Sunday, 21 October 2012

Secure Against the Night

Can words of love secure the scattering form,
when all one's memories have peeled away from warmth?
When all one's living's lived in feeding scorn,
how can one repeal such acts against one's health?

A mother's words are words of wealth,
and a mother's love speaks for itself.
But a father's words sit 'top the highest shelf,
and glean shows through the dust only in anger, when you spurn it.

Misery loves company, though it doesn't deserve it.
Joy deserves an audience, although it rarely earns it.
Misery's a fossil: you must unearth it
from memory's burial ground, where the haunted past stirs.

Therapy's a good thing, just be firm.
Actions speak just as loudly as words.
The stories we tell should be the ones we deserve
as we pick through the scattered facts of our lives.

For all in all we must survive,
forgetting the when the where and the why.
All that matters is grace, as it yolks the now.
We must carry our truth through the rest of our lives.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Match to Paper

 - for Simon Armitage

Note: wrote this a couple of months ago but have only published it now (October 20th) for some reason!

Take a book of matches and single out
one single shard, one matchstick.
Take the words you'd said, written in blood,
take the parchment and give it the flame:
it wants the flame; it needs it.
Good - take the fire and feed it.

Feed it all those words; hopeless promises;
take all the purity that your heart conjured,
black shapes on white paper,
imaginary kisses, given to the air as if to real 
blood-flushed flesh.
And feed it to the fire, to its maker:

forged in the fires of the heart,
pinch out its ember.
But remember: the fire is carried somewhere -
but where?
In the heart, here. Feel it.
That's where.

Take the fire my dear, place it in your hearth.
And if my own fire needn't kill it, as the self-same gave it birth,
if our love shrouds the flame, protects it, is new, different and kind,
then let its words flutter, burning page-locked on the bitter wind.
If this love is different, if this love is true,
then let its words be burnt in death; ours alone, by others never viewed.


The human heart is a curious thing -
wounds are like tiny palpitations:
they strike deep and swift, 
their shadows lasting weeks, months, even years -
the scars weaken the heart,
embolden our fears.

But experience is like breath -
take it in, hold it
and let it pass through you;
don't fight it: let worry go.
With each moment of existence,
let your feelings flow.

For soon after pain comes beauty,
opportunity, healing, revelation:
damming the heart, blocking the waters,
can only lead to devestation.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

An Ethiopian Visits England

Climbing the stairs of the metal vulture
and sitting down, being strapped in,
plastic squares descend down in rows,
a white woman wearing a white hat
making gestures with her arms,
all teeth and eyes.

The metal bird starts to flex its wings
and the whole vessel shakes:
a low rumbling, like a million hungry stomachs,
or the earth making bellows in frustration,
we 'taxi' to the runway, speed
frantically up the tarmac.

My eyes feel pressed against the back of my skull,
I hold onto the plastic rests so hard
it feels like my hands will impress them
like putty. Soon we are rising through the air,
the metal bird flying away from parched aridity,
away from my home, up into the blue.

It is like we are a fish swimming through clear water,
through nothing. I try to sleep but I can't.
I have the 'window seat', which means I can see
everything - but suddenly we are so high
that all I can see is an ochre oneness, and once we get to
the Med, all is highest clouds and sea.

After several hours, a small voice trapped in a speaker
says, 'We are now approaching Gatwick Airport,
please return to your seats, return them to the upright postion
and fasten your seatbelts. Thank you.'
The man next to me fastens the belt around his waist
so I do the same.

Fifteen minutes later we are 'on the ground',
but not in a messy fashion - we have 'landed'!
I look from the window, whilst the stewardess
thanks us and welcomes us to England, though she
has only just arrived herself, and everything is grey,
rain streaks the sky as if it is perpetually crying.

I walk straight through to Arrivals - I've no luggage to collect -
and Mr and Mrs Robinson, and their daughter, Emily,
are there to meet me. They look happy, relieved that I am there.
In the car ride home the rain pelts the windscreen,
they listen to the radio - they have one in their car! - music pumping
softly into me from all directions, the beats less simple, less one.

