The Last Bus

‘The answers are within you’,
is not a phrase
you often overhear
in the street
as you hurry along in town.

The rain was pouring down.
It was sudden.
People rushed into doorways
avoiding hail.
The pavements were pooling.
Gutters glugged.

‘Your ability to influence the world
may be greater than you think.’

I turned to see who was speaking.
Someone looked at me.
I shrugged.
I hadn’t said a word.
I realised
someone else had heard.

‘That girl Tracy makes me sick,
acting innocent. I told her
if i see her again, I’ll mark her’

Now we are back to normal.
And here comes the last bus.

 

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On Day 12 of NapoWriMo (for which I am writing a poem a day throughout April) I was sitting in a 1940’s themed cafe called Fourteas in Stratford-upon-Avon. Two of us come from the UK and two from Australia. We have known each other online (as avatars only) for quite a long time but had met face to face for the first time only 2 days before.

The Day 12 poetry prompt for of the day was to write a Haibun about your surroundings. I wrote The Rain it Raineth Every Day (my post for April 12th) but suggested we all do one while sitting in the 1940’s cafe.

This is the result ~

from Keith ~

I’m sitting here out of the wind and rain
with the water running down the drain.
Oh, how I wish I was home, in the warmth of the sunshine.

Oh, happy days, happy days

I’m drinking tea
instead of coffee

Oh, happy days, happy days

We’re soon to leave these lovely people
to make a twenty-hour flight.
That will give us a fright.

Oh, happy days, happy days

We are going on a cruise and that’ll be swell
so hopefully all will be well.

Oh, happy days, happy days

We’re still sitting here with sandwiches and tea
and hope to be reunited with thee and thee

Oh, happy days, happy days

From Cath

Rain-soaked streets and drab shops
Bring back dog-eared layers of memory
Dragging dreary days filed in melancholy feeling.
Make do and Mend. Waste Not Want Not.
I remember factory girls clattering past,
Cloths tied around their heads,
Brushing by laughing and gossiping.
It was austere, all right.
They never had brie. Or grapes. Back then.
Only bomb-sites. And empty buildings.

Slipping realities. Sitting in a 1940s café with
A good friend I’ve only just met.
Are pixels more real than flesh?
Or prims less fake than war-time décor?
And what about that waitress with a German accent?

In the street, we dance Swan Lake in boots and coats,
With a real swan.
Who hisses. Pissed off.
It still rains.

from Barbara

Four fabulous friends, who met on the internet, find each other in real life,  laughing and having a fun and living the moment, enjoying each others company and hoping the day will never end. Amid spiced tea and sandwiches, precious memories are made, never to be forgotten.

Passing food amongst us all
Amid many smiles
Happiness is tangible

and from me

Churchill yells from the wall, ”Let’s go forward together!”
I look across the table. The Victoria Sponge is behind us. On closer inspection it’s dry and too heavy, rather like the days that are memorised here, in glamourised nostalgia.

I was born a little after the war and all I recall is the sweets still rationed and the bombsites; the sad, damp wall-paper flapping from shattered bedroom walls in the wind.

My newsfeed bleeps from my phone. Missiles aimed at Syria.

Back then Pearl Harbour was bombed.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo just keeps choo-chooing on.

Let’s stay at the tea table and just keep moving around. I’ll be the Hatter. You pour the tea. Be ‘mother’.

People have got to stop killing each other.

We’ll meet again.
Don’t know where.
Don’t know when.

 

 

 

Footnote: The word ‘prim’ is an abbreviation of ‘primative‘ – a word to denote a building block in alternative reality

The Rain it Raineth Every Day (a haibun)

Shakespeare’s county is April wet. The trees stand, drawn in dark brown lines, shrouded in a soft grey mist. Fine rain falls in constant drizzle every day. Acting as a tourist guide to visiting friends I lead them from Tudor tea shop to Tudor pub, huddled up against the cold. The smell of beer soaked into old wood greets us at The Garrick door. We can shelter here and wait for the time when the play is about to start.

Now as friends we gather here.
The play’s the thing and
the rain it raineth ev’ry day.

On a plinth, Shakespeare sits, in thought, high above it all. I was taken there often as a child. The sun shone then, every day it seemed. I squinted up at him and shielded my eyes against the sun as he sat quiet, dark against the light, somewhat of a mystery. But the light changes hour by hour, and the weather season by season. He is a man of this town and the surrounding fields and his birthplace and his grave are here.

Sundays were a pilgrimage
with a hey and a ho!
When I was a little tiny child.

The wind and the rain has always been plenty.
Present mirth, hath present laughter:
What’s to come, is still unsure.

~~~~~~

(the last two lines are by Shakespeare – I thought I should allow him to add the last few words and the title)

Butterflies Wings (Afternoon with Macbeth)

Time passes,
time drags,
time repeats,
time snags,

Time ticks by.
There he lays.
The room is dark.
The room is cold.
Childrens’ voices pierce the veil.
Here is the killing of a King.
Lady Macbeth reaches out.
No-one grasps her bloodied hand.

Time rolls round
and time rolls round.
The end is set
by moments marked on a digital clock.
Death marks the walls with fast drawn chalk.
This is the circle ambition brings.
Generations repeat the sin.

In the street outside,
with early signs of April rain,
the swan bends down and folds its wings.

In the cafe down the road,
by the window where light falls
on polished wood, the books are glued,
their pages shut, their words unknown.
An old man shuffles by alone.

On every table in the room,
the yellow rose is in full bloom.
Shakespeare’s lips are butterflies wings.
Four friends meet and seal a bond.
They all know the plays the thing.

Hidden Daffodils

the day is dim and poorly lit,
clouds are gathering in the west,
the leaves are shivering on the trees,
my shoes are worn, my pockets thin,
there’s no money left again,
the forecast warns of storms and rain

the shadows underneath the trees are full of hidden daffodils

the windows creak and draughts blow in
how bad can this old house become
there’s not much here to laugh about
this sort of joke is lost on me
the tap is dripping in the bath
the fire wont light, my cat is sad,
she’s curled up in a huddled ball
there’s nothing left to eat at all

the shadows underneath the trees are full of hidden daffodils

counting blessings I find some,
there’s still a roof above my head,
i still live, i still breathe,
my head is full of memories,
i can think, i can dream,
and winter always turns to spring

the shadows underneath the trees are full of hidden daffodils

Journey in Ancient Hills

This is a found poem. Found using two index pages from Welsh Folk Lore and Folk Customs by Thomas Gwynn Jones.

Journey in Ancient Hills 

The midwives pour milk and curd into wells,
with molten lead cures.
They bow to the moon,
mumbling magic.
The mountain hag is murdered
by trembling ghosts.

Naked infants, unknown,
with no names,
hear the night howl of dogs
predicting the omen days
of the one-eyed fish,
but no saviour remains.

Lost with my Otherworld lover,
we huddle with ravens
and brindled oxen
against the rain,
protected by trees
at the pre-historic hearth,
making offerings of pins and keys,
awaiting the reformation
and some incorruptible sign
of inseparable souls, at the last