October came in Oran

October came in Oran
And the sun was beating down
Doctor Rieux was working hard
In the plague-ridden town

Orthan’s son had fallen ill
And went into quarantine
Mother and father stood bedside
The plague was now extreme

The little boy lay prostrate
His mother’s face was pale
A hander kerchief across her mouth
The boy was looking frail

You must get your things together
You know how these things are
We’ll take him to the hospital
It isn’t very far

The boy had no resistance
His limps were clogged with pain
Obviously, it was a losing fight
The plague it must be tamed

They took him the concoction
The first test case they’d done
To see if the serum
Would put it on the run

The notaries were observing
The serum under trial
They sat by his bedside
With the serums vial

Now the night came falling
The boy gritted his teeth
The observers sat there hopeful
Hanging by their belief

The boy went into spasms
The tremors took a hold
Through the night in agonies
His body getting cold

Until every bit of strength was gone
But still, the boy fought back
But the storm-wind of the fevers
Gave the boy no slack

Then came a lull
The fever seemed to recede
Had the serum done its work
Did the plague ow leave

The fiery wave of death returned
The boy curled up and cried
He tossed his blankets from him
And closed his eyes and died

His suffering now over
The doctor bowed his head
The priest gave a sermon
The little boy lay dead

Condensed from Part 4, book 3, of the Plague a novel by Albert Camus

The reason why

There’s a war of good and evil
In the battles being fought
The king of truth goes forward
But he risks being caught

Go back to the mountain
Lead us on from there
Do not let the evil
Trap you in its lair

The armies of the king of truth
Then with their battle cry
Surged forth against the evil ones
To win or else to die

The king of truth watched over
Until the time was right
When the lies they told about him
Were visible in the light

And then with a mighty anger
And then with furious might
He vanquished all the evil
Within everybody’s sight

For while you’re called a liar
There’s nothing you can do
Until the accusations
Are broken by the truth

Vedran Smailovic, Adagio in G minor


Apparently, Vedran from Bosnia-Herzegovina would play his cello during the siege of Sarajevo amongst the ruins. He later moved to Northern Ireland.
The music is by or attributed to Tomaso Albinoni. it started as a fragment by Albinoni found by 20th-century musicologist, Albinoni biographer, Remo Giazotto who then finished it.

Es war einmal..

via Es war einmal..


… my old history teacher liked to start and started a longer monologue… depending on the attitude of the students, some bowed out with interest while the others leaned back relaxed… soon the first eyes fell… I thought it was quite exciting… Researchers in ancient pyramids who were subsequently killed by the curse of the pharaoh, or a certain Mr. Schliemann who believed in the legend of Troy, began to dig through a mountain and found at least 12 different Troys, including treasure and gold… what does the weekly Sunday crime scene offer… with the slight mischief of chief investigators and super-rich top criminals… So it was obvious that I wanted to become such a superstar archiologist myself, no wonder if you are driven past a water castle in a pram, from which horrible secret passages protruded… the archbishops of Osnabrück had laid them out, which in the castle far away from their starving and praying contemporaries very gladly drank one over the thirst, ladies accompaniment and buffet of course included… I got stuck halfway and became a photographer… but it’s also very much related to discovery… We are drawn to scary Lost Places and no castle ruins in Germany that are not photographed postcards from bottom to top… So it came that I immediately set out when I got my hands on a photo of that castle ruin that plays the main role here… Spectacularly situated on a rock high above the landscape, below the town of Flossenbürg, which is a not very famous, not to say … shameful… The historical symbol of what people do to other people is … Shortly before the end of the war, German resistance fighters were executed in the local concentration camp…. The castle alone stands above it… it was built in the 1100th century. the archaeologists say… Well, I don’t think anything I don’t fake myself… I have seen and have climbed the whole mountain, and despite the fear of the castle ghost I have examined the plant without regard for head and collar… I’m still going to be famous because I found a contemporary photo in the rubble that shows the castle at a clearly earlier time than the 1100th century… hach , my history teacher would proudly say: Once upon a time my bravest student set out to pull the final truth of the castle out of the dust….Photoshop be THANKS 🙂

Collaboration Song with Chris Hall

The song is in there, it has to be smoothed out, like when you used to get chocolate bars wrapped in tin-foil and you’d smooth them out with your fingers.

