Stare at this white wall and listen

White wall Haendelstrasse 3_22 June 2015


Stare at this white wall and listen;

to the distant-near roar of the resurrecting sea

to the turf in the grate starting to catch: unimagined heat at the heart

of unimagined cold

And the arguing of dead grandparents

–          What are you talking about?  I saw him last week up Rye Lane.

Don’t know who she was, some fancy piece.

–          He’s fucking dead!  Twenty years!

Ah, what do you know, ye fucking eejit?


Not Ireland, then, but Camberwell.  The fire not turf but gas,

wheezing tongues


behind bars,


the watery beyond; only the sound of cars passing in the wet street.

Swish-ssh.  Swish-ssh


We stand, knickered and vested before the fire.

Kitted out in kilts

Mind!  That pin’s sharp!

There!  How smart you look.  Straight out of the bandbox

(What does that mean?)


The jumper’s still on the needles:

One more row, darling’.  Where’s my cable needle?

Wrapped round and fastened in tobacco scented wool;

a jumper’s not the same without the nicotine


Pass me that ashtray, where’s me scissors?


Put the kettle on love, I’m gasping


And never her own bed until her sister got married.

I remember the day we got hot water – out of the tap!

60s London didn’t swing for everyone

And that one, what’s-is-name – the brother.  Flash sod he was

Which one?

The one on the train


Robbed.  All the same that lot.  Mind, she was the only one of us that learned to drive.


And tea, always tea; each cup stronger and sweeter than the last

Click-click-snip-hsss.  Clunk.  The dark.  The quiet.

Got 50p for the meter?

Somewhere, I’ve been saving them

I’ll go

Mind yourself on them stairs.

Swish-ssh-ssh- Swish-ssh-ssh.  Clunk.  Lights!  Restart the fire and on with the show.

You’ll never guess who I saw the other week…

I thought he was dead

What are you talking about…?


An autumn afternoon.  Surprising for June.





Copyright: Julia Lee Dean 1st April 2016



About afewwordsinpencil

An English writer of novels and theatrical pieces. My first novel, "And I Shall Be Healed" (Quickbeam Press) follows the experiences of a young army chaplain on the Western Front 1916-7. This and some theatre writings are available on the usual websites.
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