What Doesn’t Kill Ya
Makes you drink like a Bastard!
© Paul Tristram 2012
The Mummers Play
It was early evening when we came into Town
from our Gypsy Clearing a short mile or so away.
The girls had stripped three field scarecrows
of their duds along the road and also picked clean
a Vicars washing line at the corner Parsonage.
Thievery is such thirsty work but we would soon
be remedying that particular unpleasant situation.
Two carts we had in all but all Townsfolk’s eyes
be fixed upon the first one full of the pretty girls
all dressed up fancy like and singing like sirens.
They pulled up opposite the ‘Prancing Pony’ Tavern
and instantly that cart became a Mummers Play stage.
While the whooping and a-hollering started in earnest,
relaxing Gentlefolk ‘in their cups’ came quickly out
of aforesaid Public House to have themselves a gander.
Us men took the second cart through the quiet lanes
and right ‘round the back of it without being noticed.
As the noise and general volume of the festivities
out front grew in stature so did out villainous plan,
we found the back cellar delivery doors, easy enough
and had them jimmied wide open in but a second.
Silent as church mice and as nifty as pirate ship rats
we acquired 3 barrels of ale, 15 jugs of scrumpy cider
and the Landlords wife’s very own 2 legs of mutton
10 brace of pheasants and a dozen half bad pigs heads.
We had the whole lot out of that building and under
the cart canvas quicker than you can say ’pickpocket.’
We headed out a bit sharpish along the back lanes
until that dirty old river started showing over that way,
then Billy fired a musket shot up into the darkening air
to give the girls fair warning that all was now well and
time to collect coin and call a day on their Mummers Play.
We left Jackie Black-Eye and Butch the Rapier behind
a hedgerow-watching for their soon to be returning
and with a half dozen flagons busted open already
we headed back home to our temporary Gypsy Clearing.
© Paul Tristram 2015
The Melyn Woods
We were halfway up The Melyn Woods one day,
in the six weeks Summer holidays from school.
When these three kids about six or seven years old
came hurtling through the bushes on BMX’s.
One of them nearly ran into me, he had tears
streaming down his face and he told us that a man
had tried to drag him off his bike and into the trees.
There were five of us, only around twelve years old
but we went looking for him, it didn’t take us long
to find him, he was down on the main path.
We were up on the high bank to the side of him,
everyone started to get nervous and we all wished
that some of the older ‘Melyn Skins’ were about,
they would take care of this good and proper.
But there were only us, and before everyone panicked
I took control of the situation myself as best I could.
I picked up a fallen tree trunk, half rotten/half not,
about as thick as those concrete bollards in footpath
entrances that we used to play leapfrog over
and about me, from head to toe in length and charged.
Halfway down the bank I cast it as hard as I could
in his general direction, I fluked it…just as I always do
with anything impossible and amazing I attempt.
I yelled “You Dirty Bastard!” whilst it was in mid-air
and he stupidly yet instinctively turned to face us.
(We recognized him at once, he was that short, miserable
man in his fifties, always wandering around Town
in a greasy, scruffy trench coat, trying to kick pigeons!)
My missile hit him squarely in the crook of his left shoulder,
like Odin’s Hammer, sending him crashing to his knees
instantly with a visible thud, screaming like a witch on fire.
Sensing blood we circled, faster than lightning,
staying always at least ten feet away from the beast,
grabbing stones from the ground whilst running,
elbow and knee-capping him with glorious muffled tings,
in half circles until Johnson could blindside him
with his powerful, turbo, supersonic hip-spins.
After a minute of so of onslaught, he stopped jumping,
raised his arms in the air and screamed “God Help Me!”
“Your God Ain’t Here, He’s Busy Looking After Children!”
I yelled back and we second-waved our attack
until he ran whilst limping to the bottom of the woods
and out onto The Old Road where he nearly got hit by a bus.
© Paul Tristram 2015
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.
Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/
And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope
You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.