The heavy decrepit bodies of the great and not so, mingled with their offsprings, children too young to realise that this too would be their fate. Pathetic men way past their glory days paraded pretending that they still had it, while bored defeated women looked on knowing they didn’t.

It was another day at the enclosed perfectly temperatured salt baths. The warmth was comforting to the skin and the soul and made old bones and muscles feel rejuvenated. The inhabitants floated safe in this maternal womb away from the business deals that no longer mattered in a world that no longer cared and was on its last legs. Some old guys studied the racing form while younger middle-aged men preferred the stock market. Some gambled with their own money while others ventured with what they had married into, or had inherited. All in all there’d be few winners that day. There were no more lucky numbers to be had, or surprise gold and mineral funds in a world that had been looted, raped and gang banged so many times there was nothing left. Certainly not energy for outrage. Only resentment from natives who had been trampled under foot and squashed by the invaders who destroyed paradise without ever having taken the time to truly look around and realise the greatest wealth was above the ground. But like rats they burrowed lower and lower into darkness desperate for any shiny morsel of opportunity. Never thinking any further ahead than that.

We had destroyed the world without realising that such an abomination also destroyed ourselves. What we project outwards also implodes us. Given time.

I stood in the warm salt water as the floating bodies of the dead and the dying circled me.

(C) Frank Howson 2019

Sketch by Frank Howson.


You can’t see me but I’m here

Somewhere distant, somewhere near

You pass me by but never see

The person that is me

A shadow in the day

A nothing in the night

I am everywhere

But never in the light

But I am close, I am near

You can’t see me but I’m here


You don’t know me but I live

Can you feel, can you give?

I walk this earth but leave no trace

A stranger with no face

No children by my side

I’m invisible

I’ve sacrificed my pride

You see no tears when I cry

I go unnoticed by your eye


I breathe

I ache

I bend

Till I break

I pain

I fret

And I drink

To forget


Our home is any doorway

Downtown dive, lost highway

We thumb a ride to who knows where

Next stop someone may care

A brother in despair

A sister on the run

I’m everyone

I’m someone’s missing son

Yes I am you, I am me

I am your humanity


You can’t see us but we’re here

We need your change, not your tear

Our walk through hell has set us free

Like a river to the sea

And one day when we’re gone

And return to ground

We’ll become the wind

And that nightingale sound

Yes we are close, we are near

You can’t see us but we’re here


You can’t see us but we’re here…


(c) Frank Howson 2013.