Brown Gold, poem by Massimo Soranzio (MY SWEET WORD Series)

3 years today since this poem appeared on Silver Birch Press’s blog.

Silver Birch Press

Brown Gold
by Massimo Soranzio

Do you remember when our old grocer
took out the jar from under the counter
and opened it with great care, like fearing
the brown cream might escape?

Do you remember the way he slathered
the smooth, glossy dark substance on a sheet
of the same paper he used to wrap cheese
in, or red Parma ham?

Do you remember all the hazelnuts
we stealthily picked in our neighbour’s field,
to mix with melted chocolate at home,
like little alchemists?

Do you remember how our teacher used
to point to the door each time we returned
after the break, faces smeared brown,
still licking our fingers?

Do you remember how, when we found out
we were a young man and a young woman,
our first kisses tasted of the sweet cream
we shared behind your house?

Do you remember how on our first night

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The Nail File

The Nail File

Customers screamed in terror as a man
“ran amok” armed with a metal nail file
at an upmarket London hair salon,
a boutique which counts amongst its clients
a TV chef and an EastEnders actor.

The stylist from Lithuania, called Ted,
spotted a 21-year-old who kept
walking in and out, behaving oddly.

He burst into the Muswell Hill salon
following Ornella, the manager,
into a basement store room, and she screamed:
he grabbed a metal nail file and attacked.

People started screaming, one of his friends
came inside, smashed into him and made him
drop the nail file, put him down on the floor.

A group of his friends tried to restrain him,
there were six guys controlling the one guy:
they held him on the floor for 10 minutes,
the windows in the salon going ‘bang bang’—

Manager Ornella was petrified:
“It was frightening when it was just him
and these six massive blokes covered in blood.”

The police arrived, drove the man away.
Taken to a North London hospital,
he was medically assessed, a spokesman said.


There were no further injuries, he said,
just a disturbance on a hot spring day—
a piece of news like many we have read
about someone whose mind has gone astray.
This is London, this could be anywhere,
this is today but could be any time,
a sudden bout of uncontrolled despair,
the unexpected turn from life to crime.
We hardly ever pause, reading the news,
to ponder the value of each event;
page after page, the paper we peruse—
We spend the time, relax, and we’re content.
One little tragedy will go unseen,
missed in the limbo of the day’s routine.

Note: I wrote this a few years ago, as an exercise in found poetry (the first part,) recycling (not necessarily iambic) pentameters found in an article in London’s Evening Standard. The original article can be found here. Then I added a sonnet as a comment.