Tagged in: poetry

The Bar Stool

Carrier of man’s problems, pervasive and persuasive

A place of peace in the midst of insanity and noise

For a breather where none exists

To wallow in life’s problems and listen to one’s own conscience

To plan and pan, to feel alive

To stare at the barman

Or at the one woman who will serve a pint without throwing a fit

The bar Stool

Raised, higher than all other seats

A place where the lone wolf can sit and wish he had friends

Where he can make new friends and pay his own bill

Some sit on it because it makes them taller

For the first time in a whole day, they feel bigger than they really are

Because hot girls seem to sit there when they are lonely

Because unlike the noise in the background

The drugs, the ruined lives, and liver cirrhosis

The gout and throat cancer

The addictions and pervasions in the background

The happiness in the midst of ruin

Unlike the riches burnt in the background

The school fees not paid and battered spouses

The abandoned families and lost jobs

The choking and yet tempting cigarette smoke

The death and despair, the dance floor

The madness that seems like hell

Where people of different world’s can meet and meat

Where deals have been made and governments brought down

Where independence has been won and history made

Where Prohibition and taxation can do no harm

Where everyone is here to enjoy and make merry

Some to make a living

Some to steal it

Some to forget the problems that life has blessed them with

To forget if only for an hour

Sacrifice for a moment of happiness they will want to enjoy on the morrow

To meet new people

Dance away life’s problems and scream like the voice box has no knob

To kiss and love away at strangers

People life would never have brought them close to

To run away from the darkness that is their lives

And yet, a different man and woman sit on the bar stool

A man who would readily give up his high sit to be on the background with friends

A woman waiting for someone, or waiting to forget another

An old man on the prowl, for women or for amnesia

A young man waiting for his meal

An old maid staring at the barman’s abs

A little high chair, staring at the pints in their bottles

Wondering whether everyone else has a story of their own

Some sit on it to run away from the madness, to ponder, stare, glare

Some sit on the bar stool, alone, because it is the only place quiet enough

Quiet enough to read the paper, noisy enough to be in on all of it.

A Little Girl Pinched Me Today

Walking in the streets today, something weird happened

Two weird things happened

A little girl, two little girls

Walked up to me as I hurried away

They each held on to one of my hands

And prayed that I give them a coin

I looked around, and saw

Them.

The mother’s menacing look

Like a pimp with a camera in the hotel room

Daring me to hurt their little children.

So I hurried away.

 

One let go, but the other little girl

The other little girl did not

She was not so little

Maybe seven, eight years old

She held on and walked at my pace

Half jogged even, as much as her little strides could.

I ignored her, or tried to, and walked even faster.

Twenty metres, she still did not let go.

Thirty metres, fourty, fifty…

I knew that at some point she would have to let go….

 

I was looking ahead, at something else…

On the road a few metres away, a young boy sat on the back of his mother’s wheelchair

A not so young boy

He sat there, his legs swinging away as his crippled mother

Manouvered her way through the midday traffic.

Unfair, I thought..

Why would he burden his mother even further than she was.

How unfair could a child be, I thought

So unfair as to not see his mother’s plight

Just add weight to he already burdened life

Just sitting at the back, on the big box

Maybe she was a hawker, and the box bore her wares

So, it was even heavy without the little boy.

But then I saw something beautiful,

A balance of nature between mother and son..

When the road started uphill

The not so young boy disembarked

And pushed his mother’s wheelchair,

Helping her negotiate the traffic…

 

Back to the little girl who would not let go

I ignored her because she was clean

And I knew one of the women looking at me was the mother

I ignored her because

She should have been in school

Because she has a future ahead of her, whether bright or not

I walked away because I saw in her eyes (when I did steal a glance)

A desperation for something more…

Then she did something I did not expect.

 

When she saw that it was all futile

She stopped, causing me to slow down because she still held my hand

And then

She pinched me really hard.