Park Bench Tales and other writings

Thoughts and writings reflecting the poet within and the activist

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Life and death of a telephone booth

Life and death of a telephone booth

A little red box stood on the corner of my street

With a black receiver and buttons A and B

A large paper directory and fag ends at my feet

There was additional decoration for all to see

Within this little box folk would leave a calling card

Advertising their services and their wares

Just a number and a message that might seem hard

To understand unless you knew your apples from your pears

Each card carried a private number with a text

Joe the plumber for emergencies seemed innocent

But others might lead one to feel a little vexed

Call Dawn for fragrant flowers that are succulent

They were the Yellow Pages of the night

That led to private rooms where secrets could be hidden

I would study them to unravel the invite

Leather retailers where you must do what was bidden

Lessons on Spanish guitar no strings attached

The duality of the meaning held in the phrase

You might have to phone to see if you were matched

To discover what was offered in so many ways

Jane’s full massage left nothing to imagination or disguise

But you needed to phone to ascertain the price

Her touch upon your skin was sure to get a rise

So much would be offered and displayed if you were nice

Now the internet has removed this fascination

Secrets no longer hidden everything to be displayed

Where lies the mystery in open exhibition

That informs you of how much is to be paid

The mini-video that exhibits those wobbling breasts

Or the panties being removed in the car

A selection on offer The Question Which is best

You can see the honey now the lid is off the jar

The message and the mouse click have replaced the rotary dial

The imagery has killed off the mystery calling card

With the video camera she can advertise in style

Inviting you for action with no holds barred

Then the imagery becomes flattery that will deceive

The photoshop slimming down of the waist

And those boobs Really Do you honestly believe

Look carefully and do not act in haste

The little red box is still there on my walk

Paint peeling windows broken and no phone

The cards have gone and there’s no double talk

Yet beneath them was an honesty that’s flown

Can ageing minds still entice and walk the walk

Can we find thrills beyond the dog and bone

Hey there tell girl me really you wanna talk

Then tempt me with a message whilst I’m here at home

Copyright: David Hopcroft May 2023

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A brief life (adult)

A brief life

She believed she would find herself with the great escape

Far away from home she believed she would make the break

Those stories of danger she was convinced were all fake

She had convinced herself this time there would be no mistake

Lured by his secret messages she would live the dream

Enticed at night by her friends into the clubbing scene

She would be a centre of attention a real drama queen

He was about to rescue her and they would be a team

Within the dream there was a desire to play the whore

He could see his opportunity with just two Proseccos more

She swayed drunkenly around upon the polished dance floor

Then upon his arm she staggered towards the door

All had begun when she was assured her entrance was free

Then her new friend had told her ‘The drinks are all on me’

Little did she realize he had in mind a different fee

Her destiny was to satisfy the lust of his depravity

She had perfected that just-turned-teenage look with her smile

Not realising the cultured image might attract the paedophile

She brought alive all his wicked fantasies with a juvenile

In her drunken stupor she gave her body for him to defile

At first it was only him then and who was really to blame

When she satisfied his friends one by one without any shame

Submitting to each new request she was the football in their game

Tomorrow night he’d collect her and they could do it all again

She’d perform for anyone who would offer a lift

Unknown to each of them they had gained an unwanted gift

It was their visits to the clinic that led to the rift

Her body dumped in an alleyway having completed her last shift

Copyright: David Hopcroft December 2022

This poem is about abuse. In the UK there is support from a number of organisations.

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Goth 1

Goth 1

She loved the darkness and sought out the night

Shunned the strange desire of others for bright light

There was a mystery about her that forever attracted me

A searching of a restless soul demanding to be free

As I walked through the dampness of the mist at dusk

I felt guilty as my aged body seemed to yearn for lust

I wandered down the alleyways hoping we might meet again

My mind so focussed on her presence I felt insane

Across the open heath where the thunder rolled

Her image never deserting me as I onwards strolled

I had walked with her upon the sands of a moonlit beach

Now I can hear her voice but her form seems out of reach

We had danced within the cavern and held each other close

She had led me by instruction in what she loved the most

We had walked the promenade where she wore black faux fur

Talked beneath the stars about a liaison that might occur

Her black eyeshadow and her lipstick when the moonlight caught her face

Seduced by the movement when she drew back the veil of black lace

I remember how she teased me when she took me home

How she laughed when she discarded the necklace of carved bone

She gave me just a glimpse of her black fishnet tights

Then seduction was complete when she turned out the lights

I submitted easily to her darkest wishes as she was thrilled

We lay together in the coffin where our love was fulfilled

Copyright: David Hopcroft November 2022

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6. The Metro

6. The Metro

An intrepid exploration peeking from behind a newspaper page

My heart missing two beats when with a smile she tried to engage

Should I really have these naughty thoughts at my age

A station and I pray she does not rise and move towards the door

She looks across at me holds the smile for longer of that I am sure

The returning reticence within suppressing my desire for more

I felt guilty as I seemed to stare and I am sure that I blushed

Now her eyes focus on me as if I am imprisoned by her gaze

Like a dog I sit looking as if waiting for the bone to be thrown

Yet fearful of reacting lest the imaginative hope is crushed

Another stop she rises will my mind now hit erase

Then she passes a note with a number saying ‘This is my phone’

