Index of Poems

I started this blog with the idea of a junk shop and to just keep writing. Since then I’ve started to write poetry again. Years ago, I mean like pre-internet, I was an up and coming rising star. And now I am a distant comet. Anyway, here are links to all the poems. Old and new. I hate to change the integrity of this blog. (He said unable to, therefore inventing an arty, plausible excuse)

Cipher

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-dw

Minotaur

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-dy

Testimony

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-dP

Collected Work Miscellany

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-dD

Poetry Experiments – Out of the lab

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-dL

New Ideas

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-dE

Ago

https://wp.me/s5UhLp-ago

Orion & Artemis

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-e6

Ideas ii

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-dU

If Shakespeare Had a Smartphone

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-ec

Narrator Seduces Reader

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-ek

Sunday Morning

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-er

Holocaust Memorial Day 2019

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-et

3 Poems

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-ez

Nonsense Rhymes

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-eB

Dream

https://wp.me/s5UhLp-dream

 

And because I used to write for some people you’ve probably heard of, my allegedly humorous pieces. Written just for fun.

Apocalypse Delayed

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-J

Fake News Headlines

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-c5

Iggy Wimpole – Everyleader and TED Talker

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-bR

The Return of Iggy Wimpole

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-cU

Say Yes to the Dress – PoMo Review (of every single half episode)

https://wp.me/p5UhLp-cz

 

Perfectly possible this will simply not work. I am extraordinarily dense. Light bends around me. One night working the sound board for a band we had a small plug board fire. It is not standard practice to try and stamp it out.

 

Dream

I dreamed of you again last night

Full of gentleness and grace

That you never showed me

When we shared a bathroom, kitchen

And lounge for three months

You were as pretty as a vicious heartbreak

As tiny and formidable as an angry songbird

We were stood by the fridge last night

For once you weren’t labelling or

Shouting at me for not labelling

You were looking at your healed broken toes

And moving from first to fifth position

And then back again

It was your best expression of yourself

The torn ligament that took you off the stage

You used to curse and call “Charlie Bastard”

 

You came into my dream last night

As you used to come into my room

In smallest of hours, padding like a cat

To climb in and lie next to me with rules:

I must never speak, acknowledge you

Turn around, be awake, be dressed

When you were sure I was asleep

You’d slide your arm around my chest

You were always gone when I awoke

Your peroxide white severe bob

and coal black eyebrows, blood red

Lips were a statement even then

The heroine of every Tom Waits song

Luc Besson would have loved you

 

You were in my dream last night

Sadly smiling calling me Chris

and breaking up with me

My name’s not Chris I said and we

Were never together to be broken

There was one night when I heard

You sobbing in the lounge with no lights

And I came downstairs and ignored you

Sat next to you on the floor

Your knees under your chin

You were a tiny snotty mess

“Not a fucking word” you said

“and don’t leave” you added

I rolled you a cigarette

You smoked it almost in one draw

You told me about leaving care

You told me about auditioning

You told me about Chris and infidelity

You told me other things and

Made me swear never to repeat

I never have and never will

 

You left my dreams last night

I remember I nursed you through flu

Bed ridden angrier than normal

You wanted homemade soup

So I shopped and catered for you

And after you ate you gestured

To your portfolio case by the wardrobe

I opened it and there you were

All of you every inch, your “glamour” career

Seedy top shelf rubbish we agreed

Still pretty as a vicious heartbreak though

“You can borrow those” you said

Eyebrow arched stern faced

It took me a moment to realise

What it was you were saying

So I closed it up and put it back

“Nice arse” I said and took your dishes

And you laughed for the only time I remember

 

You left my dreams last night

Without saying a goodbye

A few days after you were better

I went to work and when I returned

You were gone, or at least not at home

Then Helen came to collect some ‘things’

She told me the neighbours found you

On the garden wall roaring obscenity

And a carving knife in your bloody hand

“No visitors” she said

I never saw you after that, I moved

I was told they discharged you

After a month on the psyche ward

And left you to your own devices

And I wish there was a better way to say

“I’m sorry I missed your funeral”

But I didn’t know until afterwards

But I have been to your grave

Our secret until now

3 months sharing 3 rooms

But I never missed you until now

 

Erev (Draft 2 of 5)

So I have the basic structure and poetic diction. I ditched a meter for the moment to literally go with the flow. It needs editing and refining. Which will be 3,4 and 5 unless there’s an epiphany. I read a scholarly article once about how the missing years of the life of Jesus Christ may have been in India. There are traces in the gospels of Eastern teachings and several archeological references in India. I don’t know how strong that is now. But it is floating in my peripheral vision for this.

