Archive for October, 2010

Reflections on a Day Out

Posted in Poetry on October 31, 2010 by belfastdavid

I set out to visit my son.
I am early
I would rather be
one hour early
than two minutes late.

Negotiate the price
with the girl in the ticket office.
Good job really
I had checked on the options
some time previously.

I bump into a friend
on the station concourse,
haven’t seen each other for some time.
I often think about leaving Leeds
to go live by the sea,
but this sort of random meeting
reminds me of the friendship base
I have established in this city.

I begin to chat to a young student
on the train, from South Wales
studying medicine, she said,
but interested enough in poetry
to key my details into her mobile phone
and look me up on the internet.
She turns the screen toward me,
says that is one of your photos.
I smile, say yes, but wonder
am I more real for her now
than I was just sitting talking.

Conversation expands to include
others at the table. A young girl
from Chile asks me what she should
go see to get an appreciation of Chester.
I recommend walking round the walls.
A lady at the next table intercedes
to suggest the shopping malls
in the town centre.
Whatever turns her on I guess.

I change trains at Manchester,
Enough time for a visit to the loo
and a hasty cigarette.
This is a safety announcement,
due to today’s wet weather
surfaces may be slippy, please
take care when walking in the station
An announcement which I think
has more to do with fear of being sued
than genuine concern for visitors.

A rainbow appears as we
pull out of the station
and cross the motorway.
I am pleased not to be driving today.
I no longer get the pleasure
from driving which I used to.
Too many cars, too much rush.

My son gives me a birthday present.
I don’t think I gave you one at the time
I cannot remember either,
but a birthday present
is acceptable any time of the year.



Turn it Round

Posted in Poetry on October 24, 2010 by belfastdavid

Stubborn? she said
Me? with a look
which might have been innocence
playing about her face.

I smiled

Your stubbornness
I said slowly
is one of the reasons
you are still sober today.

I smiled again.

She stared at me,
uncertain, quizzical,
wondering if I had just
paid her a compliment.

I had.


Posted in Poetry on October 17, 2010 by belfastdavid

It feels like an alien world,
the early nineties,
less than twenty years ago;
people smoked in pubs,
looked for a phone box
if they wanted to call,
and social networks
on the internet
had yet to be invented.

I got sober in eighty-nine.
Was that when change began?
Whilst I was in treatment
they altered the rules,
pubs could stay open all day.
I did not take it personally.
Now they are open through the night.
Testosterone prowls the streets
of Leeds on a weekend.

Why to you become so defensive
when I refuse, as you put it,
to move with the times?
I tell you I have no television
You respond I hardly ever
watch it myself.
I do not care how often you watch it.
My statement regarding my life style
carries no criticism of yours
but you seem to think it does.

I took a lady out for the day,
we walked along the pier,
I watched the sea
she talked on her phone.
I need to keep it on she said,
in case anyone wants me urgently.
None of it sounded
very urgent to me
but it made her
feel important.
I did not take her out again.

I prefer to read books in their
old fashioned form, feel them,
rifle through their pages, smell them,
relish their weight in my hand.
You pretend to agree,
scroll frantically down, then sideways
and, at the same time,
surreptitiously take pictures
of the young blonde
on the next table.

Real live people contact
is better than cyber contact,
real live sex
is better than cyber sex,
yet frequently I need
to delete emails
from Delicious Doris
desperately wanting
to be my friend.

So will you come
and walk with me,
at water’s edge,
along the strand,
feel the sand, soft,
beneath our feet
as the waves
lap our toes.
We will head
toward that quiet
place inside the dunes,
make love
with sun upon my back
and wind among your hair.


Posted in Poetry on October 10, 2010 by belfastdavid

Filed along the edges
of my memory
are moments
which defy attempts
to bring them out,
replay in conscious mind.

But in the heat
of now
they emerge,
guide instincts
along well-trodden

There is comfort
in the knowledge
that, whilst not
as was before,
the now, though
different, is the same.


Posted in Poetry on October 3, 2010 by belfastdavid


Sunday, early morning,
grey clouds obscuring the sky,
mug of tea,
working on a list
for the new week.

I hear her voice:
Making a list
is one thing,
she says,
Doing it
is another!

I am forced to smile.

I can cocoon myself
by making lists;
activity creating
the illusion of progress,
so ponder
what to do first.

Another mug of tea,
another cigarette,
sky becoming greyer,
I decide
I have made
a good list.