“By my Name Jehovah I was Not Known”

A name above the shop door
A manufacturer’s sense of pride
Businesses are called by a name
That emanates far and wide.

But broke into a million pieces
Changed to suit every need
God’s Name keeps disappearing
Under a mountain of greed.

In a church you’ll find a name
Sometimes several or more
But look above the altar
But look above the door.

His name, a sign of quality
Just like a Saville Row suit
You know that it’s been tailored
With a skill that’s absolute

The body beneath the clothing
That dances like Fred Astaire;
But the makers Name is forgotten
Though his work is everywhere.

Oct 22, 1995

Blood Made Gold

When human warmth is normal
The full hue
When you walk into
The room of a close family
Their smells
Cover you in
Blood made gold

A blessed family
A home of human warmth
How their lives
Have relaxed into harmony
When every surface is alive
With layers of breath-touch-love
Reapplied daily
Burnished
Like blood made gold

This human tenderness
Fashioned into manifold affections
That paint the room
That watercolour the air
That sing a gentle lullaby
Of activity
Where relationship
Combines a hive, a nest, a den
Into a womb
Of blood made gold

How the beauty of the home
Is overwhelming
When it works
To fill your needs
When it grows quietly
Like a summer meadow
Between their lips
How different life is
For its family
Who lie for an eternity
A life of blood made gold

June 2019

Venus and Mars

I have to stay up “till midnight”
You will be asleep by then –
Then the watchman leaves into the streets
Overlooked by Venus sparkling over the city.

Midnight is a long time away now
As far as the North Pole in winter
Where the giant clockwork machine turns the universe
That ploughs through the fields, tuning up bones and larks eggs.

After two years of seeing each other you ask
1. Is there more to life than love?
2. Lets play hide and seek with the stars.

Sleep draining sleep; until Venus strikes her bell.
Dream of me as the thin wooden man on the battlefield
Struggling with the red eyes of Mars in the shadows.

Sleep, darling, sleep safe in your soft bed
While Venus sparkles above you – unforgetfull of this hope . . .

Your love is a crystal waterline –

Introduction

Your love is a crystal waterline by a warm, sandy golden beach where the sun mingles with the ocean breeze and the fruits of the jungle roll into pools of water.
Your love is the mystery of an African summer set free as a bird on the Caribbean wind. Your brown body is as intoxicating as the mixed wine of Lisbon.

Your passions suddenly rise like the hurricane winds of the Caribbean and sweep across the islands in a blind fury of passionate ardour, devastating the fields of slave traders, throwing the Spanish treasures ships against tidal waves; broken by your whirlwind, freeing their cargoes of spices into the hot summer air. Oh to be in the
eye of you’re passionate hurricane and to be carried out to sea in your amorous storms.

The equatorial heat of your hands in mine causes earthquakes in my deepest soulful depths; undersea volcanoes erupt and give birth to new islands, paradises, filled with new creations, strange birds and wild animal calls, new scented flowers and new fruits to delight the palettes of sea-admirals in search of bounty.

Oh, my Barbados beauty, a shoal of dolphins are your limbs against mine and deep coloured jewels of coral are your words of love. Your body is like the date palms swaying over the lagoons of love.

Oh, my love, your virtue is like the wardrobes of Carib Princesses’ concealed in jungle pyramids until love finds its way to your secret doors, doors of strong metals, heavy to open, laden with gold plate, silver and jeweled, with mysterious ancient secret writing telling of El Dorado, the land of gold. The secrets of which you have promised to tell on the day you are wed, to give with hugs and kisses to the one you love.

Oh my love, you pour love into my cup like a mountain waterfall of pure mineral water and never ending stream of refreshment are your ways flowing into mine. My love for you is as constant as the sun of equatorial African lands, as glowing as the sunsets of Caribbean islands. As joyous as the lovebirds of isolated Caribbean islands that having never
known hunger. As deep as the trenches of ocean floors where fire and water are married and deep-sea light fish glow in the dark waters.

Your love like the fermentation of mixed fruits blended by victualers and served at marriage feasts. Like the water turned into the best wine and saved until last, that is the miracle of your love, the blessing you are.

I. The debts of winter

The debts of winter chain me to the sun.
Slave to the fire in the big blue sky.
The debts of tears, fix me like a sundial,
That shadows encircle all through summer.

