Never Steal The Eggs Of An Eagle

Never steal the eggs of an eagle
Never steal the eggs of a golden eagle
For the eggs are precious and very rare
and the parents don’t forget you
They follow you from the clouds
and they wait until the night
To repay you an eye for an eye

So never steal the eggs of an eagle
Never steal the eggs of a golden eagle
For they fly to you in the night
and they repay you an eye for an eye
They watch you in the night
and they watch you where you lay
Then they come in the night
and they take your baby away

Park bench, sandwiches

Park bench, sandwiches
You began feeding a pigeon
A sound like the Holy Spirit descended
A flock of browns, creams and greys
They tussle, gulp down crusts
I am for a poor footless stumpy one
Thin and bedraggled
It totters along on its stumps
Overtaken by the scrum
It dives under their legs
Sad skeletal neck thrust out
It flops beneath their bodies
I persist and it gets fed
I grab at a plump one
That pigeon look of amusement
I sense you beside me
Lost in thought
I feel runny nosed, boyish, unromantic
The child in me suspended in formaldehyde
We struggle out of ourselves
To find romance
Like blind chicks from an egg

I seek not and I am left alone

I seek not and I am left alone
I let go because I am sad
The soul is in the blood and is made of self
Without a mother, the baby dies

Learn about what nature says to God through nature
The design of nature is the foundation of mankind
In the void, I hang like an autumn leaf
On this branch of Gods memory

If the best that everyone has to offer was allowed
Goodness like a blanket of snow would cover the earth

Like Honesty

Here I am staring,
At Honesty,
Purses full of seeds.
Some people say
She escapes from gardens,
But I found her alone
By the canal-side
Half a mile from anywhere
One plant growing
On miles of towpath
Soft serrated pear-shaped leaves
Four purple petals
Like butterfly wings
Looking from the hedge-growth
So I picked her and brought her home
And put her in a jar of water
And as evening falls
I stare into the face of honesty
Her flowers
Pretty and vivacious,
Gentle and bright
Have gone and now
She’s turned silver with age
And I’ve fallen into a sad mood
Wishing I knew a girl
Like Honesty

One Brave Bird

One brave bird
Beaten by egg-crushing cats.
One brave bird
Angry at the cat-keeping block.

One brave bird
Has surrounded us.
Squawking with relentless fury
In the gold fire of her heart,

Shooting down bullets of bird spit
That the whole community ignores.
Surrounding the block
With a phantom chain of battling noise;

Her nest a ruin of bones in the hedge
Her new generation murdered.

In the field of few men
A natural garland of nature;
The daises dance in the air
The moles have big blue eyes –

Let one brave bird join you
To live out her long red life.

2019

Spitalfields Music Festival 1996

TO CATHY, STUDENT OF THE CLARINET.

You have the same voice now
As when you were a girl
You are the same person now
As when you were a girl
Your new found beauty of form and face
Makes you want to search for love
With the urgency of a swelling ocean
As if that vast emptiness
Is the emptiness your heart has found

You see a reflection in the calm sea
You dance sweetly in high heels
Across the glassy waters surface
Joyful in your new maturity
Innocent as gentle snowflakes
Melting in the warm sea
Where armies of fish swim
To the lands of dreams
To war with the surging rivers

Then you fall in love
You grasp at shadows
That weave and fly
You dart like a sea bird
To capture those fish
But who is he
What does he think?
As he swims with armies
To the land of dreams
With young girls following

12 June

TO HONEY THE GUIDEDOG

LOCKED OUT OF HAWKSMOORS CHURCH

The evening was a lantern
Where a weak light let a thousand
Shadows dance, a bodiless dance
To the harpsichords silver tone.

Under the churches portico I sat
Caring for a blindman’s guide dog
Who’d gone through the door
Into the concert inside.

The setting was theatrical
Thistle light burnt through the darkness
The essence of music falling
Into the empty sanctuary.

