The Reptile and the Fish

THE REPTILE AND THE FISH

Reptile: Sheet of flames before my eyes
Sheet of burning fire in my brain
Onions burning in the night
The burning onion fields are bright

Fish: Against you comes the sleepless ocean
Against you comes the tidal wave
Against you comes the moon layered tides
Against you the blistering bubbling seas

Reptile: Flying on a reddened cloud of flames
Above the watery cistern of the sea
Walking on explosions of fiery flame
Where you cannot get to me

Fish: Slapping waves slip through the air
Slapping the rocks, the sand, the glare
Glint of the sun that glimmers in the gloom
Fragments the embers of the red hot moon

Reptile: Over red-hot grains of smoking coals
Through smoke filled air and sun hot inferno
Through darts of flame of burning light
Over quaking, baking lava flows

Fish: The march of the oceans, rivers, and seas
Eroding the granite covering of fire
Pushing down mountains and dissolving lands
Denuding the gargantuan flames desire

Reptile: The flames that rage with powerful heat
At flight of skies and sleepless seas
Stamping on seas with steaming feet
Awoken with molten mixtures so deep

Fish: The cold, cold heart of fathomless sea
Filled with darkness at the sight of thee
The sun quenching skies overcast and black
Rumble and roar and with deluge attack

Reptile: Open eyes burning with fires so bright
With terror of flames like stinging hornets
With serpentine flames of venomous bites
That blister and hiss at the watery night

Fish: In sleepless swimming swaying seas
The treacherous heart with its watery keys
Filled with salt to rub in your wounds
A smothering blanket to catch away your breath

Eagle: The wind will puff from its mountain height
Turn water to snow and blow out the light
Exhausting the oceans emotional heart
Turning the flames to a crackle and spark

With a spinning eye, the sword slash of air
The invisible winds will no wrongdoer spare
Keep still you seas with your sleepless tides
Stay cool you fires to earth chambers hide

1994

I’m Talking in a Storm

I’m talking in a storm to the calm world.
I’m talking in a storm to the hushed room.

In the courtroom the storm is harnessed.
I am witness to it’s troubled past.
How wind and sea were bad parents,
How wave grew to angry sea.

The past of the storm is legendary,
The child of famous parents, his identity was lost.
The wayward wind was never home-
The sea would send him to foreign shores.

I’m talking in a storm to the quiet world:
To the judge I talk with tears of troubled years.

Can you hear my pleas?
So used to telling tales am I.
You may not believe I’m real,
But would I be here if I didn’t care.

That’s all I can say.

Yes I was a wayward parent,
With storms of my own to deal with.
Fame brought self-indulgence.
I thought I could ignore my own storms.

I left them to be picked up by my child.
My child is now on trial here for his life
And the storm has returned to its homeport
After causing a trail of destruction.

I’m talking in a storm to the calm world.
So inwardly I look; outwardly I cannot cope.

1994

I was inspired by the story of Marlon Brando’s son who I think killed someone. I was interrupted by someone and was not able to finish exploring the subject with its fascinating and complex layers of emotion.

One Bright Red Rose

When I heard of what you did, I knew you were true
But I wondered if you knew it too
But I expected this day to come my way
But the reality is over awing
I’ve been standing so still, like a calm pool
That no wind could move or wear away
Just like rock knows the next year
So the dream will see it.

The post box lifts up its skirts
and takes off down the road with my letter
running to catch the plane at the airport
to deliver the letter over the Irish sea
take the letter personally to your door.
No strikes or wars or earthquakes
can stop it, you’ll have my letter soon
I can be positive, I can be assured.

My cold white feet look like the damp white snow
As darkness drifts into the sky.
The windows yawn open in the whistling wind
the travelling alarm clock looks tired.
I’ve just crawled out of my empty pocket
Into the circus ring of my mind
I can hardly decide what road to take
As if love was still a crossroad sign.

I’ve been in oblivion for 14 days
Will your remember me at all?
I’ve had no money for 14 days
I’m thin from not eating enough.
I promised myself that I’d love you
Everyday that I knew to exist
But I took the road into limbo
And my watch fell decaying from my wrist.

