The Supplicants

Long the line of supplicants

Before the tyrant king,

Begging for the favour

Of kissing hand and ring,

While round the throne

Attendants stand,

Silent, severe, serene,

Who truly rule the land

But speak only to them selves,

Gathering in secret,

To dangle puppets from their strings;

It’s all a vast confusion,

An illusory, shadowed world,

You and I forever lost, not knowing what to do,

What is right or what is wrong,

And right and wrong for who.

 

The Tolling Of The Bell

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Blades of grass caressed my shoes

As I walked slowly past,

Thinking of the shapes of clouds,

The shadows that they cast,

Of all the things that come to mind,

Yes, the kiss that was our last.

The sun was warm upon my face,

And on the silent stream

That waters flowered meadows,

As if it were a dreamy dream,

Of yester-land, of other times,

Or so it all did seem.

And with each step, with each new breath,

A memory blossomed in my mind,

And soon, there were so many,

Of every shape and kind,

That Time lost all its sense and shape

As if the world was going blind.

Then a songbird trilled its happy song,

That woke me from my spell,

And on I walked past hedge and field,

Towards the village, church and well,

Where I lay beneath an ancient tree,

To listen to the tolling of the bell.

The Say This Is Democracy

 

 

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They say this is democracy,

I get to vote, oh that I see,

For parties that care not a jot for me,

That make me work for life for free.

 

For that’s their racket, poverty,

For that there’s always liberty,

For riches come from larceny,

Planned in boardrooms over tea.

 

“We pay for fuel, machines and rent,

For materials and for management

At cost, it’s money that’s well spent,

For profit comes from labour lent,

 

“For which we never pay the debt,

For labour’s added value, those riches that we get,

Is kept by us instead of them, it’s how we have things set,

Oh, we throw them all some pennies, that’s all they’re gonna get.”

 

They say this is modernity,

They’re all for human rights,

But we’re all still slaves it seems to me,

Wake up! Revolt and take the heights.

 

 

 

A Small Café

 

river cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sat that day in a small café

By a shaded riverbank,

The noise of town seemed far away

Though ducks quacked by in rank,

The anglers seemed to rest in dream

Rods resting from the cast,

Dozing on the sun’s warm beam,

Ah, to live this way at last.

 

The boats passed by and in their wake

Trailed spirals, spinning, silver white,

That always seemed about to break

And scatter shafts of light.

From lazy decks came shouts and song

And once a girl blew me a kiss,

From a boat they named So-long.

That brought the taste of bliss.

 

And then a sparrow, small and frail,

Among some branches overhead,

Began to tell his epic tale,

We hear as song instead,

Of travels far, among the clouds,

The skies, the stars, the seas,

Far from cities, far from crowds,

It near brought me to my knees.

 

So rare it is these days to hear

Such music so profound

When life costs us all so dear

And death is all around,

I dared to think the sparrow knew

That in his happy air

Lay some Hope, to bring us through

And save us from Despair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 









She Wore A Crimson Dress

I can’t remember why I loved,

Or why I played the game,

The days were long, the nights were hot,

The yearning like a flame,

Then there she was, before me,

Our eyes like threads entwined,

As we passed on forest path,

It seemed we were one mind,

So followed her through sunlit glades,

By shadowed wooded streams,

Unsure of her reality,

While wondering of my dreams,

She had dark hair and sad blue eyes,

She wore a crimson dress,

And said to me, on parting,

You must not this, confess.”

Clouds

clouds are splashed across a turquoise sky,

like gestures of a transformed world, 

-a world to us unknown-

or spectral bands by ghostly hands,

heralding a new dawned age, 

beyond the age of man,

and once we’re gone, 

then who will care, 

it cannot be our gods,

for they are frail and changing things, 

born of desperate minds,

the universe grown conscious, 

but of itself afraid,

that became a force of nature, 

but now the force is spent;

Philosophy has failed us, 

the Enlightenment was slain,

and now, on the near horizon, 

darker clouds appear,

from which there flash the warnings,

with thunderous cannon shots,

that shake the world’s foundations, 

long crumbling into dust.

Behold, She Walks The Room As Though A Queen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behold, she walks the room as though a queen,

Who rules alone where death has been,

Silent as the scented air,

That curls around her greying hair,

Fingers bare and intertwined,

Her eyes aflame, her face now lined,

For yesterday they sent her word,

Her sons had died or so they’d heard,

In wars she could not understand,

The reasons why, the marching band,

Or why the crowds called out for more,

Until the din became a roar,

And off they marched while singing songs,

To right the world and all its wrongs,

So were told the young and bold,

For so it goes from times of old,

And then in through an open door,

Like a broken wave upon a shore,

Comes a man she barely knows,

Transfigured by a world of woes,

Who moved towards her in a daze,

Aging with each change of gaze,

And raised his head from off his chest,

He really tried to do his best,

But sorrow is a heavy weight,

And always come when it’s too late,

Who said with slow and feeble breath,

We were foolish, we were proud,

We listened to that howling crowd,

Now all we have is emptiness,

Please, let’s sit and share our tears,

For missing sons, the wasted years,

For what else is left but you, and I,

A world destroyed, and all the rest, oblivion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Northern Climes When Winter Comes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In northern climes when winter comes

And heads bow before the wind,

Happy times can spring to mind,

Like visions in a dream,

Of kisses in a car’s back seat,

On a gentle summer’s night

Hands moving in the dark

Entwining eyes and limbs,

Of toboggans packed with arms and legs,

Racing wildly down the snow,

Of donkeys walking on the beach,

And Punch and Judy shows,

When friends were yours forever,

Though they be so very few,

When love was possibility;

And revolution in the air,

For death was then unknown to us,

Despite the daily news,

We never gave much thought to that,

Were content to play the game.

 

We Never Taste A Perfect Wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We never taste a perfect wine,

Nor live for long in happiness,

The path we walk is thorny flint,

We walk alone there, side by side,

 

The sun awakes the flower’s bloom,

The rain, the sleeping seeds,

But sometimes in my dreams I hear

Faint whispers of the sea,

 

Which bore our ship on heaving waves,

Through storm and diamond ice,

Through fears and  through misgivings,

The old world to the new,

 

Which appeared to us in glitter,

That first night in New York,

When a taxi man drove us round

And a black man eased our pain

 

On the journey north by clicking rail,

To a land that lay in snow,

Where new troubles borne of old,

To regrets gave birth anew.

 

We never taste a perfect wine,

Nor live for long in happiness,

The path we walk is thorny flint,

We walk alone there, side by side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Soldier Had A Puzzled Look

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soldier had a puzzled look,

His gun had jammed, so read a book,

That told him all he thought he knew,

While bullets flew just past his head,

Of knights and kings, and all they slew,

And wondered then if it was true,

The things they said about the dead,

 

But then there came the feared command,

To make their prayers for one more stand,

For peace at last without regrets,

At which they cursed and cried,

Fumbling with their bayonets,

They owed the slain too many debts,

The sea of blood was wide.

 

They didn’t know the enemy, the reason they were there,

Some said this and some said that and some just didn’t care,

For living wasn’t easy but graves they gave you free,

So, ready for the killing, but trembling as he stood,

Wondered where the gods were, oh, why they didn’t see,

The shattered earth and corpses, from mountain to the sea,

And what in us is worth a damn, is any bloody good.