Poetry Corner: Vaping

By Bernie Bell

I might get into bother for this – I’m not encouraging people to smoke!  It’s just an observation.  We were speaking with someone, recently, who used to smoke rollies, and it was clear that making the ciggie and ‘playing with’ the ciggie, had helped with his thought processes. Now, he took out the tube, one swift toke on it – not the same.

Anyhoo – an observation.  As someone with asthma, the smoking ban has been a boon to me, socially, but, there is something about the process involved with a rollie.


He’s taken to vaping.

It used to be rollies.

If he was thinking

If he wasn’t sure –

Needed something

To cut through

To surety.


Now, it’s a metal tube

A quick toke, and that’s that.


The process has gone

The rolling, thinking

Toking, speaking.


There’s a difference




But – all wrong – I know

But – there’s something about………

The way a person holds

Plays with


A cigarette – especially –

Toking on a rollie.

tobacco tin and roll ups Bernie Bell



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3 replies »

  1. Does anyone remember the ‘Rizla’ game? Each game has a theme, let’s say – film stars. You get a Rizla – write the name of a film star on it, then each person licks the sticky strip on the Rizla, and sticks it on the next person’s forehead. Then, each person has to ask questions, to try to work out who they are. There’s usually a limit on the number of questions, or it would get silly!
    It can be particularly good, if the name doesn’t fit the person at all – say if I was …Greta Garbo – a cool beauty – known for not saying much!
    We made our own fun, in those days.

  2. In those cultured, sophisticated circles (I jest) known as “Doon Sooth”, we call this game, “Who Am I?”, and we play it with good old-fashioned Post-It Notes. Rizla papers sound sooooo much better – and less likely to fall off too 🙂

  3. Well, I must admit – back in the day – my friends were more likely to have Rizlas handy, than post-it notes. In fact – I’m not sure if post-it notes had been invented!

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