A violent reaction
Stings my heart
Opens old wounds afresh
The physical start
Like electric therapy
Burning into my soul
Almost out of control
I swallowed hard
Keeping down the panic
Of what I hoped not to recognise
Why give me a violent reaction?
Why, when I don’t touch you at all?
I see your true intentions
Purest form of love and affection
So deep it can’t be stopped
And all I did
Was look at you
before words like ‘few’ or ‘lot’
digits, mass and scale
of just little or myriad
before ‘proper’ names and signs
class or type by being
just always background
before noun’s fearless stance
the single lifestyle
of just somebody or something
the loneliest letter
in the world
Malawi, Southern Africa:
They say it’s one in seven
Stricken, sick and dying
Praying to their heaven
Take away these letters
Wreaking physical pain
Doctors’ struggling hands;
Only one to every hundred thousand
People in this land.
Rwanda, Central Africa:
Two-thirds of teachers slain
Or in exile from the genocide
Their families killed in vain
A refugee crisis rears
Its ugly head once more
And fifty thousand prisoners
Awaiting trial’s door
In overcrowded jails
Donors of lifeblood money
Slowly trickling away
(European Union and USA)
Ethiopia, Eastern Africa:
Years of drought and civil war
Famine pounds its greedy fist
On the heads of countless poor
Children starved and crying
Die before the age of five
Does it matter that it’s not our children
Struggling to survive?
No hygiene or sanitation
Even water avoids this place;
Dreams turn into nightmares
Whole communities erased.
Ghana, Western Africa:
Basic human rights abused
Freedom of speech, religion
Changes to government refused
Malnutrition, disease ridden
Seventy nine percent
Living on less than two dollars a day
Do we notice that being spent?
One-third of the population
Drinking water that’s undrinkable;
This time it’s one child in nine who dies
Before they’re five; unthinkable.
Aged man lingers in the shade of a tree
Low branches just above his head
No ordinary man
White bearded, white capped
Leans on a crooked walking stick
Wearing clothes from another culture
Is he from Bangladesh
Or one of many Arab nations
Is he from Pakistan
Is he seeking some salvation?
I don’t know
His creased face
Is crinkled with years of wisdom
Surely he’s a learned man
He commands respect
By age and how he dresses
In kaftan, snowy cover
I start to wonder
What does he think about
As he stands beneath the tree?
His family, back home or here
Mistakes and triumphs of his children;
Or perhaps he ponders
On the fickle nature of Western life
While his heart holds true meaning;
I think he’s a religious man,
Possibly a mullah
A leader and pillar of wisdom
Revered by his community
Scoffed at by the thugs –
I don’t know –
But I wonder what he’s thinking,
There, under that tree
Who knows, he could be
Just like me.
I can’t see you, but if I could
you would sparkle with innocent stars;
bathing in the spotless light
devoted and sublime tonight.
Cradle in your arms the purest lily
with scent of peace, nectar of wisdom
needed for reconciliation.
In the dawn of an awareness new
your fresh-faced sun appears at my side;
ready when I need support
twinkle-toed with magic thought.
Spreading out your wings so silky loving
with feathers bright, span of creation
needed for retribution.
Amethyst Angel, can you glitter my dreams?
Amethyst Angel – come to me!
An Age-Old Fable
Love had brushed its scarlet wings with breathtaking beauty
Against the cheek of a vulnerable soul; who’s dying embers
Fanned by obsession’s luring sigh, sparked a wondrous journey
Between the new-born seeds of intuition and heart’s fertile soil.
It came in the night; a soft-footed intruder in disguise
How strange, then, Love recognised him without hesitation
Made quick its voyage to reconcile her smile and her eyes
Shivered upon contact; with burning fever, not bittersweet cold.
Now Longing has awoken from its restful hibernation
Squinting at the blinding light of desire it finds upon waking
With renewed vigour after so long in hiding, it sings out to her
Like a new-born child from shadowed abyss into radiant glow.
Tonight she awaits moon’s solitary eclipse; Love begs to stay
Yet Parting readies to stride forward and meet her in the dark
In angel’s tears she tries in vain to swim for Life’s great answer
It eludes and teases – floating away, just out of Comfort’s reach.
Love remained planted with solid roots; wings static and clipped
A defenceless spirit still holds them close against her chest
Fire smoking and rekindled by Memory’s sweet warm breeze
Her smile kept alive in moments of Imagination’s choosing.
And put my heart on the barbecue
And put my heart on the barbecue;
My soul went hang gliding.
They said what would you like to drink
I said laughter on the rocks
Bad things come to those who think.
