Monday, 28 April 2014

Parham, 23rd April 2014.

There Lies the 17th Baroness of Haryngworth.
De La Zouche.
A cloudy day with the occasional drop of rain.

A bleak but warm expanse of green
And lightning-struck brown-skeleton-trees 
Below the ancient South Downs.

The parish church is open
On sundays at nine fifteen,
Where worship has taken place
Since the 15th Century.

Deer crowd under a tree some little distance 
From the quiet graveyard, 
Where the orange moss on the headstones 
Clash with the fading daffodils,
And the Bluebells swell on the outskirts
And whisper of Summer's close coming.

On a grassy outlet, a stag stands
Arrogantly alone, holding his heavy
headpiece to the changeable breeze,
Rabbits and red pheasants fleeing his stare, 
As he looks on out to the horizon,
In search of Summer's hazy kiss.

Towards the house
Two rusty lawn-rollers stand lazily
At the boundary of an unkept cricket pitch;
"We are waiting for Summer," they say,
And the proud stag laughs.

The ice is kept cool under the hill, 
Shaded by a great door - 
A portal into Narnia, where it's always winter, 
Or maybe somewhere darker.

All is uneven but the church roof and, 
Beyond the peeping haha, 
The archetypal English Hall, 
Stern and unyielding as the mighty stag
that wanders its grounds, 
Strong and square and harking back
To the Interbellum
(we wait for Gatsby to appear)
And listen silently for the echoes 
From further back in time,
Of the first Elizabeth
And baying Irish hounds near the fireplace,
And stable-boys whistling in the straw.

A pilot takes a flying lesson, 
Circling the house in awe of the bird's-eye view
Like the jackdaws that hide in the tall pines 
opposite the waiting rollers. 
And a girl with dirtied curly hair and Welsh and 
Russian blood in her veins, 
Gallops her horse along the crest of the hill.
Her helmet is purple.
Her grip is secure.
Her eyes fixed on the house at the bottom, 
Where the crow guards a swing under a black tree, 
And Magnolia hugs the windowsills 
And the coats of arms,
And the world races by.

The old stag winks knowingly,
A blackbird chatters - 
Yes, yes this is our little secret
Yes, this is the place to be, 
Yes there are great paintings in the library 
And down the great hallways.
But we look at black and white photographs,
and gravestones and consider the death of a Twelve year old
And the awful contrast to the age of the house 
beyond the breathing stone walls.

I tell you how Grandma wants a marble angel,
And Grandpa wants a wooden cross,
And how it should probably be the other way around.

The stableboy is now a groundsman 
Unlocking the gate to mow the lawn.
"It could do with a water too" I tell him.

The sun fights through the gloom
And our backs begin to warm 
And the stag turns his head to leave his lonely outcrop,
And so we leave too, in the other direction,
Wandering back up the winding drive,
Up past the old smoking-house 
And the stoney lion that does not stir
As we turn our backs to go home.
Up past the cattle-grid
And then onto the main-road and
Modern life and our small momentary
Escape remains a well kept secret
With the regal stag at Parham,
Where all is at peace.
Yes, that was the place to be.

And as we leave, the Heron
Flies back from the Mesozoic Age
To its nest by the lake and the summerhouse.
All is at peace. And it is like we were never here.
Yes, this is our little secret,
The daffodils tarry
And Parham waits for the hazy kiss of Summer. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Dream on little diamond, light shines better in the darkness, 
So dream on little diamond, dream on and sparkle.
See all the clearer your dreams clear as crystal, 
Little diamond be happy, be happy and whistle,
Oh, you flower among thistles, 
Bend in the wind, don't stand to be brittle.
Don't stand to be little, make your little voice heard,
And don't stand to settle for anything less than
bright-white beam-dream bottle-neck-blues and ice-cream 
teacup-sweet fresh-air green-bean naked footfall.
Dream on little diamond.

