The New Lawman

The new lawman

The new lawman moves into town
On the edge of the sky, with desert all around
Pretty soon he starts Shootin’ people down
it’s just his job to shoot people down

The new law lived above the saloon
He spat at the moon, he kicked the spittoon
He invited people into his room
Just so he could shoot ‘em down
It was his job to shoot people down

He didn’t ask, he didn’t judge
He hated the town, he bathed it in blood
Men and horses by the pound
It was his job to shoot ‘em all down

He bent the law; he made his own rules
For miners and cowboys; for churches and schools
Rules that no one could obey, he laid ‘em down the lawman way
It was just his job to shoot ‘em all down

The judge and the lawman; the gun and the gown
Made the rules to govern the town
Any one smiled the law came around
It was his job to shoot ‘em all down
It was his job to shoot ‘em all down

Pretty soon Everyone was dead
So the lawman Shot the judge in the head
Then he got on his horse and he rode out of town
He’d done his job To shoot everyone down

The New lawman (sketch for a blues song)

The legs of the giant

The legs of the giant
Stood there for ages
People laughed
At the flesh of time

The legs of the giant
Stood still like mountains
They never moved
Or made a sound

Then in the night
They creaked into action
They walked over nations
With great animation

They stopped at the ocean
Still as the night
Then in an instant
They returned to stone

She came to me

She came to me with her shoulder ripped
With blood pouring out into life’s last flight

Rising near to the sun like a shield of courage
Like one who had lost her wing of wisdom

Who had worked all day in the factory of hardship
Whose transfusion of love rocked her like a mountain

She came to me like a shadow movement
Waiting for night to leave the chains of history

She felt the earthquakes that come out of her heart
She stood on her line ready for the highway

I know that you grow

I know that you grow in my soil
I know that you spread your leaves
I know that you inhibit other growth
This is how a weed can turn into a bird
This is how love produces her work
This is how words find strength in the earth

I know that you grow in my soil
And that the garden begins to die in your shadow
That as you fly away you leave him weakened
Competing for food with his white throat
Exposed suddenly to the great sunlight of love

Translation is

Translation is treacherous
In the hands of those
Who do not trust their own ears
Who like to impress
With their education

While the ordinary man
speaks with more
Than one garden of words
Whose everyday ingredients
Are imported into speech
From the world around him

Translational architectures
That build structures
Out of plain sentences
Spoken by forthright speakers
Who were speaking in plain terms
Have created new conversation
Out of other people’s minds

I’m the mistress of the stranger

I’m the mistress of the stranger
In the room above the river
My hair flows like a current
In dark and twisting water

I live six flights up
On a cold forgotten landing
I look across the city
Like Britannia standing

With the bed and chair and table
With a black cat curling
The walls have flaking paint
The floorboards always creaking

The stranger comes on strange days
He comes with many strange ways
There’s nothing to identify
There’s nothing to get in touch with

I’m the mistress of the stranger
Like the moon across the river
I watch the bridge for danger
My eyes begin to quiver

The stranger went away one day
And death came to the door
I heard the stair were creaking
I heard the scrape of claws

Speaking like a father
Sounding very savage
I heard a peel of bells
I wondered who got married

A silence then engulfed me
I’d lost all sense of time the time
The stranger is returning
For the night, the dark, the wine

Talking about duty

I wish you would talk about something other than duty
I wish you wouldn’t march up and down outside your guard box

I come and go with my handcart heaped up with things
There is space to be examined; there is time to be dismantled

I pass in and out of your checkpoint, my old soldier’ess
With stolen art; with stolen ballerinas

Stand to attention – atten – shun
The town clock rolls by chased by the village children

What’s in your eyes now I wonder
How they stand by themselves outside the gate

I pass by again riding on a scooter
And again in the opposite direction on roller skates

Even the sun salutes you as it passes by
Even the birds stop their flight and obediently waddle across your outpost

Look at what I have, stop and search me
There’s nothing but an empty life in a crown of thorns

There’s nothing but a cardboard box full of first class air

The war on love

The war on love was not about you
It was neither male nor female
It did not stop you falling in love
It did not start you loving

The war on love did not start with you
It did not start with holding hands
It did not start with your kisses
It did not end your affair

The war on love began before the world
It began like a dream in the eyes of an angel
And before it would lose – it had promised itself
That it would strip all the love from your bones

The firebird

The firebird it on your shoulders
And sets your beards alight
What is it that causes cities to burn?
It’s the fire bird

As you walk around the exercise yard
Do your hands still burn you?
The firebird does not leave you cleanly
It leaves you with a lot on your mind

You released the firebirds into the sky
But the first to burn was you
Twenty years earlier and a lot older
You internally combust on the toilet

the setbacks

Here we are with the setbacks
Ramming the gate of our souls
With another set of set backs
Rammed into our backs

So we try to build another floor
Above the flood, the fire, the riot
But regulations will not allow it
At the point of blood

We talk of these events to the nation, to the world
We have visitors from Cambridge and Eton

But after the setbacks we have more setbacks
And more setbacks are expected soon