The Unending Cold

When God and Allah combined
to take over my living room
I had no idea wheels were in motion.
Hashem had jews queuing for miles outside
While amphora containing honey accumulated on the floor
And they all complained of the cold
But the heating was on the blink
and the boiler was under lock and key and nobody could find the key.
The English winter cold they said was like no other as they tried to sneak into my bed and under the duvet where it was warm
I had to say No, Thank you for your honey but go outside
And the children came and waved their toys around
But still, nobody knew.
Then came the man. Don with his key. All went quiet as
he produced from under his jacket a little silver key
which he placed into the padlock. Everybody held their breath.
He turned the key and the lock clicked open to the sound of cheers.
Somebody came along with a lighter and soon the heating was going again.
I collected empty amphora while thousands passed through my living room that night.
The night of the man Don and the key to the central heating.

by Andrew Watkins, Sept, 2017

Sweet Dreams, Ephraim


Sweet Dreams Ephraim2.png
Sweet Dreams,Ephraim

The road was long, at least, that’s how Ephraim remembered it.


On his way home  and reaching the bottom of his road where the bucket and slop cloth awaited him the following morning. He let out a sigh.

‘That’s one for Mom none for me. Again. At least, the bricks are red and the bucket black and the slop cloth a nice shade of grey and smells nice. And at least, home is still here, and at least, dinner will be on the table and mom will tell me to take off my shoes and put on my slippers and hang up my coat where it belongs. And in the sky, the clouds will float on by without exploding on a summers day in a blue sky. At least, I know that the red balls shine and drop into the pockets without a sound on the snooker table and I know I will cry myself to sleep tonight.’ thought Ephraim as he took his place at the dinner table.

‘How can you eat that meat?’ asked his sister of Ephraim.

‘I dunno. I just sort of chew and up and down it goes.’ said Ephraim without an ounce of malice towards his vegetarian sister.

A disappointed look passed between sister and nobody else in particular.

‘Here’s your vegetarian gravy,’ ‘Now get started, before it gets cold. Ephraim. Elbows.’

And after the washing up was done Ephraim watched Star Trek and then played a little snooker and then went to his room and listened to his tapes. Then his mother came and told him to get ready for bed. He changed into his pyjamas folding his clothes carefully on the back of his chair and depositing his underwear into the Ali-baba on the top of the stairs. Then he got into bed and his mother came around and turned off the lights wishing him good night and pleasant dreams.

Ephraim turned over in his bed hugging his duvet tight. And then he cried for an hour before going to sleep. Later that night, in his dreams dolphins played violins and a big bear wearing a top hat sang a sad tune. It went something like this.

Ephraim. Ephraim.Ephraim.

Why do you misbehave?

Why don’t you do as your mother tells you?

Why do you torment your sister?

Why can’t we trust you?


Ephraim awoke at seven the following morning and was eating his breakfast and looking forward to the afternoon when he would play ball with his neighbour Tom when his mother said to him.

‘Ephraim, those trees need cleaning. I’ll put the kettle on and you get the bucket from outside. MmmK’

‘Mmk, mom.’ said Ephraim looking forward to his afternoon’s playtime.

He went outside and noted the clouds passing by in the otherwise blue sky and thought to himself.’This is a good day, and I’m cleaning now but will be playing this afternoon’

It was at this point that a passing cloud exploded taking out Ephraim his bucket and his house on the street and turning him into ash that fell gently like rain over the big smoking hole that was once his home.

The newspaper reported it as a freak weather cloud pressure abnormality rare and very dangerous. Of course, nobody had mobile phones in the Eighties so the event did not get recorded. Rumours circulated for weeks that Ephraim’s mother had stashed explosives in the outhouse but nobody ever was sure what happened that warm summer day.

Life carried on for everyone else and in naughty children’s dreams the bear still sang and the dolphins played the violin.

Now Ephraim has passed over to our side

And now plays in our band as we go 

into the dreams of children everywhere

Where on his banjo he plucks at their heart strings 

imploring them to see the other side and to be good.


Image Credit



Brown, brown, brown was the morning and as I turned over and faced the opposite way brown was the colour I could see there too.

Flecks of black were like wildfowl in the deep grass of doom and the great white wind was rustling the golden stalks in the neighbouring field of a new day in my mind. In my black head was what felt like  a core of congealed pus grease slow pulsing with life force. What a morning head.

