29/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting #beehive #bradford beehivepoets digest compilation

Don't mind me...

 I'm just putting some poems together for my trip to the Beehive tonight....

....

 the education of norma

she's too brass tacks banged into the head
but there's something else
seen over coffee
a stifled creative thrust
which if allowed to fly free
would shatter the basis of everything

you see it peel the curtain aside
in stories of school mistresses
redolent with tapioca topped with jam
and cold backsides
in coal-tarred outhouses

she just wants to be heard
wants that fire
   instilled in her daughters
to somehow reflect upon herself

but she's too brass tacks

....

 then

just before we parted
in the space between the final word

just before a blackbird sang

evening rose with a sour milk moon
the countryside beyond
stood but a single broad bounded step

just before that final word

in that time
when our as yet unremembered day
trailed out to the low grassland


a shrouded whiteness fell
as cobwebs on happiness
threaded by the hope of love

that final word that breaks the glass
from which none can go back

and in which there is only parting

...

 joy division

fuck I used t'....

well fuck isn't the right word
for the fifteen wanks I could get through

potentially fuck is better
imaginatively fuck is more precise
though actually fuck doesn't come into it
                              when you are thirteen
                                              and wanking

                                            it's more a case
of seeing if you can hit the wall above the headboard
                                  and after six or seven
                                     seeing if your balls have anything left

but when all of that is out of the way
you would scan the transistor


we were more open in those days
                                      before t'internet
you might find yourself drifting off to sleep
                                             with radio berlin
                                                      or moscow
                               or some whacky dutch dj

and it wasn't until the signal changed
or the announcer started talking
that you realized you were a cold-war traitor
                                                                     a degenerate
a self radicalized lover of bavarian oompah music

....

dogma of the holocaust

and as I speak I feel the guilt
not for what I have to say
but for stating it in this way
that contradicts all gone before
to place the human within war
with all it's grimy soil and silt
lapsed greatness of the will
idealised in the urge to kill
and purify some ancient myth
of faux science merged with
liberal ideals of the perfect man
the polite state in which we can

discuss the higher things
on which our spirit on gilded wings
soars above the banal of wit
the kitsch reality of our shit

...

 sonnet of the separated dad

you knew I was taking charlie fishing
so it's your fault I spent the night drinking
- sixteen lagers since you ask -
not that you care for me or the kids
I could drink myself to death for all you care
- the way you treat them is a farce -
call yourself a mother - we'd be better off rid
of you - god knows how I let you snare
me - oh don't worry charlie we just talking -
go play with your sister - that's my lad -
that boys a bag of nerves - that's your doing -
he needs a man's touch -you've made him soft -
you never were much use - too bad
you took it out on them - right I'll be off

...

 you have to be fair

you forget - in those stories in which you were the hero -
how much of childhood is spent following and not leading -
how often it was you standing by the drinking fountain
watching others run laughing - in a time out

or the wasted time spent trying to be friends
with your friends - and the compromises -
that as an adult are unacceptable - because -
well just because you've got better things to do

than worry about the opinions of people who don't matter -
and you want to say - because it's the reality -
it doesn't matter - you did 127 sums on friday
and nobody has ever done more - and I'm so proud of you

but you see the sadness - and try and cuddle it out -
and remember those times when socially awkward
you ran in the perfect direction that would win the game
but tasted the unfairness of those who would not be tigged

...

the beehive poets meet at the new beehive inn on westgate - at 8pm form an 8.30 start

all welcome

peace:)

The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting rational murder

rational murder

the flat language of retort flows fast and loose
for want of thought the bucket fills
and from it spills the ignorance of bliss

oh to kiss and make up on the forum of discus
when disgusted by the views scrolling
and rolling and snapped in judgement

we exchange links unread to prove stark points
in the null zone of debate

for hate outweighs the commonality of love

when challenged


The Blue Book

25/06/2015

#shortstory #amwriting dispatches



dispatches

The bottle of Coke went flat sometime around eleven.  Now it sits on the window ledge behind the mesh screen, a summer fattened bluebottle climbing down the neck to drink. The harsh late afternoon sun sears the glass.

“Mrs Deadman, Mrs Deadman… listen ma’am…. I really cannot be of assistance in this matter.” The burned out cigarette stains Riley’s fingers, the heat of the receding tip, catching his index finger, jolts him to cast the still smouldering Lucky into the ash-tray; as on the other end of the telephone the voice persists to press her case. “I do not have the jurisdiction ma’am.” Riley takes another cigarette from the packet. “Mrs Deadman please, you have to hear me out. I do not have the legal powers to act in this matter.” The match flares sulphurous. “And I agree,” Riley states, emphatically. He pauses, to light the cigarette, before adding, “I have an appointment with your husband at eight. And I will explore the options with him. Mrs Deadman, rest assured you have my sympathy.”

