prophet trousered poetry

LINKS TO CONTENTS

 

surprise encountanka with my aging muse

symbolist  head lines tanka

RAINBOW DRAGON ALPHABET

CAECOB FARM IN MAY

WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN

MULTI STORY HAIKU

SENRYU COBBLED FOR FRANKENSTEIN'S POETASTER

BALLADE OF THE INVISIBLE MAN

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF THE OVERREACHING ARCHER

NEW DEAL MILLENNIUM RAP

GLOBAL ROTATION

BEARDED LADY OF MY DREAMS

green world wars song

THE AMAZON'S REVENGE

THE RETURN OF THE BIG BAD TWO-TOED STEREOPHONIC SLOTH

LONELY HEARTLANDS SONG

A GUTTER SINGING IN THE RAIN

GRANDMA

BREAKING THE ANCESTRAL CODE

ON RHONDDA MOUNTAIN

unknowing riddle song

RAINING IN HEART

DUSK WOMAN  OF THE PRESELI MOUNTAINS

HUMAN KITES IN THE SKY

THE MADMAN AND THE WRESTLER

A CELLULOID PARANOID FROM  BUNUEL

white bird

COSMOS FIELD

THE CREATION OF THE WORLD

LATE NIGHT MEDITATIONS

A BIG BIRD HATCHES

seven songs before midnight

a shadow puppet theatre

TORN APART BY THE HUNTRESS

an unknown walker in a country lane at night

THE MOMENT OF FOOTFALL

THE GROUNDS OF PARADISE

CHIN WAG

bardic dream song

heavenly spring haiku

vee deevahn dusmun song

SPOT THE SEASON WORD

salvation army haiku

THE POET MURDERS

IMPRESSIONS OF AFRICA

tanka after seeing lorca's play

abroad thoughts from home

RETURN TO AN AUTUMN TOWN

the contents of an average barrow

ODE TO NOTTINGHAM TOWN

TEARS IDLE TEARS

dada dole blues song

A BABY BIRD FOUND DEAD ON THE PAVEMENT

it be t'unemployed grave digger song

SHIP OF DYING BODY ELECTRIC NOTES

high craggy peaks song

GUITAR

MANDOLINE  TIME

a phantom fiddler's mad tune

ATLANTIS SONG

ONLY PHANTOM FRUIT

SEA SONG

river tees poetaster 1968 vintage

keats waves

are these migrants


surprise encountanka with my aging muse
                

                              

the girl draws near me

a soft focus siren as

        we meet on the swing

bridge in the harbour

                                   mist

                                            lines

of verse appear on her brow

 

 

symbolist head lines tanka             

confusing babble

from live pillars in nature's

temple

                he moves through

dense printed trunks of symbols

tracking him with knowing eyes

 

RAINBOW DRAGON ALPHABET


Through a spidery tear blurred library window,

         Morrab Garden drinks

Her veil of rain

         (Juggling emblems yet again,

Sad eyes smudging liquid, coloured inks,

         A rainbow alphabet of dragon's teeth).

I form this paper chalice, it contains

         A single crystal tear drop from the misty rain's

Soft adorning of the dragon trees beneath

         My jewel-cobwebbed window.


[Cornall, Penzance in 1977, the Morrab Gardens, Autumn]

 

 

 

 

 

 

        CAECOB FARM IN MAY

It is only late spring, and summer has come

Already to Caecob farm. The temperature

In the mid sixties, the hardy earth is dumb

And indifferent to the assaults of rake and spade. Nature

Has exploded the magnolia candles, loaded down

The cherry trees with white blossom clusters.

A willow warbler chirrups.

                                     Out of town

I might learn to shrug my shoulders, when my ego blusters.

Does the poet's persona disappear for good,

Planted in some black hole in space?

A woman gardener caresses a tomato plant,

Stroking its lovelorn leaves. It is understood

By green fingers that plants need tea and massage.

                                                                      This place

Conjures a glamour from Cuckoo:

"Too true!" the chant!

                                                                                       

 

         WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN


This country garden is running wild. I hack

At the weeds and knotted tufted grasses. My tool

Is a mattock, fit for a medieval villein. My back

Complains, but I don't reply.

                                          I lose my cool,

When a gaudy pheasant rockets out of a bush,

An inter-hedgerow missile.

                                        Shocked I need drink!

I go into the kitchen for a glass of cider. As I push

The door open, there's a fluster of wings ...round the sink ...

At the walls...panicking madly at my intrusion, a bird

Flies straight in front of my face and thumps a window.

A redbreast with white speckled belly lies

Jewel-eyed and stiff on the floor.

                                              I suffer an absurd

Guilt for my role in his death: I don't know

Why I live, and the garden robin dies.



MULTI STORY HAIKU

     

 

5 

           

  stage directions for a walkway

 

     dim seated hunched by

  doorway as abandoned child

     split black garbage bag

 

 

  4

 

the aeolian banshee

 

    howling through the frame

 of my metal window the

   flats sing to themselves

 

 

3

 

staring at a flat wall reflections of window migrants

      

        

      reflections in my

 glasses a flock of birds i

      wheel glimpse now they're past

 

 

2

 

the nature of vandalism below the block

 

     lone black boy under

a may tree he strikes with a

     stick white blossoms spray

 

 

1

         

love thy neighbour on thy landing

 

     i sleep i wake to

hammering door neighbour screams

    he'll firebomb my flat

                                                                  

SENRYU COBBLED FOR FRANKENSTEIN'S POETASTER


  1 

  media distortion   

   

horizontal hold

cannot centre anarchy

        tv anarchy

       

  2      

discreditable tanka

  

would you credit it

not without a plastic card

and a regular

salary i'm just a heel

spurned snake in consumer hell

 3 

clockwork conscience haiku

    

   mechanic soul search

cannot abide a machine

 that breaks down with guilt


4

sensuous clapped out cz motorbike haiku

  will her piston seize

as i mount her saddle her arse

  weighed down with my gear

 

5

demands of the amalgamated haiku poets and undertakers union in brief

    a fair days pay at

  the book fair living wage

     for a dying art

A H.P.U.U.

 fighting for the rights of dead and undead alike!

   

 

BALLADE OF THE INVISIBLE MAN

(OR DEATH OF THE BENEFITS CULTURE)

‘I’d vote for any party that  would say, “I won’t allow people to throw garbage all over me”. But none of the parties seem to be particularly interested. That’s why I formed the World Domination League.’

E . L. Wisty              

'garbage in, garbage out   (hacker's proverb)

 

I tried to write out my life, but found I'd lost

My Mind. My inmost self had done a bunk:

My Soul had buggered off, and to my cost

Without me in it, my autobiography was sunk,

My Character missing, an eloping monk.

The keys of this typewriter were not mine to rap

The Vaults of my hollow Skull  seemed to entrap

The nagging of a Moneybags I'd never want to meet

In a crowded room, or sitting on my lap:

The Invisible Man perched on my Judgement Seat.

 

'Justice belongs to those who claim it ...' and are tossed

Like stale bread to pigeons, or buns to the trunk

Of a lobotomised Elephant, whom Fate had double-crossed

By cutting out his memory. This computer had drunk

From the River of Death, where all past lives are junk,

Where Fat Cat Greed rots down to slimy crap,

Where Strong Leaders panic where scavengers flap,

The Winner's stink, the Victim's corpse smells sweet

As fresh barned hay before the thunderclap:

The Invisible Man perched on my Judgement Seat.

 

I searched for my Ego in my mousy flat. I glossed

On laundry, questing the Id, where the worn socks stunk.

I searched ancient pants for my  Libido. Then I flossed

My Unconscious, as my teeth were strangely gapped. I slunk

Out to the toilet and dived into the bowl for a chunk

Of Sensibility, that I could call my own. Not a scrap

Of Aesthetic Value in my shit! Such moments sap

Self-confidence, so I went for a walk in the freezing street,

Where the half-moon hung, a Freudian skullcap:

The Invisible Man perched on my Judgement seat

 

By the frosted roofs of cars I made a snap

Decision; never try to turn yourself on like a tap

Or a frozen Old Man, ice dead for lack of heat,

From a thousand cuts by the True-Blue Rattle-Trap

(Who cashed in his precious life to bribe the Well-Heeled Chap)!

The Invisible Man perched on my Judgement seat.

