King’s Road 1979

our breath formed misty clouds
the breeze stole the warm droplets
it used them for its own benefit
to break down the morning grey
with the help of the sun beyond
black taxi cabs prowled the streets
city rats searching for their next meal
I held your hand a little too tightly

a-holding hands we’d go

i used to walk on pebbles in bare feet
high as the moon on Schlitz and pain killers
the cigarette smoke spiralling out of control
like the helter skelter on the edge of the pier
that appeared to be toppling into the sea
or was that me teetering on the edge of my own insanity?

you buried me there
amongst the seashells & cigarette butts
a cairn of pebbles piled upon my chest
that made for heavy breathing
a labour of love and lust & longing
for a morning that would bring us back to earth
with a crash and burn and a song and dance
a-holding hands we’d go

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 her 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’)