They ask me where I come from. 'Afar Region,' I say.
'Yes, that is far - Ethiopia,' they say. I think I know what they mean.
My English is not so good. I am here on a scholarship to learn English
at college. Some people look at me funny here, I'm not sure why.
We get in and 'dinner' is soon ready - chicken, potatoes and vegetables.
I am hungry, they look surprised at me, beastly. I go to bed.

The next day they take me to a swimming pool. Now get this, mama!
They have big rooms full of water! It rains all day and all night here,
and yet they have big rooms full of water! I thought of the children dying
in the desert, and the mothers waterless, too weak to breastfeed their babies,
and then I see these people, splashing around as carefree as monkeys!
We go to get something to eat in the café. 'Sandwich?' they say.

But I have lost my appetite. I stare down at an empty plate.

Ballad of a Cloud-Gazer

Last night I went out, the clouds
ostentatious and playful:
one of them got me up dancing,
I bought her a Barcadi and Coke;
she was a mouthful.
Needless to say the time came
when I held her, vaporous in my arms.
Holding a cloud is like catching fireflies
with a broken net.
I said, as soft and light as forceful could be,
'Why don't you come back to mine,
have a drink with me?'
A longing sultry look, vapid sparkling eyes,
a kiss on the lips like a slug,
I knew it was perfect right there:
I knew it was lust.
But fucking a cloud is strange:
it's cold and purchaseless.
And once you're done it breaks apart
and it rains right through your head.
She was gone by morning:
precipitation to evaporation, part of her
smudged rainly on my window pane.
They say clouds are unique:
I'll never see her again.
I look up at the dappled sky:
I thought I'd forgotten her,
but I still recall her name was Heather.
And now I'm rainless, broken, punctured - British -
and I think I'm obsessed with the weather.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


It has been said,
I have heard it said,
that ignorance is bliss,
and it makes me red.

Ignorance is not bliss.
Ignorance is death.
Ignorance is Charles Bukowski if he'd given up living.
Ignorance is Hemingway behind a flower stall.
Ignorance is a shotgun with both barrels loaded
wielded by a madman with no arms.
Ignorance is a dinosaur foaming at the mouth.
Ignorance is a moribund dog with rabies
sicking up scarlet chunks of festering flesh.
Ignorance is two West Indian adolescents
kicking the shit out of a Pakistani and knifing a Filipino student.
Ignorance is a car with no suspension,
the engine long fallen through, 
rusted down into a cracked gasoline canister
poking its orange-dry husk through the sheered cornstalks.
Ignorance is a poet without passion.
Ignorance is a drunk without whiskey.
Ignorance is a scientist given up on dreaming.
Ignorance is an arsonist flameless
or a gambler done with scheming.
Ignorance is prayer deflated and  tortured in anguish.
Ignorance is the Moon, humanless, without a soul to swoon
and a sky starless, a murky gloom.
Ignorance is a priest full of air, hysterical
at his terrified congregation,
promising fire and brimstone, temperance and violence,
and love and redemption. 
Ignorance is cancer wearing a smile,
rickets with a bow-tie, polio
twisted up into a jumbo-size pretzel,
spina bifida in a super-size, 16-oz cup.
Ignorance is wine gone flat, but still being drunk
for no reason apart from indifference to sobriety.
Ignorance is a bag of drowned and murdered cats.
A bear and a horse tethered together,
both dying amongst swarms of flies
as their bones are picked like cartographies 
being scrutinised 
by pale, lymph-less politicians.
Ignorance is a hand grenade with no pin,
a boxer with arthritis,
a virus about to burst into murderous virulence,
a small and pitiful sun that wants to explode.
Ignorance is a raped dead body, two weeks gone
and left at the wayside. 
Ignorance is Dostoevsky and Tolstoy,
peevish clerks, wife-beaten, life-eaten.
Ignorance is Chekhov without a heart.
Ignorance is Eliot laid out before us, like a patient
etherised upon a table, the waste land
creeping up to our ears and nose and into our spines.
Ignorance is an old moth too afraid to approach the flame.
Ignorance is Kafka succumbing to the Golem.
Ignorance is the husks of infected cattle, writhing
and crackling quietly in pits of ash and spoiled flesh.
Ignorance is all-consuming
and if it's bliss you want
then perhaps you ought to hold your breath:

