Was it the hunt and peck

that incessant discordant clatter

of a pool of girly typists typing

or their less than accomplished

orchestration of du Maurier

‘filtered for flavour’ induced

wheezes that made him conclude

that one cannot be a traitor

on a globe without frontiers?

Given the choice he would relocate to Leningrad, join the Soviets, drink history and neat vodka

in equal measure and thereafter write a tome regarding the failings of democratic endeavour

nearly five o’clock on a Friday night

the office would soon be locked up

he could put aside dismal thoughts

of paperwork, pens and thumbtacks

for those of ale, tarts and fruit machines

the red lights of Soho scared him shitless

the punters in pubs looked at him

as if he were either a loser or a loner

devoid of even a modicum of social etiquette

a smart restaurant quite out of the question

it would have to be the usual Wimpy Bar burger

thereafter sipping from a half bottle of whisky

disguised within a recyclable brown paper bag

sat alone on his bench of preference

under a light polluted full moon in Hyde Park

‘Home’ such as it was, a ‘no place for a harem’

one bed, top of a jerry-built block

of council flats in Haringey had scant appeal

“Watcha Mister, don’t mind if I sit with you? I’ve just bounced off a distant Sun and it didn’t even scorch my knicker elastic…how impressive is that?” So said, the young lady who appeared

out of nowhere, with the look of a gregarious personage about her being

she did though, have beguiling chocolate eyes and a smile that never took rest

a painfully shy man, he merely nodded a tight-lipped affirmative

“What year is it?” A bizarre question

“1962…18th September,” his less than confident riposte

In a posh, posh voice, “Botheration, I was hoping it was August 2nd 2027…jolly good eclipse on that day. Mind, you’ll need to be in Cairo to see it properly. Have you ever travelled to The Milky Way?” 


“Tell you what…take hold of my hands, shut your eyes and I’ll take you there…it’s so nice to be back in the known universe!”

Against all odds in his narrowest realm, a quiet and self-conscious man

had unwittingly chanced upon a demonstrative time-traveller

henceforth, he would never have need of a pet cat, junk food and drab ruminations




39 thoughts on “A CHANCE ENCOUNTER

  1. Where is a delightful time traveller when you need one. I say that with a mind of one whose view of life is jaundiced by the presence of Mourinho at Manchester United. It only being six minutes past three, only a time traveller could tell me if he will be booed on his return to Chelsea

    1. Save for the set up of the team in the first half, I don’t put this one all down to Mourinho. You were defending in the manner of The Arsenal on an off day…I kept thinking ‘Ferdinand’ and ‘Scholes’! A number of those players, I suspect will be gone in January. Oh, the torture of a football fan, why do we do it!

  2. Fine story. An argument against the possibility of time travel technology in the future: How come nobody ever visits us from the future like your gal? Possibly humans will have obtained good sense and don’t want to see the current lot.

      1. Actually, I once attended a boring lecture, where a time warp was created, and when I walked out the clock said it was last Wednesday.

  3. So of course all I can think of is “Wimpy burger! We’re watching Popeye cartoons with the kids! Coincidence? I THINK NOT!”
    But it ends with love and the promise of adventure, as any good union should. 🙂

      1. I’d hate to be stuck with Olive…what a voice! It would send me insane. I was sat outside a café in Folkestone on Sunday morning, and the pretty little waitress turned up with my boring de-caf plus Shirl’s proper coffee (I was allowed to sniff the aroma) and we nearly fell apart laughing (hid it though) at the gal’s high pitched voice…never heard the like of it!

      2. I do rather miss my coffee I must say. 3 months now without it…I did get served one mistakenly the other day and was instantly ill…luckily, on trips to France the de-caff is acceptably.

    1. A strange piece written in 15 minutes (unusual for me, normally it takes me hours to write even a first line). I was going to keep it on that old shelf in the back of my head yet my wife when proof reading it said she liked it!

  4. I like a lot this poem, it could have different significations depend always of the experiences that a person has had

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