sandbanks

out on these shifting sandbanks – gulls cry out
where heaven and horizon blur – stretching necks
land is a distant friend my friend – vomit voices
and you a distant cloud formation – white, grey, guano
I part the sky with my hands – sun glinting in eyes
haul you through the troposphere – pecking pecking
amazing that I once was – flecks of spittle rain
beautiful as you no doubt still are – feather floating
but my feet have been sinking since – cacophony
and the tides come and go and rise – it all mixes
mouth above the water just – shifting sandbanks
crying out like a gull crying out – a blurring cataract
choking voice salt vomiting – a distant and lost friend
see the glint in my drowning eyes – see the sky parting
we pecked at each other – you dropping from above
raining down on me like sea spit – at once amazing
you a feather floating through my days – beautiful
white noise and static fuzz – sinking filling the void
it all mixes up as the tides come and go – and rise

The Dead Geraniums Poem

I am not an ecumenical beast, she told me
Jesus, I had never heard that one before
She was wheezing as she climbed the stairs
Shredding paper, forgot she was allergic to the dust
Paper dust? Old bills, dwindling congregation
Too expensive to keep open, running costs etc
I don’t like the thought of sharing another chapel
There’s a reason we went separate ways you know
No I didn’t know.

I was helping her clear the house
Her family’s terrace house on the side of the hill
Typical Welsh house, love spoons in the hallway
Brass trinkets and gaudy lustre ware on the dresser
Her husband’s porn videos hidden in the shed
Teen Arse Action and Home for the Holidays
Tapes mouldy with Llanelli damp and rat piss
I’d binned them before she could find them
To save her from any faith based embarrassment
She’d told me how he’d made wooden things
On his lathe, in that shed

for the Eisteddfod in ’76
The heatwave year in which we all had melted
Must’ve been pretty steamy in that shed, I thought
Turning shafts of wood into phallus shaped leeks
The dirty bugger, the lives we leave concealed eh
Tosser should’ve had a clear out before he died
I tripped over a pile of his LP’s leant like slates
Against the side of the shit brown shiny wardrobe
Max Boyce Live at Treorchy Rugby Club 1974
Land of My fathers by the Morriston Orpheus
Male Voice Choir.

My God, what dross
Would you like a cup of tea dear, she called out
I’m alright ta, I shouted back, eagerly rummaging
In the wardrobe, a bundle of Woodworker mags
Tied up with string with some Spick and Spans
And a single photo of a busty blond with bouffant
Leaning on the railings of the bus station
The words To my Darling Vaughn, June ’72
Scribbled on the back in pencil
I slipped it in my pocket and ran down the stairs
Calling see you later as I opened the front door
Are you going dear?

But we haven’t made love yet
I disappeared down the street . . .

. . . why did you have to come to me that way?
shapeshifting into my dreams as someone else
someone that made me run away from you
out the door and down the street instead of
well, you know what we could’ve done
but it never seems to end that way does it?

and she smelt of dead geraniums too

BUY ART !

BUY ART ! BIG ART !
AS VAST AS YOUR HOUSE ART !
SPLASH OUT YOUR FILTHY CASH !
NEON LIGHT SOME WORTHY TRASH !

BASQUIAT YOUR BATHROOM !
LICHTENSTEIN YOUR LIVING ROOM !
CRANE SOME MOORE INTO THE YARD !
EMPLOY A PERFORMANCE GUARD !

BUY ART ! EXPENSIVE ART !
A GOLD AND DIAMOND SHOPPING CART!
PAY MORE MONET THAN THE NEXT MAN !
JUST BECAUSE YOU GAUGUIN CAN !

A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY !
GIACOMETTI - KAHLO - KANDINSKY !
A FRAMED LETTER OF AUTHENTICITY !
GENTILESCHI - PICASSO - BOTTICELLI !

BUY ART ! CHEAP AS YOU LIKE ART !
BULK BUY IT DOWN AT WALMART !
ORDER SOME POP IN YOUR LUNCHTIME !
NEXT DEGAS DELIVERY WITH AMAZON PRIME !

IT'S ART FOR ART'S SAKE !
WORTH A FORTUNE OR MERELY A FAKE !
STICK IT IN YOUR FAMILY VAULT !
IT'S ONLY ART AND NOT YOUR FAULT !

