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

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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

kind of weird

cartridges for partridges
hunting dogs for wily fox
wire snares for sprinting hares
metal chains for dancing bears
thar she blows for breaching whales
garlic oil for garden snails
eeny, meanie, messy moles
shooting rhinos with crossbows
fishing tackle, slitting throats
sacrificing billy gruff goats
throw our plastic in the sea
top it up with poo and pee
budgies, parrots, love birds too
stick ’em in a cage will do
factory farms for pigs and cows
cages for the calves and sows
I don’t know where I’m heading here
but mankind sure acts kind of weird

anchoring

weighing up the pros and cons
like an old sea dog becalmed in
foggy doldrums wondering
will this old ship’s anchor save
my house from drifting away or
will it secure the captain of his ship
and save him from himself?

i can’t help but be interested in
my own flesh and blood fate
seen through an eye of a needle
held between cracking skin as
storms lash the ripping mainsail
and spittle and spray coat my beard
– i’m on fire in this freezing hell

but no-one can hear my whimpering
i’m like an old dog kicked in the guts
coughing blood in the gutter under
a parching dockland sun where iron
casts shadows for sleeping dogs to lie
and where the pros and cons gather for
due consideration in pools of oily light

some stories are meant to be written . . .

in a darkened room I caress my skull
a weight of words is bound in books there
some unread, some read, some read twice
some lost, some rediscovered, some . . .
my thoughts lie hidden upon these shelves
drifting between ancients and moderns
not knowing the origins of their species . . .
am I to disturb them in their sleep?
or should I leave sleeping letters lie?
some stories are meant to be written
like the one about the cat in the cemetery
the cat that appears only once a year
but goes unnoticed when the sisters come
to pray for the father they never loved . . .

slide away

the past is now a million years away
falling faster than a billion tears today
but that’s okay I can let it all slide away
a million billion words can only mean
. . . there’s really nothing left to say
but now it all comes flooding back to me
in blues and blacks and purple greys
the bruises of a child who went astray
his love a fading summer golden ray
. . . there’s really nothing left to say
the future will likely come back to stay
haunting for each millisecond of the day
the present binding me in clods of clay
. . . there’s really nothing left to say

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