The White Rabbit Blues

Love burns in the kitchen light in the twilight the cold silver moon, love burns in the night forests catching fire. The white rabbit in a white collar swinging from the gallows grinning a deadly grin. The white rabbit on counter clockwise fairground rides where candle flames quiver in the night air. Love burns the white fur, the eyes stare like exploding ovens. In the kitchen light the white rabbit skydives through clouds of burning oxygen, the ghosts of ancient flowers dancing in the slamming door light. Burning corpses of sensual love dreams roll down the edge of the sea of tranquillity, the white rabbit hops across moon glassy universes.

The white rabbit blues

The bluest food of white rabbits falls in love with charging moons in fields of thistles where bulls are sliced to bits by scythes of flashing morning sun. Love burns holes through hoops of love where white rabbits bleed to death like melting mini cars in cemeteries. White rabbits bring flowers of moth-silk petals fluttering in the wind like turpentine fire bombs. In the shoes of white rabbits, legless ducks on stilts walk through world war blitzkriegs seeking golden eggs, crashing meteorites of stag fights in motorway collision courses.

The white rabbit blues

Enamel onions with tongues of hydrogen-fires cry with jelly babies in pond water tombs. White rabbit love affairs of planets crashing through meteorite storms with thunderous waiting wolves in King Arthur battlegrounds. Love burns in worms of neon lights rolled around balls of wool in blood filled skies of autumn snowdrifts. White rabbit sings of sleepless loneliness everlasting on islands of gloom pierced with cannibal’s spears, cries of eagles in featherless bodies.

White rabbit blues.

Crystal chandeliers in melting kettles filled with love bites attract plagues of flies that die in holes punched into old love letters. White rabbit toys litter play-school dreams like armies of marching peppermints into the overgrown gardens night. Love burns hot iron brands in outer body hallucinations of operating tables amongst waiting armies of angels, where white rabbits grow like snowflakes from volcanic ice explosions in the undercurrents of Antarctica.

White rabbit blues

White rabbits within white rabbits with flaming tails of white whales where lovers on death beds kiss the necks and shoulders of deep sea monsters. White rabbits like flakes of flaming skin stampeding against full moon darkened nights of rocketing evergreen trees. True love white rabbits with human feet roasting on spits of shooting stars where half-awake Romeo’s hang like sofas from coconut trees in wheelchair scrapyards. White rabbits like enamel cannonballs mutiplicate in exam rooms like calculator production lines in dairy farms, flowing like glaciers in raging forest fires where tigers with bloody jaws are lit like street lights.

Invasions of white rabbits whose bodies fill living rooms in royal palaces like cotton bales in high speed carriages of old steam trains on iced over lakes in mountain ranges. Love sold on sticks like lollipops in white rabbit eyes of dripping boiler room walls that crash down bottomless crevasses of vacuum filled ancestries. White flourish, hanging by their ears from trees in foxy eyed jungles where human armies lie like decomposing fleas in seas of blood. White rabbits like fields of Australian sheep melt into honeymoon couples in gothic Parliaments where aborigines wrestle with writhing crocodiles that swallow the heads of mating chickens. The white rabbit blues sung in telephones in bottles ringing with shrieks of rooks that swallowed old women in graveyards vigils. White rabbits rolled out like turf around castles of tumbling cards.

1994

Your song of love and insincerity

Your song of love

The manifesto began to burn as you sang. When you had finished you had saved a whole nation from conquest.
The commander who had stopped to listen stripped off his clothes and walked across Libya. His skin became as white as snow.
At the prisoner of war camp your song hovered above the compound like a virgin light. The rules of war themselves bled to death and all the prisoners were released.
Suddenly on the calm of the ocean thousands of U-boats came to the surface attracted by their radar to your song. As you reached the high notes the code books ran into the sea and mermaids came and ate them; a Convoy of merchant ships passed by in peace.
In the equatorial jungle a man ran to freedom. Creatures in red coats with dinosaur claws and overgrown hair took hacksaws from their purses and listened. It was your song again for the 5th time it seemed to come from the mountains far away. The man reached the sea and safety.
Do you know that moment when all around you there is war yet it all comes to a standstill just to listen to your song of love?

Insincerity

Like a child who detects the insincerity in a mother’s voice you’ve known insincerity all day long. You give them their wages in the form of a treacherous smile and move on.
You were sitting on a rooftop when floodwater filled the contours of the land. Just like insincerity you said to yourself.
You know that at certain times of day the phone will ring. This must be insincerity for how can the fish catch the fisherman?
Your wife is self-wrapped in cling film yet she still manages her appointments. Little mice run about her feet as if sensing her insincerity.
A news report the size of a billiard ball crashes out of the TV and sips your tea while words roll about like marbles. Did they really think you would not see through their insincerity?
You know insincerity all day long, you watch it grow, you see its serpents heads popping out of its flowers and spitting blood and fire as the butterflies hover overhead.
You go to sleep and you have a nightmare that you have become insincerity incarnate.

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

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

Allegory

On the riverside the cameras eye hovered around the talking bench, panned across the river and back again to the talking bench.

