wanderin’ hearts

if I could be anyone
I would be all of you
an amalgam factotum
a sum of all your parts
for the whole would be better
than the quart or the half
and a cup that’s half empty
could be a cup that’s half full
be you wild alcoholic
or suicide melancholic
a genius prolific
or an amateur poet
I will take what’s on offer
till death we depart
to go our separate ways
with our own wanderin’ hearts

Advertisements

Consuming

Was it worth it?
The new jewellery for the wife
And the plastic toys for the children

It’s just a tumour that has spread around the globe
By the men and women that live here
Soon we’ll be consuming again

Well, they’ll ask us
The children all cry, what will you do?
To change your ways by next Christmas

It’s just a tumour that has spread around the globe
Somebody said the oceans got filled in
With all the plastic we discarded
The result of this consuming

Without any thought for our world
Shopping for dear life
When we should be saving our home

It’s just a tumour that has spread around the globe
A news report of a washed up dolphin
Within a few years, we’ll be suffering
Notifying our children, we got it wrong

It’s all we’re skilled in
We will be consuming again

Without any thought for the world
Shopping for dear life
When we should be saving our home

It’s all we’re skilled in
We will be consuming again

Without any thought for the world
Shopping for dear life
When we should be saving our home
When we should be saving our home
When we should be saving our home

(to the tune of ‘Ship Building’ by Elvis Costello)

apartment 2

angles upon high rise blocks
cubes against low hung clouds
yellow highlighted balconies
blue sky thinking is
thinking out the box, are
windows and recesses
will you walk in hallways?
talk in elevators? talk, TALK
button down your minds with muzak
push buttons, office suits, ties
telephone intercom conversations
will the sun reflect your hopes?
will the night hide your fears?
pigeons that rest on ledges will
contemplate the urban landscape
record your unimportant thoughts
whilst a drone passes overhead
they are dropping propaganda leaflets
again, you will say
to yourself, alone
hot air blown from underground
will the trees wilt only, is
flowering memories fade by
shadows mask your / their indifference
locked in your cells waiting here
staring at mirrored walls, ceilings
opening and closing refrigerator doors
stalking your own forgotten effigies until
until daybreak sets you free once more
with automatic curtains
coffee percolator smells
you wanted her, didn’t you?
the neighbour, you wanted her?
to knock on your door
and offer you her body
unconditionally
like a porn shop dolly come alive
with gaping holes
pull the chord
choke on it
cornflakes and milk instead
hot buttered toast, marmalade
a dullness that bleeds on the brain
is something missing?
didn’t they tear down the something?
replaced it with a zer0
now you don’t know
which way to turn
when you leave the building
because you are a servant, blind
tracing angles upon blocks
cubes against clouds
this and that
this and
that

 

Mendicant in Minor Key

I was nothing – I believed nothing
I wonder, do you remember me, as I remember you?
Is it enough that we thought we were doing enough?
You begged with me beside the sea
Beside the waves that sung in minor keys
You knew the things that terrified me
The preparation, the waiting, the diving
The neon lights and drug-fuelled nights
Coming down felt like an end to a new beginning
The colour of  the water reminding me of . .
Litvinenko’s hospital gown as he lay dying
Yellow faced on the TV screen
The owl in the park screeching
The cracks in the pavement widening
I would hold on to the aquamarine railings
As if to a floundering ship. And you?
You would be no different yourself
For we were both lost in that moment
Both cadging smokes like tramps on the pier
We dyed our hair black like dark clouds
Circling above our heads and believed
There was nothing to believe
And there was nothing
There was nothing . . . .

Insides Outsides Upsides Downsides

I put my shirt on inside out
That’s nothing much to shout about
I put my left shoe on the right
Wondering should I flee or fight
My words come out in mangled shouts
You may think I’m a simple lout
But truth be known I’m ordinary
It’s just my brain’s wired differently
It’s just my brain’s wired differently
But truth be known I’m ordinary
You may think I’m a simple lout
My words come out in mangled shouts
Wondering should I flee or fight
I put my left shoe on the right
That’s nothing much to shout about
I put my shirt on inside out

never stop

the words – the sounds – the images – never stop
i rest my head on the table and close my eyes
a noise outside reminds me of a donkey and cart approaching
i reach out and pat the poor beast on its back
a cloud of dust rises like a sand storm from the Sahara
i turn and light a cigarette and gaze out the window
a breeze blows the spindly top branches of a nearby tree
i touch the scab on my knee reminding me when i was a child
a girl with curls had dared me climb to the very top
i hold the paint brush in my hand and paint her memory
a rush of colours as bold as her floral dress flood the canvas
i write her a poem because the words are suddenly there
a photograph springs to mind as music hall songs fill the night
i am alone once more with my thoughts that never cease
a guitar entices me to strum a few random chords
the words – the sounds – the images – never stop

Instant Karma for the Human Race (with apologies to John & Yoko)

Global warming’s gonna get you
It’s gonna drown you in your bed
You better get your shit together
‘cos pretty soon you’re gonna be dead

What in the world were you thinking of?
Buying all that trash you said you loved
What on earth were you trying to forget?
Now it’s up to you to pay it back

Well you will all shine on
In the moon and the stars and the sun
Yes you will all shine on
But no-one will remember you

Yes you will all shine on
In the dust from where you came from
Yes you will all shine on
It’s down to you, and only you

on and on and on . . .
on and on and on . . .

(repeat until your dying breath)

on y va!

this city is for walking and yes
we are crammed down narrow streets
leather bags and silk scarves hang in import
export emporiums vying for attention next
metal hooks for cured meats and bejewelled trinkets

we pass through gated alleys into hidden courtyards
that dwell in cigarette smoke blended with ground
coffee and exotic aromas from the four corners
where North Africa meets Far East and promises
lovers will meet their lovers under moonlight

the police sirens will chant a constant on y va!
a hurry up come here let’s go clamorous call
climbing twisting stairs to lowly rooms we lean
on a balcony and I smell your hair but don’t know
your name nor you mine which makes us equals

in this city which is a souk or a caravanserai
your eyes more dark mystery than a fortune teller
I can’t help but lose myself in this story
a humble poet with nothing better to do than
fill the pages of notebooks with his dreams