It is night

It is night, in the drizzle the street lights shine
The river writhes through London from a mountain of brooding sky.

Everything is silent in the town
A breeze, a wind; the moon peeks from behind a column of smoke
There are bridges, the bridges of London.

Tonight I have crossed every one
Drifting like a cloud from some far sea;
Legs, rain and street lights are jumbled
On the great treacle black back of the Thames.

I carry a sleepy eye over the humped back bridges
As the river slides beneath like a slow black cat.

I awake from sleep under the thin winter sky
Sparrows of cold air flit by me.
The morning sands of humanity pour across the passes
Like the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae.

The Lament of Admiralty Arch.

photo taken friday morning 12 7 19
admiralty arch from street

You can be a master tailor from Hong Kong looking for a toilet as you walk through Admiralty Arch. But no one speaks and no one knows. But if they ask then light a candle in that darkness.

You can be a civil servant who had his car stolen by a secret agent. You see him drive off through Admiralty Arch, but no-one speaks and no-one knows, the people in the crowd are no different than Lemmings. But if someone should notice then light a candle in the dark under Admiralty Arch.

You can be the director of American Oil, looking for the way to the Harrods superstore. But nobody stops and nobody knows. Everyone is single-minded, and go their own way under Admiralty Arch. But if someone should notice you then light a candle in that darkness under Admiralty Arch.

You are a train spotter from a hobby magazine making your way to Victoria station. You spin off from the crowd round Trafalgar square but nobody recognises you or knows your identity as you make your way through Admiralty Arch. But if someone should say good day, light a candle in the darkness under Admiralty Arch.

You are a tourist from a girls only holiday, looking for a restaurant where the rich and famous go, so you nervously explore the palace area and walk through Admiralty Arch and nobody knows you and nobody talks, everyone swarms like shoals of fish swimming. But if someone should stop and say hello, please light a candle in that darkness of Admiralty Arch.

For this is a game and no one can stop it, the forces at work compel the behavior. Each one of us with a history belonging to part of the tree of humanity; just like a leaf swept up by street cleaners and discarded somewhere in a heap under Admiralty arch.

Nov 10th, 1995

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: Picassos old man painted pigeons

It’s another winter’s day and I’m sitting here alone
The night descends, the air gets cold and I’m a long, long way from home
The super heroes of my youth could be passing in the street
I hear the occasional trampling of their feet

It’s a day like any other
That brings you down to the ground
And makes you think of the ordinary things
Going round and round

And Picasso’s old man painted pigeons
He didn’t paint nothing more
He just liked to paint pigeons
That gathered around his door

There’s a stillness in the room I’m in and a quietly ticking clock
A few children’s voices playing run around the block
The roar of underground trains I can hear beneath my feet
A person rattling a paper bag as I write upon this sheet

And Picasso’s old man painted pigeons
He didn’t paint nothing more
Piccasso’s old man painted pigeons
That fluttered around his door

And I’ve got that waiting feeling like a statue in a square
That people all are passing by as if I wasn’t there
But in my world I’m not made of stone, I’m not waiting for anyone
I’m thinking about the everyday things that everyday people get done

And Picasso’s old man painted pigeons
He must have counted everyone
And Picasso’s old man loved his pigeons
And he watched them fly in the sun

Pigeons they are everywhere
Some are here, some are there
You can love them if you try
You can love them if you care

And Picasso’s old man painted pigeons
Maybe they’re not so well known to you
But Picasso’s old man painted pigeons
That’s all he really wanted to do

Memorials to murders

Memorials to murders
Stand like bus stops in our land
Wreaths on every corner
It’s hard to understand

Babies and teenagers
Old ladies and old men
Blood stained city corners
Where’s it going to end

You can walk across a pavement
You can walk by a door
Where someone fell dieing
And won’t be seen no more

Killers are growing numerous
There’s a handful in every street
And justice ties its shoelaces
And is tripping over its feet

Where’s the heart in the system?
Where’s the heart in this land?
They try to play fair like in cricket
And let evil gain the upper hand

The Concentration Camp of Poetry

The concentration camp of poetry
Sits in a clearing in the woods
No need for guns; they are only words
And those that escape will starve in a foreign land

The present moment

The present moment is nothing
My relationship with the day is broken
A cracked mirror of the sea with no reflection

I run through the pages of time
Looking for the granite of love
A morsel from the masters table
A drip from the ketchup bottle

London wearies to the marrow
I think blessed are they who live
Far away from here, this city
Is a honey pot covered in flies

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