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF THE OVERREACHING ARCHER

(Ballade concerning a New Deal in  hell's estate, by courtesy of the New Tory Dole Cheats)

 

Vegetables chat in the wok,

Noting the fuchsia's fading prime.

Vision's colours, black and white, stock       

Images of sick culture ... slime

They had for mortar. Tower Time,

Smash your headstone 'gainst harder skies!

Techno babble ... our systems mime

As Chaos sings: a planet dies.

 

Normality is culture shock;

The heartless make a killing rhyme,

Flog poor fools a false rainbow crock

Of shit... self-legalising crime

Of power snatchers, see them climb

With smirking reassuring lies,

Steal your life, overwind the clock

As Chaos sings: a planet dies.

 

I hoe flower beds, oil the lock ...

The frail gate must check vandals. Grime,

Spite's arrows, target my house! Block

It all out! (Buddy spare a dime ...

Dole queues in  fat cat heaven ... !). I'm

Learning clarinet to be wise

As a musician.  Please don't mock

As Chaos sings! (A planet dies).

 

So eat well, feed the Autumn cyme

(Nights draw in before old men's eyes).

Who heals the millennial zyme

 As Chaos sings? A planet dies.

    

 

 

NEW DEAL MILLENNIUM RAP

 

the sun is bloody, the sky is holy punctured above north pole we don't feel melancholy in the ultra violet rays we got genetically modified soul

 

smart bombs swarming in the global warming

  uranium shell tip fun

we all go jogging in protective spacesuits

  in the new clear midday sun

 

our reassuring vulture on the digital tv

  an hologram an angel of death,

says open your throat and spew out your vote

  you haven't a voice, you can't sing a note

no choice you're grounded , they clipped your left wing,

  hip hurrah, we're on tv

 

we're heading for the last celestial bedroom

  our final duvet in the clouds

so wrap a fool up in his cotton wool shrouds

  he'll be laughing all the way to his doom

 

the happy torture victim spends our generous vouchers

  on the tasty fast foods of the west,

dodging racist bullies, limps off back to his hostel,

  we've laid his bad memories to rest

a power hungry smiler with the image of a nice guy

  tells us we're all middle class,

poverty is now called something for nothing culture,

  in our clever fat cat farce

the haves slam the door

  we speak  third way bollocks  in the face of the poor,

hip hurrah, pie in the sky

 

 

a high tech pimple on the banks of thames,

  a brand new millennium dome

it's a concrete mission statement, glorifies our aims,

  it's our new deal ideal home

 

you won't be missed, if you're excluded and object,

  middle england plays to win,

our trump card in our pauper cleansing project ...

  if you can't pay, you can't get in

 

virtual fascist leader figures stuck to the levers

         of power, sticky fingered super glue,

we run down the infrastructure, tax bribe wallet voters

         hard boil the underclass

in  media spin stew,

         if you were on our gravy train, you'd smile full time too,

hip hurrah, we're new deceivers

 

two thousand years after the crucifixion

         we party, as we hammer in the nails,

join us in our new deal, or face incarceration

         In our profit-making overflowing jails!

                                                                                                                                               

                                                       

GLOBAL ROTATION

(dedicated to the MP, whose "cost effective" solution to environmental Armageddon was third world national parks financed by tourists)

                                                             

1 ecology for the taxpayer haiku

fear not thy planet
may be sold out but thy tax
burden shall be light

       

   

2 computer death virus tanka

    maltese amoeba

screens william blakes the

    auguries of innocence

then erases your hard disc

prophet in garbage nowt crash



3 root map of gender sadness tanka

      i read today men

have sad thoughts on the left side

     of the brain while

women generate sorrow with

the whole content of their skulls

4 weary of time elapsed haiku

motorway boredom

sunflower grows on central

reservation joy

 

BEARDED LADY OF MY DREAMS

 

It is a distraught landscape. It could be night

Or day; sunbeams and moonbeams cross swords;

Wild elms sway.

                         Next a shaft of light

Beams down from the very centre of the sky.

                                                             (Words

Throw up your syllables in despair!)

                                                    Two men

Are watching this tunnel of light. One is inspired

To envision what lies beyond the zenith of heaven:

Women in machines, naked to the waist, are wired

To skull-shaped silver helmets.

                                           'O shit!' says his friend,

As a bearded giantess slides down the light-shaft. Her hair

Switches colours, from silver to black. She tries

To strangle this man, but he's saved as he struggles to bend

Back her wrists, by the seer with his magic wand and prayer,

Who shape-changes her back to a baby, which cries and cries.

green world wars song

 

 

If you would travel to Africa,

    Be sure to catch the high tide!

If you should make it to Africa,

    Be sure to see my lady!

Tell her the White King swept the board!

    Tell her the war is over!

Tell her I'm waiting by the sea,

    Trying to find an answer!

 

 

CHORUS

O the days were short and the nights were free

    In the Green Queen's court.

And the dancing girls brushed the tapestries

    And beat their tambourines.

And then the White King made his move,

    Sent in computer mercenaries,

Cut through the palace walls of oak,

    Felled the green towers with laser beams

Then giant bulldozers razed  meadows into dust

    And the countryside was squared in barbed wire grids

And the badgers were all gassed inside their earthy lairs

    Because the White King won

 

 

Meeting the Green Queen in Africa,

    Take her my ocarina,

As she dances to the talking drums,

    Give her my farewell story.

Tell her I live in damp sea caves,

    Dodging the robot cliff patrols,

Watching the sea birds skim the skies,

    Crying for peace like freezing souls.

 

CHORUS

O the days were short and the nights were free etc.

                     

So now the tongues of men will shrivel in their heads,

    Their twisted heads will hang with no words to tell,

Of the sea cow or the dolphin or the great blue whale,

    Because the White King won.

 

 

 

                     

THE AMAZON'S REVENGE

The python hangs from a rain forest tree,

     Yawning in front of a glistering black

River. The moon is a tapestry,

     Undulating, taut then slack,

An image re-woven by random ripples, a fool's

     Moon in the waters; the one in the skies

Is full, bulbous, massively tropical, it cools

     The humid Amazon, with her animal cries.

     The forest interior echoes by the river's side:

         The big cats prowl,

     The screech of a night bird, a scream of pain, a growl,

     Crescendo to kill as hunter and prey collide.

     Continually. the incessant, high

Pitched vibrations of the crickets underlie

     The grunts and shuffling rustles from the dense

Canopy. The jungle's wait is tense,

'Till howler monkeys deafen the canopy.

For an alien, threatening sound invades

     The Amazonian evening. The distant noise

Of drunken men in chain sawed glades,

     Brawling and bellowing in fun with the boys,

After a bruising day's work felling trees,

     Building an highway into the heart

Of this delicate ecosystem. Multi-nationals seize

     Raw resources, fast bucks,  and depart.

The highway will form a dustbowl which will spread

     Eating the giant trees.

 Tribesmen and pigmies contract the white man's disease,

Losing lands and livings, where the sheltering forest is dead.

The treeless soil is exhausted after a few

     Years. The shanty-town poor will find,

A cornucopia squandered by the ethically blind.

     Plants expire oxygen: one of the great

Lungs of the planet will collapse. The settler's fate...

Deserted, where their tiny crops once grew.

 

The python hangs from a rain forest tree,

     Yawning in front of a glistering black

River. The moon is a tapestry,

     Undulating, taut then slack,

An image re-woven by random ripples, a fool's

     Moon in the waters; the one in the skies

Is full, bulbous, massively tropical, it cools

     The humid Amazon, with her animal cries.

     The forest interior echoes by the river's side:

         The big cats prowl,

     The screech of a night bird, a scream of pain, a growl,

         Crescendo to kill as hunter and prey collide.

The python goddess stirs: green worlds revive.

     She sinuously sheds her tired old skin

And visits the destroyers, in woman's guise to begin

     Alluring the fools to the forest for fun;

Night after night, she'll have them one by one,

Embraced in her lusty coils, and swallowed alive.

         

THE RETURN OF THE BIG BAD TWO-TOED STEREOPHONIC SLOTH

                                      

                                       (nonsense song with jaws harp)

 

 

the two toed sloth he stunts my growth

         and never sleeps at night

he hangs from trees while eating leaves

         and never rights quite write

he's slow and clumsy on his feet

         and couldn't run a metre

 

Chorus

but i'm very much afraid he is destined to grow

          WOW WOW WOW   CHA CHA CHA

like a tropical orchid in a bowl of snow

         like an atomistic mystic in a Amazonian jingle

 WOW WOW WOW   CHA CHA CHA CHA

         and never rights quite write

 

my uncle had a tin robot

         who used to cook him dinner

this fine machine fried bacon 'n' eggs

         but no man could be rasher

one day it shorted at the stove

         and ran off with a pylon

 

Chorus

but i'm very much afraid he is destined to grow

          WOW WOW WOW   CHA CHA CHA CHA

like a tropical orchid in a bowl of snow

         like an atomistic mystic in a Amazonian jingle

 WOW WOW WOW   CHA CHA CHA CHA

         and never rights quite write

 

my auntie had an ourang-outan

         living in her pear tree

this beast would throw down twigs and sticks

         on snarling arched backed pussies

banana mild shake kept him fit

         for wrestling with the tax man

 

Chorus

but i'm very much afraid he is destined to grow

          WOW WOW WOW   CHA CHA CHA

like a tropical orchid in a bowl of snow

         like an atomistic mystic in a amazonian jingle

 WOW WOW WOW   CHA CHA CHA CHA

         and never rights quite write

                 

LONELY HEARTLANDS SONG

First Chorus

                  seeing backwards to the past

                           stare into the future blind

                  try your wheeling fortune

                           right your lovelorn wrong

                  violent gales of winter blast

                           calm compared to stormy mind

                  strum your  wild night tune

                           chant your lonely song

 

                  who are these migrants in mottled sky,

                           speckled soul flocks, streams in airs,

                  birds so soon away, they fly

                           to leave us caged by grounded cares?

 

Chorus

                  fire in the heartlands

                           bleed heart bleed

                  blood in the heartlands

                           fiery seed

                  cuts in the heartlands

                           live trees feel

                  peace in the heartlands

                           heal wounds heal

                  seeing backwards to the past

                           stare into the future blind

                  try your wheeling fortune

                           right your lovelorn wrong

                  violent gales of winter blast

                           calm compared to stormy mind

                  strum your  wild night tune

                           chant your lonely song

 

                  i wander through wintry waste land

                           (waste human beings breed disease)

                  here rich men's wasting greed commands,

                           builds roads to tips o'er wasted trees

 

Chorus

                  fire in the heartlands etc.

 

                  i called them cowards, they felt no shame,

                           their sadist's hearts rejoiced in spite,

                  playing their cruel kid’s  power game,

                           their victim's freeze, entrapped by fright

 

Chorus        

                  fire in the heartlands etc.

 

                  who are these migrants in mottled sky,

                           speckled soul flocks, streams in airs,

                  birds so soon away, they fly

                           to leave us caged by grounded cares?

 

Final Chorus

                  fire in the heartlands

                           bleed heart bleed

                  blood in the heartlands

                           fiery seed

                  cuts in the heartlands

                           live trees feel

                  peace in the heartlands

                           heal wounds heal

                  who are these migrants in mottled sky,

                           speckled soul flocks, streams in airs,

                  birds so soon away, they fly

                           to leave us caged by groundless cares?

 

A GUTTER SINGING IN THE RAIN

'how can we tell the observer from the observed?' W. B. Krishnamurthi

Cardiff drizzle, I cannot style it rain.

Alas I am a wet and lonely, dirty

Gutter; my shallow head a brain drain,

Awash with soggy papers, no Krishnamurthi

I weep and gush fat tears of filthy water.

Down the pan incarnate, what shall I be

In the life to come? Perhaps a toad's daughter,

A swan, a paper boat or a willow tree?

This is a wishy-washy sonnet. I never

Really wanted to dip my pen in it. A lot

Of garbage has flushed under the bridge, since I began

To draft it.

                I'll fall like the rain for ever and ever,

A cloud was my mother, I am her damp child.

                                                             "You forgot

"To be a gutter, or not to be a man!"

                               

GRANDMA

 

Grandma will score a ton of years;

         She likes her booze and fags.

She knocks back frothing Guinness beers,

         While a middle class mother nags

Grandma for her messy ways.

         In the fifties' teacher's house,

Grandma reads her Mirror, and stays

         In her room as parents grouse.

In her Daily Mirror a small boy read

         Of Eden's Suez crisis,

How Marciano 'knocked Cockell dead',

         And of Mars Bars rising prices.

Plain Jane toffees were Grandma's sweets,

         Her sherry warmed the belly,

While watching uneducational treats

         On Grandma's rolling tele.

 

 

 

BREAKING THE ANCESTRAL CODE

 

I am my past; I am my ancestors;

What am I, clutching trapped birds in flight

With Venus fly-trap reflex to encode the crash?

That old man dying of cancer is me.

Gentle and dopey into Dylan's good night,

Cradled on Sister Morphine's bosom, the claws

Of death are clipped, the end without insight.

I am my past; I am my ancestors.

Our laughter blows over a mound of flesh-fed ash.

I work the miner's lift, holiday in Paris,

Or bury the Welsh dead to earn my cash.

That old man dying of cancer is me.

I catch the luminous flying disc in the light

Of orange Cardiff street lamps. I hoard my stores

Of mandolines, slide images and private wars.

What am I, clutching trapped birds in flight?

In the web of our past, I blunder, buzz and thrash

Memories to life rafts, wrecked in a broiling sea

Of childhood fears. Who speeds to set me free

With Venus fly-trap reflex to decode the crash?

I die from nine to five; I live a nightmare,

Where unquiet spirits harass (O to live daily

  And merely dream of unquiet spirits!), who flare

Their stuttering messages in riddling entropy:

I am my past; I am my ancestors. 

 

 

 

ON RHONDDA MOUNTAIN

(for my father William Morgan Davies)

I am Rhondda Mountain, monarch of my senses.

I blink sheepishly at green, at the shining pastels

Of the roofs of Maerdy and Ferndale, in the chancy, gusty

Airs of wet sunshining summer.

                                                             Welcome

Sun to rain sloshed Wales.

                                                   My father's kingdom,

I survey below me. My subjects the valley hordes,

Chattering (cacophony a shrill nasal sing-song),

Of other Welsh folk, but not of the mountain (a presence
Not at home, rudely exposed above
Stove-heated, house-proud parlours).

                                                                Opposite my highness

Aberdare Mountain blocks my view without regret.

In between the vast contours of Aberdare

And Rhondda (proud twin peaks), tiny

Terraces nestle sociably, cosily embedded

In the cleavage of the valley (a kind of crazy paving

Geometry).

               

                               stately migrant clouds

                           nature's moody airships now

                               dapple rhondda vale's

                           songs scored by protean airs

                               mutable light and

                           shade sing kaleidoscopic

                           chiaroscuro eye choir

                                   

            There are great cracks, concealed sinister

Cavities, grave flaws eating into the unconscious

Rhondda, coal black caverns underneath

My earthy paradise.

                                       Open sesame!

                                                     In my

Rebellious maw, erupting beer streams wash

Down, digesting tumultuous a mountainous hoard

Of fish and chips untold, fried riches

Of a principality.

                        You'll never hear a stone

Plumbing the bottomless depths of Rhondda. It always

Catches on a ledge and echoes

                                                            echoes

                                                                              echoes,

An unsound enigma. One stumble at the edge

(if Gravity's your fall-guy), tumbling ever faster

Into hungry hell.

         

                

         They're frying tonight in Rhondda.

unknowing riddle song

 

can you guess my riddle

before I leave again

to wander down this green valley

to sound of the falling rain

along the green welsh valley

sound of the falling rain

 

Chorus

double rainbow, wet sunshine,

see that train puff down the line

steaming `neath the bridge o'er which I'm floating

all along the shining green welsh valley

i had the urge to travel

to see a land called spain

but when I found a dry rocky place

i pined for the falling rain

along the green welsh valley

Chorus

double rainbow, wet sunshine etc

my mother bore three children

i won't see two again

i left behind the wind and sun

i left with the falling rain

along the green welsh valley

left with the falling rain

Chorus

 double rainbow, wet sunshine etc

my thoughts now flow so slowly

there isn't any pain

my memories dissolve inside

the sound of the falling rain

along the green welsh valley

sound of the falling rain

Chorus

 double rainbow, wet sunshine etc

i am a moody airship

chained to sky's empty brain

i am the phantom cloud who dies

to sound of the falling rain

along the green welsh valley

sound of  falling rain.

Chorus

 double rainbow, wet sunshine etc

       

RAINING IN HEART

                 

                  remorseless Welsh

rain

         loveless and chilly

                                    finely

                  enmeshing a body

                                             forced under shelter

      

              o animal trapped

                       in a wordy net by watery  webs

              casting a poem into

                       a void

              riddling seeds sown

                       in deep

                                space

                                         lost

                       forever

              old sickle cuts tall

                       young grasses

                                         death

              and the maiden death

                       and the maiden is poetry

                                                      howling poet

              howling full of howling at

                       a full moon

 

 

 

 

 

DUSK WOMAN  OF THE PRESELI MOUNTAINS

Two round cairns on Foeldrygarn, her stone

                Breasts.

                             Now she's below the mountain, in that lone

Voice of hornèd anguish, fenced off from her calf.

See a mist pelisse on her rangy flanks, an half

                Developed Preseli Isis,she flickers into flight,

Now a flash-tailed coney, lost in the phantom light.

 

 

 

HUMAN KITES IN THE SKY

 

The sky's face has lost its colour. An instant

Ago, the slate grey clouds were alight with salmon

Flushes.

              Politico, bird of prey, a mutant,

He has sliced open his belly in the pursuit of Mammon,

And wears his intestines externally like the golden brocade

Of a toy town soldier. Luckily it is all taking

Place under his suit.

                                   The first clock was made

Of sky. Time's poet learns the craft of faking

Old masters from fresh scrap (Art's unspoken contract).

A  burnt fleshly pall ...  the auto-da-fé

Is announced. The cruel denies the other love:

Keen teeth smile but eyes belie warm contact,

Watching folk burning with fascinated piety.

                                                                             The way

For a body is cleared, up to the clouds above.

 

 

THE MADMAN AND THE WRESTLER

                        

(a lai)

He was drunk and mad,

Ranting at the sad

         Sane men

Bearing the great lad

Coffin'd, not shroud clad

         Open

To curious eyes

And the clustered flies

         Who droned

In mourning. 'Who cries,

'Asking why he dies?'

         They moaned,

But told this strange fool

(Gargoyle leer like ghoul

         From hell),

'Our champion's cruel

'Fate shocks. As a rule

         'All fell,

Struggling in his grasp,

'Were upended, their clasp

         'Unsure.

'Crushing grips would hasp

'Pinned shoulders, now rasp

         'The floor,

'Strain, weaken, fail ! So

'Skill and power grow

         'Supreme.

'But the strong don't know,

'Death can overthrow their dream

'(Always victory!).

'Death closed his story:

         'Youth died.'

'And so the glory

'Won was lost!', so he

         Replied,

That crazed railer 'Death

'Threw him like Macbeth,

         'With snares

'Tripped him, winded breath,

'Choked life from him, saith

         "Who dares

"Brave my stranglehold

"Risks all, overbold,

         "Astride

"My victims, my hold

"Clamps: they're laid out cold,

         "Blind-eyed!"'

     

     

 

          A CELLULOID PARANOID FROM  BUNUEL

 

A geometric ritual, he will walk

In turn, the entire width of each stair,

Half way to the top, he'll sit with care,

Look straight ahead. Big cat's eyes frozen stalk!

Trouble bubbling!

                                He pulls out a stair rod, drums

'Twixt the banisters, rattling with an accelerating beat.

                                                                             His wife

Upstairs, hears him below, fears for her life.

(Unlike the great paranoiac, our madness comes

And goes by interpretation, depending on who

Consider themselves our confessors.
 

                                                

A clamorous belfry

Deafens the rational: what's afoot when you feel

Your ego wearing itself out like an old shoe,

'Till soul's an unshod tot.)

                                          Pacing Hell's ivy

Cloisters, a cowled figure nears the tunnel surreal.

 

     

white bird

 

  softly in

pranayama

i hear her voice

         calmly

caressing

         the spaces between

each breath

         pranayama

her voice soars up

         from her vibrant trunk

a soft full feathered

         white bird

soaring into space

         from her vibrant trunk

from her woman's tree

         a white bird

 

COSMOS FIELD

a brilliant shaft of cloud appears

         through the red body of a dying sun

thrusting into a lilac pool of sky beyond

nerve ganglia spark in the white hot brain

         of a creature with ears of silver

legs of solid gold

shut down his skin blinds

         after images on the inner lids

a green disc swarming with a myriad forms

         creatures twisting entwining together

like indian temple carvings come

         to life in a languorous then frenzied dance

soon the creatures are growing

         outside the temple a crop with ears

of silver and gold wand stalks

The Rainbow Colour Creator failed to make a Rainbow Species in his own image. He crafted creatures in different colours, blending golden molten atoms from the sun with cold silver dew of the moon.

         red hot magma sliding sparking

                  golden sweat from the sky forge

         pouring into a moony pool and so

black man carved from the ebony world tree

white man from the milky way

yellow time sand man

brown man conceived dreaming in burnt

sienna palaces of hashish

red man cast from the cooling furnaces of that dying sun

      

 

THE CREATION OF THE WORLD

     (and the ensuing eternal torment of El Timbo)

 

the rising sun posts a sunbeam in a letter the letter discusses

    how to square the circle the letter also contains the moon &

    stars the missive is delivered to the world bird who nests

       above jupiter jupiter has several moons who have a

             discussion in which they decide to create a new world

                these creative moons take a dollop of class one

                    nothing wearing a bowler hat from out of a black

                hole all things are possible in this best of all

             possible universes these crazy moons mix a soupcon of

       darkness from the unshaved face of the deep they toss it

    about a bit on the horns of the sacred cosmic cow and oop la

animals birds fishes and green plants materialise from the

    bowels of the void as if by magic or japanese technology

       encouraged by their success the animated moons fashion man

             out of sacred cosmic cow dung and follow up this coup

                with woman beautiful breasts but no peanus soon fishes

                    dance in thin air and its fun fun fun on planet

                earth until the serpent is rolled out from the last

             stale  scrap of cosmic cow pat the serpent is the

       archetypal free market entrepreneurial spiv who unbalances

    the cosmic equation to see how he can exploit suffering and

chaos on a global scale he is found wanting more as god appears

    on the scene as a great shiny robot when the seventh sunrise

       explodes in golden glory uplifted from below the horizon on

             the back of a gigantic turtle man and woman make love

                which is an experience as good as it is evil and so

                    god sends down one of his angelic hit men to evict

                them from paradise for neglecting safe sex they are

             expelled cast out into the brutal world to earn their

       bread by standing on their own two feet and cultivating a

    viable marketable image not surprisingly they relapse into the

forbidden joys of sex the serpent now consigned in perpetuity to

    a burning fiery pit laughs his fangs off millions of people

       arrive in a wing beat of the world bird in the form of

             children the world is beautiful lush green hills

                broiling seas gods and greenery next the white mans

                    civilisation appears like acne on the face of the

                planet leaving slimy trails of pollution from its

             armour plated snails of destruction soon after the start

       of bourgeois history the clapped out old poet and wastrel

    el timbo dies and plummets into the gas flames of hell the

assembled demons demand that his latest hit single the return of

    the big bad two toed stereophonic sloth be performed non stop

       an enthusiastic audience they howl cheer gibber and cavort

             demanding endless encores so the poor old sod has

                perforce to perform throughout all eternity his red

                    hot jaws harp blistering his lips perpetual

                creativity is hell

 

 

       

LATE NIGHT MEDITATIONS 

 

 

late into the night

       the creature meditates, but his mind

                can't escape

                         from the interminable ticking

                                  of his old alarm clock

                                           he puts it out onto the landing

 

late into the night

       he meditates

                but he still hears

                         its muffled tick

 

He decides to go out onto the landing, to place

The offending mechanism further away in the bathroom

Behind a closed door. His hand grasps

The clock, and it stops at once. At last he can meditate

In peace: the wind whooshes outside, and rattles the insides of his head,

While vixens scream in demon foxy undergrowth.

