From Heaven to Hannah

“Go over the mountain, Papa, go over the mountain,” said the little girl. “Hush Hannah! Do not interfere in grown up-matters,” said her Papa. “She’s not often wrong,” her uncle said. “Such wisdom in one so young I’ve never seen.” “So a five year old child determines our destiny,” said the low road preferrer. “It is decided,” said Josef “We go over. We’ll meet up with you in the village in three days’ time.” Half way up the ascent the snow started getting heavier by the minute. ”Don’t worry Papa, God will protect us,” said Hannah. “Where does she get her unchangeable faith from?” said Ezra. “We’ll make camp at the little plateau amidst the copse of trees. It’s a natural canopy and has ample space for the three wagons,” said Josef. When they reached the place, the weather had worsened, even Hannah was concerned. “I’ll gather wood for the fire Mama,” said the child, “Will you bake pancakes after the stew?” “Yes I will my little angel” said her mother. “She’s the Jewel in the Crown,” said Josef, his face etched with pride and financial worry. Reading his mind, his daughter said smiling “Everything will work out Father; help will come from God.”

A roaring fire was started in the tiny little canopy surrounded by obliging trees. Reba made a wonderful spicy stew. All their cares faded in the cosy comfort of a blazing campfire surrounded by the occupants of the other wagons. The mood was warm and hopeful especially when their bellies were filled with the gorgeous Goulash and butter melting pancakes. “Look up Papa!” Hannah cried excitedly, “A shooting star! It’s enormous!” The meteor faded as it flew overhead, almost touchable. They could even hear the ssh, ssh, ssh, as it hit the snow next to a small kettle lake. Hannah was already heading up to investigate. “Papa bring the spike and the big hammer for mending the wheels.” Josef obeyed. While scampering upwards to the meteor Hannah shouted, “There will be a fissure sitting out of the water on top of the meteor, you must place the spike in the crack and hit it with a mighty blow as hard as you can.” Hannah’s uncle stood with mouth agape, amazed at the flurry of instructions flowing from the mouth of the five year old. Half the caravan wouldn’t know what a fissure was never mind a child.

On arrival Josef and Ezra carried out the instructions to the letter. On the first hit nothing happened, then re-summoning all his strength and determination Josef hit the fissure a mighty blow indeed. It opened Sesame, as if to order. The two brothers looked with astonishment. “Are these what I think they are?” uttered Ezra. “I don’t know” answered Josef, “but we’ll soon find out when Mikael casts his expert eye when we reach the village. Not a word to anyone!” “About what?” said Ezra playfully? They gingerly separated the two stone tablets in which the diamonds were embedded. The dark grey colour of the stone merely served to accentuate the splendour of the gems within. Each stone tablet was the dimension of a breakfast tray.  Josef wrapped them both in his jacket and carried them unseen back to the wagon. “I don’t have to say this Hannah, but tell no-one of what you have witnessed.” “I know Papa, I know.” “Otherwise we could be in trouble with the authorities, secrecy is of the essence.”

After being snowed in for three days the three wagons made their way down to the village with great care. On arrival Reba took her daughter to her aunt’s house where she was greeted by her little cousins who always loved spending time with Hannah. Josef and Ezra had much more important business to deal with.
On arrival at Mikael’s they received his usual warm welcome which involved the producing of three glasses filled to the brim with a spicy, honey flavoured liquor which if allowed, rendered you comatose. “I must decline your toast,” said Josef “I need a clear head.” “I’ll have his” said Ezra already sampling the spirit. “What is this business that is so important it prevents you from imbibing?” Furtively glancing behind him, Josef gently closed the only door and jammed a shovel under the handle. “You have my undivided attention” said Mikael, “I am intrigued.” With a flick of his wrist and the finesse of an accomplished magician, Josef removed the towels to reveal two stone trays almost like those in a jeweller’s shop with an impressive array of diamonds of different dimensions. Mikael’s eyes lit up like a child on Christmas morning as he reached for his eyeglass. “Where did you get these?” he asked. “They appear flawless.”
Josef related the story about the comet and how Hannah described the fissure before they reached the meteor. “Not a word to anyone,” said Mikael, “troops are scouring the landing site as we speak. Let’s hope these are the only items of jewellery on board the meteorite. If they’re not we’re in trouble.”