Now the mysterious road to you my love
Is plagued with mental disease and doubt.
I sit claustrophobic in my hotel room
Not daring to spend money or go out.
But I think of you and my heart feels blue
But my imagination plays magic tricks
By putting doorways into the empty sky
Endless corridors where my decisions drift.

I’m trapped and strapped in a timeless vacuum
That I never shook from my mind.
Parting from you is so heartlessly cruel
When people demand I should account for the time.
If distances were paved with gold
I could afford the train to your home every time.
If numbers always came consequently
It’d be no puzzle to dial your telephone line.

I’ll just submerge into depression
Let those bells ring aloud in my dream
And wake up in the jaws of dilemma again
Count my money and walk the streets.
Maybe if the snowfall ends
And I can change out of these dirty clothes
I’ll visit you to see if you remember me
Bringing you one bright red rose.

1979

Song: Neglected Boy

The neglected boy

He really doesn’t know
Is there
Love across the ocean
Love across the sea
Doesn’t seem to be waiting
Anywhere near me

You really don’t know
What you’re doing
Do you?
I mean
You’ve got your orders
You’ve got your papers
To complete

But after spending
All day at your desk
You get out into the street
And there’s something
In the sunshine
That overwhelms you

The neglected boy

Love
It has no north or south
No sun or moon
Love
It has no eyes or mouth
And it thinks outside
Of its balloon

That’s all you know

Neglected boy

 

AN UNFINISHED VERSION 1



A partial Music sheet in PDF
Neglected Boy 1

 

AN UNFINISHED VERSION 2



A partial music sheet in PDF
Neglected Boy 2

 

Like Honesty

Here I am staring,
At Honesty,
Purses full of seeds.
Some people say
She escapes from gardens,
But I found her alone
By the canal-side
Half a mile from anywhere
One plant growing
On miles of towpath
Soft serrated pear-shaped leaves
Four purple petals
Like butterfly wings
Looking from the hedge-growth
So I picked her and brought her home
And put her in a jar of water
And as evening falls
I stare into the face of honesty
Her flowers
Pretty and vivacious,
Gentle and bright
Have gone and now
She’s turned silver with age
And I’ve fallen into a sad mood
Wishing I knew a girl
Like Honesty

Through the glass top of my coffee table

Looking through the glass top of my coffee table
I see the people in Canary Wharf

Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness
But maybe they were more ashamed of what they were thinking
The tree of knowledge had started to infiltrate their minds
An alien life form had begun its life

What is this class under this glass? What is class?
Those with the intelligence to use the knowledge of the world
Swarm here under the glass of my coffee table
Through the shopping centre
Up and down the escalators
A world lost in a lost world

Smart, clean, sharing the same determinations
Escalator man and escalator woman
Each wanting a bite of the fruit
What else is there to life?

Why was God angry
Why was knowledge so bad?
Looking down through the glass of my coffee table
The tree is covered in stinking ivy; dead bodies are now its fruit
Knowledge is a whirlpool in the sand
A hollow tree trunk, aged and rotten

The internet has it all
All the knowledge of the world, both good and bad
And in this an empty centre, a hollowness

Something was left behind a long time ago
Fear of falling, clinging onto the knowledge of the world
What was Adam and Eve supposed to be?
How did this knowledge change them?
What did it replace in their minds?

Slaves, all of us!

Slaves, all of us!
Pulling the World along the road
Like a giant block of stone

Without the world you would have freedom
Why haven’t you got freedom?
Because you lack love

Once upon a time a man thought he could build a world
With flesh, muscle, bloodletting
But he failed to finish it – he died!

He was a typical man
He believed it weak to understand the heart
He preferred war

Ever since we have laboured to finish what he started
Ever since we have been dying and leaving it unfinished

England, your needs bear down on me

England, your needs bear down on me like the wall of a museum.
I gave you a trickle of gold,
You forged it into an idol and asked for a new religion.
I made a road of smooth green tarmac in the wooded hills of my soul
You bulldozed it over and asked for Monopoly
I had a city in my childish heart,
You wanted dead sharks in glass cases.

