HERE I STAND

HERE I STAND

Oh Lord saves me from the angry voices

We have marked our exes down

We have made our choices

Capitalism for the young

Socialism for the old

That way all our streets are paved with gold.

Here I stand, as Paul Robeson said

Trouble is you people want me dead

I want to go ‘cos I can’t stay

But the motherfuckers took my passport away.

They took my livelihood too

Now I’m gonna’ take something from you;

It’s your Status Quo, see?

Status Quo;

The way things are

And always will be;

Well, not any more, mon cherie

ADVICE TO A SON – by Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway published around 20 poems in his lifetime – which is about 19 more than I expected!

Never trust a white man,
Never kill a Jew,
Never sign a contract,
Never rent a pew.
Don’t enlist in armies;
Nor marry many wives;
Never write for magazines;
Never scratch your hives.
Always put paper on the seat,
Don’t believe in wars,
Keep yourself both clean and neat,
Never marry whores.
Never pay a blackmailer,
Never go to law,
Never trust a publisher,
Or you’ll sleep on straw.
All your friends will leave you
All your friends will die
So lead a clean and wholesome life
And join them in the sky.

THE REMOVAL MEN

THE REMOVAL MEN

She sat huddled on the wall by her front door

More scarecrow than human being

Her dog cuddled on her knees

Looking at nothing; the sun-kissed morn unseen.

Her inner world was hers alone

Who knows what her dreams were?

She, who had passed many a word with me,

Now looked at me as if I was a stranger

Which I was, standing on her sun-dappled steps:

She didn’t know me from days of yore,

I don’t think she even knew herself any more.

The puzzlement on her face was evidence of that,

As the men dodged round her

Carrying her belongings in black bags

To the waiting car.

She was a child again,

A lost child;

A few months ago she was lively and bright

Chattering inanely about this and that

About how the seagulls carried away her cat.

Now she tottered along, clutching at the railings for support

Walking her dog

And sometimes forgetting to come back.

She watches the men now,

Their loading almost complete.

And as they move towards her

There is puzzlement, almost defiance, in her  face

Who are you, and why are you taking  all this stuff from my place?

DEATH OF A NATURALIST by Seamus Heaney

A brilliant poem by a great poet.

Death of a Naturalist

BY SEAMUS HEANEY

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart
Of the townland; green and heavy headed
Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.
Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.
Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles
Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell.
There were dragonflies, spotted butterflies,
But best of all was the warm thick slobber
Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water
In the shade of the banks. Here, every spring
I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied
Specks to range on window sills at home,
On shelves at school, and wait and watch until
The fattening dots burst, into nimble
Swimming tadpoles. Miss Walls would tell us how
The daddy frog was called a bullfrog
And how he croaked and how the mammy frog
Laid hundreds of little eggs and this was
Frogspawn. You could tell the weather by frogs too
For they were yellow in the sun and brown
In rain.
    Then one hot day when fields were rank
With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs
Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges
To a coarse croaking that I had not heard
Before. The air was thick with a bass chorus.
Right down the dam gross bellied frogs were cocked
On sods; their loose necks pulsed like sails. Some hopped:
The slap and plop were obscene threats. Some sat
Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting.
I sickened, turned, and ran. The great slime kings
Were gathered there for vengeance and I knew
That if I dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it.