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Leigh May 2015
The tide collects it all by morning;
The drama and the ***** napalmed across the path.
The scenes at second warning for most had been swept away
Before they wiped the sand from their shoes.

Empty cans of Dutch and Tuborg slouched on the dunes
Are tight-lipped about the Velvet Strand's secret ecosystem;
An underground microcosm;
A peripheral cluster of seething emotions drowned.

Memories of those years - although some expired,
The vestiges take pride of place - hold a cosmic clump of smells,
Tastes, firsts, goosebumps, hangovers, and ends.
I never before understood what I was holding on to.

Winters down in the shelters nearly killed us but we
Huddled through the cold, lit cheap firelogs and
Found our oblivion. It didn't take much for me to develop  
A stagger - tolerance for a lot of things was learned later.

I narrowly recall my first taste of poor judgement and
Hazy-headed stargazing. Six cans of Stonehouse
Dry cider - most of which ended up on the hillside -
Was a ridiculous endeavour that will always be sublime.

At the heart of it, I did it to impress a girl;
The one every boy has or has had that sticks;
Who holds your firsts and your hands and makes
Things simple if only for her complexity;

The one that never fails to bring upon digression when
Pens are involved. Revisiting reminiscence on a jarring note,
I think of my Junior Cert exams and a cross-dressed man
Exposing himself to two uniformed boys behind the public toilets.

This one doesn't stir the joy of the others.
This one I wish would dissolve;
An ugly, awkward blotch on a childhood.

Luckily fondness trumps disgust when recalling that place
Because of sunrises and sunsets absorbed from the roof.
The Summers spent jumping the gap and drowning in the
Heat of the sun were everything.

The fugitive sand between our toes and under finger nails
Became an accepted nuisance, a part of the territory;
A lingering grain or two to drag you back.
I miss waking up with the smell of last night's faded fire.
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Some weird and wonderful memories of my teenage years.

100 points if you catch the Derek Mahon reference.


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Tryst Jan 2015
Dashing hither, dashing thither,
Dashing in the winter weather,
John the dashing haberdasher
Dashed a hat upon his head

Not some lace cap fit for ladies,
Nor a bonnet stitched for babies,
John the dashing haberdasher
Dashed a top hat there instead!

Never had a hat so fine,
So tall and silken, so refined,
Regaled upon the daily grind
Of prince or pauper in the Strand

Ladies stalled to see it's lustre,
Swooned and swayed before it's bluster,
Fell and fainted in a fluster,
Startled by a hat so grand!

Children screamed in dreadful fright
And yelping dogs began to bite
As crowds began to brawl and fight
And riots claimed the London street

In the chaos thus ensuing,
Folks began to run, pursuing
John the dashing haberdasher
Chasing him from Strand to Fleet!

John was taken to the prison,
Chided by the crowds derision,
There to wait the Mayor's decision
On his wanton heinous crime

Charged with breaching lawful peace,
He paid a fine for his release
And ordered to desist and cease,
He left his top hat well behind

Thus is told the tale of John
Who dared to bravely dash and don
A silken top hat high upon
His noble head in London town

Heed his tale and take this warning,
When you wake one winter morning
With desire to be less boring,
Careful how you dress that crown!
Poem based on an event that occurred this day in history.
John Hetherington, a London haberdasher, is reported to be the first person to wear a top hat, this event occurring on the 15th January 1797.  The event caused a riot with women fainting at the sight, children screaming and dogs yelping.  He was forced to pay a £500 bond for breach of the peace.

First published 15th January 2015, 06:20 AEST.

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