Verdant missiles Launching through the cracks Of grim concrete slabs The colour of the Cold War And dictatorships Seasonal insurrection Starting early this year The revolution is here – And the climate changed.
I wrote this piece as an experiment. I would love to hear your thoughts.
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 alcoholand 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,
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.
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.
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.