Splish Splash | by Gary W. Hartley

Drip droplets rolling south down skin is it sweat or condensation on the outside of air conditioning units stationed above and tempted by gravity is it tears for this or that or the other it is probably something more practical than that popped pipes or no pipes or stolen pipes and all the aforementioned elements and blocked guttering but it is becoming a problem and in honesty probably more than that it’s worth noting the silliness of the fact there is no rain here yet liquid is seeping out of every crevice on high on low and filling up the poorly-drained ground below so much in fact that although this balcony used to mark a third floor this could be described as ground level now or at least surface level it’s a conspiracy they say in as much as those below can say through snorkels many periscopes poke to the sky and offer no answers worthy of a question they were dying for solutions beggared as they were by economics and circumstance and psychological traits that didn’t suit either economics or circumstance and maybe this is one of sorts though the psychologies have played their part again and this is woeful under preparation surely if this is the solution then they could’ve sent a mail shot by or something before the levels started rising because people are panicking yes they like to panic at the best of times but this might be something more along the lines of the worst unless you tend towards amphibiousness which some do whatever traits you have it must be recognised that what is damn likely to happen is that this desert is going to fill with water no mirage the real deal it will get its way and only the fish flopping around and the amphibians with their greasy heads will really win though we might all find a way to live with a great mass of water just as we got a handle on land mass after exiting the water in the early days its like the time the basement flooded entirely but the electrics stayed on plugs submerged hardcore though this is obviously bigger as a deal not micro but not macro either the TV flickers a bit as if preparing to take a deep one and dive but it’s still well enough to tell us that this is just here nowhere else no Hollywood show of unity across cities and races as we sink everyone else beyond the horizon is just fine and this is barely getting reported in a sense we like water but we trusted it too much and didn’t keep an eye on it our inattentiveness may be the end as if water has an ego of its own and we shouldn’t have just let it seep around do its thing but maybe taken selfies with it and shown our friends and stroked it sometimes our bad we just thought it would float up light and make clouds that burn in the sun before we see them this is what hot climates are all about surely and if not why not we will not drown nobody has so far and nobody will we will sit on lilos and dinghies until the food runs out tune in live and watch us survive and then not oh hang on hang on now the wet wet wetness which was beginning to get comfortable on the balcony is now slip sliding off an unholy twirl is going round round the surface making bins motorbikes and tree branches circle about each other with all the other wet muck there is definite downward momentum here quickly quickly there is a line on the buildings a visible line where water was and now is not as it turns out there is a plug hole after all and someone has had the tenacity to find it and yank hard at the metal rope of baubles and whatever caused it the dripping air conditioners or whatever is now off the hook and will not face justice I’m a little disappointed if I’m honest the inflation of the inflatables was a wasted effort seriously this is not an apocalypse any more this is a farce a waste of time effort and thought maybe this is what the future looks like a series of minor major crises seemingly amounting to nothing until they amount to something very big indeed all we’ve got to look forward to now is a sort of dry damp gaggle of quickly evaporating puddles and a rough count million mosquitoes hatching out of their little eggs looking for their first square meal.





Gary W. Hartley is from Leeds, but has voluntarily exiled himself to Athens for the time being. He used to co-edit The Alarmist magazine, and has a book of poems out on Listen Softly London Press. He communicates into the digital void via Twitter: @garyfromleeds



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