The office is small, dominated by a large desk, and a newspaper picture of Martin Luther King attending a communist training camp. This picture catches Riley’s eye as he prepares to leave. 
“Bastard,” he says with venom.

The business of the day had not subsided. A line of negroes snakes out of the courthouse door. Cars with out-of-state plates warily process up and down Main street, the inhabitants viewed with suspicion by the local people. This suspicion is returned in full. 

The chair is taken in the barbershop. A thin man with unkempt appearance, whose hair despite the best efforts of George refuses to play ball. At first Riley doesn’t pay attention, but as he turns the pages of the magazine he catches sight of the man’s reflection in the mirror. There is something familiar about him. 

“No, I’m just saying,” says the man, in reply to George’s question, “he said if I want to get a job at the hospital I have to be a resident. And then I get here and they say it don’t matter. And I can’t register anyway.”
“But you already said you got a job.”
“Oh I got a job.”
“Then why do you want to work at the hospital. You know they’re crazy right?”
The man laughs. A fulsome laugh; like there is something wrong with the question, “you have no idea how crazy this world is. Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d say they was sending me here for an alibi.”

“Why would you need an alibi?” interrupted Riley, still trying to place where he had seen this man before.
The man in the mirror stares straight at Riley: his eyes bright with mirth, “don’t worry officer, I’ll be gone by sunset, I have friends coming to pick me up.”
“Why would you need an alibi?” Riley asks again.
The man adopts a more serious tone now; his grey blue eyes weighing Riley in a balance that displays an acute understanding. “Excuse my manner of speech,” he says, “I was being friendly.”

The body lay half exposed; one of the legs chewed by rats from the nearby creek. The burial had been rushed. Riley saw at once the marks on the ankle of the good leg; the unmistakable mark of manacles. He knew at once the man would be declared one of the escapees.

As the night closed in they fetched lamps and without much care or ceremony they dug the naked body out. In that glow the shock of the tumours was heightened. Three or four huge growths bulged from the man’s neck, stretching his black skin to a pale redness. The doctor crept forward to examine the body for signs of violence.

A small flask of whiskey was produced and they all took a sip.

“Does he have any paperwork?” asked Riley
“Only if it’s up his ass,” commented Sam, tugging at the leash of his hound, to bid it be still.
“Well I ain’t looking.”

News of the body spread fast. And by morning it was the talk of the town. Journalists who had come in to cover the registrations seemed to have forgotten that story; if only for a moment. Because there was no news, the man had escaped from prison with two others and they had killed him and hidden the body. Riley repeated the story so often that even he believed it. But of course he didn’t believe it. And of course no one mentioned the tumours, since that would have proved the lie.

No, Lincoln Lynch was a violent thief and he had got what was coming.

“Mr Deadman,” declared Riley, clearing his lunch from the desk.
“Carry on eating Riley,” said Mr Deadman, closing the door. “I have a gift for you, from my wife.” Mr Deadman placed the stone jar on the desk and pulled the chair from the corner. He sat down and smoothed his white cotton trousers. “I need to speak to you about these registrations.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t make the meeting.”
“Of course, I understand.” Said Deadman. “But time is of the essence and we need you to help us.”

Riley stood at the window watching Deadman get into his Cadillac. He looked down at the Coke bottle: at the bluebottle floating dead, without the slightest hint of struggle. 

And he drank it; insect and all.


The Blue Book

23/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 12

canto 12

night falls silent
or half stilled from that refrain
of cars and crush
the humming electric wire
the duller billboard of desire

but now it is too dark
amid the glow of the orange bark
to fully see my majesty
mere mortal pictures fail
to record this divine expression
desperate for grace and favour
barely shown
and never seen
as faceless now as in life

captured in the crowd on film
a visage hidden
that never rioted
of sliced a land lady with a knife
I might rattle my chains
to cry aloud in despair
but for all my want of formless frame
to escape your frightened stare

I linger here more unseen
than when keen to clamber for recogition
however slight
at best I'm a weird inconvenience
at worst I am forgotten true
for want of brass admiration
within one week
I'm the problem for those whose reality
is built on the elixir of eldorado


