Written On A Train
As the chugging minutes
push the growing miles
of distance between us,
to a nice comfortable size.
I finally breathe freely
for the first time
in many a disoriented day.
The knot of frustration
at the base of my neck
eases and unwinds, slightly.
I have four Hobgoblin beers
in my small backpack
along with a battered copy
of Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s
‘Journey to the End of the Night’
I smile widely to myself
for that is exactly what this is
and Dawn is fast approaching.
My weary feet will never
again tread those Mountain
streets and lanes of Resolven.
I am done with you, finally
and all the schizophrenic fury
which veins your twisted soul
and masters over you, completely.
© Paul Tristram 2014
“It’s the 14th of February once again.
My oh my but they seem to come around so quickly!”
she whispers quietly and reflectively to herself
as she finishes writing the card to her Daniel
and takes it over to her bookcase.
She takes down the smugglers hollow book effect box
all covered in anchors, mermaids and roses
which she bought especially for these occasions.
Then opens it up carefully and places the new card
in with the others blowing kisses in a OCD fashion
both inside and out as she closes and returns
the book shaped box back to its resting place.
“That’s 16 cards waiting for him, he’ll feel spoilt
when he finally finishes work and comes back to me!”
she mumbles as she starts to slip into daydream.
She had met her Daniel 16 years ago
in ‘The Welsh Harp’ public house on Dan Y Bryn road.
He was an American Sailor in the Merchant Navy.
He had looked so handsome in his uniform
and greased back hair with a Camel cigarette
dangling out of the corner of his mouth
just like Bogart or Cagney in a gangster flick.
They had spent that entire weekend together
from dinnertime on the Friday when they had met
right through to 6am on the Monday when he boarded.
Those few days had changed her completely.
She had opened up emotionally like a flower,
they were soul mates she had realized this instantly.
Not one postcard or letter had she received from him
but he had warned her that he wasn’t good at writing.
Yet, still she did have her memories to keep her going.
He had an elderly mother living somewhere in Brooklyn
where he stayed when on American home shore leave.
She had searched for photos of American apartments
in books and magazines at the local library
so she could try to picture it inside her mind,
she thinks that she probably has it down fairly well.
She walks over to the mantelpiece and picks up
the matchstick framed sepia portrait photograph
that they had paid 4/6 to have taken in Porthcawl
at the Fun Fair on the Sunday of their special weekend.
Wishing his image ‘A Happy Valentine’s Day’
and kissing his face 12 times in a quick row
she then holds the precious picture close to her chest
and even though it is still not yet lunchtime
she walks slowly through to the bedroom
and after undressing she slips dreamily into her bed.
© Paul Tristram 2014
Sand In My Shoes
I was often quite quirky as a child,
I liked the beach very much indeed
but didn’t like laying down sunbathing.
Or building sandcastles like other kids
because they had to be perfect or else
they look horrible and that’s very hard
for a 7 year old to cope with, trust me.
Kicking or throwing a ball back and fore
to someone else over there who’s just
kicking or throwing a ball back and fore
back to you is even more boring in reality
than I have just now made it sound.
Then the sandwiches would come out,
I would hate it and cringe in discomfort
‘That’s why they’re called sandwiches’
a mouthful of bread and sand ain’t fun,
I’d turn and bury mine out of sight,
trying desperately not to get sticky jam
upon my fingers doing so, because That
would be a nightmare I don’t think
I would ever be able to recover from.
After surviving that near fatal disaster
I would take off like a bottle-rocket,
not to the sea like everyone else did
but sideways over to the rock pools.
I would happily spend a couple of hours
there searching and learning as I went
‘shrimps, starfish, gobies, penny-winkles,
different coloured seaweeds and anemone’s
but my favourite were the hermit crabs’
There is something rather appealing about
those comical and secretive little fellows.
Then when I had finished up in there,
I would sit upon the rocks thoughtfully
and stare out to sea and say to myself
“Pirate or not, I’ll sail them bloody seas
one day asking no ones permission either!”
Then my name would be called coarsely
and I would wander back to the same
“Where’ve you been all this bloody time,
this was supposed to be a family day out?
Here put your cowing shoes on, boy!”
This would be the worst part of the day,
I loved the feeling of sand on my bare feet
but hated to feel it stuck inside my shoes.
I would have to sit trapped inside that car
crammed full of people all the way home
feeling the sand scratch and irritate my feet
whilst listening to their voices and laughter
scratching and irritating my confined soul.
But I would survive the ordeal by planning!
As soon as the car stopped I’d jump out,
take my shoes off in the back garden and
stick my feet (one at a time) in the baby bath
I was using to keep my frogs and newts in.
Then slip into my nice dry converse trainers
that I had already wisely stashed in the shed.
Before they had time to unpack their stuff
and know any different I’d be off running
up the street and through ‘Ann The Farm’s’
garden down to the ‘Bank’ where a gang
armed with penknives and catapult’s waited
eagerly for my return so I could once again
lead them all into misadventure and trouble.
We’d head for ‘The Tip’ first, taking a few
greenhouse panes out as we passed on by,
hollering and cheering as we ran full pelt
up to the caves of ‘Drummau Mountain’
where I had assured my gang of 8 boys
and 6 girls that there would indeed be plenty
of ‘German Soldiers’ hiding there, C’mon!
© Paul Tristram 2014
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.
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