The Saddest Taboo

Love and hate are not so very far apart…

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Not now, not ever

Nor through gritted teeth

Clenched harder than titanium nails

 

I won’t grimace it out

Not even were he

The very last man on earth

 

He won’t get the satisfaction

Nor merest glimmer

Of the damn I do not give

 

I’ll batten down the hatches

Deaden that swelling ache

And suffocate any rebellious word

 

He will not see a trace of me

Behind the lace curtain

No spoor, nothing, nada

 

This secret and I shall die

Together, silent, unspoken

I’ll stich my lips so tight, binding

 

Not now, not ever…

Mosi-oa-tunya

the smoke that thunders

is all that stands between.

I see you son of seer

who hunts ever gold

 

I fear not any collars

of which you once spoke

unto me

so very, resentfully

 

leave trace in my den

and Seitch Jacurutu

will hear matters

of the desert

 

in my Honour as fremen

will I give freely

unto you,

both chapter and verse

 

no need of artifice

when simplicity might

yet work

its easy magic

 

may Shai-Halud

cleanse the paths.

It falls on me to give,

oh, most cautious one

 

you must provide

secure means

and then the Mentat downloads

Insh’ Allah

 

ever the shadows

is instinct of old

ever the light

I am much more, bold

 

the morning star

and the setting sun

must soon

full circle come

 

foe am I not

ne’er have I been

fate has its quirks

sure, as can be seen

 

the smoke that thunders

is all that stands between.

I see you son of seer

who hunts ever gold

Floating Things

We human beings can imagine that we understand where someone else is coming from, be convinced we know their motives and then find it difficult not to opine thereupon.

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On the wind,

Carried by the wings of perception,

It comes.

 

The words of another,

Telling of how you feel.

Convinced and convicted in the beginning.

 

Tenuous and stretching,

Well meaning but wrong,

Painting themselves in impressionist points.

 

The message and the shield,

To massage and deflect,

Holding that point in sea of the floating things.

 

Formed in the rust of trust,

Sewn into the fledgling in the nest,

And rewarded by the worm of the early bird.

 

The clamour of the glamour of it all.

Life is too short to be right.

 

Dressed in dead-letter logic,

And the twelve-bar blues of again and again,

The so-called facts question.

 

But hidden beneath and,

In different clothes,

The sound echoes an empty tone, going through the motions.

 

Under the carpet,

Where all the fears lie,

Are brushed the fragile bones that hold the tissue intact.

 

The cabbage patch dolls,

Huddle to write their play, to have their say,

Performing to conform and looking at their cake.

 

Consent and compromise,

Coerce and corrupt, rob the spirit,

And drive the man from the parapet.

 

The courage of silence is not.

Life is too short to be rite.

 

In the clay cup he puts the Tea,

Pours water and takes the brush,

Deftly he stirs.

 

In the swirled of the floating things,

Searching inside for:

The meaning of it.

 

The raft of bubbles breaks,

And foams in the Maya of it all,

Yet another storm in a teacup?

 

Words like tiny purses,

Score double top, as sharply,

As the dart players take chalk in hand.

 

Five hundred and one,

Itches under his skin like mosquito bites,

On a summer’s night.

 

He never liked the Joneses anyway,

Their white picket fence and pet crocodile,

Were Saatchi and Saatchi.

 

The salt of the Ganges is ours.

Life is too short not to write.

 

What is a truth,

And how does it taste?

Clear on the palate and fresh on the tongue.

 

Far from the pre-packed and processed,

Wrapped in cling film

And sold at Sainsbury’s on Saturdays.

 

Personal and specific,

Not agreed by committee,

A feeling of feelings and a knowing of knowledge.

 

No less than a flame,

Kindled inside and singular,

An island in the floating things.

 

Seen in a dream as in the dream,

Watched in the circus,

Without puppeteers’ strings.

 

There is more to life than process,

Immeasurable and imprecise,

No key performance indicators here.

 

The air that we breathe is free.

Life is too short not to read.

 

The pages of Kells,

Illuminated with love

And decorated with care on the journey of the Dove.

 

Set free from the Ark,

The un-caged bird in search of the olive branch,

Comes back in sea of floating things.

 

Soaring in gentleness,

White with vulnerable beauty,

To tell of its travels and share of its fare.

 

The memory of before,

And the sense of the divine in each,

And the eyes of a child, awestruck and in awe.

