Smoked Out Slow

Bored with work ‘cause there’s too much to do
Wasting my time instead listening to music
Writing words to fill my head
Filling my soul with the takers of pain
Drinking some smoking then writing again

And imbibing
Deep breathing
To scribble again

Slow music better than no music
Quiet music better than loud
Hot tunes hold my mind in line
This night goes so slow – so unkind
The shakes once again start me shaking
It’s the fault of quick thinking whilst sitting

The tongues through my head
Keep me waking

Drastic action has me waiting
So long that eyes close under eyelids
Strange thoughts prop my psyche
Weird music and thinking
Sad slow – stoppage drinking
pushes time
to just over the brink!

 

2017: January Pre-Mourning

The night before the work starts
Our streets echo with lone travellers
This night of cold clear dread
As the new year shakes free
Of it’s champagne and fireworks
A mighty muted still
Fills up the dark

And in the raging dreams
Of all these people in their beds
Uncertain and alone in today’s cold sleep
Questions of fragility
Feed our hunger for dread
Spoiling this last bedtime
With what tomorrow brings

Outside in some dark corner
Of a Southern London home
I ponder how few deaths make many mourn
The slaps of conflict beat
Fresh tears from more bored eyes
Yet each hour too much life
Is bled and crushed in horror

For one more year has come on us
And forseers contort with doom
Such angry rhetoric, such mounting gloom
Yet this new year is not foretold
And harbours chances new
There’s not time to conjure lies
Just time to start the world.

The end of the world news, Ankakay via Flickr

The end of the world news, Ankakay via Flickr

The Clear Out

She has bags of bags, filled with shoes, Christmas wrappings, old cards
And new ones.
Bags of overplayed records and unopened letters.

We keep clawing into the gloom and dust:
More bags, half open boxes, stuck to this sticky insect-shell-carpet,
Deep in the fabric of the long dead.

Box after box…
Some with bags in, some have letters, reams of aims,
Bags of dreams.

There are more shoes, a crimson coat of majestic massiveness.
Here is a box full of bags from the eighties filled with toys
– Battalions of soldiers in disarray eyeballing teams of alien muscle-men
Through the decades.

And last of all, wrenching the newspaper floor with it,
Dragged out from beyond,
A decomposing leather hold-all, filled with photographs.
Beaming childhood hopes, tiers of school pics, camping trips,
Instants of hurried-through birthdays and flashes of Christmases.

I clamber back. Kneel back, and, hands on knees, take a breath.

Our treasure-haul has piled up in the bedroom,
One trove stacked on a chair.
Inhaling the gasps of long ago,
The chatter of ages fills my nostrils,
Hits the back of my throat – the depths of memory
– And I gulp down more,
She shuts the bedroom window, Which abruptly suffocates us.

*** “Go get a bag then.”
Her hands already picking over the bones.

Another bag. This one heavy with dark implications
Heavy with its Black.
The crisp pliable plastic of sacks.

I bare my mind as I reach into the kitchen cupboard, downstairs.
Here dark, personal, thoughts swim.
So, again, upstairs ripping one finality after another off the roll
We empty years of what-ifs into these terrible cocoons.

We stay for days jogging back and forth
through shared and forgotten events.
All that’s dead is gone, all that’s dust is dead. In a bag in a box
In a hole. There’s a dream that once lit up her head.

 

 

4:20

A return to attempting to find my poetic voice. We have come to the end of a string of Beck’ Beat Poetry events, which have been a series of fantastical occasions! Enabling me and others to meet and hear top-class poets from across south London (and Hackney)!

Here is the 420

 

2601

No more words about dreams
Please
I’ll erase those words once written
Please just write of things
Dear Hart
And leave your dreams to actions!

No more lies
Or what-ifs?
Or whys’
Pen only odes to stuff!

Quit procrastinations
Of each elevation
And do
what you
truly think is enough.

Hey Monkey Men

With your stupidity and bad omens!
It’s all a space race:
With the faceless them
still setting the pace.
Yet, don’t lose track of your place,
or what they say is the ace trace!

Really,
all us fools and bums:
To further your plans;
sit forward;
give Grace
and embrace the lace bass –
which keeps you in time –
and in tune with the brace,
of faceless (tasteless),
Monkey Men;
who insist on laying waste
to your dreams of choice,
of place,
of time, to spread your mind and race
your own race.