Time is a stethoscope
Truth is a stranger on a train
Since love took up kick boxing
Beauty is a mere tattoo;
Saying hello is never easy.
Today my soul went hang gliding
Over unfamiliar terrain
And I know time is a stethoscope
Hearing each hidden beat
With silent refrain
And truth is a stranger on a train
I tell myself over and over
Bad things come to those who think
And his beauty was a mere tattoo
Today I went there for dinner
He said what would you like to drink
I said laughter on the rocks
But bad things come to those who think
He threw me a wink
And put my heart on the barbecue
I’ve been lonely since I heard
Love took up kickboxing
And his beauty was a mere tattoo.
And they walk…
Barefoot in gloppy mud
As rain, angry with the world
Lashes at their huddled bodies
Each stinging drop a knife slash
To their weary skin.
Soaked cotton robes cling to
Bodies pushed to the edge
And they walk…
Almost bent double
Under the heavy load on their backs
(Their shoulders, their minds, their hearts?)
As they carry everything they own
Bundled into burdens
Burdened by bare essentials.
No home to return to;
Nowhere to go,
Scared and confused, lost and alone.
And they walk…
And they walk…
What the hell are you doing?
How dare you push in
Through my front door
Demanding what you
Selfishly came for
I told you no
But that wasn’t enough
You still turned up
To test me, I expect
Well guess what?
You just showed
A flash of true colour
And it was so ugly I winced.
Stay away from me
For a long while, if you want to
Stay so pretty.
The friendship just went down a notch.
What a pity
You waste of space, space invader
When I see you next you’ll regret your error
I can’t be calm while you’re so – wrong!
Too little too late
The friendship’s gone
This is not gorilla dust: it’s another monster,
a diseased addiction for sandbox flies,
their strategy papers flecked with spots of oil.
They call it salvage; a clever word
with more than one meaning,
like sanction: Orwell was right.
Their dead become angels, while eye-wreck
fatalities float inside a goldfish bowl.
Even the aircraft rat race; suck the desert dry
drunk with victory’s liquor.
A new shooter bolts from his lily-padded stall,
with half-past-six eyes and a thirst
for murder, and I,
I am cat faced, watching golden fins with
deep despair: a bootleg voice that no-one
wants to hear. I do not catch
the red meat they throw, gorged by lions;
covering snakebite in sugared lies.
Media circus, piping hogwash through
television screens, to a nation hooked
on white knowledge, but I hear the screams.
Will you cross the blood soaked carpet?
Does it matter anyway?
For, in truth, we too are guilty,
riding the iron of emotion
through electronic Judas windows
in gold encrusted cages.
Desert dog, young dog
Royal child, son of
The king of the dead
How heavy is mine?
I feel black
Even darker than you.
Take me to the underworld
Be my guide dog
For I am blinded by the dark.
Can you balance my mind?
Will you stay upon your mountain
Lord of the holy land?
Tomb ruler, do you understand?
(I do not know my parents either.)
Can I meet you in Kynopolis
Or in Memphis?
I never meant this
Just wanted you to bring me
The moon. I wanted too much
Watch me with Egyptian eyes,
Guard me with orange sunrise
And tell me:
How heavy is my heart?
Washed up on the shoreline
Even the sun accuses me
With its blinding glare
An unseen drummer
Pounding torment in my head
Mouth arid, parched
Like the rainless Sahara
Stomach groans, teeth aching to bite
Longing for food and water
What will happen to me now?
I lost my wife and daughter
On the journey.
Broken free from the trailer
Escape from the raging driver
Who brandishes his hate
With lead piping
That shattered bone in my arm
On some kind of motorway
Body crying, hands begging to hold
Desperate for love and comfort
Don’t think I can carry on
Cannot make the effort
I fall to my knees.
Picked up by blazing blue light
Thrust into a lonely cell
Beg for an interpreter
To explain why
But my words are only heard
By callous bars
Who proudly prevent my exit
Eyes swollen, throat choking on air
Pleading to God for mercy
Don’t send me back, start screaming
I’ve caused controversy
They stare at me.
Inside a hostel now
That’s how my being survives
Questioned by the Home Office
Not enough evidence found
By man in suit
Who stamped my papers ‘REFUSED’
Brain unbalanced, soul without hope
I am becoming weaker
Land of the free detests
Autumn crocus dusts the earth
Like fine lavender talc
Meadow saffron, some would say.
For sweet cider dreams
Laid on a table of golden leaves.
Red elm hearts on branches
Flutter to the sleepy soil
Now and then tangled
In dancing knots of tumbleweed.
The harvest has begun
Child of soft Indian summer
The trees ablaze with fiery kisses
Some spilling chestnut tears.
