It would be nice to have a spare wall

It would be nice to have a spare wall
For a spare wall lasts a long time
I have so many things to look at
More than I can get in my mind

If I had a spare wall
I could pin them there somewhere
I could go away on business
And come back to see what’s there

I don’t have a lot of business
I’m not a businessman
But I’ve got a lot of pictures
In my mental land

So some of them are of loved ones
Some are still life scenes
Some I made in charcoal
Some I made in dreams

And all I need’s a spare wall
To attach them on
Many things I can get started with
And then I will be gone

I do not know ten thousand faces

I do not know ten thousand faces
I can maybe remember ten
So in the days of sudden plague
I do not miss those men

Though I hear the widows crying
And I watch the funeral march
I do not see their faces
Under the dead man’s arch

I do not know ten thousand faces
I can hardly count to five
When dealing with high numbers
Now only ten thousand are left alive

I’m glad to just wake up each day
And see the morning light
Grateful that I’d been sleeping
Through the plague of night

But then a short time later
When the plague has died away
The tears will start to fall
Beside the common grave

And the people all around me
As speechless as a morgue
Lost in yesterday’s shadows
Without a sound they walk

I don’t know ten thousand faces
They just fade away like spots
You live, you strive, you love again
It’s too hard to count the cost

I had a lonely dream night

I had a lonely dream night
The dawn was silent blue
I was feeling all washed out
Thinking so much of you

A lonely night is a woman
That can’t make up her mind
As the summer does its buttons up
And drains your cup of time

My mind is like a coat hanger
With room enough for two
But with your comings and goings
It’s a hanger of the blues

If you should see me drifting
Through the portal of the deep black night
Please use your neglected torch
To shine a homecoming light

And guide me home
And guide me home
Use your forgotten torch
To guide me home

The public have a right to know

The public have a right to know
Say the newspaper as an excuse
To start a media pile-on
As a form of ritual abuse

Can you imagine if they were living?
In the spare room of your mind
I think they’d drive you crazy
They just act so unkind

The public have a right to know
Is what they always say
When they investigate a street fight
Just to get there way

Well I never, cor blimey
I hear the gossips say
That are chatting in the laundry
Most hours of the day

The public have a right to know
Well that’s true to form
It starts off as a whisper
And becomes a media storm

Well maybe I have bills to pay
I’ve got other things on my mind
I rather I got on with my life
Than play at truth and lies

The x-ray glasses

Shane and Lisa were out walking, this time to try out some new glasses that they had found in a second-hand shop that seemed to be X-ray glasses. They had decided to go to the countryside to try them out.

Reaching a semi-wooded landscape Shane put them on first and looked so startled that he stepped back and almost fell over a fallen branch.

What is it, asked Lisa? He didn’t know how to tell her about what he had seen. Here you put them on and see for yourself. She did so. There in the wild shrubbery and buddleias, she saw something man-like, only he was oily black all over with streaks of rainbow colouring. He had an anvil and a forge and there was a strange fire, and he was hammering something, making something. She took off the glasses her eyes could not see him, she put them on and he was there at work. I’m frightened said Lisa, let’s get out of here. They slowly backed away, turned and ran.

Next episode: The children discover that his name is Adam and that he is making a weapon to fight against his enemies.

Chris Hall Collaboration

Just now a violent argument started outside. A man swearing and cursing at a woman calling her a crack head, saying she’s taken everything he has, and that no one trusts her. A broken glass. more people join in perhaps trying to calm him down. Now threatening those intervening with a can of petrol and a smack. Now the argument is between him and the ones trying to calm him down. Now more people are involved. Some passers-by are simply laughing at this.

Meanwhile, I’m working on Chris Halls lovely poem and trying to put it to music. And the contrast can’t be greater.

Here is a PDF update to the song.

chris hall poem 21.05.20

The Rent Office

Jimmy was a good friend, he was warm and unassuming and I got on well with him.
I bumped into him in the street, it was an overcast day and a bit dark.
He was going down to pay his rent he said. So we parted and I carried on until for some abstract reason I thought I should accompany him. I would have to catch him up. He was gone.

So I walked down to the rent office to find him. The rent office is a huge building. It is 16 stories high and covers a large area dominating an old high street of a long-forgotten town that had been absorbed into the asteroid belt of the big city.

I walked into the building from the rear. There in a glass foyer area was a reception desk with 3 desks but only one receptionist. A queue of people stood impatiently in line to see him. He was obviously irritable with everybody so I decided not to ask for directions.

I walked through a dirty old door and came to the loading bay area, there were no Lorries and no warehousemen so I carried on along the platform to the opposite side and went through the door flaps.

Now I was in a long corridor with a zigzag bend in the middle of it, locked doors all the way down the sides and a sense of disuse. I walked down, passed the zigzag, hoping the next half of the corridor would be different, it was not. I had a feeling of wasted time and energy and wanted to get out of there. At the end, through another door was a concrete stairwell that seemed to rise up into a vanishing point. I walked up the squared rising stairwell to the next level and opened a door.

A short passageway opened out into a huge high ceilinged waiting area. It was gloomy due to the weather. A few people sat in the rows of plastic chairs. A receptionist sat at a computer alone. I asked for the rent office. He didn’t look up, he was too preoccupied, he didn’t want to talk.

I crossed the large open hall and had to choose between two sets of doors leading into two corridors. I went to the right. It led to a lift with two lift doors and lights going on and off and strange crunching noises. I looked at the placarded list of floors. It was old with flaked paint. Nothing, no rent office. This was one of the older council rent offices where things were written on bits of paper and stuck on the wall, still no rent office.

I left the lift area and descended back down a stairwell to the floor beneath. A large grimy industrial area opened up full of crates and benches full of old tools and machinery covered over in filthy canvas sheets. A menacing man looked at me as if I wasn’t supposed to be there so I hurried on with the feeling I was being followed by a monstrous enemy until I came to a little door covered in grime and went through.
There was a big empty courtyard with walls all around it, I felt trapped, fearful. I searched for a way back into the building.

I came upon an old door that led to an old lift shaft, the sort that had cages all around it. I tried to call the lift, nothing happened. I walked up a narrowing unlit forgotten staircase like those in the towers of medieval castles to the next floor and saw a double set of doors onto a waiting room area. This was the council enquiry room. Two or three dozen worried people were crammed into the room. Sitting on plastic chairs or standing in a huddle by the door. It was a ticketed system and a red-backlit number said 665. My friend was nowhere to be found.

I left and found another stairwell and I made the bad choice of climbing all the way to the top. On the top floor was a large open plan office space with desks set up in rows. Women were engaged in making calculations on their computers. I had the feeling of walking into an off-limits part of the building and that I was unwelcome. I did a quick about-face and went down the stairs to the floor below.
Just as I was about to leave the stairwell I happened to look out of the window. Way down below I saw an ambulance and someone was being carried into it.