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by Paul Tristram



The Sweet Taste Of Bitterness


She sat in the warm, pleasant side room

of The Samaritan’s Offices,

talking in heartbroken sobs

whilst wringing a disintegrating Kleenex

through her worrying, troubled fingers.


Until, a sudden memory flashed

through her aching mind

of herself…dance-walking energetically

around the scrunched up used tissues

upon their perfectly purring bedroom floor.

Dressed in just his musky old work t-shirt

and singing gaily (In a voice which now

seemed so alien and foreign!) on her way

to the next door bathroom to freshen up.

As he lay in bed smoking contentedly

the second best cigarette of the day

whilst flicking through the channels

to find some River Cottage or rugby.


She screamed, making the kind, empathic

old lady at The Samaritan’s spill her tea

whilst jumping with a frightened start.

Being left alone while the other searched out

cleaning materials, she cast the Kleenex

ground-wards with bile inducing repulsion,

stamped upon it twice, placed her raging palms

each side of her furnace head and tried

with all of her might to squeeze out

That Sweet Taste Of Bitterness

‘Ahh Bisto-ing’ her backwards to the cruel past.



a line, (a short blue one)


Soul Leeching


For the millionth time ‘Nuh!’

I do not think like you

nor agree with you at all, thank God.

I am not very good at pretending,

falseness is weakness,

so I never ever go there.

I am not changing for anyone,

nor should I.

Why would I want to be anyone but me?

I’m Great and Fantastic!

I am living life my own way, completely

and that is that.

Remember you’re shadowing me, sunshine,

not the other way around.

I’ll see you on the other side

of that Bright, Successful Mountain.

Whatever am I thinking?

You don’t belong there, do you?

That’s why you’re so bitter and twisted,

and trying to catch a lift

by leeching onto my Soul.

Because you were cheated of your own at birth

and have been imitating and hating ever since.

(I’m going to insert ‘dummy out of pram’

right at the end of this poem for you!)



a line, (a short blue one)




When Genes and the Environmental…bond…

to give birth to a new link in a destructive chain,

stretching the length of generations.

It is only stubborn free will, sense of individuality,

strength of character and at the very least,

temporary exile, which holds the key

to smashing apart the repetitive, ingrained pattern

and freeing oneself from the behavioural lie, enmeshed in.



a line, (a short blue one)


Spearmint Chewing Gum & Tobacco


I remember well those teenage years

of courting, cwtching and kissing

standing upright in graffiti bricked bus tops.

Hiding from parents, brothers and sisters

and the battering of the Welsh, Winter rains.

Love bites peeking from under shirt collars,

and ‘Initials’ compassed as Indian ink tattoos.

The lingering scent upon fingertips

and ‘Whipping It Out’ just in time

became almost a Russian Roulette art form.

Hearts & Arrows scrawled upon book covers,

toilet walls and carved into classroom desktops.

Walking hand in hand around Neath Fair

proudly and shyly all at the very same time.

The magical intensity of everything,

the hormones and testosterone banger-car

racing around our mixed up, changing bodies.

Each weekend was the end of the world,

culminating in chases, fistfights and tears

because at ‘The Talk Of The Abbey’

under 18’s disco no one messes with my girl.



a line, (a short blue one)


Plead The Belly


“Wait a minute, please.

I love you.

There isn’t anything we can’t work out.

Eh, come back.

Ok, we’ll walk together then.

You remember that picnic you arranged,

how cool was that, right, so thoughtful…

Slow down a bit.

Look, you can’t just dump me.

We’re special, you knows it.

I wasn’t actually lying per se.

It was more, having your best interests at heart.

I knew that you would be upset

and a Twat like that isn’t worth getting upset over,

I swear to God, he’s nothing.

Christ, you’re almost running.

Slow down, you’re upsetting me.

I mean it.

Right, now I’m getting angry.

And I shouldn’t be angry…because…

because…I’m pregnant.

There you made me say it.

It’s all your fault.

I was going to wait until this nonsense was behind us

to tell you but you’ve forced me into this.

You are so cruel sometimes.

Now stop and turn around.

Or you will never have anything to do with your baby.

I mean it, you Bastard.

I’ve just about had enough of your selfish shit!”



a line, (a short blue one)


Well, You Did Ask For Both Sides Of The Coin, Silly


“I thought it would be all love hearts and rainbows,

imagine being married to a Poet.

Spending the afternoons

quietly contemplating the magic of the Seasons

whilst reading Blake and Auden.

Train rides to the seaside with notebook and sandwiches,

spontaneous poetry readings at family weddings.

The pride of being introduced at social events

as the Poet’s ‘Better Half’.

Three weeks into the relationship

and I find him curled around the back of the toilet

covered in his own blood and puke.

He had jumped out of a hedge, pissed as a newt,

6am the day before and punched a milkman.

He doesn’t talk to himself, he argues!

and I’ve never heard a human being

make that sort of noise before (Gives me the shivers!)

I telephoned the Doctor but they claimed

that he’s always like that and to only call them

if he breaks a bone or needs stitching up.

I had to end the whole affair, of course,

by sliding a note through the door of the wardrobe

which he had laid upon its side and was whispering in?”


a line, (a blue one)


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