 

The warnings are there,

The cloying sterility of the Vulcan mind

Overpowers the beating passion of the heart.

 

I re-member Martin,

And the Christ in each of us.

I have a dream and it dreams me now.

 

Brave heart be strong and beat on.

Life is too short not to see red.

 

Soft Trickles of Melancholy {boys don’t cry}

on the desert dusty parchment

soft trickles of melancholy

write their rivulets

 

falling onto the desk

to break the hymen of silence,

so that the world, can hear

 

the sanguine wine

leaks from out the eyes

and bloodies the bitten lips

 

and that melancholy ache

can never be quenched

under a searing, fiery sun

 

the scorpion of fate

curls back through time

to sting and sting again

 

the scorching wadis

of just, righteous mind

tell us always, it is so

 

the heart entombed

in the dungeon of mind

as yet, still stirs

 

it beats its timpani

off the score

to no preordained libretto

 

one day that concrete damn

will start to leak

and at that very first fissure

 

on the desert dusty parchment

soft trickles of melancholy

will start their rivulets, anew

 

the tear of dew

will rip out an oasis

a font, a spring

 

and desert lore will say

as the aeons pass,

“That is where love was born!”

The Twilight Echo

That subtle imprint,

The etch

The sketch of him

 

Never saw the germ

Sneak under my skin

That gentle djinn

 

No showers or spas

Might lather away

Those twilight echoes

 

Nor would I want

 

His eyes tattooed me

His soul embraced

And it soothed

 

To be understood

And held so,

Caressed in tears

 

That profound

The meaning

A sublime

 

And none but I

Can tell

How Love Turns

In the Landnámabók

It is written

That Passchendaele cuts deeper

Deeper than the Marianas trench

 

Oceans apart

 

How quick the chilli-red anger

Turns to an icy chill

At Minus 273

And a strong wish to kill

 

Colder than ice

 

The dour Dewar of bitterness

Icing the cake an azure blue

Nitrogen at  number 77

And Helium at four point two

 

Siberian winds

 

Those glacier eyes

Give an Antarctic hug

The icicle tricycle

Now pulls out the rug

 

Never to rub noses

 

Isfjell smoulders deeper

Floating on the sea

Hiding regrets

From both you and from me

 

A heart in Cryostasis

 

All the bears in Svalbard

Have not enough fur

To ease out the thorn

under the skin that does burr

 

The saga is true

 

The price of ice

Is the tale held so firm

A story of ages

That makes the toes squirm

 

No more Happy Feet

 

How quick the chilli-red anger

Turns to an icy chill

At Minus 273

And a strong wish to kill

 

Colder than ice

 

Love turns to hate

As quick as a flash

On bergs such as this

There is no Titanic clash

 

A mouth full of Kumquats

 

The Tamarind tongue

Bends words to its will

Selling a story

Full of unctions ill

 

More dangerous than knives

 

The Lyrebird lives

Proud in its bower

And ruins the life

Of a most precious flower

 

I’ll show him

 

Cost is the price

Which he must now pay

I knew I’d get even

And now is my day

 

A pound of flesh

 

A plate served cold

No dressing, no sauce

Meagre and minced

He has no recourse

 

I have won!!

 

How quick the chilli-red anger

Turns to an icy chill

At Minus 273

And a strong wish to kill

 

Colder than ice

Beyond the River

The other bank

Where words

no longer hurt

 

Out of reach

And harm’s way

Resting

 

All the regret

In China

Insufficient

 

Jettisoned

In those seconds

So unremarkable

As to cut chasms

 

No Geneva man

Can repair

A Time

most singular

 

When the earth

Turned

with a shovel

That hole to dig

 

Buried in the scree

Of fame

And

Ambitious debris

 

No salve

For the wounded

Or

The wounder

 

Not a finger

Can span

Those aeons

Across

 

Pride’s grimace

Forbids it

Banned

Taboo

 

And wrong

A word

Never uttered

Or owned.

