(written in coffee house, one quick edit at home…)
Round goes the gossip,
north country accents machine gunning in a southern seaside town,
reshaping body shapes for coffee charged window-wishing dress buying,
Christmas decorations crisis early exhorted,
texting daughters rapid reply replayed,
proud envy sigh-shared;
make up base colours cross-checked,
creamier cream over beiger beige,
promised swift swap of free freebies,
vicious visits to inviting in-laws quick-chatted,
shops right rated by cross counter intercourse,
a sex of dancing words;
roads flash flooded in drenched downpours,
washing unhung as stair rods descended;
faded curtains charity shop listed,
husband’s lazy languidity sigh head-shook,
life’s quirky queries countered in ten minutes
girl-buddied word volley.
breakfast burger half devoured,
eyes staring like a fisherman’s bait,
a caught contact the first line of a contract;
hands back grasped,
nervous fingers counting empty,
in empty palms,
coffee cups dreg dredged,
cold liquid for comfort to a body belt lightweight in cash,
buggies one handed push by,
screen hypnotised mother’s see no market,
only messages of nothingness,
pensioners wander pleasant smiling, morning greeting,
pleased to interact in a lonely world of absent work and offspring, non-buying,
false hope to enduring stallholders,
the young work weaving,
drink and food finger-balanced on speedy sprint to waiting desks,
ignorant of table merchandise:
flowers, books, clothes, teas, breads, organic milk,
fast flying by;
the sun lifts cloudy shades,
warming bodies bring warming words,
smiles and jokes bring clicking wallets,
a sale from precarious futures.
And wow! Quite a ‘medium’ coffee in Costa’s…
Late middle age agitation,
beige colour-washed in clothing and mind,
early morn coffee,
recapturing youth tho’ wrinkled and pilled up,
vacant hopes as damp as the drizzle falling around the wet washed smoking zone,
outcast and outdated,
out of step with youth fast passing whose screens quick-flick with lives sped read by,
their days long spread ahead,
minutes like hours slow passing,
mealtimes the office bells of a life rapid passing slow to a rolating highway to a homeless Home,
offspring long gone to hours wage-tied,
TV schedules their timetabled replacement for school routines
secret revisited in daydreams
of a future once more glittering in hopes,
elders sit grouped in playground reminiscence,
carrier bags and walking sticks,
not satchels and cricket bats,
talks of prescriptions and missed appointments,
of customer service and missing buses,
not gossip of TV heroes, friendship breakups,
the sweetest tasting sweets and sticker swapping successes,
cold dregs now swished,
stubbed stubs ground,
they depart all ways west to window shop and bus stop dawdle,
till the hissing coffee machine recalls them,
the next nameless day.
A third poem I scribbled down while sat in the coffee house yesterday. Said shop has an attractive frontage as you can see from the photo above.
Cigarette lip dangling,
jeans overtight on a body overweight,
bacon sandwich ill-consumed,
chatter-gossip seething loud,
TV channels daily gazed with reality stars withdrawn from reality,
loud voiced nothings fill her space,
words of make ups and break ups,
cheerleader T-shirt slogan embossed,
evenings twirled in girl gossip and tumbling batons,
a life full-lived short and meaningfully empty.
In the afternoon I went book hunting. Nothing in Waterstones made me want to open the wallet but a browse in my favourite second-hand bookstore quickly resulted in the purchase of three quite ‘dark’ volumes. All three are in good condition and I look forward to reading them, possibly in the coffee house, although I do find it hard to concentrate on books in such places, I find them more conducive as locations for making notes on writing or people-watching.
A long walk along the seafront at 8.15 this morning, two people were swimming in the sea and the usual dogwalkers and cyclists were around. The seafront cafe I visited twice over last weekend was just opening up on my return walk but I resisted the temptation for yet another coffee. Tomorrow is Writers’ Group at a local hotel so a latte or cappuccino or two will be consumed there.
Early morn in a coffee house, watching the passers-by, a few thoughts quick assembled into poems…
dreams and hopes interwoven with shopping,
and moneyless window-gazing,
downcast eyes of the unconfident,
Heaven-stared looks of the life-shallow affirmed,
all wondering if today is the day,
the day they meet the one,
the day their numbers roll up,
the day life marks them special,
the day their life explode sense,
the day the gods reveal themselves.
Turret grill can just be seen through the window.
The turret grill,
one windowed world view,
no contact ‘cept ordered mugs and baps,
poster barred and sold down-rivered for £3.95,
a life sandwiched twixt greeting and farewell,
smile-filled thin and quick spread,
long moments solitary,
eye stared at lives passing imagined fulfilled and full,
new order disrupting daydreamer errors,
how many years butter-spread ahead.
Stopping for coffee in Costa on a Thursday with the market in full swing, perfect for relaxing and people watching. Made the mistake of forgetting Costa do three sizes of cup and so used to going for the ‘large’ in other coffee houses where that size equates to our usual mugs at home. But here ‘large’ means a double handled cup with a soupful of coffee – very nice coffee but so much to drink.
Costa was surprisingly quiet at 10 a.m. so got served and a seat easily, by the time we left there were still seats available but a growing queue at the counter. Couldn’t log on to their hub for some unknown reason so had to wait until at home to write this up.
Overheard a fascinating conversation between a student daughter and her mum and dad, obviously getting ready for her return to university (yes, I’m old enough to call it ‘university’ rather than the awful ‘uni’). The girl talking nineteen to the dozen, clearly looking forward to going back yet also nervous hence her machine gun dialogue. Mum and dad were quieter, no doubt pleased to see their daughter’s enthusiasm yet sad to see her leave home again.
Stopped off on the way home and bought two small pictures in a charity shop after looking everywhere in department stores and shops for some simple pictures for a small room. Amazing what you find in charity shops these days.
Time for lunch – at home – then must try to complete some writing today or at least a final edit of my piece for Monday’s Writers Group meeting.
A terrible habit, three bought coffees in three days. Well, blame it on the Bank Holiday weekend. And to make matters worse I added an almond slice to today’s latte. My excuse? I’d driven some twenty miles to get to the coffee shop and was in need of sustenance. You only live once, don’t you? No doubt my doctor would counter with ‘You only die once…’ So, no more bought coffee until the weekend, back now to decaffeinated, milky coffee at home.
Mr Bean’s Coffee House in the small town of Tenterden is worth a visit, friendly staff, good location for people watching and newspapers available. Only drawback can be when young mothers come in with screaming kids, then it’s time to vacate the building.
Yesterday I finished editing the original version of the Bobby Olsen novella, the one with the made-up hyphenated phrases that the main character uses. These divided opinion at my Writers Group but a few people liked the novelty so I think it’s worth making this version available for them. I’ve started making the necessary alterations for uploading as an e-book and should get it up in the next few days. Then, finally, that story is finished with! Until I decide to rewrite it as a full-blown 100,000 word novel…one day.
Now this is ready for blogging I shall pop outside and plant a few daffodil bulbs as the packet has sat on the kitchen floor for two weeks now. And it’s a lovely sunny day again, too good to spoil in front of a computer. Tomorrow rain is forecast so I can type away then…maybe.