Early morning town
by Tim Williams

Here in living in other people’s pockets town
The mad tick-tocking of the clock
Disturbs and frightens the mouse . . .
While buses pass carrying people
Some who wear hats,
Semi-bowed from the weight of constantly rained-upon heads,
Others wheelchair-bound now,
Due to a lifetime of wet dufflecoat and webbed wellied feet

Where in this muffled Welsh town
Where the summer came Saharad for a week,
and burned to a crisp we stood in the melting tarmac streets
looking skywards in wonder and surprise
at the strange glow in the sky,
Still clad in hat, dufflecoats and wellies
I know daft, but it caught us out, see,
we weren’t expecting it

Mrs. Portmanto dies, a terrible thing,
well I mean it wan’t surprising really
pulling that two-wheeled, tartan-chequed,
full to bursting with tinned food trolley
up a 1 in 3 hill in that heat, in a half damp,
now drying dufflecoat, hat and molten wellies
she stuck to the pavement by Coronation road and fried,
A terrible, terrible affair

The town stands giblets bare to the elements
being probed, prodded and felt up
by the writer pushing his pen uphill
checking every cavity, like a prison body search
No door left unpicked, No window left unpeeped,
No back entrance undiscovered

The smell of smoked Woodbine fish
creeps around a fishmongered corner,
Like a river town early morning mist,
as Dai “I take my bicycle to bed” Davies,
rises early to freewheel after breakfast
down the 1 in 3 , like oil, he slips,
a quiet shadow down to the bakery doors

The early bus coughs, and gear-box grinds
its way up the winding hill
Past number 3 Tumbledown Cottages
third past the post box on the left
Where Mrs. Evans stares through a paned window
at the chapel graveyard where
her best-suited husband
still dances underground,
Other than the incident, she recalls
“everyone said, it was a damn good knees-up!”

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem is a comical sendup of the town Ammanford in the Amman Valley of Carmarthenshire, Wales. The weather changes in such small degrees that it is hardly worth changing out of winter clothing, and so should a heatwave happen if only for one day the residents would not be prepared. This is the story of what may happen on such a day.

IMAGE: “Wind Street, Ammanford, Wales” (early 1900s), found at this website.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tim Williams was born and brought up in the coal mining valleys of south Wales, and did various jobs over the years — mainly in the antiques trade. Has been a singer songwriter for 35 years, and three years ago tried his hand at poetry as opposed to song lyrics — and having a little success started performing his poetry at festivals and gigs around Wales. He has had a few poems published in books and on websites in Wales and the UK and in 2014 won an award in Milan, Italy, and has had a few poems published on websites in USA. His first book of poems Are you reading that poetry book you’re sitting on it is due in 2015. He has a Facebook site Tim Williams Welsh Poet and features on Cosmofunnel, an American poetry and writing site.