The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 11

canto 11

below the decked black clouds
the upper reaching moor shines emerald now
lit by the slashing sun
between the rain soaked rungs
of the ladder bent above
without rainbow or climbing feet

the raw bouldered hanging cliff
yellow in the evening state
stripped to demerara soft
to mock their hardness and their weight

as all melt away at night
to their beds again they go
but those of us unsure tarry
stuck between our choice
of forward into bliss
of fake delay for hope to kiss
those we made
and those we love
for whom we wait above all others
we hang limp in willow wishes
for livid life taunts and sneers

back becomes
but back and how
in this place meaningless
a dimension all encompassed
all at once
and not at all
where should I wish to be a raven
I might just as easy be its call
resonate across the valley
until my legs in tiredness cease
or be breathed into a sheep
or tugged within an oaken trunk
dragged between the roots and heaven
to be blown without regard
for that craw from which I flew

and yet to see the grazing sheep
who like me are limbo laden
between the field and the gate
that opens for death

and when we slip beyond that door
where everything commends us
only memory remains
sweet as roasted lamb
for what we have become
now we lay beyond 'I am'

it is this realm of one for the road
when halfway through the glass
we think of home
and that fancy gossip we will impart
until we drink our draft
and all the night blurs slow
as we swell large our clever brightness
loud we crow
and small we love
against our belted passing time

then home we go
all thoughts clean wiped
cold shouldered for our fool talk
squeezed dry as sand in an eye
without a cup or trophy


The Blue Book

20/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwritng the education of norma

the education of norma

she's too brass tacks banged into the head
but there's something else
seen over coffee
a stifled creative thrust
which if allowed to fly free
would shatter the basis of everything

you see it peel the curtain aside
in stories of school mistresses
redolent with tapioca topped with jam
and cold backsides
in coal-tarred outhouses

she just wants to be heard
wants that fire
   instilled in her daughters
to somehow reflect upon herself

but she's too brass tacks

The Blue Book

19/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 10

canto 10

I linger in that mortal realm
display odd tricks
like moving things
caught peripheral in the dawn
or partly heard words and thoughts

so dissatisfied
so unfulfilled
so like that part of me
which lingered at the back of rooms
frightened by party chatter
gauche and gloomy
inept at what I thought was right
and why I chose to die
to escape those petty deaths

I go once more to the happy places
feel once more the pleasant smells
taste once more those views
that caught my breath
made me growth so large
I was the universe in that place
rooted to the earth and sky

absurd now
this ghost of myself
seeking the ghost of the ghost
of a ghast of a moment
forever trapped and never changing
all the while I feel the draining
of my tortured soul on brink of heaven

just let go
and rise
and trust
to remembered

this moorland hill cares not
to whom it lifts it's skirts in splendour
and this ever changing beach
seen again in blue skied summer
oyster-catcher's strutting to dip at the tide
not seeing the shadows of the headland
or bothered by the time
none of this cares for me
trapped within repeating film
for that day I hold special
when bubbled joy ascended
in humanity

just let go
and rise
and trust
to be saved
from that fear of success
that gnaws at you in prison cell

The Blue Book

17/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 9

canto 9

as the rat chews my brain
my spirit rises to the light
streaming through the window barred
hovering high upon the wall
and I rise
rise in split souled curiosity
for though I know the simple truth
of my wished for torment
feeding rodents teeth

as lithe as water round reads
I rise
I leave the flesh of my soul
to be devoured with no regard
while my true self lifts to that window
gazes through the bars
to the meadow
and the trees
and the three sunned sky
but there I do not stop
for I fly

slip from my cell
and soar on easy beaten wings

there
there I see the town
it's white houses among trees
the river ambling carstone tinted
beneath the scutted sky
the sheep of the fielded
the scurrying people
and the afternoon idlers sipping coffee
the trout basking in the shade of the bank
and spot the ladybird
perpetually flying to an orphaned home

and there are my children
and there is my wife
at the unsettled grave
with posies of flowers
on their face they show the scar
of my confused departure

don't they know the joy
of which I have been
or understand the pain of which I suffer
and can they knot

I stop myself

for the pleasures of the self-obsessed pain
or the thrill of reunion
though fulsome in their comfort
do not stand in equal merit
to that true pleasure they possess
with each new breath
and each expelling
the wheeling seasons
or the sun warmed back

for they have that narrow path
from which slipped I
to a broader realm
and though I love each one to bursting
my place is not enticement

my candle gutters
weakened
and my phantom form
left within that cell
to the welcomed assault I bid come blithely

and I understand
why now
despite false pride
I come to watch divided

for the answer to my question is 'yes'
dead I am

it is no joke
and had I only held harder to the rope
I would not be in that hole
but whole
and one
with those I love

