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

The Laughter of Candle-smoke

The soft wax of red candles in glass vases
Spread dancing lights between three people

She moaned with her belly-swollen grief
In the flickering shoal of shadows

In the tent of candlelight the revelation of eyes
Took my breath away to the city of stars

Softened childlike faces were bobbing about
A womb child spoke to a frightened lonely mother

The laughter of candle smoke an unseen devil
The hissing cobra of dream dust writhing

She swapped roles with you through pockets of darkness
Emerging into light with love and anger

Your breath of memory calmed her wintry seafronts
Her thorns of silence buried in denial

She drew heart from the friendship of your imagination
A uterus of ocean in her storm of self hatred

She ran into the streets possessed by regrets
Hades followed the blame of her misery

You turned the lights on with weary forgetfulness
To tidy up the supper things and wish me goodnight

The Aldermaston Marches

The Aldermaston marches.
To the Quatermass pits where dense darkness
Fills the forests of atomic mushrooms
Like isotopes of air rising from soaking laundry.

The Aldermaston marches.
Through a hail of bullets, big as tombstones
Crashing through the wind like I.C.B.M’s
Onto poppy fields where brass bands play trumpets.

The Adermaston marches.
To Bikini atolls where shark shaped convicts
Ride fairground cockpits around atomic explosions.

The Aldermaston marches.
To web infested palaces where rat faced security men
Dance in daisy chains in the fog smothered night.

The Aldermaston marches.
Into secret panels on soap boxes in speakers corners
down into private underground fallout shelters
where the disappeared sit with plasters on their mouths.

The Aldermaston marches.
Through motorway graveyards where hitchhikers bones
Rattle on rusty motorbikes as radioactive rabbits
Melt in the moonlit glow of prehistoric chaos.

The Aldermaston marches.
Where ulcer stricken scientists hang washing
from overhead pylon cables like advertisements
for brighter than white soap powders.
1994

But cats take no notice of this

You wave your arms in the air
You sway from side to side
You scrunge up the nose on your face
You make yourself go cross eyed
But cats take no notice of this
You may as well face the truth
They just sit there and grin
They sit there looking aloof

Your settee is torn to pieces
Your carpets have holes three feet deep
Your doors have nights and crosses
From the little claw sharpening creep

You say, here nice pussy, pussy
Time for your favorite bite
Or you want to give them medicine
Or show them off to someone’s wife
But the cats take no notice of this
They sense something in your eye
They just sit there and grin
Then arch their backs and fly

The Cairo Express to Limehouse

Strange wind tearing the clouds apart

A strange wind is tearing the clouds wing
It snaps the light like a violin string
The sun walks in striding over a chair
Asking for a whistle and a loud fun fair

My head is turning like a big windmill
My eyes are hailstones like shiny white pills
The strange wind carries me on a silver tray
Up and down the diner of the melted day

As birds with shock hairdos are blown across the way

The Cairo Express to Limehouse

My hair is made of millions of dead sparrows
Why is the day so shallow?
who stole the rainbow coral of the imagination?
who sank paving stones in the canal?
who tied my heart to a concrete block and sank it deep into the grieving soul
grieving for dances with angelic girls
grieving for bedrooms filled with white cockatoos
grieving for cupids arrow from a Sam Cook song
grieving for the rising of the Gihon fountain

rising out of a rock in the back garden
imagine that
rising out of the old school playground
rising like an ice flow that arches between the dreaming sleeping head of my first love to mine
Instead, my hair is a million dead sparrows
killed by pollution and washed out down the drain.

I’m searching, but have I got time today

I’m searching, but have I got time today
I’m searching, so is there hope?
I’m searching the hobgoblins eye of humour
that I swallowed with a glass of water,
when tears fell mingled with blood
surrounding a small crucified boy with
the shadows that hang from a wolves mouth.

If you go for so long without love
–   love comes to you in a dream
– – love comes to you secretly and plants its hope in your soul
– – love thrives like an aquarium at the back of your soul
– – love hammers at the dead parts of your brain like a wolf boy.

Laughter isn’t that the up escalator in the tube station of anguish
Laughter isn’t that the formation of ivory keys in the dungeon of silence
Laughter isn’t that the prize that archaeologists dig or
Laughter isn’t that the sounds of a million dead sparrows in my hair.

Prime Minister

Prime Minister
is there time
is there time for the work force
to put down their tools
and practice Buddhism in a Chinese square;
is there time
for the workers
to put down their dockets
and join the Frenchmen
in the cafes of lovers talk;
to browse the libraries of the ancient mind;
follow the funeral through the forests of light;
Prime Minister – is there life?

Prime Minister
did you wonder why music has become so manic?
the mania represents people who resent not having any time.

Like a black spaceship pickup truck

like a black spaceship pickup truck
carrying the moon across the ocean of childhood light
the hospital wards of memory
where holes are smashed into walls by blood soaked soldiers

memory wraps up each old day in a dark silken chrysalis
hides them in a dungy smelling room that seems to be a lift
that plummets into bowels of the earth

all my days
memory, what have you done to them?

Come all you ancient kings and queens

come all you ancient kings and queens
I have what you are looking for
the river of life
in my back garden.

come all you alchemists and film stars
I have what you want
the river of life in my back garden
tasting of cold silk and magic.

to all you departed Pharaohs and millionaires
can you move now from your creaking tombs
can you move your creaky bones and squeaky coffins
and come into my back garden.

catch the Cairo express to Limehouse
look for the angels and the gold tinsel hanging in the sky
where the battalions of the dead of the first world war
have amassed in the sky singing songs and awaiting their turn

come amongst the buttercups and the ragged robin
where a bird planted the seeds of the stinking iris
where the wind grew sycamore seedlings and scented Buddlias
come to my back garden, come to the river of life

Letter to a Dead Nightingale

And the dead Nightingale is singing
but no-one hears it’s song
and a gentle rain is falling
and no-one can feel it falling.

I hear the song in the blackness of night
from a loosening of bones in the aching neck
the music is the last starlight of a dead star
absorbed by the eye and trapped in a dream

The ages have gone into the dead nightingales song
it breathes in centuries and sings them out
it feeds on the heart with the music it makes
it singles me out with it’s secretive song

– dead Nightingale singing from an old dream
high up there in the blurry night
show yourself and let me see
how your bones hang in the sky

with nothing but a song to make you fly
then back to your home within my head
then back to sleep
and being dead

I’ve carried your body through deluge and fire
cared for you like a phantom pregnancy
I caged your singing spirit within
now I wish I could set you free

Do you die or do you live
are you a memory or are you real
I know you died many years ago
I know you lived to sing your song

Those death cries I never hear
when all alone from the world you know
you find a perch inside my head
and died there and lived on in a song

The song that remakes you gives you birth
and when you sing it is I who die
for love is your song and no-one can hear
and we both go lonely into oblivion

 

I’ve tried to write to you – a letter
But I don’t know how
The only word I can think to write
Makes no sense at all

What do you want to know (About me?)
Nothing at all!
You just keep on singing
In my hair

What can I tell you about myself
If you don’t want to know
You just want to keep on singing
And that is all

You keep on singing
As I keep ageing
You keep singing
As my hair turns grey
You keep singing
As my bones start aching
So dead Nightingale
Sing, sing, sing!

Your God is listening
To your song
And if he’s the creator
He will bring you back
And then I will stare
Into your diamond eyes
And keep you fed
for ever and a day

I Don’t Remember

During the night
I say
I don’t remember
There being a day

During the day
I say
I don’t remember
There being a night

When things are black
I say
I don’t remember
Anything being white

When things are white
I say
I don’t remember
Anything being black

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