Goodbye Ephraim

The old grey cat spent his days
drowsing tranquilly on the bed
of the first child who was gentle
with him from the day he was first
put on her lap and her little hand
stroked him from head to tail.
The second child patted him hard,
rubbed his fur roughly.
Ephraim would slink outside.
He would sit with the woman
in the garden as she
weeded, planted, pruned.

One day sharp pains invaded his gut,
the vet said they could only ease them.
Ephraim went to sunbathe on the roof
but could not climb back down.
His cries of pain brought the
woman up the ladder to his rescue.
Now he stayed on the first child’s be
bed, only sometimes going outside.

Early one Sunday, opening one eye,
he saw no readying for work
or kindergarten that day.
He slipped into sleep, the deepest sleep,
and they left him on the first child’s
bed for final tearful goodbyes.

Later that day the man dug a grave
between clumps of blue grass
in the garden. They covered Ephraim
with soil, flowers, farewells.

For several days the children placed
flowers on the little grave, finally
seeing Ephraim was resting forever.

Goodbye Ephraim

The Way Station

A metal capsule brought me here
through the skies
to this vast way station
called Bangkok.
A vaulted glass roof
and windowed walls
reveal a surrounding blackness.

Long concourses flow off each other
occasional strangers pass me by.
With my body in three am confusion,
I drag my feet as
my cabin bag with
last minute needs
drags my arms down
in relentless pain.
I must find a new capsule
with my name on its manifest.

Vast signs point east and west,
I know I am going west.
I find no sign for my journey
on the western signs. I despair.
Will I ever escape
this vast glass edifice
surrounded by endless blackness ?

A long weary tramp brings me
to a counter of computers,
I show my ticket and
am directed to
eastern departure gates.

Another weary tramp brings me
to an eastern gate
that accepts my ticket.
At last I escape these
vast glass halls
for my final destination.

This is another of my very early posts.
First posted 3 December 2015.

The Way Station

At The Meat Chiller

On a busy morning at the
supermarket meat chiller
I studied shelves of
sausages, chops, mince
and shin meat on the bone.
I tried to slide right
to see chicken packs, lamb
knuckles, corned beef brisket
But the person to my right
simply would not move.
I sidestepped along slightly
but still they did not move.

I turned to say “excuse me”
and found myself facing my
reflection in the mirror
on the end section wall.

At The Meat Chiller

Pensioner Payday

Every second Tuesday morning
on pensioner payday
the oldies fill the supermarket
aisles as they stock up for
the next fortnight. They stop
and stare at shelves of
biscuit packets, cereal boxes,
packs of mince and sausages.
Mobile pensioners ease their
trolleys around the less mobile
as trolley jams cause hiccups
in the traffic flow along
the crowded aisles.. Soap
powder shelves are blockaded
fruit tin pyramids besieged,
chicken shelves at the meat
freezers are surrounded
by tightly packed trolleys.

At last the wheeled tide
reaches the checkouts barrier
flowing slowly past the tills
paying for carrots and potatoes
bread and margarine.

Out on the forecourt two rows of
mobility scooters line up
nose to nose awaiting their riders
with their tightly packed bags.
Walkers with bulging bags
attached move steadily away.
We younger ones with our trundlers
step briskly along the footpath
and nifty little pensioner cars
tootle briskly down the road.

Pensioner Payday

Flying Over Greenland: 1990

Engines humming endlessly
cross the vast blue Pacific
over puffs of cloud
stacked over, around each other.
We pierce wispy white white mists
cross dark grey pillows
stretching to the edge of our vision.
Rose tinted clouds give way
to darkness.We land in the middle
of the night, enter a terminal,
sit for two hours, leave again
fly on through darkness. The sky lightens,
rosy hues colour the clouds again
far below, we see another ocean
under puffs and strands of cloud.

Suddenly the seascape transforms
into a huge stark white mass
sprawling under us, blazing in the sunlight.
The screen showing the plane’s path
displays Greenland.
Brilliant white mountains and plateaus
startle our eyes. Greenland’s only green
is along a few narrow coastal strips.
I blink away, then look back.
I do not want to miss this strange sight.

Now we reach the ocean
on the other side of Greenland,
once again clouds soften
the blues of sky and sea.

That brilliant unique land of ice
and snow falls behind, vanishes.

This another very early WordPress post of mine.
Originally posted on 2 December 2015.

Flying Over Greenland: 1990

Walking To The Shops

With my income lower now
I am on a pension I live
without a car and either
walk or catch the bus.
I take my shopping bag or
trundler and notice things
I never saw from my car.

So many ride on mobility
scooters – I stand aside
for them. Strollers full of
child and shopping fill up
half the footpath. Walking
frames with older folk are
easier to pass for the person
in the frame is still on foot
– like me.

Yet walking frames can
still surprise. One day a
walking frame approached
in rather jerky fashion.
A tiny dog bounced on a lead
tied to a handle of the walker
containing an elderly lady.
I thought it seemed quite
perilous – maybe she just
wanted action !

Walking To The Shops

At The Movies

My gold pensioner card
on a weekday morning
bought a discount ticket
at the boutique cinema
to an interesting movie
with a plot and story line.
Alas !  A hulking pensioner
in the row behind held forth
in a constant booming mutter.
“Oh !  Really !”  I yelled and
stomped down to an empty seat
in another row. Phew !
The booming mutter stopped.

One Friday night I went
to a Batman movie in the
central cinema with many
young people coming after work.
They ate their popcorn, drank
their coke and quietly watched
the movie. So I heard and
saw it all though the car
chases made me seasick.

On a Saturday morning
at the boutique cinema
my friend and I bought discount
tickets to see “The Stone Of Scone”.
A pompous grey haired woman
ensconced herself beside me,
droned on at her companion
in a boring booming mutter.
“Excuse me !” I said, “I paid
to hear the movie ! I don’t
want to listen to you !
She sniffed at me disdainfully
but thankfully shut up !


At The Movies