I've heard that if you do it for long enough,
you turn blue, and die
from ignorance. But
I guess you wouldn't 


There are sunsets I'd like to see,
from southern Australia,
the peaks of Snowdonia,
the heat-shocked depths of Death Valley,
the summit of Mauna Kea,
secluded beaches on Hawaii's Big Island,

villas in the hills of Madrid,
the sun setting behind a tramp's eyes
on Skid Row, Los Angeles,
the Sun from Halkidiki,
the Sun setting from space,
The Earth rising from the Moon.

I would like to see the Sun, playful,
caressing the Earth's back and working
its way down to kiss above the midriff,
the Sun spinning its diurnal magic,
God of light and darkness, Hades
drifting down into deepest night and sleep.

But the Sun is setting on me,
and as it shoulders to the horizon 
I hear it weep;
and as it descends it says,

'I have no choice but to exist alone,
but you do,
so why are you sitting there
on your own?

'I have lived and watched growth and decay
and cycles cycling, the come what may.
And of all the creatures to whom I've given birth
you are the ones that have given most mirth.

'You have known and kissed the font of your own creation,
and yet it is you who threatens your tenure with its cessation.'

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

And the Truth is...

Turn, turn and
burn and burn.

There is no Hell below us,
no Heaven above - Lennon
had that right.
The only realms about us
are the ones left
in our sight.

Betwixt us only humans.
So turn and turn
and burn and burn.

Need we spurn?
Or will we learn?
When will we learn?

There is no Heaven.
There is no Hell.
The only Hell we need fear
is the one we'll inherit on Earth;
and the only Heaven we need savour
is the one that awaits us
inside our flesh,
the one that waxes thickly
on the foliage of trees,
right here

Deep and deep.
Green and green.

And God does not exist.
Tongueless old man.
He could not judge a boxing match
even if He were a pair of fists.

Even if He had the odds and the cash
and was brash and brazen enough
to play the knock-out in the fifth
he'd still lose in the long-run on the fix.

And Jesus is the butter 
to my bread,
not the bread itself.
That stays in my heart,
in my flesh,
right there on the shelf.

I can feel the fear,
feel the flames licking at me.
But I won't fan them.
They say fight fire with fire.

But fuck that for fuel.
I'll use my mind, not coal-oil.
It's a much better tool;
it won't ever expire.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

I Will Show You Love

I will give you sheep's grass and lay you down so low,
swinging you breezily where the rat-race never goes.
I will take you to penny-arcades and two-bit rides on the pier,
put you in a go-cart - I'll even let you steer.
And when we slow I'll sweep back your hair, whisper in your ear.
I'll descend down from Heaven, on a zephyr from above.
And I will give you summertime, I will show you love.

I will dream of children when I look into your eyes,
and I'll forget the stars because you've given me the skies.
I will run through thunderstorms then step out into spring,
present to you my heart, in two butterfly halves, wing
it onto you, and then present you with a ring.
I'll put you up on a pedestal, on my shoulders, on a bluff,
for I will send you skywards: I will show you love.

I will take your hand, my love, protect you through this life.
My tongue shall be a sleeping beast, my hands two sharpened knives.
I will walk on by your side, carry you when you're weak,
and though you think I'm strong, I'll show you that I'm meek,
and all the while I have you, you will yet be the one I seek.
Because there's so much in you - not just a peaceful dove.
You're the eagle; I'm Prometheus, and I will show you love.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Baby, Flood Me

Baby, flood my body with the light;
scrape out the darkness with female bite.
Take me and carry me in your sight.
Trawl my bed and clear my head,
carry me, you bird of prey: I'll be your kite.

Baby, flood me down deeper with cool water,
flood me down deeper than I care to go
and drown out the bottom of this ocean
and oceanless I'll follow, to and fro
in the desert of your love: I'll let you
launch your sun at my back from above.

