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And suddenly I am gripped by fear. Are we ever justified in our boredom? Here, even in the season of mists and fruitlessness, There must be something, a gleaming light A place to go even if it's internal, not external. Even in the strange loneliness of a place too loud (too loud to move) I can find something to appease my lethargy. One day, when I'm old, and I've realised that the loud places Kill us, I'll look for these moments and not find them, And the ones I do find will have become A pink haze of crushing beauty.
Looks cold out there.
So we move in and the glowing surrounds
Wingtips, glasses, nests of warmth in the room
The dying embers, like flailing members
The more you dig under, the more heat you
Can throw into the air with that pitchfork
And silence darkness for a mere moment
But all the time it's dying, fading and
Losing momentum, and we, running on
The same fuel, can see ourselves slowing down
Laid to rest in the same papery and
Chaotic dark nest and left to the harsh
Daylight, to become ashes, gradually
Blowing away in the harsh Autumn winds.
Today, the sun shines.
Something about this place is quite golden
But in my 2d world I ignore it
Because there is so much here to avoid
That it eclipses anything else
That I might want to live with and live in.
So, now I'm wondering just what it is
That freedom has ever done for me
Because the liberties I take with time
Would be seen as criminal by many,
Including myself. I watch the sunset
From an obscure perspective, and almost
Regret it, as if it were an eclipse
A distant war, or the last flame on earth.
Surprise - I've been here too long (again).
Maybe it's time for a little progress
Something to motivate me from this chair
Something to challenge, to probe and contest
And widen my eyes, and ruffle my hair;
When we awake, and it's no longer dark
In fact it's been light for many an hour
We sense the disdain, traversing the park
Of the daytime, making our mouths taste sour.
And there are so many more people around
Who'd give their right arm to savour this life
But would be surprised by the softness of ground
Its tenderness under the surgeon's knife.
Sometimes I wonder about fashion.
We keep on drifting in our cloudy dreams
Up and down below the cool surface
And languish in the narrow daylight seams
Of this quite echoey and soupy place;
And sometimes we rise up to meet the light
And get the shock of bracing daylight air
And gaze with some wonderment at the sight
Of trees and winds and blossom dwelling there.
And down a petal falls onto my hand
Where from, or why, I cannot quite explain
But I quickly grab it just where it lands
As I begin to sink back down again.
Ha! Healthy eating is for losers.
Welcome all, to the frozen and tinned world
To a place where noodles can be super
A palace of the downtrodden unfurled
I shut the door, waiting in a stupor.
The battered, bruised bodies of nature's lands
Who long ago stood proud in gardens wide
Have found their way to my desperate hands
With slices of cheap white bread on the side.
But still I find a sort of joy in this
That which may seem a run from proper food
For despite guilt, I happily exist
Enjoying that which seldom does me good.
I am a lecturer, I see my role
As digging massive holes
For everyone to sit and flounder in
You yawn as I begin.
You may not get my points but that's okay,
If you just go away
And read the many secondary texts
And seminars are next.
In the meantime I simply ramble on
There! Half an hour's gone
And maybe I'll end with some time to spare
10 minutes here or there
Or maybe I'll just mess with video
Until it's time to go.
Now I'm quite sick of Powerpoint
It's time to go spark up a joint.
I always wanted to
I've done it! Come see my astonishing work,
The fruits of my labour, of my endless toil;
A little of this and a little of that
Thrown into the mixture and brought to the boil.
Observe the great structure of iron and brass,
The intricate flowing of pistons and pipes
And set in the centre a menagerie
Of metals and crystals of all different types.
This wondrous creation will remake the world
Reverse engineering the language of God
But don't go telling everyone just yet
For first I must give the on-switch a quick prod…
War looms once more. Again, I am scared by the powerful.
Terror, terror, we watch in fear at
The constant bunching up of this great world
We see the problems of fitting it all
In a box, baby-like, foetally curled.
If it's more like a crying, screaming brat
We cannot simply break its limbs to fit
Into a space imaginably small
We should realise the size and shape of it.
To look ahead is hard when we look at
The atrocities our hist'ry contains
For those who should be up against the wall
Are always those madmen holding the reigns.
Your young men shall dream dreams.
I looked for dreams and found brick walls instead
But none of us can let it sap our hope
And although seeing stars is inspiring
Sometimes just seeing truth can push us on.
Still, though I know we have to silence fear
When fear is of the burgeoning future,
Something deep inside still holds me back:
A reservation I just can't shake off.
One thing could be worse than dying souls
Knowing that they never found those dreams:
What if they did grab hold of passing stars
And found that paradise was nowhere near?
Blogs should be like this:
So, I met my creator the other day,
Sat on a park bench eating
Salmon on toast in the day's dying embers –
Brown eyes, skin like melted wax.
And I know it was him because he said
"Plenty more fish in the sea. I know
Because I made them, too."
