A reprimand from the absent guest at the A.G.M

You invited yourself along and all that you do came too. Carolyn’s shrub, wet with pain, you passed by as if you wore the night like a fairy tale. Now what have you done with the oyster of your mouth? Counting the steps of my vertebrae up to the moon that rattles in my brain amongst the deadwood of words; A white lie in the dream of corridors echoed through the old building like a rampant albino nettle. The piano played like a skeleton in the hunger of my heart; the music was a dark closeted room of loneliness; Despairing in the maze of rooms in my identity of ice and fire. A spoil of war put at your feet by the red ghost of love.

How often unfairness drags me through prison walls laughing
How often has unfairness blunted my own words in my own heart?

Tired alone and defeated by the stress of cats mewing in my brain
I left you to the spoils of war fashioned out of the ivories of my bones.

Now you have formed a mystery with me
Your inbred arrogance slips through the closed door like bath water.

I can hear the voices of the roses inside
But all I’m given are the pledges of distant voices.

My imagination is plastic and it is clay
It is formed into whatever you want it to from.

If I were a man made of glass windows
The world would see the fool inside in his red fur coat.

But it seemed like a normal day to Jehovah
And I seemed like a grain of sand in a fire.

 

2000

Song: My Love Walls

My love walls are flesh
My love walls are fire
My love walls are tall trees
Growing higher and higher
My love walls are phantoms
My love walls are veins
My love walls are visions
My love walls are brains

Oh – My Love Walls
Oh – My Love Walls

My love walls are emotions
My love walls are looks
My love walls are DNAs
Hanging upon hooks
My love walls tall
My love walls vapours
My love walls are dynamite
My love wall are nature

Oh – My Love Walls
Oh – My Love Walls

My love walls are shivering
My love walls are wars
My love walls are icebergs
And they have no doors
My love walls are gristle
My love walls are bones
My love walls encompass you
They swallow you alone

Oh – My Love Walls
Oh – My Love Walls

My love walls are mouths and ears
My love walls are eyes
My love walls are orders
Talking custard lies
My love walls are melting
They’re always falling down
My love walls are dying
Turning round and round

Oh – My Love Walls
Oh – My Love Walls

My love walls are insects legs
They are also ugly things
My love walls also are reflections
That fly on fearless wings
My love walls are tired
My love walls are bruised
My love walls are crying
Because they’ve been abused

Oh – My Love Walls
Oh – My Love Walls

my love walls

please click to see PDF of melody and chords

 

ALLEGORY

On the riverside the cameras eye hovered around the talking bench, panned across the river and back again to the talking bench.

“I lived in the room above where my father is now. I came down and people should listen to me.”

I leaned on the railing and watched the ships go by, the pleasure boats, and the outgoing tide.

The camera eye went to the floating dock, it was empty, it filmed the pleasure boat docked there, the ebb and flow of the waves.

“I have a message for mankind, that they should all listen to me”.

And there in the small room was the red water.

I was entranced by the floating dock, the unusual perspective of corridors, of gangplanks that formed architectural webs of metal post and roof all around me. The little office, the feeling of the floating dock bobbing up and down on the waves.

The camera moved on back up he gangplank to the riverside walk and along to the stairs and down to the beach cove.  The camera eye filmed the jetsam and flotsam washed up on shore, panning along the distant warehouses opposite, filming the river meandering around the horseshoe bends.

I went to look at the wall covered in seaweed and moss, its green slippery texture, the waterlogged wood, the great blocks of broken concrete on the shore, left from another era, the dancing midges.

“No one knows me, I have lived before, I came from the world above, the room above”.

The grey blue river had silver speckles over it from the afternoon sun, I watched it flow upstream, people walked or jogged along.

The camera now stopped at an inlet enclosed by old warehouses. The camera filmed a white duck that preened its feathers and then snuggled down into the sand, the litter, garbage, dumped stuff.

I watched the small streamlet that ran down the wet beach from higher small pools; water that seemed to flow from inexhaustible supply right at the top of the inlet. I looked at the ladders built into the walls that would transfer men from boats into warehouse doors. I put my face against the railing and I felt trapped on the outside.