Baby, flood me: flood out the darkness.
Balance me on your scales, your scales of light.
I'll never dread the bread of our love's communion
for in that exchange, that fleshy union
you give me the eye of the eye of the eye of your sight.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Love Should Grow

Sometimes it seems
that there is so little of the world left - 
how could we have done it?

The world is not TV or radio or newspapers -
it is bullet-holed skulls,
labourers' cracked hands,
the milky skin of virgins,
the gnashed teeth of murderers,
the quiet rapture of two lovers
in a candle-haloed room. 

So answer me,
how could we have done this?
And where has the time gone?
And when will the time come?
And why did Nick Drake die at 26
a virgin? 

And why is love always only
emerging, when 
it should be
right here
the two of us.
for ever? 

The universe is for ever
life is for ever,
but we are the brief arrangements
of cells. I look upon you
in absolute wonder,
Auden's words ringing in my ears: 

lay your sleeping head, my love, 
entirely the human,
upon my faithless arm,
and Armitage can cleave it 
from the joint or seam 
if that's what love means,
carry a gun, signal the alarm.

You are a miracle,
life is fantastical,
and I want to celebrate in it with you
before the clock runs
your beauty down
to the wind.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ramblings on a Sentiment

She said,
'wouldn't it be nice
to wake with each morning
to the laughter of children?'

And I said,
'well, after a while
you get used to it,'
not meaning, of course,
that the laughter of children
is an odious thing.

It's nice to give wing
to the merry of kinder,
and bask in the splendour
of freest laughter.

Elsewhere laughter is in
short supply:
murder, trachoma, slavery,
coercion - human dignity
put in suspension.

There you'll find that 
nothing grows
and the only laughter
is windblown, the 
murderous murder,
a cacophony, of crows.
Where the vultures pick the land,
and the ruler's the gallows.

So yes... my reply to you.
Here goes:
it's nice to see children
blooming, flowering, arising
with the rose.
The bud outweighs the thorns:
people aren't born prickly
or sickly: we just make them so

by forgetting that the thorns
are just as much a part
of the flower, and that
each deserves to peel open into
its fullest, reddest power.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Riposte to a Poem (The Night Worker)

I am a creature of twilight
and I work by night.
The night worker.
I wake with the winking 
of the daylight
as the husk of day shivers
down to its last coils 
of luminescence.

We live in the brief
burst of light, the slot
between the nine-to-five's 
finishing and where I
arise. Call it four o'clock,
where the light is softly 
dimming down
to match the pastel colour
of your rose cheek.

I work beneath neon lamp,
neon light rippling 
my hi-vis-yellow back,
in the stock yard, from my cab.
I take my tea whilst most
are drifting down to
their delta deep:
I don't sleep,
I eat: I'm eating

I work through morning's rising,
greet that old friend
whom is always surprised
at my gazing to His
easterly birthing,
His slow emerging
from the pocket of night,
from the womb of space.

I punch out at six
and shoulder my bag,
leaving for home. 
From hereon it's a race
to peace, to you - to 
sleep. I get in at
seven and
ascend to heaven
up the stairs
to you sleeping, me unaware
that I've disturbed you from your dreams.

But now you bequeath on me
the colours of your sun
that has risen with you 
from your winks
into the room. You smile from the pillow
where your dreamy head makes its recess,
calling me to bless the patch
beside you
where you lay to rest.

I'm stripped down to my chest
and make waves into the folds
into that cotton sea where froth
the foams of distant oceans.
You cradled on my arm,
me enveloped in your caress,
we huddle to the hush
of the water's lullaby shush; sink,
to bottom out in inky black,
before the evening calls me back.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Twenty Seconds

Twenty seconds of bravery
can change your life -
it can be the difference between
isolation and a wife.

It can be the thread that weaves
your life into a oneness,
air into a tapestry.

Twenty seconds of courage
could make or break
a dynasty.

Twenty seconds of bravery
could sow the seeds
of destiny.