Teen-queen dreams of lean sheen, 
Warm furs and long cotton socks and long cotton stockings,
Belonging and belongings and obscene scenes for shocking, 
Locking mean dreams behind close doors, 
And clawing and clamouring for the real cream, 
the bona fide creme of the crop dream.
Why expect anything less, when searching without rest,
For what it is that you want, what it is you want found, 
What it is you find best, what it is you will grip when all else has digressed, 
So when lying in bed, you can sleep without stress as you live to express what, 
You have to confess, is your pleasure and pest of a calling - 
the calling of the voice inside your head that you try to impress.
Dream on little diamond.

Your glint is flint upon tinder, it helps and doesn't hinder,
When lost in the dark. Your spark is inspiring, 
Desiring attention, always worthy of a mention.
A red-hot-dot fire-shot invention with a bite like a shark
To match that bark of your full-vol Venus and Mars ascension.
Dream on little diamond.

I hear those dreams scream through the lines in your brow, 
Out from the synapses and pulses into the pine-horizon
And up to the starry studded plough, 
Making holes in the clouds, 
Your thoughts written down or spoken out loud
Are willed into fruition,
And I do not know how.
How you wrestle the white rabbit that inhabits your brain, 
How you tame the beast-tyrant that abides in your cranium, 
In control of the polecat that shreds your electronic insides.
(Dream on little diamond.)

The polyphonic pentatonic phantom-blizzard lizard-wizard 
That rides around your mind, 
I have seen you draw it out.
I have seen you try to hide it, and when it's not about
I its cold white-lightning in your eyes.
It never dies, i know not why. 
 When you smile I see it rise.
When you cry i see it cry.
So dream on little diamond.

You've so much to give, so much to find out
And so much to live for and live through
and live with and live up to,
Though there's much to avoid, 
much to interrupt and corrupt you.
But always aspire to go higher.
The flames of your fires will lay waste without haste
for the dreams you desire, for the dreams that you chase.
And by the grace you've been granted, 
The seeds that are planted within you will bloom, 
They'll boom and balloon into whatever you want them to, 
So dream on little diamond.

The fun has only just begun so let your sleek fast riverboat run.
Let the emperor thumb a gladiatorial victory
That will go down in history as you start the mystery tour
Of a lifetime in awe of your own self-potential.
Always want more but never alter who you are
Or the skin you were born in.
Know that blood is thicker than water, and that
You'll conquer the world with just a pestle and mortar.
And remember i'm proud.
And always remember to dream on little diamond.
Dream on little diamond girl.
Dream on and be happy my diamond daughter.  

Friday, 20 December 2013

Viewing Things For Edwin

What I love about churches are their cold echo
What I hate about politicians are their change of tune
What I love about the Landrover is its steadfastness of character
What I hate about liars is their culpability
What I love about smoke is its fire and brimstone
What hate about tabloids is their lack of fine print
What I love about Tambourine is her amber freckles, unrealised divination and experienced youthfulness
What I hate about Mary’s husband (Andrew) is his sly unrealised arrogance and sleek new trainers
What I love about Gem-stone is her unwavering iridescence, humour and love
What I hate about rhythm is the bars that beat around and about me
What I love about William is his kindred spirit
What I hate about South Africa is its unfortunately timed Orwellian manifestation
What I love about St. Nick is his willingness to involve and challenge me
What I hate about bottles are their bottoms
What I love about poetry is its girth and potential, its liberty and open road
What I hate about Eden is its unthoughtful paradigmatic ideology
What I love about the light-bulb is its refusal to be stifled
What I hate about creation is its ability to allude me
What I love about love is currently a mystery
What I hate about hate is its capacity for blindness
What I love about hate is its place on the emotional spectrum
What I hate about love is its theft
What I love about Juan-Henri is our propensity to concur
What I hate about Jack is his lack of mastery and uneducated southern drool
What I love about St. Steven is his ability to laugh at himself with the happiness of others in mind
What I hate about Christmas is its hollow annual metaphors
What I love about the wind depends on which way it’s blowing
What I hate about derelict buildings is the older they get the more stubborn they become
What I love about a cloud is its Eye of Providence – omniscient, bird’s eye view
What I hate about you, wretched cancer, is your abhorrence for reason, justice and fair play
What I love about the outsider is his underdog chance, his view looking in, and his eventually and inevitable triumph against the odds
What I love about the mountain air is its palpable, gulpable crystal-clean purity and soothing cerebral refresh
And what I love about us is we all agree

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Moon Is A 'Hotless' Child

The moon is a hotless child.  And I?
A blurred prince that dreamt I saw you
On the front row of a congregation.
You and the preacher-man were in cahoots.
We cleaned up our sins
And the mud off our boots.