Copyright: David Hopcroft November 2022

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Metal fender love

Metal fender love

Brightly polished metal paint standing on the lot

Her open top admired by passersby in their ogling shop

Retro-romantic purring with attraction

Thoughts stirred within wanting to turn on her ignition

Waiting to be unleashed beneath the hood a mighty beast

Her mind thinking of those nipples surely fully greased

Six seductive cylinders almost within her reach

Listening to the salesman who had learned to preach

How she loved to admire her chassis

She’d take the Interstate from here to Tallahassee

Knowing it would hold firm as it glided along the highway

Keep your Tesla sunshine she was going to do this her way

Chrome plated attraction from the world of yesteryear

Stick shift for her hand she despised the auto-gear

Two tone elegance and wings protruding from the rear

This was mechanical seduction and she had no fear

Her twin headlights attracting with their glow

Switched on she knew that they could steal the show

Leather upon the seats where she could slide

So cool upon the thighs as she thought of the ride

She took the keys of pleasure living out life today

She pressed the pedal to the metal and she was away

She scorched black rubber along the boulevard

Grasped the leather knob and pulled back hard

Tearing up the miles until she ran out of juice

Two hundred horses seeking freedom were let loose

Some girls love abs and biceps but she knew her desire

Only the pounding of six pistons could light her fire

Copyright: David Hopcroft November 2022

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Moment 2: Scoot Over

Moment 2: Scoot Over

I think my life is changing

Because we are together now

Well almost

We are under the same roof

Now we are sharing a bedroom

Of course

That was my idea

I think that we both wanted more

When we thought of what had gone before

He may have hesitated

I was sure


There is something still between us

A feeling there should be a boundary

Like a line drawn in the sand

Which I knew that I had to cross

So when he returned from work

Snuggling down beneath the blankets

I would climb onto the bed

In hope more than expectation

Would whisper the words

“Scoot over “

Then slide beneath the blanket beside him

He was tired

I used to be afraid he would fall asleep

Cuddling beside him

Pressing his body close to mine

Wrapping a leg around him

Surely he must recognize the sign

I knew my feeling

He was mine

If he’d ask me I know what I would say

I’d smile at him and reply “Of course you may”

But he didn’t and I wondered perhaps he was gay

I shivered

Perhaps he just wanted me to go away

Strange how we cuddled together every night

A touching of bodies that I felt was right

Yet knowing that he never responded with delight

I could not spend the night within his bed

For I always felt something might be amiss

This was never my imagined bliss

Had I invested my life in that solitary kiss

But still each time he undressed when he came home

I would climb up and say “Scoot over”

Because I did not want to be alone

Copyright: David Hopcroft November 2022




I wonder why I took so long

Why did I wait for him when I could have led

Why did I wish and dream

That there was a place for me in his bed

An evening of idle chat that meant so much more

We were both conscious of what we desired

Or was that just my wish and not his

I know my heart seemed to burn with his fire

I remember the evening

We agreed to go for a walk in the park

As if I could finally pluck up the courage

To make the first move in the dark

My pulse was racing

I knew there was an opportunity I should not miss

Was I really luring him

Onto that bench to share our first kiss

How strange after all that time

I had imagined the moment every day

Each time there had been a different response

I would not have wanted this any other way

Could he really be mine

In that moment I really believed

As my tongue pushed through his lips

My heart was surely not deceived

His arms brought me close

I liked that he was holding me tight

Thoughts rushed into my mind

My head was feeling light

I wondered and wished

Just how far we could go

But the moonlight was revealing

I sensed his answer would be ‘no’

So we sat on the bench

We made that fist kiss last

An opportunity taken

Or had the moment passed

I tugged at his arm

What if I was to ask and suggest

That we might go further

I’m sure he would show an interest

I know that we have started

That kiss lasted ten minutes at a guess

Do we want this relationship

I think his answer might be ‘yes’

