Phoebe

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Just before I wake up, dream mother finds me in shreds
She patches me up and I wake up, look into the morning mirror
My reflection disappears down the Yellow Brick Road.

Dream mother opens her trumpet mouth
She blasts all the Blue Meanies with her ships horn
A flag stick out of her mouth and undulates in a dream wind.

Dream mother is a life-size cutout in a travelling circus
She stands in the Technicolour dream with a faded identity.
Let us walk down the yellow brick road into reality
Where you leave me standing at your headstone.

It was everything you ever wanted
All the woodland animals were in your hair.
You came to life in a television comedy;
Your dream mother made it all come true.

But after thanksgiving she was lost
Somewhere in the back streets of Bombay.

Blood Made Gold

When human warmth is normal
The full hue
When you walk into
The room of a close family
Their smells
Cover you in
Blood made gold

A blessed family
A home of human warmth
How their lives
Have relaxed into harmony
When every surface is alive
With layers of breath-touch-love
Reapplied daily
Burnished
Like blood made gold

This human tenderness
Fashioned into manifold affections
That paint the room
That watercolour the air
That sing a gentle lullaby
Of activity
Where relationship
Combines a hive, a nest, a den
Into a womb
Of blood made gold

How the beauty of the home
Is overwhelming
When it works
To fill your needs
When it grows quietly
Like a summer meadow
Between their lips
How different life is
For its family
Who lie for an eternity
A life of blood made gold

June 2019

Venus and Mars

I have to stay up “till midnight”
You will be asleep by then –
Then the watchman leaves into the streets
Overlooked by Venus sparkling over the city.

Midnight is a long time away now
As far as the North Pole in winter
Where the giant clockwork machine turns the universe
That ploughs through the fields, tuning up bones and larks eggs.

After two years of seeing each other you ask
1. Is there more to life than love?
2. Lets play hide and seek with the stars.

Sleep draining sleep; until Venus strikes her bell.
Dream of me as the thin wooden man on the battlefield
Struggling with the red eyes of Mars in the shadows.

Sleep, darling, sleep safe in your soft bed
While Venus sparkles above you – unforgetfull of this hope . . .

The Child likes to go Scouting

The child likes to go scouting for the wagon train that appears on television and he runs through the barley field on a pale horse terrified of the grim reaper who stands at the foot of an oak tree as the child plays in it’s branches.

scout 1

The child likes to trudge through the snow that covers him up to his knees as he sits at his desk in school as the bombardment of Israel begins and fills the classroom with white lights as the headmaster straps his hands. Then the child rolls through the math’s class inside the shoe of a nightmare.

scout 2

The child likes to explore the Lane where man has hardly walked before. He finds a playground where no child has ever played. The roundabouts are slow in the wind. The swings chain imprisons outlaws as bullies are buried in a grassy tomb on the edge of the land as the world ends.

scout 4

The child discovers a girlfriend who smells of butter and sunlight. He looses her in the mouth of a joke that opens a world he can’t see in where St. Mathew walks on an abyss taking pocket money for a Mars Bar.

The child is drawn to a football game played by the big boys for life. He scores a goal in the teacher’s mouth and is chased down the street by a big dog as the Black Hand gang wait by the garages he follows the whistle of a ghost train that draws a stick along the iron fence as he walks over the dead crows in Bird Cage Walk.

The child has discovered a Sunday school where he can only have one eye. He becomes a hurricane of games as the night puts a hood on his head and he dreams of a terrifying dragon that spits cement into his mouth and locks him up in a council house.

 

The child likes to scare his mother by leaping out from a cupboard as she returns home from her work painting. She paints Robins for Christmas Cakes, and she keeps them in a big drawer, it’s too big and too high up to open, while Job talks to Jeremiah in the night sky, his mouth fills up with vinegar.

The child doesn’t know he has grown, he finds himself in a Youth Club, where Motown lights fall on the dance floor, in his clothes that shrink tightly around him and blisters on his feet from the shoes that are always too small for him. The world opens its mouth like a fish and he sees Jonah in its belly.

