Sunning themselves

Caught between the wine bars full to the brim

Of hoo-rahs and serious laughter

And the fountains where kids scream with delight

Are those who spread themselves on

Sprawled out on dog- tired grass

Cross legged and relaxed heads back smiling

some expressions intense

on low cut crawled walls

others half smiling

Some with cans and a carefully tailored

Rolled up cigarette

I dodge and sway

Trying to avoid


the perfectly contented cats

The dozers and the poseurs

Who all soak up their inch of sun

Some with shades, scowls and fading well -worn clothes

Some poached like a raw half beaten eggs

Others coached from birth always to dress up

Never down

In a way that more often says no

Rather than yes

The manicured toes and hand painted nails

The rich red lips and black hair

And those outraged when you neither notice or care

The adorned

The non-affiliated

Those who curse and swear with silent moving lips

And dark disdainful eyes

The man laid out on the wall alone

Disturbed only by the occasional busy bustle of a stranger

The resignation of the guitar accompanied singer

Against the backdrop of squealing trams

As I cross the square

among the sundowners

In their very own land of one more for the road and casually displayed make believe

I take my leave

And make for the train

Thinking is this Hell or Eden

I can’t quite decide

◄ Divided by derision

Identical twin ►


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Martin Elder

Wed 15th Aug 2018 23:10

I am humbled. Thanks for your reading and your appreciation Ferris


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Martin Elder

Sun 12th Aug 2018 14:03

Hi Rachel
what have we come to indeed. Alas I am sorry to say that there are some people that are so self obsessed that they cannot see past their own little world and therefore be involved in the needs of others. I am constantly reminded of the story of the good Samaritan in the bible who had absolutely nothing to gain by helping somebody.

Thanks for reading and commenting. More power to you


Sat 11th Aug 2018 02:45

Dear Martin, I seem so unsociable to the locals but I avoid these types of crowds completely--so entitled and so completely unhappy with true community.

I'm full of stories tonight, but here goes...

There's a vibrant local market in this mid-sized Midwestern town where I live. On a Saturday morning, I happened to be working at one of the homes that lined their quiet suburban streets.

Anyhow, my boss had to stop in quickly to drop off supplies, and with his long truck, blocked the sidewalk for a few short moments.

A small family (I assume) of adults came trouncing leisurely up the walk, and as my boss and I were unloading cargo from his truck, the matron of the bunch shot us both a look as though she were walking through dog shit as she was forced to take a detour through the grass.

I could only say, "Have a good day" and laugh.

..good heavens, what have we come to?

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Martin Elder

Wed 8th Aug 2018 19:25

Thanks to Colin for liking

Thanks to David and Cynthia for reading . I always value more input.
Cynthia thanks for pointing out my typos. I am afraid I am very lax in such matters so I always appreciate you picking these up.

David thanks for being so thorough in your comments. I do find cities and towns both quite stimulating and exciting for writing. Manchester rarely fails me in that regard where as central London is great on one level but makes me suffer with sensory overload. I take my hat off to any one working there.
I take your point about Whitechapel. Although I am not familiar with it my sister in law use to reside off the mile end road and that had a great buzz of activity, although I don't know what its like now.
As you say extreme temperatures does seem to do strange things to people. Watch this space .

Thanks again guys
Much appreciated


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 8th Aug 2018 18:02

Enjoyed this very much - a real sweep of canvas, killing details making a whole, and expertly executed. Great ending.

(Take a quick read to squinch out a couple of typos: eg. probably Hell with a capital to go with Eden?)

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Martin Elder

Tue 7th Aug 2018 19:45

Thanks also to Brian for liking and thanks to Big Sal for commenting. I do seem to find myself increasingly writing observational pieces. So maybe I will post a few more. Glad you liked it
Cheers Sal

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Martin Elder

Tue 7th Aug 2018 19:22

Thanks to Anya, Taylor, Rose, Darren and Kate. Glad you liked , it was one of those sunny days in Manchester . There is something I both love and hate about cities and large towns. The hustle, the bustle and the people !
Thanks again much appreciated

Big Sal

Tue 7th Aug 2018 19:17

What an observational poem to write, and the last two lines give the reader a sense of the observer's thoughts - although thought of at the beginning of the piece, not actually vocalized until the end. Way to go Martin.?

<Deleted User> (19913)

Mon 6th Aug 2018 21:11

A piece full of truths. Read it three times. Particularly like this:
Others coached from birth always to dress up
Never down
In a way that more often says no
Rather than yes

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Darren J Beaney

Mon 6th Aug 2018 20:29

Really enjoyed this Martin,



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Rose Casserley

Mon 6th Aug 2018 10:28

in my books Martin, this HAS to be your number Uno!

psst! would have gone for their-measure-of sun.

Loved the naughty reference to " carefully tailored rolled up cigarette".....?! yeah man!

Rose ?

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Taylor Crowshaw

Mon 6th Aug 2018 10:14

Enjoyed this Martin..thank you ?

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