Let’s Run Around The Estate, Da
Nothing belongs to anyone
Just bricks, cement, garden sheds
road cones and stuff.
let’s run around the estate, Da
it’s good to be back here.
The garbage is ours,
we’ll do the seagulls,
nothing can stop the cheek of us,
no one knows the dark
and back lanes like us.
The beauty in a flooded drain
or broken window,
let’s run around the estate, Da
show the hooligans and tormentors
who we really are.
© Paul Tristram 2010
Published in The Gap-Toothed Madness (USA) Issue 2 – Vol 1, June 1st 2013
I can see it.
I just can’t get down to it.
There is no pit-stop for me,
no mental park bench
for me to rest for five minutes.
My train of thought is faulty,
they forgot to put in brakes.
The White Rabbit’s date
was with me, too bad
he missed it.
Africa’s to my left,
the Knight Templar’s to my right
and the next migraine
is speeding straight towards me.
I wish I could say that I was
soaring with the power
of Welsh Dragon’s wings.
But unfortunately I am more
like a kite without a string.
© Paul Tristram 2006
Published in Phoenix New Life Poetry, No. 24, Spring 2007
In Early September we would be back in school
after the 6 week Summer Holidays
and then a week later the Fair would come to town.
The teacher would hand a ticket to each of us
in the class for a free ride of our choice
at the Fair on Wednesday evening.
There are 4 comprehensive schools in Neath, Cwrt
Sart, Dwr-y-Felin, Cefn Saeson and Llangatwg.
Each school had free tickets for a separate evening,
It was to try and stop us fighting, it did not work!
I would get home from school at 13 years old,
quickly change into my Fred Perry, burgundy sta-press
trousers, Doctor Martin boots and Crombie coat.
Then I would meet the boys at Stockhams Corner
where we would leave The Melyn via the subways
and head on up to the top of Windsor Road.
The whole town had suddenly changed,
every street in the middle of Neath was packed
with stall next to stall, on both sides of each street.
It looked like something out of a film, a Welsh rain-
soaked (It always rained at the Fair, it was the law!)
‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ a ‘Robin Hood’
or one of the old ‘Sinbad’ films of yesteryear.
My Grampa used to say that because of the stalls
Neath September Fair was the biggest in Briton.
I absolutely loved it, we would spend 2 or 3 hours
just wandering slowly around the street stalls
just saying “Hello” to the people who we recognised
and watching the sellers demonstrate the weird things
that they were selling, it was like watching Magicians.
They would have plastic cutting devices that would
chop, dice, juice and peel, fruit and veg in a flash.
They would have all kinds of miracle cleaners,
they would throw coffee and earth and red wine
all over a piece of carpet and then rub it in,
then they’d get some plastic piece of apparatus
and with a quick swipe left and right it would be clean.
There would be Gypsy Caravans wanting you
to cross their palms with silver for a fortune reading.
There would be a man with a beach towel worth £7,
(It was worth £7 because he told you so!)
But he wouldn’t sell you it for £7, that would be too easy,
He would hold up another towel worth £5
and stick that with the £7 towel, then add 3 £3 towels
Slap his hands together loudly and shout
“The whole lot for £5, I’m letting you rob me
but I’m a nice bloke, I can’t help it, £5 the lot missus,
We have 10 sets left, who wants a set?
you with the blonde hair and the beautiful smile
in the sky blue dress down the front, lovely?”
Then we would make our way over to the stalls
in The Angel Pub car park were they had a record stall
and I had excitedly bought my ‘Son Of Oi! album from.
With my new 33rpm Vinyl tucked under my arm
all that was needed now was for us all to get
a ‘Kiss Me Quick, Squeeze Me Slowly’ trilby hat
so everyone could tell that we were Melyn Boys
and out after the towns prettiest girls.
With a burger with onions and tomato ketchup in hand
we would walk on over to the actual fairground,
over in the massive car park past The Duke Pub
and across the road behind Neath Castle.
Where we would walk a circuit of the grounds twice,
watching the older boys shooting the guns to win
teddy bears for their girlfriends
and the young Mams and Dads trying to win goldfish
for the younger kids busily eating candy-floss and fudge.
Finally we would make our stand up on the Easy Riders
or the Waltzers, with our backs to the painted railings,
three or four of us sharing a single No. 6 cigarette.
Smoking like gangsters, whilst eyeing up the Cefn Saeson,
Dwr-y-Felin and Llangatwg girls stood smiling opposite.
© Paul Tristram 2013
Published in The Neath Guardian, Friday the 6th of September 2013
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.