"Peanuts & Monkeys" by Gwil James Thomas

Way back,

I worked in a pub

on the outskirts

of Brighton,

washing dishes

& serving

cheap desserts.

There was about a dozen

of us working there -

waiters, waitresses,

bar staff & “chefs.”

Come every payday,

we’d all clock off

& head to the bar

for pints &

the ritualistic

lock in that

would ensue.

I’d sit with “the chefs”

as our

kitchen leader

would watch

the pandemonium

unfolding &

with a sigh,

he’d deliver his

catchphrase -

“Pay peanuts

& you get monkeys.”

That never felt more true

than whilst

still soberly sipping

that first pint -

watching fellow employees

flock around the bar,

liquidising their assets whilst

chucking ca$h

into the fruit machines -

as if we hadn’t all been broke

the day before -

even the condom dispenser

in the gents

would make a few quid

once the “chefs” started


their love to the waitresses.

All this however,

would escape me by pint

numero dos -

when I too would wander up

to the bar &

see the rare smile

on the landlady’s face

as I’d hand her back

her money &

ask for another pint,


accompanying it with



Roasted Peanuts

from behind the bar -

as it was payday

after all.

"Soaring Birds Haiku" by Gwil James Thomas

Opulent freedoms -

even shitting on people

brings the strangest luck.