  engineered/co-produced by the Aged Choir Boy, she began to record the handful of songs she had been writing.  crafting songs from chaos using only her voice , Julio – her 35 year old Spanish guitar and a tenner’s worth of virtual instrument apps on her cracked up old iPhone.

the past 3 years, for Kat, had largely been teeming with love and moments of joy but they were not without stabbings of grief  as she watched my mother grow sick and die, as she watched her ‘adopted’ gran grow sick and die, as she saw her boyfriend struggle under the duress of a complete mental breakdown, as she held too many hand of friends as too many of her friends’ mothers died, as she struggled financially and now there is this… THIS!

what is this?

Kat finds herself locked down in a weird existential delirium: in the throes of the new and merciless pandemic virus that has its jaws firmly clamped around the world.  a terrifying and yet curiously calming time to reprioritise.  and time to create.

and so, in the wake of the vicious pummelling to her heart and brain, she sought solace in writing songs.  for her, it’s a chaotic, visceral process.  yet cathartic.  “a primal scream at the top of my lungs”, she says.

a release…

after 5 months of deliberating, pacing like a caged leopard, as Kat made mad scribblings of possible album names on napkins or any other bit of paper available, she has finally decided to name it “year zero”.   because that is what it is.

13 songs about this life.  because this is her ‘year zero’

and it is our ‘year zero’ – from hereon in, life will never be the same.

under her creative name, Miaow McDonald, her debut album ‘year zero‘ will be out some time under lockdown……  available on all digital platforms, incl. bandcamp

‘ambulance’ – the debut single from ‘year zero’ and will be released Monday 13th April 2020. available everywhere.

https://miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/releases

“a very special thank you to the Aged Choir Boy/fellow Pilgrim (Robert Davidson) for his patience and believing in me, even when i felt like an imposter, i know i can difficult to work with…  “you are my dragonfly” x”                                                                                                                         – Miaow McDonald

 

Miaow McDonald: vocals, guitar, bass, piano, Theremin, synths and responsible for some other sonic perversions and samples.

album cover _ YEAR ZERO

(c) Kat McDonald 2020 – locked down, performing/recording as Miaow McDonald.

tundra

Pilgrims-Tundra-Album-Cover-vegan-pop

not posted anything for such a long time.   since the death of my mother, i’ve thrown myself headfirst into my music project with my love, Robert.

together, we are called Pilgrims.  we have just finished our second studio album, Tundra, which will be dropping in all major download and streaming platforms on 21st May 2019.

be sure to watch for it…

we also have a 2-hour radio interview / album preview on Sunday 19th May at 1900-2100hrs (GMT) with GEE FORCE, on Bridge FM, 87.7fm – be sure to listen in… hear all about our songs, their meanings and origins.   international listeners, and those outwith the 87.7fm range can listen in on Bridges FM  >> CLICK HERE <<

 

thank you for your support over the years!

i love you all.

 

Kat xx

 

 

NEW RELEASE- Wilderness, stunning debut album, by Pilgrims

a sound born in a storm. this is what happened when a bird fell from the sky and foxes followed us home. this is supernatural, homespun honesty. this is soup, at 4am. this is a map of the stars that trace our fate. this is paprika tea. this is animal instinct. this is our story. our music.

this is the sound that came from a gorge . this is what happened when lovers cut each others hair with a samurai sword. this is inside out and up ‘n’ down. this humble creation from this hibernation. baring and purging. this is defining heroes. this is katsu curry & fermented pears. this could be winter. these are our scars. this is our music.

this is the chaos of living with panthers in a house by the sea, where ravens share their secrets with those who speak their language. this is our allegiance to our ancestors and the salt in our Bourbon. two years of travelling around the sun, we are finally home…

BUY NOW – https://pilgrimsuk.bandcamp.com/album&#8230;

CONTACT – wearepilgrimsuk@gmail.com

© all rights reserved


into the wild… the making of ‘Wilderness’

“WILDERNESS” – a collection of 13 songs inspired by animals; animals that have been totemic in the relation between a man (Robert Davidson) and a woman (myself, Kat McDonald).

a sound born in a storm. this is what happened when a bird fell from the sky and foxes followed us home. this is supernatural, homespun honesty. this is soup, at 4am. this is a map of the stars that trace our fate. this is paprika tea. this is animal instinct. this is our story. our music.

this is the sound that came from a gorge . this is what happened when lovers cut each others hair with a samurai sword. this is inside out and up ‘n’ down. this humble creation from this hibernation. baring and purging. this is defining heroes. this is katsu curry & fermented pears. this could be winter. these are our scars. this is our music.

this is the chaos of living with panthers in a house by the sea, where ravens share their secrets with those who speak their language. this is our allegiance to our ancestors and the salt in our Bourbon. two years of travelling the sun, we are finally home.

