Seven Emotions: Smiling.


Have you ever seen me

smile? Laugh even;

snort like a free-wheeling pig

as it bathes in the mud,

almost lose the ability to breathe

as the joke hits home.


Have you ever seen me smile

properly I wonder, I rarely

show my teeth when I do,

the ones where I am ready to bite

down with anger, the smile of revenge.


Did you ever catch me, earphones in

and my mind spaced out, high

on a Galton and Simpson trip,

a pause in a Hancock and James exchange,

Monty Python sketch, the life

of Ian as Morecambe and Wise

or Robin Williams tickled

my funny bone and the protruding

dig in the ribs at a pun

that worked, some masters to be found

in the modern age on line;

did you ever see tears of rampant joy,

and a sense of ecstasy as someone

said fuck out loud in the face of authority.


Did you ever see me smile

when there was no joke to be found,

a far off memory and the comfort

of what I would say now if

you tried to shake my hand

with your wrist of back stabbing

precision and damned statistics,

now that is a smile even a crocodile

is wary off when I bite down hard

on its scaly tail, flipping from side

to side as you fail to stand, handbag sewn;

I carry two mental shovels when I think

of that spike driven grin,

tell me, have you ever seen me smile?


Ian D. Hall 2018