And twenty seconds of bravery
can never be undone -
if all this stems from one moment,
just think of what more good can come.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Red, White and Blue

I am a white man.
Cut me and I bleed red.
Bump me and I bruise

But why do I feel more green?
Is it the green seam of ganja
running down
my cool temperament?

And why yellow?
Is it because I
easily mellow
and say what I mean?

And why red?
I do not dread
my bleeding blood;
it feeds the Earth:
my ochre bed.

And yes,
it could be said

I am easily white,
definitely under-read,
and I'll forever be

But how about you?

A Prayer

Plunged into the dark of God
it summons from the night a flare,
and fires back into your eye
the outline of your heart, this prayer.

The outline of your heart, this prayer
shall spark a light inside your eye,
illumine up the night, and summon in a flare
the answer, plunged back from the dark of God.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Untitled Poem to My Love

Outside it's raining
so maybe
why I'm writing this
does not need explaining.

I once heard a punk poet say
that he wrote his poetry
around the kernels
of only a few lines....

If I could see your eyes
with each and every day
in different light, tone, temper,
I would write you quatrains.

I would write you quatrains,
and turn my life into poetry
and my flesh into sonic vibrations;
I would sew you into the air,

and publish them in your ear,
softly, on the end of my spear.
Now, wouldn't that be dear?
Fuck the rest: they can think it queer

for all I care.
For the tongue is a spear,
and the heart is a torch;
and good love debauched is the only thing I fear.


God save
the haemophiliac

She's a queen -
not 'our' queen.
Just a queen.

But what does that mean?

For soldiers wouldn't
storm out
from their hive -
what does she do
to keep it alive?

The droners might sing
their patriotic song,
but for whom?
And for how long?

What is this surplus
of royal jelly
never to surcease
from national telly?

The queen's sting
outweighs her wings.
Are all these wrongs
god-given things?

The workers wouldn't lay
down their lives -
not for money.
So where is the nectar?

And where
is the honey?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Kingdoms of Light

For several months,
a dry channel coursed
its dry mouth
through a sweep of
unknown south-west sussex,
cracked and crusted crests
curving under bridges,
through sluices,
no water to whet the thirst
of the cinder-dry reeds.

But then all of a sudden
a spring welled up
from the ground:
fonted up, as if
into the hands of God,
pure water filled the channel,
steadily bursting
to an eary-low
conch shell rush.

I realise now
that I have been marking
my own life alongside it.
I have been waiting
for wetness, movement,
to ride it.

And I have marked
my life
by the epicycles
of the planets,
and the slow nocturnal
cycling of the stars
as they careen,
as they move closer
and farther away;
as the Earth
adjusts its tilt.

Polaris moves steadily off course,
the constellations crack
like a ripe pomegranate
or the fruit of love.

Sometimes the beauty
is just too much
and I wish for it
to take me.

But no:
there is far too much,
far too much here
for our palms to see
and I fear the worst -
hope we all see
the writing on the wall
before the finger of Babylon
points into the dark inside us
and our Kingdoms of Light fall.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The World Is

The world is
children behind bars:
their play areas like
Alcatraz: memories of
black figures
walking past them
in the slitted sunshine.

The world is the sun
blistering with its love,
unable to contain itself,
its being, its joy, its
will to power: its joyeux de
vivre, insolation.

The world is trees breaking
into wind, their music the
music of leaves. And the world is
a series of invisible gestures,
presents, wishes, misspent moments,
kindred hours, harsh words,
loving words, loving scorn:
my heart trailing
like a wet slug
up to your door.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

When I am Sixty

When I am sixty will my wife ride a bike
to the shops and back in summertime?
And in her basket will she carry a clock,
will she style her hair short and straight,
short and straight and ivory grey?
And of a Sunday will she read a book?

And if I arrange a dinner for eight
will she get there on time, or will she be late?
And will she keep her temperament fine
and love with ease in the summer time?
And will she be gentle and will she be mild,
carrying her grace as if a child?

