Here in my broken tattooed mind

Here in my isolation with my broken tattooed mind
Across the road from paradise with the love I’m trying to find
I see the marriage in Cana from the stop across the street
As if time itself had hit me in my drowning broken teeth.

Yessan,  England, you’re a long way down the road
Way ahead, with your windows on the shoulders of the poor
Your rolling stock don’t pass this way no more
And I stand here on this crossroads screaming floor.

I’m looking up to heaven I suppose that’s what it is
I’m seeing the kind of vision that your grandfather slept with
Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at your shore
But you cling to the economy and to war.

I pick up my right foot I leave wedding songs behind
I pick up my left and go where England cannot find
The party guests dancing or the miraculous vats of wine
Across the road in another patch of time.

Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at your shore
But you cling to economy and to war.

Yes and Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at you shore
You struggle to survive with the world’s fast changing law
Your song thrush sings bravely on your highest telephone wire.
The jet plane comes screaming through broken cathedral spire.

Halleluiah, Britannia, with Jerusalem at your shore
But you cannot follow those ancient feet no more.

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

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