Top deck of the 43

Top deck of the 43

A Poem by Bordeaux-Paris

On the left at ABC, on the top of the 43, at the back for BA

Woodbines were my Granddad’s choice. These weeds stoked him, choked him. “Bought my death”

he used to say. Uncle smoked a pipe, stopped when Granddad past away.


Rothmans for airports and international pleasure it tells me in the magazine.

Marlboro if I ride a horse, Gouloise to be seen.

A church warden was not my bag. Aromatic ready rubbed or rough shag.


All that was just for fun, then the seriousness began.

African Gold, oily rags in the change house, stompies by the lamp room, Chesterfield and Gunston, Madison and mad dogs in the shift boss’ office. Beer’s not beer without a f*g.

Collieries next, gas and gwayi. Spat brown like the river, orange peel and apple cubes make it less bitter. At the shaft head we huddle smuggle fuggle our way to nicoteeness.

Breath comes less now.

Coal dust, stone and tar stick my bronchioles tight, doubt I’ll make it through the night.

I bought mine.


© 2013 Bordeaux-Paris

Author's Note

Gwayi is the word for tobacco in many Souther African languages. near the Whangie Colliery in Zimbabwe flows a river called the Gwayi river because of it's brown colour.

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on May 9, 2013
Last Updated on May 9, 2013
Tags: Tobacco, Mining, Africa, Style, Death