Categories
Poetry

Sports Mixture & The Sun

I was 11 years old
buying the Sun
on behalf of my Dad
anticipating
50p worth of sports mixture
with the change

a boy
i recognised
my sister’s age
7 years old
trying to buy
20 Silk Cut and 2 litres Cider
on behalf of his Dad
struggling
under the weight
of expectation

a man
40-ish years old
trying to provide
for his family of 6
a newsagent
eager
to please his patrons
to be welcomed
into the arms of the community
his journey long
from Bangladesh to Britain
via marriage and military service
looking a blend of bemusement and sadness
at the boy trying to buy
cigarettes and alcohol
who he turns away from his counter

a man
50-ish years old
reeking of addiction
to tabs and cheap booze
storming the shop
firing slurred slow
deliberate insults
and asking
do you know who i am
irked by the response of
yes a thug and a bad father, we dont sell alcohol and tobacco to children
it was then I witnessed
racism first hand
shock absorbed
in my young brain
stood like a hostage
the tirade continued
the threat of a firebomb
to the newsagent
and his family
the smell eventually leaving
when he couldn’t achieve his demands

me, a boy of 11
buying the Sun
and 50p worth of sports mixture
with the change
apologising
for someone else’s actions
that I didn’t understand
receiving a wink and a sad smile
I ran home
to deliver the newspaper
and the news of what happened
to my Dad

My Dad
then in his mid-30’s
a butcher by trade
the sight of violence and blood
known to him
sat stoically on the sofa
listening to my recap of events
crinkling the pages
between fingers
stained with ink of
yesterday’s news
providing words of wisdom
be kind to those who deserve your kindness scum always rises, but it always ends up skimmed and discarded, remember that, learn how to recognise and skim out hatred and you’ll be alright
followed by
can I have a couple of sports mixture
I gave him the bag.

————-

This poem is based on a shocking morning trip to the Newsagent just around the corner from our house.

Most of the time there was a real togetherness in our council estate, but on rare occasions, a sinister underbelly came to the fore.

Thanks for reading, I’d love to know your thoughts,

Paul

Categories
Poetry

Nurture

velvet sand
tickling my back
blades of crystal water
cutting away doubt
driftwood logs
silently whispering sea shanties
a carefree horizon
casually glances
feeling content
as do I
a connection
with nature
always nurtures.

This is inspired by days spent on Northumbrian beaches, always serene.

Categories
Poetry

War

we mourned all summer
when they decimated the woodland
murdered ash, oak, sycamore & beech
all in the pursuit of profit
the lives lost from the hedgerow
collateral damage to make capital gains
no concern for refugees
concrete foundations poisoned the rich earth
bracken & bleeding brambles scythed down
by strong yellow tanks
cheerful and bright grim reapers
sullying soil and sod
bricks, mortar, slate & glass
now occupying forces
and in final insult
they named the new avenues and boulevards
after the casualties they inflicted
not in memoriam
but as a warning
that in wars
between man and nature
man will win
because man’s nature is death.

Categories
Poetry

Home

I felt at home
in Copenhagen
at winter’s twilight
under the glow
of warm vintage lanterns
our breathing visible
through knitted woollen scarves
the air was kissed
with scents of
cinnamon, clove and citrus
the nearby sounds
of mirth and merriment
interspersed with delighted
roars and screams
from the roller-coasters above
warmth came
from holding your hand
and the chewy crunch
of sweet-spiced almonds
while opulent flakes of diamond snow
fell graciously
each one uniquely dazzling
lining our pathway
already a vivid spectrum of technicolour
we sat on plastic and pine stools
dropping kroner into the palm
of a great Dane
and laughed with love
as we tried to make wooden horses
gallop to the end of a straight line
taking our time
appreciating life
as it’s meant to be.
Together.
That’s why
I felt at home in Copenhagen.