Tag Archives: writing

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

 

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.

Patient Poems

Doctors

A prose piece about how much society needs doctors and the strange power they have.

Doctors: picture a world full of doctors, doctors walking everywhere, everywhere you go you see doctors in white jackets.

Doctors from the mould, doctors in white jackets. The only way to tell male from female is short hair or hair tied up at the back. They all look alike, like shapes cut out of paper.

There are doctors, everywhere you go, doctors, in and out of every train door, revolving door, and shop door*. Doctors not smiling because they are serious, they are doctors, and they fill the planet.

And what do they all do, all these doctors? I am the only one left who is not a doctor. I run naked down a brightly lit corridor and out into the street screaming. I climb a high building and then I jump, then, doctors like clumps of snow crowd around the last pool of red blood that they will ever see.

*The sliding doors of the underground train; the revolving doors of banks; the glass doors of department stores.

There’s a Place in Boston

A lyric about how the wealthy can neglect their children

There is a place in Boston Where the people are so perfect
And anyone who starts to scream Is treated like a convict.
There isn’t a wrinkle in a sheet And they always say their prayers
But I don’t think God listens to them I don’t think he even cares
There are the homeless on the street And therapy is just in reach
And everyone is secretly In the bell jars of society
The heart is broken like a plate And when it breaks it leaks our hate
For all who scream to be set free From the perfect people who won’t leave be
And as you walk the Boston break-yard Where the freight trains alone can scream
Where you climb aboard an empty boxcar For it’s the only place to dream

Fears

As a child I experienced loneliness and fear at school

I was just a child. I was placing my feet precisely in the center of the paving tiles as I walked, hoping that no one would hurt me anymore if I did not step on the cracks.

I had no idea what unhappiness was or why I felt it all the time.

The idea occurred to me like how the smallest of wild flowers suddenly appears in the shadow.

Stepping across the tiles like that gave me a feeling of security like how the feeling of a small key would feel to a wind-up toy.

And that’s how I discovered the meaning of feelings, of security, unhappiness and, strangely, the existence of a Me.

Where I lived there was a brick wall

As a very young child living in a slum I couldn’t make sense of all the wlls around me

Where I lived there was a brick wall and in the wall, there were several crumbling bricks.

I would see the wind hammering at the bricks trying to get through. I would see the winter weather eating away the cement and the broken bits of bricks.

Then one bright spring day I looked and I could see right through the wall at the sun on the other side and I watched as the wall sagged and then caved in and then collapsed entirely.

And there are parts of society that thinks itself strong like a wall but they never ever talk about there feelings and some of the children in that society grow up having never expressed how they feel about anything that has happened to them. Then they are made to see a doctor, then they are put in a hospital, then they kill themselves.

And it’s a sign about the wall; that the wall is growing weak and that the wall will someday collapse because it’s a wall with no feelings, it’s a wall without love.

Blue Flame

Prose exaimining how society can set thepath of your life for you

Some machinery released the trapped gas in the bowels of the earth. It travelled along pipes into a factory to be cleaned up than along more pipes until it popped up out of the gas ring where it tried to escape to freedom, and then it was set fire to, in the blue flames that were destroying millions of years of formation.

You had been in the womb for a long time until formed into a baby you; you travelled through a tunnel and into a place where you were cleaned up. Then you were taken by car to a house (did you see the engine that turned your relative into exhaust fumes). There in a house it was both hot and cold. Your mother loved you; your society awaited you. There in the house, you received mixed messages; your mother nurtured you and society waited for you like a wolf.

You expect society to be like a home, but instead, your mother let you go free and society turned you into a blue flame.

In a Cosmic Mist

I have known friends who spend time in mental hospitals

In a cosmic mist where no real people could live was a hospital with six beds and one electro shock treatment room.

The nurse and the warden came silently through the pinpoint of reality gate and down the long white corridor into the ward where Henry VIII’s six wives were sitting on their beds.

She was taken down into the dark cavernous basement. She looked up but she could not see a roof in the thick black silence.

The fat Henry the VIII bird flew onto the warden’s shoulder. It had a tasseted breast and a gold chain around its neck and a hat tilted roguishly on its head.

