Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Bus antics!

Well, I've been taking the bus for a few months now, and it's been a bit of a shock to the system after driving for 20 years. I have to say the public transport system in Bristol is pretty reliable, but I'm not sure I'll ever get used to having to listen to other peoples' loud mobile phone conversations, smelly tuna sandwiches, frisky pets and stomach churning gossip.
Until I can get myself the dream car, I've decided to use these daily episodes as a source of writing inspiration. Seriously, I could write a book (and I will!) but in the meantime, I've started a series of poems. These are based on overheard bus conversations in the St Paul's area of Bristol which is, at least on my bus route, predominately Jamaican. It's been disturbing, delicious and hilarious - I hope you enjoy this poem, which is based on a conversation I heard between three elderly ladies on their way to the community centre. It just shows how insane gossip can be, and though I've used a certain amount of poetic licence, their actually dialogue was no more shocking than what I've put together - the police would have loved it if they could speak Patois! Each verse relates to one of the ladies. Enjoy!

The Disgraceful Tale of Mavis and Roger

Me hear sumting dat mi cyan believe
Miss Mavis dead eating bun and cheese
Nut allergy kill her plus poison tea
Den widdin de week Mas' Roger leave
De man 'im wutless, nat even grieve
Tek all her money an’ shoot di breeze
Now police a sniff an’ chat bout teef
An’ Bishop start tun up de brimstone heat
Cos rumour start bout parted knees
Sister Trudy start weep an’ pull out her weave
Some Peep Tom bredrin’ catch her pull on her brief
An’ laboratory a check pon her Cerasee leaf
So how could I tell dem dat Roger wid me
A mek mi shack out an’ find some relief?
Who would believe an ol' woman like me
Still a play wid bamboo in de afternoon heat?

Hey lady, no need to provide alibi
Yuh a Christian woman so no need fi lie
Now in personal matters mi don’t like fi pry
But dem missing from church, so mi plan fi drop by
Mi a knock an’ a knock an’ a wait an’ a sigh
Den push open de door when mi get no reply
Now yuh know seh dem place was a sorry pig sty
But di sight dat mi catch was a shock to mi eye!
Mi see dem a chop up dem ganja supply!
Mas’ Roger so stoned ‘im start tink he cyan fly
And ‘im nat even see mi, an’ Miss Mavis cross-eye!
So mi shout out a warning – ‘Unna hafi get dry!’
You know seh dem not even tink to comply?
But di stupid pair cook up ten weed an’ fruit pie
An’ go flee pon a ship to some place call Dubai

There's sumting you ladies mus' understand
Miss Mavis was nasty, a wicked woman
She call me one evenin’, all sweet and Christian
Wan’ test out di camera she buy from Englan’
Mi arrive an’ den Roger come ask mi fi stand
And ben’ up in position from dark religion
Mi seh, Darlin’, one minute while me cream up me han’
But wait, me nah business, mi a cook up a plan!
So I wait til she tun fi di camera an’ Bam!
Me lick her one time wid her own frying pan
Mas Roger start scream an’ ‘im run fi ‘im van
An’ I warn him mek sure dat ‘im leave di island
Lass I know, he mek fortune in card marathon
Den escape to find peace in some place call Japan
An’ his wife, she come here, wid art exhibition
Only now she call Leroy – Miss Mavis tun man!

Copyright  Elizabeth Mytton 2011
Elizabeth Mytton has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant!! So funny, can't believe i'm laughing out loud at poetry!! Can just picture these three so clearly. Good work ! Absolutely love it. And love the buses, although the nutters always make a bee-line for me! I'm glad you're there with your ears sharpened to capture it all XX