A man-made day

There’s a man-made day
It’s a layer over the truth
It’s as deep as the grave
With fire for a roof

It slots in nicely
Between two trees
Its water is blood
Its mouth is made of cheese

There’s a man-made day
As false as plastic
As unique as
False teeth
Made to be fantastic

It’s a car park graveyard
For a forgotten king
It’s a satellite photo
Of a mass slaughtering
And everyone alive
Passes through

Well you need a bridge of gold
You need a bridge of love
To get over it
To avoid the demented day
Of mankind’s making

There’s a man-made day
Like a vacuum in a tin
They open up the lid
To see what’s caught within

Lady caterpillar man
With six legs and a beak
She used to work in the betting shop
Because she was a freak

She’s looking for the ladder
To fly up to the cloud
There she changes colour
There she’ll be very loud

man-made day
In the year

Well someone says
There are many ways
To be trapped
In a man-made day

All the water is taken by the city

Like water
Under a tree
In the desert
There’s never
To be free

It seems
All the water
Is drained away
To feed
The hungry

The birds
They fly
To the rooftops
The lizards
Crawl there

There’s never
Enough water
In the desert
I’m the only tree
That grows here too

Well how
Can you expect me
To flower?
How can you expect me
To bear fruit?
When all the waters
Taken by the city
All the water’s
Taken from my roots

The desert is thirsty
For water
The sun shakes a finger
And says no

All the water’s taken
By the city
And I
I have nowhere else to go

Say goodbye to the blues

Say goodbye to the blues
Say hello to life
Maybe you found the clues
Maybe the keys were a knife

Say goodbye to the blues
Perhaps there’s no way out
Say goodbye to the blues
There are so many layers of pain and doubt

I see the big long car
Carrying you along
I said goodbye to the blues
I said goodbye to your song

Say goodbye to the blue
The pollution in your soul
The only thing the land ever gave you
Was a deep dark hole

Well the worms will keep you company
But for me, I can’t decide
Is it better to be buried
Or burnt into the sky
Into the sky

Say goodbye to the blues
All your hurt is done
Life has unshackled its chains on you
The devil finally won

Say goodbye to the blues
Wave goodbye as they leave an are gone
I believe they are leaving you now
For some other one

I’ll keep reading you

I’ll keep reading you
Till the stars all are gone
I’ll keep reading you
Because you’re the one
I’ve saved all your letters
They clothe me and feed me
And though I have lost you
The words are now
Part of me
So I’ll keep on reading you
I’ll keep on reading

Well I first saw your words
In a bookshop
And I had to pick them up
Between the thumb and forefinger
Like a litter of pups
They scampered and they whinnied
They rolled their big round eyes
They spoke words
I’ll remember
All my life
Oh yes
I’ll keep on reading you

I’ll keep on reading you
I’ll open up your heart
I’ll open up your inner self
I never will depart
And I’ll race through the pages
Just like I always do
Yes I’ll keep on reading
Keep on loving

Here is where I got the idea for this poem: spacetimebae.wordpress.com/2019/12/13/alive-again/
i will be reading you



Cake Boxes

In cake boxes
And inside
There are six poems
In a plastic tray
And six poems
Have six faces
With six expressions
And silent voices
Waiting to be sold
Or given away
In a sale of the day
End of the year
Through a thousand fears
And tears
On the supermarket shelf
Of life’s
Production line

The docklands street trader

I was sitting drinking tea
Which was all I’ve done all-day
When I heard a distant street trading man
I wonder – what did he say?

“Allbarkannoy, Allbarkannoy”

It would be nice to go and find him
To see just what he sells
I’d love to eat something nice
Strange, exotic, sweet smells

But the trades cry disappeared
Like a man who drowned in air
A man who pulled the wind on wheels
A man who was not there

Allbarkannoy, he called, allbarkannoy
Just what he was selling
I couldn’t tell from his cry

But maybe I’d mistaken him
For a man adrift at sea
Who’s just sighted land at last
And called out to me

Allbarkannoy, he called allbarkannoy

The words drifted on the wind
In a twilight zone
I wandered around my flat
Until I felt alone

While pulling a wagon made of wind
On wheels that rolled on water
A sailor trading with the sky
His mermaid for your daughter

Allbarkannoy, I heard him calling in my ear
But when I looked to find him
He’d simply disappeared

21 April

Her heart lies amongst leaves

Her heart lies amongst leaves
Her green heart
Breathing and beating.

Her heart falls with the leaves
Her blue heart
Sleeping in snowdrifts.

