Meet me in Postman’s Park

Meet me in Postman’s Park

Let us feel the autumn chill

Touch our noses and ears

And see it it in our breath

As we talk about your country

And a little of mine

Meet me in Postman’s Park

And watch people fascinated

Discovering the plaques 

To the unknown heroes

While others sit on benches

Eating Pret sandwiches

Meet me in Postman’s Park

Let’s look up at the office windows 

That surround us

And talk of the futility of the 9 to 5

And of fishing boats and growing tomatoes 

And our own One Day dreams

Meet me in Postman’s Park

And bask in the beauty 

Of comfortable silences

As nearby traffic hums and vibrates

The odd siren in the distance

While a drill starts on and off

Meet me in Postman’s Park

It’s good to be here, now

Your blue eyes are visible

Even fifty yards away as you turn

To look at me one last time

As your blonde hair fades into the haze

Choice

The ambulance wails

In the distance 

Across a damp drizzle

These dreams

Aren’t always clear

I like to think

I’m always changing

But everything stays the same

In these washed up hours

And shipwrecked hopes

You see it in faces on the street

On the train

Hiding from the deep

In the shallow wastelands of modern life

Well go on then

Let’s crack on

The show goes on 

And all that

But

I’m tired

I’m lost

I’m out of touch

I’m a little too in love

With suffering

And deadbeat reflection

Another day awaits

Big city boy

Stuck in moving crowds

Where I’ve never belonged

But I keep finding myself in bigger ones

The urban sprawl

A necessity of modern life and modern civilisation

Hive mind ant life

Sweaty in stations even as the seasons change

I could be growing tomatoes now

Or chopping fish in the back of some seaside village restaurant

Or opening up my bar at 3pm 

Taking chairs off tables

Small talk with waiters

But I sit in trains and make up ideas

As the horizon glows

As I mind the gap

Bad cappuccino

The cappuccino was chunky

God, I wasn’t coming to this coffeeshop again

Two sips and I left it for good

The trains had an issue and I was killing time

People kept looking down the street at something that had happened

After a while a woman was was pushed in by good samaritan

She’d taken a fall, quite a bad one

They’d found her a makeshift wheelchair somehow

He ordered her a tea and had to leave, she said her mother was coming

She was at the table next to me

Sitting alone

In tears

I offered her paracetamol for pain

She said no

She remained crying for some time

I tried to go on as normal but it was difficult

The well made-up gym women across from us carried on as per normal

The mother did eventually come

But there was something not quite right

She seemed oddly unconcerned

I felt sorry for the girl who fell

Something about her earlier tears

Seemed to be about a lot more than just her leg

I put on my coat

The awful taste of bad cappuccino in my mouth

It was time to face those damn trains

Saturday morning rain

A near accident at the traffic circle

of Loughton high street

but nobody hooted at anybody

and man in a chicken suit

stands outside a real estate office

next to a blonde

promoting something

the cars whish past

spraying water up from the road

and the drizzle kept coming down

didn’t look like stopping anytime soon

like it was plugged in 

the woman in a long checked shirt 

walked past under an umbrella

and I smelled the cigarette smell coming off her

the 397 hummed past

but in the wrong direction

old man in a mask

shuffling past almost aimlessly 

cars kept on by

wsshhhh

wsshhhh

the world hits different on Saturday morning

seven more minutes for my ride

but it gave me a chance to savor

the best 

damn

cappuccino 

I’d had in years

Swamp monsters

The same field

Fifteen years later

Wind rustling the tips of the tall grass

Like nothing had changed at all

Back in town it all seemed different

Updated

Alien

But not here

As I came to the end of the route

I looked up

Where the grass field sloped upward

Towards the houses

Where the tall pines loomed and waved

Where he once tried to scare me

With stories of swamp monsters

And how he saw one’s tail once

The memory brought a smile

For the first time in days

I felt closer to him in that moment 

Than I had even at the funeral

Two days before

The cold February breeze stung my eyes

My nostrils were wet

But my head felt fresh 

All of me did

Muddy Wellingtons squished in the mud near the gate

Probably the same size shoe as his

All those years before

I stopped and looked back

The grassy fields sloped out towards the East

Under a grey clouded sky

Vague memories of chasing a ball

Down this slope

Of him running behind me

Smiling

Was he happy in those moments?

What would he remember now?

If he could remember now

The same field

Fifteen years later

Life works in circles

It always does

While you trudge through mud

Thinking of hot coffee

Grasping at the what ifs

She got obscenely drunk that night

At Madeleine’s 30th party in Islington

At 12:30 AM we finally stumbled into the street

Into the ongoing November drizzle

Intoxicated but triumphant

Young hearts but old souls

The world could have been ours

Except her, she staggered a little too badly

I volunteered to see her home to Wood Green which was sort of on my way

Conveniently so

I’d had a thing for her for three years

But of course she was taken. Married. Beyond.

Husband worked as some high level engineer with oil

Always away

And as it happened she talked about him the whole way home in the taxi

Things seemed to be sliding badly

I was struck with that odd tongueless sensation of having no insights

No words for her other than bland agreement

I walked her up to her door

It was red

In the flash of a moment I wondered about her

It captivated me

What did she do alone at home?

What does she read, watch, eat?

Does this lifestyle make her lonely?

Especially not having to work

“You have kind eyes” she said

The rain persisted

She raised her face for mine

And oh god I kissed her back

This drunk lonely woman who I’d thought about so often

“I must go. Delivered safely,” I quipped

She clumsily fumbled at the door and eventually got in

She closed it without looking back

I turned and walked down the street

In a dreamlike state

What had I done. Why? Kissing a drunk girl for fucks sakes.

And now the worst part

The next time we’d see each other would she even remember

I’ll never know

The rest of my acquaintance with her may be some guessing game

I could see it all so clearly

It’s the things left unsaid that taunt us the most

Leaving us grasping at the what ifs

While the clocks tick and we fry a single egg in the pan as the radio plays

It looked like another two blocks to the high street

The rain persisted

I needed to get out my damn umbrella out

Aldersgate in the rain

She smiled at me in the rain

On the steps of Aldersgate Church

Our eyes meeting under the black wide brows of open umbrellas

As the grey rain drizzled over us

Over all of us

A smile

So alien in this London gloom

Like something from another world, one I’d prefer

I walked on

Hearing the sound of a travel bag being rolled on pavement near me

The sound of adventure

Pretty sure the rain had wet the bag on my back

And my shoes were wet

I thought of waves and villages

And smiles

An ambulance wailed past

A construction drill echoed through the streets