the bitter taste of almost breathing

i rested on the handle of my spade and smoked.

i witnessed a congregation of privet,

solemn hemmed and so cuffed with berries 

that even the herring birds, oddly black against the cloud,

eschewed with cackles and coughs and with caution;

such is tumbling rubbish on a breeze.


i worked a thread of wet tobacco from my tongue to my lip
and I rolled it into mush between a thumb and finger
(the bitter taste of almost breathing).
my lungs, half filled with monday morning graveyard
smoke and air. the cackle of the birds in the trees.


thursday morning, sweeping leaves, resting on my broom.

i rolled and smoked a cigarette and watched the ceremony;
there were no tears that i could hear, just pale and hollow faces.
i breathed the smoke into the air and crushed the stub
underfoot. the coughing of the birds in the trees.

24 thoughts on “the bitter taste of almost breathing

    1. Bob – Thank you, my friend; always so kind to my endeavours here!
      I have just woken up convinced I’d slept all night – no more or less tired than usual – only to find it is still Saturday and that a mere hour has passed! Ha! Sweet confusion!
      And, er, all hail Saturday night! lol xo

      Liked by 1 person

  1. These opening lines of yours… amazing… and wild that the amazingness just carries through. Definitely a tad jeals. ;)) Also I enjoyed a good virtual puff with you. :)) xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A friend of mine worked in a cemetery and it always amazed her when people would say, “isn’t it scary?” “It’s probably the least scary place to be,” she would say. Peaceful, too.


  2. I love how this starts out with the feeling of nature closing in “a congragation of privet” – the plants and birds specifically named – the spade – but by the end – nature becomes more anonymous more pliable (no more spade, now a broom)- the focus on the smoke, the ceremony – the coughing of birds. From earth to ethereal.

    Liked by 1 person

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