The camera now began following the main road.

There is a garden in the sky where a girl with red boots is playing. Her father has gone back down to earth and left her on her own. An ogre sometimes comes and stares over the wall at her. Before he left, her father planted a small posy of flowers in the ground for her.

The camera resumes the Thames walk, stops to film the riverbank. A woman is out walking her two small dogs, one is a small fragile whippet, thin as a skeleton, the other ambles over decking over the river that is out of bounds to people due to its instability.

The girl with red boots is playing in the garden in the sky. She will come back to earth with a message for mankind and no one will listen.

The river has filled a small boat dock with water and receded, in the water I watch a swarm of fish dart and glide in circles through the shadows, beneath the swarms larger fish cruise lazily.

In the riverside park the camera films the flowers. Two teenagers immediately stop and ask the camera to film them. They strike a pose by the tennis court and talk about their leisure activities.

I watch the tennis players as they bat the tennis ball back and forth. In my hand is a bright yellow flower that I picked from a tree which I leave behind on the ground behind a little wall.

The girl in the red boots must come down to the earth now. She’s been left alone for ages without her mother or father in the garden in the sky and they never went back for her, not even the ogre who looked over the wall was interested in her.

The camera is filming an old brick bus shelter decorated by children’s painting of a river scene with boats and birds.

I head down Three Crane’s Walk back to the riverside again, the camera stops to film the dark alleyway between the tall buildings.

The camera starts filming the bank and the outgoing tide. A tall red sailed fishing boat motors by going down stream.

In Wapping High Street the girl with red boots and a camera is filming the outside of Turners Star, she goes inside, beads of sweat cover her brow, she films the pictures on the wall and banters with the men propped up against the bar.

The camera seems momentarily disorientated, it walks to the north filming, to the East filming, to the West filming anything in sight. I try to steer it back on course and head it back to the river walk.

“I am from the world above, I have come with a message, everyone must know and listen, I am from the room above, I can foresee events that will happen, people must listen”.

Then follows a pier that goes out into the river, that goes down to the pleasure boats moored in a floating dock at the end of the pier. In the distance two men are skimming stones across the waves. A cook runs from boat to boat; from the Captain Kidd pub people in the beer garden stare down at the river.

My time is running out, my time has run out, I’ve missed my appointment, I get irritated by the camera that goes by without seeing me.

I settle down on a bench in front of an old barge that has attracted the bird life, a Coot is building a nest; a young grey gull waddles down the beach pecking at things between the stones. The river police-boats are moored outside.

The camera waits to finish filming now, the second battery is running low. It comes to a clock tower and films it for a few seconds. A tower above the rooftops somewhere in Wapping.

2002

Toothy Edna Ironsides New Blog

She had just posted her first post on her brand new blog. It was a brilliant start, an item about the Glasgow whiskey industry. She remembered, (just as her friends, who all had blogs, had taught her), to pick her categories and make up her tags; and then she waited. Next morning she awoke and it felt like a Christmas day to her; she was so happy she felt like singing. She opened up her blog page to read the messages and count the likes and follow the followers and … nothing, nobody, zerox with an empty ink cartridge. She went into a slump; where were all her friends? Where was the support? Where was the bloggers glory? She had told all her friends and family to look for her page; she had given them the exact address with the http:// and the name on her Welcome page, but nothing. She looked out of the window, it was raining, and the sky was grey, autumn leaves fluttered onto the street. She made up her mind not to follow up or try to find out what had happened. Maybe a disaster had prevented them all from looking, maybe a vanishing. She’d wait, she’d wait until finally from among the millions out there someone would open, read and like. She wanted to be liked.

Patient Poems

Doctors

A prose piece about how much society needs doctors and the strange power they have.

Doctors: picture a world full of doctors, doctors walking everywhere, everywhere you go you see doctors in white jackets.

Doctors from the mould, doctors in white jackets. The only way to tell male from female is short hair or hair tied up at the back. They all look alike, like shapes cut out of paper.

There are doctors, everywhere you go, doctors, in and out of every train door, revolving door, and shop door*. Doctors not smiling because they are serious, they are doctors, and they fill the planet.