Your love is a crystal waterline –

Introduction

Your love is a crystal waterline by a warm, sandy golden beach where the sun mingles with the ocean breeze and the fruits of the jungle roll into pools of water.
Your love is the mystery of an African summer set free as a bird on the Caribbean wind. Your brown body is as intoxicating as the mixed wine of Lisbon.

Your passions suddenly rise like the hurricane winds of the Caribbean and sweep across the islands in a blind fury of passionate ardour, devastating the fields of slave traders, throwing the Spanish treasures ships against tidal waves; broken by your whirlwind, freeing their cargoes of spices into the hot summer air. Oh to be in the
eye of you’re passionate hurricane and to be carried out to sea in your amorous storms.

The equatorial heat of your hands in mine causes earthquakes in my deepest soulful depths; undersea volcanoes erupt and give birth to new islands, paradises, filled with new creations, strange birds and wild animal calls, new scented flowers and new fruits to delight the palettes of sea-admirals in search of bounty.

Oh, my Barbados beauty, a shoal of dolphins are your limbs against mine and deep coloured jewels of coral are your words of love. Your body is like the date palms swaying over the lagoons of love.

Oh, my love, your virtue is like the wardrobes of Carib Princesses’ concealed in jungle pyramids until love finds its way to your secret doors, doors of strong metals, heavy to open, laden with gold plate, silver and jeweled, with mysterious ancient secret writing telling of El Dorado, the land of gold. The secrets of which you have promised to tell on the day you are wed, to give with hugs and kisses to the one you love.

Oh my love, you pour love into my cup like a mountain waterfall of pure mineral water and never ending stream of refreshment are your ways flowing into mine. My love for you is as constant as the sun of equatorial African lands, as glowing as the sunsets of Caribbean islands. As joyous as the lovebirds of isolated Caribbean islands that having never
known hunger. As deep as the trenches of ocean floors where fire and water are married and deep-sea light fish glow in the dark waters.

Your love like the fermentation of mixed fruits blended by victualers and served at marriage feasts. Like the water turned into the best wine and saved until last, that is the miracle of your love, the blessing you are.

I. The debts of winter

The debts of winter chain me to the sun.
Slave to the fire in the big blue sky.
The debts of tears, fix me like a sundial,
That shadows encircle all through summer.

A sun too far – I am frozen to death!
A sun too near – I turn to sand!
Oh to close the door and walk down the steps
To walk away from tears, to walk away from debts.

II. Staring at the sun

Staring at the sun
There’s no buying and no selling
There’s no trying and no telling
There’s no export and no import
There’s no exchange and nothing’s bought

There’s no exchange
You’re a victim of the rage
There’s no exchange
So you have to disengage
Staring at the sun
There’s no rifle and no gun
There’s no betting and nothing’s won
There’s no sadness and no fun
There’s no running and no where to run

There’s no ransom
You’re on trial for your life
There’s no ransom
When you’re staring at the sun

III. In love I learnt all about you

In love I learnt all about you
When love faded into friendship
The abundant knowledge was wasted
But I have learnt the lesson
That passionate love explores

In partnership with the sun
You remain my secondary light of night
The tides of my heart are dangerously tidal
For I have learnt the lesson
That passionate love explores

In partnership with the moon
I circle the lonely ocean tides
I fill the darkened night
I plumb the ocean depth
For I have learned the lesson
That passionate love explores

IV. Are we still friends?

Are we still friends? Are we still enemies?
Enemies of the love We did not sustain
Betrayers of passion Lovers of friendship
With feelings of guilt Over loves lost pain

So now stand and face the blinding sun
And truthfully say to a lost loved one
That we will still be friends
When the sun is no more

V. Her warmth is better than the suns

Her warmth is better than the suns
But as with a rose I hold a thorn
But as with a snake I’m bitten.

In a dream she’s floating in a tree
Branches like a windows broken pane
From hunter to victim she succumbs
Keeping her wide eyes upon me.

Hungry – she needs consoling,
Her disguise exchanged for love.
Tomorrow?
She’s been too hurt to say
What tomorrow wants from yesterday.