 

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam shehakol niyah bidvaro.

I say the ancient grace that you might share

food with me I cannot ask forgiveness

of the Lord until I have yours I spoke

in anger, pride, in vanity it was

your words not you I do not offer my

forgiveness because I do not judge

But there will come a day when the light creeps

under the blinds And illuminates your

soul, then you will have to forgive yourself

 

We learn of being human from birth, born blind

We can only see from nipple to our

mother’s face It is the voyage of our

lives to reach the shores Of shared duty and

empathy, compassion, justice, mercy

To see further than our selfish wants

And claim refuge from the wailing idols

behind the eyes, the dark where monsters lurk

You are young and free so many breaths still to draw

Take them on hillsides, take them looking out to sea

On a beach one hour before dawn with an arm around your shoulder

And a kiss still wet on your cheek

Take them in solitude with your whole self submerged in a book

take them between sips of coffee

As you look through candle flame at love

Don’t tell me you can know the earth from a screen

Until you have shivered on a street, burying yourself in your coat

Goose flesh because you know you will see that sweet face tomorrow

Or let tears fall freely to purge the poison of goodbye

Or feel the touch of a hand in yours fade until you only feel the cold

For me I am escaping a past of

treachery and lechery When the prohibitions

of Leviticus were the a la carte

You are a refugee from human compassion

You refuse to avail yourself of the protection

that being human affords.

You are alone in a foreign land

of cynicism and tweets and posts of apathy.

I can only wonder at the terrible journey

that has brought you to that hostile shore.

This is erev Yom Kippur, the eve of atonement,

mine and yours my lost brother

This is not theism or theology,

this is our shared evolutionary ancestry

Children of Abraham, Millat Ibrahim,

seeking our grace and redemption

By helping you and seeking your forgiveness

I learn humility

Do you want to discuss those fleeing persecution ?

Shall we start with Paul ?

Or Mohammed, peace be upon him

We are all refugees from something

You say you value learning, knowledge

then why dismiss something ?

We have read Tolkien but you don’t believe in Smeagol or Bilbo

But we believe in courage, loyalty and duty

And belief makes them real, they exist

Joy and hope and justice mercy compassion

Transubstantiated by our faith in what we do

A child opening a present or a new born lifted gently

To your face to welcome them to this world

And still you say you don’t believe that ? when it is right in front of you ?

You must still be on the nipple, not yet weaned

Yes children need to believe the stories and to have

Infallible parents to trust in, it is our frailty as human

It is how we grow and where we grow from

Sometimes children do not like to be called such

But this is not childlike, or simplistic this is

The geneology of ageless youth of the eternal soul

Which is why I choose not to believe

In evil, I will not make an excuse real

There is no evil there is absence of good

There is no darkness there is absence of light

Excess and deficit as in science

The lineage of blood libel and felt stars and race profile

The dark of human fear denied light but not evil

Because “evil” is to say “it was not us” but we owe the dead truth

That ordinary people did this for want of the light of goodness

This is the simple truth that wise men believe lies

Phrenology and eugenics and phlogiston

The aluminiferous ether which Newton and Nietsche knew

Was true but is wrong and does not exist

This is not about sealing words up in a book

Preaching from the dead, dry page

Like carnival sideshow carneys

This is preaching through the love of life as she is lived

As she is celebrated and adored and honoured

And life is a woman make no mistake

Though you may think you can seduce or deceive

With cleverness and confidence tricks

The only one seduced and deceived is yourself

She will turn, she will with calm method eviscerate

Your corporeal selfish sins and leave you humbled

Our reach exceeds our span and that is the glory of God

And the triumph of human will so in every single

Act of kindness from a stranger or smile shared or tear shed

God appears, made real it is there how do you not see ?

 

Call a mother’s love biological self interest if you must

But that is just the fear of engaging with sensation and

Limiting experience to the incantation of language

How the intellectual loves linguistic ritual and ceremony

I may not have known it myself but I have witnessed it

Have heard women talk about and display their love

I believe it and wish it had been mine sometimes

So by the laws of reason and rational thought you say;

In an entirety of universes, of untold galaxies

One star has, at just the right distance, at  just the right time

And for reasons we don’t yet understand spawned life

Which has thrived and evolved over millennia until

A species of ape, whose hoots and hollers for where the food is

Has by degrees of sophistication, satisfied itself that

It’s panted squealing and grunting has within it

All the secrets of existence ? And you talk of far fetched ?

