Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Children of War (An Angry Rant)

This is my tuppence worth on the recent decision the UK Government made to not accept 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian children who had travelled to Europe. See more on this story here.

***WARNING: This poem is extra angry***

“The offices of Downing Street are particularly busy today,
I’m ever so sorry children, you’ll have to go away.”
No this isn’t a direct quote but let’s face it, it may as well be,
As we patronise, then turn our backs on the plight of adversity.

“The locked doors of Downing Street cannot be opened today,
We’ve been hearing the same story for months, will it not just go away?”
We’re a nation of problem-solvers, we want to put things right,
But if answers don’t come fast and easy, we’ll put it out of sight.
Because we’ve signed petitions and sent a few possessions,
We wonder at lack of resolution and escalating aggression.

“The workers at Downing Street are today writing Policy,
Between acronyms and procedures, there’s excessive bureaucracy”
How will all our strategic words read to the next generations?
Or will it really matter when we’ve cut global relations!

And in a few months time, Panorama will investigate,
We’ll shed a tear and say ‘it’s awful’ on hashtagged, emotive updates,
At stories of human traffickers, of violence, of child rape,
We’ll claim ‘it’s just so shocking’ and sit with mouths agape.
And if, in years to come, a mass grave should be exposed,
We’ll again be shocked, because we paid off one of those
Oppressive Regimes to clear up all the mess,
We’ll say ‘We didn’t see it coming’ and then we’ll blame the press.

Friday, 22 April 2016

2016: We're losing the heroes

First Bowie, then Haggard, now it's Prince,
2016, come on, what is this?
From Rickman to Phife Dawg,
Lemmy to Wood,
Even Wogan's gone, it's only good
byes to the names we've known a lifetime,
We're not halfway through yet, I wanna call time-
out on this hollow state of affairs,
Before another newsreel with a photo declares
A treasure is gone,
And time's marching on.

Feel the rattling chains
Of the ol' Grim Reaper,
Well rack 'em up again.
This year's getting deeper lads,
We need a tribute here,
No words fathomed, just a nod with the beer
Bottles jangling the air
Of another lost time of a rare soul that dared
To step out of the mould, shake it up and shine,
And by being themselves said 'Fuck it, we're fine.'

But what do we do when the heroes are gone?
Re-watch the old shows, strum chords of their songs?
Every one of them the voice of a generation,
No wise words here, no wild proclamations.
But they're the sounds we grew up with,
The stand-outs and laugh-hards and getting on with it.

From CDs, DVDs, old YouTube links,
And sudden nostalgia of hyperlinks.
Gig ticket keepsakes where we fell in love,
Or blasted that track out through stoic break-up shove.
The shoulders of giants we've been standing on,
Removed like mortal-jenga, too many swan-songs.

And names of heroes we've memorised
Live on in the gut in times we're surprised
That despite the years, we know every line,
Clearing cobwebs off mind's old road signs
That all point down a one-way street,
It's a bitter frosting on a life that's sweet.
Well life is short, so I'll make this the same,
Hold on to your heroes, dance wild in their name.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

I can't find the Silence

The Great Wheel, from the Speculum Angelorum et Homillum from W.B. YEATS; A Vision

Between the distant sirens,
And the close clock tick,
I can't find the silence.

Passing years play tricks.

Perhaps if I moulded myself into this wall,
Took a vow of silence, shut away from it all,
Read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, 

Yeats' Vision, the Quran, the Bible,
What Kabbalah said,
I could measure out the sentiments,
Try to be kind to all sentients,
And drift into the silence 

Of hot promise in cold wall.
Or maybe I should drift a while,
Clocking up tangled miles.
'Existence precedes essence' 

Of some old Sartre tale.

Measure out life in envelopes,
A lick to the stamp
And a lifetime wrote
Out, maps fading out.
When it all falls apart,
And another door's ajar,
Chasing wisdom in the curtains 

Of transient hope.