And I said, "Why suffering?" and
He said "I didn't make that" and
I said "I didn't either" and
We both shrugged. I offered him
A cigarette as a joke, but he took it.
I guess you don't have to worry
When you're the creator.
‘I want to be remembered when I die'
Some say. I can't really see the point, when
After all, what enjoyment could you get
From that? Many people are remembered
For the things that others did. Some are
Remembered in ways they wish they weren't.
Some are forgotten though they changed the world
And everything we do we owe to them.
Some are remembered just because they died
So young, when they had so much left to give,
And therefore are remembered for the things
They never had a chance to do. I can't
Help but feel luckier than them.
I round a corner and find this
an endless playground mess
and people wonder why it continues
teeth smashed on asphalt, smeared tears
dust whipped into eyes
primal instincts never die
you are a toothpick in the mouth
of every echelon of civilisation
you die for them
you taste the strange metallic bitterness
thrown down into mud and wet grass
sometimes you find yourself tied
to a mob, some billowing cloud
expanding like dye in water
you fight uselessly against them
unable to get out
until you realise
in a moment of shock
that you don't even want to.
Looking at world maps sometimes
Imagining the far off climes
I sometimes have to stop and think
How did the whole world become pink?
Just how did we, the dumb white guys
Take over everyone with lies
As Christians and scientists
Dividing people into lists
And pyramids and clever charts
To show that any sane view starts
With the great Anglo-Saxon form
And all Others are lower born.
And where do I fit in to this?
Can I just sit back and dismiss
The subjugation of the world
The ignorance they flung and hurled?
Jingo, jingo, hate unfurled.
The movement, the dance goes on
As we both slide our fingers down the
The ribbon, and every so often
I feel a knot in that thread, a great rush
Of feeling, a sense that we are suddenly
The knots are inside, outside,
Everywhere. Feelings don't flow
They gust like wind
And shock like ice water
They are snow-flakes in the
Mind, accumulating slowly
And we hope that they remain as
The coldest snow – powdery, separate
Unique in their beauty but building in
Drifts, and never turning to
I feel another knot
And the dance goes on.
Destroyed do we actually want to
Be destroyed even in the season
Of mists of mists of fruitlessness
Or is it more of a desire to see the
Glorious swirls of THE END in
Black and white across the
Darkening sky, tears of blood in
Your eye and the shaking joy of
Nothing left! as the screams
Become laughter and spikes gleam
In the strobing light and suddenly the
Rollercoaster hits another dip and we
All squeal with delight as we fly over
Into the crushing hell of the last breath
And the satisfying silence.
Time, now, for an appraisal.
Please stop talking
For once just shut your mouth
Our eyes are red, our teeth are sour
And I don't even want to hear what you are
Drowning out, let alone what I am
Some eyes never stop darting
Some hands never stop fiddling
And some hatred never stops burning.
Just step back and notice the silence
Hold your breath like you'd hold a child
Taking its first and last
Feel that strange tingling warmth of
Your head filling with pressure
Take a step forward, look over
The cliff edge, see what can be.
Now let it out.
Dark morning here.
I always wake to loud, synthetic screams
And all protruding limbs feel cold as night
There's barely any daylight and it seems
I can't have set the howling bastard right;
But then I realise that it is time
And though the warmth is nowhere else but here
I have to start the hard and lonely climb
From safety to a world dark and unclear.
I stagger and I stumble in the gloom
And shiver in the heavy, misty air
As I look to the sky I must assume
That the sun is still shining way up there.
Oh, for the quiet death...
Heaven or Hell
Heaven or Hell
I wouldn't sit well in either.
Too evil for one
Too good for the other
I'd be quite happy with neither.
The place I'd choose
To rest my poor restless soul.
A place so empty
Might house plenty
Of those who saw it as their goal.
The simple life
Of nothingness eternal.
No damnation infernal.
No bowing down
No envious crown
No echelons for us to rise.
This is the place
That fills my space
As I slowly shut my eyes.
These hollow things I have surrounded myself with
These hollow things are my guardians, my saviours
They bury me down in tunnels like sinuses
I am wrapped in my own ear canal
Guilt builds like wax
Yawns echo endlessly
Laughter is perpetuated in looping cackles
Life blinks in the stale orange glow of streetlights
Death is muffled, travelling slowly in
The syrupy folds of alcohol
Words flow freely, dancing round the canals
Sometimes sticking to my hollow cocoon
As if it were candyfloss.
It is candyfloss, weak and sickly
These hollow things, blinking synapses in the streetlight
Maybe I'm happy.
Look at them, my friends will say:
The unambitious twats!
Content just to work mindlessly,
Never moving from this plateau of misery
What's the point?
I offer nothing.
But I want to say:
Our money and our peace,
Our gold and our olives,
What more can we hope for?
We, with our lofty aspirations
We scrabble around with increasing
Desperation for an easy route,
The jackpot, the lottery,
The bright city lights.
I think of RS Thomas:
"Live large, man, and dream small."