Swirls of mountain maple
Sing in fields of russet mist
And I pray for a monsoon
Want to bite the cherry of the full moon.
The day ahead looms
Like an overbearing headmistress
Towering above, ready to pick up
All mistakes and bad behaviour.
I can’t be bothered
To go anywhere, do anything
Just want to sit and hold myself
Comfort the long lost infant
Who cries in the beating heart.
Where to start,
I’m afraid, I don’t have the answers.
So if you’re here again for advice
Look the other way
I’m having a bad day.
Her adoration vanquished time
Osiris, sovereign to her soul
Their devotion was sublime
A love that no-one could control;
Their two halves making up a whole
But Set, that bitter enemy
Destruction was his only goal
She tried to save him, set him free
Blowing buttercups with balmy air
Heated breath, loving sunbeams
She is Goddess of light
Lover of colourful moments:
She squeezed trickles of sunshine
From her bathroom sponge
Seeing other worlds in open spaces
Fragile spheres, rainbow glances
She is Princess of dreams
Maker of honest romances:
She saw bubbles of promise
In the twinkling foam
Watching candlelight with misty eyes
I know what you will do
Inside clothes and touch outside will you
And red underwear you want to see
I hope one day I can believe
Enough to give this to you
Will you slowly push the straps away
Over my shoulders, will you say
I’ve waited for this for all these years
And reach around to undo…
All my fears
And with your teeth will you find
Your passion unbound and undefined
And strip me of my inhibitions
Release me from these shy conditions
Of real desire
And can you sip the nectar from my lips
And kiss my skin so I am on fire
Place your tongue upon my flesh and make me burn
For your caress
Unleash this volcano of which you have spoken
Give all of your love to me unbroken
Explode and let the flames unleash the heat
For you complete…
When I get up on the wrong side of bed
The left side, which is never right,
And rub sleep from my heavy eyes
Then remember: you’re not here
The world feels like a heavy burden
Laden upon my drooping shoulders.
Is it getting colder?
The sun seems aggressive;
Always taunting me with a burning question:
Why are you still here?
My only response:
There isn’t much more left to fear.
My lipstick feels like Pritstick
Well, they want me to keep my mouth shut.
I wear a different kind of eye shadow
And a shaky foundation.
The polluted air upsets my lungs
Internally I am always crying
And I find nothing satisfying.
If only, one day…
I could get up on the right side of bed
The right side, which is always right,
And smile sleep from my morning face
Then see you near: you’re always here
The world feels like a ripe tomato
I can’t wait to bite into its flesh
Everything’s so fresh
The sun appears serene;
Always warming me with affection:
How am I so lucky?
My only response:
There is much more joy to come.
How different life would be,
If I slept on your side of the bed.
Bedouin alone prays to a canopy of stars
Solitude translates his secret whispers to the sky
Shelter from sandstorm that breathes a newborn sigh
Desert air for now is still, but feel the blizzard warm
Tempest hands upon a fire, fanned by magic’s flame
While a red-licked moon understands this nomad’s heart.
Only his robes conceal the spirit, locked deep in heart
Nestled in soul, crying a sweet ballad to the stars
Flickering glow by candlelight, face lit up by flame
Vast expanse of desert stares into a winking sky
That drinks his teary words, with a thirst for feelings warm
The planets circle around him with a chorused sigh.
Shifting sands surround him as he sings an Eastern sigh
No wind can rustle his resolve, his life-healing heart
With focussed conviction he touches ground, heated warm
By the rays of his passion and his kisses of stars
In his arms he cradles a child born from velvet sky
He awakens the night with his poetic-fuelled flame.
Camel asleep beside him, dreams fantasies by flame
Fluttering long lashes with an enervated sigh
Bedouin is his only friend, beneath sacred sky
What will become of this wanderer’s innocent heart?
You will find the answers written in the ancient stars
Where guardians of time keep embers of love warm.
Calmness cloaks him with a tender touch, he bathes in warm
Caresses of the sand dunes like a soft lapping flame
Troubled scenes forgotten, in silent movie he stars
Lone protagonist bows to an unseen godly sigh
Black as night his eyes of love, blood red his beating heart
As he joins in unison with echoes of the sky.
Making love with clouds sends him soaring to the sky
Dancing with the fireflies keeps his weary spirit warm
Rejoicing with the heavens brings solace to his heart
Living without lovers means that midnight is his flame
He languishes in freedom with the wind his only sigh
Worships in the wilderness, his thoughts play with the stars.
Great peace resides within this man, a true explorer
Who travels the sands under the sky, warm heart journeying
Inside the stillness, lonesome love – breathing flame sigh stars.
