Page 38 of 39

Being Young

Shouting
Wearing shorts
Knee scabs
The joy of worms
Always running
Never walking
First time tastes
Ice cream soda
Christmas morning!
Pets like pals
Alien girls
Forever friends
First time met
Eating for fun
Enemy vegetables
Stories in books
Comics
Television
Games at school
Laughing
Brotherly love
Mother as god
Father just gone
Crying
Growing up
Quieting

I Am A Man

In many ways
I am a man
Made up by many others:
By father, brother,
Sister, mother,
Grandparents and cousins.
I am a man,
Like any man,
Who’s formed by other people.
By friends and foes,
And those that know
My many lovely evils.
I made it work,
I played at work,
And then I made it out.
And now I’m free
To just be me.
That’s what it’s all about.
A man, they say,
Is born one way,
And some may say that’s true.
But I was born
To be myself
And not at all like you.
For not all men
Are made the same,
And I am quite unique.
I know it’s true.
I’m telling you.
There’s only one of me.
I am a man,
That’s all I am,
That’s all I want to be.
A man alone,
All on his own,
Unshackled now, and free.
And so I draw,
And paint and write,
And think on what I want.
And what I want
Is what I am.
I am a man, I am.

It’s the Ecology, Stupid

It’s the ecology, stupid.
Don’t you get it?
All those things we do,
Eating and drinking,
Everyday living,
Everything
That comes from us.
What we can’t help but do,
What comes out of us,
That’s the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
What we make,
What we do with it,
What we don’t do with it,
How we ignore it,
How we don’t see it,
Don’t even talk about it
That’s the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
All the birds,
All the bees,
All the flowers,
All the trees
All the going things.
All the dodos and the auks
All the moas and the aurochs
All the gone things,
They’re the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
The way they die
When they’re near us,
The way they fear us.
Our casual killing
Of all the things
Now living,
Now going, going,
Gone.
They’re the problem.
It’s the ecology, stupid.
They’re not the problem, though.
The dying things,
The things we kill,
The things we ruin,
What we burn,
What we poison,
What we use and lose,
They’re not the problem.
It’s not the ecology.
It’s you.
It’s me and you.
Stupid.

A House

A house.
Four walls, a roof.
A container.
It keeps things in,
Lets nothing out,
Not even hope.
Feelings wither,
Unreciprocated,
Damaged,
Both, apart together.
Dreams die,
Strangled,
Unarticulated,
In these silent rooms.
Side by side
We sit and hide
From each other,
Unliked lovers.
Here, in this house,
We see only
Something
Neat, painted,
Well decorated,
Cracks papered over.
We do not see
Ourselves.
We have too different
Visions of love.
Perhaps nothing
Is what we wish to see.
This place is
A building,
Peopled,
But not lived in.
This is
A house.
This is not
A home.

Being Alive

Breathe.
A misty morning,
Spring, cool.
Voices far and near
Muffled
In the vapour.
Nascent sunglow
Diffused by fog,
In fret beneath
Hidden heavens.
Breathe.
Intake of cold gold.
Outswept brume
Of my ether,
Adding to all that is
Already there.
The taste of steel
On the still air,
Hometown flavour.
Breathe.
The metal seat
Is cool and hard
But there is comfort
In knowing it will warm.
A robin sings
It’s warbled warning
In the garden
I made for us both.
Breathe.
A small space
But my own.
A small life
But enough.
No need to go
Elsewhere.
No need to do
Other things.
No need to be
Someone else.
No need of anything
But being alive.
Breathe.

Love is a Nonsense

Love is a nonsense.
It is, isn’t it?
A stupid idea,
Perhaps conceived
In conception
Or some other
Fulfilment of need
From the time before we had
A need for words.
I mean, what is it for?
What does it do,
Love?
It lays a burden
Of duty,
Propriety,
On those it afflicts
It constrains the minds
And steals the time of
The lover
And, in return,
The loved.
It dilutes the power
Of concentration,
Of one mind
Focused
On one thing.
Because
Another thing
An other half
Is always in there
Demanding
Time, attention, obeisance,
More.
Leaving less
Of me.
Other love,
Brother love,
Mother love,
Love of family,
Love of friends,
That love is pure
Unqualified, unsullied, unselfish
Given freely,
Taken, and given back.
What am I saying?
Am I even speaking
Of love?
I don’t know.
Love is a nonsense.

