To tell the truth to power

To tell the truth to power
Is to go under a steamroller
To tell the truth to power
Is to be a tree trunk in sawmill

Power has that dirty laugh
That fools enjoy
Power has an ocean of rusted keys
thrown away

Powers idea of judgement
Is a secret train ride through a wood
Powers idea of judgement
Looks like an inferno for truth

Friends

Sometimes
We are friends who are not friends
Sometimes we are friends
Who are friends

It’s a sign of maturity
like a well fitted stair carpet

That friends pass each other by on
I’m your friend today
I’m not your friend today
but non-the-less

Our missing feet are in a museum case of friendship together
And make up a strange
Four footed animal
That palaeontologists didn’t expect
To find in bed with them

We have one heart between us, made of broken bits
And two other halves that can’t agree

Or – two halves of hearts grafted together
And a lot of broken bits
Like wood shavings and lead grains
From a pencil sharpener

We have formed a chassis
Of friendship
And love Is a fish in a fishing net
Trying to drive the car

Poems are not films

Poems are not like films
They are the rare flowers
Seen in urban cinematography
The bodies of butterflies with plucked wings
Thrown into the sewer wind
Of the cutting room floor

editing a film frame by frame
You stop the sequence of stills
And zoom into a dark corner by a dustbin
There’s one of the little blighters, quick
Edit it out

If you waited to make a film from poems
You would keep a Hollywood studio
Working overtime
You would need a Nazi factory full of slaves working overtime
In a pyramid epic
And still your film would look like
The tracks of a yeti disappearing into the snowdrift

The window shop dummy

The window shop dummy
Is out
It is moving thru the crowds
In oxford street
It is looking for work
In Harrods maybe
It has nowhere
At the moment
To sleep

The window shop dummy
Has been set free
Straight out of storage
Into the street
Stitched up
For a shop lifting

It could not speak
Or admit guilt
Or It would have been out in a week
But it lost its head
It’s arms, its feet

Satellites afraid
Follow it about
Into one end of the tube system
and out the other end

Followed all day
Spied on all night
The window shop dummy
Turns a deathly white

The window shop dummy
Is not wearing clothes
It shakes and it shivers
Where ever it goes
Into Nero’s
For a coffee and snack
No dummies allowed
It has to go back

It jumps from a bridge
On a day – warm and sunny
No one tries to save it
Because it’s only a dummy

Individualized

You were
A – dividual
Before
You were
An individual
Before you
Had
A foundation
To be
An individual
On

You
Individualized
Before
You were
Dividualized
An undivided
In dual ized
Individual

What would
An individual do
In a dividual world
Undivided
By the
Foundation
Ready made
Full of brown sauce
An un pollinated
Milky opal ized
Individual

Chess

You really
Really
Have to be focused
It’s no use
Planning
An escapade
Against
Your opponent
Without
Keeping an eye on
Hiz moves

You really
Have to focus
On the whole thing
You have to
Open
The two halves
Of your brain

One for your moves
One for his

Really
If you are not
watching
Your other half
You will
Defeat
Yourself

I’m always
Bad at chess
Like
When it comes
To love
I lose focus
I am
A disintegrated
Player
Whose head
Doesn’t move
When his heart
Races ahead

The wooden laughter
Of puppets
From the Window
Like the sound
Of a Wood saw
The day
Is already
A Washout
With rain
Dripping
From the maple leaves

And my back aches
From exercise
And a poor
Sleep position

When wooden laughter
Cuts through the window
from outside
With narcissistic
Emptiness

Old animals

Old animals
Have faces filled with wonder
Their eyes
Filled-in with deep space

Do they wonder
Where they are going?

Old animals
Sing a special sad song
…and So sad a song
Man will never know

Old animals
Slip slowly into night
As if they never were

Dog walking area

There’s’ a dog walking area
Outside my flat
How did it ever
Come to that?

I never zee them
Running for sticks
In the dog walking area
There’s barely room to sit

And dog fights occur
All the time
Over who’s first
To cross the dog line

Let the day come
When dogs can run
With cars in the corral
And the streets for dogs fun

She came into

She came into
The corral with me
She the mare
Me her steed

We galloped around
And round and around
Our eyes shone brightly
With the love we found

But the fenced in feeling
Was not good enough
So we jumped the fence
And galloped off

The big L

This shape has always intrigued me
a big foot or an L plate or a piece of a house

a seat in an old village pub, a Cromwellian seat
a harsh religious seat (puritan) in a harsh cruel church

where corpses sit in their body bags beaten by iron maidens with willow canes
as police dogs bark incessantly in parked car outside

a shape that’s used in old tube trains as seats
or new corporate buildings in terracotta and cream as niches

or of shapes mistakenly sat in unbalanced ways
struck dumb or flocking on the pavements like architectural pigeons
of unplanned monuments

or standing in roundabouts where a woman balances precariously on top
a she throws her baby to the crowd below

or lined up on the parade ground
or across the street where protester march towards them singing

Do you remember when?

Do you remember when You were scared Of adults
Of how threatening They seemed
Do you remember when – As an adult
Seeing them again In your dreams

Do you remember when You were scared of adults
You’d stop and run away Down another street
And the street lights Would come on And caste long shadows
And you’d look for a secret hideout To hide in

Do you remember when You were scared of adults
The mere sight of one On the way from school Would make you run
Because in those days You hardly saw anyone
And the dark nights Were trailing from moon to moon

Do you remember when You were cared of adults
Mother adults, Father adults, Both the same
No one ever spoke to you Or laughed at a joke with you
And all that adults meant to you Was pain

And do you remember when You became an adult
How you didn’t seem to fit Into your skin
And the face in the mirror Was a river
And the life you were given was a sin

I’ve only just learned about the cobras

I’ve only Just learned About The little cobras
Their parents Forget They had them
And their awful god Protects them

The little cobras In bonnets
Sliding along With walking sticks Into thickets
A dozen of them Under the tarpaulin
Singing Demonically About The ruin They do

In a year, Only a few survive: Grown now Into vipers
Dragging men Into underground Night clubs
Where the lord Of fire Condemns them
And uses their Blood as fuel

The little white kid

There is a lot Of loving To do
There is a lot Weeping Overdue
The little kid Inside me – bleats
The little white kid, Buffets and sways

The little kid Inside me
Has me by the throat
It’s a pity That I never Lived before
I ever knew Of little kids

Supermarkets Get up and run
When they see The little kids come
Oh, I had a lot of loving to do
The weeping is still Overdue

The dark side of childhood

It was on The dark side of childhood
That the little boy cried
It was on the dark side of childhood
That parents tell lies

That teachers liked to thrash them
And the police liked to grab them
And crying tigers pitied only them
And ran purring to their sides

It was on the dark side of childhood
That nightmares tried To burn them,
to make them mad
And to make them cry

With bullies in the corners and strange men in the fields
Only lonely children ever know how it feels
To be alone