Tim Goldstone, Secrets of an English School

SECRETS OF AN ENGLISH SCHOOL

He tended the grounds,
constantly pulling faces at the windows
to amuse us children
as we laboured, so bored, over set texts.
There was a rumour
he wasn’t even paid.
Inevitably of course,
encouraged beyond endurance
by our glass-framed grins,
our mixed messages of ridiculing
and obscene gestures
followed immediately by our friendly beckoning,
loud cheering and wild applause,
he sprinted off,
returned breathless, cavorting ecstatically,
his face decorated
with sports-field marking paints,
performing rapturous threat displays
accompanied by baffling
combinations of swear words
delivered machine-gun style
from one corner of his mouth
until the whole scene climaxed
in a dreadful sequence
of berserk grotesquerie,
while we stood still, silent, growing up,
our turn to press our faces to the windows,
until he slumped to the ground,
his shadow contracting in the sunlight.

Tim Goldstone has travelled widely including working and roaming throughout the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, and North Africa. His poetry and stories are published in numerous journals and anthologies including The New Welsh Review, Crannóg, The Bangor Literary Journal, Stand Magazine, The Offing, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Ekphrastic Review, and The Mechanics’ Institute Review Anthology.

Tim’s prose sequence has been read on stage at The Hay Festival. He received a BA in English and History and has been awarded a Welsh Arts Council scholarship. Time lives deep in rural Wales where he enjoys walking into marshland until he sinks. @muddygold

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