OLD MATTRESSES

OLD MATTRESSES

They have raised a highway

Across our valley

And landscaped it

With blocks of windowed concrete.

Beneath, the river strangles itself

With shopping trolleys

And bits of old bicycles

Worn-out mattresses

And smashed-up pallets are everywhere

While a bloated condom

Flutters by on a piece of driftwood.

Painted hoarding-women

With rotating eyes

Compete for attention

With pram-pushing young love,

Their stilettos tap-dancing the hard shoulder

On a clear day

Juggernauts gleam in the sun

And rolled-up tabloids

Tell tall tales about Royalty

Or football….and Sex

0n A Ruined Farm Near The ‘His Master’s Voice Gramophone Factory’ – Poem by George Orwell

ON A RUINED FARM NEAR HIS MASTER’S VOICE GRAMOPHONE FACTORY    by George Orwell

As I stand at the lichened gate
With warring worlds on either hand —
To left the black and budless trees,
The empty sties, the barns that stand

Like tumbling skeletons — and to right
The factory-towers, white and clear
Like distant, glittering cities seen
From a ship’s rail — as I stand here,

I feel, and with a sharper pang,
My mortal sickness; how I give
My heart to weak and stuffless ghosts,
And with the living cannot live.

The acid smoke has soured the fields,
And browned the few and windworn flowers;
But there, where steel and concrete soar
In dizzy, geometric towers —

There, where the tapering cranes sweep round,
And great wheels turn, and trains roar by
Like strong, low-headed brutes of steel —
There is my world, my home; yet why

So alien still? For I can neither
Dwell in that world, nor turn again
To scythe and spade, but only loiter
Among the trees the smoke has slain.

Yet when the trees were young, men still
Could choose their path — the winged soul,
Not cursed with double doubts, could fly,
Arrow-like to a foreseen goal;

And they who planned those soaring towers,
They too have set their spirit free;
To them their glittering world can bring
Faith, and accepted destiny;

But none to me as I stand here
Between two countries, both-ways torn,
And moveless still, like Buridan’s donkey
Between the water and the corn.

George Orwell

THE MIDNIGHT MUSE

INSPIRATION

The midnight muse does not wait
For the lure of silver at someone’s gate
Nor the rattle of chains in rust-red splendour
As the moonlight beams on the night so tender.
The midnight muse has something strange to tell;
‘Silence is violence’
Say the damned in hell
To speak is to live not bound by chains
When an empty silence is all that remains

IN NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH CAROLINA TREES
Tall pines, straight as railway sleepers,
Stun me with their skinny beauty
Some of these were old
When Abraham Lincoln was barely knee high.
And it is even possible that George Washington
Touched one or two as he rode by.
Durham was young when these pines first sprouted life
As were Raleigh, Charlotte, and Queensboro et al
Perhaps it was the Redcoats who seeded this lush terrain
Beauty shipped all the way
From England’s green and pleasant land
To conceal the carnage of their long and murderous campaign.

IN PRAISE OF MONARCHS

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IN PRAISE OF MONARCHS

He dug ditches in obscurity

Raised ten children to maturity

When pushed he said;

‘I do the best I can. Life’s hard

On the working man, but I mustn’t complain

I’ve got my health, while there’s others

Who can’t stop dying for all their wealth.

All that stuff in China…I wouldn’t give it

If they changed my lot for Royalty I wouldn’t live it.

There’s more to life than being famous you know’.

IF YOU COULD HEAR YOURSELF

IF YOU COULD HEAR YOURSELF

I wish you could listen

To the shit that

Comes out of your mouth;

Believe me when I say

It’s a lot better in than out;

Same old rhetoric;

Same old anti-everything spin;

Don’t believe the anti-christs

Who will tell you

It’s a lot better out than in.

It’s a sin to tell a lie

No matter which side you are on;

Just give it all away now

Then you can never get it back

When it’s gone,

Gone,

Gone…

HEMINGWAY WAS HERE

PAPA

The time is near

The clock is queer

I have had more than one beer.

Papa crept downstairs

In the early morning.

The keys are close to the time.

They open the locked cabinet beneath it.

The shotgun is quickly loaded

Two in the chambers just in case

Then the gun is heeled to the wall

And his forehead firmly anchors it.

Hands reach down –

And Bang!

Papa is no more.

THE HOODED MAN AT THE FOOT OF MY BED

THE HOODED MAN AT THE FOOT OF MY BED
The hooded man at the foot of my bed
Speaks to me
Of all creation
Since the Big Bang
Being measured by the products of decay.
Insanity, chaos, corruption
Lies, rot, ruin
Sickness, dirt and rust
Shed cells, dead cells, atrophy
Sweat, ashes and dust
That at a subatomic level
Create new mass.
And this goes on infinitely.
He talks of forbidden fruit and original sin
Walking into the light
Into streets paved with gold
Of extraterrestrials, gurus, ghosts
Paradise
And mixing with heavenly hosts.
Of hell and reincarnation
Being healed
Raised from the dead
Coming back as a lumberjack
A raven
Or a hunchback
Where will it all end?
I mean to ask my hooded friend
But suddenly he is nowhere to be seen.

SEPTEMBER IS THE LOVELIEST MONTH

SEPTEMBER IS THE LOVELIEST MONTH
September is the loveliest month.
The sky is on permanent fire
The trees painted many colours
Burnished, it seems, with pure desire
In the park, ducks glide silently by
And the always busy seagulls
Resemble sea-planes
Coming in to land from on high
Whilst near the dozing oak tree
The squirrels nutmeg each other
Each acorn hoarded
For the soon-to-come cold weather.
Your arm in mine
We stroll down the park
Heading towards the sunset
Home before dark.

Christmas Greetings

 sad drunk man sitting on sidewalk near trashcan Stock Photo - 7713120

A LOAF OF BREAD AND A CAN OF SPECIAL BREW

He sat on a seafront bench
A loaf of bread and a can of Special Brew
By his side
Speaking to someone who wasn’t there.
Though these day you can never tell
Whether they are or not;
He may have had a mobile phone in his ear.
Then he spoke to me;
‘What are you fucking looking at, blue?’
‘Yeah’, 
I thought, ‘that figures,                                                                                     ‘And a And a happy New year to you too’