The sunlight on the café counter.

Clatter, scrape and second cuppa.

Stainless, Sheffield. Bowl of sugar.

Elbow, knuckle ink, fingered butter.

Gingham vinyl tablecloth.

Spoon song, ketchup, salt and pepper.

Bubble. Double egg and chips.

Love Me Tender, tiny speaker.

The market barker’s comedy –

Same routine since ninety three.

“arfur cue f’fifty pee.”

His mouth is ringed with laughter.



32 thoughts on “Tender.

  1. The poetry of everyday life! Such beautiful word-music. As for the article, I thought women were doing ok when we got the vote but now we have the chance to become Potato Heads I know we have achieved full equality!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. ‘Sleepin’ out on the street
        Oh, livin’ all alone
        Without a house or a home
        And then she asked you, please
        Hey, baby, can I have some spare change
        Oh, can I break your heart?’

        You the original wild child, G xoxo


  2. I love this poem! I think I’ve mentioned before that you are a master of the cataloguing technique in both fiction and poetry. I was instantly transported to that cafe, with all its sights, sounds, and smells. Kudos!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is awesome! Such effective and economic use of words. Such an atmosphere! Have been trying to figure out the “arfur cue”. I used to know a joke involving supposed latin “alfamo erisago, fortibus esinaro”. But then it turns out to be cockney “‘alf a mo. ‘ere’s a go. Forty buses in a row.” So I’m twisting my tongue around arfur cue but it’s not coming untwisted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! I like your Latin Cockney – or is it Cockney Latin? – either way it sounds like a cool name for a band. We should form that band!

      The Surrey Street market man’s bark was a well rehearsed joke that still rings in my ears to this day. What he’s really saying, waving his cucumber stump in passing faces, is “I’ll fuck you for fifty pee”*.

      It was and is doubly amusing to me now because he was such a bent over and bitter character, grubby round the gills, graveyard grin and more than a little creepy, but obviously finding (for twenty years every day) swearing salaciously under cover highly amusing as if he was a comic genius – which, of course, he was!

      *pee being pence of course.


      Liked by 2 people

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