England, must I first prove my relationship with your god
Before I can sleep in peace?
Your god who melts like a muddy idol in a fast flowing spring filled mountain stream
And then becomes a famous city.
I wanted to be Walter Raleigh exploring the fabulous new world,
You wanted to fill your coffers with treasures.
I wanted to be Vincent Van Gogh in a fabulous voyage of paint,
You wanted a filing cabinet of application forms.

England, how much taller can you get now
Scraping the earth of its glory yet afraid of its light.
I wanted to be a native of that earth following the track of a strange new bird
To discover its name carved in the rock walls of time.
You beat me and made me walk into origami mazes,
You took my dreams and turned them into digital code,
Then you buried them under Parliament
Strangely you scream at me like a furious church gargoyle.

Give us the last razor blades off your tree and cut your throat and bleed and give us the blood to display in a whitewashed gallery.
But as you are rising up on your house of cards over a flame of anger the phoenix flies to freedom.

2004

Song: Alone in What You Feel

Alone in what you feel

PDF Alone in what you feel

Please see the audio and lead sheet of this song if you wish.

This is the poem I wrote. I thought it might be an interesting song. It struggled with it, the main problems were with verses 4 and five. Verse 4 became a middle eight and verse 5 a somewhat variation on verse 1. A favorite Russian Poet Marina Tsveteava (speeliing mine) seemed to think there are in life, non people, who have no heart. She should know, she was driven to suicide by poverty and heartbreak by the communists of her time.

Poem: Alone in what you feel

Alone in what you feel
It’s the third meal of the day
Maybe take a drink
You can sing, you can pray
Alone anyway

Some do not see feelings
As worthy of respect
With the strength of Hercules
They make a point to reject
How you bleed

Alone in what you feel
It’s the first hill to climb
But your mind can’t reach the top
To see what’s left behind
Alone anyway

Talking with psychology
Really isn’t the same
As taking pain to task
Her multiplication tables
Will answer before you even ask
How you bleed

Alone in what you feel
Why is the whole world seen
Through the lens of a shattered dream
And making love is purely mechanical
Alone anyway

I Got Home Late That Night To Find

I got home late that night to find
That you’d misbehaved behind the T.V.
Why you did that I don’t know,
Was it something to do with me?

For the first time in your life
I locked you out for the night.
You spent the night on the doormat
Until the morning light.

I awoke up to a nice sunny morning
The sky had that early spring blue
As it shone in through the window
I was wondering what should I do.

I’ll let you in, in a moment,
Let me clean my teeth first.
You must be feeling hungry,
I’ll make sure your food is dispersed.

Then I heard a terrible growling,
Then a scuffling in the hallway outside.
I flung the front door wide open,
And I couldn’t believe my eyes.

A hound from hell had got you,
Was shaking you in his jaws.
There was hissing, screaming and panic,
As I tried to get you indoors.

I tried to scare him off you
But he dragged you out to the yard.
He shook you, like you’d shake a sparrow.
To get him to stop was hard

His owner finally called to him
After minutes of life and death tussle
He left your legs dragging behind you
As you crawled off out of trouble.

The hound from hell bounced away
Like a puppy who’d pleased his master.
As I tried to pick you up
To avoid any more disaster.

You hissed at me hopelessly
And got tangled up in a fence.
You stuck your claws in my soaking socks
It wasn’t making much sense.

I took off my socks and retrieved you,
Took you barefoot back inside.
Badly wounded , unable to walk.
It just brought tears to my eyes.

Sunday morning terror.
Sunday morning grief.
Someone’s hound had damaged you
So bad it’s beyond belief.

The emergency service was closing.
I had to wait ’til next day.
I nursed you with anxiety.
I don’t know what to say.

Fifty pence was the bus fare
Down to the P.D.S.A.
They said you would have to be put down.
It sure was a tragic day.

My constant companion for 10 years
So loyal, my best friend.
Today I’ve got to phone up to find out
If today your poor life will end.

Tues Feb 25th 96

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