Fran’s Mini

in Fran’s purple Mini singing
“alone again . . . naturally”
driving along Madeira Drive
past the Ferris wheel and crazy golf
we got the windows wound down
the smell of sea on the right
the stench of piss on our left
the down and outs on benches
slurring “underneath the arches”
their bottles of Thunderbird nearing empty
and UP the ramp we go
put the pedal to the metal girl
give it all she’s got girl
MOT’s due next week shouts Fran
she cannae take any more I shouts
wheezing onto Marine Parade
heaving a sigh of collective relief
take her up round Sussex Square I suggest
arm out window indicating our direction
and we’ll stick two fingers up
to the posh cunts in their Regency piles
left on Eastern Road
(we didn’t do the two fingers after all)
too busy singing
“oh what a lonely boy
oh what a lonely BOY!”
all the way to the Royal Sussex Hospital
take a left here down Sudeley Place
then next right into Sudeley Street
I got some memories stored here
idling past the Corner Memory Store
then left then right then straight ahead
Fran turning up the radio
it’s so loud the doors are rattling
people outside shops stop and stare
“we had joy we had fun
flicking bogies at the sun
but the sun was too hot
and the bogies turned to snot”
pulling up outside The Crown
squeezing Fran’s purple Mini in
lucky to get a space
turning the key to No.23
walking down the dank corridor
turning the key to bedsit No.8
we’ll talk about travelling the world
we’ll smoke some dope
we’ll laugh and watch TV
but she won’t stay the night
and the summer is ending

when I go back

when I go back I ask
are you still there?
the memories drift down the river
remember the water on our toes?
I watch them from the chalky hill
remember the chalk on our skin?
they rush under bridges
I search for your reflection there
lingering past pubs and familiar places
we were without a care then
wending their way through the town
hand in hand the two of us and more
like a gang of gulls out on the piss
on the beach and under the stars
suddenly swirling high above the church
remember the shooting star on New Year’s Eve?
heads cocking from side to side
back to yours for more I remember
eyeing up the potential possibilities below
sneaking up the familiar stairs at 3am
unrecognisable faces in the crowds below
would we recognise each other now?
I was born here yet who do I know?
you left and now you are a stranger
searching under all the familiar stones
I leave none unturned
but of course no-one is expecting you
there are so many stones upon this beach
a dying man circling above his past
a dying man walking these empty streets
looking down at his own familiar loss
the sea breeze beckoning me
why not go there – head out to sea?
out – out to sea – but where?
maybe try your luck in a different land
and there will I be free . . ?

Thinking of you, dad

my father died when I was 7 and he was 37
I have virtually no memory of him
beyond photos and a few sketchy dreamlike scenes
that may or may not have occurred
but oddly his ‘spirit’
(for want of a better word)
seems to find me on occasions
when I am least expecting it
again, this is probably of my own making
or related to some trigger event
but nevertheless it keeps me tethered to him
in a way that makes me thankful
that not everything in life and death
can be fully explained

Thanks to Jon for his poem this morning
that triggered mine. You can find it on this link:

https://jonstainsby.wordpress.com/2020/03/02/thinking-of-you-mum/

attic space

the attic space
is a crawling space

with spider nest homes
and house fly homes

there are empty boxes
filled up boxes

of odds and ends
that never end

some carpet pieces
lost jigsaw pieces

kids toys for the next
generations

keepsakes from the past
generations

why am I here?
well that’s not so clear

I see the time has flown
the bulb has blown

now I’m all alone
yes I’m all alone

in this dark debris
of  memories

The Keeper of Thoughts

so Bill

I was just wondering

when will you be done

taking your photographs

you were never this long

in the roll of film days

when you had a couple dozen shots

but now there’s no stopping you

 

my mother had always been

just wondering

patiently sat filing her nails

flicking through glossy magazines

Harpers and Queen

Vanity Fair

the breathtaking scenery

had never interested her

 