A doleful bluebird sang an old grey tune in the corner by the old scarecrow that was nestled like so many of my mid-morning thoughts about making my bed, brushing my teeth (with an aching tooth greatly in need of a filling) or of making a cup of tea or coffee.

Eventually, I blinked a pink blink of stars and felt the same brown fog surround my very being like a tightly fitted velvet jacket as I went about my business thinking about putting on new clothes or wearing those from yesterday whose passing was only a few green hours ago. Pink Blue Green Gold Silver.

As there was no hint of blue rush in my morning routine it extended two or three golden hours into the highest of sky blue noon. In the sky overhead the sun was trailing its majestic arc throughout the heavens but all I noticed was the grey, pink-blue-yellow swoosh of the bus pulling up outside, opening its doors then closing them in a pink-blue-yellow mini swoosh before swiftly accelerating away in a puff of yellow and black dust.

People were walking by in the street right on through this cloud of dust which they inhaled deep into their lungs where it rightly blocked arteries like so much fat or cigarette smoke tar does. Red blood brightly oxygenated still flowed out of the capillaries in these besmirched lungs but for how damn blue long? With all this yellow and black dust in the air, the end was inexorable. For sure.

Meanwhile, a girl in a navy blue coat with brown hair in a ponytail halfway down her back was skipping on the tarmacked pavement. Black-white, brown-white,-pink-white, blue. (is that boy in love with you) Green-white, purple-white, red-white, green. (When you go to London will you see the queen?)Red-blue, White-blue, green-yellow, pink (Before you go to sleep do you wash your face in your sink). It was pink exhausting watching her go backwards and forwards over the hopscotch squares and quickly I turned away back to my green interior which was tastefully decorated with golf-ball sized  blue polka dots before the photoshop vignette of black surrounding my field of vision closed in any further.

My silver eyes fell upon half finished tasks aplenty (orange ,orange, orange) before I motored myself on algae green slime into my kitchenette where I prepared myself a royal blue cup of coffee with gold coloured sweeteners (two) and prepared to toast two green and yellow starred pieces of bread which I would spread with sparkly green butter from the red stripey cupboard (I know it’s there I checked).

Architectural silver (polished stainless steel to you) filled my mind/emotion convergence point which indicated a need for a cigarette. Only it’s black-purple vision would restore my equilibrium to a sanish colour/texture.  But I had quit the day before. My last purple packet was lying underneath an old tin of mouldy baked beans which I had removed disgustedly from the fridge the previous day also. Fucking yellow pink. Fucking GREEN.

I placed the sparkly bread in the luminescent toaster and pressed down on the flashing neon handle.

To be continued…




Who’s At The Door?

It’s Mr Bean, International Man Of Mystery and Intrigue and he has a Pizza For You.

Let hIm In.

Mr Bean gives you the internationally recognised sign with his free hand rubbing thumb and fingers together. Payment For the Pizza.

Pay The Man.

I haven’t got any cash. Do you take cards?

Mr Bean shakes his head and grins at you. Then he rubs his thumb against his fingers and mouths the words ‘Money’

You remember that tenner you keep down your emergency sock. It’s in your room. You say

‘I’ll go get it’

Mr Bean nods and smiles at you.

You return 45 seconds later with a rather shabby ten-pound note. Mr bean is standing inside the room at the same place but is no longer holding a pizza. Instead, he is holding himself shivering and looking upset.

You stare at him

Speak to the MAN.

‘What No Pizza?’ Say you smiling encouragingly.

‘Spider said Mr Bean gesticulating wildly, ‘spider – out there, BIG Spider’

Mr bean falls to his knees and begins crying and hugging himself to his knees.

Wha! BIG Spider? Out there? Ahhhh! Let me SEE.

You open the door to the hallway and your jaw drops to the ground. There is a Mini sized spider in the hallway and it has a knife and fork between two of its mandibles and is feeding cut slices of pizza into its mouth. It’s eight pairs of eyes suddenly turn towards you and it stops feeding.

You meet it gaze, or gazes. Your mouth closes as you take in the grotesque sight before your eyes. You salute it casually before closing the door on it.

What happened to that pizza, comes a voice from the living room.

‘Wrong order,’ you say looking at yourself in the hallway mirror.

‘Bloody anchovies. I hate anchovies.’

Wheel Of Fortune is ON. Come on in and sit yourself down. I’ll make you a sandwich.

You wake up.