As a statistical likelihood it is at the absolute extreme

and yet I believe the science which tells me it’s true

Why do you doubt the joy of friendship is the hand of God

I am the scapegoat, driven from each situation with the sins of others as my burden

But I am not Holman Hunt’s wretched creature by the Dead Sea shore

I am ready to die but if I hear someone ask for help with their load

I will help because my duty and faith call me to make myself subject

And by doing I may teach and preach the love that we call God

I am a refugee from my childhood.

I have a well founded fear of persecution.

The problem is I don’t know where I am bound for,

or whether it will hear my plea

for asylum when I get there.

My whole life has been a journey

to find acceptance and a chance to contribute

something of consequence.

I’m not saying I haven’t been granted ‘leave to remain’ at times,

but that’s all it has ever been.

And now I wonder if I will ever be able

to recognise a chance for asylum if it appears.

I have had sorrow for a travelling companion for so long now

But When the cold nights coil around me like a serpent

I believe morning will come and light will flood the darkness

My hope is real because I believe

All I can do is trust in myself, that being me

will be enough and that through my humanity,

I will find a humane and compassionate place to be

and take refuge I have to find somewhere to belong.

Somewhere to be.  It will be out of necessity

and it will happen because it has to happen.

Not because I spin a thousand words

into a dizzying shower of flaming amber,

leaving glowing embers for memories.

But because my scars tell a story

that proves worth hearing.

Told and heard, moment by moment.

 

 

Erev (Draft 1 of 5)

I mentioned in my journal that I reacted strongly to someone describing Holocaust Memorial Day as “Pointless hand wringing” and “so long ago we should just move on”. I gave him a piece of my mind. But felt I should say something truer to me. This is the first draft which has some basic meter but no diction. Hopefully, as with Orion & Artemis, this open drafting process will discipline my mind and I’ll put ‘the best possible words in the best possible order.’

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam shehakol niyah bidvaro.

I say the ancient grace that you might share

food with me I cannot ask forgiveness

of the Lord until I have yours I spoke

in anger, pride, in vanity it was

your words not you I do not offer my

forgiveness because I do not judge

But there will come a day when the light creeps

under the blinds And illuminates your

soul, then you will have to forgive yourself

 

We learn of being human from birth, born blind

We can only see from nipple to our

mother’s face It is the voyage of our

lives to reach the shores Of shared duty and

empathy, compassion, justice, mercy

To see further than our selfish wants

And claim refuge from the wailing idols

behind the eyes, the dark where monsters lurk

For me I am escaping a past of

treachery and lechery When the prohibitions

of Leviticus were the a la carte

You are a refugee from human compassion

You refuse to avail yourself of the protection

that being human affords.

You are alone in a foreign land

of cynicism and tweets and smart phone apathy.

I can only wonder at the terrible journey

that has brought you to that hostile shore.

This is erev Yom Kippur, the eve of atonement,

mine and yours my lost brother

This is not theism or theology,

this is our shared evolutionary ancestry

Children of Abraham, Millat Ibrahim,

seeking our grace and redemption

By helping you and seeking your forgiveness

I learn humility

Do you want to discuss those fleeing persecution ?

Shall we start with Paul ?

Or Mohammed, peace be upon him

We are all refugees from something

You say you value learning, knowledge

then why dismiss something ?

We have read Tolkien but don’t believe in hobbits

But we believe in courage, loyalty and duty

And belief makes them real, they exist

Solely because we believe in them

Which is why I choose not to believe

In evil, I will not make an excuse real

There is no evil there is absence of good

There is no darkness there is absence of light

Excess and deficit as in science

Me ? I am a refugee from my childhood.

I have a well founded fear of persecution.

The problem is I don’t know where I am bound for,

or whether it will hear my plea

for asylum when I get there.

My whole life has been a journey

to find acceptance and a chance to contribute

something of consequence.

I’m not saying I haven’t been granted ‘leave to remain’ at times,

but that’s all it has ever been.

And now I wonder if I will ever be able

to recognise a chance for asylum if it appears.

I have had sorrow for a travelling companion for so long now

But When the cold nights coil around me like a serpent

I believe morning will come and light will flood the darkness

My hope is real because I believe

All I can do is trust in myself, that being me

will be enough and that through my humanity,

I will find a humane and compassionate place to be

and take refuge, I have to find somewhere to belong.

Somewhere to be.  It will be out of necessity

and it will happen because it has to happen.

Not because I spin a thousand words

into a dizzying shower of flaming amber,

leaving glowing embers for memories.

But because my scars tell a story

that proves worth hearing.

Told and heard, moment by moment.