The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 8

canto 8

locked in a room
hearing lives roll around
in braying cries
the lacking pound of doom

head in hands
the dreams revisit
this time more honest
of my faults

in each offered passage
between the life evolved
in the shadows and the diverts
a pearl bearing clam
prized open now
by prison dirty fingers

now that name I spat with ire
sticking to me disgrace drooling
of all superiority inversed

now each unkindness shrinks me small
and bent of back
with plucked eyen
until in blindness
I call out in pleading fright
to touch another however briefly
share a smile in casual exchange
to repair the hurt
of friendship strained

now the flies extinguished
buzz malicious
surrounding round my fractured spirit
I carry heavier than tired feet

forgiveness is the sweetest fruit
but one more choked
than tasted

yet for all the desire to escape this room
I cannot accept humility


The Blue Book

16/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 7

canto 7

'wake up'
a rat faced man
with open sores and bleeding gums
looms above me
in panic I stare at the yellowing stones
of the jaundiced cell
'liberal' he barks
in reply I meekly shake my head
all the normal caveats escape me
for now is not the place to wallow in the subtle
by the stench of the breath
I am guessing the rot in his gum
is the cause of the blood
alone and foresaken
one should not trust to chance

in the exchange of snap decisions
that pass for definition
of the entirety of the human condition
we pass
into the revealed fate

or so I fear
when in response to the questionairre
I paint a less guilty self
into a sugared corner

the rat faced man
of shrivelled wings
cares not
for I am but a number
of boxes ticked
that on a whim
he might tick to tease
or condemn

'usurer' he asks at last
probed and prodded
all my sins
nods he leaves me
to the dark drip
and the muffled screaming of souls
along the corridor
who repent and wail
in fear for what awaits

but I
refuse to lose all hope
wrapped in failing courage languished
the ant on which I stamped
and took delight
does not compare to the fists never thrown
or the knife sheathed and never dagged
nor the spit that stayed in my mouth
and whenever asked advice
I always spurned the pandered truth

as I run through these justifications
thinking the thoughts stay within my head
I feel the mocking taunt
of echo
in the tumult

for all that can make release
is a keening lamenting shriek
enjoined with the mulititude
clutching the pride of sin
tightly in the spirit's fist


The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 6

canto 6

night falls with a clap of hands
fresh bathed in new silk sheets
scented with jasmine
and the effulgence of parched earth wetted

in the mauve darkened sky
silver stars diamond white
perfom symphonious lullabies
gentle as spring's first breath
opening the blossom

curled in sleep undreaming
there I see my life
replete with soundtrack of myself
in dialogue with action

not in the dock
but at the bar
a roll of things left undone
or moments when I might have done
but did not cat for want of change
they come not now in accusation
chiding still
but not in spite
for here where time has no meaning
one cannot set the past to right

I say not in pride
of admiration
for what was done
was done for good
these choices
now shown in aspic
are minor
they are forks in the road
events missed
in the general narrative
alternatives at best
justice is that is the process
held within the vision seen
and I shall not condemn myself
for sake of fifteen minutes
when
I lingered for a coffee
instead of hastening for the train

no stop

for perfection

stop to consider
if this is what I ought to do
gentle reader would you
would you pick at the offered threads
of misdemenours long forgotten
that child you called a name
the door you allowed to close
when it was just as a easy
to stay to keep it open
and that is before we reach the lovers
whose roses you crushed
and letter you ripped
or the plastic genius
over whose prose you skipped

yes no one is perfect
and those who have had therapy
know only to well
the purpose of this cinema spiritual
with no corporeal regard
what punishment can there be
for I too well acknowledge
the brightest of the suns
not in pity I expect
whole in mercy I respect
and this night summoned by my wish to rest 
is in itself perfection sweet
for me to be outcast


The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 5

canto 5

in that dance of generations
I see myself re-fleshed through the ages
as each before and them that follow
show similar in ridge and brow

and from them I can see
our history ringed as in a tree
spreading and contracting stories
specific to each time and place
each time
wound and awound around a thread of hope
passed along the line

yet some do not make human change
as widened range of life emerges
dogs and raptors
birds and flees
each a dormant kin to me

for now that glade crammed space
packed in tight
too tight to dance
as each thing that ever lived
or shared an atom
crams and crushes in shaken greeting
there imortal
in memorial

The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 4

canto 4

at last we reach a stand of trees
the air within is warm and free
bees flit round the honeysuckle

we sit upon a log of elm
when a second revelation comes
for suddenly I realise
that my daughter is a woman
and been since we met
and I have become a timeless foil
for in this realm she is my guide
not the baby born to death
on which my guilt full fat has fed
it is this gift a parent needs
to see their flesh full grown

then the flying working bees
transform in flashes before me
into the relatives that I love
to stand before me in a row

there is my gran smiling sweet
my father happy
as when on a saturday
drinking whiskey at the bar
beside him his stern father
and my nan
as bees convert to uncles and aunts
and all hold out
plates of food

the music of that place
changes to a banquet tune
the log upon which we rest
grows legs and chairs
and table shape

as we dance and laugh and sing
beyond the trees falls the night
and we within that fey glade
revel in our company

but reeling round and through the leaves
I notice briefly a view
more sterile than this place of cheer
of the world I left behind
it scuttle shifts
and tugs me back

now I question 'am I dead'

this death is not as I imagined
it more resembles those visions
that as a child I constructed
to reconcile those fears and dreads
of being mattered
in optimism

for this mirth
this taste if happy hours
beneath branching verdant bowers
full contradicts in delight
that black death darkness
told to us

for here is joy
without regret
in which we spirits prance
unapologetic rite
our souls entwine in caress
as when in life in idle glance
when fed on love
acknowledged
embrace the pride that swells
of sharing that divine gift

