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We Never Forget AnElephant!

Those who remember AnElephantCant and his poetry here, should take a wee visit over to his blog. He’s based in France now and that seems to have really accelerated his creativity. He does ‘flash fiction’ which is a story in 100 to 150 words.

This is one he wrote recently:

Redemption

The weak winter sunlight creates vaguely coloured beams as it struggles through the stained glass window.
I sit with bowed head, hands clasped, the bottle of redemption held tightly between them.
I pray to a God I no longer believe in.
My mind drifts back …..

I see her crossing Sauchiehall Street, the pedestrianised section, and my heart lights up.
She is my best friend, my flatmate.
We are twin sisters, everyone says, look-alikes who share a soul.
I hurry after her, almost ready to call out, but she is walking with unusual purpose.
Then I see him, my Al, outside Henderson the Jeweller.
He smiles widely, happy to see her.
She throws her arms around his neck.
I walk into a large woman with an umbrella, who mutters something rude.
Regaining my balance, I see them disappear into the shop.
I approach carefully and peek through the window.
They are looking at rings.
I knew it.
I should never have trusted them, she is so pretty, and he is such a swine!
I go sadly home and prepare myself.
They arrive much later, barely able to conceal their excitement.
Until they drink the coffee.
The card in her dead hand says ‘Congratulations, Sis, you two make the perfect couple’.
The ring is inscribed with my name.

I abandon my prayer and raise the bottle to my lips.

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Poetic

This is from my poetic friend who spent his childhood in South Africa

Nelson Mandela  July 18, 1918 - December 5 2013

Nelson Mandela July 18, 1918 – December 5 2013

AnElephantCant always be funny
And he can’t always write the best rhyme
But he can say thank you to Nelson Mandela
The greatest man in his lifetime

We remember the man in the green shirt
We remember the smile on his face
We remember he forgave the long hurt
We remember he united a race

Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
The words stir this elephant’s heart
Lord, bless Africa
Oh, Nelson, you made a great start

Not the Pet Shop Boys

platypus

A duck-billed platypus and a fictitious rock ‘n’ roller

AnElephantCant live in a Pet Shop
Although it is usually a very nice place
Full of white mice and puppies
And tanks full of guppies
But AnElephant takes up far too much space

There is so much here you can buy for your doggy
A collar a toy a wee dish
If you have a cat
You can get him a hat
But you can’t grant his wish for a fish

They have all sorts of exotic foreign creatures
A chameleon a pink cockatoo
But never a giraffe
Or a hyena that laughs
For that you must go to the zoo

Now when you hang out at a Pet Shop
You are enchanted by the animation of noise
Here a coo there a caw
You might hear a hee haw
But there’s no music by those East End Boys
(Or West End Girls)

The Animals can set up a Rock Band
The drums played by an adroit octopus
Perhaps a bull with a horn
A lute-playing unicorn
And no Jagger but a duck-billed platypus

A Pet Shop can’t be confused with that old ship
Where the animals went on two by two
There is only one crab
And that is Big Rab
AnElephant likes to finish with a joke that is gnu

AnElephantCant understand banks!

I laughed out loud at this. Even funnier when you know the poet!

AnElephantCant keep it a secret
There is a whole lot that AnElephantCan
To stop folk unravelling
Wherever he’s travelling
AnElephant sometimes likes to pretend he’s a man

Your second favourite Elephant wears cute disguises
He has grey hair and staggers unsteady
You would not want to be him
But if you did see him
You’d think he was some wee laddie’s grand-daddy

He has an International Cash Passport Currency Card, VISA stamped.
This allows him to put real money, i.e. Scottish Pounds, into an account via a UK agent and withdraw fun money in US Dollars at any ATM in the USA.
This is a clean, simple and cost effective method of getting cash as required.
Safer than carrying large amounts, easier than TCs and not as extortionately expensive as using his Credit Cards for spending money.

So yesterday he needs cash.
He is in a strange town perhaps 20 miles from his hotel.
He pops into a gas station to use the ATM.
Insufficient funds for his needs.
He tries the next gas station.
ATM Out of Order.
He gets directions to the nearest bank, perhaps a mile away, from a friendly local.
He puts in his card and his PIN.
His requested amount is over the maximum (which is significantly less than $1,000 dollars).
He requests the maximum.
It gives him the cash and a receipt.
It does not return his card.
He enters the bank.
There is a host of pretty young ladies behind the counter.
He explains his situation.
They are friendly and sympathetic to his plight.
One offers him candy, to all round laughter.
The Assistant Manager is called.
ID please.
He has credit cards and other picture ID but does not carry his passport.
Cannot get card back without passport, he is told.
Bank rules.
He points out that he is here, he has withdrawn cash, he has receipt, he knows card is in machine, who else can he be?
Bank rules. A form must be filled.
He asks for, and is refused, a receipt for his card.
So at 16.30 on Friday evening he has to drive 20 miles each way to show a lady his passport, to retrieve his own card, which the bank’s ATM has erroneously snaffled.
He does this.
Not being very au fait with the area or the town he is in, this is just a mite stressful.
Traffic is heavy and, understandably at the end of a working week, just a little impatient.
But he returns triumphantly with his passport.
To be told:
We cannot give you your card.
Why not?
It is not embossed with your name.
So?
It is a BANK RULE!
Why?
It is not embossed with your name.
Why is it a Bank Rule that you cannot return my card if my name is not embossed on it?
It is in the Procedures.
So?
He explains very patiently that the machine accepted his card, and his password, and gave him cash and a receipt.
It is the fault of the bank’s ATM that they have what is clearly his card.
And now they will not return it?
It is a procedure.
A computer screen is turned towards him.
See!
He points out that he sees a computer screen filled with many words.
Proof of nothing.
He asks for the manager.
She can’t help you.
He asks for the manager.
She appears, beautifully groomed and quite charming.
They retire to her office.

