Saturday, 16 June 2007

Fishmonger and a Shepherd

We had two neighbours when I was a boy
Jack Downes the fishmonger
And Len Sidell the Jakaroo and gardener.
Dad used to shell oysters in Jack’s shed
Over a bottle of whiskey
While Len sculptured an elegant garden
Leaving an original cabbage tree
And grew two macrocarpa trees into
A magnificent 4 sided Arch

Watching Jack shell oysters and
Len create a little haven of trees
Was art to me when I was three
And when Len’s border collie died
The shepherd was parted with his only love
He buried him under the cabbage tree
Jack and Len’s wives knew each other
Rita and Justine
But I never saw them talk in 20 years
One catholic and the other a Prody
Jack had a 35 Oldsmobile with soft leather seats
And when he stopped at the pub for a beer,
He would always bring me out a raspberry drink

We had a Saturday night ritual where Jack and Len gave
Me sixpence each to buy the Star Sports
And each gave me sixpence to spend
And often I bought Jaffas and Aniseed balls

They’re both dead now, the cabbage tree is a
Reminder of Len and his dog
And the hydranges still bloom long after Jack’s and Rita’s death
Both their houses stand tall and look over
The Mighty Pacific Ocean
Memorial to men who shaped my life
And the silent Rita and Justine

6 comments:

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Perros y Gatos said...

Hola amigo bloguero: tienes un blog maravilloso, lleno de buenos e interesantes datos. Quiero compartir contigo y tus lectores más información sobre la raza de perro Border Collie y un video de imagenes del Border Collie.

Espero que te guste mi espacio y dejame un comentario si te apetece

Saludos desde España

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