BUY ART ! BIG ART !
BUY ART ! EXPENSIVE ART !
BUY ART ! CHEAP AS YOU LIKE ART !
BUY ART ! BUY ART ! BUY ART ! BYE BYE ART !

Kitsch-masterpiece---Chin-010

Chinese Girl by Vladimir Tretchikoff

 

chasing

what was it
that I was chasing
way back when
I rode my dreams
by sea and Downs
and river paths
and later
holding onto
aquamarine railings
a hungover sun
squinting on the horizon
gulls prospecting
the promenade
for breakfast
before the tramps
rose from their slumbers
like preserved timbers
exposed at low tides
I wanted
what they wanted
a dream of something
out of reach
soaked in sun
and Special Brew
the shingle on the beach
made us stagger
drunk on love
and laughter
but love is a lie
you said
but I wouldn’t believe that
I kept on chasing
chasing . . .
chasing . . .

posthumously unrecognised

it's all still there
said the voice from out of nowhere -
a shadow of an echo that barely stirred
the settled down dust coating every blurred surface
that ever dared to hold a candle
to the faceless figurines lined up for show
in the hallowed cabinet

look in the drawers
or in the wardrobe with the inlaid doors
stored moth-eaten clothes all hung in rows
there are clues in the cobwebbed attic too 
where the woodworm obligingly crumble 
the very structure of this artifice
that we call life

it's all still there
said the voice from out of nowhere - 
words barely legible just as time is an illusion
canvasses daubed by the would be masters
songs existing as nothing more than whispers
only waiting to be discovered
praised and lauded

between the pages

the plot invariably led him into scenarios
he would not normally have chosen to encounter
for which he blamed the author for his misfortunes
and called him capricious and irresponsible
why the fuck make him do things for the sake of a story
when it's not even his story and shouldn't it have been obvious
that his character would have acted differently?

writers are all the fucking same he accused
they think they know what the hell goes on inside
a character's head but no, not often, instead they create
and formulate and manipulate something manifestly fictional
that in reality becomes their inner demons projected
as someone else's ill judged mishaps and misdemeanours
don't hang that on me said the man trapped between the pages

give me an atlas and open it wide
I'll pick my own route from here on in
your stormy weather is not on my agenda
no twists and turns will torment me
it's time this man learnt to be free
I'll stick to my guns like Matisse's brush
close the book now, if you please . . .

free to go

no more sticks and walking frames
no hands to pull you from your seat
you’re free to go now

free to go
wherever you roam
wherever that is
let’s call it home

no pills and creams and joints aflame
no dark depressions to defeat
you’re free to go now

I never made it
to your side
you’ll never know
how much I cried

no need to ever feel ashamed
no gadgets to help your heart go beat
you’re free to go now

free to go
yes, free to go
you’re free to go now
free to go

xx

(Mum passed away this morning
her condition deteriorated very quickly
she slipped into unconsciousness
died peacefully with a nurse by her side
in the end I couldn’t be there in person
but in every other way I hope I was there
please give her a wave now she’s free to go)

love you Mum xx

 

know that I am with you

if I could hold your hand
stroke your forehead
tell you I love you
know that I am with you

as these things should be
my last duty to you Mum
to be at your bedside
to thank you . . .

yet sitting here all alone
eyes closed in the silent evening
I can almost hear you breathing
dozing in your armchair

in quiet meditation
know that I am with you
gently willing you on to
your next journey . . .

I’d tell you everything will be fine
don’t be afraid Mum
embrace the forever
open your heart and soul

take your memories with you
fly with the stars and angels
all the faces from your past
live for eternity . . .

there seems so much to say now
just when time has nearly run its course
I want to believe you can hear me
all the things I left unsaid

know that I am with you
holding your hand
stroking your forehead
telling you I love you . . .

premonition

I sense a giving up
a moving off down a softly lit corridor
to somewhere quieter
where strangers don’t ask how you are
every thirty minutes of the day

at least there
familiar faces from the past will greet you
you’ll recall their smiles
of mother and father beaming at their newborn girl
of your fiancé rowing you across Swanbourne Lake

the waters still and calm
sunlight burning through your closed lids
drowsy now your head tilted back upon the pillow of death
acceptance and contentment quietening the fears
oh how I will miss you when you are gone