Richard Carpenter #walktogethertowork


At 08.50 on 7/7 ten years on
he walked down the garden path
to harvest a crop of peas
growing from six foot vines –
green Alderman from his plastic tunnel,
Ezethas Krombek Blauwschok
purple podded in an outside bed.
He placed them as a bundle
in his satchel with the beans –
three different broads with labels
lost so he could not tell one from ‘tother.
A few early sprouts of broccoli
that he’d not expected until spring’s
hungry gap.

He didn’t take his camera
as he performed a daily task.
He didn’t follow twitter –
the social call to capture
the image of his daily chores.
He did wonder how to say a prayer
as our leaders laid their wreaths
at the fifty two now standing
straight in London’s central park.
How to say a prayer for George
whose bus was opened up
as if it was a sardine can
by Hasib Hussain’s satchel bomb.

At 11.30 he will sit in silence
to say his prayer for fifty two
slaughtered by the satchel bombs
on their way to work ten years ago;

thirty who sought Tunisia’s sun
gunned down two weeks ago.

The fourth London satchel bomb on 7/7/2005 blew open a London bus at Tavistock Square. The driver, George Psaradakis survived. Hasib Hussain, who carried the bomb, was slain.

Richard Carpenter – House Wreck

House Wreck

Racked by cramp and dumped out of bed, he lies on the dusty floor.
The crash of the bedside table wakens the dread from his dreams
as he stretches out unwelcome knots, and remembers

a warren of dust-bunnies covering the books,
the straggly beard of an overgrown bush in the front
that needed an overdue shave,
conservatory greenery, now dry and yellow, to throw in a sack,
a hole in the flooring where rain came in
with mycelium crumbling the boards,
a tight cubby-hole with shelves spewing old poison,
Lino with edges to trip the unwary,
overgrown garden crying, crying
…………………………………….for weeks of back-breaking Labour.

It’s the early hours of May 10th, stagnant air thick with decay.
The window is closed against night-time revellers
who kick their cans on the pavement.
An orange glow seeps through the curtains
to pick out his tumbler and splash on wall –
stripping is not on the morning’s agenda.

The old house is in mourning for Red and Yellow
swept away by a surge of Blue.
Their parties must mend rotting boards,
fill skip after skip,
find some fresh paint;
get down on their knees to pull up the weeds,
speak to the Scots who’ve been canny.

Rubble is searched for the tiles that are loose,
litter the floor from the back hall to the gate.
They are sorted, cleaned and carefully graded,
mosaic relaid
…………………to create a sure-footed path for the future.

Richard Carpenter is a GP who, in retirement, decided to try creative writing to see if there was reason for his English teacher being so angry over fifty years ago when he chose the science route. He is a member of York Stanza.