VI. I like to humiliate men

I like to humiliate men
I like to see them crying,
I blame men for living,
I blame men for dying.

This picture, who could foresee?
A woman who humiliates me,
She calls it – a game of tease
And brings me down, to my knees.

I am a grand defender on a wall.
He is the weak attacker on the floor.
There is a note of sarcasm in my call,
As to my door he crawls.

I am a woman who likes to humiliates men
By blackmail, love, so who can mend?
What experience taught me so?
To love, to hurt with body blow.

I’m a well-defended territory.
Taunting my imagined enemy,
Yet in the nights of loneliness
Beats a lost and lonely heart.

If only I could cast away
Those past losses, cruel lies.
Fighting for my pride is good
But as a lover I cry and cry…

VII. A feral pigeon was crushed today

A feral pigeon was crushed today under an aggressive tyre
(So I’ve died a little today), its feathers are its shroud.
If its wings could rise and fly to take that body into the sky;
If imagination could rejuvenate the love that was crushed today.

If, instead of dying – living! Love was brought back to life!
Alas only common sense and skill Can deflect the bloodstained knife.
Merely a cloud passing by like my thoughts unclear.
Loneliness returns in the guise of heat hazed anviled air.
Like a passing stranger how she changes in front of me
From a living love within – to an escaped born vision.

I loved her when she was a part of me; I loved her when I was part of her,
But like two distant feral birds we separate untouchable.
Upon a half travelled road she stopped and never was the same again,
Like the end of a hurricane our love affair blew over.
Like the feral pigeon crushed under the wheels of an aggressive car,
Red and crushed and mangled in a shroud of feathers.

What if those feathers still could fly? And took the body into the sky.
What if the heart still could love? And live again for evermore.

VIII. What I feel

What I feel falls into mists.
What I want is hidden in the mists.
Like a baby In swirling mists
I search for you In deepening mists.

Mists – Have the face of sorrow,
Mists – Have the heart of tomorrow.
Mists – Don’t remember the way
Through the mists of yesterday.

IX. The total commitment of her soul

Is eclipsed by the hunger of her hurt!
That men cared,
that men cannot mend;
What time writes,
time forgets to erase.

Time – be gone,
Time don’t ruin loves eternity.
Time – die;
time – cease,
Let lovers like her be free.

Time, stop! Stop your careless game!
Time, end! End your mindless search!
Time, finish! As of now, stop!
Love, your understudy, must have your part.

X. Clothed in the haze of the moon

Clothed in the haze of the moon
Fed by the light of the sun
Loved by the remnant of stars
Remembered by the eternal one

Oh to be like one of those ones
The stones of new creation
Oh to be like one of those
With pure hearts, strong hands, fair faces.

XI. There are gods who do good

There are gods who do good for the good that is done
There are gods who revile the goodness of one
There are gods who repay with more than just dreams
There are gods who will kill you as the payment agreed

So for the good deeds that you have done
Be sure they are sold to the honest one
And never reveal the secret you hold
For fear you’re betrayed by the hearts that are cold

XII. They have grown with her as their protector

They have grown with her as their protector
They will not let her go
Now they keep her captive
To make safe their conquered home

The children’s darkness is slow to fade
From their mothers life
Dependent on her, she becomes their slave
Always the mother, never the wife

All the others that love her so
Are turned away like dragons
And if she grows to love someone
She feels as if she’s in the wrong

Pride taught her to be strong
Produced immense courage amid
Loneliness she could not resolve
As she fought to rear her kids

They’ve grown up around her
Like a fortress wall
The children subdue the parent
While they grow up tall

She struggles to be free of them
To find a life of her own again
But walls are hard to break down
With children’s darkness all around

We’re trapped by what others do to us
And no one seems to see
We’re trapped by what others do to us
They stop us being free

Aug 25 95

XIII. OF ALL THE THINGS TO KEEP OF ME

Of all the things to keep of me
You keep my front door key
You have a gift for comedy
You keep my front door key