There is nothing there now
So why try to bite?
Why try fly a plane
Before flying a kite?
The beginning is over
The end hasn’t come yet
And all there is to care about is now,
Hanging here, now, a branch on a tree
Whether happy or in pain,
I bow, I submit, I endure.

The moon is a hotless child. And I?
I am its long lost brother,
For tonight the bottle is half empty,
Half full of air, half full of poison,
Whichever is better for you.

The moon is a hotless child. And I?
The hapless father of a lukewarm generation.
Where is the fruit of my long suffered alternative philosophy?
Where is the organic home grown apple of my eye?
What ails the men at arms,
Fighting for a slither of originality?
How comes such valour with so little reward?
Where is the son? Where is the Sun
Of glorious pastimes,
Glorious passed times,
Glorious past times;
The offspring of creativity itself
In a lukewarm bath of befuddlement
And lack of sincere aim?

The moon is a hotless child. And I?
A frozen lunatic.
Marred by my own bewilderment
By my own ineptitude
By my own lack of foresight
By my own fuzzy logic and indecisiveness,
Though as of yet not hoisted by my own placard.

A blurred prince?
To say the least. Boots clean,
And you on the front pew,
In the cockpit,
Dancing in the orchard,
And manipulating solar spheres,
While your hands still shake
When you strike a match.

The moon is a hotless child. And I?
The day after tomorrow’s dawn.
Though as of yet, I’m undecided.  

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Ramblings of A Wander-Lusting Neophyte (The Usual Blur of Words)

Are you ready? For a copyright infringement
That will go down a storm
In the right pair of ears.
Are you ready? For a right-inky-mess,
Neurotically depreciative of its own engineering.
A slippery sex-on-the-beach-monkey-nipple of a thought…

Discerning baggy-clothed and barefoot to be the happier option.

Do I dare,
And do I dare disturb the universe
With a cacophony of half-baked words,
Amounting to an ‘I love the bones of you,
That, I cannot escape.’ (?)
Some mirror ball, in an empty disco hall,
Reflects a similar sentiment –
That of Everything In Its Right Place,
Everything Has Changed.

Tonight the city sounds were violins,
Tonight the stars were multicoloured.
And whilst I reiterate, whilst I regurgitate,
Somewhere the last echoes of a snare drum
Fade out to a quick acoustic death.

Lets then. Yes lets – entertain a myriad of impressions
Fantastic and evanescent,
A sharp steel shard of the refreshingly ordinary –
Something like ‘world peace, less pollution
And butts that look good everywhere.’
…put that in your cocktail shaker.

Lets have a powwow
A Boom-Boom-Pow-Wow
To welcome Dawn’s eternal throes
And grasp earthy tufts of fuller life
To glide the highs and ride the lows
And help rebuff a word, a world, of strife.

The airwaves hum (Zumm Zumm),
The transatlantic, London to Brighton
“ Problems of an extravert”,
So peculiarly foreign.
The Exotic Other?
No. The Great Unknown.

Physicians are a good sort.
They want to do the right thing.
And yet all of us, behind closed doors,
Would kill to hear the Sirens sing.

…Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
Cold and calculating, knowing all –
Nothing left to imagination’s sense of adventure.

Well, you’ve the wrong weather forecast.
That life, you know the one set out for you by others,
The one that has the universal-thumbs-up,
Chew-on-yer-pen, follow the leader
In red shoes kinda deal;
The one constructed in all futures but yours,
Set out in all plans but yours?
That’s the one you think hardest about.
Think harder, and then contemplate it in full -
Just for good measure.

