Watching the harbour as sailing boats return,
followed by February's darkness and storm
cloud rain. Imagined somewhere right now,
sailors Sunday meal cooks, while lone gull
caught on wind passed by, with out of season
Another two hours before hotel check outs
meaningless farewell, then taxi to airport, on
motorway to somewhere else. And in knowing
words can never be enough, as they form the
lie too, soon room 601 will be behind me, as
with everything else this life of mine has so far
But The Third?
Three photographs told me she was mine,
the first, as natural as a summers day. The
second, proof of the effort she will go to for
me, down to the local park with an array of
items on display. From sparkly wine to daffodils,
not forgetting, programmes from Madame
Tussauds and Planetarium.
But the third? This image stole my heart,
with her looks that could grace Monaco
and help retain whatever it was built for in
the first place. All accomplished, in a back
yard in Newcastle, as the local radio station
announced, yet more heavy rain for the
Johnny The Moth
I see him most days as I set off for work, he's always
hanging onto a particular wall, perfectly still. I've
nicknamed him "Johnny The Moth". One day he might
fly again, but for now he seems content to stay near the
church on Balls Pond Road, London N1.
Since noticing him there over a year ago, I've actually
started to see him all over town, even on TV on top of
the mountain in Rio De Janeiro. He seemed well thought
of, had all the answers they tell me, so they killed him as
they always do to men who speak too clearly. He wasn't
impressed with money lenders either they say, would have
been great to have got him drunk, then encouraged him to
throw all my football teams merchandise from their shop
onto the street, shouting, " Johnny The Moth says out with
you Wonga!". Funny how the right wing eventually took him
as one of their own, was that done to just confuse us, or was
his father no more than the first developer, on a universal scale?
As darkness falls, content in the knowledge that "Johnny
The Moth" will resist the urge to head towards the nearest
street light, where the dark cobwebs will forever await his
return. No, instead he bathes himself in the rich fragrance
from the local Caribbean restaurant, and with help from their
menu, of snapper or flying fish, "Johnny" will again feed some
of the five thousand in Dalston tonight.
The Monkey And The Ox
How can an ox harass a monkey, and make it pick up
banana skins, come to think of it, how can an ox ride a
monkey, while stopping it from using its dishwasher?
2.00 am, I send a text message to her phone, telling her,
"While you sleep next to me, I'm trying my best not to
fart!" Not realising, her mobile phone would bleep from
nearby table in bedroom. She stirs and asks, "Was that
my phone?" I text again, "You will soon come to read this
nonsense!" The second text duly arrives, announced by
another bleep, and on cue out of my bed she jumps, goes
to table, picks up her phone and reads message. "Silly Billy!"
she calls me, then naked, goes to the bathroom. As I await
her return, I justify to myself, thoughts of having woken her up,
in knowing that she will sleep far better now, after having taken
I remember he looked after our goldfish and stick insects
while we all lay on a Kefalonian beach. Fed Wilba, named
by the children, our only fry to survive, so well that the water
turned into lentil soup. Wilba with her crooked jaw, too young
for his inexperience and excess in aquatic love, unfortunately
died. The stick insects on the other hand, took him in their stride.
He told me later, he cut pieces from neighbours privet hedges with
scissors, feeding them daily to keep them strong, even got chased
by someone who saw him desecrating their garden.
My kids loved their Uncle Hazza, an easy touch for any child, he
now lives in Carlisle, I'm in Dalston, and my family's in Potters Bar,
funny how life works out.
Jeff Bell, poet and musician, originally from South Shields in the North East of England, now living in London over last thirty years. Has recently started writing poetry/prose and finds it a release from the restrictions of songwriting. Has had several poems recently accepted in various magazines. A sample of his music can be heard at www.myspace.com/quangomusic http: //www.jeffbellmusic.com