Reflecting on Josef’s account of events Mikael said, “Hannah has always been a remarkable child. Remember when she held the ailing baby when she was four years old and the baby made an amazing recovery. She seems almost mystical, as if she’s missing her little childhood. All this talk of hospitals and old folks homes should be for adults not girls Hannah’s age.” “We are going to a wedding four days journey and four days back, perhaps the break will do her good and let her rest and relax,” said Josef.

“There is something I must say,” said Mikael, “I am the alleged illegitimate son of Peter Carl Faberge, craftsman and jeweller to the Tsar. All I have, I inherited from him. I was dispatched here with my mother fifty five years ago. My mother purchased my house and these premises with a large bequeathment from him on the understanding we would never meet. I inherited not just his money but his skills as a goldsmith and sculptor. The reason I am revealing this is because of matters of security and secrecy. I will have to cut these stones into sets and individuals because you cannot steal that which did not exist in the first place. This will legitimise all you have found. With all my contacts we can acquire serious money as it is needed. A few years down the line when all the dust has cleared Hannah’s hopes and dreams of a hospital can be realised in time as long as it’s a gradual and doesn’t draw attention.”

 

*

“It all seems so long ago,” said Josef’s twenty eight year old grand-daughter as she gazed with pride on the impressive looking Angels of Mercy Hospital which incorporated all from cradle to afterlife.

 

A Body Bag in Abbottabad

 

Retribution came like a thief in the night
To Osama from Obama to make a wrong right
As the black hawk whirred in silent mode
Its deadly cargo began to unload
One by one they descended, without remorse
Like giftless Greeks from a Trojan horse
Hearts were racing and pulses high
As bullets in silence pierced the calm night sky
Suicide waistcoats, sensitive alarms
Surely awaited these brothers in arms
All seemed too easy, had they caught them off guard?
As they hit the ground running on the top floor yard
A bullet in the eye plus one in the chest
As they double tapped their target like a household pest
“Is my Daddy dead?” the little girl said
As she watched the blood pouring from a hole in his head
Summary execution has a fatal flaw
When replacing due process and rule of law
Events overtake you and the system can’t cope
Then you’re hurtling down a very slippery slope

 

 

The Unfortunates

A hapless victim of a fast flowing river
An Arctic explorer beginning to shiver
A tired mountaineer who’s ran out of rope
An unfortunate bather who slipped on the soap

An overseas spy left out in the cold
A frostbitten hand unable to hold
A thoroughbred horse that can’t win a race
A lacklustre lawyer who can’t win a case

A predator’s quarry with nowhere to run
Like a victim in range of an assassin’s gun
An Icarus hang-glider out having fun
Unfortunately drifted too close to the sun

A plane taking off that’s just lost its throttle
An alcoholic’s dregs from his very last bottle
A striker who’s jinxed and can’t score a goal
A priest in a chapel who can’t save a soul

A tennis player’s backhand that can’t win a point
A frustrated smoker who can’t find a joint
Like the hurried heartbeat of a helpless hare
As it’s plucked from the ground by an eagle mid-air

A latecomer commuter who just missed his bus
A mistreated passenger who makes no fuss
A sprinter whose spikes are too quick to run
Disqualified and last for jumping the gun

A blundering boxer who can’t win a fight
A champion who carried him said “Richard goodnight”
Mohammed Ali what a sight to see
Floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee

 

 

Scrappers

 

Like bees to a hive they start to arrive
No flowers or petals just precious metals
Anticipation with expectation
No freshly made honey but new smelling money
Happiness reigns in their smiling eyes
Full of mischief and sudden surprise
Special people with a code of their own
A history of mystery and whispering tone
Interesting ways and likeable phrase
Endangered species in these modern days
Independence by their own way of life
Protects them from failure trouble and strife
They answer to no-one in an enterprising world
Just keep on working as insults are hurled
Aliens protected in a lunar cocoon
Like a spaceship for scrap dispatched to the moon

 

Eye Reading

 

Mirrors of my soul
Show how I am feeling
Give insights like a poll
Into things that help my healing
Look into my eyes
Interpret my emotions
Strip away deceit
Like a truth drug magic potion
See through my heart’s protector
Glance into my soul
Like a latent lie-detector
Or a deep planted mole
-Bring back remnants of my youth
That take me back to truth