Comfort smells…(of cigarettes)

red-ashtray

……….a warm fusty sentiment.
Amber lights diffused as if the room were on fire.
Scritching carbon from His pipe,
kneeling by his chair.

……….the Christmas roll-your-own machine
— close the lid and a white turd emerges
(tho’ dextrous fingers are far quicker),
tongue the paper’s razor edge.

……….golden cartons of duty-free B&H
spilling from His arms at the door
The flung ashtray explodes
cherry jewels on the tiles.

……….the langour of solitary afternoons.
The fine cursive of your letters,
the yellowed paper and the smell of ashes
as I press them to my face.

……….and smoke itself, sweet as mother’s milk,
honey the craving in my head ‘like nothing else’
On my breath, my clothes, my sweat.

in the whole house, the home,
coughing in the bathroom.


Last week Grace at dverse the poets’ pub, asked us to write on those smells which we associate with comfort, perhaps when we were children. This piece (admittedly darker than I started with) came from thinking about those childhood smells, and the house I grew up in. Thanks for reading.

And here’s the great smoky Tom Waits out on a foggy night.

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