Lowestoft Holler

There’s this little green town on the East coast
Where work all gets lost in the cloudy smoke
There’s a tan on the beach if you’re visiting
It still comes with cheap chips and ice cream

Every day the sun lifts the darkness
Breaking memories anchored in some trawling past
No crowds fill the streets, they’re in online
Gossiping or gaming over flat wine

Books banked in dust pad the library
While shops stocked in staple brands of jewellery
Alternate with smoking miscellany
As broad across as sacred is our greenery

When you pass by, and you will, don’t be afeared
The East coast is not the place it used to be
As calm and cool as any burg is wont to be
A little slower true, but aren’t we meant to be

 

Creek Crossing

Above the gentle rumble of 114’s motor
There’s the low holla-and-walla of
Internationals making deals and promises.

Sandy squares of Creek-side villas bob by
Shaded by grand yachts
Of the super rich.

Our 1-Dirham dinghy chugs
Slopping to moorings
Crowded with all of those faces of Earth.

Too loud and close
A colossal dhow blazes
Beaming phone-lights and faces…

In it’s wake our disembarkation
Is a hoppy affair
Scuffed sandals and ruffled kandura’s

Love is the drug

heart-drugs

Love is the drug I hear them say
Can I get it in a tablet or a nasal spray?
Love is the drug and it’s messing with my brain
Your detox did today but I’ll backslide again

Let me get caned in your cuddles
Do a gram of wet-eye-stares?
Or maybe try some methalove;
Warm and close but not as scary?

Love is the drug, light afterglow
My shot in the arm, your ultimate dose
My sweet narcotic of nuzzling necks
A sure-fire hit for knock-out sex

Love is the drug
The balm
The pain
Our tearing loss
Our need to do it again

From the soaring highs of love’s hot fix
Where blood rushes blindly inciting my psychosis.
We lie it’s forever. I believe it’s what hurts.
An infinite comedown and it’s aching our hearts.

 

The Uprisen

Stańczyk by Jan Matejko (1862)

Stańczyk by Jan Matejko (1862)

I’m revolting in our kitchen
I will not wash another cup
Nary the bins are emptied
And I care not who’s turning up

In the toilet I’m revolting
You can guess the seat stays raised
A growing ring of gloomy grey
Entombs the tub in waves

The floor of our thru-diner
Is an irksome furry muck
For I’ve revolted against the oppressive regime
That bids I vacuum up

Window’s streak with weeks of grime
The laundry mountain hums
Shadows stretch from coves
– such as spiders hide –
Yet I’m sticking to my guns

Once in a while love stands the test
Resists worldly weights and… sails
Yet sometimes – oft noticed far too late –
Once in a while love fails

So leave me to my misery
Let this dirt I foster bloom
You Watch your ‘Bake Off’ finally
I’ll sulk, revolting,
in some dark room

Bedlam Museum of the Mind

A visit to Bethlem Hospital
Museum of the Mind this week.
Open Wednesday to Friday 10am-5pm
(unless you’re in a ‘group’).
I find myself struck by the times.

There is a wide range of art
as well as historical lunacies to enjoy
and the staff and ‘service users’
are impeccably informed and helpful.

Here are two of the few photo’s I took to remind me of the visit.

Harriet Jordan

Harriet Jordan

Harriet Jordan (after)

Harriet Jordan (after)

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

 

Pop

You know, he’s the most enormous person there is in the whole wide world.

Where is he?

The music is fading.
Truck’s stopped and everyone else is getting off, entwined in mums and dads,
so where is he?
You glance from big grinning face to big laughing head… Nowhere!

Try not to panic!
It feels empty now.
Gripping hold, tight, to the bar.
Afraid to stand, you fight back those early tears
and bite your bulging bottom lip.

Two huge hands reach in.
Click. You’re free; those hands, in your armpits, thrusting you skywards!
A reassuring bass voice
“Hello Twinkle! You enjoy that?”

“Dadeeeeee” you squeal,
beaming your best tooth-filled Beam back,
as he hoists you snuggly onto one arm and presses you against his wall of chest, for a carry!

Now that you’re three,
your arms easily encircle his tree-trunk neck
and you both sail along past other tempting stalls and flashing rides.
“Dinner soon” He harrumphs, close to your forehead
as you quietly de-panic and enjoy the comfort of the best ride in the show
– your best daddy in the whole wide world.

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

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?

Shakrilana

Last time in those pretty eyes
where your lust lay
behind cried spies
I sought fame
and found your breast
where rested head
these thoughts forget

Here the sun breaks bleak thru days
blown clouds fly free
float forms which ‘maze.
This last enchantment
seeks your gaze
though all are blinded
eyes ablaze

This single psalm is sung by tune
in pretty lanes
on afternoons
though winds and rain
fight for small sounds
their crash is quieted
when you frown

Beautiful Night

Turbulent, mindful and full of delight
Mortimer sits through day into the night.
Aware that his being here’s not wholly right,
Silent twitches and grins, though, are all that’s in sight.

When all of a sudden night falls, and all’s dark
Mortimer crawls out from under his Snark,
Pulls all his hair out which signals the start,
And wanders alone to his midnight sweetheart.

Way up a hill down the wrong end of town
The last drips of water slip onto the ground,
From a succulent body wrapped warm in a gown.
And Wanda, all fresh flesh, figures on love knocking round…

Reflected moon shimmers off Mortimer’s head,
As he passes dim bars where the punters – long dead
– argue intently of pitches that bled
From Saturday games beamed direct to their heads!