They’re onto you and your funny ways
Profiling you
Dociling you
Infantilising and merchandising you.
It’s clearly in your best
To get invested in their
Popularity test

News is – their not resting
Till you sign over your vest,
Release your funds,
reveal those secret places
Cash in your treasure chest
that’s in your chest
And lives apart.
Must we populate their cloud
With our heart?

Lost Girl

Worldly lonely
This girl caught sadly
Bleeds and crying
Drawn from lightness

It’s her light
She’ll quit tonight
In this quilt of night
Her last flight

So she goes
Good girl gladly
No one misses
Or asks where she goes

Today

Love it: ‘cause you know it won’t last.
Live it: ‘cause yesterdays are best.
Last it: Be the one who’s happiest.

March on
Be strong
Recall where you went so wrong.
Be bold
Be joy
And true to every girl and boy.

’cause we’re all still kids
when the chips are down
and need a lift when
brows carry old frowns.

Moon through Sycamore blossom

Dancer

There once was a dancer
a furtive entrancer

Androgyny performer
The dancer was known
Through a land empty – walking,
and fumbling and talking –
no others would dance
and no others would sing.

So singular dancer
well rounded and good,
would dance to their music
(and sing for their feet)
while our land free of movement
watched dancing the treat.

There once was a dancer
lone song in the din

A colour ambassador
flute chanting its rhyme
throughout lands of grey
by peoples dismay
and this dancing entrancer
caught up all the day

While a light shone its lightness
while the muffled birds watch
as time moved abruptly
to a well measured tune
So brightness was shared
by a dance in the noon

There once was a dancer
crowned colour through grey

A dancer still dancing
To nobodies songs.

Land Gone Wrong

Finish it, land the final blow!
End this petty session
in life that always carries on!
Nothing left
and not a note to follow.
Take last shouts and Bellow…
There’s no one left to see the end;
This end!

I saw!
I, me!
I was there (among the crowds ~
the ones too quiet /
the few too loud).
The first day, week, month
then the year!
It was all set fine
so fine so near.
A bright beginning – freshest starts,
grabbed all the attentions
of fresh starry hearts…
Dragging them,
pulling them,
coaxing them on!
Those hearts that were keen ~
these hearts that belong
to the new ones
the fresh ones.
These beasts from the start!

And pretty were tunes
and beauteous songs ~
A land was delivered;
a hope without wrongs.
All of us hearts – crammed,
stuck to the brim!
But we loved it
and breathed it
and lived for the grin.
This new time was naked and nimble
we knew it;
our privileged parties just living along…
Invited
well treated
well governed and loved!
In their ignorant rapture ~
we drank and were drunk…

Then slow
it turned sour:
Though new,
not denied,
not quite new enough!
And though nobody lied,
there was no full truths taken ~
no fresh breaths of air…
So: slowly
we grasped it,
us budding bright hearts.
The ones who had followed:
the ones most beguiled.
A raucous mass
trailing
an order now failed.

So here’s where you enter
the end of old news.
The fall of more loved ones
all hearts cracked
en mass…
A tender old tale,
the past all encased
but now we are lost now,
and losing our way.
This new land was pretty ~
yet fated to change!
We killed it
and broke it.
Lost lowly, and dying
a few of us cheered
but most were left crying!
It’s finished
it faltered.
We move on to the
New!!

Alison

My pretty dame.
I will meet you again
again.

Sometime
in distant time
refrain…

I love your eyes
your sweet smile, pretty,
and quietly close
I sing this ditty.

Birthen

Woman; you were born a lady
pure as earth before the sea.
Lady I can see you calling
but I cannot stop you falling,
in this dark, they once called night –
you’re the person throwing light!
When each day has come on silent
this your knife; a final repent?

Key words

I keep forgetting to keep doing this… but often remember the words…

bujonswords

Relax!
Kick back,
take stock,
unwind.
Accept where you’re at:
ease the fret
from your mind.
Take an open account
of your life
and of those
who make colour and add
to the light of our kind.

Be free
in your head.
Be steady
be true –
as open to change
as the clouds are to blue.
Stay focused,
directed,
keep rhythmic
and new.
During spiralling lies
sincerely be you.

