Sitting by the Window

Sitting by the window
I saw something fall
Looked out the window
Baby bird on the floor
Lying on his back
Writhing in agony
Fallen from the rooftop
Just learning to live
Couldn’t use its wings
Fell four stories
Hear the mother sing
She flies into the garden
Squawking now
Kicking up a fuss
Over her lost baby
I go out to investigate
Baby bird is dying
Must have broken things inside
Must have hurt its head
Then it dies
I move it to a grassy place
Somewhere out of sight
Don’t know what else to do
To help in this sad light
Suddenly feeling sad inside
As the mother bird returns
Squawking like a crazy thing
Mother bird can’t you learn
What happened to our fledgling?
That caused it to take a fall
Still you seem to expect an answer
To your harassed call
But your baby bird is gone
Your baby bird is dead
The fall caused it injury
Maybe hurt its head
Now I’m thinking of my mother
Calling in the night
Her words in the stillness
That made my face turn white
That made my heart break
With tears I had to hide
Calling me out of nowhere
About the hour she died
Now the mother bird has flown
Darted into the sky
She’s given up her baby
She doesn’t ask why
She flew away forever
To forget her baby boy
She’s given up her fledgling
She’s flown up to the sky

The lies of war

Here is Love Street
Here is adoration Circus
Here is the Blue Eye Allotment
Here is Blue River cottage

Here is Pink Cop Police Station
Here is Paradise Park

Here is The Bouncing Cat Library
Here is the Crossed Bamboo Crossroads

Here is Blueberry Avenue
Here is Apple Tree Car Park

Here is the Blue Tulip Pub
Here is The Red Admiral Cemetery

Places that I’ve mapped out in my imagination
Places destroyed by war

In my imagination I have created Dodo Town
To commensurate with the extinction of the Dodo

In my imagination I have created the Mammoth Field
In order to commensurate with the extinction by hunting of the fabulous Mammoth

Yet here is Churchill Place, Here is Nelsons column
What did they ever do to save anything from extinction?

Guns and bombs and bayonets, death and destruction
That’s all they ever did, how is that beautiful?

The narration is a great big land

The narration is a great big land
Where time takes the past away
Like old skin peeling from the earth
Where the moon buries itself like a sand beetle

If you look for the reasons why you feel isolated
Your search will never end until you die
Like the shadow that came out in the sunrise
It doesn’t know where light begins and darkness ends
Like life running through the cedar trees to the cost
The waves are too quick for the shadows to survive very long

My fingers are joined to the keyboard

My fingers are joined to the keyboard
As if like connections in a telephone exchange

I can’t tell if they are part plastic and metal
Or if the keyboard is made of flesh

The keyboard is a shackle for my hands
Or the stocks where the fools hands are clamped inside

They once I wrote with one hand on paper
It was a dancing hand like an Italian wind in a vineyard

I could make it fly like a bird searching for another hand to hold

But ahead of me the scrapyard robot grapples another human typewriter
Where modern writers are sent at the end of their usefulness

The father of death

You took away my passport; it was the only passport that I needed in life
The passport to love

Every living thing is born with this passport
It’s the piece of life that beats the heart like a hand a bounces a rubber ball

It was evening there was a lake red sun waiting for the drinking to begin
There were silhouettes against the sun’s rays like a merry-go-round

I was waiting to open another secret letter
And inside would be some silver animals about to come alive

But like all passport controllers at the border
You didn’t want this immigrant to love you

So you had the pterodactyls fly in and take it away

Selfish bully, where could you go that I wouldn’t find you
Down among the roses as life turned to death

I was afraid of reaching this age

I was afraid of reaching this age
I was told it’s when you start dying.

With so many things unsaid, in my head, in my heart, torn apart
I was afraid time would stampede, crying

Before I could sort out what needs to be said
About the world that’s been lying

Lying about love, life and death
Lying without even trying.

It’s been my fear that the pictures in my heart
The works in my soul, the loneliness of my mind

Would be cut short by this stressful life

Halleluiah, Britannia

Here in my isolation with my broken tattooed mind
Across the road from paradise with the love I’m trying to find
I see the marriage in Cana from the stop across the street
As if time itself had hit me in my drowning broken teeth.

Yes and England, you’re a long way down the road
Way ahead with your windows on the shoulders of the poor
Your rolling stock don’t pass this way no more
And I stand here on this crossroads screaming floor.

I’m looking up to heaven I suppose that’s what it is
I’m seeing the kind of vision that your grandfather slept with
Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at your shore
But you cling to the economy and to war.

I pick up my right foot I leave the wedding songs behind
I pick up my left foot and go where England cannot find
The guests of the party dancing or the miraculous vats of wine
Across the road in another patch of time.

Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at your shore
But you cling to economy and to war.

Yes and Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at your shore
You struggle to survive the world’s fast-changing law
While the song thrush sings bravely on your highest telephone wire.
The jet plane comes screaming through broken cathedral spire.

Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at your shore
But you cannot follow those ancient feet no more.

2004

Cats they like to see you cry

Cats they like to see you cry
But beneath their fur a great big grin
They look at you with two big eyes
And break your heart with sad meows

And when they see you sit and cry
They come and purr upon your lap
“I didn’t mean it”, they seem to say
And then they run outdoors to play

I’ve never seen a reporter hug a loser

It’s peculiar how people starved of affection seem to group together like bumping cars in a fairground.

If something affects one of them they all suffer – in silence. Have you seen them walking along the street. If one walks slowly they all walk slowly in a sympathetic empathy. They hate to walk too fast with such a weight of unburdened tears in case they spill some and a stiff upper-lipper reprimand them.

Soldiers on poppy day selling plastic poppies for lapels. Their brotherhood. Their grief, their pide. They are the most well trained, fittest, intelligent soldiers the world has ever seen. As a group, they try to control their feelings, from each other, from the world. and they do fine until they don’t do fine.

Animals might group together for the same reasons. They share a common fear, a common trauma, a common need for affection, for self-expression, for self-defence.

Children grouped together in the playground make their beautiful noise, oblivious of thought or feeling. Instant spirits. When one starts to shout they all start to shout. A healing bond group that new arrivals soon belong to. But yes, if a child has a problem that is too big for its head it withdraws and gets isolated and stays isolated – like I was many times. Because emotion is a language that is not used by their parents and professional help comes in the shape of mental health officers and social workers who separate, coldly, their experiences into documents.

I look into my brain with my mind. I have done so since I was born. At first, there was nothing in my brain and now there’s too much. But my brain works overtime at storing information; preparing, cleaning and storing.

Mental health professionals seem to think that the brain is the soul and also that to drug the brain will calm traumatic feelings. Humpty Dumpty because he felt grumpy was sedated and put to bed. Then came a white spider that sat down beside him and filled his brain with Med.

There’s a group of footballers who just lost a game. Like an ambulance full of analysts the reporters dump serious, accusative questions on them.

I’ve never seen a loser embraced by a reporter.

Never Steal The Eggs Of An Eagle

Never steal the eggs of an eagle
Never steal the eggs of a golden eagle
For the eggs are precious and very rare
and the parents don’t forget you
They follow you from the clouds
and they wait until the night
To repay you an eye for an eye

So never steal the eggs of an eagle
Never steal the eggs of a golden eagle
For they fly to you in the night
and they repay you an eye for an eye
They watch you in the night
and they watch you where you lay
Then they come in the night
and they take your baby away

wake up and smell the humans

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