Category Archives: Poems 2007-2009

These Days

These days

“These are the burnt out ends of smokey days,”
we are lillac-blind, cruel-blinded by our
give-up, press-reset, fifteen-minute ways,
this life through un-acquired tastes, seems sour,

These are the stubbed-out butts of dreams, of love,
each night we kiss our kids with whisky-breath
with our stale words and lies, it’s not enough….
our bitter gift…a legacy of death,

These are, the cancer-ridden days of tears;
of drugs and dust and drought and forest fires,
in blind, cold pity we make real our fears,
look away with me as we light the pyres,

These are the fag-end days, the tipping point,
we’re done, put out the light, lock up the joint.

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Timeline

Timeline

This is a long time ago.
I am trying to sleep at my grandparents’ house.
I hear his gurgled cough all night.
I don’t worry.

This is now.
I am caressing the sweat off my daughter’s headcold.
I am the one they quietly cuddle up to.
I worry.

This is later.
I am visiting my brother in hospital.
I heard the words on the news, now I feel them, dirty bomb.
I listen to his cough, and remember my grandfather.

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what will survive of us…

what will survive of us…

the old brickwork
shivvered away
the remains of painted love,

“jezz does helen”

rained and blistered, faded,
years after they forgot
those clumsy moments,

the school wall crumbles,
slowly arthritic joints
need repointing,
but are lost
on some crumpled list,

the last scratching,
etched and chiselled
by metal ruler,
and adolescent earnest,
“kev-4-jen-4-ever”.

what will survive of us
is ciggy stubs
graffiti
and half remembered
blow jobs.

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fly posters will be prosecuted

fly posters will be prosecuted

muslim students with rucksacks
will not be sat next to on trains,

young blacks will be stopped
and searched,

children will be driven to school
in four-by-fours,

gays will be beaten
and jews will be spat at,

men will fuck whoever they can
and lie to their wives,

politicians will smile
and kiss babies,

the homeless will die on the streets
when the weather turns,

prostitutes will take crack
and executives will take cocaine,

targets on CO2 emmissions
will be talked about,

footballers will get away with rape
and drunk driving,

mcdonalds will sell burgers
and starbucks will sell coffee,

fly posters
will be prosecuted,

this is england
have a nice day.

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Filed under Poems 2007-2009

decade

decade

i am pissing blood. i am pissing blood into a dirty toilet bowel, kidneys all fatty with burgers, liver fucked with the cirrhosis of reading too much bukowski. yes i’ll have fries with that. the kids from next door are smoking on the street corner. our children will hate us. they must. not for simple lack of trust, or wanks disturbed, but for all the lies we hide behind, keep score would you and choose the ones to make the cut; the tooth fairy, santa claus, and jesus; muhammed, yahweh, krishna all the lot; even here our own-sown lies deceive us, we just can’t see that we are all we’ve got in this sad, cold life, and when we are through sorting tin cans from paper to save the planet, as we drive the mile to school to pick them up, it’s clear, the lies are there to see. our children will hate us; they must, for we have turned their world to empty dust, slowly.

i am pissing blood. the blood of the new and everlasting covenant, conveniently forgetting the lie (why bother with small details). a man wearing a dress, incanting spells and dishing out blood and flesh does it for me. star trek – the next generation. captain kirk speaks mandarin and has no truck with sex and all that brings. he will abstain from mucky rendezvous and alien fucks, for the greater glory of the people’s republic. i’ll guess at one more decade till china will rule the world, the subtle irony of clearing up the mess we made of it. all the shit we have spewed into the air. toxins we have dumped underground, additives of every sort that run through our food without permission, not a sound of contrition when caught, hands in the till of our future; our children pay the bill.

i am pissing blood. i am pissing the blood of my friends. i am pissing the blood of the labelled. disabled. mental handicap. spastic. loon. learning disability. utility words to keep them at bay, away from our lives. i am pissing their blood and it is no less red. their love is just as sharply felt, their hate as fierce, their touch as soft, as though it matters what imperfect hand is dealt to them, to any, we are not perfect but we are beautiful in all our tears, in all our imperfections. our defects are our beauty. humanity is near to being bankrupt if it cannot love the weak, the poor, the ugly “less”, who are the whole of us, and is it not enough that they must learn to love these hard-won scars without us picking at them till they pus. our schadenfreude. grateful it’s not us.

i am pissing blood. the blood of the lonely. i am one of you. prozac nation filled by strange equations of balancing need with pills. don’t bother listening, just tick repeat prescription. love, love is not blind, we are blind, we see the waste of human detritus and think to medicate it away. set it free. let it be felt, this squalid lonely stink of pain. SET IT FREE that we may show real love, none of us are above loneliness, none of us are free from the fear that steals away all hope. we can only confess to being human, to being alone through the cold night that we call life. you look at me and want me to condone these pills, this indolence, this lack of strife towards the simple truth that we fail to see, despair is love, made real in you, and me.