A sun too far – I am frozen to death!
A sun too near – I turn to sand!
Oh to close the door and walk down the steps
To walk away from tears, to walk away from debts.

II. Staring at the sun

Staring at the sun
There’s no buying and no selling
There’s no trying and no telling
There’s no export and no import
There’s no exchange and nothing’s bought

There’s no exchange
You’re a victim of the rage
There’s no exchange
So you have to disengage
Staring at the sun
There’s no rifle and no gun
There’s no betting and nothing’s won
There’s no sadness and no fun
There’s no running and no where to run

There’s no ransom
You’re on trial for your life
There’s no ransom
When you’re staring at the sun

III. In love I learnt all about you

In love I learnt all about you
When love faded into friendship
The abundant knowledge was wasted
But I have learnt the lesson
That passionate love explores

In partnership with the sun
You remain my secondary light of night
The tides of my heart are dangerously tidal
For I have learnt the lesson
That passionate love explores

In partnership with the moon
I circle the lonely ocean tides
I fill the darkened night
I plumb the ocean depth
For I have learned the lesson
That passionate love explores

IV. Are we still friends?

Are we still friends? Are we still enemies?
Enemies of the love We did not sustain
Betrayers of passion Lovers of friendship
With feelings of guilt Over loves lost pain

So now stand and face the blinding sun
And truthfully say to a lost loved one
That we will still be friends
When the sun is no more

V. Her warmth is better than the suns

Her warmth is better than the suns
But as with a rose I hold a thorn
But as with a snake I’m bitten.

In a dream she’s floating in a tree
Branches like a windows broken pane
From hunter to victim she succumbs
Keeping her wide eyes upon me.

Hungry – she needs consoling,
Her disguise exchanged for love.
Tomorrow?
She’s been too hurt to say
What tomorrow wants from yesterday.

VI. I like to humiliate men

I like to humiliate men
I like to see them crying,
I blame men for living,
I blame men for dying.

This picture, who could foresee?
A woman who humiliates me,
She calls it – a game of tease
And brings me down, to my knees.

I am a grand defender on a wall.
He is the weak attacker on the floor.
There is a note of sarcasm in my call,
As to my door he crawls.

I am a woman who likes to humiliates men
By blackmail, love, so who can mend?
What experience taught me so?
To love, to hurt with body blow.

I’m a well-defended territory.
Taunting my imagined enemy,
Yet in the nights of loneliness
Beats a lost and lonely heart.

If only I could cast away
Those past losses, cruel lies.
Fighting for my pride is good
But as a lover I cry and cry…

VII. A feral pigeon was crushed today

A feral pigeon was crushed today under an aggressive tyre
(So I’ve died a little today), its feathers are its shroud.
If its wings could rise and fly to take that body into the sky;
If imagination could rejuvenate the love that was crushed today.

If, instead of dying – living! Love was brought back to life!
Alas only common sense and skill Can deflect the bloodstained knife.
Merely a cloud passing by like my thoughts unclear.
Loneliness returns in the guise of heat hazed anviled air.
Like a passing stranger how she changes in front of me
From a living love within – to an escaped born vision.

I loved her when she was a part of me; I loved her when I was part of her,
But like two distant feral birds we separate untouchable.
Upon a half travelled road she stopped and never was the same again,
Like the end of a hurricane our love affair blew over.
Like the feral pigeon crushed under the wheels of an aggressive car,
Red and crushed and mangled in a shroud of feathers.

What if those feathers still could fly? And took the body into the sky.
What if the heart still could love? And live again for evermore.

VIII. What I feel

What I feel falls into mists.
What I want is hidden in the mists.
Like a baby In swirling mists
I search for you In deepening mists.

Mists – Have the face of sorrow,
Mists – Have the heart of tomorrow.
Mists – Don’t remember the way
Through the mists of yesterday.

IX. The total commitment of her soul

Is eclipsed by the hunger of her hurt!
That men cared,
that men cannot mend;
What time writes,
time forgets to erase.

Time – be gone,
Time don’t ruin loves eternity.
Time – die;
time – cease,
Let lovers like her be free.

Time, stop! Stop your careless game!
Time, end! End your mindless search!
Time, finish! As of now, stop!
Love, your understudy, must have your part.

