A long time empty in my mind

The tear has travelled a long way
A long way home to find
The heart was a long time empty
A long time empty in my mind

Down the roads across the skies
Who knows how many times
It lost its way and began again
A long time empty on my mind

I miss the love I thought I knew
I miss the life I had
Like a train that lost a carriage
And rolls on feelings bad

You cut a hole into my life
And staked me to the ground
There’s no freedom in my heart
Even when you’re not around

The tear has travelled a long way
A long way home to find
The heart was a long time empty
a long time empty in my mind


A song lyric in the hard travelling folk-blues mode


I’d give my life for a patch of sun
Coming through the window
Or a shaft from a skylight.
For its warmth in this cold winter;
For a patch of heat on my skin
Giving stark life to where
Now there’s cold miserable fat.
I’d give my life for this sunspot
To melt in its heat
As the snow does in springtime,
I would begin to grow
As this snow does in springtime
But just a little flow
To remind me of the summertime
And the warm touch of a young girl.

There is this open space
That I do not care about
Somehow I’ve gone through life and forgot something.
I have concentrated all my feelings
Into certain ways of life

And now I’ve discovered
I have this big open space
Untouched, left there empty
I can do what I like with it
I can shout into it whenever I like
I can use it to be free in
From the chains
When I want to say something, to dream something
I can love, I can laugh,
I can do all the things I never could before
Anytime, anywhere, to do anything
Because of this empty space I’ve discovered.

I’ve got to sort myself out
To find a way to straighten myself out
Then I will be a better me
I’m beginning to hate myself so much
Because I cannot love or touch the things
The people who mean to me so much
That’s all I want is the properly.

What shall we have for dinner tonight?
What would you like?
I’d like to sit by a warm fire
And eat a plate of conversation
With a handful of happiness
With truth as my knife and fork
And love for ‘afters
But instead it will be –
A television to watch,
A stillness unbearable,
As people think and say nothing but
“What shall we have for dinner tonight

I wrote this  when I was in my teens possibly its the first poem I ever wrote school leaving age but I kept it because it expresses what I was feeling then.


Role Model Blues

You can be sure
That if
At the top of the heap
There is
A Role Model
As dazzling
As the light in a chandelier
You can also
Be sure that
At the bottom of the heap
There are people
In the confusion
Of the long and bloody tapestry
Of a losing battle

The harsh light

It was the harsh light of the morning after the bailiffs had taken everything
And the status quo moved back in with their taste for minimalism

It was the harsh light of the morning after the end of the school play
With the chairs stacked up against the wall as if nothing had happened on the bare dusty floorboards

It was the harsh light of the morning after when everyone had finished eating the party cake and drinking the party wine
When the guard dogs had been positioned in the yard and the security guard sat down to watch the security camera

It was the harsh light of the morning after with the lock and chain on the front door
when the new system is exchanged for the old freedom and decimilisation starts to replace the horse and hand

It was the harsh light of the morning after when the coaches were gone and the pubs were dead and the memory of those days slept under a newspaper in the forgotten streets of the past

And like a dream animal, I ran on all fours through the streets of the town listening for their voices, looking for their party faces
feeling abandoned and facing the armed ranks of the New Model Army alone

And the harsh light is owned by the new system and they whitewash the whole world with shredded paper and confetti

They destroy the bud

There are shadows on the stage of man
Who prune the branch of the rose
Who cut the flowers along with the leaves
So that no scent can reach the nose
And so the summer goes by
And many of loves promises die

The shadows paint the stage with knives
With loves blood and not true love
They wreck the course of happy lives
And hide beneath the assassin’s hood
They seek some sort of personal glory
In the death of love for money

And even embedded in the bed of love
Like, martial artists, they destroy the bud

You turn up

You turn up
Like a long-dead spy
From the grave
People want privacy

You turn up
Covered in ear wax
With spit all over your face
And grubby fingernails

Standing on the steps
To the art school
Like a grinning paederast
Hoping for a grope

You turn up
With a dark air about you
Appearing from a hidden corner
A lurker
Worried about discovery
Knowing how to
Hide your face
In your crumbling debris

You darken the morning
Of those who see you
As they wonder
How you turned up
At exactly the wrong moment

In America when the walls

In America when the walls came tumbling down
Not as visible as the Berlin Wall
Walls made of the void between high and low
Like how roads divide a city
Roads can be walls
A road between old council buildings and new apartments
A road can become a boundary in the minds of people

In America the walls
Built so high
Fell down
Like a symbolic, invisible
Wall of Jericho
During a symbolic, cultural, social earthquake in society
When people were fighting for more freedom
From what lived within the walls
Jericho was a fort that controlled the territory
It was a ruling class, a class system, a system of ruler ship

In America, when the walls came tumbling down
What did people hope to see?
A man in the bath
Lovers in bed
A fatherly figure stepping forward to shake their hands
Like a mould
The walls fell away from the city
To reveal a worm embedded, wood lice-ridden, ant-infested
Divided political system
So huge, so massive
That the ordinary people
Wanted the walls rebuilt


Inspired a little by Joan Didion, The White Album, published 1979, chapter 1