|Lead me to the mulled wine|
|Multifarious Craft Stalls|
It was a beautiful, bright but crisp day, just right for striding out. We walked down the hill from Birdwell to the Mill, in under half and hour, and enjoyed browsing the little stalls selling homemade gifts: cards, sewing kits, paintings, pet presents, pots of jam, customised banjos, crystals, and of course the famous Worsbrough Mill fresh ground flour. I even had a lesson in pizza making.
|Crowds around the fresh ground flour stall|
|Stocked up on Christmas Chutney|
|Josh the luthier - tin box banjos - brilliant!|
|Rocking round the Christmas Tree|
|Hot turkey sandwiches - yummy!|
And after a stiff walk back up the hill to Birdwell, we finished off the afternoon with a lovely cup of tea, and a relaxing hour or so watching a programme about the life of Seamus Heaney - a perfect Sunday.
Although last week was a bit of a none event, I did manage to write a poem for the Shortland's Poetry Society, of which I am a member, though mainly by post these days. This month's topic is 'Silver Lining,' I always go a little 'off piste' so to speak. So here it is, inspired by a shop in Sheffield.
Hi Ho Silver Lining in Sheffield
There was only one jeweler in town,
his name escapes me now, his shop was no
bigger than a vicarage vestibule,
and just as cold. His gold didn’t glitter,
his silver charms were pre-war, and he kept,
his diamonds in a locked drawer under a
velvet curtain in the back of the shop.
Up close his brown corduroy slacks reeked of
stale tobacco and surgical spirit;
and bits of ash, camouflaged in the flecks
of his jacket, fell, every time he coughed,
Pompeii-like, causing stucco-dust to drop
through the air onto the cracked brown leather
of his one and only customer chair.
A forty-watt bulb hung from a thread of
black cable, casting a moon-glow over
a handwritten advertisement, that read:
Ears pierce, Fast and Painless, New Piercing Gun
The pride of his shop, that new piercing gun,
blunt force being the up-to-date technique,
in those days - nine carat sleepers thrown in –
the alternative being a needle
pushed through soft cartilage into a cork
salvaged from the weekend’s Mateus Rosé.
Either way, it was a mutilation,
frowned upon by draconian fathers,
who deemed pierced ears to be unladylike -
but that was half a century ago.
Now there are specialist shops, clean, fag-free,
with sterile counters that sparkle in
what seems to be a never ending stream
of sunlight, wall to wall neon bedazzling
the buyer. One such bright emporium,
Silver Lining, has a five star rating,
with reviews that revere sweet Anna -
‘Had my nose pierced by Anna – so calm.’
‘Anna pierced my tongue – serene, unruffled,’
‘Came all the way from Dublin for Anna,
had a clitoral hood – God she’s good!’
‘Booked a vagina lip-ring, in the Spring,
hope Anna can fit me in.’ And so they
continue, penned adorations in praise
of navels and nipples and scaffolding
and skin beads and surface bars. And for him:
a Prince Albert – a ring inserted through
the tip of his penis. Or, if preferred,
a barbell of gold through his scrotum.
No one ever mentions the smarting splits,
the soreness of clits, the nipple burning,
the belly button bruise, the Daith, the Conch,
the micro-dermal itch, inflammation,
irritation, infection, weeks of pain,
septicity from the insertion of
dermal anchors, the inability
to eat with a stud in your tongue, shocked, numb.
And yet, still they come, smiling, calm. Trusting
the steady hand of Anna: elated,
excited, delighted, perfectly pierced,
bejeweled bodies; punctured, prodded,
perforated, penetrated, stuck through
with pins, impeccably porcupined,
peacocks of perdition – still they come!
Where will it end, Silver Lining? Tell me.
Fifty years on, will diamonds be replaced
by moon rock, gems from Mars, reclaimed space trash,
bones of dead relatives poked through noses?
Or will we all go for the Dali Droop, the
Stretched Pizza Dough Dangle, the Swiss cheese look,
the Shred, the Bootlace Bum Bite, the Mole Run?
Will the jeweler’s shop become a dark space,
a black hole where you can wallow in the
pain of a Dracula – two nuggets of
jet inserted into the jugular,
or the penultimate pierce – The Vampire –
Anna’s silver stake hammered through the heart,
with the ultimate 'Obliteration,'
throw in - stainless steel nails through the eye balls.
Of course, nobody really wants a hole in the head,
do they? I mean do they?
So, that's it from me dear readers. I hope you are enjoying this pre-Christmas run without too much worry about politics. I am sure, like me you were saddened by the terrorist attack in London, God Bless the two young people, Jack and Saskia, whose lives were taken from them, I offer my prayers.
I have another week of poetry coming up, so watch this space for my next weekly update.
Lots of love and hugs,