A bang and a whoop and a crunch at the door
Wakes Wanda, from slumber –
From dreams of amour.
Her shout down, like chocolate,
I’m on the 3rd floor.
Sends shivers through (thudding up stairs) Mortimer.

Lights from her face beam our man on his way
Through doorway, ajar, to a bliss where she lays.
As wonder envelopes in all of loves ways,
These lovers embrace this sweet time and for days.

_she_will_be_loved__by_larosaperlata-d3dhm2m

She Will Be Loved, Larosaperiata (Click image to jump)

Reviewed and reposted from 2011

Sweet short

Here she sits a lady truly blue
Sweet heart lays in her lap for you
She whispers some sweet treat in time
And blurs the lines of your afternoon

Like something is wrong
In the tune in her song
Like something has left
She has sung it so long

She’s your silent Dido – carved of stone
Living in a life you dreamed was blown
As shadows stretch and rise and die
Your night lights with her white-rose tone

[revisited from Dec 2012]

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.

 

Mothers of Mope

The marvellous mendicant mothers of Mope
worry about weaning their kids off dope.
Haplessly harried they hardly hold hope
of finding an answer that isn’t looped rope!

Round here the rising sun breaks slow the cloud
which builds through the night
– from the fags dark allows,
yet, none of Mopes mistresses notice,
through rows,
that newly a day is born
– sweet, fresh and proud.

Surely some sapient soul serves to sate
the confusion of questions one’s sure to negate,
in diurnal dialogue done direct and to date…
or so you’d suppose, in most all other states.

Here though, in Mope, the mothers are clear:
we’ll have no free thinking ta! None of that here!
Perish the thought of fresh views or ideas
and hold your big books from coming too near!

The plan goes so simple (it has to it’s true) –
the brideless of Mope know all that they do;
that learning from lessons is theirs to eschew!
Our proliferate pups truly think this their due.

So work on you earners, as hard as you can
Build coin for your country to feed the taxman.
His pennies and coffers are spent
– the grand plan:
Dished out to the mothers
who need what they can!

vicky_2371818b

Who’s the hoo?

Who are your groups?
Blue groups
Blue groups

From where do they come?
Black lands
Dark skies

Who are your groups?
New groups
New groups

What do they know?
Black laughs
Dark lies

What do you wish for
bringing groups like yours here?
Bringing dreams full of shadows
hung with half-grand ideas?

What do you wish for?
What do you want?
How long have you waited?
How deep is your love?

Who are your groups
who have havoc to wreak?
Who laugh through the blood dripping smoke that you breathe?

These, your people,
Your troupes
Your troops

Who are your groups?
Who’s designs
lie on you?

 

Part 29 (Charlies women)

The last of the Played at a different speed collection. I hope you all have a fabulous year end 2015.

Christmas white
with christ tonight,
alive tonight
– a bright white
night.
Wish christmas white.
Alive
bright bride,
well showered by lies
with a kiss
on the side
(with a silencing bribe),
for a white christmas bride.
Bride of christ
once alive
now denied,
all united!
Fallen through
dancing lows,
reeling twice
– took the blows
with a reflex in vows.
All giving
one knows.
As a crowning white glory,
well bridled
and white,
crawled the white drive
– felt alive –
crawling dryly
to christmas.
And there
landed a bright light
(with her eyes
hiding lies)
where it grows.

Broken Glass

Time for a change –
curling gracefully moment’s glide,
altering aimlessly.
& inside our soft heads
this sweet tooth did not once
bite down or taste sugar.

As my mushed eyes
fade, squarely, to black.
In time, all that I see
is furred and fuzzy:
Broken scenes all about
in flat black and white…
There’s more to seeing than eyes though
& more to see.

Time for a change –
so roving eyes abound
& capture all fleeting edges
all blurs of life
whilst whisking minds
to new sites & sights.
Different views
for the latest views.

Vases of Flowers

I care for you deeply and lately I find
Discreetly and slightly I’m being unkind!
Honestly unintentional – you know I’m no liar
So direct, with respect; I’ll keep feeding the fire!
You clean up and feed up and make up this home
That I cherish and fill up and treat as my own.
And though daily the time may drag
– slow and by hours –
Eventually someday I’ll bring home your flowers.

One More Song

One tiny verse
sung tight-lipped,
as it all gets worse.

Lost the bounce,
gave spring away –
Time tears at my eyes
and squeezes my day.

Thoughts pound my brain,
old thoughts; so sad
as still I clasp
at lives I’ve had.

Short painful routes
are all I see:
They scream my name
to recapture me.

Still the light dances
just out of my reach
so I follow the shadows
that lead from the beach.

Numerics

This is how many cigarettes I’ve had
This is how many cigarettes I’ve had
Why do you think it makes me feel glad
by counting the number of smokes I’ve had?

This is the number of drinks I’ve drunk
This is the number of drinks I’ve drunk
Why do you continue to wallow in past
by counting the number I’ve times I’ve been drunk?

This is the number of women I’ve had
This is the number of women I’ve had
Why this bombardment of guilt that you try
as I recite the number of women I’ve laid?

And, this is the amount which I love you
This is the amount which I love you
Does it make you feel better inside
knowing how much I say that I love you?