Copyright: David Hopcroft November 2022

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The Uncertainty in Seeking

The uncertainty in seeking

Wandering along a pathway where no light shines

Peering into the darkness of the mind

Wondering if uncertainty can stall the writing of the lines

Uncompleted words are littering a script that is unsigned

In the distance a flickering at a synapse may spell hope

My ears seem still tuned to notes of laughter I once heard

Images of forms of figures upon which I once did dote

Sometimes the mind swirls with thoughts that seem absurd

Walking beneath the starlit trees so late at night

The unexplained feeling when her hand reached out to grasp mine

Was I really frozen with surprise or was it the shock of delight

Perhaps only the dream of recollection makes this divine

Love shaken to its foundation by encounters on a park bench

Lips meet and tongues entwine in a conversation of their own

She claims she is my bitch and there’s a fire I cannot quench

The bush fire rages on and I have no desire to be alone

There’s a dampness in the Autumn air and a slow falling of leaves

Nights are closing in and I wonder did love fly the nest

The seeking awaits the Spring and a time when love still deceives

Perhaps it is that very promise of uncertainty that I love the best

Copyright: David Hopcroft October 2022

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Would You Be My Valentine This Day

Would you be my Valentine this day?

Seated before the hearth Dafydd’s knife whittles at the wood

Shaping the love spoon to claim his true love’s hand

Whilst hooded Olwen dreams of their life pure and good

Her flame of passion by the dragon’s breath is fanned

Mihaela and Florin journey to the mountainside

To pick fresh flowers peeking through the snow

Such love expressed and chosen by the posy guide

Faces then washed kisses to each other blow

Why then should we undertake some activity

To show our love by exchange of gifts and cards

Let us be more adventurous in our creativity

Seek out our answers in the writing of the bards

See how the windows are open on the street

Lovers call across for partners with their chosen name

Was your name called and did your heart raise a beat

If such then a rendezvous awaits on lovers’ lane

Pierre you wished for but he chose Marie

Then for eventide make a preparation for the night

For the blazing bonfire you must make the effigy

Watch for the flames as his form burns so bright

What’s that? You care not because Antoine

Brought fresh red roses to claim you for the day

Antoine is forever now that Pierre has gone

Kisses came to steal your love and blow cobwebs away

Last night did you place the bay leaves beneath the pillow

One at each corner one at the centre for your dream

Skywards clouds billow as you lie beneath the weeping willow

Imprisoned love in the mind should not remain unseen

Do you walk together barefoot across the fields

Perhaps meet to share a kiss beneath a cherry tree

Will your heart now miss a beat when he kneels

Wish a message to be shared between you and me

Did you stay up to make the macadoras late at night

Whilst he wrote within the card and pressed the flowers

If your lover penned this poem your future may be bright

A ladder is waiting to rescue you from ivory towers

Will you walk with me to Chelmno on this day

On a pilgrimage to view the relics of the saint

Don’t let the hours of your day slowly pass away

Sing merrily and dance as you enjoy these customs quaint

Copyright: David Hopcroft February 2022

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Robina Hood

Robina Hood

In which our heroine makes merry her men ….

She sat beneath the old green oak, clad in tights and shortest cloak
A picture of beauty to greet the morn
Robina hood of lasting fame, unto Sherwood finally came
A light that sparkled with the dawn.

They looked and glanced, they sat entranced
A bedraggled band of men
For each had groped and each had hoped
But she’d spurned the lot of them.

What ? merry Men ? They look so pale ! Why recount a doleful tale ?
So gathered from the forest floor,
In cooking pot that bubbles, to vanish all their troubles ..
Magic mushrooms by the score !

They each sat down to drink a fill, old Wat himself and Scarlet Will,
Their eyes lit up ! They were elated !
Jumping from the ground they danced around
In manner unco-ordinated.

With arms upraised, their eyes were glazed
She led them from their hidden den
With a little mocking, showed them some black stocking …
Followed on her merry men !

Where our heroine has an encounter upon a bridge …..

Coming soon to clearing green, separated by a stream
Robina found moss covered log to cross
Forth with footstep that was fleet, felt the clout of heavy feet
Look-ed up, gave a cry ! Set her foot upon the moss

Crossing from the further shore, a giant from those days of yore
She gazed again and with a sigh ..
Fluttering her eyes, to his surprise
Cried out aloud “A man, oh my !”

Took an arrow from her quiver, felt her body give a shiver
“Give way my friend and let me pass”
As thoughts are dreams, or so it seems,
“We could make hay within yon grass”

His laugh became a great guffaw, voice let out a mighty roar,
“You judge me wrong, my pretty chick”
For in his imagination, no room for discrimination,
“To have me you must pass my stick”

“Lets see your stave, you churlish knave”
She cried with much excitement
And with a laugh, took out his staff
And saw her disappointment.

He turned his cap, and raised his bat
And called for her to pitch
Though he was frightening, she struck like lightening,
And dumped him in the ditch

So maidens fair in seeking men, have hopes excited by the pen,
Yet such imagination cannot be a sin
Just as Yuletide every year, often brings forth a little tear
When packaging flatters much the gift within.

In which our heroine finds her wishes unfulfilled …..

