Besides being the editor of Cyclamens and Swords publishing as well as the Voices Israel Poetry Anthology and publisher of the numerous chapbooks you can view in our bookshop, Johnmichael occasionally finds time to write a poem or a short story himself.
Here's one written several years ago which he recently dug out of it's archive.
‘Hello darling, I’m home’.
‘How are you?’
‘I’m fine, except for my stomach, its a little uncomfortable, its probably nothing, I’m sure it’ll go away soon’.
‘Let me get you some boolah boolah tea. Its very good for tummies’.
‘No thanks, I’ll be fine in a few minutes’.
‘I’ll give you a tummy massage. That’s sure to make you feel better’.
‘No thanks, I’ll be fine”.
“Darling, I just remembered. Jessica gave me some dried jolopini flowers. They’re excellent for stomach problems…saved her aunt’s life actually. I’ll brew you a nice cup of jolopini tea and put a little honey in it’.
‘No thanks really. I’m feeling better already’.
‘Are you hungry darling?’
‘How about a little wild aboriginal oatmeal? It only takes a few minutes to prepare. It’s very good for tummies. I’ll give it to you with your jalopini tea.’
‘No thanks really. I’m fine now and I’m not hungry’.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m just sitting here relaxing’.
‘How’s your tummy?’
‘I’m fine now’.
‘Your boolah boolah tea will be ready in a minute, and I’ve made you a teeny bowl of aboriginal oatmeal. I put in some of those lava lava nuts you loved the other day at the vegan restaurant. I went specially to the health store to get them. Why aren’t you eating?.
‘I’ll have it in a minute, I’m not really hungry’.
‘You should have it while its hot. It’s so tasty’.
‘I think I’ll lie down and rest for a few minutes’.
‘Oh my darling you’re really not feeling well. I’m so goddam insensitive. Here I am bringing you tea and oatmeal and everything and all the time your stomach is so upset that you can’t eat a thing’.
‘No its not that. I’m just a bit tired. Had a long day. I’ll just nap for a few minutes’.
‘OK, can I just give you a tiny little hug before you go to sleep?’
‘I love to kiss you. Your skin is so soft and sensuous. Your skin has a very special smell do you know? I love your smell. Darling?’
‘I put a nice cup of jalopini tea on the table next to the bed. You can drink a little before you fall asleep. Then when you wake up you’ll be as right as rain’.
‘Darling can I tell you something?’
‘This morning I was just sitting here thinking about that day we were in the forest with the flowers and the waterfall and all that and it reminded me of Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony. My aunt Jessica, God rest her soul, used to love the Pastoral. Anyway right at that moment they played a commercial on the radio about this Pastoral face crème and do you know what darling? Well you guessed it. They were playing the second movement of the Pastoral symphony in the background. Now is that a message from the angels or isn’t it?’
‘Sounds like it”.
‘No really. Do you think I’m psychic or something? I’m always getting these déjà vu feelings. They come to me in a flash when I’m unaware, thinking of other things and then they just jump into my head ready made, you know? Where do you think they come from do you know what I think?’
‘I’ll sleep just a few minutes, OK?’
‘I think they come through me, not from my sub-conscious or anything, but through me from a higher source of energy, or even a parallel world or a past life if you will. I mean I’ve always thought that I don’t really belong here. You know that feeling, don’t you?’
‘Just a quarter of an hour’.
‘You didn’t drink your boolah boolah tea’.
‘Would you like to take a shower when you get up. Shall I turn on the hot water for you?’
‘I’ll turn on the hot water. Nothing like a hot shower when you wake up. Then you can have a little of that veggie soup I made from those mushrooms we picked in the forest. Garfield, Exupery, Zip-zip, get off the bed and let Honeybunch sleep. Off, all of you. Chin-chin stop eating that oatmeal, its not for cats. C’mon out you go. Oh shit goddam it look what I’ve done, spilt the damn oatmeal all over your pillow and your head…oh darling I’m so sorry, I’m so clumsy, I was just trying to shoo Chin-chin away and now look what I’ve done. I’ll get a towel and clean you up in a minute’.
‘Its OK, I’ll take a shower’.
‘The water’s not hot yet. Let me clean you up first. Oh shit what an idiot I am. I am so sorry. I’ll just mop it up and you can go back to sleep.’
‘No, I’m awake now. I’ll take a shower OK?’
‘Oh darling you’re such a sweet man. After you shower can I read you a poem that I wrote after we came back from the forest?’