Source: into the wild… the making of ‘Wilderness’

Listen to WILDERNESS >> HERE <<

Tell Lie Vision

 

tell_lie_vision

i don’t own a television.

and i don’t want one.  people ask me why i don’t have a TV, with an expression of such absurdity you would think i had just asked them if i could shit on their chest.

i take pride in myself for the fact that i don’t own a TV set. and here’s why.

it is all lies.

the mainstream media is one of the biggest liars in the history of all mankind, next to religion.

[but God is good, i hear you say.  yeah?  well if God is so good then why do kids get cancer? oh it’s God’s plan… he has greater things planned for them…]

FUCK OFF!  tell that to the grieving parent. tell that to the 8 year old with leukaemia writhing in agony.  

TV is full of shit and my head has enough crap in it without being fed more lies and lies by omission; the manipulation of advertisements purporting a better lifestyle – yeah, a lifestyle that feathers the nest-eggs of the ugly big corporations that are borne of greed and profit and don’t really care that they’re spraying our crops with chemicals akin to Agent Orange; poisoning your soft drinks with neuro-toxins; that that burger is to die for (yes, literally!); that those running shoes are something of a ‘miracle’ that you will need to enhance your performance to workout with style (tell that to the 5 year olds working in shit-stinking sweaty conditions for 18 hour days!); that you NEED insurance (another bête-noire of mine) – what a rip-off.  i could go on but…

anger is a negative energy.  holding onto anger will just further embitter the soul and turn it black, and turn me into even more of a misanthrope than i am already.  fuck that!

so – that is the short answer as to why i don’t own, want or need, a fucking TV set.

there have been a few songs written about TV.  and yes, the sun always shines on TV, doesn’t it?  even the epic scenes of war seem sensationalised and glossy.

Bruce Springsteen growled about having 57 channels and nothing on.

[well, turn the fucker off, Brucie and go read a book…. or write another song!]

Dire Straits and Sting wailed about wanting their MTV.  i remember a day when MTV was cool, full of good music and, dare i say it, informative.  now it’s all dating game-shows and reality TV – offering gaudy glimpses into the private lives and homes of artists most of us have never heard of, but who have sold a billion records, apparently, and have their own unrivalled ‘brand’ of bling and trainers (again endorsing the sweatshops of Hell for the poor and purporting a lifestyle of greed of profane proportions).  who needs an 18ct diamond-encrusted toilet?  it’ll fill up with shit just the same as a bog-standard (bad pun, i know!) porcelain one.

the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy wrote a real stinger of a tune: ‘Television, the Drug of the Nation’ – breeding ignorance and feeding radiation.  this song remains poignant today, spouting ‘a child watches over 1500 murders before he’s 12 years old’.

and then there’s Gil Scott-Heron.  The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.  wise words from a legendary poet and performer that needs little or no introduction.  that song is older than me and still holds the same spine-tingly poignancy as it did back in the day it was first released.  today, the Revolution will NOT be Televised, that’s for sure… but it will be on Twitter or Facebook or fucking Snapchat.

i take pride in the fact that i don’t own a TV set and that i don’t subscribe to the mainstream and worship the remote and its digibox disciples.

i find other ways of ‘educating’ myself and ‘entertaining’ myself.  there are 1000s of books to be read. more than i could read in a lifetime but i am prepared to give it a good try…

and there are places to visit. i just love to travel.  travelling offers the BEST education.

there is (too) much going on inside my head that i need to categorise, rationalise and contend with without the distraction and soul-extraction of television.

i have my own reality. i do not need to watch a group of disparate and desperate people stowed away in a houseful of cameras and sensationalism; i do not need (or want) to see ‘celebrities’ in a jungle eating worms; nor do i care for discovering Britain’s talented humans with their dancing dogs (that’s just another deplorable exploitation of animals).  i don’t want to see the cringe-worthy and patronising debacle that is breakfast tv – where two puppets interview the vulnerable and needy; which draws me nicely to the ‘pièce de résistance’ – the Jeremy fucking Kyle Show – another truly remarkable shot at bear-baiting.

is this what advocates TV as ‘entertainment’?  it’s no wonder we are being ‘dumbed-down’.   there is nothing to FEED the imagination!

i’d much rather read a book… or take a long walk along the beach… or play my guitars… or write some poetry or prose… or visit friends and family.  yes, actually visit people and talk with them, walk with them… break bread with them.

i would love to be in a position to ditch my mobile phone and take myself off the grid completely, but i need it for work.  it’s a double-edged sword.

but i’m working on it…

[steps off soap-box]