i am pissing blood, the blood of the moon, all rich with life, vibrant in your whispered reds. the very blood of life, beauty. beauty you are woman, not in the curve of your breasts or the fullness of your lips. you are beauty in the spirit, the verve with which you throw yourself at all life’s trips and pitfalls. beauty you are woman through eyes age-wearied in their love and breasts made rich in the suckling. and those that know will see the beauty, truth that does not fade or grey in the eyes of man; woman you stand tall and fierce with eyes of fire, with all the desire of sex crackling through your touch, and i hear the aching call of eyes, and your lips are just soft enough to remind me that what we are, is love.

i am pissing blood with broken glass, each shard a sharp reminder of the pain we have made. i am pissing the blood of the broken whore, crack-fetid and congealing as it leaks from her nose across the floor, token efforts of paramedics can’t stem its flow, crimsoning a shit-stinking rest room, in a piss-stinking bar, in a dead-eyed city. the beauty of people dies too soon, and we let it die, whimpered and un-cried. “gather up in the arms of your pity, the sick, the depraved, the desperate, the tired, all the scum of our weary city”. gather them up, hold them and learn to see the beauty that they are, for they are us, in our desperate lonely ugliness.

i am pissing blood and it is my blood. my words. my hopes and fears. my humanity and i am ugly. beautifully ugly.

2009

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A Visit to Buckland Abbey

A Visit to Buckland Abbey

old pirates yes they rob i
sold i to the merchant ships

I have walked the flagstones that Drake walked
I have heard the whispers of his wife
left childless for the conquered seas,

minutes after they took i
from the bottomless pits

The house, magnificent, fit for a hero,
The treasure room still holds his drum
beaten as he beat the Spanish,

but my hands were made strong
by the hands of the almighty

A video presentation of a great Englishman
A dressing up box, for Tudor children photos
all this impresses my kids,

we flowered in this generation
triumphantly

Portraits of him hang with humidity controlled grandeur
Portraits seldom capture the man, but something
in a youthful face gives me shivvers,

won’t you help to sing
these songs of freedom

We leave to look at the gardens, Inigo Jones,
We leave content with the beauty we have seen
other echoes, are lost on the wind.

all i ever have
redemption songs

redemption songs

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Recognising the smell of shit

Recognising the smell of shit

I sit down and decide to write a shit poem
so shit that everyone has to say
“jesus this is shit”
and i start writing
sitting in the backroom
of an irish pub in Boyce Street
and then this girl walks in
all split skirt and legs
and suddenly i’m thinking of a poem by bukowski.
Yeah i see you, charles bukowski
sitting in your californian betting shop
eyeing up young legs
and guessing which horse
might just come in at 40-1
and laughing at me
and all the stupid-fucking-dimwit-poets
like me
who spend so long with their heads up their own arse
that they are no longer able
to recognise the smell of shit.

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David

David

The first time I met David, he bit me.

I am standing outside the hospital, the old gates to the hospital, Victorian arches, that are lonely left, un-instituted, and substituted by modern housing, housing us, separately, Barrat-barracked solitude. David is with me, he stands near me, still nervous after twenty years away. Today is supposed to be a celebration. We’ve come to show him that Grove Park, that dark Victorian bedlam has gone. It is not a celebration. It is a dancing on graves, brave laughter of the survivors of the system, cistern pumped and thumped so many times it blunted, became blunt. We are blunt in our un-feeling, our, oh so revealing, blindness to what is right before our eyes, is wrong before our eyes.

The first time I met David, he bit me.

I am standing outside the hospital and I at least smile, my wry-dry-trying-to-be-empathetic-turning out pathetic smile. This is his pain not mine. I cannot borrow it to look good. I shouldn’t even try, but I do. Twenty five years of ward-ridden bored-written boredom are his to forgive. He does not. He remembers the beatings and the rapes, the hunger and the hurt, the lies to his parents, when they came, if they came. We all hid him, hid from him, like that aunt you never spoke of, choked on the Christmas cards your mother sent; poor recompense for the unvisited, the forgotten.

The first time I met David, he bit me and called me “nurse”. He had a fear of tall men with glasses. The care plan said…”Autism is his world, you are the uninvited guest. Learn to speak his language”.

I am standing outside the hospital, and David turns and takes my hand. He wants to leave, not touch me. I understand. We go. And that is the end of it. The taking of stock, the paying of debts for a social work system that never even knew. These are his pains, his wounds, and I am grateful they are his, to forgive, let go….or know forever.

The first time I met David, he bit me.

I can see why.

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recipe for worm burgers

recipe for worm burgers

go to garden
dig up worms
add to mince in blender
pinch of salt
shape and cook burger
serve to low-life brother-in-law who cheated on my sister but she forgave him
enjoy rest of bar-b-que

2008

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Woman

  

Woman (sonnet V from “decade”)

Beauty, you are woman, not in the curve
of your breasts or the fullness of your lips;
you are beauty in the spirit, the verve
with which you throw yourself at all life’s trips

and pitfalls. Beauty you are woman through
eyes age-wearied in their love and breasts made
rich in the suckling, and those that know
will see the beauty, truth that does not fade

or grey in the eyes of man. Woman you
stand tall and fierce with eyes of fire, with all
the desire of sex crackling through
your touch, and I hear the aching call

of eyes, and your lips are just soft enough
to remind me that what we are, is love.

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