Bo’s Bedtime, version 1

Bo’s Bedtime

‘things aren’t always what they seem… things aren’t always what they seem…’
mumu said this.
the spoon twists and dangles on the end of a thread.
light jumps and sends pricks into bo’s eyes.
bo looks.

the world in the spoon is smeary
upside down
drifting, swaying
stretching, claying

‘things are ALWAYS what they seem…’
whee! the spoon swings harder
ow! it bumps bo’s nose.
ha! ow! the spoon bonks from one side to the other
desk – nose – desk – nose

suddenly the spoon launches itself into a twirling flight and sails across the room.

clang din clang,
metal hits wood,
bounces a little,
hits again.
high. low.
that’s the flow.

and did you know dada is reading a book to ayo?

“it’s a long way to here,” gramma says bending to hug…
dada’s voice trails off as he looks up.

they are sitting in a big chair when,
flying through the air,
that spoon lands there.

bo’s eyes shut.
the smell of gramma, warm and tickley
humming “it’s a long way to here… it’s a long way to here…”

becoming a prickle in the neck,
a wiggle in the hair.
a squeeze, and then,
dropping down, bo is
a snake, a worm,
who will find the spoon
without looking.
small crumbs and pieces
crunch under the fingers.
floor slides by
heavy on the belly,
flat on the arms.

huffing, puffing, chuffing,
snake-train, snake-train, bake-train, cake-train…
snake-train, fake-train, bake-train, cake-train…
fake-train, fake-train!!! fake-train!!!! snake-train!!!!!!

the train hits the chair
and stops.

one leg of dada feels and pushes a little.
in the quiet, dada’s voice goes on,
sing-song, high, low,
that’s the flow.
like a tune that has
never stopped
only on pause
ready to go…

ayo’s voice like a swirly bowl of hiccups,
without a spoon
dada laughs.
ayo hiccups
for real.

ayo’s two feet on the floor
thumping, bumping to the kitchen

drawer slides
plastic pushing
cups shuffling
bo listens…

drawer bangs
‘don’t bang!’
‘bang, BANG!’

water runs, and runs, and runs
‘water off!’
water stop.
slurp, cough-spray-snort, and a wail

a sigh from the chair
floof, book shut.
sluf, sluf, sluf, sluf, sluf, sluf, sluf…
choke, spray, SNOrt, HIC!
BANG, wAIL, laugh, snick

clock tick…

tikke, tikke, tikke, stop
tikke, tikke, tikke, tikke, tikke, tikke, tock
gramma’s fingers tick furiously
on her laptop.

eyes closed,
bo’s ears feel the sounds
like tiny taps in the head.
bo’s fingers wiggle
tapping, tap, tap
across the floor.
bo’s body follows
tikke, tikke, tikke, tik
tappe, tappe, tappe, tap…
suddenly fingers clink
on the spoon
bo giggles.
tok, tok, tok, tok
spoon on the floor
spoon follows the tikke, tikke, tikke, tik
tappe, tappe, tappe, tap
tok, tok, tok

bo taps gramma’s toes with the spoon.
‘hey!’ they say.
bo’s eyes open,
look up,
‘tell me about the train’
tikke, tikke, tikke stops.
eyes look down and wrinkle in the corners
‘your favorite part?’
bo nods.

all day looking out
at the steppes
red, yellow and brown

when the train stops,
you have to stay close by,
it might slowly pull away
leaving you running behind
in the middle of a land
where the writing is curls
and whirls so beautiful
but hard for you
to understand.

sometimes horsemen ride by
racing the train
in red, purple or green
with boots and hats
brandishing long spears
wind whipping and wailing
flapping and sailing

in Ulaanbaatar
i saw a man in broad boots
leather and straps
with long toes curling up
to here

and the music…

gramma’s eyes go soft
and close

dada’s slippers approach
with the tippe toes of ayo

scooped and settled
cuddled and close
sniff sniffling sniff
dada strokes bo’s hair
sing song sung in the big chair.
opens book.
squirming ayo pushes at bo.
song singing dada’s hands

tikke tocka tickke tikke tock
mumu whispers look see
gramma turns
snuggley chair
dada’s voice song
ayo’s yawn haaaaaaa
bo’s hand rubbing eyes

page turning…
mumu comes
crouches there by the chair
gramma smiles hums

tick tocka tikke tikke ticka tocka

Thanks to Michael Taylor for his kind permission to use one of his recorded train sounds for snake-train. I used sounds from the DB 2-8-2 #41.018 departs Rosenheim with a special train on Sunday Sept 22 2002.
He wrote to me:
My favourite was from New Mexico:

It was made at Windy Point where the railway track was built on a ledge on the side of the hill. Cattle had wandered down from the top of the hill and were unable to get of off the line. The train with 2 steam locomotives had to slow to a walking pace and chased the cattle up the line until there was a spot where they could get to the side of the track.
Michael Taylor
Binbrook, Ontario

Thanks to Michael Robert Powell for permission to use music from the YouTube film ‘Beautiful Mongolian Music.’ In my research, I think the singer is B. Baasandorj who sings in Kharkhorin. However, I was unable to get his contact information. Michael asked me to mention him as such:
the candy trail … Travel Adventures | Michael Robert Powell

Big thanks to didgeridoo player, Lies Beijerinck who made extended recordings with me one evening at the Aboriginal Art & Music Store Amsterdam with wind chimes and many instruments (more to come!) and who played Dada on the didgeridoo!

And grateful thanks also to composer Selim Doğru, who gave his advice in the compilation of the soundtrack.


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