 

         a line from  a song

by rambling jack

                  bitter wind

         blow my blues away

 

two images

       in the creature's mind

                worker ants

                         grip their larvae

                                  squeeze their bodies, weave

                                           a house of leaves, with children's silk

 

above a church tower

       an iron grey bar

                of cloud cleaves

                         a full moon            

 

 

 

A BIG BIRD HATCHES

(autumn breeze at daybreak)

warm stranger's feathers stroke

shell of dawn's genesis

               

                wings of sheer air

                         who vanish o'er blowy trees

at the first soundless crack

vast viewless pinions flexed

                wings of sheer air

                         who vanish o'er blowy trees

egg of dark fragmènts

fable born winds are born

                wings of sheer air

                         who vanish o'er blowy trees

gusty beats easing, slow fading breathings,

from wings and lungs of globe's great roc

gliding giant sighing

at vanquished night's skyline

                wings of sheer air

                         who vanish o'er blowy trees

                  seven songs before midnight

 

warmer still days see

       pink blossoms on a green ground

never to bear fruit

 

           listen in silence

                    a cold clock ticks for nothing

                           is no thing timeless

 

                                      broody chicken thrust

                             off her eggs unlike small hen

                                      blazons defiance

 

  she looks into a

mirror will she see love stare

back from what remains

 

                                                               laugh naked black girl

                                                      dancing on love fires the hump

                                                               backed beast disports pain

                                            

                             now late evening comes

                                      she will sup milk tire sleep

                             dream dying a little

 

she shall barely sing

         seven songs before midnight

sea cliffs cloak her voice

                 

 

              

a shadow puppet theatre

[In Memoriam Erma Harvey James -Illustration]

hand shaped legend fey

shadow forms focus grow blur

magic lantern dims

In Memoriam of  Erma Harvey James

TORN APART BY THE HUNTRESS

                 1

Desire

If the moon is an open door, where

         Does it lead? If the moon

Is a virgin huntress with platinum hair,

         How do you enter? What tune

Do you sing to disarm

         Her arrows of cool white fire?

But tonight the smothered moon near died,

         A blanket of clouds

Pulled over her face. I magically tried

         To give mouth to mouth to her shrouds.

She succumbed to my charm:

        The moon then died of desire.

                           2

Loss

       

The moon's now really dead, and it's made

       Of language, words tighten

Like crumpled paper, a letter the blade

      Had slit. I try to lighten

My darkside heart

       With a moon-stricken farewell note.

                         3

Rebirth

The bulging, pear-shaped earth swelled,

       Her waters broke;

The moon forced out, spun free, dispelled

       Her mother's burden. The yoke

Of the tides drags out art

       Forms the lunatic pen never wrote.

               

 

     an unknown walker in a country lane at night

       breeze whirred telegraph

wires night vibrations

                                

  

   bat winged

       messages

                        now

                                 trees

fused wind sculpted trees back brushed

       straight topped gainst skyline

      

tree blackness below rook nests

       sleepy muffled squawks

he walks he flows a water

       wheel to the cross roads

where a shooting sprite bursts through

the star pricked dome

                                    who goes there?

 

 

THE MOMENT OF FOOTFALL

 

        (This ramble took place on a public footpath from Ebley, leading to Harescombe Beacon. It was very cold with brilliant sun, especially on the hill tops. The valleys about the Cotswold way were faintly misty, and the sun was, at times, masked by the trees of the small woods, which often surrounded the path).

 

 

On the Cotswold Way, the sky

     Freezing, solid blue, fierce cold

With bright sun. Thirty two years old

     You feel you have to try

To find the words.

     Iced horseshoe prints on the bridle way. Nothing grieves,

If memories can die

     In silence, absorbed by the path to the beacon, can be

Lost in these woody shades, by observing a tree ...

But then I ask, why

     It isn't happening to me?

The air so still,

     So much turbulence in my head,

I meet Fear poised to kill

     In the guise of an alsatian (the Dog of Dead

Kingdoms, of Mine and Yours), outside

     A bungalow. Our eyes meet

And turn aside:

                       Death prefers tinned meat.

 

My mind quivers over the glittering image

       Like the thieving magpie's beak.

Were those pale bellied flocks on that brown field there,

       Starling or fieldfare?

The tagging words don't

       Trap the bird. Caged in

The past, I cannot speak

       Of growing insight, aging,

While this sense of loss won't

       Invoke the walk at its peak,

The actual peak, the moment of footfall.

    

     on not reaching the

beacon an haiku on not

     reaching the beacon

 

(Soon the bridleway ended. I left the track to Harescombe, and bore right toward Edge).

                 

                  sun fired vale below

           the inn on frosty edge moor

                  sun fired vale below

(I skirted Edge, and walked up to the parish of Painswick. The church steeple dissected the blue-ice sky, the air a clear frozen block of all-encompassing energy).

 

THE GROUNDS OF PARADISE

(scene set in an Igloo tent, held up by inflatable tubes, pitched in an isolated corner of a badger field in a place called Paradise, Gloucestershire, circa early eighties)

 

breeze palms my tent

        films leafy shades flicker on orange canvas

               sun shine movies the mind bound eye focuses

                       on an orange canvas sun

                              paints foliage silhouettes

and in this picture what  is lost

the first sleepless night in

        the drained of colour orange

               tent fear is gradually reborn

                       every external sound irrational rustling

                              terrors a set of man eating badgers ringing

                                      my house of thin material poised

                                             to be bitten and shredded to devour

me alive bones and balls

        terror escalates beyond belief front part of brain says

               go out there and prove to yourself that they are not

                       there back part of brain says

                              move a muscle and the creatures

                                      will sense the fear don't

trigger them off

endless night of visceral panic surging up and down

        backbone mind cannot

               tame the formless beasts of primeval lightless encirclings

                       badger behemoths poised to crash through my

                              my frail shelter now dim shadowy tapestry

relief of dawn in the almost orange tent the sun

        peeps birds chorale and I sweat

               out an age of dismal woe to struggle free from

                       sleeping bags of nightmare groveling stiffly naked

                              cold and traumatised out of the igloo

                                      tent trees out there nothing else till

a brown field mouse shrieks and flees betwixt the tangled

        bole of roots at the overgrown

               base neath the trunk of a great tree towering

                       above my orange igloo he

                              scared me shitless all night that

                                      furry little bastard

                              the pneumatic tubes suspending my

                       igloo in space bounce secure serene in a delicate

               dawn breeze I shiver a skinny early morning al fresco

        nude and sag back inside to re-enter

my duck feather cocoon with exhausted relief to stare

        at the inflated trellis of my orange canvas

               roof and watch shadowy

tree vision

breeze palms my tent

        films leafy shades flicker on orange canvas

               sun shine movies the mind bound eye focuses

                       on an orange canvas sun

                              paints foliage silhouettes

and in this picture what  is lost

envoi

I raise my Olympus OM2 SLR camera and shoot an organic compost heap, below Foeldrygarn Mountain. My view-finder mists over from heat haze, and I recall the Igloo tent, pitched for six months in the grounds of Paradise. And in this picture what is lost?                          

           


    

  CHIN WAG

[view full screen or print this as a selection, to see the clown face, or perhaps not!]

                                 as             the

                 bald                                         bard 

                          expansive   brow    deeply

                           etched by lines of verse

                        si                                   ok

              ow              n                 o              wo

br                                 g           b                                 rm

      the hammer             red                                      mad               euphony of

    wavestrike               rimmed                               blakean               the cosmic

anvil in shell                  eye               the                    orb                    rays bouncing

                                     bags of      proud            talents

acoustic nexus                 heavy                             droop                    off the inner

    jodrell webb                                prow of                                      ear drums

        sampling it                       the homeric hooter                        paradiddle  

lips                         songs

       kiss               salt

                 saliva

    pointed epigrammatical

         or lyrical romance

                  chin wag

                    goatee

 


.                

         bardic dream song

 

a court bard dreams, holds in his hand

  a horse skull on the trail

to a castle, hid in a wasted land

  where a speared king bleeds in a grail

and watches rainbow fishes swim

  in the well of merlin's palm

as world bruised knights-in-armour

  urge their steeds to seek him

 

his true love is a secret tease

  a romance virgin bride

who flies his dreams like starry kites

  which dance in wind, dark, space

he begs her to tell what she sees

  that fires her eyes and face

she'll tell her vision through the night

  (then off side-saddle ride):

 

‘an axis shifts, a great globe tilts

  ‘the poles reverse their fields

‘vast cracks ope', the old king wilts

  ‘the dying landscape yields

‘mountain ranges fracture vales

  ‘fire-storm, blue bolt, flood

‘dry bed oceans, stranded whales

  ‘an horse shoe in the mud’

 

music: castle ramparts shake

  the dream had swiftly gone   

dawn came to his grey window,

  then noon, a weird son shone

he slept dreamless till dusk, then wakes

  his dry eyes ache for tears

in trembling courtyards far below

  a stallion frets and rears

 

[original idea from a draft of a proposed song lyric by Owen Davis]

   

        

 

 

              

          heavenly spring haiku

 

              blue fist of sky thru

the broken white cloud 

                                  whose

               hand on the cuckoo clock

 

 

 

    

        vee deevahn dusmun song

 

       warwkin dahn aee ba'ah allee

ah didn av aee cairw

       aee dus bin wars be ave in odd

verw lid wars slahly workin fwee

       an oowose u'ah in vee air

aee noodist decked wiv gahbidge stood

       wivin verw bin verw lid wars on is ed

ah swairw i'ah wars verw livin gawd

       ood risin fwom verw ded

is fleyemin bunsin burnah ahs

       whah'er van whah'ah snahwy hairw

awide in oowottin vegtibewls

       cwusht tin cans an oowappings fairw

an smelly lum'sah of cweechahs wha'ah ad dahd

       bein a bi'ah ova lad ah geye mlee caw'sah

‘whah yew in va'ah dus bin gawd

       arw vose gee iblits rahnd yaw baw'sah?’

wiv flairwin nostwils ee ooweeplahd

       ‘san ahm evweewherw’ah

[Hemel Hempstead "cockney" diaspora, circa late 1950's]

 

 

 

SPOT THE SEASON WORD

(an inconsequence of sponsored haikai no renga)

1

Spring

an operatic telegraph haiku written for the grant money

        

    to cuts art sell great

brigand want fat cheque scrawled rich

        busty libretto

        2

Summer

law and order haiku appended to frame of photos shot for the grant money  

flickering around flame

an enlightened moth god help

   those who can't help it

3

Autumn

 

          muzac of the spheres haiku scored for the grant money

           

            spectral music in

    an orange room

                i fail to

       find the phantom pipes

4

Winter

     late night haiku on a volcanic pool of solid puke sculpted on a flagstone, new years day 1988 for the grant  money

        at my feet vomits

    coronet discrowned spent year

       will new one rain so

[These best value haiku are brought to you by courtesy of the Cuts Artsell of Great Brigand]

 

 

 

salvation army haiku

           child to uniform

are you a policeman no

            i'm a man of god

THE POET MURDERS

        [a shaggy naga uta mystery]

       

        John Keats sprawled on the

deep oriental rug, a

         tight noose dangling from

a bruised ankle. Inspector

         Blackwood frowned, staring

disdainfully down upon

         the romantic stiff,

turned peremptorily to

         his Sergeant Hazlitt

(the stolid subordinate),

         who peered over an

old office typewriter, his

         bland brow crinkled, as

he scrutinised the paper

         inserted in the

machine.

              drowsy... numb...ness’, he

         read aloud slowly.

‘Drowsy numbness my foot !’ the

         Inspector rasped. ‘Damned

poets! Drugged weirdies!

         Effeminate clowns!

What a filthy way to die!’

          ‘Is the chap dead?’, asked

Hazlitt in shock, taking off

         his tall blue helmet.

His chief sourly pulled off his

         bowler in a show

of reluctant respect. The

         good Sergeant now scanned

once more the bewildering

         manuscript lodged in

the black guts of the machine.

         (Man of few letters),

ODD TO AN NIGHTINGALE’, he

         misread. Blackwood slapped

his forehead, as the jigsaw

         came together in

the interlocked  cells of his

         brain.

                

            

                     ‘Jove, I've got it!’,

he shouted, now recalling

         the unsolved cases

of half a lifetime. ‘Hazlitt,

         remember Sergeant,

the Italian job, poet

         blighter found face down,

drowned dead in a goldfish pond ...

         Percy what's-'is-name ...

by the body a scuppered

         toy sail boat ... chap's heart

was missing ... had been ripped out...

         found later on the

continent ... burnt to a crisp

         on a beach camp fire

by black magic bounders ... some

         soggy poem found

on the body, load of tripe ...

         hell's teeth, what was it

called?’

           

Hazlitt had the hunted

look of a man with a lost

         line on the tip of

his tongue. ODD TO AN SKYLARK’

         (inspired he quoted

with gusto).

          

        

'Fishy affair

         I thought at the time!’,

mused Blackwood. ‘It's beginning

         to make sense to me:

poets found clutching pistols,

         brains decorating

the wallpaper, poets found

         poisoned (draped over

bedsteads), poets gassed (heads in

         cookers), poets stoned

to death, poets mugged (dying

         fighting), that mad one

who died singing (unnatural

         I call it), poets

done in by fascists....

                            


                                And not

         surprising! Weirdies

ask for it, if you want my

         opinion!’

                       ‘Sir!’

called Sergeant Hazlitt. A large

         colourful card was

pinned to John Keat's breast with an

         old gold, large, jeweled,

heavy, vulgar, Old English

         adjectival brooch.

‘Strewth!’ ejaculated the

         Inspector. ‘Good show,

Hazlitt, you're onto something

         there! Hm, picture of

a hanged fellow printed on

         the card.’ Blackwood leered

at the corpse with ill concealed

         relish. ‘I've not bumped

into one of these lately

         in a friendly game

of brag’, he guffawed harshly.

         Hazlitt was distressed.

‘He's upside down. The poor chap

         on the card, Sir, he's

been hung there arse over tit!’

         ‘Dammit!’, snapped Blackwood

(miffed as ever by insights

         of underlings).

         

                    

‘He

is! Upside down!’, volunteered

         Hazlitt once again.

Blackwood's hairline short fuse blew.

         ‘You're looking at the

case from the wrong angle, you

         nincompoop!’, he snarled.

[Will Blackwood crack the Tarot?

Don't miss next tense installment!]

IMPRESSIONS OF AFRICA

The drums call, Salvador, the talking drum,

The animist  pulse!

           

                

The eyes of your muse are black

Doors to worlds you can never enter.

                                                       You come

Out of the picture, reaching for a way back.

Would the painting be better off without you, Dali, as you stretch

Out your arm to touch us (narcissistic star

Of a silent scream)?

      

                      

The squatting clones, or the wretch

You depict, crumpled on the hourglass deserts of Africa,

Mute unconscious drum beats in your head.

This is not the Africa, of the Ibo chief

Who made that gourd mbira, which released

Its root music, pricking my ears.

                                                                You fled

To bodies half eaten by artscape, suspended disbelief,

To the drumming of ever circling wildebeest.

                                                            

 

tanka after seeing lorca's play

wed by blood two stabbed

rivals stiff mouths ajar teeth

bare knuckles of snow

                

loves horse fled the moons cold knife

death beggars and women keen

       

                                  abroad thoughts from home

             cold hard england lost

sun spain south warm blue autumn

             beached in café bar

sipping manzanilla tea

o to andalusia

 

          RETURN TO AN AUTUMN TOWN

 

Autumn wheels in her embers, till the black boots

Of winter stamp them down. The blind feet

Shuffling, scattering in the breeze crinkled, fleet

Gold-foil leaves,

                           See the withering fruits

On the dying trees, drop to their buried roots,

While the lyrical West Wind sweeps the streets,

Lilting amidst the skipping litter.

                                                    I meet

Zephyros in a back-alley duel, and he airily shoots

Me up the trouser leg.

                                    I am a wordy scarecrow,

Tatterdemalion, flapping, I bluster and curse

The petrol fumes, the decaying weather.

                                                           I stand:

Is there no crow to spook, no place to go,

No field to scan, our inner city hearse

Steered at its wintry grave by wind's loose hand?


 

 

 

      the contents of an average barrow

the barrow has a roof full of speakers

         making public announcements inaudible

 

see here a small cup

of black unbaked clay

riddled with grass roots it crumbles at a touch

                item some early british pots,

                         item a bronze helmet,

                a job lot of samian ware,

                         some kimmeridge shale coal

                money, a brilliant ruby coloured

                  gem, five roman

         coins, and many rainbow shells

the barrow is an ill lit sandy mound

         inside are four human bodies and the bones

of some dead animal, perhaps a twin horned

         rhinoceros, a little clawed horse, a giant swine

or remains of a gazelle camel

                  the first find in this deranged barrow

                           was a skull severed from the body

 

the next a human being

         with all his bones

 

                                    now a rib a rib of adam

                                             considered a noble lady

 

                  another's head points to the East

 

lastly a tiny green glass bead

ODE TO NOTTINGHAM TOWN

  

    (On returning after several years)

You demolish the past and shopping-precinct blank

Spaces. The rod and axe of Roman law

Are carved above your court, like any fascist bore

The law is always right. We can only thank

You for the surviving lace market, whose dirt-red

Black brick buildings reach up vainly into grey

Vacant heavens., totter out from another day,

Upstanding queasily in a world of lingerie, bed

Linen, underwear, nightwear, leisurewear ...