And what do they all do, all these doctors? I am the only one left who is not a doctor. I run naked down a brightly lit corridor and out into the street screaming. I climb a high building and then I jump, then, doctors like clumps of snow crowd around the last pool of red blood that they will ever see.

*The sliding doors of the underground train; the revolving doors of banks; the glass doors of department stores.

There’s a Place in Boston

A lyric about how the wealthy can neglect their children

There is a place in Boston Where the people are so perfect
And anyone who starts to scream Is treated like a convict.
There isn’t a wrinkle in a sheet And they always say their prayers
But I don’t think God listens to them I don’t think he even cares
There are the homeless on the street And therapy is just in reach
And everyone is secretly In the bell jars of society
The heart is broken like a plate And when it breaks it leaks our hate
For all who scream to be set free From the perfect people who won’t leave be
And as you walk the Boston break-yard Where the freight trains alone can scream
Where you climb aboard an empty boxcar For it’s the only place to dream

Fears

As a child I experienced loneliness and fear at school

I was just a child. I was placing my feet precisely in the center of the paving tiles as I walked, hoping that no one would hurt me anymore if I did not step on the cracks.

I had no idea what unhappiness was or why I felt it all the time.

The idea occurred to me like how the smallest of wild flowers suddenly appears in the shadow.

Stepping across the tiles like that gave me a feeling of security like how the feeling of a small key would feel to a wind-up toy.

And that’s how I discovered the meaning of feelings, of security, unhappiness and, strangely, the existence of a Me.

Where I lived there was a brick wall

As a very young child living in a slum I couldn’t make sense of all the wlls around me

Where I lived there was a brick wall and in the wall, there were several crumbling bricks.

I would see the wind hammering at the bricks trying to get through. I would see the winter weather eating away the cement and the broken bits of bricks.

Then one bright spring day I looked and I could see right through the wall at the sun on the other side and I watched as the wall sagged and then caved in and then collapsed entirely.

And there are parts of society that thinks itself strong like a wall but they never ever talk about there feelings and some of the children in that society grow up having never expressed how they feel about anything that has happened to them. Then they are made to see a doctor, then they are put in a hospital, then they kill themselves.

And it’s a sign about the wall; that the wall is growing weak and that the wall will someday collapse because it’s a wall with no feelings, it’s a wall without love.

Blue Flame

Prose exaimining how society can set thepath of your life for you

Some machinery released the trapped gas in the bowels of the earth. It travelled along pipes into a factory to be cleaned up than along more pipes until it popped up out of the gas ring where it tried to escape to freedom, and then it was set fire to, in the blue flames that were destroying millions of years of formation.

You had been in the womb for a long time until formed into a baby you; you travelled through a tunnel and into a place where you were cleaned up. Then you were taken by car to a house (did you see the engine that turned your relative into exhaust fumes). There in a house it was both hot and cold. Your mother loved you; your society awaited you. There in the house, you received mixed messages; your mother nurtured you and society waited for you like a wolf.

You expect society to be like a home, but instead, your mother let you go free and society turned you into a blue flame.

In a Cosmic Mist

I have known friends who spend time in mental hospitals

In a cosmic mist where no real people could live was a hospital with six beds and one electro shock treatment room.

The nurse and the warden came silently through the pinpoint of reality gate and down the long white corridor into the ward where Henry VIII’s six wives were sitting on their beds.

She was taken down into the dark cavernous basement. She looked up but she could not see a roof in the thick black silence.

The fat Henry the VIII bird flew onto the warden’s shoulder. It had a tasseted breast and a gold chain around its neck and a hat tilted roguishly on its head.

She lay down on the contraption and the nurse and the warden strapped her down. An order was made and a great bolt of lightning passed through her temples and she became unconscious.

In the evening, a little recovered she joined the rest of the wives in the ward. Their faces were bright white. The room was bright white and everyone shone with a jangling brightness, from the earth people talked in wonder of the new constellation of six stars, bright as gleaming toothpaste blobs, icy white. There was a droning noise coming from it as if it were trying to give birth to a boy.

