Just Shy Of Sunrise

I don’t remember my last cigarette,
but I can still taste the first one:
dried banana leaves (shag)
clumsily rolled into a cigar,
smoked hidden in the grass
behind a ‘liberal’ neighbour’s yard, a rebel
who’d never reveal the passage rites of new teens
testing the boundaries.

I wasn’t alone;
my cousin of the same age took the dare
and spared no opportunity to remind me
that he was the marlboro man,
which meant
no more cool icons,
as back in those days the british controlled the market;
‘Embassy, the smooth way to go places’,
Three Fives (555) and Rothmans,
none of those had memorable personas.

So I pretended to be Fidel,
big fat cigar between fingers,
six-shooter in a make-believe holster
and a rollercoaster
of spanish words I learnt on Sesame Street;
‘si, si Señor,
peligro, la fumar’,
Big Bird gone bad,
defying societal and parental law,
because that’s what kids do.

When we finally grew up,
he chose not to start. And I!
Got in bed with Rothmans,
graduated to Dunhill
and stagnated between competing brands,
even menthol, over the marlboro man,
whom, inexplicably,
I never took a shining to.

I gave up cigarettes,
wise to the fact that the 20pack smacked
of addiction for profit,
sold as cool
to fool young minds short on experience
that the silent killer of millions
is a trend worth the risk for the man with ‘taste’
who insists ‘on going places’,
successfully casual and in business,
which I did,
each stick lit with a flick
of two fingers
on that Harley Davidson lighter
that ruled club rooms and petting zoos,
I knew
the value of good taste
became more aware through the years
of what a waste of time and money,
lung disease
and discoloration of beautiful teeth
it bequeathed
the glamorous propaganda,
for 5,99 each time.

Well, guess what!
The math doesn’t add up:
minus is not a positive way to live
I get
something on inhalation
that will
at a minimum
bend my perception towards enlightenment
at a fraction of the cost for hours at a time
over wine and crackers on weekends
with friends
alone at home
in the early hours shy of sunrise
alight with imagination
chasing memorabilia
old and new
burning at the end of the scent
of sensimilia,
like my cousin and I
all those years before
having a go
at smoke and mirrors.

5 Responses to “Just Shy Of Sunrise”
  1. Ah, happy daze … er, days! I managed to give up tobacco when I realised my money wasn’t giving me little lifts but just bringing me back to normal from the depressive droop of addiction. As for Mary Jane, well, if it makes ‘youthful’ victims look middle-aged goodness only knows what it would do for an old codger like me … 😉

    • lexborgia says:

      I don’t feel like a victim. And I did knock this out just shy of sunrise…smoking said joint.
      Victimisation is a weak foundation: pot is not4u. Cheers Dave.

  2. Eric Alagan says:

    There are several quotable quotes in this poem and I highlight a couple here:
    “sold as cool to fool young minds short on experience”
    “minus is not a positive way to live”
    An enjoyable read filled with a story and much wisdom.
    Well done!

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Follow nerd on the bridge on WordPress.com
  • Ford Prefect's Towel

    • None
%d bloggers like this: