we make the noise

we make the noise. pic

 

a marquee on the lawn in bright autumn sunshine

gathers into its celebratory space a host of opinionated people

the squeezed earth a silent witness to this intrusion

where gossip and mirth are part of the fairytale

on these occasions we must bless one another and bask

in the shared luxury of a gilded cage

but a shadow is cast, drawn like a membrane

that renders ghostly figures to dance on canvas

like puppets and marionettes in fields of smoke

whose backdrop in truth is rubble and ruin

the desolation of being lost on one’s own soil

and being hated for simply surviving

so my thoughts meander as I smile in this cocoon

unsettled on behalf of defenceless souls in war zones

as all around me lips pucker with effrontery at the injustice

they perceive in their gilded orbits

of barriers to carefree lives

A common neighbour

A common neighbour

 

I would be better served

to play a simple part

and forget any notions that

stretch to gravity, wit or pomp

 

it would also serve me well

to know my place

and reside there in peace

for I have a restless energy

 

and a mind full of buried treasure

all of which renders me

a danger to the gift

that was bestowed

 

when my mother first released me

and I took air

and a place in the world

next to you

Nowhere man

 

Nowhere man. pic for poem

 

a vagrant slouches in the doorway

like a bee fallen softly into apathy

and he glances at a waste bin with shallow contempt

for its dismal offerings and the fanfare of flies

that guard the lurid bounty of spent purchases

so casually tossed away

 

lunch-time in the metropolis and the big game

stroll oblivious to those who lie wounded

their hours of need yawning into a squeezed frame

as his eyes focus on something far away

beyond all this unpleasantness,  just like the bee,

quiet before the fall into a long silence

Seconds out..

Seconds out.. pic for poem

 

 

there is a melting sadness in this process

of time slipping away, unberthing me

and slowly, inexorably, bleeding me of life

by small instants, lost moments and carelessness

 

no matter how diligent I am to stem the flow

the seconds count against me and the ring-man with his towel

and imprecations

are lost in the cries of a crowd that bays for yet more blood

 

deaf, dumb and blind to my predicament

their spittle and urgent desire require a sacrifice

to transcend the moment, dispel the ordinary

and suffer only gods to weep

 

and perhaps I glimpse the beauty in this savagery

of defeat

that this moment holds all of me

every damned thing, mine, to give away in this circle of

diminishing light

You called

You called. pic for poem

 

a slim rope braided to form

a cord from which a brass whistle would

in its heyday dangle as

a symbol of authority. This whistle

 is now a tarnished and tired brass ornament

on the end of a dusty tether

but still it holds weight and mutely muscled dignity

so history can resonate with respect

and call to mind the circumstances

when it was employed to summon assistance

to the long arm of the law

laid down in colonies that formed an Empire

in another world whose echoes and traces still pulse

in air that is all but oblivious to lips, now cold,

that pressed so urgently and blew

for order and help

in a time gone deaf to Imperial Rule.

Syria

Syria

 

Clutched in skin drawn tight around

a white, ignoble rag

there rests a symbol ready to unfurl.

 

The stains on it won’t deplete

a universal message that cries out

to peace

 

though snipers are still intent

on fouling the air with spite

and marking out their arcade of hate

 

so that none shall pass.

Not even the innocents

who crave the purity of a smile

 

The touch of a friend

that might release the fear

in the bones of that tightly clenched fist.

 

Go dusty spectre go

Escape the rubble and malicious stares

Find the soothing air without

 

Rob those that would stifle you

of your inheritance and settle

into the gift of a loving embrace.

Too many ‘I’s

too-many-is-pic

I was recently offered a seat on a tube

by a young woman with compassion in her heart,

no doubt

but my pride interpreted that as spite

and I refused

left hanging on a strap in mortal decline

and ever since, the scene, it’s implications

re-spooled

play back to me in a quiet yet insistent fugue

You vain ‘old’ fool is the sound-track

following me

trapped words in the carriage of my spoiled journey

A constant rattle and schism as I go about forgetting

that age has put his drape on me

that my vital signs are more evident

to others than to the being I recognize

I can no longer refer to myself in the third person,

casual, flippant or heroic

not now that I am transparent

at large in someone else’s order of magnitude.

I shall stand until I am forced

through stages

to lie down.

Fault Lines

Fault Lines.jpg

Forever in the half light

held back by the hand of small

and always, yes always

feeling slight

yet heavy with this sense of loss

This burden like a trope

Afflicting types. My type

Leaving shadows on scenes

and spaces in lines of instruction

lingers on into my dotage

Passively disabling with irony

Where in my youth it was savage

incurring cold treasonous cuts

from an unsteady sense of self-esteem

And later, in my teens

the villains moved in as if

responding to a half-life

ignited by demons that clamoured

at an ill fitting door

I let myself go.

Request. Stop. Please.

Request. Stop. Please.

Request. Stop. Please.

Request. Stop. Please.

 

 

They have,

suffered rendition by twilight

opaque souls in jelly moulds

behind distorting glass, wet with steam

from discarded breath

 

They descend, en masse, downhill

Ensconced in their private mires

While I travel the other way

En route but solo to another place

Thinking as I pass

How willingly we let

Our lives go by

 

 

No flash of brilliance. No insight

Just a chance sighting

A fraction of glimpsed time

Scar tissue of mine