Today I fancied the life of a wandering bard and poet. And so with a spring in my step and the birds tweeting in the joyous air I selected my favourite knapsack, packed it with green cheese and a hunk or two of bread, some fine olives and a red apple, and slung it on a pole.
With provisions aplenty I went out the door, not forgetting my poets peaked cap, complete with a feather for inspiration. And of course I wore my best bard-ish jerkin, to keep me warm around the midriff and hopeful in mind. I went not empty handed: a book of plain pages clasped in my fingers, my quill expectant and quivering.
I strolled a good league before I met a (would be) patron in the village of Cowley. He leant nonchalant against a wall with fermentation thick about his person, a beverage loose in his hand. He smoked a Woodbine and had rummy eyes to see the world around. I thought him decent enough for a try of the rhythm in my mind. And so I said to him:
“Good sir, toss me a ducat and I shall sing a merry tune or write a rhyme in this book here, that once done will be yours for the keeping.”
And to this he said: “fuck off.”
“Good sir,” I said, “which ditch have you dug for those words that come tumbling, for I should have them for my book.”
And he said: “fuck off you twat.”
And I smiled and said: “you sir, are a wit. I know it. You play with me as if I were a child. At first I thought those words were dirt, but you use them so well. They fall off your lip like watery cascade. They flow as nature’s voice in wind and breeze alike. Pray do tell me some more.”
And to this he said (you’ve guessed it): “Fuck off.”
And so with a salute and a smile I went on my merry way.
© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015