The churches disrepair
As a million hungry memories
Of Dickens destitute and poor
Filled mahogany gallery

Thirsting for a spiritual drink
The strong smelling breath
Of fallen unrepentant men
Filled the soup rooms in the crypt

Turning their backs upon the scores
Of recital and of cantata
While the blind man’s guide dog whimpered
Waiting for his masters return

The guide-dogs loyal love
Hotter then Hawksmoor’s architecture
More dependable then the human spirit
That let these walls crumble

12 June

YELLOW UNDERWING

What if the moth
Never sees the moon?
It’s not your time
Born in the month of June.
Yellow Underwing
Dead upon the pavement
The moon is due soon
In the summer night sky.
Will it send you spiralling?
Soaked in silver light
Tongue curled like a dragons
Eyes like satellite eyes.
Yellow Underwing
To you the blackbirds sing.
Where did your spirit go?
Where did your spirit drift?
To leave those Yellow Underwings
To startle the street,
Made of tissue paper
Made of talcum powder.

Children much like you
Have been casualties too
Fallen under the scythe
Of rush-hour blindness.
Yellow Underwing
Where does your spirit drift?
Let me open my palm
Let me catch it upon my palm
Let me take it back home
Let it flutter there
Around the light-bulb
With wings all aquiver
Made of coloured silks
Dusted with scented talcum powder
A lover in the night
Sending signals to the moon
Restless for some tender care
Restless for delight.

Yellow Underwing
Pretty Underwing
To you the berry filled blackbird
Sings a song in passing
That saw you born;
That saw you fall
Clumsy from your sleep
Under the scythe
Of rush-hour blindness;
Smaller then a tiny flower
Your spirit circled and went away
To leave your painted body
To fade from natures gallery;
And does your tiny spirit
Fade away like a flower?
Or like a seed is it saved?
To sleep beneath the earth
Yellow Underwing
To sleep beneath the earth.

12/6/96

Evening light was fading

Evening light was fading
Violins played endlessly
Tension grew continuously
Isolation grew a lucid dream

Evening faded, violins played
Tension grew in fading light
In elongated stretched chords
Church vibrated continuously

Violins threw gladiatorial nets
A stampede of tension, rapid of sound
Loneliness blossomed like Bittersweet
Hung in the isles like repentant dead

Violins played continuously
Evening light faded endlessly
Tension grew, a public execution
The lucid dream engulfed the church

Muscles vibrated like steel strings
Flesh quivered like sound boxes
Air was strewn with molecular graffiti
Pins of sound like arrows of battle

Violins played endlessly
Tension grew continuously
Breathless out of control
Then they ended suddenly

June

An Avenue of Blackbirds.

The earth has been financed, every square inch of it. Everyone is in debt, the big debt is here. It puts a seal of debt on every human being. Stocks for guns are up, human beings are down*, so why not keep shooting them?

The financial world says of love, it’s no good, get a job. So you get a job and then the financial world sees you as a useful item, you are on their radar. Should you stay off radar? Would you be poorer? The poor can live happily – until they have to pay their taxes. I don’t mind dirt roads with holes in them so long as the sea is blue and the birds sing, but the mess of finance makes the sea and the air polluted and our wildlife numbers grows fewer.

It was a great experience to hear the blackbirds on that one summer Sunday, last century. I still remember walking down Burdett Road, listening to the blackbirds, they were singing in every tree I passed, and on both sides of the street. I ran the gauntlet of blackbirds, until I got to the traffic lights in Limehouse. They had maybe quarreled with each other, they had probably smoothed out the wrinkled cloth of their territories for the privilege of  their own tree to sing in; nesting season was over and now it was their singing time. There was no war of extermination, there was no hierarchy. Each blackbird could sing with exuberance and love.

Then came big human political decisions and the world of blackbirds collapsed into the empty purse of mankind; their numbers collapsed as human debt rose; they collapsed because humanity has no love; except for money, and their greatest skill is war.

And each winter humanity has the privilege of helping them to survive; instead the reality is humanity – will do what it does best.

*Erica Jung, Fear of Flying, I think
wake up and smell the humans

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