Firstly I discovered that by putting in triplets I got the rhythm in place. I’m still not sure about the melody and I keep looking for ways to beef it up a bit. I keep changing the chord progression.

The second part of the second (super) verse is beginning to shape up in a completely different way. It is though a contrast to the first (super) verse of Chris’ poem. It amazes me that she maybe unconsciously formed the poem that way.

At first, I was going to make verse 1 to the minor key and verse 2 to the major key but . . . it’s too rigid that way I think.

The chorus I like it now, but because it is so short I repeat it. Also, the song is only going to last about two minutes and I wonder if this is too short.

The guitar rhythm part is a little better than it was. It too goes through a lot of changes.

chris hall poem 21.05.20

Reading From The Scriptures

The burning voice
In the drowning rain
Speaking from the scriptures
And quivering with pain.

Stooping in the darkness
As only a voice can
Weighed down by anaemia
Like a millstone on a man

Stooping in the darkness
In deaths shroud absorbed
Where eyes are growing dimmer
And the heart is ragged and worn

Speaking from the scriptures
To an audience of silence
Where the waters of oblivion
Hold cells of blood together

And the voice is croaking sick
And whispers from its cavern
Where cartilage is decays
From the shaking it is given

By the maggots in the voice-box
That punctuate the sentence
That curl beneath the words
As the bait that ate the fish

As the worm that ate the sound
As the fly that hooked the noises
And reeled them into the odium
To extinguish them in calumny

Reading from the scriptures
Council to the abyssed
Stood in burning rags of thought
In the ragged flesh of waters

Silent in his whispered speech
Like pellets of  radiation
As around the voice the world dies
Like children sleeping in a nightmare

As the laughter of the strong ones
Has left their plinths of brimstones
And with the lightning in their veins
They extinguish the tonal embers

Where the voice like a ragged poster
Hanging from a billboard
Spoke with clanking tonsils
The speech of a sand-filled tongue

With tears tearing him in two
Like teeth of saws sawing
Cutting him into pieces
Reading from the scriptures

Underneath The Landslide Of Time

Underneath the landslide of time
Music and poetry are buried
Do they dance still in the unsettled dust
Like two young graceful sisters

What has happened to our communities?
Where has all the pleasure gone?
Once I saw a community dancing together
As a child I joined in and felt good

But in my heart I felt a great loss
For they danced in a film on the T.V.
But warlords, economists, industrials and estate agents
Are dancing together on the witches Sabbath

Hear them chant their poetry of conquest
See them sacrifice a user-friendly face
As the metal buttons of their soldier’s uniforms
Fall from space into the abyss

Do you think I exaggerate things in this poem?
Do you think my expressions are over the top?
So tell me then where is the community now?
Does it live at the bottom of the garden with the fairies?


As I sleep on my broken bed
And dream my loveless dream
My whole life is fleabane
– Fleabane for my beating heart

Beneath the heat of curses, I wither
And poverty is my apron all day long
And illness nags me all night long
And for a wife, I have the illiterate rat.

For all my life it has festooned my throat
As a red rash of complaint. Laughter
Laughter comes from the stones in my unploughed field
And sarcasm irritates me like dry skin.

My only protection has been fleabane
Against the devil’s curse that’s all I have
Only God knows why I’ve been this way
For the only help I have is fleabane.

As I sleep amongst the fleabane I hold my breath
I listen to the voices of the winter skies
Where the old dog sleeps with death
I watch for the sunset in the winter sky.

In my blood I hear the croak of toads and frogs
And mushrooms and fungus grow beneath my head
All I have for protection is fleabane
That whistles a tune to frighten away death

My lover has locked me in a pillory
I am abused and made fun of all day long
And all I have is a handful of fleabane
As I drift into a state of mental illness

May the father of the king be my friend
And if he passes this way may he help me
For all I have to protect me is fleabane
For a lifetime all I’ve had is fleabane

Her unknowable heart

Her unknowable heart
that is lit by many candles
Her expectations are linked
Like flickering lights on a mountainside

Her unknowable heart
Where endless illusions live
And her standards stacked like cards
In a game that never ends

Her unknowable heart
– her intelligent beauty is exciting
She watches like a bird of heaven
Higher than the stars

30 Jan 1997