X. Clothed in the haze of the moon

Clothed in the haze of the moon
Fed by the light of the sun
Loved by the remnant of stars
Remembered by the eternal one

Oh to be like one of those ones
The stones of new creation
Oh to be like one of those
With pure hearts, strong hands, fair faces.

XI. There are gods who do good

There are gods who do good for the good that is done
There are gods who revile the goodness of one
There are gods who repay with more than just dreams
There are gods who will kill you as the payment agreed

So for the good deeds that you have done
Be sure they are sold to the honest one
And never reveal the secret you hold
For fear you’re betrayed by the hearts that are cold

XII. They have grown with her as their protector

They have grown with her as their protector
They will not let her go
Now they keep her captive
To make safe their conquered home

The children’s darkness is slow to fade
From their mothers life
Dependent on her, she becomes their slave
Always the mother, never the wife

All the others that love her so
Are turned away like dragons
And if she grows to love someone
She feels as if she’s in the wrong

Pride taught her to be strong
Produced immense courage amid
Loneliness she could not resolve
As she fought to rear her kids

They’ve grown up around her
Like a fortress wall
The children subdue the parent
While they grow up tall

She struggles to be free of them
To find a life of her own again
But walls are hard to break down
With children’s darkness all around

We’re trapped by what others do to us
And no one seems to see
We’re trapped by what others do to us
They stop us being free

Aug 25 95

XIII. OF ALL THE THINGS TO KEEP OF ME

Of all the things to keep of me
You keep my front door key
You have a gift for comedy
You keep my front door key

With a sixth sense you sneak in
When I am not at home
Desperate for privacy
To sit inside alone

My caricature you like to draw
Always makes me smile
A bittersweet kind of treat
Humour in my trial

I know you keep it secret
The engagement ring I gave
Among the glass and plastic
Something worthwhile saved

That and what you think of me
That and my front door key
An insurance against the slavery
To come and go invisibly

You like to keep me laughing
As my heart you break
To catch me off my guard maybe
To look for hidden mistakes

Laughing at our break-up?
But my mocked heart bleeds
To hear the fumbling in a lock
Of those front door keys

Fri Sept 22 95

XIV. I wrote to a loved one

I wrote to a loved one
“My heat belongs to you”
Like a bundle of swag
She took it and vanished

What do women do?
With all the hearts of men who fell for them
Keep them in their jewelry boxes?
Pile them up in their wardrobes?
(They overflow their dresser draws)

Hearts – materialistic keepsakes!
– Collectibles for kleptomaniacs
Women with hearts are like squirrels with nuts

Hearts are nothing to believe in
Give and take at our peril
If they beat – it’s just a clinical fact
And nothing to do with feelings

Hearts are bought and sold for love
Isn’t it a shame
Who will wipe away the tears?
Where you carve her name

XV. A LITTLE BIT OF ME

A little bit of me seemed empty
When I was going out with you
– It was my heart

You felt, to me, like a stray thing
That couldn’t trust a man

A little bit of me became empty
When you came round
– like a crime scene, taped off
It was my heart

But now and then, in fun
You’d smile and hug me tight with happy eyes
Then that little bit of me was happy for a while

I tried to make you comfortable
I tried to make you see
What had happened inside of me

But you were molded in the image
Of the things you had suffered and seen
Though my love was true
You still projected them onto me

So a little bit of me seemed empty
When I was left alone by you
It was my heart

Oct 8th 95

XVI. THERE IS A HOUSE WHERE NO-ONE SEEMS TO LIVE

There is a house where no-one seems to live
There is a home where no-one seems to dream
People stop and wonder who lives there
As nights grow shorter in the autumn air

There is a house where no-one seems to be
Yet in that house, there is one – there is me
A house where no visitors appear
A home that seems empty all the year

There is a house that grows dark every night
There is a home that seems ignored by life
Inside, it is cared for just about
Inside you hear the silence from without

Oct 12 95

XVIII. I SPEND ANOTHER DAY INDOORS

I spend another day indoors
As something grows inside me
I close the curtains and lock the doors
So no one can define me.

I lie down and dream all day
Thinking of a name,
At high noon as children play
The problems still the same.

I want a good name for my son
And the best I know by far –
I’ll call him Gary – after Cooper
My favourite film star.

