This was a wife-challenge. We were on top of a mountain in southern Europe, running from Covid 19. Ania came out of the bathroom, glanced at the breakfast table and out of the window.
“Can you do me a poem about coffee, – or pinecones, – erm, or a toothbrush?”
But, you know – one thing leads to another. . .

I have illustrated most of my poems, so an illustrated version may even now be sitting elsewhere in cyberspace . . . or maybe in a book.

LIfeHavcks Front Cover

Coffee, Pinecones and a Toothbrush

In the matter of toothbrushes pinecones and coffee,
there’s no space for loo flushes; no-fly zones; or toffee.
Use a toothbrush and paste at the basin, but mind
you flush in a bowl of a different kind.
And if your aircraft is out hitting pinecones
you’re already too late to think of safety and fly zones.
Not much longer will you be flying around,
for you’re already far too close to the ground.
And I’m not talking now about ground coffee here!
Do pass those toffees, honey pie dear.

So you see, I’ll be staying strictly “on topic.”
Perhaps to the point where I may seem myopic.
Now about that coffee cone – or was it the tooth flush?
And the pine-zone – er, of course I meant loo brush.
Some poets, they get mixed up sometimes,
but my mind’s like a razor when I’m writing rhymes.
Where was I? Yes: a pine toilet cleaner
is entirely distinct from a brush-cone strainer.
Though a fly that is open it may cause a groan.
Another toffee please, dear: to get me back in the zone.

If you’re with me so far; if you can keep pace,
with my logical steps and their elegant grace.
Can you see? It’s as if I am brushing out tangles
from the depths of your head which can sometimes get mangled.
Take my hand, metaphorically, follow me if you please,
all the way to the summit, above the line of pine trees.
In the rare limpid air of this zone without flies,
we reach out and grasp the philosophers’ prize.
I unlock the casket; you gaze on life’s meaning . . .
with a coffee, some pinecones and this brush for tooth-cleaning.

Nick James      Posted in:



March 2020, a camper-van in an Austrian forest.

Header Image:

Illustration by the Author