A Watery Wink & The Company of Strangers.

Loitering, lingering more like, on the street

at the corner of his house. In his dry, tight skinned

amber stained fingers, a thin white roll-up.

No smoking now, even in his own house!

Like so much else for him, times have changed.


A tired well worn Trilby, shades his eyes,

 from the early morning sun. Thin silver

Victorian whiskers cling to mottled skin,

red veined like an old discarded road map.

And grey flannels stop short of unpolished boots.


Just for that hot liquid liquorice hit, and

the rich smoke, such delight a second time;

which leaves him always thinking of the next one.

Contentment and dissatisfaction together.

Such pleasure, ‘a perfect mistress’ wrote Oscar.


He smiles gently, and winks. In those watery old

eyes you see sparkle, humour, imploring too. To stop,

stand a while, pass the time of day. remind him

of the simple pleasure of conversation. To share,

if even  only for a moment the company of a stranger.

© Vincent Creelan 2009






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