Then, with your head in circles,
And out of kilter with Daddy’s Five-Year-Plan,
Look up the word ‘wanderlust’ in the dictionary.

And whatever your mind falls to
In the pending moments,
That is what you
Chase. And be happy(ier).

So say all earnest generations previously.
So say I.
The Montepulciano agrees.
Do I dare to eat a peach?

…Out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach
Of crazy final moment’s
Sweet surrender, fragmentary,
Paradigmatic, post-modern,
Dada inspired sorrow. 

It’s OK. I was a neophyte once
Upon a time, dressing so fine…
With bones on the table…
Feathers in the garden…
Clothes on the line.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Dystopia eat your heart out

You have the right to know that my heart is in this matter. So when I know you were here before, that you left a wet footprint on the bathroom floor, a ghost of your presence, a shadow to the wind, a whisper to your essence, the likes of which I can conjure up without a second thought, but might be tinged with the smallest dose of pain sometimes, remember my heart misty murmur is in this. We all have to strive, and strain and seek what is good and where the silver lining that is the only thing on God’s green earth worth shouting about, and if not then no one’s got a chance. And everyone wants a chance…

     …The moon, yes the moon. I haven’t howled at it, but it outshines a mid-night metropolis. Streets sleep, pavements are empty but the city has a pulse that cannot be stopped and a thirst which cannot be quenched, no matter how many hipster jazz cats bop to the underground night beats that no one can see but are always heard.
     Lets be me, whoever you are, and entertain a world of furies and wear Nike ironically in pretence but covertly think it the thing to wear, and everyone else thinks the same and nods and passes narcotics in your direction, as if it’s the cure, the remedy for times of insecurity and despair – one of the two.
     Call Lane reeks of the failed artistry of European song, once shot in the chest, but he’ll ‘give you a sheet of his unpublished music genius ‘cos you played Mardy Bum so tight considering the time of night and the alcohol percentage of Red Stripe.’ He digs it. Man, he digs it.
     If only Cadillacs were from Yorkshire. We could get one second hand, I know a guy who knows a guy who knows Cadillacs. Real cheap. Real good nick. Real great Nike. Real good spanner in the works, and we could bomb to the coast and get high on grey waves and white wine or try to find the Pennines and make our mark. But the roads are too small, incorrigibly acute and sheep and rain and old stonewalls ooze obtuse Shakespearian anxieties, a kinda rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind notion and the Rozzers wouldn’t be too keen.
     If you ask me, I think we’re too middleclass to revolt enough to see ourselves as we wish. This may not be the case. I hope it isn’t. Hope being the main reason why I write. To be free of the fear. THE FEAR. To be free is to write, but in writing, I address what it is I cannot surpass (I think.) And I am left nonethewiser much like when you find yourself on Call Lane. Although how much like it it is I have no idea. The similarity lies in the searching, I would suggest. The big fat gypsy nothing we wish to fill in – colouring in the spaces between the lines that define us, like the train journeys that are the gaps between our sense of life. And to find articulate brevity that matches what it is in our minds we cannot verbalise of vocalise – to find and capitalise on that is what those on Call Lane search for. Or so I like to think… that’s why, certainly, I’ve found myself there a few times.
     Mixing it with the revellers – pretending to be on a level of loss, which I can relate to, but find weary, both at the same time, at the same instant when handing over moola and looking down the sticky neon bubblegum drum rum bar at my own reflection, and the mirrored image of myself I find in others, those Sambuca fiends give me back a knowing look of ‘yeah I got a loan out for this shindig’ and I’m like ‘yeah I can’t relate as much as you think I can.’ And the music swirls and gyrates, people swim through it and come out the other side dry-wet and grinning helplessly, it heats the room, and more time than you think is spent looking at the floor and your feet and the sink in the toilets. Then you’re gone and you hit taxi tyres and fumble wallets and shout at some cat that was meant to be sharing a lift to our neck of the woods. But before you know it you’re shouting out orders for Styrofoam boxes with extra mayo and go easy on the garlic and why would I want salad, swearing for the lack of fizzy tin pop sweet drink, then reaching for the payment in your pocket you’re nine pennies short of, and after incredulity think that although worn out, home is close and the chirp bird dawn chorus don’t get heard by many.
     Stagger past steaming green bins and you crash into dark kitchen space at first light and smash silently up hollow stairs and look into space before closing out that same caffeinated city spectacle scene that now twitches awake while you twitch for sleep, a big fat gypsy nothing of sleep that your soul yearns for until afternoon. But your liver moans, then it groans and turns inside out with self-satisfying disgust. Throwing a window open for cold air to ice lungs and face, unconscious gasps of invisible nature quench stripes of red unease, and you watch an obese sunburnt blue belly hero sort in a panama hat toke a Cuban, while you momentarily remember we’re out of matches, you get Spanish strings and woody acoustic type vibes and sounds and the Samba pulse through thoughts best left for a smoky room full of mahogany and whisky and moustaches singing snooker and the tap’n’echo-click of billiard balls on verde velvet. But that’s a place you haunt too often and discard it from cloudy mindset and lean and teeter from a window, which once held the moon misty and the street-lamp-lit skeleton frame of urban immortality, but now frames a pylon wire web spread to the horizon and a dead-electric black Mercedes-Benz and a newsagents that charges to pay on card. The moon the moon the murky orb hovers the city swells and shivers morning’s unstoppable beckons. This is where we eat ourselves and in doing so recognise our self-destructive hardwiring. But all you know you need is a roll of toilet paper and a lined notebook for the degree you should probably start working towards. But you justify coffee to the list to make it worth your while and squeeze downstairs and into sunlight, vile and deviant and unforgiving like a frowning adult who’s never had a hangover. You rock to and fro and think you’re rocking aviators for the light-pain, but really you look like some sort of televised talent show boy band member dropout with hair to match, and end up crashing on the sofa because the guy on ITV turns out to be a thief and a severe neurotic and you pity him more than you dislike him, and anyway Grand Designs is on plus one in a quarter of an hours time… Dystopia eat your heart out.  