When I am sixty will I have grown short?
And will I still make a witty retort?
And will I dare to eat a peach, and see the mermaids
singing each to each? And will I part my hair?
And will I snarl with a vicious snare? Or will Prufrock
be a milder fellow - I have known love,

bathed in meadows. Trod
in the black maze of shadows.
I have kissed lips - sour and full.
I have lived and danced, and I have found
that life's a thing to be worn - a gown.
And I have seen the mermaids, singing
each to each - till my darling's voice wakes me....
When I'm sixty, in love will I drown?


It's a story of eight syllables
per line, or thereabouts
but throwing the form
is fine: quatrains don't have to
internally rhyme.

It's a story that starts like this:
glances, words, lips; the
joining of sensitive fingertips.
And by the end of it, all
is not fine.

But do you know why?
Well, here's the story.
I can no longer cry
over its telling

(but here comes the black gold:
here comes the

How can the human heart drown a person so? 
And in joyous joy still bring darkest sorrow?
And how can pleasures give one sleep
and yet spurn one in that deep to weep?

I loved her for many a year and
swore never to desecrate her form:
her body was a vessel, yes,
but we left our bodies behind:

we found the God in each other.
We said, is that us in the mirror?
Must be, she said. Can't not be, can it?
But looking upon my body

is like looking at myself in a photograph.
It does not seem real, because
my body has evaporated, escaped me,
and all that is left is light, and the

luminous manifestation of love.
And in these luminous truths she gave me eternal life.
And when she died, I eternally died.
And even though I know so much, I

can never survive without her at my side.
Can never love again. Because her love
is enough to sustain me in all lives: this
life, the future life, and all the lives I might wish

or not wish for. Her love opened up a door.
I stepped out from a small room to a verdant infinity.
She showed me the way, showed the body's decay,
but we were buried in ecstasy, two angels in flame.

So tell me how: how can the human heart 
drown a person so? And in joyous joy still bring 
darkest sorrow? Because the heart is an ocean:
I took a dip in hers, was submersed in the riptide,
drowned joyfully, secreted into that pulsing ribbon of muscle,

and I shall never find my way back home.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Rose Hourglass

It started with a sultry smile,
her eyes set in jade looking deeply
into the clock of my love,
lust came unfrayed, and sleepy
was my mind, calm my disposition:
our two bodies synchronised,
I started the ignition, drove her
home, sat her atop a supernatural throne.
She unclammed herself, I fingered
the throng; unclapsed the fabric
to angel song. Some call the body wrong,
some say that angels weep, and sick
is the vessel: seven-fold pale-green sin, carnal crime:
but as midnight came she chimed twelve times
and her keeper let me in.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Around you,
a kernel, a nut,
coalesces a universe.
Happiness draws in the
world, and
spins it up
into silken yarn.

Around you,
all is drawn in,
because your gravity
is too strong.
But don't blow up
or in singularity go:
I want to join you.
Show me. Know me.

So where to?
Your soul has outshelled you.
Your eyes now glow.

House of Joy

[Enter script here...]

> come populate
> the House of Joy/
> Girl or boy

Query: vacancies?
Boolean: Yes, never the no

> Come populate the House
> We have no doors here, just windows...

> Run server://computer/House/God/Human-Eternal-Life/

Error msg: wherefore evil?

> The only evil
is belief in its existence,
and the brief perversion
of purity

> Love is for ever here
> Unconditional

> New msg: House goes global
in 5... 4... 3... 2....

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


If I die before I'm due
and this is my final hour,
then let me say this to you,
and let your heart ring with a power:

if I die before I'm due,
just remember this:
I'll take with me the years,
the love, the shade,
the kiss,

the willow, the trust,
the tender fleshy aching thrust
of your heart,
and all the plays
of your part.

If I die before I'm due,
let me leave you this:
take your positive energy
and run with it. Take
all your passions
and strike up art.
Take your life to pastures light
and kill with life the dark.

And of all our creations
the greatest was this:
not a homestead, not a dynasty,
nor even a kiss;
the greatest thing we made
was a little, loving boy.