I’ll spend another day indoors
As something grows inside me.
I’ll close the curtains and lock the doors
So no one can define me.

Somehow I must plan ahead,
Somehow I must prepare,
Someday I’ll meet another one
Who’ll treat me a lot more fair

I’ll keep this hope alive inside
To blaze unending fire.
Meanwhile, I’ll act wisely
Til’ a true love I acquire.

I’ll spend another day indoors
As someone grows inside me
I’ll close the curtains and lock the doors
And dream of things that might have been
and dream and dream and dream and dream

27 Oct 95

There is a River to Life

There is a river to life
With many streams.
You should look out for them
Keep their paths clear.

When I open a south facing door
Onto my sunny buzzing garden
I must open a north facing window
Under a shaded balcony.

If there is no through way
The insects get trapped inside the room
They bombard the north facing windows
Like angry suicide pilots.

The direction all things travel in
The flow of the stream
And of how all the rivers of life
Will flow down to a sea.

In the morning

The morning
Seems to be the best time
To throw out your net.

You pull it back in
With one or two
Bloggers trapped inside
Who like you.

The Priests Woman

Love, you hold out your hand to me
Suddenly the world is blanketed in snow
Icicles hang from your fingertips and I feel cold

Love, you hold out your lips to me
Suddenly everywhere is cold and blue
Your long white dress clinks like ice
The wood of your bones creaks in the wind

Love, you look at me with your eyes
Ice frozen cages that capture the past
Eyes as hard as memorial stones
Bright as the blinding sun upon the snowfield

My heart like a tulip bulb aching to flower
Wrapped in the chains of your winter

Love, your body like a pillow of snow and ice
Love, why do you look back into the blizzard

Will you lead the world to the edge of darkness?
With words as bright as torches
When your foot steps into the night
It’s the earth the fire wind scorches

Your face shines like a crusader’s shield
And you think you stand on Mt Sinai
As your chiefs prepare the battle fields
Where eagles circle in the smoky sky

As you drive your knife into madness itself
And you shoot your gun at insanity
Like a shadow it moves with bodiless stealth
A bloodless thing you can’t see

When love is covered in blood and tears
Wrapped up in the shawls of revenge
How will you calm your animal fears?
Or stop its sacrifice at this Stonehenge

I want yesterday

I want yesterday
To happen again
laid out like cling film
across the earth

I know yesterday
where it sleeps
how to tuck it in
how to dream it

I can see its performance
its field of sweat
its goal posts
its overcoats of blood

I can slip my hands into its pockets
I can use its shoes
I know where to find my home there
Between the ruins

Tomorrow I do not know
If history has any say there
If knowledge will be of any help
(Between the wreck of the Belgrano and the ruins of Bagdad)

Tomorrow may be changed beyond recognition
Between the tank tracks and the Euro economy
Between the vandals and the terrorists
Between the rich people and the new technology

Bring back the yesterday
let me stand on its hill of garbage
in contrast to which
I seem to shine like a star

Bullying did not bring curses

Bullying did not bring curses from my lips
I fought to be loved by you
I fought to break through your harness

I did not succeed
I knew I could never fight again for the love I needed from you
It was as black and white as that

Truthfully, even wanting to be loved became a shameful feeling
A pain that hurt
And I cherish that hurt as all I have from you

And when other loves beat me
I feel as mute as the speechless ones

I could not speak to save myself
To free myself
The poison I drank in my youth is still in my system

Nothing could excuse me from the ordeal
Not my health or my age mattered

And I have never believed in the reason
Why one man can treat another with contempt

First we dance and then we go to heaven

First we dance and then we go to heaven
First we love and then we pass away
We see the sky and then round ‘bout seven
Our hearts feel empty and we dream in grey

First we must dance and then we go to heaven
We somehow forget how hard life can be
We don’t realise how our bodies are like leaven
We only know what’s good and what is free

First we dance and then we go to heaven
And heaven loves the ignorance of a child
Never dreaming death can come between us
The purity of love and all things free and wild

Then we tire and find there are no answers
To questions about love lasting years
Then we cry and end our career as dancers
We feel like stone and then we fill with tears

So first we dance and then we go to heaven
And if we love we’ll live forever more
This is the ideal that life seems to teach us
And if we run we can just get through the door

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