Monday, August 17, 2015

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

There Are Worse Worlds Than This

Journal Entry, 24th of November 1874

Patient 49 spoke for the first time today
since coming here eighteen months ago,
during ‘repeat same question therapy’
he raised up his head, his eyes lost their
usual milky sheen and they grew clear-
and dare I say it-even seemed to sparkle.
Then he spoke the sinister words
“There are worse worlds than this!”
Not in broken speech, as might be expected
but confident and true, I would even go
so far as to say in an authoritative voice.
Then his eyes glazed back over instantly
and he bowed his head back down again.
Every further attempt at communication
proved to be entirely fruitless and frustrating.
I even directed an orderly to go retrieve
the two scraps of paper from my office
which were in his pocket the night he was
found sitting rocking on that stormy beach.
One with the name ‘Parson Peters’
scrawled upon it, the other with ‘Wrathsea’
This case intrigues me greatly, I shall be
re-pursuing it first thing on the morrow.

Dr. Danny Tantrum.

© Paul Tristram 2015

The Finishing Field

Dear Tess,

You must take a walk over from Highacre
to Wrathsea this coming Saturday
by four o’clock of the afternoon.
It be Fair Day here and abouts
and all of us girl folk will be congregating 
t’other side of the loose stone wall
at the back of The Loach Public Tavern.
To watch them Tantrum boys
bareknuckle the life half out of
everyone else in The Finishing Field.
Why, I’m sweating like a pig on a spit
just thinking about it all, I shudder.
I’m betting Monday’s soup on…
well, you know the one with the eyes,
I can’t bring myself to say his name out loud.
Da’s gone and bought us four lengths
of blue ribbon to stich into our bonnets.
It’ll be so much fun, do say you’ll be there?
I’ll start waiting for you at twenty to four
by The Wishing Well in the Village centre.

Yours Affectionately
Mary Sullivan.

© Paul Tristram 2015

The Candletree

Upon that unholy, disowned hill,
skirted by the gravestones
of a family of wasters and criminals.
Some evenings that brass bell
which still stands watch there,
long ago abandoned by the village folk.
Rings thirteen times in deep hollow,
unearthly groans, enough to dement you.
It be no trick of the stormy wind,
for that bell weighs four or five rams
strapped to a hay bale at the very least.
It is not a place for lurking after dark,
you feel such a deep sense of dread
and heartache whenever passing by it.
Our problems may be buried underground
but the haunting, sombre depression
cast by its shadow is so overwhelming.
We planted seeds of judgement and hate
and are nightly worrying ourselves
out of sleep about the coming harvest.

© 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
And also read his poems and stories here!

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