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To Smoke

To suck & breathe foul yellow air,
To suffocate;

With each chemically enhanced
Lungful

Each wispy grey breath
To die:

Inhale
Exhale
Mournfully golden teeth and fingers
Yearning for pungent
Rancid
Alluring fags!

Pleading for the next big toxic kick!
As cells give up and blood thins out

Just one rasping gasp
One wheezing whiff

Just one more nicotinous smoke
To smoke.

cigarette ads

There’s My Way…

Full of tea yet low on greed
How much you query the green!

All of the money and honey you stash.
Why do you need to have all of that cash?

Here I rot topped up with pot
And dysfunctioning? Me got not!

As round this life you scream in fits
Killing time and joy – losing love in bits.

Burning up days with rants and quarrel
Smashing dreams down, leaving the rubble?

How do you righteous become so bloated
When out in this liberty, I grin easy and float on.

Theres my way

Er…

Cranky Old Man

Having been duped by a touching ‘story’ with a fantastic poem at it’s heart, I made further investigations and found, what I think is, the original source of that poem. It has captivated me so is my first pressing of someone else’s work.

The original version of the poem:

Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see, nurses what do you see
Are you thinking when you are looking at me
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice –I do wish you’d try
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And for ever is losing a stocking or shoe,
Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill
Is that what you are thinking, is that what you see,
Then open your eyes, nurses, you’re not looking at me.

816px-Elderly_Woman_,_B&W_image_by_Chalmers_Butterfield

Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I used at your bidding, as I eat at your will,
I am a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another,
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet;
A bride at 20 – my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure, happy home;
A women of 30 my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last,
At 40 my young sons have grown and are gone;
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn;
At 50, once more babies play around my knee.
Again we know children, my loved one me
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel
’tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where once was a heart
But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few – gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses open and see
Not a crabbit old women look closer – see me.

Phyllis McCormack, 1966

*

Amazing right!

It has, apparently long been circulated online as some remnant of a forgotten life of presumed little value, found by nursing staff checking a checked-out patients belongings… However the true history and author are explained via http://www.hoax-slayer.com/cranky-old-man-poem.shtml.

 

Down the long way

Slow delight,
accompanies the blissful trite –
expressionless bile –
as is presented.

Along the way
the slag of a light known as day
(though it’s furthest away
from his mind)
is spent
lazily, calling for soulless penitence
from a murkier past:
Not uncommon.

The municipal pit
where all thoughts and feelings enter
is full, brimming
with nameless creations!
No claimers and nobody looks for,
or asks for, their namers –
remaining silent
till they’re called from the nights.

Shooting stars

but it’s not their fault!
Animated droids
steeling the screen
with silver-tongued tales
rattle at minds…
To furnish the soul?

A hundred times and more a day
A thousand radio waves
are beamed
To a million open eyes
Each simply charmed by charming ways!

David says all information
is great for building a common nation.
So he’s pleased to see this fairy notion,
is backed by newsreel allegations:
That ministers’ – leading the restoration –
weigh heavy in fear
of mass publication!

So gleefully mass ignorance
is fed and bloated by conglomerates
Sealed with affection
by celebrity
and cooked – till black
then hid away!

On the streets,
on these sleepy streets
Chat is rife with the tales they tell
our TV’s, monitors, papers are full
of well written tales –
They tell them so well.

Just before the end of night

Got to sleep I so tired – got to
close my sleepy eyes try to shut
down rest now lay down get some
night right on my side

Every heavy blink I fight seconds
eat away this night fighting
morning time from bright light
sleepy eyes!

Polisylum

Standby…
Standby.
Standby you!
Can’t get enough of that magic you do!
Stocks are broke
Oil’s all down the drain
you too get the feeling you’re here once again?
Standby – hold tight –
We’ll shoot when it’s time
wait for the clamour of bangs on the line.

Here’s the latest
broken news
We’ve forgiven Iran
The Soviets too.
Out of their madness and out of their heads
Our greatest have failed
to lead us to death.

Standby anxious
You’re not due yet
There’s time to drop bombs
Our gods hedging his bets
Stately you wait on
The pride of good taste
Please be in no hurry
to rush with the race.