The watermelon that wanted to be wine

After a day of dreaming
Exotic visions
Of cool, popular appeal
Thoughts fomenting
In the summer heat
Grew so excited
Reaching for the stars
Through the kitchen window
Tore convention asunder
Sides split
Spilling ambition in
Sticky streaks across the counter
Down the cabinets
And pooling resources
In a puddle on the tiles
Now what?
Momentarily floored
Smiling with
Sugary, toothless
Carefree abandon
It fizzed at the moon
While a pale face
Shone through the night
Reflected in a
Domestic waterfall
Of over-ripe
Sweetness

Dead Flowers

Though I am fond of
An eponymous song by the Rolling Stones
I have a lifelong dislike of dead flowers
Their brittle stems a stiff reminder
That everything we look upon
Is doomed

The Half Life of Romantium

Take a fragile shell of base metal
Iron, or lead will do nicely for a first attempt
Then find somewhere to keep it
While the experiment progresses
Prop it against a shady frame
Darkened doorways work well, then
Seal it with the finest salt water
Washing repeatedly until all planes
Have been carefully soaked in brine
Set it aside to drip-dry on a doormat
Paying careful attention to placement
More progress is made in the hours
When darkness covers the sun’s curve
Applying topical heat at intervals
Until the surface shines with salt specks
Carve your initials into this skin
Making the cuts deep, clean, even
You should still be able to see them
A clear inscription In fifty years or so,
Once things have cooled to room temperature

Binary

Pandering to electronics
Bow to ev’ry sacred beep
Of the venerable laptop
They demand must last the week

Soothe the RAM and juggle updates
Stroke each key, a fond caress
And save your curses for the skinflint
CEO that caused this mess

Crying out for newer hardware
Staff on iPad overtime
OS struggles, RegEd nightmare
Software out of step and time

To make up shortfall in the budget
Health and Safety would think twice
And while we’re on the bloody subject
Newer desktops might be nice

We’re working hard to beat frustration
As one poor techie tries to cope
With a no-winner situation
Soldier on with little hope

She’s put the poor thing through it’s paces
Done the defrag, checked the code
Rebooted and restarted software
Not designed to get this old

So frankly it would hardly shock if
Setup takes up half the day
She’s done her best with what she’s got
But can’t do more than slow decay

Tea and sympathy

I noticed the smell
Before seeing the man
As he first tried it on
With the girl by the sign

I kept gazing at trains
Sipping watery sludge
Barely conscious of movement
Of space, sound, or time

With my chilly feet aching
And feeling the burn
Having finished a shift
With the B.M.D. gang

And put up with the tourists
Mind set to ‘return’
In the crush and the waiting
Victoria Station

I wanted my pj’s
And something to scran
A reprieve from the knowledge
Tomorrow is Monday

A moment’s escape
From the hellish élan
That rises responding
To transport on Sunday

I sighed at his gait
As he soft-shoed along
Cursing hard-hearted kids
Under-dressed for the winter

His t-shirt encrusted
With layers of pong
That would shame to a beak
Even Marble Arch scroungers

He lurched to a halt
Far too close to my skin
And launched into his spiel
To upset and impress me

I felt little more
Than the usual pain
At the series of tricks
He employed just to press me

And tiring of lies
Moaned in flattening vowels
As he tried to appear
To be pitied before me

His simple demands
I did meet with a smile
Giving coin for some peace
That he hence might ignore me

But trotting away
The reprieve was a short one
I swayed on my feet
Craning necks to evade

In the hope they’d announce
Platform numbers for Sutton
No more on my journey
Might I be waylaid

The very same man
Rose, a vision before me
To launch the same dialogue
Over again

I tried to divert him
He strove to ignore me
“Just gave you a pound
For a tea!” I exclaimed

The man seemed offended
And told me more stories
His life had been hard
He was hardly to blame

A single commuter
Of kind disposition
Would hardly stand out
In the crowds of the day

His ‘few pints’ that evening
A hint at the blinder
Awaiting what money
I’d chosen to pay

As much as I might like
To give to the guy
Little hoping for comforts
Unknown and less useful

He steadfast, refusing
To catch at my eye
Made his bitterest mouthfuls
Taste much less than truthful

I listened again
To the tale he was spinning
Not worthy of one
Born to charity’s curse

But all I could offer
Returning the favour
More sympathy, tea
And a haven in verse