addendum

when I was born
my mother wasn’t there
the clouds parted
I tasted my first air

when I was a child
my father chose to die
the country widened
beneath an open sky

when I was a man
my love abandoned me
the birds began to sing
setting my soul free

when I was old
my heart declined to beat
the setting sun burned
consuming me in heat

when I was reborn
my life began once more
mistakes and lessons learnt
repeating like before

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crazy head

i.

be safe inside your crazy head my friend
people it with imaginary friends and fanciful stories
take a journey down those scenic back roads
where quiet moments are chance happenings
for this space is yours only
go sit there while the world rages
and be safe inside your crazy head

ii.

it’s safe in there
but you just have to trust it
lie back and sift the wheat from the chaff
there’s a way through your crazy maze
it may take days or it may take weeks
and the journey from here to there is a twisty devil of a path
but the reward is worth the effort my friend

iii.

when you can’t see the wood for the trees
just keep a-walking until you find a clearing
and take a break and concentrate on your breathing
for there’s a sky up there, a moon and stars
and little you down here just a-wondering
what place is there for you in all of this firmament?

iv.

there’s a special place for you my friend
it’s reserved inside your heart and head
two special places owned just by you
no one else can go there if you don’t want it
close them off and keep the fuckers out
yes it’s your shout my friend
your shout
so do it
whenever you want

v.

enough from me
it’s over to you
I’ve done what I can
it’s now up to you
take it or leave it
it’s the best I can do
whatever you choose
it’s catch as catch can

 

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

Spy Story II

I woke in a strange bed
in a strange room.
Beyond the grimed window
a street I never knew.
I turned and met your eyes
a stranger from another time.
Beyond your gaze a fathom
of bottomless ocean blue.

You spoke to me of love
from your ravenous heart.
Beyond the papered walls
a beat was heard in echo.
Your finger placed upon me
sealed my lips from speaking.
Beyond your warm touch
of fathomless origin.

I stood in  a strange room
with four walls and a bed.
Beyond the gilt edged mirror
a reflection quite unknown.
I turned and met your eyes
a glance from another time.
Beyond the motes of dust
a motionless tide crept in.

You moved between space
from here to there to here.
Beyond your moonlight skin
a glimmer of something pure.
You spoke to me of the past
when time had just begun.
Beyond your years of living
a restless soul was sleeping.

I woke in a strange bed
in a strange room.
Beyond the grimed window
a street I never knew.
I turned and met your eyes
a stranger from another time.
Beyond your gaze a fathom
of bottomless ocean blue.

(after ‘Spy Story’ by Vernon Scannell)

your name and mine

the storm last night blew
the last remaining heart-shaped leaves
from the poplar trees
and swirled them through my darkest dreams
in which your knuckles rapped upon my eyelids
in which you called from beyond the clouds
my name and your name

and with growing intensity
every last remaining rusting roofing nail
that keeps my house from blowing asunder
jiggled like loose teeth in a crowded coffin box
on which your fingers had once released
the suffocating soil to bury my voice
from that day forth

oh that I would recognise you now
with your hair tangled in windblown knots
and your limbs akimbo amongst the fallen branches
strewn upon the orchard grass
where leaves lie rotting and colour is drained
from cheeks that once were apple flushed
with your lover’s kisses

you are but the ambient past to me
pliant and fluid with a light that glimmers
not guiding or warning or even moving
but still as a mirror on an oaken table
your calfskin gloves neatly folded
heart-shaped leaves from the poplar trees
pressed between the pages of your journal

all substance turned to dust that blows
on the opening of the crackling memory
you offered me no more than you could
the leaf held to the moonlight reveals its veins
as if the blood has been preternaturally drained
and I am left with only an echo
of your name and mine

She showed me Seven

She showed me seven gemstones
Said each stone was something special
But to me they were just seven stones
Seven stones identical and dead

She showed me seven wildflowers
Said each flower had a different petal
But to me they were just seven flowers
Seven flowers identical and dead

She showed me seven bright stars
Said each star was a different universe
But to me they were just seven stars
Seven stars identical and dead

She showed me seven beating hearts
Said each heart was full of love
But to me they were just seven hearts
Seven hearts identical and dead

She showed me seven fading stars
Said each fading star was a dying universe
But to me they were seven bright stars
Seven bright stars shining and alive

She showed me seven wilted wildflowers
Said each flower had lost its petals
But to me they were seven blooming wildflowers
Seven wildflowers blooming and alive

She showed me seven dull stones
Said they were nothing special
But to me they were seven healing stones
Seven healing stones to bring us together

Aligned

He gave his girl a wink
She cheesy grinned back at him
Sometimes the planets aligned
It all made sense

the time
the place
the high from the drink
the smoke in the air
the banter
the laughter
the way forward into the future

It didn’t matter what lay beyond the black walls of the valley
It didn’t matter that he called this shithole home
Or the hangover and bad head that waited for him tomorrow

He had his girl next to him
She was cheesy grinning with a bottle of Vods
Cigarettes to share
Fingering her hair

The road ahead was clear despite the rain
Despite the blurry vision that crept across his eyes in waves
Like a Venetian blind that opened and closed
Opened and closed

Two eyes
Two valves
Two ventricles
Four if you counted hers
His and her hearts

He grinned back
Cheesy grinned
His girl leant over and kissed his cheek
The planets aligned

It all made sense
finally