'divine divine divine' sigh I
and look up to the gorgeous sky
threefold of sun
I wish for rain
to wash my soul in ecstasy 


The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 3

canto 3

we walk together through the fields
hand in hand touching souls
our eyes aglow like falling rain
when moonlight seeps through the clouds
droplets illuminate the flowers

it is then I note
the brightest day
three sons ablaze
in cloudless sky

one shines brighter than the rest
serene the fire and so blue
and one so faint not for the eye
it's light shines from deep within
the third a comet in aspect
a bearding tail hanging down
it's stands upon the stranded prop
around it
the two rotate
and mesh and weave full shine together
changing colours as they go

for here again the melody
flowing forth like rivers crashing
when toward in estuaries
churning out in eddying circle
forward round then back to sykes
that form in moment
break to becking brooks and streams
ripple up to inlet tide
refract
retract
to barely themes
of mass and motion
keeping time
for wind turned cocks to hold direction
sublime in time of rhyming chimes

and always at the horizon edge
stand powder trees of dusting green
swaying gently with the stillness
of those meadows in which we pass

we walk
with talk flowing through our fingers
experience held
and then let go
draining from us anxious secrets
that only we as akin may know

do not ask
my gentle reader
what was said as we stroll
for the visions in that higher plain
are meant
for my sense alone


The Blue Book

15/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting #beehive #bradford beehivepoets digest compilation

Don't mind me...

 I'm just putting some poems together for my trip to the Beehive tonight....

...

prologue

 I know this place
I know those flowers and these fields
and the stinging whip of goose grass
on naked legs

I know this sky
so clear and boundless
or so it seems
skulking beneath the infinity of blackness

but this place is not now
it is but a memory
that comes on like kerb
on a bike with no brakes
lever pulled back to the rubber grip
eyes on stalks for the impact

I lie before and after
in this place I know better than your face

and for ten minutes
I stare
or perhaps it is ten lifetimes
or perhaps I stare not all
for the things I see
are like the novels unwritten
in the blind fury of a dice roll
they rattle
so vivid at each turning
but cone out
purely by chance

come to the road
come to the road
come to the lane
and follow the path

see the sun shining
so blinding white

welcome

 it's beautiful when the music stops
when you hear in your soul the conversation

without the cross-fed weeding lines
of idiots
 in contemplation

'do you love me'
'do you think I'm cool'
'I'll drink this to excess'
'I'm a total moron'
'oh think me cool'

no

NO

'hell is other people'
satre said

and I've been stoned so long
to know that he was right -
- and deeply
- deeply -
deeply deeply incorrect

for the hell they bring
is not the punishment of demons
or the torment of hope
but the callous disregard
of unconformed conformity
in a world of liars

and so I lie here
in that place that place
- that ever was known to me -
beyond the carping voices
beyond the lovers
and the snide remarks of the fool
to watch the sky the sky
interlinking in it's passing
ever changing
ever moving
never defined
by rules of  conduct
or the minimum wage of propriety

for here

for here

for there if we try it
is the freedom
of rejection

that path we know but never take
in which we all are kings
and queens

- for let us not forget the petty worries of women -

and there

for there
is that whiteness of the sun
beyond the road
beyond the lane

in that second of staring too brightly
in which we grasp blindly
like a sea-sick sailor
on a first voyage
forgetting that the ignorance lies in our youth
and in the fear of courage

and wisdom is that balance
of infallible falling beneath our dreams
when our throat has stretched beyond words

welcome

...

 back eye

today my youngest son climbed a tree
using all his might balance and strength
standing amid the highest boughs
he reached out his arms
               crying 'look at me'

a girl in his class told him to 'stop showing off'
for he had climbed higher than she

and I thought of pentheus
- that most stupid of men -
who failed to see
that aside from tampons
and wiping their arse backwards
   there is no mystery

misogyny misogny
they've all got misogny
for we can't climb the tree
let us cut him down

and old dionysus
laughed
that poor old pentheus
had never seen his sister in the bath
and learned that pipes that pass piss
are little more than a whores kiss

assuming the whore will kiss at all
for her body may well be on call
but her soul is somewhere else

had he never seen a hen party
dressed as nuns or naughty nurses
tottering on heals too high
handbags clutched against the thigh

leery as any idiot man
clutching a lager can
on the first train of the morning

so I called my son down
from that tree
to teach myself the lesson
that men might climb
from time to time
but they must never question