The above conversation is repeated ad nauseam.

The manager is now very charming.
It is a procedure, she smiles.
AnElephant is also charming.
Facing an increasingly Kafkaesque situation, he resorts to logic.
Then I would like to speak to the person who makes the procedures.
She laughs.
Then I would like to speak to the Bank President.
She stops laughing.
He removes his jacket and settles down in his chair.
He asks her:
Are you planning to leave me homeless and hungry in mid-winter on the streets of a strange town?
She summons assistance.
Get Sylvia on the phone.
Sylvia is apparently the Area Manager or something.
She is on Speaker Phone.
AnElephant once again explains the situation, politely ignoring the manager’s interruptions about procedures and rules.
Take me off speaker and let me speak to the customer.
She asks if the card number is on the receipt.
He tells her the card is apparently under armed guard.
She laughs, and asks to speak to the manager.
The manager listens, very briefly, then summons assistance.
The card is produced, and compared to the receipt.
The numbers, unsurprisingly, match.
Give him his card, says Sylvia.
He thanks her.
A form is slapped loudly in front of him by the lady who was summoned.
Sign here!
Did you forget the ‘please’, he asks with a smile.
Face like thunder, his card is slapped before him.
Thank you, he says, as she storms out of the room.
He looks at the manageress, who has the decency to be embarrassed at this.
Em, she can be a bit ….
She searches for an appropriate word.
Rude, he suggests.
She looks aghast.
Is this the American way, he asks her.
She shakes her head.
He tells her he agrees.
In some 6 weeks in the USA, he has been treated with courtesy at all turns.
People are unfailingly polite and friendly, fascinated by his accent and interested in his tale.
No, not his tail!

You all know that he does like to wander
He is cheerful and not at all dour
He really loves life
Perhaps because he ain’t got no wife?
He treats every day like another adventure

He hopes this is just a wee hiccup
And he can continue to withdraw his own money
It will be a real pain
To go through this again
And he might even stop being funny

AnElephant leaves Vancouver

Brian is continuing with his American (and Canadian) Tour:

He sits silent on the Greyhound
As it slowly moves Downtown
The past is close behind him
Treading on his shoes
His mind is filled with emptiness
Leaving Vancouver Blues

He sits pensive on the Greyhound
As it travels south at speed
The past is left behind him
Dirt falling from his shoes
His soul crowded with loneliness
Leaving Vancouver Blues

Some places leave a mark on you
Some people do that too
Some places you have never been
Some you want to go back to
Some people you have never seen
Some people that you miss
Some people you might think about
Your mind will not dismiss

A fleeting thought an untouched hand
No words no might have been
The past is far behind him
Like laces from his shoes
His heart is choked with nothingness
Leaving Vancouver Blues

AnElephant in the USA

For those of you wondering what has happened to AnElephantCant I can report that he is safe and well and currently on walkabout in the USA.

sanfran

AnElephant and a heart in San Freancisco. See what he’s done here?

Check out the link above to see how he’s doing. Since switching to WordPress he has built up quite a wee community of doggerel lovers, including, it has to be said, a large number of his favourite people……laydeez.

He’s in the States for three months or so and it looks like he’s going to accompany that with a poem in every place and a stanza for every city.

He’s also been busy with the camera. This is Alcatraz:

alcatraz

Who knows where he’s headed next. Even he doesn’t know even though he’s packed his trunk:

AnElephantCant decide where to head to
Now that he has to leave San Francisco
He is kinda useless
Can’t spell Massachusetts
So that means New England’s a no-go

He’s not sure whether to head north or southwards
If you are due east he is not ignoring you
He could visit LA
It’s not far away
But he wants to see more than California

In the past he has vacationed in Florida
Seen the Everglades chilled out down the Keys
He has been very lucky
Spent time in Kentucky
And volunteered to enjoy Tennessee

He has visited Richmond Virginia
Georgetown and beautiful DC
So why not head north to Oregon
Continue through Washington
To Canada and Vancouver BC

He spent a magical week in New Orleans
French Quarter Jazz Jambalaya Fun
Paddle boat on Mississippi
This delighted old hippy
Stayed in the legendary House of the Rising Sun

He can point his trunk towards Arkansas or Kansas
Sound different but spelt just the same
Utah Idaho
Iowa Ohio
Or Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain

He has an interesting offer from Texas
From sweet Meme his well-known special one
No improper suggestion
Just one simple question
Dear Meme does your husband have a gun?

He will probably just continue to be aimless
But he promises he will stay in touch
He is not in a hurry
He does not ever worry
Some nice lady always feeds him peanuts

Elephants…and women

Brian of AnElephantCant has been in touch to ask if I’d post the following from his blog:

Women’s suffrage in the United States was finally achieved in 1920, less than 100 years ago, with the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

And so AnElephant is concerned about what is happening to their rights in the USA today.

He was shown this video by a dear friend and, although it is far from his normal field, he feels compelled to share it.

He asks only that you take 2 minutes and 48 seconds to look at it.

It is great music and great fun, but with a serious message.

Please click on the image above or the link below to view.

There’s a couple of Brian’s poems, done in his inimitable style, about Dumbarton both here and here containing some nice photos.