Underbelly

In my home town
The underbelly
Of society
Had become
Like the backbone

The legs swivelled round
To stand up on

Great noises burst out
From the underbelly
Like muddy water
In a gale wind

The eyes are below it
And the mouth is above it
So that it’s cravings
Are in the ascendant

And with its eyes beneath it
It can easily scan the earth
For titbits

Then one day
It entered
The Birmingham city opera house
It waddled down the central aisle
Soiling the carpets
It chewed the tailcoats and top hats
Of those seated
And it carried
The ladies in their white ball gowns
To the orchestra pit
Where it sat
Like a pig on an ants nest

This shocked the authorities
Who convened a Cobra meeting
To discuss the underbelly of society

They tightened the rules
Gave the police more powers

Just then
The great mother of the underbelly of society
Came crashing through the wall

Psychological torture

I carry
Psychological torture
Like a bag
Of used tickets

I was prepped
In childhood

I lived with
Psychological torture
Throughout childhood

My mind
Was a hawthorn tree
Of psychological torture

As a result
I am able to identify
The psychological torturers
In our society
At long distance
Preferably

A new house has appeared
It is the secret agency
Of psychological torture

It builds constructs
In society
For its bricks and mortar

When they change the law
To bolster security
This secret house
Will blossom like a rose bush
In the summer sun

After Armageddon

After Armageddon
Everything a poet loves
Will be gone

If he loves to complain
About the government
It will be gone

If he write songs
For commercial success
It will be gone

If he dreams
Of a published book of his poems
It will be pointless

If he dreams
Of writing great things
That would be loved by people
It will never happen

He may as well
Pick up a staple gun
And staple ants to the floor
Than write another poem

The cremations of India

The cremations of India are burning like lamps
As the world holds hands in a circle of fear
The worlds flesh is like dead fish
The worlds flesh is like thick cardboard
Ears are shallow and cries
Are like the riders of death spinning around and around

The cremations of India make the continent crumble
Tears like an earthquake make Asia sleepless
Everyone loses
Everyone grieves
As the knees of society become unsteady
As they take your weight in the morning

I have not like sacrifices
Loving kindness is what I want
Says Jehovah in the bible
Scientists ask their governments to share their vaccines
Was I dreaming when I saw that the makers of vaccines
Reported on how much money they had made
Perhaps I misunderstood

The cremations of India so naked in the open air
Just like sacrifices
The smoke they say contains the soul of the deceased
How can you leave?
How can you die?
Ask the labouring families of India
India’s labourers are as flowers trapped in bottles
When they flooded the train and the bus stations
Helpless and afraid
Escaping, without work
With the wages for the day
How do they feel
About the sacrifices at their festivals

Loving kindness is better
Than sacrifice

Let us write to future generations

Let us write to future generations
About the loss of nature

When a scarcity of creature
Is like an echo from a building site

When they are all lined up in the firing line
And you see their eyes shining in the dark

When an arm of fire sweeps over them
Or the polluted air fells them like dolls in a sideshow

When you go down to the riverside
To see a river of gloom passing by

When the forests stand empty and meaningless
And every day a murder extinction is on the news

And great empires crawl reluctantly to conventions on climate change
While people go about their daily business

Seeing how slow death sheds the hearts of birds
How slow death sheds the teeth and claws of cats

How even the horns of the rhino
Are reduced to face powder

Looking back at this – what will you think?
That it was close but that you made amends

Or that nature has become a thing of the past

And who is God and where is He?
And where is this promised kingdom of his?

When she speaks the truth

When she speaks the truth
She shines like a lamp

She is restored like an old master
And you see the person you love

The perspective of a new road
Is shared with you giving you hope

At the apex of the perspective
A stone boulder becomes like clay

You woke up today about to set off
But she’s not there

She is frozen in the mirror-glass
Another past has caught up with her again

Changes

There are periods in history
When light from God shines
Which would mean
That a great angel is near

It means change for people
It means change so rapid
That new things
Conflict with established ways

Swans among the pigeons
Make the pigeons feel greater
The laundry mangle
Dries old clothes and makes them look like royal garments

What happens to all this love?
It is absorbed into stones like rain
It is absorbed into feelings like light
Then the ebb and flow dissolve the rest

I couldn’t call for my mother

I couldn’t call for my mother
I never could
She was inside the larder
Scolding the empty shelves

Where are you mother?
Are you beside the river of time?
Watching the shadows of pilots in the flames
Are you sleeping beside their graves?

I couldn’t call for my mother
I never could scream out
Was she in the room above?
The room with no furniture

As my body broke out in blisters
And spiders crawled all over me
Was she trapped inside a specimen case
Mending a hole in her stocking

Not once did I call for my mother
She was never there
She slept inside a crisp packet
She was always somewhere else

A child can grow up
Not deserving a mother
The rocks and the stones tell you this
The cardboard walls whisper it
The paste pearls left on the dressing table tell you this
A materialist society tell you this
It screams it at you, glad that you have been discluded

She wanders in the night

she wanders in the night
across the land
searching for her memories
looking for who she is

no castle was strong enough to hold her
no city
offered enough
to keep her

she was lost in herself
she was free in herself
to forget and to wander

but no matter
how far she wandered
she still felt the fire
the ashes in her heart
the coldness of midnight

so she returned
to the broken walls
to broken windows
to flowers, guitars and shadows
intermingled
with wounds and blood and love

There has been a battle with the world

there has been a battle
against the world
there has been a losing battle

the world rises like leviathan
and keeps rising
and searching for innocent blood

in every corner
in every island
the world leaves its mark
with blood and tears
the world leaves scars and ruin

the world is a cancer
the world is a growth among humanity
the promises of the world are short
the gains of the world are shit

gain the world and lose the earth
gain the world and destroy your soul

the world is a slurry of mud
between ocean and mountain
the world is a monster
slithering onto land

give it a hand, haul it in land
put it on a pedestal, bow down to it

cry out and say to it
cry and and say
oh, what a world