...

  dogma of the holocaust

and as I speak I feel the guilt
not for what I have to say
but for stating it in this way
that contradicts all gone before
to place the human within war
with all it's grimy soil and silt
lapsed greatness of the will
idealised in the urge to kill
and purify some ancient myth
of faux science merged with
liberal ideals of the perfect man
the polite state in which we can

discuss the higher things
on which our spirit on gilded wings
soars above the banal of wit
the kitsch reality of our shit

....

you have to be fair

you forget - in those stories in which you were the hero -
how much of childhood is spent following and not leading -
how often it was you standing by the drinking fountain
watching others run laughing - in a time out

or the wasted time spent trying to be friends
with your friends - and the compromises -
that as an adult are unacceptable - because -
well just because you've got better things to do

than worry about the opinions of people who don't matter -
and you want to say - because it's the reality -
it doesn't matter - you did 127 sums on friday
and nobody has ever done more - and I'm so proud of you

but you see the sadness - and try and cuddle it out -
and remember those times when socially awkward
you ran in the perfect direction that would win the game
but tasted the unfairness of those who would not be tigged

...

 thirty years

I am reminded of why I take pictures of flowers
with each intrusive click of the camera

the sky has a hungry air - ribbed white clouds -
above an unusual stillness in centenary square

there are professionals circling
looking for the money shot of a woman crying

and one man consciously edges out of my pictures
despite my consciously not edging him in

what looks exchange are thin as the upper atmosphere
equilibrium rushing to fill a vacuum


...


two more nights

I recognize the stars by their familiar position
but not the flowers in the neat border
I'm sure they have names and at a stab
   I could hazard guesses
   in overly accented english

while walking in the market square
we passed an estate agent's window
   and as one does
we idled over pictures and imagined

   not the reality of moving
but ideas of wafting sheets on a summer breeze
or the comforting low thrum
   of a slowly turning ceiling fan

the oil of our meal is stained with saffron
   we sip our wine
and watch the three legged mongrel
   unconsciously mimic the fishing boat
   drawing closer to the quay

...

 magic

twice nightly
   - three time at weekends -
   they die
in pealing laughter
   - bow to the paltry applause -
in seaside cabaret

it doesn't help
that the false bottom of the cage
   gets stuck
so he never knows if the dove is gone
   when he pulls the cape

nor that wanda
   - real name beryl -
has got ideas of spring in rhyl
and fallen in love with a bouncer
called errol
who doesn't like the cut of her cloth

it really isn't right
for a magicians assistant not to show a bit of leg
but errol will not have it
and stopped her getting sawn in half
    which mainly leaves the cards

they'll not get booked again
the manager has told them so
   but twice nightly
   thrice at weekends
they play the trooper in a seaside magic show


....


just in passing

women always have tales
                 of lost children
not the normal of the monthly
                 passing
but of specific

which of course
                 are terrific
in their everyday

how much laughter
                 the world has lost
for little cost or care
   just a few cells
   and a snatch of blood

never there


....


mocking the sane

I was following auden down through the washshed
he with the eye of a hawk
to visit the infirm
and wheel around death
when out of the blue
nine thirty seven arrives
and he kicks me in the groin
and laughs
and cries
'hallelujah I free'
to say what want
and rhyme when I want
and not when I want

it all rather reminded me of when I had tea
with socrates
and he put down the boy
- or rather pushed him away -
and said
'my dear do take cream
for today I am free from the restraints of the mad'

of course down at the sauna
where the righteous stew
                 in whine and bitter juices
this freedom was condemned

they pulled on their black shorts
marched up and down
tying their knicker samples to a flagpole of liberty
gussets flapping
the aspidistra must fly

...

the faintest of things

on a day of heartbreaking sunshine
you sip coffee on the terrace
     of the cafe by the lake

   her bell attracts you
as the bicycle wheels to a stop
and she leaps off giggling

her blue sailor dress
   of navy blue
her white ankle socks

she leans on the fence
arching like a birch
in a rainbow

looking backwards
to the path where her friends
   peddle closer

it is then you see
that look of disdainful
disappointment

   as she looks down
   to the blue bicyle
   leant on a post

intrigued you
question within yourself
if she knows

the thinnest of clouds
casts the faintest of shadows
as the friends pass

and she cries out
remounts
and is gone

you sip your coffee
and watch children
fish for water-boatman
on the lake

...

