pitch

the television screen is black
the sound is muted
for all time

hey, let’s turn out the lights
let’s shoot the moon in the face
the stars next

no more noises please
our words are meaningless
to the dead

so why not go there?
there must be something worth dying for?
a new way of being

black as pitch

under a Brighton moon

in our palatial bedsits
punk posters on the walls
we stared into the smoke screen
can’t tell what we saw
can’t tell what we saw

and down the street
at the end of the street
between the sky and dirty gutters
is where we used to drink
is where we used to drink

we drank to get drunk
we got drunk to forget
we forgot why we’d even started
until the time was spent
until the time was spent

and down below the pier
on the dead and pebbled beach
the tramps all licked their wounds
just like they were dogs
just like they were dogs

yet still we wanted more
a line from a song or more
any something more we could score
to take our breath away
to take our breath away

under a Brighton moon
the glow of cigarette butts
stars safety pinned to the night
it’s all so long ago
it’s all so long ago

it’s all so very long ago
much longer than a lifetime ago
now it’s pulled out from under your feet
oh such a cruel fate
oh such a cruel fate

heavenward

from out of the sky
the days fall like radioactive promises
unseen, endless, deadly
I cup my hands and drink motes of time
swallowed down by invisible dust devils
who disturb my insides
and make me want to curl up beneath a tree
the pain of solitude all consuming
the smell of mould all pervading
how tight can eyes be fastened
when tiny hands pull at my lids
and spiders weave ropes that bind me
a giant bound by arrogance and greed
nature in all its overbearing smugness
forgetting the passage of sun and moon
the arc of the day’s deceitful covenant
in swathes of earthly lamentations
everything seemingly aghast and lost
there being no stopping for breath
only disorder and irrelevance
I say just let me lie here in peace
dissolving in a fission of acceptance
unable to pray despite looking heavenward

guiding light

I would crumble under her gaze
two eyes as black as moons absorbing
the universe and she the centre
me the broken debris of a comet’s tail
breaking apart in every aspect
like a moth caught in a candle flame
the golden ratio disproportionate
distorted beyond the rainbow’s end
where her flock grazed on purple clover
and pitching camp she would weave
stories and willow baskets into the night
that I could ever keep up with her
ah heaven knows I tried and failed
I may as well have been a blade of grass
amongst the many pastures we traversed
she leading, me following, the way onward
never knowing if she loved me or not
never knowing what lay ahead
I would crumble under her gaze
and would now if she were here
to guide me

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

swaddling

wrap me in your swaddling arms
blanket me with your love
tonight this man is your child
don’t let him out of your sight
for though the moon may shine brightly
there’s darkness behind the stars
and this man is a child and needs you
to guide him through this night

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

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

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 inĀ  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)

Genesis Reversal

On Monday
a last lonely animal was killed
and the last greedy man took his fill
one last supper and one last thrill

On Tuesday
fish and birds disappeared
nowhere safe for them to dwell
time indeed to bid a fond farewell

On Wednesday
sun and stars all quickly dimmed
the waning moon turned to hide
showed only its colder darker side

On Thursday
land and plants began to whither
browns replaced the healthy greens
dusty winds blew hither and thither

On Friday
sky and sea could not be seen
the tides retreated indefinitely
tamed for all eternity

On Saturday
night and day became the same
the last remaining rainbows frayed
and faded to the greyest greys

On Sunday
our silent planet took a rest
reflected on what might have been
if humans hadn’t made such an awful mess

of running such a perfect place . . .

 

one day

one day
when I am dead and gone
I will come visit you in your house

so listen out
for the sound of my footsteps
crunching the gravel on your drive
the squeak of the swing seat
when I take a rest on your porch

I will warm my bones under your southern sun
before opening the screen door with a rattle
look up and see me standing there
as if all our yesterdays
had come again

you will take me to your room
and I will fill your body with heat
the cicadas will talk like typewriters
the moon will wax lyrical
and I will leave through the open window

one day
when I am dead and gone
I will come visit you in your house