Love in waiting hath pre-empted, she would surely soon be tempted,
So to curb instinct’s desire
Journeyed in this month of May, to Fountains Abbey for to pray,
Confess herself to Tuck the Friar.

Yearning of her body felt, knew that heart soon would melt
Behind the curtain’s velvet screen
A voice so deep, she could not sleep
Woken from her dreams, was missing, imagination for the kissing

Coming soon to Abbey’s gate, hoped that she could plot a fate,
Cast eyes upon sweet mouth that spoke,
Share a smile, then dwell awhile,
Determine should he become her bloke.

This Saxon maid was not afraid,
Pressed her lips close on the curtain,
Pushing hard against the thread, felt the form of merry head,
Pecked his cheek, she was certain.

His vows forgotten, heart that had been downtrodden,
Drove the Friar to try his luck,
Abandoned he her confession, time to give another lesson !
Cried, “I am your man, just call me Tuck !”

Reputation to be made, cri-ed out our fair maid,
“My Friar, I hear that you are merry !”
Throwing up her pretty head, pouting forth lips so red
“Give me your love, I’ll be your cherry !”

Now Tuck was of the very few, who could make the wonder brew,
“Ah, but your cheeks, they seem so pale”
In its time yeast had fermented, barley, hops; so she consented
To sup upon his finest ale !

She sipped from finest crystal glass, he gulped upon his mug of brass,
She sips again, whilst he refills,
Drips of ale from the barrel, fall upon Holy apparel,
As Tuck turneth pale at the gills.

Tho’ he were large and quite a brute, she was small, even cute,
The brew it weaved its strangest spell,
Her emotions stronger, could wait no longer,
Into his arms she gently fell.

Hoped upon her annointment, with a gush of Holy ointment,
Felt his warmth, wished for more
To unify this appointment. Suddenly, more disappointment ….
She could hear familiar snore !

In which the desires of age are partly to be met …..

Slumber alone beneath the oak, snuggled in that small green cloak,
A winter that became a mockery,
The letter that she wanted most, shot from an arrow in the post,
To say that she had won her man in lottery !

Alas, the prize it did not come, Spring followed now with winter done
Still there was no real hunk
Body it became quite frail, lacking sustenance from male,
Withering of cur-ved trunk

But April with its showers nourished, and her body duly flourished
Hopes and wishes were soon sighs
Blossoming of trees in May, felt that she could have her day
Girded up those green clad thighs

Merry men were not beaten, having of more fungus eaten
Packed their bags with more supplies
Journeyed forth to some village, not to rape or indulge in pillage
Trading magic potions in disguise

Emerging from the darkened wood, led by their Robina Hood
Unto a hamlet ‘neath a hill
Dancing in a twirling dress, a girl with face that was so fresh
A form that beckoned with a will

Robina’s heart with sorrow filled, had age her beauty finally killed ?
Such were her feelings, and she grieved
Then the maiden gaily skipping, became a victim of her tripping
Wait … eyes were mistaken, the mind deceived.

Underneath that petticoat, sight she saw put lump in throat,
Wishing she’d not been uncouth
For legs once clothed were now exposed
Revealing fairest flower of youth.

For where the world yields not man, you must take what you can
Heart cries out so full of joy,
“Summer’s come, Spring has passed, and now, oh now, at long last
I’ve found my very own toy boy.”

A moment then of some suspicion, could such a union yield fruition ?
Asked she for reason of his clothing.
“‘Tis my penance from a Squire, I dipped iron in daughter’s fire,
And he made me Marion for my roving !”

So the lad kept his disguise, revealed he only to her eyes
And then only in some shady glade
The mushroom men this secret kept, and often while they had slept
Marion his reputation made.

In which our heroine makes her choice ……….

As this story still is told, my memory does not grow cold
Stole from the rich, thieved from the poor
Robbed the barons of their riches, merry men she had in stitches
When even taxmen lost their britches

So it was in her annoyance, Robina announced with much flamboyance
No longer would she a maiden tarry,
Ready riches soon were given, jewellery and fine linen,
It was the Sheriff she would marry !

Down the aisle, walked with a smile,
Soldiers side by side with archers.
Sheriff dressed in finest white; legs in green were quite a sight
Folks they came from all the marches.

In those early days of flower power, the act which is the finest hour
He fastened a ring within her nose
Belly bulging, somewhat indulging,
Sank he down to kiss her toes

Hearken now ! The great crusader, better surely now than later
Back from all those business trips abroad ….
Saving Jerusalem for glory ….. nobody believes that story !
‘Twas maidens who had known his silvered sword !

Riding high upon great steed, soon to fill his last deed
Coming fast to castle gate
Its Great King Dick, but wait a tick …
The hero has arrived too late !!

© David Hopcroft 1995