Tiger Bay by Idris Davies

I watched the coloured seamen in the morning mist,

Slouching along the damp brown street,

Cursing and laughing in the dismal dawn.

The sea had grumbled through the night,

Small yellow lights had flickered far and near,

Huge chains clattered on the ice-cold quays,

And daylight had seemed a hundred years away…

But slowly the long cold night retreated

Behind the cranes and masts and funnels,

The sea-signals wailed beyond the harbour

And seabirds came suddenly out of the mist.

And six coloured seamen came slouching along

With the laughter of the Levant in their eyes

And contempt in their tapering hands.

Their coffee was waiting in some smoke-laden den,

With smooth yellow dice on the unswept table,

And behind the dirty green window

No lazy dream of Africa or Arabia or India,

Nor any dreary dockland morning

Would mar one minute for them.

 

by Idris Davies


Fun fact: Tiger Bay (Welsh: Bae Teigr) was the local name for an area of Cardiff which covered Butetown and Cardiff Docks. It was rebranded as Cardiff Bay, following the building of the Cardiff Barrage, which dams the tidal rivers, Ely and Taff, to create a body of water. The development of the Cardiff Docks played a major part in Cardiff’s development by being the means of exporting coal from the South Wales Valleys to the rest of the world, helping to power the Industrial Age. The coal mining industry helped fund the growth of Cardiff to become the capital city of Wales and contributed towards making the docks owner, The 3rd Marquess of Bute, the richest man in the world at the time

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The Four-Legged Crow by Daniil Kharms

There once lived a four-legged crow. Properly speaking, it had five legs, but this isn’t worth talking about.

So once this four-legged crow brought itself some coffee and thought, “OK, so I bought coffee, what I am supposed to do with it now?”

Just then, unfortunately, a fox was running by. The fox saw the crow and shouted. “Hey,” it shouted, “you crow!”

And the crow shouted back: “Crow yourself!”

And the fox shouted to the crow: “You’re a pig, crow, that’s what you are!”

The Crow was so insulted it scattered the coffee. And the fox ran off. And the crow climbed down and went on its four, or to be more precise, five legs to its lousy house.

 

by Даниил Иванович Хармс (Daniil Ivanovich Kharms)

a.k.a. Даниил Иванович Ювачёв (Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachov)

(13 February, 1938)

translated by Eugene Ostashevsky

Toilet by Hugo Williams

I wonder will I speak to the girl
sitting opposite me on this train.
I wonder will my mouth open and say,
‘Are you going all the way
to Newcastle?’ or ‘Can I get you a coffee?’
Or will it simply go ‘aaaaah’
as if it had a mind of its own?

Half closing eggshell blue eyes,
she runs her hand through her hair
so that it clings to the carriage cloth,
then slowly frees itself.
She finds a brush and her long fair hair
flies back and forth like an African fly-whisk,
making me feel dizzy.

Suddenly, without warning,
she packs it all away in a rubber band
because I have forgotten to look out
the window for a moment.
A coffee is granted permission
to pass between her lips
and does so eagerly, without fuss.

A tunnel finds us looking out the window
into one another’s eyes. She leaves her seat,
but I know that she likes me
because the light saying ‘TOILET’
has come on, a sign that she is lifting
her skirt, taking down her pants
and peeing all over my face.

 

by Hugo Williams

Happiness Week: Tuesday

My co-worker arrived before me waiting outside our workplace to be let in. She stood in my exact spot near the door where there is no windchill during these cold Winter days. On the exact flagstone I stand on every morning. That’s okay. I was later than her as she arrived early today. I needed a break from this daily, reassuring, morning routine. She always has something interesting to say about the ongoing scandal about the lack of lids for her take-a-way morning coffee. I dont know how she can survive the 10 minutes from the coffee shop to us being let in so she can make her first cup of tea for the day. She must surely risk dehydration. It’s not as if I take that time every morning to silently meditate and listen to the water of the running river and the birds in the air singing their songs. She said she was my friend once. That is a generous thing to say. She is a good person.

MY ZUBAT EVOLVED INTO GOLBAT! 🙂

I prefer courtesy to my colleagues over personal self-interest. They all really appreciate that I do this for them.

The equipment keeps giving everyone static shock. That’s okay. We need to be kept warm and if the cost is that the air in our office is dry enough to allow the build-up of static electricity then so it must be. It made my co-worker’s dry cough all the more worse though. She coughed enough she began to hallucinate she was becoming a lake due to how much she had drank during the day to compensate for the stuffy enviroment inside. She even refused to have the window open when it was offered. Such consideration! We were all so thankful, after all, static electricity is a vital part of many industrial processes including, but not limited to; xerography, air filters (particularly electrostatic precipitators), automotive paints, photocopiers, paint sprayers, theatres, flooring in operating theatres, powder testing, printers, static bonding and aircraft refuelling.

My co-worker sneezed into her scarf repeatedly and then wore it, no doubt, making her ailments worse. That is such a hygienic thing to do. I am sure none of her nasal content solidified on her neck when she left. She likes pink. Pink bobblehat. Pink leather gloves. Pink scarf… though she insists it’s salmond and insists on pronouncing the ‘d’ in salmond even though the colour is salmon while [Alex] Salmond is the Former First Minister of Scotland. She is very intelligent.

No one could bring themselves to say goodbye to me when I left. That’s okay. It would be too sad to do that and I wouldn’t want to upset them.

When I returned home my cat scratched my hand deeply because I stroked him. It bled for a while but at least it means my body can heal now. He would come by me, look expecting to be fed and then walk away again. Once the others came he was very friendly with them and got a fuss. He still has no name. He still watches from the top of the stairs if there is no food. He sticks his bottom in the air a lot when stroked. He has a pink anus. My co-worker would like him.


Even more happiness. Have you got diabetes from the saccharine nature of these posts? Even more tomorrow!
And now part 1 of the infamous Duck Song to send you on your way.

Duck song part 1