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A Place In The Country

I live in a house in the heart of a city
I always have, always will, very probably
where acres of asphalt abound and surround me
neighbours in earshot and sightline proximity
whatever I do I know they know about it
whatever they do I just don’t want to know it
where the neighbourhood thug lives within spitting distance
and his rattletrap car honks and beeps for annoyance
where the teenagers wander around until daylight
and the parents don’t bother because they think that’s all right
where bottles and pop cans and pizzas and chip wraps
are thrown on the ground by children who eat that crap
with gardens that grow mainly brat packs and fat cats
whoever would want to live any place like that
not me
I want to live somewhere that’s almost unpeopled
where the nearest they come is a distant church steeple
I want to see only the things that are pleasant
the trees and the moors and the deer and the pheasant
I just want to hear only wind blow and birdsong
I want to smell pines not the spices of Hong Kong
I want to be able to step through the front door
And two minutes later be out of the wild moors
I want to listen to muntjacs and night owls
not neighbourhood parties and screeching and foul howls
so all that I want is a place in the country
a nice little house not too big not too pokey
somewhere so peaceful I can sit back and unwind
and unburden completely this bad state of mind
no chance
I’ll be here until I die
I know I will, no need to lie
no need to hide the awful truth
I’m not a silly callow youth
there is no need to kid myself
I’ll put this dream back on the shelf
but even so I’ll hope and pray
that on some not too distant day
milady luck might smile on me
and let me win the lottery

Before Now

Before now
before the internet
before mobiles
before computers
before television
before books
what was life like?
imagine none of these things
imagine all of them gone
not available
not existent
what would we do?
a moment came
when i had nothing to do
and nothing that i wanted to do
and i stood in the garden
and tried to think about nothing
it was intolerable
i couldn’t bear it
my mind would not let go of everything
there was always something there
in a corner of my thoughts
lurking
letting me know
who i was
where i was
though not why i was
and then for one brief instant
it was gone
i was separated from everything
i was free of any feeling
any need
any thought
and then the moment passed
and i connected once more
with the world
and looked around
in that moment i think i saw
what made mankind
leave the plains of africa
it was because
there was nothing else to do

The Dog Days

The Dog Days of summer are on us
When nothing ever happens
And we can’t be arsed to try.
When life is become drudgery
And we treat it accordingly.
We do nothing or little or less,
We just pass the time
In our own grudging ways.
The sentence of life
Loses meaning for us
And the meaning of life
Makes no sense.
We rise in the morning
With no purpose in mind,
The skies up above us too blue
And the air is too airy,
The sun is too sunny,
And the world is too worldly to bear.
What to do on these days,
What to do?
Some of us turn the wrong way,
Find things to burn, people to hate.
Some find new ways to hate themselves
And buy chemical dreams
To make their lives better and worse.
It’s just a question
Of personal perception
Or inclination.
Some do the right thing:
Stand still;
Let the days flow over them;
Feel the time
Of their life
In their hands;
Just trying to pass
The days that are dying,
That pass by too slowly.
Me, I pick up a guitar
And play it improperly;
Or start a story
And then write it wrongly;
Or even try poems
For no reason or rhyme
Than just bloody trying
To pass the time
Rightly
In these dog days of summer.

The Megacharge Thing

Clad me my roof
In silicon tiling
And fasten a turbine
Above it.
Channel my shit
Through a methane digester
And then give it back
Let me burn it.
Plug in my car
To my home-powered grid
And then let me drive
To the limits
Where the shops and the buildings
Are living green creatures
And the creatures inside them
Wear home knits.
Oh, let the wind blow
Let the breeze power homes
Let the sun and its warmth
Be our saviours.
All that we need
Is for some clever geek
To work out how to keep
All that power
Around us
For longer.
A battery that lasts
That doesn’t go flat
That gives us a burst
When we need it.
Some real life dilithium
Not zinc alkalinium
Or the rarity lithium
Something we have
By the million.
Like sand or potatoes
Or water or who knows
Even glass might
Be worth looking into.
When that comes along
The Megacharge thing
We will laugh at how
Simple it is.
And how stupid we were
For simply not seeing
That it isn’t the making
The juice that’s the problem.
It’s the storing
And keeping it
Flowing.