“I lived in the room above where my father is now. I came down and people should listen to me.”

I leaned on the railing and watched the ships go by, the pleasure boats, and the outgoing tide.

The camera eye went to the floating dock, it was empty, it filmed the pleasure boat docked there, the ebb and flow of the waves.

“I have a message for mankind, that they should all listen to me”.

And there in the small room was the red water.

I was entranced by the floating dock, the unusual perspective of corridors, of gangplanks that formed architectural webs of metal post and roof all around me. The little office, the feeling of the floating dock bobbing up and down on the waves.

The camera moved on back up he gangplank to the riverside walk and along to the stairs and down to the beach cove.  The camera eye filmed the jetsam and flotsam washed up on shore, panning along the distant warehouses opposite, filming the river meandering around the horseshoe bends.

I went to look at the wall covered in seaweed and moss, its green slippery texture, the waterlogged wood, the great blocks of broken concrete on the shore, left from another era, the dancing midges.

“No one knows me, I have lived before, I came from the world above, the room above”.

The grey blue river had silver speckles over it from the afternoon sun, I watched it flow upstream, people walked or jogged along.

The camera now stopped at an inlet enclosed by old warehouses. The camera filmed a white duck that preened its feathers and then snuggled down into the sand, the litter, garbage, dumped stuff.

I watched the small streamlet that ran down the wet beach from higher small pools; water that seemed to flow from inexhaustible supply right at the top of the inlet. I looked at the ladders built into the walls that would transfer men from boats into warehouse doors. I put my face against the railing and I felt trapped on the outside.

The camera now began following the main road.

There is a garden in the sky where a girl with red boots is playing. Her father has gone back down to earth and left her on her own. An ogre sometimes comes and stares over the wall at her. Before he left, her father planted a small posy of flowers in the ground for her.

The camera resumes the Thames walk, stops to film the riverbank. A woman is out walking her two small dogs, one is a small fragile whippet, thin as a skeleton, the other ambles over decking over the river that is out of bounds to people due to its instability.

The girl with red boots is playing in the garden in the sky. She will come back to earth with a message for mankind and no one will listen.

The river has filled a small boat dock with water and receded, in the water I watch a swarm of fish dart and glide in circles through the shadows, beneath the swarms larger fish cruise lazily.

In the riverside park the camera films the flowers. Two teenagers immediately stop and ask the camera to film them. They strike a pose by the tennis court and talk about their leisure activities.

I watch the tennis players as they bat the tennis ball back and forth. In my hand is a bright yellow flower that I picked from a tree which I leave behind on the ground behind a little wall.

The girl in the red boots must come down to the earth now. She’s been left alone for ages without her mother or father in the garden in the sky and they never went back for her, not even the ogre who looked over the wall was interested in her.

The camera is filming an old brick bus shelter decorated by children’s painting of a river scene with boats and birds.

I head down Three Crane’s Walk back to the riverside again, the camera stops to film the dark alleyway between the tall buildings.

The camera starts filming the bank and the outgoing tide. A tall red sailed fishing boat motors by going down stream.

In Wapping High Street the girl with red boots and a camera is filming the outside of Turners Star, she goes inside, beads of sweat cover her brow, she films the pictures on the wall and banters with the men propped up against the bar.

The camera seems momentarily disorientated, it walks to the north filming, to the East filming, to the West filming anything in sight. I try to steer it back on course and head it back to the river walk.

“I am from the world above, I have come with a message, everyone must know and listen, I am from the room above, I can foresee events that will happen, people must listen”.

Then follows a pier that goes out into the river, that goes down to the pleasure boats moored in a floating dock at the end of the pier. In the distance two men are skimming stones across the waves. A cook runs from boat to boat; from the Captain Kidd pub people in the beer garden stare down at the river.

My time is running out, my time has run out, I’ve missed my appointment, I get irritated by the camera that goes by without seeing me.

I settle down on a bench in front of an old barge that has attracted the bird life, a Coot is building a nest; a young grey gull waddles down the beach pecking at things between the stones. The river police-boats are moored outside.

The camera waits to finish filming now, the second battery is running low. It comes to a clock tower and films it for a few seconds. A tower above the rooftops somewhere in Wapping.

2002

Toothy Edna Ironsides New Blog

She had just posted her first post on her brand new blog. It was a brilliant start, an item about the Glasgow whiskey industry. She remembered, (just as her friends, who all had blogs, had taught her), to pick her categories and make up her tags; and then she waited. Next morning she awoke and it felt like a Christmas day to her; she was so happy she felt like singing. She opened up her blog page to read the messages and count the likes and follow the followers and … nothing, nobody, zerox with an empty ink cartridge. She went into a slump; where were all her friends? Where was the support? Where was the bloggers glory? She had told all her friends and family to look for her page; she had given them the exact address with the http:// and the name on her Welcome page, but nothing. She looked out of the window, it was raining, and the sky was grey, autumn leaves fluttered onto the street. She made up her mind not to follow up or try to find out what had happened. Maybe a disaster had prevented them all from looking, maybe a vanishing. She’d wait, she’d wait until finally from among the millions out there someone would open, read and like. She wanted to be liked.