Sunday evening sermon and as the parishioners
leave this up-market church, some are in a good
mood and feel generous towards the beggars at
the door and give coins, others, of moral frugal
hearts are busy reading a leaflet- handed out in
the church- and thus didn’t see the supplicants.
Had a fifty centimes coin in my pocket, which
I intended to the man with the Labrador hound,
as I did so the dog followed the transaction with
serious eyes, as far as the dog understood it, its
master was higher up on the human hierarchy
then me, after all I was the one doing the giving.
I had bought a suit at the sale it was striped and according to
the mirror in the hall I looked smart, as a successful business
man. At the newsagent’s the girl smiled and said my suit was
lovely, but as I turned to go out I sensed mockery in her grin,
and her suppressed laughter followed me down the street till
I turned a corner. Stopped at a big shop window looked hard
and honestly at myself and was shocked. I saw an elephant
trying to look as a zebra, worse, a doorman, at a seedy hotel;
a failed mobster who now procures girls for the guests.
Passersby were staring at me, some with a smile,
others with contempt, it was now I noticed the window displayed sexy
lingerie. Horrified, so they sought I was a pervert, pained I
took off my glasses and since faces were now indistinct it
didn’t matter so much what they thought, but I sensed their
hissing giggle. Found solitude in a park on a bench amongst
green bushes, falling leaves and birdsong I read my paper in
peace. Coming home my wife asked me where I had been,
since my suit was covered in bird droppings
The café facing the busy street has big windows
and I see umbrellas walking by, some of them
stop, fold wings, shake water off backs and enter.
I remember my childhood in black and grey when
umbrellas were stygian; a lady umbrella was a bit
smaller, had frilly silk borders, but was sable too.
Now they are of all colours but black, cheap and
cheerful a sharp breeze and they turn inside out
and that’s ok; it’s the cheery bit I like.
During world war two, the German air force
dropped a few grey bombs down into our town,
no big deal, pale flames warmed winter nights.
In colours everything tend to look good, poverty
too; the hungry wear colourful robes and falling
rockets look like fireworks a festive night.
The third mate went ashore an early afternoon,
with the sole purpose to go to the bar and steal
the cook’s girlfriend; the cook had to work till
eight, and when he finally came to the bar his
girlfriend had gone with the mate to a hotel.
How they mocked him next day, but the cook
smiled showing even, wolfish teeth, not his
natural once mind, but nevertheless very white.
It should have worried the crew, it’s no good to
tease a man who can spit into their soup.