Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Breaking Down Walls

When we were kids
I used to go to my friend Johnny’s
In order to lose ourselves amongst his mother’s meadow-like garden
Round the back of the house
That the university let them live in
As long as Johnny’s mam worked
On the campus there.

Endless days spilt into weeks spilt into months
Spent in the abandonment which summer and childhood
Can afford
And I ceased to think of that house, with its great,
Green expanse on all sides
As anything other than my own.

One particularly sickly-sweet, sweaty day
Andy (Johnny’s brother) came running, telling tales of
An ancient brick wall that he’d found
Behind some bushes, in a far-flung,
Lesser-explored corner of the meadow
Which looked like, with a little persuasion
Would probably just fucking fall o’er
Which, of course, was all the information we needed.

Streaking across the long grass,
in usual formation (Johnny first/ me/ Andy trailing a little behind)
Leaping over logs and through tangleweed
Andy shouting clipped directions from behind
We arrived, breathless, at the decrepit, redbrick antiquity
Sagging and bowing under its own weight
And decades worth of weathered, crumbling mortar.
Stopping only to draw breath and take in
The potential for juvenile destruction, then
Grabbing a fallen tree limb
Between the three of us
And, wielding that rudimentary battering ram
Joyously and dementedly, aiming that sucker
Into the heart of the most prominent bulge
And pounding her in
Over and over again
Whooping with exhaustion, splinters, blisters
And brick dust rising up
All around our ears.

We didn’t hear the shouts from beyond the wall
Over the racket we were busy making
The shrieks increasing with each fallen brick
A cacophony of abandonment and destruction
As the swelling cement finally gave up
and we went spilling through the fresh hole
Battering ram and all
A shower of splintering wood, broken stone and young limbs
Clattering in upon a well-to-do looking family
Sitting round a picnic table
Staring aghast at the point of commotion
And the place where 
their garden wall used to be.    



  1. ayup dave .....good read!
    i heard you were back,looking forward to ayin a coffee round at andy's

  2. ayup dave .....good read!
    i heard you were back,looking forward to ayin a coffee round at andy's

    1. aye up Grant...yeahman, tell Benchdonkee to whack his kettle on, and see ya there!

    2. The kettle's always on! Poetry Random!