                                                    The furs

of the merchant princes are now off the peg or worse!

 

 

At the corner of Pilcher Gate, the four hundred year

Old house of the Sherwins, lawyers and magistrates is now

Occupied by Adriana babywear. It's strange to see how

Dimly you exhibit your historical wares. Here

The ancient cliff path, Malin Hill to Short Stairs,

High pavement, Stoney Street: there is

The metal Birkin Boundary Line, unclear

What it demarcates now!

                               Stalls of the fleshers

Long gone from Fletcher's Gate ... commercial pressures?

 

You're knocking down the redbrick past: Forest Road,

Former ghetto for students and blacks. The derries

Used to house old friends. Autumn memories,

A stone memorial, these time cropped falls bestowed

In the park, as I think of Tom and Lou, who risked

The Hall of Mirrors at Goose Fair, while their girls

Ran off. The flashing merry-go-round whirls

It all away, fluttering cyclically, whisked

With yellow leaves.

                      'Th'eternal laugh' shouts

The Witness to the shoppers, 'will spring oop within yer!'

                                                                   No doubts!

 

 

TEARS IDLE TEARS

by El Fred Lord Timbosson

Tears idle tears (while the heedless rich print money),

Tears from the pits of some idle despair

Rise from the dole, and blind your useless eyes,

While blinking at this leaf fouled Autumn path,

Wading through a past like liquid manure.

Fresh as a flashlight glittering on a snail,

Slimy, sweatshop jobs for the jobless underclass,

Sunrise jobs that last till the sacked sunset

Sinks a slow body-shot below the belt:

So sad, so strange, the right to work  no more.

Ah sad and strange, the sacrifice of pawns,

In bed for the cold like half-awakened jail birds,

Singing of dying freedoms  to deaf ears,

Of fat cats clawing the working world to shreds,

So sad, so strange, the pay days are no more.

Dear as profiteering ledgers after death,

The price of food, the heating costs inflate.

Survival kisses a mouth alive with herpes,

Cheap as first love, and wild with mounting debts.

O Death in life, O global dole cheque drab!

 

     dada dole blues song

Mother Dole I'd have no tea

        without the bread you give to me

sweet culture of dependency

Brother Dole you free my soul

        from living hell of sweat shop role,

to fiddle through life like Old King Cole

Sister Dole's kind milky chest
        (her bosom cradles me in rest
with handouts governed by means test)

Uncle Dole leads me a dance

        to sign on in a welfare trance

to cash my scrounger's inheritance

Auntie Dole brings equal pay

        (for waged, unwaged, fat cat and stray,

none cheat the Planet's Judgment Day)

Father Dole rules poor means crimes

        to scrounge the time to scrawl these rhymes

in trainee neo-fascist times

[response to Allen Ginsberg's chant, after seeing him perform in Stroud, Gloucestershire]

       

 

 

 

A BABY BIRD FOUND DEAD ON THE PAVEMENT

 

Another sunset, another rejection slip!

This one came through the sky.

                                                                        (The early worm

Eats the late bird).

                                             A fatal trip

Was forced upon this fledgling.

                                                               (Morsels squirm

In a rival's beak, in a gull's pursuit, in the hot

Air above the river Taff. They're primed

For keening tussles in the red streaked blue).

                                                                           What

Sent you spinning feebly from your nest, to be rhymed  In death?

           

               

                           (The red disc slots into the void).

Now your skinny featherless frame is laid out neatly,

Stiffening sculpture, enacting a very small

Job in life, soon fired by death, unemployed

Like a stone in the roots of a yew.

                                                            Whistling sweetly,

Your work-mates in callous raptures have not seen your fall.

 

 

it be t'unemployed grave digger song

 

once I worked with people, served my fellow son's of dust

    now the council's laid me off, me shovel's caked with rust

ashes to ashes, dust to dust, what a way to earn a crust

    it be t'unemployed grave digger

 

well a working man needs a little bit of luck

    it cheers you up to clock on / off before you kick the bucket

given a pay slip and a stiff, well I didn't give a fuck

    it be t'unemployed grave digger

 

well the greasy rain oils the scalp of urban gloom

    i walk these streets for warmth in vain, the dole won't heat my room

see the free corpse market thrive, yet they buried me alive

    it be t'unemployed grave digger

 

with me mattock in me hand and me pious mourner's face

    i could bury all your troubles till they rot without a trace

empty tank, stalled mortal coil, you may drill that North Heaven Oil

    it be t'unemployed grave digger

 

so you think you're pretty healthy and you'll never end up dead

     well I had a place to stuff you, it were worm's house lined with lead

now you're happy getting laid, you'll be laid out on your bed

    by t'prim faced undertaker

 

sometimes a human bone or two sprouted from the muck

    once I found a skull stuck in a footpath's tar macadam

alas poor sod I didn't know his nameless head from Adam

    i was only the grave digger

 

some say that higher spirit gaffers have a master plan

    to upgrade life, rebuild, re-tune a new eternal man

his bladder is titanium, he need never hit the can

    it means unemployed grave diggers

 

i stood tall when my graveyard wellies clogged my sweating feet

    if I now had strength to lift a brick I'd riot on the street

when the revolution comes, I'll dig black holes for the elite

    it be t'unemployed grave digger

 

you drive along life's motorway, in high speed lanes to hell

    but my working hearse steered  to the tomb, deaf to death's hard sell

toiling in the encircling gloom, cheers, I got on very well

    as a fully employed grave digger

 

once I worked with people, served my fellow son's of dust

    now the council's laid me off, me shovel's caked with rust

ashes to ashes, dust to dust, what a way to earn a crust

    It be t'unemployed grave digger

 

    

 

 

 

        SHIP OF DYING BODY ELECTRIC NOTES

 

Oblivious of senses, broken heart or skin,

Reckless not intentional, the gesture cube reacts,

As does the sensor chair, responsive to our acts:

  Bodies conducting space for Leon's theremin.

Other worldly, weak electric fields begin

Transforming energy, its music interacts,

Its boat may roll, pitch, yaw, attracts

The hypercello's ghosted wavelengths. 

         

                                          

                                             In

Using instruments gleaned from techno scrap,

Now Nature's crafty fools may busk the song:

Winds sound the autoharp, the fingers dead,

All the harpists perished; their lover's lap

Tops long drained of electric life, long, long

Decayed where lost humanities are shed.

 

 

[Argument

Automatic or semi-automatic musical instruments play themselves, or may be played by weak electric fields, generated by the movement of human bodies in proximity. It is envisaged, that in the future automatic musical artifacts will be built all over the planet. They may endure as mysterious memorials analogous to standing stones, after the species expires (to be played by the elements, or by any  other species that discovers them)]

 

 

high craggy peaks song

 

sunflower chants forget me nots and primrose clusters

         trees with trunks of indigo and silver leaves

pearls set in girls thigh bones

         castanets of ivory

jungle cat flamencos on the road to spain

         the diamond rock hard road to spain

the spanish sunset

         dancing feet  drum on the diamond road to spain

if i might seize the morning star

         i might guess just who you are

i'd take you dancing free from pain

         if i might find you once again

though craggy peaks crumple up plains

         and skies might roof my crumbling brains

and though sweet venus fall to mars

         i'd woo your love with gentle guitars

high craggy peak high craggy peak

         high craggy peak high craggy peak

high craggy peak high craggy peak

         high craggy peak  peak peak peak peak

 

 

        GUITAR

[from Lorca]

 

The guitar drums

Into her lament,

Dashing down the wine

Glasses of the dawn.

The guitar drums

Into her lament,

Futile to hush her,

Helpless to silence her,

An insistent keening

Like the keening waters,

Like the wind keening

Above the snowdrifts.

Silence

Helpless,

Crying for distant

Ineffable frontiers.