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love is cutting each other’s hair with a samurai sword

synesthesia

i/
images and words are, to me, inextricably linked.  words can paint as vivid a picture of a person, an animal, a beautiful vista or a situation as memorably as a timeless photograph or a painting.  words can also make memories.  images are memories, past and new.

for me, there is another voice. music. song. rhythm. harmony.

as writer, photographer and musician, i crave all three. i crave them.  for me, one does not exist without the other, or the other two.

i hear music in my lover’s heartbeat. i hear music in traffic and the cacophony of voices on a city’s subway.  i see stories unfold before me, when i look into the eyes of a tiger.  i see my lifestory in the eye of a wild horse. i can taste colour. i can smell the rain before it falls.  perhaps i walk to a different drum beat than most. i find beauty in the mundane – words, scribbled on an abandoned piece of paper in the gutter;  scarecrows;  a dead moth in a broken lightbulb;  a dead deer lying burst open at the side of the road; fallen spirals of orange peel.

for me, image (both moving and still) does not exist in isolation.  there is a soundtrack, there is music, there are voices and rhythms, and colour, in everything around me.  words do not just hang in the air, like clouds.  they move. they hit. they often resound and reverberate, resonating deep inside.  words, too, have colour and form and their own unique fragrance.   music is in everything. it is our oldest form of communication.  there is rhythm in life – its seasons, our lives, and the patterns and archetypes we define ourselves by.

for me, this trinity, is all that i am.

twice, we have travelled around the sun twice…

 

ii/

love is a strange entity.  its power and grace can overwhelm and overturn.  it can even bring a country to its knees. it is something we all succumb to. it is consuming and transporting and, if done right, it never leaves you.  it tugs at you, it keeps you awake at night. it overrides your need for food and water. it is addictive.  it is the most powerful entity in the universe.  and when you meet someone that seems to be a reflection of you and all you aspire to be, someone who hijacks your thoughts on awakening and your hypnagogic dreamstate, then the world around you can become a very strange and beautiful place. a better place, but a wondrous and strange place – almost a surreality.

one day, a bird fell from the sky and landed on my lap.  it was a sign.  a sign that my life was about to change.  and it did.

Robert and i found each other in a storm.  love, born in a storm.  and we have clung to each other ever since, knowing that we have something powerful, something unique and something that many have envied.  the beginning wasn’t easy.  people we thought were friends preyed upon us, like a shiver of sharks;  each with their own agenda, waiting for a weakness to appear – even trying to divide and conquer.

but we are stronger than that, because we have loved before…

i sought counsel from a tiger.  he told me not to be afraid, just as i was not afraid of him; as he, this 800lb cat, took meat from my hands with all the tenderness of small child.

and so, we embarked on this journey.  we have travelled twice around the sun and have come to learn that all we have and all that we are are the most important things in life.

“nurture & protect”

we are both musicians, writers and visual artists. that was the arena in which we first came to know one another and acknowledged a mutual respect. but it was music that brought us to this point, this journey, this pilgrimage.

and we are but Pilgrims; seeking truth, love and spiritual nourishment in this life.  a life together.

through this journey, our lives have been inextricably fused with music, images and words.  and the journey journeys on as we make soup at 4am;  make love in public libraries;  make travel plans to visit volcanic islands and to fall sleep on desolate beaches; make memories – old and yet to savour, like paprika tea.   we forge songs.  we laugh. we laugh a lot.   we share the same need to be connected, to be connected with nature… the universe, with our selves to ourselves, and to each other.

we have cut each other’s hair with a samurai sword and we have stared into deepest space, with our backs to the sun, and marvelled at our universe, knowing that we have loved before…

T H I S    I S    O U R    S O N G S ……

WILDERNESS (parts 1 & 2, part 3 available later this year, with accompanying film) – FEEL FREE TO TAKE FOR FREE… OR LEAVE A LITTLE GIFT!

PART ONE:  a lone wolf, wild horses, a familiar fox and a room full of 100 butterflies… (click and listen…)

ep art1

PART TWO:  seeking counsel from a tiger, a playful wolverine,  charming bees, humming bird kisses and a shiver of sharks… (click and listen…)

wilderness part 2 COVER

PART THREE:  coming later this year, with accompanying film….

ALL songs inspired (mostly) by my poetry and prose (all of which can be found in my ‘older posts’)

ALL SONGS & MUSIC  (C)(P) Pilgrims UK, Robert Davidson & Kat McDonald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alive, alive-o

seashell-on-beach-photograph-

i live, with my lover, in a sea-shell upon a distant shore.

we can hear the sea sing all day as it slams onto the shore and breaks – casting echoes like magic spells around the bay. we feel its song resonate and reverberate around and through the pink and unholy curves of our shell’s cathedral vaults and brittle ceiling.

