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Three Smoking Poems

Probation

Is there anything you miss
about your previous life?

Sometimes, I miss the street corners,
the companiable shelter of trees
where I was cupped and offered up
so chivalrously.

Itís not the same
lighting hobs or barbecues -
the dreary utility of it.

With what style my lid would flip
back and forth for no reason at all.
And whereís the rub of that thumb
against my brass
deep in denim or sheepskin?

No one carries me around anymore.

I miss the leather of those desk tops,
being made of onyx, jade
or as a spitfire.
Now Iím just a bit
of disposable plastic.

Yes, Iím reformed;
reformed but just the same.
Iíve still got flint in me.



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Ashtray

All I wanted was a steady job,
but I got tarred, forced out
into the cold - consigned
to cupboards, drawers
and charity shops. Now,
I often can't
even gather dust.

But what,
did I do wrong?
Is it a crime, not to know?
If anything,
I helped
to put an end to them.

Not to say,
Iím callous though,
as some would claim.
I truly loved
those who rolled
their tips on me,
leaving gifts
of finely formed
cones of ash.

So yes, Iíve had my moments.
Been marble, crystal, gold
and baser stuff, too:
gutters, cans, bottle tops
and concrete
beneath a boot.
But do not think
I did not feel
that warmth
of life
go out on me.

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Forgiving Times

I used to hang about the bars
and cafes, where people had got used to me.
They only really noticed
when a picture was removed
and a light-box bright patch
shone out at them;
or on those mornings when
I overstayed my welcome,
lingering in their scarves, coats
and jumpers; or when
I was gone
and had become nostalgia,
masking sweat and halitosis,
blurring baggy eyes
and lined-faces.


Tristan Moss


If you have any thoughts on these poems, or to lecture him on his deplorable addiction, Tristan Moss 
would be pleased to hear from you.


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