A Rat Named Ben
When I was around 19 or 20 years old,
three of us shared a house in Allister Street
just off the top of Winsor Road in Neath.
We had a couple of cages in the living room
with a black hooded rat living in one of them
and a smaller brown hooded rat in the other.
They used to be in just the one cage together
but we had to split them up because they had
started breeding like…well, like rats actually.
We ended up giving away the babies for free.
It was the male rat that I had for the longest
his name was Ben (Yes, just like the film!)
He was massive, just as big as a rat could get,
from my wrist to my elbow, well not quite
but then again not too far off of that either.
And he was just so placid and friendly,
the female you couldn’t have out for too long
because she wouldn’t keep still for a second.
Whilst Ben on the other hand would just sit
on my left leg, up towards my knee drinking
the occasional 5% beer drop off my finger
chilling out with us listening to sleaze music.
If I remember correctly, I think his favourite
song was ‘Babylon’ by ‘Faster Pussycat.’
© Paul Tristram 2014
The Moonlight Bounced Off The Roof Slates With A Bang!
As I slunk surreptitiously and delusionally
DOwn the confused cobblestone road
‘shhh-ing’ myself through yawning giggles.
Focusing then un-focusing through and around
the late evenings pear imitation raindrops.
A woman in a Welsh bonnet and shawl
whispered sideways in Napoleon’s voice
“Vermin and lice and all things nice!”
as we passed in the dark tangoing shadows
which loiter under Rolling Pin Thug Bridge.
“Didn’t hurt one bit!” I smiled in reply
then mournfully realizing that the Damned
‘Walking Cane Thief’ had struck once more
I sighed mournfully and oblongly thrice
then finally changed my determined mind.
“We need flowers blooming at midnight!”
I decided with barely an hour to lose,
so I swung left then right then left again
neurotically and at a pace up Crooked Lane.
Chasing my colourful, cartwheeling brain
back to the One-eyed Beggar Slut Laboratory,
where I rolled up my shirt sleeves once again.
© Paul Tristram 2014
The End Of That Means Nothing
I feel nothing for you now!
Even the disgust has evaporated.
‘Time heals everything’ they say,
Well yes, it does, completely.
The only thing left is my wonder
of how I could have been so blind?
You are the most spoilt, selfish person
that I have had the misfortune to meet.
It’s like ‘The Picture Of Dorian Grey’
except the picture is not hidden
away in some dark attic somewhere,
the picture is your rotten soul.
The ugliness is like a cancer
you are riddled through with it.
I’m just lucky to have escaped
with merely minor bruising.
God help anyone who goes near you!
Good riddance, they are welcome to you
all of those poor demented souls.
© Paul Tristram 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.