(regarding a mad old fruit bat I inadvertently had the true pleasure of speaking with this morning)


a leaden morn, as ever, he is up with the lark

the oldest old crone, wispy hair, no pearly whites

puzzling stained charity shop crestfallen overcoat

shoves onward a long ago rusted, squeaky carriage

eyeless, heartless baby doll, tucked up warm within

worn out words in soothing whispers, she serenades

a new day’s nursery rhyme for her make-believe sproglet

Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques,

Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?

Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines

Ding dang dong, ding dang dong

the out and about early bird, he bids her a gentlemanly ‘good morning’

she sings no more, quizzical, maybe confused, asks, ‘where have all the shadows gone?’

‘come nightfall’s street lamps you will have all the shadows you could ever wish for’ his riposte

he walks on by, opposite direction, the sweet lullaby dying with each rheumatic tread forth she takes

Ding dang dong, ding dang dong

he guesses she is mad yet not sad, perhaps the best way to be?

he wonders what story is hers


53 thoughts on “MAD, YET NOT SAD

  1. We all have stories, and her remark was mad enough to make me think he’s would be quite interesting. A delightful glimpse at passing lives sir, and a morale boosting read following the defeat of United at home yesterday. Even though I dislike Mourinho and rue the day he was ever appointed, losing a derby match still hurts 😦

    1. Mourinho is an unpleasant man, I agree. I still think he will win you things, unlike my team who are, and for the immediate future have no plan B, yet the best squad they’ve had since the old King died! In bursts, City are looking annoyingly good though.

    1. I have thought up so many reasons as to why she walks around the town with a toy doll in an old pram, singing to it. My wife had seen her in the street a few weeks back, before I had ever laid eyes on her and wonders (she’s about the right age is the old lady in question) if she was one of those Catholic girls from the 1950’s and early 1960’s who had a child out of wedlock and the self proclaimed caring nuns took it away at birth; had it adopted. Guess, we’ll never know.

      1. An interesting point. No doubt I shall bump into her sometime yet in the case of those solitary ones who are ‘not as others’ I am uncomfortable quizzing the old dear…doesn’t feel right for some reason…feels like an uninvited intrusion into their world. However, I shall don again my PI hat and ask around the town discreetly. We’ve only been here a year so I am not fully in tune with local events/history just yet.

      1. To see the things others just look at is, I think, to capture reality…just as Stockhausen ‘captured’ sound. Almost profound that is!..almost…’Plato, old chap, couldn’t help me out on this one could you?..trying to make a point here!’ Anyway, Leslie your madness is appreciated in this place where it rains more often than not.

      2. This thread could end up an allegory that puts the great philosophers of old to shame; or not, as the case might be…that is the thing with madness I reckon. On a more serious note and talking of ‘colour’ I genuinely have days when I want to see the world through my son’s colour blind eyes…the thing is he won’t lend them to me!

      1. Ah, it was just the idea of her that could be scary. Mike, she must be known. The world is short on folks like her these days. Even so you always know who your ‘different’ people are.

      2. Very true…like that bloke I met when living back in Devon who managed to get run over by a steam roller. The plus was that he told me his story without a prompt! True that is.

  2. “puzzling stained” had me smiling. The rest had my heart gripped a bit. We have dear friends who lost their firstborn halfway through the pregnancy. They still visit his grave a couple of times a year and have their children pose by the gravestone for pictures. It’s…unsettling, but at the same time, we know it is how they cope with their grief. Since when has grief made us sensible?

    1. Grief has many guises…remembrance outlasts grief, I reckon. I shall unravel this lady’s secrets though…Portuguese Sandra who owns the café of choice knows everyone, she’ll know I feel sure.

    1. From local research she was one of those in the early 60’s who had her child taken from her for adoption immediately after birth. Such was the way of things back then…that it sent her made, deplorable…odd though, my wife guessed that was likely the case before we discovered it was!

      1. I would like to offer her money, yet on the one hand I have no idea how to get further than a greeting; on the other she might take it the wrong way. Yet leaving the poor soul alone seems so very wrong.

      2. True…my previous endeavours in this regard have not been successful. Rather comic sketch some years back when at a supermarket checkout an old dear plainly had either forgotten to bring money out with her, or had no money. Her bill wasn’t massive so I offered to pay…rather over the top in anger she told me to, ‘bugger off’!

      3. Haha, so you don’t learn your lessons 😉
        I am joking of course. You are right, but if you know where she lives you can sneak and leave a grocery bag at her steps with something very basic, and a pack of cookies. Sweet stuff is rarely rejected. I used to do that in the past, and it worked.

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