The Falling Gate

A prose story cartoon about the neglected child in me

The big gate fell down and shut me outside. It was a grey morning; I looked through the iron grill at the creature inside. Who are you, didn’t I know you once? This creature was black with dirt and long black uncut hair and rags … and was crying.

The inside of the dungeon room was small; there was nothing to give light. It was black as jade.

Who was this person? Did I know them?

I felt cheerful in spite of myself, cheerful to have my freedom, to see the winter light of a cloudy day.

I struck a match and looked into the darkness. I was looking into a mirror. There reflected back at me was myself.

Am I real? Is this really me outside here or is it my imagination? Am I really the person locked away in the dungeon?

I sat on the old crumbling ivy covered wall opposite the arched dungeon under the railway bridge and as night drew in, I seemed to disappear

– Like a phantom into the night.

I wanted to be like everybody else.

I wanted to be like everyone else, maybe because I had no help in understanding myself.

I was everyone else. Everyone else was me.

Yet when I greet someone in my “everyone else” character I wish I could be myself too.

Words are not just in the head
Words are not only in the mouth
It’s all connected. It’s connected by spirit.

I believe that if we didn’t have vocal chords, not only could we not speak, but we would not be able to think either. I believe that the vocal chords give us the power of our thinking words. I could be wrong. But there is a point where loud thinking moves the vocal chords ever so slightly.

I had a bad experience with my father once. He kept picking on me, trying to pick a fight with me. All I ever wanted from him was love. I was crushed and broken, Ii became depressed and I had issues with my own voice. How could my voice say those things? It was now what I wanted. No, no, no.

Just to survive more than anything else I had to be a person by being like everyone else. I failed, I was, I am, self-protective without even thinking to be. The hardest thing for me to do, is to be myself.

 

With my head lodged in the moon

With my head lodged in the moon

With my head lodged in the moon
Eating bright cold fire of imagination
The bogus halo of crystal hurricane
Mans hunger snapped like dry spaghetti

Oh I love you with my bifocals on
Watching the transformation of birds
Into straight jacketed screaming gargoyles
As I float like a chess piece in eternity

When at edges, boundaries and borders
Vertigo becomes a snake in love
Between two sheets of pure steel
Sounds are pressed out like bells ringing

I live a simple life within a crisp packet
And the dawn feeds me flakes of glittering corn

2003

Love Story

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The foolish youth believed the girl
To be in love with him
So did the old man

Old man time and young man time
Sat upon a bench
Silent

The young girl, always young!
Whilst man grws old and dies
The young girl remainsupon the earth
She is dancing and playing magic tricks

Enticing their age with magic
Flirting with time
Playing with hearts both old and new

The foolish youth sat with old man time
He remembered life
He collected memories in his heart

The foolish youth believed
The young girl to be in love with
Him
Yet here he was
Why she flirted with him
Is mystery
To his foolish heart
Yet how can he answer
When the young girl
Flirts now only with his heart
But wiht the very heart of life
That old man time guards
So jealously

circa 1971

Fear, terrible fear.

Fear, terrible fear is released. The ship of Liberty is sinking.
There is a bitter iron in the heart.
The heart like a baby in the grip of pliers beating, beating to get free of
its crib.
The rope of sleep is reeled in,
Called in, dying there in the primordial temper of the stressed heart.

The threat draws closer. Is society becoming crazy,
loosing its footing, struggling to stand stridently
on shifting gravel.

Good intentions become the walk between two guards to the prison cell.
The Good intentions of the middle class are independent of King or Queen.

They have taken the university; they have moved in.
The children who grew up in luxury
With their eyes set on the great heights.

Life – live here

Live – live here
Be my bride. The smile I forgot to smile. The smile on the lips of life is our smile.
He is boulder face, he is without life, he does not smile, when he lives he smiles.
But who can live here amongst the ice and boulders of this world.
That cry within – life, live here, for us.

That meaningful vote – a penny in a rusty tin can in the hand of the destitute poor – the world.

Life we cry, live here, thrive here in this dark evil wood.

That meaningful vote – a treaty with the seven-headed beast of the apocalypse, run, hide; but all the caves are one bright and colourless light.

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