Me Time

Just give me time
To sit and write
and think and write
and read and write.
Just let me be
the very least
that I can be;
Just let me be
the best I can
at least of me.
Just give me time.

Friends

The other night
With old friends
Drinking
Talking and laughing
Remembering
Our shared lives.
We’ve known each other
For years
But meet only
Infrequently
These days.
Not often enough.
The first words
After months apart
Were a conversation
Barely interrupted
By the inconvenience
Of time.
We laughed
We drank
We talked
Did the family thing
Did the work thing
Did what we do.
We spoke of nothing
As usual
And everything
As usual
We said things
Only friends can say.
“Cut your own hair, mate?”
He hadn’t.
“You put weight on?
I haven’t.
A bit. Much.
Anyway…
You can say many things
To friends
Anything, really
Because they know
Your idiocies.
But you can’t say.
How much you love them.

On The Shivering Tor

Burn me, then,
When I am done
And scatter my ashes
On the shivering Tor.
Don’t bury my bones
In a dutiful hole.
Nothing of me
Will be left
At the end.
There was nothing much
At the start.
Nothing worth remembering.
Who remembers, anyway?
The last stone at Cheops
The first brick of my house.
Who made them?
Who laid them?
Who cares?
Don’t you see?
Bundy or Ghandi,
A millennium from now
They too will be
Fully forgotten
Like you and me.

The Green Man

How poor a thing
This rich man is.
A hoarder,
A gatherer of wealth
Never spent
On anything of value,
Merely added to
Increased
For no other purpose
Than the increase itself;
Kept for himself,
His vulgar boats,
His mean queen,
His flunkeys and footmen.
I bet they
Spit in his soup
And piss in his pot
When he is not
In sight,
When he is away
From his golden throne
Busily shitting
On the little people
He hates so much
But whose money
He loves so dearly.
How can he not see?
His memory
His very name
Will be reviled
Will be spat upon
By those little people
By all people
Forever and ever
Amen.

Fusion

We made 
The sun
In England 
This year
In just
A flash
It was here
And then gone.
When it shines
Again
Let’s hope 
It stays.
For on that day
We can turn off
The engines,
Stop the burning
And begin
The clean up.

Rain Made

Rain clouds
Dull grey, somber
Stretch far past seeing 
And scatter their billion 
Seeds of cold 
Wet silver 
All over this land. 
My land,
The land I come from,
The land that made me. 
We come from the stars 
Above the clouds 
But, underneath it all,
I am rain made.

Old Hands

It’s late.
I’m reading a book 
Unlearning how to write
Or maybe not.
I see an old man’s hand
Turn the page.
I see whitlows,
Ragged cuticles,
Little bitten nails,
Shiny skin, and 
Wide open pores.
Old hands.
My mother's hands,
God help me.

The Sparrow Tree

The laurel in the garden
Summer-clipped
into a now round ball
tight-leafed and wind proof
speaks to me
in querulous voices.
It is a home for birds
their perches
the unseen, un-leafed
branches
hidden from killers
of all kinds.
I’m glad I made the sparrow tree
a place to live.

The Future Passed

When I was a boy
The future was a thing
I didn’t look for
And couldn’t see
And now the passed
The things not done
Are right there
Right behind me
And I see them clearly
For the very first time.
I’m with the wicked witch;
What a world,
What a world,
Said the brilliant bitch,
What a world we have made
Where a windbag can be king
And the good black knight
Can only suffer the slings
And arrows from the outrageous
Fool, while the
Soldier of misfortune,
Rasputin,
The liar in his lair
Spun from the Web
That we gave him,
Untruths the world
And chokes the west
With his golden gas.
And on it goes:
A critical voice
Is silenced
By a shake;
A continent is misled
Into wilderness
By the bibulous
And iniquitous;
And the inscrutable
Become invincible
By stealing our minds
And mining and steel.
And so we are led
By a godly good woman
With godawful judgement
And matching dress sense
Into god knows what
Or why, or when.

Too Beautiful

On the land they call Linley
That once was a wasteland
That, underfoot, is still,
The frost, being unset by her
Bejewelled the grass.
The near-distant harshness of cars
Surrounded me
As I stood on the summit
Looking south
Being warmed
By her heat.
The bright blue sky
Was the wash on which
She painted herself
And her portrait
Her face
Was too beautiful to see.