Poems by Richard, Part 1

Richard wrote this first poem after making a return visit to Chesham. He was in a coffee shop at the time, of course…

Being Back

The familiar shops
Drinkers outside
The brewing hobby shop
The familiar cafes
Feeling exactly
How a slow Sunday afternoon
Should feel.

The river
Now a midsummer trickle
But the moor still marshy.

It’s not home but was
And when I’m old
And maybe blurred
With confusion about
Wherever I’ll be
It’s what I’ll remember
What I’ll translate
The strange streets

And continuing the coffee shop theme, but written in The Cotswolds…


Whether it be a day
Which with hindsight
Was pivotal or a milestone
Or the first rumble
Of a remote avalanche
Is as yet unknowable.

All I know in a Costa cafe
At 11.37 am
On a damp but mild
Saturday morning
Is that the couple behind me
Are talking about an MOT,
A big white-haired man
In a short-sleeve shirt
Is doing the Quick Crossword
Slowly while his wife
In her orange blouse
And flowery cardigan
Flips idly through
The weekend magazine. Across
The aisle a middle-aged bloke
In jeans, check shirt
And classy shoes
Helps his little old mum
Wipe her hands on a
Serviette as his blonde wife
Arrives and they get up to go
Maybe to take his mum
Back to the home
Where the very old live out
Their days.

The cafe staff chat
And clink spoons
On saucers, there’s been
A rush which has now subsided
And the empty tables
Are filled with the trays
And crockery
Of the departed
And the dishwasher
Is bust. An old lady
With tightly curled white hair
In a coat with a brooch
Smiles as her fat husband
Brings her coffee, sweeps
The crumbs off his seat
On which he places
His rather large behind
And shares a joke
As she proffers
A five pound note.
Then he starts tapping
On his phone as she rummages
In her bag for a till receipt.

It’s now 11.52,
A quarter of an hour
Has passed. Who knows
What births and deaths
And great dramas
Have happened in the world
Outside? In Europe
They’ve had the heaviest snow
In thirty years, the papers
Are full of anger and woe
About the latest twist
In the BREXIT civil war.
We had a lot of snow
A year ago
But just now just here
Life carries on
Normally uneventfully
Like an untroubled stream
Over well worn

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