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Some Called Him Vincent

They tease only because they like what is true.

That is why you call them friends.
So when, in avocado skies,
With the fragrance of fuchsias, 

And perhaps even focaccia, 

And other salty, honest facts of life,
Droning like blue hummingbirds
And Manuka bees,
You seep through my weak and ailing
Ego, out onto the blotting paper of my conscious mind, 

I shall consider what it is they cherish, 

And come, perhaps, to feel the same.

And do not berate me when I do, 

I tease you only because I like what's true!

But here's a precursory thought or two,
Already noted on bibulous blue...

While I write a bottle’s worth
Of evasive attempts at articulation,
The following transpires:

That I have more in common with Van Gogh
Than most care to know, or notice.

That some called him Vincent.

That all I’ve ever written does not sum me up now,
And that the whereabouts of Brighton really doesn’t matter.

That you are the closest I will ever come
To understanding the stars,
And candidness is more attractive
And captivating
Than anyone cares to admit.

That lousy house parties
Are sometimes better than expected.
And you are braver than me,
And I thank you for it.

That speech is, more often than not,
Inadequate, and
Words seldom do justice
(However hard I battle with them.)
And that self-confessing,
Asymmetrical smiles
Are secretly my favorite kind.

That some songs have a hold on me,
That I could never explain much,
And photographs are not my favorite medium.

That poems are often incredibly hard to write,
And it’s all your fault.
(That you’re forgiven.)

And that even the spectrum
Of browns, golden and dusty,
Azul, virescent and viridescent,
Warm and hazy, igneous-red,
Flushed in sunset,
Curled in blazing amber;
The hue of gloriously tawny,
Shaggy apertures
Of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
Are no match
For the honeyed morning's 
Beams of light
Dancing on your head.

'But how can words express the feel of sunlight in the morning...'