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Speechlessly

SPEECHLESSLY

What about married people? – I beg to know.
My hands have withered and I am grey.
Hear what I have done – I have refused to sing.

There is more to music than sound;
More to dancing than movement.
What do these walls mean?

Why should we break them down?
Shadows, dust, caution – or freedom.
No longer an enemy,

I no longer squirm and punch
At that part of me I call the Watcher,
Having discovered that she is the Light.

I will grab your waist and shout in your face,
And then you will know me.
I will push you through desiring –

Food, sleep, people, gods –
Right to the deeps of despair.
Only then will you learn not to need them.

The wind brings me leaves;
I bring a lemon
To place before this tree.

How Things Began

HOW THINGS BEGAN

Evolution an arid nonsense cloned incessantly,
its gaping cracks unquestioned, papered over.
Creation a tribal fantasy regurgitated blindly.

Fact is we know not whence this place, nor how,
nor our boney selves, strutting self-importantly,
butchering the heretic, the infidel. Inane, insane,

scrabbling for debating points or duels to the death.
Time best spent smiling in a cloud of unknowing,
for truth be told we know nothing beyond fancies.

The Milkwhite Magic


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THE MILKWHITE MAGIC

The rolling mist obscured the shards of glass
Barefoot they tiptoed toward each other
Drawn on by cries of pain

In the right hand
Each held one half
Of a passport to the sun

The Projectionists

THE PROJECTIONISTS

Unendingly we puzzle and wrestle
To make some kind of a sense of
This motley old world of ours

This mad higgledy-piggledy mishmash
Of ecstasy and misery, joy and pain
On-off light and dark, good and evil

Why oh why oh why, we wonder
Does whoever created such beauty
Permit also ugliness, such cruelty?

What stories and parables we devise
Telling of gods and devils locked tight
In pitched battle until we know not when

After some time looking into the case
Internally as well as beyond these eyes
Decided we see projection, in both senses

The dualistic dual played out in the world
Actually takes place within our own minds
No matter why we may find ourselves here

Ours is the awesome power and free will
That is our inheritance and our birthright
And also therefore ours the responsibility

Why I Don’t

WHY I DON’T

Watching or reading what they call the news
Puts the tiny blur of politics
Undeservedly centre stage

And time will pass – or we will pass through time
And old puns lose topicality
Or else be missed entirely

Watching or reading what they call the news
Is a part of popular culture
You might say: “the people’s culture”

And time will pass – or we will pass through time
Though probably only just scrape through
As revision’s out of fashion

In a culture – if you can call it that
That treats today as an ashtray, poor
Yesterday like a soiled tissue

That yesterday in which at last my dad
Was released from the war and came home
As hopeful as the Welfare State

And read the Mirror because he believed
It spoke for and to the working man
Had values and stood for something

These days my mother reads the dreary Mail
The Mirror – shameless, lobotomised
Laps at the gutter with the Sun

And who now recalls the year the party
Saw their vote for disarmament squashed
By their own elected leaders?

The rule of democracy – after all
Being useful only just as long
As people vote the way you want

Once in power you can do as you like
I couldn’t accept that even then
And come to think of it still can’t

But the world of politics – after all
Is one of those areas in which
Any fool can point out what’s wrong

And you’re a fool of a whole other kind
To think you can even imagine
Still less define what might be right

Yet there are times when I know there’s something
That can be embodied in our lives
And can inform the way we act

‘Cos politics is our use of power
In accord with the values we hold
And doesn’t require that we vote

Of what use to man or beast – after all
The options on an all meat menu
To a strict vegetarian?

The world is not to be found in a box
Or between the pages of a rag
It’s before our eyes day by day

Watching or reading what they call the news
Caveat emptor … smoke and mirrors
A weapon of mass distraction
——————————————————————

OK, so this was written in 2005, and also refers to events from the fifties, but – sadly – it has no less relevance in 2011. But the House of Lords’s decision on the NHS “reform” bill brought it to mind.

Beware the use of the word “reform”.

“Socrates said, ‘The misuse of language induces evil in the soul.’ He wasn’t talking about grammar. To misuse language is to use it the way politicians and advertisers do, for profit, without taking responsibility for what the words mean. Language used as a means to get power or make money goes wrong: it lies. Language used as an end in itself, to sing a poem or tell a story, goes right, goes towards the truth.”

Sorry, I couldn’t fathom out who originally penned these sentences. I can only hope (s)he is happy to see them broadcast further.

The Vanity Of Vanity

THE VANITY OF VANITY

Physical manifestation a vestment
A masquerade, a temporary vehicle
For the soul in transit, eternal student

Maintaining its maintenance
You sense makes some kind of sense
Adornment for its own sake a step too far

Acceptable whichever gender type
You currently are aping, you bonobo
No escape though from playing the actor

While still surreptitiously at work
At quietly improving your character
Behind the wannabes grabbing at your mic

What matter this external glister?
The companion and partner you seek
Resonates, responds to inner beauty

Not to any outward appearance
Those who go hunting otherwise
In truth not the one you truly seek

True Beauty

TRUE BEAUTY

‘Tis said that beauty
Lies in the eye
Of the beholder

Yet surely then
The reverse
Is just as true

That a perceived
Lack of beauty
Is literally no more than that

And just as surely
Where true beauty lies
Is in the heart

Cul De Sac

CUL DE SAC (SACK’S ARSE)

Face it
You got lost
You drove into a cul de sac

Time to reverse out
and continue down a new road
that isn’t a dead end

(or at least not until
you’ve done some decent living
first)

Red Light

RED LIGHT

Driving in to work this morning
Up by the traffic lights
There they were

Still in their teens looked like
And between them
Covering both ends of the spectrum

Perfectly staged archetypes
Artfully fashioned
To hit all the right buttons

One with the ample coal black curls
The easy grace, the confident stride
Already marked down, I’m sure

To receive a special mention award
For her outstanding contributions
Come Breast Awareness Week

The other with the straight hair
The slightly dippy look about the eyes
And the face furniture to die for

(Did I mention my thing for glasses?)
Christ, I’m nearly sixty
Will this never end?

I remember years ago
When Pain first moved in with Desire
Until now they’ve become inseparable

They tell me I’m only the landlord
And can’t do a thing about it
Something about an assured tenancy

Told myself it didn’t matter anyway
It’s only a problem if you let yourself get so distracted
You forget the lights and don’t stop in time

~~~~~ ~ ~~~~~

Notes on “Red Light”:-

Someone described this poem as being risky. I liked it enough to take the risk. There seems to be a big taboo around desire (lust) after a person reaches a certain age. It makes people uncomfortable. They push it away by pretending it doesn’t exist, making a joke of it, or deforming it into something distasteful.

The poem suggests that in reality it *does* exist and rather than being funny or distasteful (though it can be either of those too) it can be a source of quiet pain, endured in silence (but with maybe a certain bitterness). Desiring someone you can’t “have” is painful at any age.

There’s A Big Box In My Mind

THERE’S A BIG BOX IN MY MIND

There’s a big box in my mind
marked “Something Else”
and that’s where most things go.

It doesn’t bother me
(I tell myself)
but then I’m basically a very defensive person;

(Just by watching me
you may learn
a thousand defences I’ll never allow you to use.)

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