I wish I could dream small
These hollow days,
Ambitions and easy routes,
Our prejudice is damning.
I am gripped by an urge to make new things happen,
Let my energies find new channels,
Shoot into new air, become vapour.
I want to throw colours, swallow stars,
Grab birds as they fly by, spit icicles,
Run through every border, steal every
Gun, bask under every sun.
I want to embrace jungles, flood deserts,
Tell every absolute truth, split cities,
Destroy every nuke, predict every fluke.
I want to build islands, turn skyscrapers into
Cathedrals, explore every cave, free every slave.
I want to judge God before he judges me,
Get in there first, gladly risk the worst.
I make mountains out of molehills, and as
I scale the great crags of soil, built into
Their arching, snow-capped pinnacles by me
Alone, I have to wonder what got me
In this strange mindset.
Once again, I've made a drama out of
A crisis, and as I strut the great stage,
Hamming it up for an audience of
One, I have to cry out the skies:
What was I lacking, again?
And, as I roll back down, soft mud in
My socks, humiliation is eclipsed
By realisation. And when the actor
Cries "Water! Water!" he is, deservedly,
Now I see sadness in your eyes
I wish that I could love the lies
The sewage runs from pupil out
To iris and I see the doubt
The web of mirrors, hall of spiders
Now I'm held by your insiders
Half-truths run to falsities
And fallacies: aiming to please
But surely you must know me better
Rule of word and not of letter
Something stirs within your soul
Time for completion of the whole
And nothing but the whole will do
Unpainted harshness: see it through
And although ugly in daylight
It bears its teeth and says: I'm right.
Try as I might, I don't miss anything.
Maybe the vacant expanse of clarity,
The lands reclining in a long,
Hungover lie-in, peaceful and deep.
Maybe the soft rustling of the trees,
Just loud enough to drown the distant
Roar of main roads.
Maybe the muffled cooing of the wood
Pigeons, cats threading their way
Through long damp grass to sanctuary,
The heavy breathing of the hedgerows,
The soft lapping of the river.
Maybe the sense of age and distance
The meandering of wishes that
Trickle through cracks in the messy
Dripping and pouring of time.
But not much else.
Something new is always coming,
Welcome to my cluttered space
Of course. Thoughts continue
To run, like a sponge that never
Dries no matter how you
Frustratedly squeeze it.
Sometimes they're beaten and
Bruised, naturally, and
Sometimes wrapped in strange,
Unfamiliar coatings, but they
All cry out to be heard and seen.
Unfaithful parents let their
Offspring shiver with neglect on
The frozen wastes of their
Criminal mundanity, as I used to.
But now my babies are protected
As best they can be. And like
Gazelles they stand quickly,
Ready for the gritty winds of a
Harsh and bitter world.
So unlucky, my generation.
We missed the good old days:
Milk carts, red telephone boxes,
Red buses, red streets.
Languishing in hideous, shrill,
Scratchy bars, we missed the soft,
Warm, yellow-ceilinged pubs,
Friendly bobby on a bicycle,
Golden age of the blue collar.
We missed the fights for rights:
Activism, Marxism, leftism, nihilism,
Chained to missiles.
Even missed the good music,
Summers of love, good pills,
Now it's all shitty coke, Americanised,
Fashion-led, ‘PC', homosexual,
Manufactured, the lights blinking
On and off, pretends he ain't a toff,
Hospital waiting room,
London, placards: it's just time off.
A lot on my (spinning) plate.
No matter how I throw it
Rubbish still piles at my feet
To do, to do, it marches on
And never seems complete
Am I just spinning plates
Or building up a house of cards?
My hour glass may smash
And leave me covered in its shards
It seems that all I try to make
Just lacks a final touch
So rushed it never matches up
Perhaps I care too much
I cut, I crop, but it won't stop
This time-consuming mess
But I press on and try
To avoid thoughts of future tests.
(On the political cartoons of 12 Sept 2001)
Watch out, Osama!
Uncle Sam's rolled up his sleeve
And boy, is he pissed
The eagle drops its olive branch
He's got it in his sights
(What, exactly, we don't know)
The desert will become glass
And it's time to nuke, time to
Nuke, don't wait another day
For the white heat to cool down.
On this day, we are heroes
Not black or white but dusty grey
To heaven in a hard hat
If the passengers were armed
This might have been avoided
Pure, bearded, rag-headed evil sent,
Bewildered, to Hell.
(Written whilst I was exceedingly drunk at 3am. Not too bad.)
I am a product of the revolution
Free, denouncing absolution
Happy with the constitution
I've nothing to say.
I'm happy with VE and
Happy with Remembrance Day
And I want the ruling classes
To unite, unite and stay
This is my solid declaration
I have had a revelation
Royalist and loyalist
In England I will stay
Atrocities and fallacies
Racism I abide
And strengthening against
The masses of the crimson tide
No retributive nemesis is
What I have in mind
I rail against the quiet
Communism of my kind.
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