‘Kathryn… come here, my love…’

i feel its pearlesque floor silky smooth beneath my feet as i walk, barefoot, towards my love. the ozone air wafts through its iridescent corridors and toys with my hair and soft fabric of my pale indigo dress. my lover stands with his arm outstretched to me. he stands there, bare of foot and chest. his hair is noticeably longer than it was yesterday and the tips are indigo. his beard is indigo and long enough for me to curl up and fall asleep in, like i have done countless times. he looks good. his denims are indigo and hug his slender frame. i take his hand and he wraps me up in his arms. we hold each other close, swaying to music only he and i can hear. the dance floor is pearly pink and shining. the twinkle of sand particles catch the morning sunlight and scatter patterns of light around inside. our very own private disco in the diamond dust. we defy gravity, spiraling into its hollow core. the canon of our laughter swells and fills the chambers of this hollow shell that we call home and it is the most beautiful noise. he presses me against the wall. urgent. the walls of the shell feel as warm and smooth as the skin on my lover’s back. i love mornings like this.

we walk to the frayed edge where land meets the sea. the sea bears many gifts and fruits of the ocean… today we have an abundance of giant green olives – many of them conveniently pitted and halved. i watch as one of the many giant olives drift ashore. we climb inside and sail out to sea, headed for the distant horizon – to Neighborland’s Grand Market.

Neighborland: a former landfill site, made of reclaimed rice-cakes, stray socks and discarded McDonald’s happy meal toys is home to a population of almost 5000. every Sunday people come from near and far; by air, by land or sea; on foot or gryphon, to peruse the market stalls and haggle with stall holders. there is much bartering or swapping – a goat for poem; a kiss for a bottle of wine; a loaf of bread for a new pair of boots.

we moor our olive at the Lesser Western Pier and head straight for the Neighborland Bar where we order some cocktails. the Barman looks like my brother from Earth, Stewart Munro McDonald. he even has the same sense of humour. i ask the Barman his name. he tells me his name is Arty. the Bar is quiet. there are only the two of us and an albino troll seated near the entrance to the mens’ toilets. he looks a little worse for wear and is muttering to himself. Arty picks up his guitar and begins to play some Faron Young.

“God, my brother would LOVE this place…” i say to my love. we finish our drinks and leave. we have some poems to trade today.

it’s a busy place, patrolled by giant wasps, there is very little crime in Neighborland.

the Market is a colourful, lively hive of activity. we stop at the Hookah pipe corner and swop a poem for some bloodberry elixir.   this is headier than cinnamon, more sour than black cherry and more potent than a vintage port. this will be a sweet delight for us when we return home to the cool comfort of our shell.

music… we hear music…  a strange and haunting sound and decide to follow it… we meander through the crowds of drunks and queers, the jokers and clowns, through the limbo dancers and jazzers, down by the whores selling fake gold and prawns, through the spice trail to a little blue tent at the farthest corner of the Market place. the sound is louder now.  it sounds like nothing we have heard… we enter the tent.

inside the cool darkness of the tent, we let our eyes adjust to the dim shimmer of phosphorescent glowworms, weaving all across the floor. we take off our red shoes and walk, carefully, across the floor to speak with the stall owner. he is a rotund man with a large mop of black curly hair. He is seated, cross-legged, on the floor playing a vintage Electrolux vacuum cleaner. he seems lost in his ‘music’. we take a seat next to him and hold hands as we listen to him play.  sensing our presence, he stops playing, opens his eyes, and says “if you have come to sell me those red shoes, i am not interested…” we laugh. he introduces himself as “Keef”. i offer him nine poems for the Hoover. reluctantly, after much deliberation, he accepts – on the promise that we take good care of it and make music with it. he offers us something to eat “a snake-flavoured cookie, perhaps…. or a juicy glow-worm…?” he says, giddy like a child with a secret…. “and i have some botanical tea.  it’s the best in town…?”

the tea was a strange brew – of bamboo, garlic and fermented panda poo, served with  a splash of (organic) tiger milk.  Keef holds up a large ewer, full of the bubbling and foul-smelling ‘tea’, and laughs maniacally as we leave the tent.

as we walk away, i hear him, shuffling around inside his tent, slurping down his strange brew and his booming voice reading one of my poems aloud – only it is punctuated with giggles as he picks up glow-worms and eats them “alive alive-o…”

we leave the Market with no more poems in our hearts to sell.

back at the Lesser Western Pier, we clambour back on board our giant green olive and i row back across the sea, to our shell home, while my lover sings Faron Young songs…

words / dream recollection (c) Kat McDonald 2015

– they do say that we should make note of our dreams as soon as we can upon wakening…  as soon as one foot hits the floor, all dreams are lost…