And Now

And now we walk

Fearful of those conspicuous whispers

So absent between us

 

That unquenched silence

Ardent thirsty for a word

And we dare not look

 

Eyes fixed ever onwards

For to chance e’en a glance

Might us shatter

 

The cloying

Unmentionable ghosts

Surround us

always

 

you and I

conjoined by a chasm

 

And now,

We walk

Rhyddid-Rhyddiaith-Cerdd

This arose when I was recapitulating my relationship with my father. I realised he was insecure and unable to express feelings. I was sent away from Zambia to boarding school in the UK aged 10 years and one day. I travelled back on my own, unaccompanied, at the end of term thus I had 150,000 air miles by the time I was 13 way back in the 1970s!!

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Pinned

Like a butterfly

In the chair

By expectation’s

All

 

Bound

In the creeping vine

Of my story’s

Ne’er spoken

Word

 

Tithed

With the forgetful

Memory’s selected

Chocolate box

Surprise

 

Caged

In the late night

Re-runs

Of channel number

Five

 

Weighed down

By the cicatrice’s

Cicada’s itching

Twitch

 

Hooked

On a woven

Mayfly

Caster sugar

Thread

 

Caught

On the ethereal

Substance of nothing’s

Hanging

Hour

 

Now

Where

Must

I

Go?

 

In the carnival

Hall of mirrors

 

The picture of

A Zambezi dawn

 

Speaks its tale

Of broken trust

 

And builds the

“Good enough” question

 

High

 

All my deeds

Remain un-seam

 

Only dark

Is by others seen

 

Why this is

I do not know

 

In the other country

This is not so

 

To walk in the shadow

Of such a wood

 

To beat myself

For my own good?

 

This is a wound

That I must close

 

But is salt

My choice of prose?

 

Why it is

And what is when?

 

Why oh why

Does it matter so?

 

If I help you carry

Will you like me

Just

 

A little

 

If I listen to your

Tales of woe

Will you love me

Just

 

A little

 

If I behave as

I know I should

Will you

Not

Send me away again

 

If I do well in class

And on the field

Will you be

…proud

 

And will you tell me?

 

Will you

Not

Speak in scorn

Of what I do?

 

If I stand

Straight and tall

Will they love me?

….love me

Too?

 

So there it is

And with some tears

The partial picture

Of my fears

 

Now they’re out

One more time

I need to search

For peace of mind

 

Deep within

I find my gift

That sense of worth

To heal the rift

 

For to be an

Empty glass

Is a place

Where things can pass

 

Out they come

And in they flow

It makes things better

This I know

 

There it is

Another side

Of some use

This springtime tide

 

Round and round

The lifelong tale

The difficulty for me

In being, male.

 

Veneer

Sometimes our public relations, our hype, spin and our photoshopping becomes a kind of prison. The  veneer must never crack …or else….

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Shiny, brilliant

all beeswax and

elbow grease

the burnished

veneer glistens

 

Lacquered and

blow dried

each hair

perfect in place

tonsured

 

An image

a lithograph

kept in a frame

on the mantle piece

above the fire

 

Hair line cracks

propagate

running the amber

through

at the edge of a foil

 

A stiletto word

scratches the surface

the sun ages

laughter lines

and wrinkles

 

The varnish fades

corn flaking

and peeling

blisters

with bubbles

 

Scales shed

dandruff dreams

on the shoulders

celluloid

flares and sinters

 

The projector

now too hot

burns

flickering

Black and white

Black and white

 

Smoking platforms

of a brief encounter

and a steam whistle

forlorn

and haunting

 

They will always

have Paris

in the album

to thumb

in wheelchair days

 

Of blankets

and slippers

and Steradent

arms now too short

to see words clearly

 

Oh that Vermeer

painting

that masterpiece

of veneer

cost so very much

 

That hot water bottle

of reason

may yet

keep out

the cold

 

The gnarled, wise

Oak beneath

old, covered in

knots and scars

remembers sap

 

And springtime,

birds nesting

and all

the acorn gifts

it made for the squirrels

 

There is no fooling it

proud of its lines

and ages past

before the saw

took it

 

The veneer cannot

hold it

much longer

for the oak

seeks again the air

 

And if needs must,

bring on the bugs

the beetles and

the creepy-crawlies

come what may

 

In the shed outside

the Antique shop

the oak pines to be

free from dust

and cobwebs

 

It waits for

a moment of chance

to shuffle of

its skin

its scales

 

Too big now

for the lacquer

the varnish

the polish

and the spin

 

It can hear

His heart

beating

pressing

ready to burst

 

As dawn tiptoes

the window through

he thinks

perhaps today

will be the day

 

 

… perhaps today…