Listening to the MJQ in the Mojave Desert

you might accuse me of not being there
but I might argue why bother
you might say my words are not authentic
but I might question your supposition why

here is my chair, here is my view
see what you will, it won’t cost you

you might want some further proof provided
but I might offer you none in return
you might try to reach out and touch me
but I might already be on the run

here is my chair, here is my view
feel what you want, it won’t cost you

you might not like jazz in the afternoon
but I might just turn the volume up high
you might not like the heat and the dust
but I might just turn you up to the sky

here is my chair, here is my view
hear what you want, it won’t cost you

~

the track through the canyon
is ever so understanding
the rocks and the boulders
cover my wanderings
no, I’m not really there
and I’m not really here
I am always elsewhere
so far and so near
travelling with the wanderlust
that binds my body to soul
from young to old
from shore to shore
I can hear the birds singing
calling me on

 

 

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in slow motion

tree falls
in slow motion
death dive

bridge building
in the dark
across the ravine

a vixen
takes her chance
tiptoes over

gives thanks
for richer pickings
on the other side

a storm brews
the tree shifts
falls in slow motion

the fox stranded
accepts new home
raises family

bloody spring

in Beijing
with Mei Ling
she was 4 foot
six inches tall
yes she was very small

inside the square
when we were there
it was 1989
and the party line
we dared to cross that line

and in my hand
I held her tiny hand
she squeezed mine tight
all day and night
for we were very scared

on June 3rd
we overheard
the sound of shots
they rang out all around
those shooting sounds

students on the ground
as tanks rolled in
on the morning’s wing
I lost Mei Ling
in the uprising’s fall

yes she was very small
despite herĀ standing tall
she was bigger than most of us
and there could be no doubt
when her cries rang out

that our time had died
as the shadows sighed
our voices quelled
in Beijing
in that bloody spring

 

(with a nod to Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’)

The Day After

we crowded round the party table
with neon halos in our hair
our bare feet on the kitchen floor
bread and wine to share
you said that one of us was bad
and in the morning we would see
how careless words cause chaos
our futures not so free

nothing else matters

you are up there

balanced momentarily on the edge
fingertips touching the sun
the taste of your heartbeat on your tongue
startled air fizzing in your lungs

on the coping
on the crest of a wave
on the cusp of immortality

the descent is a controlled dive
a countdown to the next ecstasy
a wall of water or concrete curve
elemental in that instant
friend and foe

you went in search of perfection
and why not?
the world is your playground
there is no greater feeling than this

you call it freedom

and when you are up there on the edge
fingertips touching the sun
heart in mouth
lungs bursting

nothing else matters

Summit

I am tired of being angry with this world
of walking up mountains that landslide beneath my feet
dodging boulders that come tumbling across my path

I want to reach some sort of summit and stay there
hold my head up high to the sun and enjoy the view
happy in the knowledge I have found freedom

at last.