I can smell my mother’s perfume

I can smell my mother’s perfume
It’s a memory from long ago
Tears try to well up inside me
But the pain develops too slow.

A memory mixed with anger
For her hard life like a tomb.
I can remember her in her best dress
And I can smell my mothers perfume.

A working class woman from Marlow
Crippled by the poverty trap
Crippled by a lack of affection
By the bad luck that fell on her lap.

She died wanting to know who loved her
It was the last words I heard her say
Her words were like the smell of her perfume
That I remember down to this day.

I can remember my mother’s perfume
A two-shilling bottle of scent
That I brought for her on her birthday
With the pocket money I spent.

When I was only an eight-year-old
She kept it as a special keepsake.
Now I have that little bottle of scent
Only half used up to this date.

I remember it in her cabinet
By the wall of the old spare room
And I’m taken back to my childhood
By the memory of my mothers perfume.

perfume
my mothers perfume bottle

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

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

A broken golden scaffold

A broken golden scaffold
Diamonds trodden into the mud.

They say that I should depend on God’s love
Instead I find myself mourning human failure

I ask of the square and the isosceles triangle
Why can’t people be as mathematically sound

You can’t put a parallellogram is a prison
But you can put a man in jail

All across the football field the crows are swarming
And the sonnet sang in the wings

The man with the meteorite head said nothing
No love was passed down

Life is like a used tea-bag on a kings throne
Wisdom slips between the cushions

 

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

The Bluebird Cafe

I stopped at the bluebird cafe by Coniston Water
I went over the Hardknot Pass under Scafell Pike
I lingered with the Hardwick sheep on the shore of Windermere
Where the rain fell down and the mists obscured my sight
I chugged down the Eskdale railway to the station
I visited Muninster Castle where the owls seem to cry
I viewed Sellafield from Ravensglass harbour
Where in the small street there, no one seemed to alive
And I sat in the Bluebird Café by Coniston water
My thoughts like a gentle whispering breeze
That were trailing behind me through mountain passes
With my dreams in the hilltops and my feet in the Irish Seas
And I sat in the Bluebird Cafe by Coniston water
I saw the bird of the blues disappear into the trees
And the ferry too come circling into the harbour
And the sun came through the clouds on its hands and knees
And I tried to think of you by Coniston Water
I tried to think of you in the Bluebird Café
But like the mists and the breezes my thoughts were trailing
And the sun and the rain they went away
You should have been here with me by Coniston Water
You should be here with me in the Bluebird Café
You should have been here with me but all I have is the breeze
You should have been here with me on this strange holiday
The coach man had to hurry, I hardly had time for some tea

I CHASED AN UMBRELLA

I chased an umbrella that floated through London. The drizzle of rain fell continuously on a stone moss covered cherub that was occupied by a nesting pigeon. The umbrella flew from the top of a bus. I followed. I heard it talking about the Belfast Peace Agreement, from beneath its canopy a cache of guns fell into a hole in the road. The umbrella floated through The City twirling round with a tilt to its axis. A small floating white dog began to bark at it, as a phoenix skulked across the road and set fire to a parked car. The umbrella flew into Conway Hall, dancers were rehearsing for a musical, it went into the ladies to drain away the water and emerged carrying all kinds of leaflets on anarchic and religious lectures in its handle. The umbrella grew two big greedy eyes and danced a little in the corridor. The umbrella continued its journey in the drizzling rain through Bloomsbury into a café where I sat with it for a while. Its two big eyes sometimes stared at me when I wasn’t looking. I took it into a shop to buy it a companion umbrella but it didn’t want one, instead it took a fancy to a transparent rain hat. On through the drizzle that was falling even heavier now it allowed me to hold onto it until we reached the British Museum. Undaunted by the mass of humanity sheltering under the portico, it folded itself up and entered inside and with its two big eyes found its way into the Oriental department where it fluttered over a Chinese Goddess. Then it followed me back passed the Babylonian room and down a long corridor to a secret chamber where birds of paradise flew in a blue mist. Finally it had to leave, I tried to hang onto the umbrella as it flew out of the Museum above the houses and came down into a huge drab city temple called The Barbican where life size plastic people on plinths stood about like in an architectural drawing. It found its way into a cinema and sat me next to a courting couple. I collected asterisks that fell from the Pearl and Dean adverts. Later on the umbrella became rebellious and flew around the complex in much restlessness. Back out into the city streets the umbrella was spinning now, a tongue of flame hung down from it and it began to say strange things making its two big eyes whiz around until it reached Liverpool Street. The rain was still falling now in delicate perpetual drizzle in a magical light. The umbrella went to platform three and got on a train to Bethnal Green. The station proved to be like a space structure high above the earth, I scanned the panorama of the East End from the balcony wall and saw the umbrella float down and away into the falling night.

I Have Never Had a Discount for Love

I have never had a discount for love; love is never at half price. If it dies, it dies whole; if it lives it lives whole. Love detests coupons; love detests a price. You can’t capture love with a penny or a pound and many before me have said the same thing.

If I could cram my whole life into this room and lock the door. It will disappear like a lift into the bowels of the earth; it will become the smallest atom passing through a black hole in space and back again, then it will jump into song. But if love is inside that atom, the atom will not be able to contain it, it will stretch and strain and squeak and scream but it will never hold love in. Love is not in the atom; love is elsewhere, in the memory of life. Love picks you up like you’re a three legged fly and says poor fly, and when love gets the order to march, love will give you back your legs.

Upon the night of Halloween the voices came again telling me that their way is the only way. Lies, I said, your tricks do not deceive me and then I awake. And there I was, in a room, and in that room is my whole life, and I must pay the re

Is Love like Gold Left Behind

They say, do not compare this to spiritual love. But love is a palette of colours; love is a compass of points; love is the circle from night to day; love is the lifetime and more.

Can they say: you are not allowed all the colours?
Can they say: you cannot travel to the four corners?
Can they say: you must be awake in the day and be asleep at night?
Can they say: you should only live half of your life?

Is love a picture half finished?
Is love a journey never started?
Is love like gold left behind?

Love is good news and bad news
Love is the whole twelve notes
Love is the whole chart of the elements
Love is the leader and you are the follower

What’s left of love is still light
What’s left os love is still food
What’s left of love is still love
Love times love times love

 

 

 

 

 

 

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