 

 

Nonsense Rhymes (The procrastination files)

You know how it is, you have an idea for a poem that won’t quite sit still and as you try to concentrate the other part of your brain starts acting up like a bored toddler. So here’s the neat little rhymes that are the by-product of what I’m writing currently. They are pointless except they amuse my Patrick brain whilst my Spongebob brain tries to work. Um, I wish that weren’t so apt. [sigh]

 

 

Cardinal Wolsey

As everyone knows

Was primate of York

With opposable toes.

 

Henry the Eighth

Married six wives

They died and he died

Only mnemonic survives

 

Worms to writhe

I must not slacken

Hang on a mo

My spill chuck is bracken

 

Alfred the Great

Was nobody’s mate

But that’s no surprise

He ate all the pies

 

Richard of York

Gave battle in vain

The order of colours

Of the sun in the rain

 

Maria Von Trapp showed

The children great love

She’d kicked the habit

To be nun of the above

3 Poems

Being of sound mind

A melancholic visit to the mission hall

I heard you scratching on the paper late last night

Inking up the paper with your squeamish ego

Fastidious longhand, mythic and authentic

Infamy in the bejeweled moments of prose

 

While I sit and reason myself from hour to hour

Then count the syllables of my soft and hard and

Hard soft stresses in the acrobatic allegories

Or the clowning of a self deprecating trope

Or with whip and chair tame anthropomorphism

 

The choir are chiming hymns as bane to doubt

As always you stare at your shoes and think

Of the saddest thing you can then look up

Without raising your head, iris haloed

A fine study in studied penitence

 

I iterate and italicise calm

A verbal parenthetic codicil

My will has been revoked ad absurdum

Written out my beneficiaries

And written in the charity of hope

 

 

Not At Home To Reason

That was in truth the worst

Argument that we have endured

Your eyes glowed and you

Spat accusations, obscenity, admonitions

Little flecks of spit flew as you

Castigated me, my heritage, gender, orientation

I wanted to give you a postcard as I left the room

“I’m sorry I couldn’t deliver my side of the argument

But you were not in

I have left it in a safe place/with a neighbour/the place you told me”

But not the unsanitary option

That you foamed about

 

Making Conversation

You were only making small talk

I’m sorry you think me sour

Please go into the garden

And make yourself a flower

 

 

Bad Day at the Office (Me and my principles)

My employer is a large organisation. It employs a large number of people and that necessarily means they hold a large variety of opinions. We have an internal internet (Intranet for those who don’t know the term) and people contribute all sorts. Mostly improving vignettes about the wonderful nature of my employer.

Today someone posed a question about why our intranet had failed to recognise Holocaust Memorial Day, which was a reasonable question given that every other day of significance has been marked. And then someone else replied. And it was a reply that belongs on that part of the intranet that we all recognise. It’s where the stupid, lazy and ignorant wallows. This person said that Holocaust Memorial Day was a “hand wringing waste of time” and that it was “so long ago we should all just move on.”

I did what any reasonable person would do. I reported it immediately as offensive. And waited for it to be removed whilst working. After an hour and half had passed, all the time this vile nonsense sat there, wrongly suggesting that it’s presence indicated endorsement, I felt compelled to say something. I replied.

It’s really quite simple. The reason we have a Holocaust Memorial Day is because of people like you. It is not the monsters we need to focus on, it is the functionaries prepared to simply shrug their shoulders. Your words are an affront to basic human decency

I’d paraphrased a quote by Primo Levi the author, chemist and Auschwitz survivor.

Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.

What truly grieves me is that as I left work his comments remained in place. Along with some equivocal nonsense from someone else about how the thread “might cause offense”. Too late for that. I was offended. Offended by the fatuous idiot who felt a need to simply gain say, offended by his choice of words, offended by my employer’s moral cowardice in failing to act. There is no moral equivalence here. There is no ‘opinion’ for me to respect. There are times, very very few in number where there is right and wrong. Where if you do not take a stand, you are morally compromised. This was one of those.

Now this is my journal. My open diary. So tonight I’m sat here wondering whether I can continue working for such a craven, incompetent organization. I am ready to resign. I need someone to talk to. And my tragedy is that I have no-one except this journal. If I resign summarily tomorrow I have little time to find a new job. I can manage a couple of months of bills on what I have. The pressure would be energizing.  Or would it be foolhardy ? Can I make a difference by staying and continuing to be the nagging conscience ? I don’t know. I do know I don’t want to be morally compromised by not doing something just because it might prove difficult. The victims of genocide do not have that luxury. But my ‘stand’ would be unknown. Would I just be acting for the sake of it ? Vanity ? I don’t know.  So I have a long night of prayer and meditation ahead.

May the light of love shine on you and within in.