We took our flesh, 
my love, 
my light, and 
transformed it 
into joy 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Game

the game is an easy thing
to play, but sooner or later
it plays you.

itt's all in the mind,
it's all in the desire,
the want, the can't have,
the give, the no more!
the please! the now!

the game is an easy thing
to play, but sooner or later
it plays you. 

you're a tool,
part of it. 
a cog.
a nothing.

the game is easy -
it's the getting out
that's the hardest.

Written in the Stars

Some say love is written in the stars,
but stars can be unreliable guides.
Because rather than twinkling suns afar
I saw Mars and comets in your eyes.
Portents and omens of my own destruction
and symbols of violent fight;
as I look upon those bright points of combustion
I see flaming trails in your eyes tonight.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


When you love with half of you
the other half cries.
When you laugh with half of you,
the other half dies.
So don’t love unlovingly,
don’t love if not in full
and do not give half a smile, 
lest the grape
in bitterness 
should fall.

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Kids

Imagine what Britain could do
with young minds bolstered in
steel, rivets of iron holding
back the tide; standing,
never kneel.

We could lead the way
in Europe,
start a revolution of ideas;
change the way for ever,
lay allay our fears.
Times call for toughness -
our minds need to adapt.
These old tired ways are
dead, the new needs to be

And for all you synics who say
that things will never change,
shut your mouths,
get out the way;
let the kids
take centre stage.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Give Love

Love is not a magic trick, not hidden up one's sleeve,
but it can be coughed down if your heart's not in it.
There is only one truth: give love, and love you shall receive;
but not if love's your gold: the coffer can never win it.

Whale Song

- for Les Murray, Gwendolyn MacEwen and Edwin Morgan

Whale, I’ll be gone with the whaling song,
carry my body back where I belong.
Take my blubber and leave my calf,
and if you must cut me please cut me in half.
Whale, I’ll be gone with the whaling song:
I’ll be gone by morning.

Whale, there’s no porpoise to life anymore,
I’m trapped in this ocean and can’t find the shore.
The school is thinning, these boats are winning,
I could blub myself silly how they prize my jaw.
Yes, I’m sure there’s no porpoise to this anymore,
and I can see a black tide yawning.

My heart was never big enough for you,
The size of a car and yet I’ll always be blue
to you, for I’m only the size of a whale
and for all you care I can go to hell.
Because all that I do can never be true,
and my last dawn is dawning.

So take your sonar, your batty schemes,
your technologies of death and your echo-location.
Whale, I’ll be seeing you in the blue beyond of my dreams
where there are no boats, and death’s merely vacation.
I would air to surface, but it just ain’t my scene:
I remember a time when my brothers were calling.

This is my citation, from this cetacean:
post it in the journal of The Whaling Nation.
I sing my song to nobody's ears:
let the humans broadcast this to the rest of my peers.
Let my heart burst with economic inflation.
Soon I'll be gone: I'll be gone by mourning.


It goes deep, deeper than you'll ever know.
Deep, deep, deeper in tow.
Water leviathan, god of the sea,
Poseidon gave his trident to thee
to curse my bones and still my song:
now I sing this elegy for everlong.

Rising to surface for one final breath;
life's only resolution shall be my death.
You see my fluke parting the waves
in the dark halls of the human mind's lonely cave,
flickering against the walls you see where lingers
the black outline of whale shaped by early man's fingers.

Now curse my bones,
hand me the spear:
spear my heart, remove this fear.
Deathly joy, make me seer.
Now hark, dark angels: I dive too long.
Mark this the hour of my final song.


where are youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu? 
snnnnnfffffffh! snnnnnfffffffh!   
ouuuuuuurraaaaau? arrrrrrroooothereeeeee? 

arrrrrrrroooooooooooo! arrrrrrooooooothereeeeee? whuuuuuuurrrrrallthaaaaaawhaaaaaaalesgooooone? 

brrrrrghrough! brrrrrghrough! 
bliiiipppp! bloooooiiipppp!
arrrrrrooooooothere? arrrrrrghrrrooooooooooothereeeeeeeeeghra?

hghhhhrooooooooom? hghhhrooooooooom? 
narwhaaaaaaaal! narwheereeeeee!
hoooooooolp! hoooooooooooooollllp!