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Gloves and Parakeets by Jack Wheeler

Long listed for the WRITE ABOUT WALKING AND LISTENING competition run in July & August 2021

No matter how far you walk you can never escape the voices inside your head. The trick is to find ways to quieten or distract them. A trick I had to learn in January 2021 when my anxiety and stress levels all but incapacitated me. I live in Greenwich, about fifteen minutes walk from Greenwich Park, home to the Royal Observatory, the equestrian events at the 2012 Olympics and also to one of London’s flocks of wild parakeets. The walk to the park was a way to distract the voices. I made it my mission to photograph the lost and abandoned gloves of London. Each day I took a different route and each day offered new finds. All gloves are disposable if you want them to be, there is a metaphor there for how we live, a clunking, obvious and potentially terrifying metaphor. This was one way to quieten the voices in my head. The other distraction is in the park, enter on Maze Hill, walk to the top of the park and at some point a chorus of screeches and a formation of neon green aliens will assail you. London’s wild parakeets, their origin an urban myth of escaped pets and dockland stowaways. Considered a pest and ripe for a cull. No! Sit in the park, close your eyes, let their cries envelop you and relax. No you can’t walk far enough to escape the voices inside your head, but sometimes just trying is enough.


Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud, for a chance to win a prize. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.

Read more from the Long List of stories submitted to the WRITE ABOUT WALKING & LISTENING competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 26 September 2021 book here.

Buy WALKING – the limited edition illustrated chapbook anthology of 15 poems and stories inspired by walking and listening €4.50 + p&p

All proceeds go to support future Sound Walk Septembers

Jack2908

Jack2908

United Kingdom

Jack is a wannabe standup comedian who due to his inability to write a new joke during lockdown turned to writing poetry. Jack has lived in London all his life and is married with one daughter. He has performed standup in London, Brighton, Paris, Cannes, L...

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