With a sixth sense you sneak in
When I am not at home
Desperate for privacy
To sit inside alone

My caricature you like to draw
Always makes me smile
A bittersweet kind of treat
Humour in my trial

I know you keep it secret
The engagement ring I gave
Among the glass and plastic
Something worthwhile saved

That and what you think of me
That and my front door key
An insurance against the slavery
To come and go invisibly

You like to keep me laughing
As my heart you break
To catch me off my guard maybe
To look for hidden mistakes

Laughing at our break-up?
But my mocked heart bleeds
To hear the fumbling in a lock
Of those front door keys

Fri Sept 22 95

XIV. I wrote to a loved one

I wrote to a loved one
“My heat belongs to you”
Like a bundle of swag
She took it and vanished

What do women do?
With all the hearts of men who fell for them
Keep them in their jewelry boxes?
Pile them up in their wardrobes?
(They overflow their dresser draws)

Hearts – materialistic keepsakes!
– Collectibles for kleptomaniacs
Women with hearts are like squirrels with nuts

Hearts are nothing to believe in
Give and take at our peril
If they beat – it’s just a clinical fact
And nothing to do with feelings

Hearts are bought and sold for love
Isn’t it a shame
Who will wipe away the tears?
Where you carve her name

XV. A LITTLE BIT OF ME

A little bit of me seemed empty
When I was going out with you
– It was my heart

You felt, to me, like a stray thing
That couldn’t trust a man

A little bit of me became empty
When you came round
– like a crime scene, taped off
It was my heart

But now and then, in fun
You’d smile and hug me tight with happy eyes
Then that little bit of me was happy for a while

I tried to make you comfortable
I tried to make you see
What had happened inside of me

But you were molded in the image
Of the things you had suffered and seen
Though my love was true
You still projected them onto me

So a little bit of me seemed empty
When I was left alone by you
It was my heart

Oct 8th 95

XVI. THERE IS A HOUSE WHERE NO-ONE SEEMS TO LIVE

There is a house where no-one seems to live
There is a home where no-one seems to dream
People stop and wonder who lives there
As nights grow shorter in the autumn air

There is a house where no-one seems to be
Yet in that house, there is one – there is me
A house where no visitors appear
A home that seems empty all the year

There is a house that grows dark every night
There is a home that seems ignored by life
Inside, it is cared for just about
Inside you hear the silence from without

Oct 12 95

XVIII. I SPEND ANOTHER DAY INDOORS

I spend another day indoors
As something grows inside me
I close the curtains and lock the doors
So no one can define me.

I lie down and dream all day
Thinking of a name,
At high noon as children play
The problems still the same.

I want a good name for my son
And the best I know by far –
I’ll call him Gary – after Cooper
My favourite film star.

I’ll spend another day indoors
As something grows inside me.
I’ll close the curtains and lock the doors
So no one can define me.

Somehow I must plan ahead,
Somehow I must prepare,
Someday I’ll meet another one
Who’ll treat me a lot more fair

I’ll keep this hope alive inside
To blaze unending fire.
Meanwhile, I’ll act wisely
Til’ a true love I acquire.

I’ll spend another day indoors
As someone grows inside me
I’ll close the curtains and lock the doors
And dream of things that might have been
and dream and dream and dream and dream

27 Oct 95

Epping Forest

This is not a poem
but a picture that I see
of our trip to find a forest
but a sign we did not see;
but I did see a chaffinch
singing in the tree.

trip to see epping forest
Arriving in Epping

This is a road map
with the northern track
that continued into distant green
across the expanding green;
each road we tried in turn
returned us to our dream.

pencil drawing
A trip to find Epping Forest

And this, a picture of you
adamant to tell
was it under Bower Hill
where the horizon fell.
While I ask a stranger
walking through a door
where is Epping forest
but he wasn’t sure.
We climbed up Station Hill
searching for the town
finding a little bakery
where we settled down.