behind the hedge

he lives in the house on the corner
                               behind the hedge
and something has happened
   of which nothing is said
and he sits in the verge
   and dangles his legs
   at the oncoming traffic
     making them swerve

at school he's in trouble
              detention again
he copies lab rules
   ignoring the pain
   of that thing left unsaid
which happened
   in the neat house
   on the corner
                - behind the hedge

of course they try talking
   to find what's unsaid
they prize and they pry
   inside his head
he has told them before
the cause of distress
but his simple home truths
                    fail to impress

he's up on the roof
   dangling legs - over the gutter -
he threatens to jump
    
and now he's excluded
   and sits in the verge
his legs in the road
   making cars swerve
with dancing cow parsley
   daisies and sedge
and the house on the corner
                behind the hedge

...

The Blue Book

14/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy - canto 1

canto 1

amid the flowers on tall stems
I see my daughter dressed in white
her hand outstretched in greeting

from my knees I beg forgiveness
for those words we only know
those guttural words spoken in fear
that came from darkness
into darkness go and went
and wept again
for we two bonded now shall be

and she so bright
beyond the veil
takes lead of me to wipe my tears
for no more shall vexation
bind to we

she looks just like the phantom
glanced at night beside my bed
though now she has a fuller form
taller
straighter
oh how I love her
here in this life
of bright sharp calm

lead me bright enlightened daughter
for I have done so much harm


The Blue Book

13/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting divine comedy. .- prologue 2

prologue 2

it's beautiful when the music stops
when you hear in your soul the conversation

without the cross-fed weeding lines
of idiots
 in contemplation

'do you love me'
'do you think I'm cool'
'I'll drink this to excess'
'I'm a total moron'
'oh think me cool'

no

NO

'hell is other people'
satre said

and I've been stoned so long
to know that he was right -
- and deeply
- deeply -
deeply deeply incorrect

for the hell they bring
is not the punishment of demons
or the torment of hope
but the callous disregard
of unconformed conformity
in a world of liars

and so I lie here
in that place that place
- that ever was known to me -
beyond the carping voices
beyond the lovers
and the snide remarks of the fool
to watch the sky the sky
interlinking in it's passing
ever changing
ever moving
never defined
by rules of  conduct
or the minimum wage of propriety

for here

for here

for there if we try it
is the freedom
of rejection

that path we know but never take
in which we all are kings
and queens

- for let us not forget the petty worries of women -

and there

for there
is that whiteness of the sun
beyond the road
beyond the lane

in that second of staring too brightly
in which we grasp blindly
like a sea-sick sailor
on a first voyage
forgetting that the ignorance lies in our youth
and in the fear of courage

and wisdom is that balance
of infallible falling beneath our dreams
when our throat has stretched beyond words

welcome


The Blue Book

12/06/2015

#photography #40k man dollies

man dollies








peace:)

 prints of my pictures available - here



The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting prologue

prologue

I know this place
I know those flowers and these fields
and the stinging whip of goose grass
on naked legs

I know this sky
so clear and boundless
or so it seems
skulking beneath the infinity of blackness

but this place is not now
it is but a memory
that comes on like kerb
on a bike with no brakes
lever pulled back to the rubber grip
eyes on stalks for the impact

I lie before and after
in this place I know better than your face

and for ten minutes
I stare
or perhaps it is ten lifetimes
or perhaps I stare not all
for the things I see
are like the novels unwritten
in the blind fury of a dice roll
they rattle
so vivid at each turning
but cone out
purely by chance

come to the road
come to the road
come to the lane
and follow the path

see the sun shining
so blinding white

welcome


The Blue Book

09/06/2015

#photography #bradford the old police station

the old police station





peace:)

prints of my pictures available - here

The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting back eye

back eye

today my youngest son climbed a tree
using all his might balance and strength
standing amid the highest boughs
he reached out his arms
               crying 'look at me'

a girl in his class told him to 'stop showing off'
for he had climbed higher than she

and I thought of pentheus
- that most stupid of men -
who failed to see
that aside from tampons
and wiping their arse backwards
   there is no mystery

misogyny misogny
they've all got misogny
for we can't climb the tree
let us cut him down

and old dionysus
laughed
that poor old pentheus
had never seen his sister in the bath
and learned that pipes that pass piss
are little more than a whores kiss

assuming the whore will kiss at all
for her body may well be on call
but her soul is somewhere else

had he never seen a hen party
dressed as nuns or naughty nurses
tottering on heals too high
handbags clutched against the thigh

leery as any idiot man
clutching a lager can
on the first train of the morning

so I called my son down
from that tree
to teach myself the lesson
that men might climb
from time to time
but they must never question


The Blue Book

08/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting #beehive #bradford beehivepoets digest compilation

Don't mind me...

