Dogs With No Tails
They hang around the back lane
of The Salvation Army
Twelve of them,
used to be twenty three
but the Welsh Winters
are merciless and unrelenting.
Prison and hyperthermia
take more people off the street
than cirrhosis or cancer.
All high level, top shelf
Drinking Frosty Jack’s
of a daytime,
then methylated spirits
mixed with kid’s cough medicine
of an evening.
Cheap Port and Special Brew,
‘The Brain Knuckleduster’
if it’s been a lucky day
You can’t Beg nor Busk
anywhere within the city
without permission and percentage.
They take no shit or prisoners,
everyone of them, to a man,
has been decades on the road.
There’s not one still in their forties,
which means they’re on their last lap
and they absolutely know it.
They call themselves
‘The Dogs With No Tails’
A harder gang of men you’ll not find.
I personally owe them my life
on one extremely bloody occasion
and my freedom and liberty, twice.
Consecutively Not Concurrently
See that old Davey sat in the corner over there?
I call him ‘Old’ but, he’s the same age as me,
we were in the same class together.
He just looks ten years older
because of all his luck with the ladies…
if you can call that luck?
Crying into his pint like a widow at a funeral.
He’s got eleven kids by five different mothers
scattered all about the city,
but, he still spends Christmas on his own,
feeling sorry for himself
and whinging to anyone who’ll lend him an ear.
The ‘Last One’ he was with was alright,
not much of a looker, but, nice enough,
Scottish if I recall correctly?
But, he’s got a butterfly mind…
off from one flower over to the next one.
You just watch him perk himself up
if some skirt walks through them doors.
I tried all that ‘Carrying On’ nonsense myself,
back in my twenties, same as everyone else,
during my first marriage when the kids were babies.
I haven’t got the nerves, patience or constitution for it,
you live and learn eh, or you end up like that mess
over there with his ‘Woe, Woe & Thrice Woe’
Besides, I was sick and tired of getting stabbed.
The Heartbroken Skies Over Lawrence Street
There is a baby crying several doors away
and a dog whining and scratching
at a wooden garden gate close by.
These things, which others merely find annoying,
have become physically painful to her.
Like icicles stabbing into toothache,
a boot heel twisting the flesh of your cheek
or the wretching that follows vomiting
until your throat and stomach bleeds.
‘When did goose bumps start hurting?’
she wonders briefly,
before his ‘Cum-Face’ flashes suddenly
inside her tortured mind
like an old 1940’s camera bulb.
‘Is she staring lovingly into his half-closed eyes
as he peaks and trembles?
Of course she is, it’s where he regresses
back to a helpless little boy again.
When he releases power for a brief moment
and you can taste the ancestry and heritage
in the buzzing air around his handsome face.’
She rips off one more fingernail for luck,
stubs the cigarette out just below her ankle,
then limps over to the broken kitchen,
with fists for eyes, to scald some more water.
Oh, But To Feel Human Again
After traversing that emotional desert
for so achingly long,
with nothing but fading stamina
and wretched determination
to keep you going.
Finger-tip touches and gentle caresses…
bring upon giddying landslides and tidal waves.
The tenderest kiss is an atom bomb
exploding the senses into smithereens,
leaving you gasping to find your breath again.
It’s the ‘Little Things’ that rock, my dear,
building solid foundations
for skyscraper-high feelings.
To spend a blissful, lazy afternoon in bed
and to hear the ‘Ghost of the Child they were’
chuckle out from inside their heart
and smile twinkling through their eyes
as you tickle and torment, playfully…
is the magic and wonder
which makes all of the rest
of life’s scuffed-kneed nonsense seem worth it.
I’m On It and All Over It
That’s difficult, is it?
Well, that just makes it interesting.
I don’t just expect challenges
I demand them.
There is nothing more boring
than everything going your own way.
You can tell me ‘No’
until you’re blue in the face,
until it almost sounds like drumming.
I’ll take it ‘On The Chin’
with a smile
and treat it as fuel and encouragement.
Hard work is not a burden,
it’s a treasure.
Both mountains and molehills
are the very same to me,
one just has a better view.
I’m not waiting ten minutes
for that bus… I’m walking.
It’s just rain
and it’ll help clear the cobwebs away.
Line those problems up
and I’ll do them on my fag-break.
I’m yet to find a sticky situation
that I wasn’t strong enough
to traverse through and overcome.
Dropping Vulgar Stones
Some folk rather the chaotic
Reds & Oranges
to the calming, tranquil
Greens & Blues.
Spanner + Works = Funny!
are mere pathways to arguments,
& a vented show of strength.
Find pleasure in the carnage,
demolition instead of building.
Trust, Empathy & Consideration
are not weaknesses.
Yet, viewed through the wrong eyes…
a rose becomes but a weed,
a Monet an object.
Whilst, a broken window
& bloodied, lacerated fist
holds more charm, interest
& thoughtful nostalgia
than Dickens in December.
The real difference between character
is often times as broad as it is long.
Right & Wrong
a childlike hypothesis.
The ‘Structure’ is for pointing at…
the real ‘Truth’ is clouded, hidden
& seldom anywhere near the middle.
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 books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096
‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036
And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope
You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/