Her heart, scented with pine
Is evergreen like true love
Her heart scented by lilacs
Is cooed to by Turtle Doves

So many hearts hang on so many trees
One falls for you, one falls for me

Her heart is pierced by sharp pine needles
The pine cone tells of cold weather
She hangs up there on her torture tree
For ever and forever

Her heart beats where leaves breath
Her heart beats where midges weave
A spark of love flies from leaf to leaf

No rain from heaven can stop this grief
The tree turns red the flames dance
Higher and higher in Autumn trance

17 April

I wish I had a buffalo boat

I wish I had a buffalo boat
To sail upon your fingernail
Where bees swim in buzzing shoals
Behind the grim reaper

I wish I had an antelope plane
To fly in your dreaming eye
Where emigrating turtles fly
Behind the pale horse rider

I wish I had a cobra car
To drive into your tear-ducts
Where grasshoppers jump like starfish
Behind the two-edged sword

I wish I had an albatross train
To race upon a floating face
Where you sit upon the seat
Behind the golden stallion

That lonely and emaciated cat

That lonely and emaciated cat
That used to wait for me to return
With its eyes so sorrowful
Afraid I’d gone for good
Purring immediately I stepped indoors
With my luggage bag
Following me everywhere I went
As I unpacked and made some tea
Not so much the food he wanted
As some attention from me

One week I returned home to find
He’d pined away unfed
His fur as thick as muddy grass
His bones like wooden beads
With the food I left out for him
Untouched stuck together like glue
How he found the strength to purr
That I never knew, and my friends
Would never have the time
To drop by to care for him
Yet still he stayed a cat of mine


Suddenly the country is filled with stanzas
manufactured in Birmingham.
Standardised components
of poems fitting together.
I’ve seen stanzas made of red brick
singing to themselves by the roadside.

There are stanzas dressed in khaki
with tin hats stamping their feet
to brass bands going round and round.
There are stanzas made of steel
that use petrol and water
like multicoloured necklaces
honking in rush-hour motorways.
There are stanzas that are all painted different
that form a collection
Walking along brightly lit catwalks
to rhythmical chanting cadenzas

Stanzas as old as the world is
of many different species
hooting, howling and growling
in coats of many colours.

Mario Stanza is living with me
He’s Zebra striped, he eats oranges whole
He sings Italian opera like a cavalry officer
on the Icelandic frontier.
In the bathroom
when the moon comes on her balcony
he recites romantic verse
and makes flowers grow in her garden.
And when the summer evenings come
he sings like a nightingale.
He sleeps on a flying carpet curled up in his many legs
and makes brass bed knobs for a living
and sells them from a stall by the sea

Mario Stanza is busy tomorrow
but if you call before tea
he will make a date to write a poem for you
that is after he’s wrote a poem for me.

Professor Stanza
lives in a Twinning’s’ tea caddy in Harley Street
Wears a tea cosy with a large pink tie
Studies the secrets of your mind
Understands dreams and the thoughts of the heart
Escorts his umbrella to the theatre
or they go for a walk in the park
feeding the ducks on the Serpentine
They kiss and cuddle after dark
His umbrella of course is his secretary
who keeps him dry in the rain
and hails down a taxi for clients
whose poetry is going insane.

Professor Stanza gives prescriptions
analysis, hypnosis and love
and writes deep psychological poems
in a hand always covered by gloves
and sings to his patients in Gujarati
when they are under sedation
but he’s at his best at a party
where he recites poems
on transcendental meditation.

Little Millie Stanza lives on a horse ranch
does her detention hanging from a branch
reciting backwards her A.B.C.
until it’s time to come down from her tree
She sleeps in a suitcase full of nursery rhymes
and recites verse at barbecues for nickels and dimes

Little Mini Stanza her sister is little but compact
her two stroke cylinder engine
is best run on the book of Milligan’s facts
She loves to go shopping or to visit her aunt
where she does a duet with her aunts rubber plant
who makes up limericks and sets them free
from mini Stanzas boot to the Irish sea

Stanza Zapata is looking much flatter
since the revolution of 42
when his verse ignited the jungle fighting
with guerrillas who came from Crewe
He slept in the ashes of dots and dashes
and crossed his t’s with a dagger
he drank tequila and cheated the card dealer
then from the cantina would stagger
whooping Viva! Viva! Stanza Zapata

Then there’s the third Reich vision
To form a stanza division
To conquer the earth for their Feurer
To make poetry purer
But they come up against the vernacular
Of poems at midnight by Dracula
And so the Aryan races
Had the blood drained from their faces

Harmonica Stanza goes to the dance
where she plays her music backwards
The sonnets die laughing
to see her wooden leg
tapping to the rhythm
on the old oaken floor

The missing stanzas of Shakespeare
live under water in lake Windermere
where poet laureates go to find inspiration
staying underwater overnight
composing poems for the nation

Then there’s Cheryl Stanza
who stands on her hands-a
Juggling pots and pansies
as she rhymes all of her fancies
poems melodramatic
about murderers who live in the attic
then she does a cartwheel
and an act with a performing seal

There’s also Stan the man with his stanza plan
to recite heroic sagas
while drinking pints of lagers
it was always his life’s mission
to speak in this tradition
but he never gets very far
for he falls asleep at the bar

Stanzas spoken in Spain
cannot stand the strain
of senoritas sorrowful soliloquies
or sad sonnets to the birds and the bees
Stanzas written for panthers
have to pass rigorous standards
for the board of control are all pandas
who think stanzas for panthers is dangerous

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