This unworthy body
A forgotten song
The door of madness
Where you belong
This wholesome heart
A world of truth
Where dreamers lie
To hear the proof
This unworthy body
A forgotten song
Your soul to healing
Where you belong…
Shining One; Snofru
Cracked his golden whip
His bare-backed slaves, moist
Brown skin gleaming in the early light
Laid stones like they were diamonds; this
Precious silhouette of Dashur, cradled like a child
In Egypt’s dusty embrace; forgotten, never buried here
So you marked me down
in your little black book
With CAPITAL LETTERS.
I want to slash
your plastic red tape;
I’ll mind my P’s and Q’s
if you’ll mind your manners.
You could have been a soldier,
‘cause you love to get tanked,
bombed every night.
Yet you say you’re a carer.
Give me a break,
we dust in different ways;
you scatter, I lift.
While I was recovering,
you did some of your own;
collecting glass shards
with thick-padded fingers.
You want me to resign?
I agree with pleasure:
I’m resigned to staying.
“See you soon”?
Sitting, blades of green cutting skin
Through fabric too fickle for protection
Thirsty for reason, spattered in doubt
One way or another, wanting to drown
Who will save us this time, tell me now
Smiling, blades of cream cutting tension
Through air that is prickled with intention
Beating a rhythm, sprinkled in fire
One way or another, wanting to dance
Walking the tightrope between fate and chance
Taking, blades of black and of white
Through sweetness too fleeting to mention
Chewing a memory, sprinkled with
Cursing the feelings I made.
Out of touch.
Jumping through hoops far too much.
Living on the very edge
Of an envelope. Too much scope,
For buttered truth and buried lies.
Can’t be disguised,
Don’t touch me with dishonest hands,
Keep your bias, keep your plans.
Wanting honour, laughing loud.
Sometimes I think I’m much too proud.
Seeping weapons, crawling thoughts
My mind ignores what it’s been taught.
Bring me trouble, cause me pain
Until I feel at home again.
I am blindsided
Caught up in too many thoughts
Oversensitive and in too much pain
I will not gain
From things I ought
I find myself in nature’s arms
And no alarms
To wake me from my deepest dreams
What it seems.
I am introverted
And yet I find I’m writing more
Overcritical and moved too much
I cannot touch
The things I adore
How can I find
The truth within me
Black and white?
No need to fight
Find what I am here for
And take a step
Towards the edge
Of the passion in my core.
The contrast unmistakeable – it has to be
The fuzzy orange of a glow of history
In front of my eyes – no great surprise
Just contrast of temple light against the sky
Stars of Orion shine and speak of
Mysteries so hidden, deep inside where no-one knows
In front of my eyes – I wish a sunrise
Just contrasting pinks and amber glow – for me
Velvet is the sky tonight – it’s always been
A fascination for us all, a wonder of time
In front of my eyes – I dream lullabies
Just contrast of dusk and dawn – I sigh
Pinkpricks of silver against the cushion
Of darkest beauty in an unknown realm
In front of my eyes – I sense an unbounded love
Just contrast this with details of my life
I look up in the never-ending freedom
And I feel the openness of it all
In front of my eyes – I crave the truth
Just contrast with everyday denials
I love, I feel, I sense, I am
Wholly this night is who I am
Blue velvet is my bedroom vison
Blue velvet is my only decision
In the corner of an alley, dipped in dark
The store lays latent like a watermark
And only those with heart will see its light
That flickers in the first draft of the night
If you walk a little closer, you could look
Through peeling windows at a world of books
As one old man, collector of all words
Rakes the leaves of narrative and verse
As the twilight strokes its night ink on the sky
The old man gets a twinkle in his eye
He creaks his way out of the rocking chair
Towards a shelf of books in disrepair
He reaches for a volume, bound in red
With leather cracked and stained as if it bled
Its ribbon worn and tattered through the years
And pages damp with other people’s tears
Now he opens it with caution, like a child
Who’s expecting something wonderful and wild
And slowly he sinks down upon the floor
With a look inside his eyes not there before
He’s known about this moment, all his life
The day of dying coupled with the light
They say that when you read it you will see
The answer to a life-long mystery
When you’re ready for departure from this world
You’ll learn much from the old man who is curled
With tears of joy and laughter in his eyes
Upon the book shop carpet where he died
If you’re curious to know just what he read
Then stroll along the book store in your head
And think about what you would like to see
In the story of your future history
Bridge of Sighs
I stand upon this structure, looking at the sky
Only moving upwards now is the choice I made
And what a good decision, only thing is I
Can sometimes hear beneath my feet a sound so quiet
But it’s still there, then more
On the Bridge of Sighs