trip to see epping forest
asking for directions

Conversing with two ladies
waiting for a bus,
they had passed it recently
in a kind of rush.
Behind where you were sitting
a mirror on a wall
catching my reflection
in the shadows growing tall.
Slouching in your chair
engaged in conversation
we’re looking for Epping Forest
we came via Epping station?20190629_164839~2.jpg

 

Song: I’m not your Wicker Man

I’m not your wicker man

Please click on to see song sheet click below to hear MP3

I’m not your wicker man,
I’m not your wicker man
Get me out of your fire / get me out of your flame
I’m not your sacrifice / I’m not in your pagan game

I’m not a wicker man,
I’m not a wicker man
I’m not burning in your sky / for what I don’t understand
I’m not burning in your fire / I’m not burning in desire
I’m not a wicker man,
I’m not a wicker man
If you think I’ll follow / where ever you may go
That is just so hollow / so I’ll just answer no

I’m not your wicker man
I’m not your wicker man
Dancing in your circle / not dancing in your night
You think you got me spellbound / you think you are my light

I ‘m not your wicker man,
I’m not your wicker man
You think you got it covered / but you don’t understand
I’ve tried to find the way / to your heart girl

I’m not your wicker man;
I’m not your wicker man
I’m no nature lover / that wants to hold your hand
Don’t confuse don’t choose me / for your flames girl

For Carolyn who died in May

Carolyn died in May
One-step away from the summer

Now her little bones
Sleep in the morgue

The little birds are singing
But there are fears for their existence

She died on the day when the UN
Published its report on the extinction of the species

Darwinian to the death, the world stumbles on
Without the wisdom of Carolyn

For extinction read eviction
For as like Carolyn, the world evicts the weak

Even though she was loud and angry
A little one like her could not survive
Against the fittest with only her wits

Or her nephew who took her home away
And cold heartedly evicted her out into the streets,
A poor old lady in her eighties

Carolyn is gone and with her I believe
The black birds carry her body to a stream

The fish will swim with her to the ocean
And the dolphins will commit her to memory

While as armed as a rainforest
The trees will scream into battle
Against the plague of men

We try to say we will see Carolyn again
in spite of science and political compliance

There will be a house readymade waiting
And a husband to welcome her home

20190608_115632-1
Carolyn when she was living in a London squat.

Carolyn Merrion was from Pennsylvania, USA she moved to England and worked as a librarian. She was also volunteer in the labour office in Bethnal Green, she loved the early Labour pioneers of the social care system.

She was the partner of Claude and they lived in a house in Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green. Because they were not legally married her nephew was legally able to evict her from her house when Claude died and she became homeless for three or four years, she was in her eighties.

After a serious fall she disappeared into the Care Home system for eight or so years, where, because they did not know she was a vegetarian, she seemed to waste away. We found out where she was and went to visit her and sadly a week later she tragically died. She had no funeral service as far as we know and she seemed to disappear once again into the system, this time for good.

 

 

Lyrics: The Star Stops over Beth-le’hem

All the time in the world
won’t let you be a star
All the dreams that you have
Don’t take you very far
And the bridge on the Tiber
Is filled by angels
And the jungle of the Niger
With found lost sandals

And the star has stopped over Beth-le’hem
And the star has stopped over Beth-le’hem

All the money in the bank
Cannot make you richer than you are
All the diamonds in the mine
Can’t add to the beauty in your heart
All the plans that you make
Divide the love you know
And all the hills that you climb
Makes the rain fall very slow
And the star has stopped over Beth-le’hem
And the star has stopped over Beth-le’hem

All your childhoods are gone
What remains is the moon
All your teenage love
Is narrowed down to a tune
At the crossroads
you turn into a scarecrow
On the ocean you dive down
into the endless depth
And the lake in the hills
is crying all alone
And the bird in the sky
forgets how far it’s flown
And the star stops now over Beth-le’hem
And the star stops over Beth-le’hem tonight

And the parents that you knew
Are in your distant past
And the home that you had
Really didn’t last
And the mountains that rock Australia
Are missing their storm of regalia

And the star stops for now over Beth-le’hem
And while the star stop for now over Beth-le’hem
You must somehow begin again