Extract from my book “Dreaming All Things Great”

BINMEN, SEAGULLS AND BROADWAY

 

Broadway is my street

It is not broad at all

Its broadness is in its diversity

Boasting of an assortment of commerce

A gentlemanly massage parlour

A second hand shop selling fridges and refurbished dishwashers

A few dodgy looking garages

A rundown refugee centre painted all black

Where mothers with dishevelled hair and tired eyes cling onto their worried husbands and children

Two workingmen’s pubs

Broadway is prowled by people

Of all ages, colour and creed

People from India, Far East, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and South Wales

This is the Cardiffness of my street

 

Throughout the weekend litter accumulates

Litter piles are high by Monday

By Thursday morning

Cars negotiating piles of rubbish bags

Thursday morning has its song

I follow this song

Blackbirds call

Seagulls scream

Scattered bins

Black bags ripped open

By the side of the bin

Lies a dead pigeon

Its stomach ripped open

Intestines trailing

Seagulls scrum

Pulling and tugging at the prize inside

By noon

Flies buzz

That stench from the bins

Those pigeon entrails

Now scattered all over

Passers-by hands over mouths

That overpowering smell

Evoking a vow of silence

On bystanders and onlookers

Watch your step

Or else you’ll be carrying the stench all day

Friday comes

Rubbish collection has not been done

Where art thou binmen?

 

By my window the sun percolates

Its yellow glow mesmerising

I stretch and yawn

Seagulls screech

Unemptied bins roll

Strewn waste from pavement  to road

The flock of seagulls competing with the flies

Where art thou binmen?

By the following Monday

My street is but a war zone

Seagulls and their foes

Run along the pavement

The clouds of last night

Splattering their tears

Over the bins and black bags

Slippery banana peelings

Maggots emerge out -of –date chicken pieces

Freed from the depth of black bags

A fiasco developing

Seagulls versus rats

Maggots versus flies

The wind has a mind of its own

Wafting into my window

Take this

It seems to say

The unbearable stench

Rising frustration

I pay council tax

But not for this

Cardiffian councillors and lovers

I plead

Where art thou binmen? 

 

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