He did not know all his generations

He did not know
All of his generations
He did not know them
His direct ancestors
He did not know
Whether they were royal or peasant
Famous or unknown

Everyone was his family
Everyone share his blood

Like a river of many rivers many tributaries
Many streams of people running into the river

All of them were his brothers and sister
He did not count their worth
He did not count their value

They were all connected to him
Like the many rays of the sun
And he was connected to them
Like a blade of grass in a meadow

The caretaker gardener

The caretaker gardener
Was forgotten
The stately home
Fell to ruin

He still came
From the village nearby
He never gave up

He tended the garden
Even though the aristocrats were long gone
Even though the roof caved in
Upon the candelabra
Even though the dust sheets themselves turned to dust

He came trudging up the hill
Through the woodland and into the abandoned mansions grounds
He picked up his spade and his rake and his fork
And he worked on the soil
On the unborn weeds and unborn fruit

And then he went home
To his old kitchen
To his old kitchen table
To his old wooden chair
To his simple peasant food
To his simple peasant ale

Each year he returned to the garden
Each year he fought against the overgrowth
He dug and he pruned
He improved on the layout
He tended to the flowers
He fertilised and he spayed

He welcomed the birds that become his fellow gardeners
He welcomed the insects that did the work he couldn’t do
He expelled the creature who destroy
He smiled on the creatures who propagate

As the stately home was abandoned
It began to collapse
It began to be covered over
Its owners were forgotten
Their portraits on the staircases fell down
The stately widows cracked
The floors caved in

But the caretaker gardener
Continued to make things grow until he grew old
And his sons and his daughters began to work and to harvest
The food
And to spend their breaks sitting by the garden
The garden that began to spread across the rolling hills
The garden that prospered
The people that worked hard
The garden that survived

I dreamt I was in a gulag

I dreamt I was in a gulag, 1918
Not with ordinary peasants with ordinary genes
I woke up in a gulag camp
With imprisoned artists and writers

The whole cast of Peter Pan
Disney’s Micky Mouse with Ann (his new love)
Bunk beds in row
Fleas and lice in their clothes

A who’s who of poetry and paint
I very nearly had a faint
And Tinkerbelle of course was there
Flying in the cold damp air

There’ a special camp for ones like me
You can’t allow them to run free
Like a blemish on the purity
Of the solid state

Grooly’s Leaf

Grooly lived in Barnstable
with a car, a cat and a mouse

From the place in the park
Where his true love left him
He picked up a leaf as a souvenir

Soon the leaf became his friend
He would put it beside him on the sofa
He would talk to it

Man’s best friend is a leaf he said
He kept it behind the statue of Beethoven
He wrote “sonata for a leaf” for it

Then one morning he cried
His leaf had a hold in it
He touched it and it broke into pieces

He placed the pieces around the potted cactus
In time he forgot about them
That year the cactus grew a flower for the first time

Things are changing fast

It should now be the summer
But the summer’s stayed in bed
It should now be the good time
Yet people look like dead
Thing are changing fast
They leave debris in my head

It used to be so quiet
But now its noisy everywhere
There should be time for thinking
Yet people hardly care
Thing are changing fast
It so hard to pay the fare

The wheat it should be growing
But now it erupts in fire
The apple should be ripening
But floods reach to the spire
Things are changing fast
They leave me feeling tired

The crows are moving in
The sparrows are moving out
The days of peace are trembling
The battleship sails about
Things are changing fast
No praise comes from the mouth

Doors were once left open
Now borders are closed down
You’d go out at the weekend
But someone closed the town
Things are changing fast
Things are upside down

These days you just keep working
You work at what you can
You keep your debts to minimal
You do not anger the man
Things are changing fast
It’s hard to understand

We are not born with sight

We are not born with sight
We are born eyes closed
As if two leaves covered our eyes

Eyes that turn gold in the sun
Eyes that fade into autumn colour
Eyes that connect to the soul with tubes
Eyes that visit the dust of the heart

Incomplete eyes that cannot teach
What the heart yearns for
Eyes eclipsed by shadows
So that we have no knowledge

John the Baptist

And john the Baptist
will return
And return children
To their mothers
Sisters to their brothers
Lovers to their lovers

And john the Baptist
Will give
Jobs to men
And all the world
Will be happy again

And john the Baptist
Will return
With food for the poor
And we’ll live in a city
With no keys in the door

And if you see Salome
Tell her not to cry
John the Baptist
He really didn’t die

Are you going out?

She sounds concerned
As she calls on the phone
Are you going out
Why are you alone

Like an angel with a bugle
He calls me again
Are you going out?
Please tell me when

like a white skinny spider
That can hardly walk
I’ve been so alone
I can hardly talk

I’m secretly afraid
Or I think that I am
Or I m what I think
Or I don’t understand

How going to Tesco’s
Can be an ordeal
With all the masked people
the atmosphere surreal

she’s made of steel
She’s as strong as an ox
But I’m the one
Who always gets the pox

I am not feeling what you are feeling

I am not feeling what you are feeling
How deep does the well go down?
To dig with a spade of stars into your heart
To where the rabbits play

For all this time I may have been
The selfish one who hopes for movement
While you languish in the cement of loneliness
Your tears stifled in the darkness

Or maybe I think too much
Comparing you to night terrors
Of mothers buried alive in promises
To the look of youth that grew evil

That I’ve seen following love about
With lies and to torture out of hate
That turns life into an ordeal that never ends

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