She lay down on the contraption and the nurse and the warden strapped her down. An order was made and a great bolt of lightning passed through her temples and she became unconscious.

In the evening, a little recovered she joined the rest of the wives in the ward. Their faces were bright white. The room was bright white and everyone shone with a jangling brightness, from the earth people talked in wonder of the new constellation of six stars, bright as gleaming toothpaste blobs, icy white. There was a droning noise coming from it as if it were trying to give birth to a boy.

The Falling Gate

A prose story cartoon about the neglected child in me

The big gate fell down and shut me outside. It was a grey morning; I looked through the iron grill at the creature inside. Who are you, didn’t I know you once? This creature was black with dirt and long black uncut hair and rags … and was crying.

The inside of the dungeon room was small; there was nothing to give light. It was black as jade.

Who was this person? Did I know them?

I felt cheerful in spite of myself, cheerful to have my freedom, to see the winter light of a cloudy day.

I struck a match and looked into the darkness. I was looking into a mirror. There reflected back at me was myself.

Am I real? Is this really me outside here or is it my imagination? Am I really the person locked away in the dungeon?

I sat on the old crumbling ivy covered wall opposite the arched dungeon under the railway bridge and as night drew in, I seemed to disappear

– Like a phantom into the night.

I wanted to be like everybody else.

I wanted to be like everyone else, maybe because I had no help in understanding myself.

I was everyone else. Everyone else was me.

Yet when I greet someone in my “everyone else” character I wish I could be myself too.

Words are not just in the head
Words are not only in the mouth
It’s all connected. It’s connected by spirit.

I believe that if we didn’t have vocal chords, not only could we not speak, but we would not be able to think either. I believe that the vocal chords give us the power of our thinking words. I could be wrong. But there is a point where loud thinking moves the vocal chords ever so slightly.

I had a bad experience with my father once. He kept picking on me, trying to pick a fight with me. All I ever wanted from him was love. I was crushed and broken, Ii became depressed and I had issues with my own voice. How could my voice say those things? It was now what I wanted. No, no, no.

Just to survive more than anything else I had to be a person by being like everyone else. I failed, I was, I am, self-protective without even thinking to be. The hardest thing for me to do, is to be myself.

 

The Englishness in Me

I love kicking stones about
Down an empty street
Watching how they curve,
Sometimes changing feet.

I love to kick a stone, alone
Across an empty path
To Sometimes loose it down a drain
Then I have to laugh

I love to kick a stone in my path
Just to see where it goes
There’s no rhyme or reason why
It’s the energy in my toes

Sometimes there’s some kind of goal
A vague one, like a dream
Sometimes I feel happy
Sometimes I feel mean

Sometimes I’m a poorboy
Kicking stones in the street
Sometimes I’m a footballer
With lightning in my feet

But stones are all I kick at
Stones are all I have
I’ve never had a football
I was never one of the lads

In winter my nose was runny
My eyesight’s poor to tell
A big red bus from a goalpost
Or a whistle from a playground bell

But I love to kick a stone
Against some big old tree
And run with it across the road
That’s the Englishness in me

2000

Sleep Little Misery

Poem about chronic depression

Sleep little misery
Your whole life has been death
Sleep little abortion
You will never have breath.

It’s the way I have carried you
Since time began
With bruises and beatings
Confused, as a man.

An impossible beginning
In the wrong body
Without thought or feeling
A stone cold nobody.

A poem about long term, undiagnosed depression, which I think has become common in society. I thought to publish it here; maybe it has wider application than original idea.

With my head lodged in the moon

With my head lodged in the moon

With my head lodged in the moon
Eating bright cold fire of imagination
The bogus halo of crystal hurricane
Mans hunger snapped like dry spaghetti

Oh I love you with my bifocals on
Watching the transformation of birds
Into straight jacketed screaming gargoyles
As I float like a chess piece in eternity

When at edges, boundaries and borders
Vertigo becomes a snake in love
Between two sheets of pure steel
Sounds are pressed out like bells ringing

I live a simple life within a crisp packet
And the dawn feeds me flakes of glittering corn

2003