Wednesday, December 13, 2023

A Laugh and a Pint

—Poetry by Lynn White, 
Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain

—In remembrance of departed friends—

          For Sally Hawkin

There were a lot of ragwort plants
around the library.
Some were bare of leaves and covered
with orange and black stripy jersey caterpillars.
Others were lush and green with leaves
and devoid of caterpillars.
As usual the family planning strategy
of the cinnabar moth
left much to be desired.
I began to transfer them carefully
from the leafless to the lush.

I stood back to admire my achievement,
momentarily disconcerted
when a rather stern-looking stranger
asked what I was doing.
I explained.
“Huh”, she said,
“I’ve been doing the same over the other side.
I though it was only me who does this.”

It was a strange way to begin a friendship
but it lasted
all her life.
I think maybe I should go to the grave
in the woodland,
where her body lies
and scatter a few ragwort seeds.
Maybe the moths will come
each year
and make
a living memorial.
She would like that,
I think.

(prev. pub. in New Reader Magazine, March 2018)

          For Anwen Jones          

          A sequel to ‘The Adventures Of Anwen’,
          yet to be written

Her answer to my “how are you?”
would never be the list of aches and pains
I might hear from many.
Nor would it be the trite “fine”
I would hear from many more.
No, It was always “just the same.”

“How’s things”
would bring a similar response
with “nothing changes here” in addition.
She tells me there is no one she can converse with,
no one who’s interested in what’s going on in
the world,
that anything she says is met by looks of stoney
and no one laughs at her jokes.

“A new one came last week,” she says,
“much younger, so I had hopes.
Then she got out her Bible
and I was back to no hope

She narrates the detail of her recent encounters
with the assorted meat eaters,
xenophobic imperialists,
and Born Again Christians
who share the care home with her.
“You should write a book,” I say.
“Yes, I keep meaning to,”
is her inevitable reply.

Of course, she hasn’t always lived there,
but that’s another story!

(prev. pub. by
Spillwords, February 1, 2021)

          For Sion Aaron

“It was just a joke,”
you said
the night you came back,
a typical wind-up
that we should have known better
to believe.
Of course you weren’t dead!
It would take more than a few cigarettes
to extinguish your flame!
“Look,” you said,
“I’ll give you a hug.”
And you did,
a good solid one,
not spiritual
not virtual
but real.
So we all had a laugh
and a pint
and then you left

(prev. pub. in
Bluepepper, May 1, 2023)
          For Ann Cole

She was such a positive person,
the most positive person
I had ever met
so positive I found
meaningful conversation difficult
and depressing.
I am not a negative person
but I’m no Dr Pangloss either
and her Panglossian tendencies
depressed me.

She died a few years ago
at Dignitas.

(prev. pub. in Necro Productions Magazine,
Issue 1, ‘Death’, 2020)

          For Molly Sayle and Tommy Doran

Molly was a red,
her politics even redder than her hair.
She met in the city centre pub
every Tuesday night
with the three Tommys,
a Gramscian Tommy,
a New
and of  course,
Tommy the Trot.
Every Tuesday night
they met and argued
about the Spanish Civil War.
They’d been doing it for years,
decades in fact
every Tuesday night
their voices undiminished by age
growing louder and louder
as the Guinness worked its magic
spilling over a little as fists banged the table
every Tuesday night.
But the new Landlady was no respecter of age,
“Youse come in here disturbing the peace again
next Tuesday and yer all banned,” she cried!
“Well,” said Molly ,“that’s not very comradely!”
at last they all agreed.

(prev. pub. in
Mercurial Stories, March 16, 2019)


Today’s LittleNip:

Friendship . . .  is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
― C.S. Lewis,
The Four Loves


—Medusa, with thanks to Lynn White, who is visiting us again with her fine poetry from Wales!
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy
of Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

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winter sun closes
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