Hot sands of the South

Which beg for white camellias,

An aimless arrow crying,

Evening lacking morning,

The first dead

Bird on bough.

Guitar, guitar,

Your heart sorely wounded by five swords!

                                     

MANDOLINE  TIME

(A musical anagram for a poet)

 

Mandoline time in the skull acts in wisdom:

(Rhythm transfigures the temporal act).

When I was a child, electric storms of images

Erupted from the music, I heard in my head, from time

To time myriad choirs harmonised in my skull,

Now drums speak to me, guitars play with my mandoline.

Ocarina, mbira, jaws harp, talking-drum, mandoline

Invoke the roots, an aboriginal musical wisdom.

Notes resonate in the sound box of the human skull,

And I may not hear, what you hear in the act

Of playing (sounds transformed in trance time,

The music dances in the mind's ear's images).

All sounds are one, reverberant acoustical images

(A bushman's guashi duets with a future mandoline).

The crackling feet of a flamenco dancer are a time

Signature; with a flourish they inscribe swift measured wisdom

On the earth: duende transfigures the word, dance or act,

As if you could see the passions in a crystal skull.

Mood songs of bushmen are chanted in undertones, the skull

Illuminated, the brain pulses with deep rooted images

Of the totem, the tribal grail as harmonious act

In the play of pre-history. (Guitar and mandoline

Sound through time's soul-bell with the ancient guashi). Does wisdom

Master death by delivering us of stillborn time?

From your birth, you drum your heart beats on a time

Scale, until the putrescent matter in the skull

Is absorbed into the sky, or into the elemental wisdom

Of globe's girdling worm, earth song images,

Blake dies singing, while the tremolo of the mandoline

Deludes us; one note is sustained, as the many act.

If music nurtures love's brief timeless act

(And love when unsustained, must die in time),

Does death from his wormy gondola sing to a mandoline,

Clinging to the pod-backed shell like a lover's skull

(Echoing to lost soul-bells, dead love's images),

Then sink in his Stygian canal, sans desire, sans wisdom?

envoi

I'd live as a musical act, a song softly silenced by time,

As a singing crystal skull, heart strings strummed by images,

As a rippling mandoline; earthing the lightning of wisdom.

 

a phantom fiddlers mad tune

 

         when crickets play their leg mandolines
and bumble bees suck up to wild flowers
         a griddling fiddler's mad tune begins

 

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         a pink carnation garlands each ear
a sherry bottle clenched in his fist

         he warbles tears for souvenirs

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         passers by just give him the bird

and toss a copper after a jeer

         or turn a deaf ear or so I've heard

 

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         in past lives the fiddler played dances  for hours

 dionysiac girls pranced bare to his tunes

         bodies entranced alive to his powers

 

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         no woman might resist the flèche

fired by the wanton purblind brat

         a gut stringed music to melt the flesh

 

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         now hansoms pass and splash him with mud

gas lights lit cast ghosts in his face

         the sherry stiffens his body's thin blood

 

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         tight streets reek of gutter gin

booze doped babes awake begin

         to screech with starved cats to his violin

 

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         his bow now wafts a foul bitter tune

as foam gobs drum on a brass spittoon

         a lean flanked cow stumbles over the moon

 

hey diddle diddle grind and jar

         when crickets play their leg mandolines

and bumble bees suck up to wild flowers

         a phantom fiddler's mad tune ...

 

ATLANTIS SONG

 

 

now i see the coast is clear, from the atlantic storm beach

    now at last the coast is free, i see atlantis rising high.

castles perched on precipice, emerging from a blue expanse,

    valleys decked with wheat and palm trees dreaming on her beaches.

if only it were true, i'd head out there with you.

  the third day that the cock crowed

the dreamer woke once more to be

  awake! betrayed! betrayed awake!

come down through the oil slick to the sea bed!

now i see the coast is clear, from the atlantic storm beach

    now at last the coast is free, i see atlantis rising high.

i look into my telescope and see the dancing peoples,

    whirling round their maypoles and their totems and their steeples.

if only it were true, i'd head out there with you.

  the third day that the cock crowed

the dreamer woke once more to be

  awake! betrayed! betrayed awake!

come down through the oil slick to the sea bed!

now i see the coast is clear, from the atlantic storm beach

    now at last the coast is free, i see atlantis rising high.

i put my ear against the sands and hear flamencos singing free,

    from mosque and glittering minaret the fierce muezzin reaches me.

if only it were true, i'd head out there with you.

  the third day that the trumpet shrilled

the dreamer woke once more to be

  awake! awake! o joyous lake!

go up to the mountain and make music!

ONLY PHANTOM FRUIT

 

 

strange maritime muzak haiku

                            

                sea change music in

an orange room

                           i fail to

                        fathom phantom pipes

 

 

 

missing sonnet on ship out of water

                   

                         

         in orange rust pool

dry docked sea alarm

                                    little

         song written and lost

 

 

 

SEA SONG

one day I took a walk down to old harry
         where craggy fangs jut from the sea.
legions of gulls flocked all over the cliff tops
         whitened the green cliffs I walked o'er
why were they staring at me
         yea crying off at my approach.
when hordes might fly at me
         dig claws in my flesh
peck at sight's wincing orbs
         carry remains of a man over oceans
o'er punishing surges, o'er wild crashing breakers
         to swell of the billows to wails from the deep

Chorus

to the sea to the sea

  the sea which is coming to me

it tells me you're paying the price

  it tells me you're paying my price

to the sea to the sea

  the sea which is flooding up to me

you're paying the price for the sunrise

  for after the sunset comes darkness

darkness darkness darkness

  darkness darkness darkness

making my way to a place called caerfai

    where a red sandstone gash veins the stone

further along the sands two rocky pillars

    one forms a natural throne

sitting high up there I wonder

    has anyone sat here before

a celtic coast watchman

    who scanned the horizon

for long ships of sea wolves

    afloat on caresurges

suddenly out on the curve of the whalesway

    a snarling beaked prow might appear on the sea

Chorus

on the sea on the sea  

  the sea which is coming to me

it tells me you're paying the price

  it tells me you're paying my price

to the sea to the sea

  the sea which is flooding up to me

you're paying the price for the sunrise

  for after the sunset comes darkness

darkness darkness darkness

  darkness darkness darkness

i took a stroll down to caerbwdy bay

    where purple stones basked on the beach

cathedral cliffs carved in aztec slab features

    stood just beyond the sea's reach

there at the edge of the tide line

    which frolicked and lapped at my feet

this melody freely ran into my head

    as phantom white sea horses

rose up, then vanished deep

    wed to the glistering skin of the flood

while the sound waves I heard

    in my blood, could be seen

in cannon pulsed breakers of musical sea

Chorus

in the sea in the sea

  the sea which is coming to me

it tells me you're paying the price

  it tells me you're paying my price

to the sea to the sea

  the sea which is flooding up to me

you're paying the price for the sunrise

  for after the sunset comes darkness

darkness darkness darkness

  darkness darkness darkness

 

 river tees poetaster 1968 vintage

emerald green tees

cream foam mountains decorate

rainbow slick slime trails

keats waves

the tide goes out the

             tide comes in

                            stranded bubbles

winking at her brim

            

are these migrants

are these migrants

field

flocks speckled ribbons streaming

birds so soon away

Mount Bermo Timbo 2008

Prophet trousered Press

 *A not for profit project, poetry distributed for free.
*Poems written  by Mount Bermo Timbo (T. E. Davies)The licence encourages you to copy and distribute the poems, with the complete unedited text, images and licence links or texts. You just name the author. (Creative Commons licence logo link below!)
       *The licence is about common sense, mutual respect and the non-commercial spirit of the thing: after all ultimately,            it's supposed to be fun!
*None of the above is  intended to limit in any way your fair use of the material, quoting and circulating the poems for scholarly or personal reasons etc. There's nothing to stop you sending a poem to a friend, in my book. The licence just asks that you mention the author's name when you do so. People may not plagiarise wholesale for money.
*Not for resale, materials may be distributed performed and enjoyed freely for love and not  money by  community, educational, therapeutic  or public spirited projects and people.

 HOME


[What you are free to do with the materials on this page: Creative Commons Non-Commercial Licence, readable summary]

                                                       
Full Legal Document
<http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/legalcode>.a

                                                    

 

 


Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK:

England & Wales

Mount Bermo Timbo (T. E. Davies) 2008

Validated by HTML Validator (based on Tidy)