 I'm just putting some poems together for my trip to the Beehive tonight....

...

then

just before we parted
in the space between the final word

just before a blackbird sang

evening rose with a sour milk moon
the countryside beyond
stood but a single broad bounded step

just before that final word

in that time
when our as yet unremembered day
trailed out to the low grassland

a shrouded whiteness fell
as cobwebs on happiness
threaded by the hope of love

that final word that breaks the glass
from which none can go back

and in which there is only parting

...

  school field

in a world of false opposites
where very little has meaning
I pick at the word angst

first in the german
- then in translation
and back to the root cause

the necrotic neurons of neurosis
and dally in denial
at the prettiness of daisy chains

bitten lipped slit and threaded
and threaded by girls in summer dresses
cross legged
   they show the V of their knickers

...

meeting a nazi

he was like any other nasty old man
- smug - his waistline at his breasts -
a wife skittering at his pleasure

but there was something nastier -
a certain glint in his eye - an arrogance -
glistening like the whiskers briskly shaven

'they made me build roads' he laments -
chewing on a kaiser roll - tongue lapping-
moist bread churning on his gums

'ten years they worked me like a slave -
murderers get less' - the wife interrupts him
with attempted good humour

'oh don't mind him' she says
   - offering me a glass of cola -
'leave the boy alone - it's not his fault'

the half chewed bread slides down his dry throat -
before the adam's-apple has come to rest
the other half of the soup dipped roll goes into his mouth

'they were different times' continues his wife
prizing the lid from a decorated biscuit tin -
- I take gingerbread - lay it on my knee

'do you have grandparents' he asks
I sip my drink and nod at the absurd question
   - how else would I be here -

for some reason this pleases him

...

 you have to be fair

you forget - in those stories in which you were the hero -
how much of childhood is spent following and not leading -
how often it was you standing by the drinking fountain
watching others run laughing - in a time out

or the wasted time spent trying to be friends
with your friends - and the compromises -
that as an adult are unacceptable - because -
well just because you've got better things to do

than worry about the opinions of people who don't matter -
and you want to say - because it's the reality -
it doesn't matter - you did 127 sums on friday
and nobody has ever done more - and I'm so proud of you

but you see the sadness - and try and cuddle it out -
and remember those times when socially awkward
you ran in the perfect direction that would win the game
but tasted the unfairness of those who would not be tigged

...

father forgive me

it's in that bedtime kiss
we miss out - at our peril -
that our worth as a parent lies

or listening when we cannot
   to the whirl of chatter -
and from it picking strands
of past conduct to chastise

and finding words beyond
the three simple words of love
to express that deep - deep -
expression of our hope

but none of this makes any sense
to our children grinning in our face -
waiting for the closing door
and the monsters beneath the bed

time has to pass -
for them to understand
why it is we fear the road
- hold tightly to their hand

...

peace:)

The Blue Book

#poem #poetry #amwriting then

then

just before we parted
in the space between the final word

just before a blackbird sang

evening rose with a sour milk moon
the countryside beyond
stood but a single broad bounded step

just before that final word

in that time
when our as yet unremembered day
trailed out to the low grassland


a shrouded whiteness fell
as cobwebs on happiness
threaded by the hope of love

that final word that breaks the glass
from which none can go back

and in which there is only parting


The Blue Book

07/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting whelp

whelp

today the sun came up like a frightened puppy
                     cowering in a fisherman's boat
somehow it hitched a ride
dashing excited to get a seat
but now it cowers
sparking anger in flashes
at all who draw near
wanting not to be seen

yet no one cares
they carry on fishing
occasionally they bash the nose
when the silliness threatens
to rock the boat

for the day is as calm
as a lake
and the fish are biting
in the shadows



The Blue Book

02/06/2015

#poem #poetry #amwriting sketchbook sketches on the train

sketches on the train

...

today is the first day of june
it's raining without rainbows
grey without sunshine
or a hint of blue
and the days stretch past ten

...

how sad the shriveled bluebell stalks
out shone by primroses on our walk
through the woods of outstretched ferns
noting the change as the year turns
these briefest flashes of woodland flowers
the lime green spikes at the tips of fir
gamboling   lambs on the way to slaughter
once submerged rocks proud out of water
how sad the shriveled bluebell stalks
shaded by leaves on woodland walks

...

counting the tunnels to baildon
outgrown cuttings nettled
thick as the brown stone country bridges

it is not a journey of beauty
slipping past at the gallop

an old pallet sits atop
an unlit bonfire
in a clearing

and a solitary golfer
tests himself
against the sweeping rain

...


The Blue Book

#photography #ilkley may compilation













































peace:)

prints of my pictures available - here


The Blue Book