we’d drive out each weekend

take the Oldsmobile panting up

The Skyline Drive or

Blue Ridge Highway

there were swallowtails

and black bears

if you knew just where to look

and point your toy pistols

 

mother watched

from the passenger seat

window wound down

breeze blowing her mini beehive

the ten most alluring women

in the world

she would read out loud and

how to marry a billionaire Bill

 

poor father was a delivery man

never an ambitious bone

in his weary body

the long hours delivering parcels

exacted a price on his arthritis

but you would not hear him complain

just a few more minutes honey

he would quietly say

 

all those Kodachrome slides

he never showed or looked at them

they sat boxed

gathering dust

like his simple thoughts

over time he feared he would one day lose

our sunny days wandering Big Meadows

with mother in the car wondering

 

the names of our favorite places

still sing in my ears

they echo out from overlooks

call me back each year

to Riprap Trail

Hawksbill Gap

Elkwallow and

Bacon Hollow

 

now I am the keeper of his thoughts

unlocked and free to wander

projected overhead

we watch them on the big screen

there’s me I point

pistols at the ready

and mom smiling and waving

a cripple with withered legs

 

img_20160731_151508-effects

(apologies for posting this poem twice on the Daily Post one word prompt slot. My other blog is winding down now that I am coming to the end of my travels and I inadvertently added this to that although it does have relevance there too. Managing multiple WordPress blogs from a smartphone is not always without its glitches)

Sand Flies and Tea Tree Oil

I remember your face so well but then
your picture has travelled with me
down through the decades
28th March 1987 – almost thirty years ago
you must be what, forty now?
I don’t even know your name
never took the trouble to write it down
you passed me with your mum and dad
their 4×4 robust compared with my very
unsuitable 400cc Suzuki road bike
not the ideal transport on an undulating
sandy track through Aussie rainforest
four hours to cover six kilometres!
the whole campsite cheered when I appeared
that’s one amazing thing I’ve achieved
although at the time I was scared shitless
as the light faded and my confidence waned
but it was worth it just to find that beach
and the Cherry Venture wreck
sharing food and camp fires
magical moments that stayed with me forever
I wonder how they shaped your life
young boy with the cheeky smile
all covered in sand in your Lufkin hat
do you remember being stung in the sea
and my tea tree oil took away the pain and tears
the sand flies were a menace too
big fat bastards but easily swatted
if you kept your wits about you
and let them settle before thwacking them dead
it all seems such a long time ago
a distant echo on so many waves
a million tides of crashing surf
I hope life turned out well for you?

beach boy2

(Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. It was virtually unheard of in the UK back in the eighties but is now globally widely used in many products for its antimicrobial properties despite evidence in its favour being low, according to Wikipedia. This poem links back to my previous posts on the The Cherry Venture wreck if you skip around my little Haiku Hiking interlude. Where to next I wonder).

The Tempests of Time

a sparkle of diamonds float upon the ocean waves
each a reminder of lives lost to the tempests of time

the rolling   swelling   ubiquitous current of life
calling and beckoning with weeping siren wails

from the hulks of shipwrecked Viking longboats
multi masted clippers   steely leviathan tankers

yet still we trust her promises of distant shores and
wonder at what might lie beyond her blue horizons

the shimmering   glimmering   wavering frontiers
sun kissed   storm battered   sunset gilded

each flash of light brightens the momentary eye
awareness glimmers in the fractal curve of a glance

snatched seconds break over fatal decisions made as
gaping mouths retch for the last pockets of precious air

a great portent of gushing waters salt brine our tombs
bubbles of hope   molecules of flashing faces on

every sparkling diamond reflecting every perished soul
the memories of mankind captured by the tempests of time.

IMG_0169

(so I am linking on from my previous poem and developing the theme of drowning using the image of the glinting sun on the surface of the sea – each flash of diamond light representing a lost soul).