Between the distant sirens,
And the close clock tick,
I can't find the silence,
Only the etch of new sentiments.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Ease up on ourselves

I took every spark of rejection
As a distinct, innate reflection
Of something of myself,
Gathering dust on falling shelf.

I don't know if it was daddy issues,
Won't go into it here, put away the tissues.
But somehow, we seem to invoke
Off-key radar of a random bloke
As reason we're not good enough.

That there is no possible way to ease up
On ourselves from that judgemental look
On the bus, or tube, or coffee shop,
Or miscommunication of the last hook-up.

'I want to read your mind' you say,
Why don't we let silence be kind today
And chalk up all our faults,
Stick them away i
n a plastic vault,
And hope on for a brighter day.

Spill ourselves into shadows to allay
Our fears that we could have been that little bit bigger,
That our hearts were blown by old fear's trigger.
That our race is pretty much run,
I'll call out the thunder as sun
To say we're yet to live on for another day,
I'll meet you down Freedom Highway.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Writing Life

To hear me reading this number, swing by here

Even after all this time,
On my favourite days 
I do nothing but write.
Some days it takes more of a fight
Or is more of a novelty
Than it may sound initially.
Between bursting wardrobes that need a sort out,
Or that boiling saucepan you need to keep an eye out for.

What are you looking for?
A break in the clouds
And clocks to stop,
Cancelled meeting,
WiFi free lock-up
So you can knock out a rhyme
That says something of our time?

But with this next one I'll get it down,
Thoughts will fall on the page
And they’ll make a sound
Of their own.
And make sense of all the haphazard feelings
That form half-baked thoughts
And keep ya reeling at night,
With profound insight
That in the cold light of day
Turns out to be nonsense anyway.
Insomnia visions have you racked
Red eyes of a heart that’s vacuum packed.

I listen to poems of my contemporaries,
They talk profoundly and with relevancy
And shit.
Can I not be pretentious for a bit?
Talk about trees or meadows or tit-bits
That with evaporated intonation
Paint an abstract illustration
That I know that little bit more than I do,
And on a plethora of topics too.

I bet Yeats didn't have to contend with this,
Predictive text cock-ups and new mantras for this
Life we're living,
Before I know it I'm giving out
Remnants of myself
To submission pages
For a piece to be published
Takes bloody ages.
And I'm grateful
But these days we all crave instant gratification
For our latest pontification.
I mean, that's what facebook’s for
We put it out there to claw
A little bit of ourselves back
The mirror only tells us lacks
It’s alright mate I've got your back
On this one
I'll load it, you point the gun
On another ideal that's shot down,
Brace yourself here comes the next round.

And then ya get that victory,
Just when asking ‘Is this meant for me?’
Someone liked what ya did,
But just as your fragile, undermined Id
Starts to bloom,
A vacant eyed stare round solid-walled room
Questions 'Are they a hoax?'
And your broken voice croaks
They probably stick up anything
This game’s a jumped-up, fickle thing,
They're only looking for content.
Every game the same,
Can we not be content
At the times we achieve?
‘N’ah ‘cos if I receive somethin’
Everyone must be better than me.’
The spilling voice of inadequacy
That speaks to us all.
I'll give you a call,
We'll put the world to rights.
Or maybe we need some respite
From all the competition,
And that inner voice of derision
Putting its spoke in.

This rolie I'm smokin'
Says sit back and assess
Don't be fooled to regress
To your view on who you are,
As opposed to who you are.
And keep on keeping on.
I look up, there’s the sun
Cracking through plaster clouds,
Saying something like
‘We could be proud’
But I can’t quite make out the words.

New micropoems up: Exiled on Main Street

Dance yourself to waking
This life can be so sweet
If I ever had to be exiled
I'd be exiled on Main Street

For more micropoems, check out here

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

New Micropoems up: Truth

I'll stake a claim
On the incidental nature of truth.
It's all the same,
But different.

For more micropoems, swing by here X

Friday, 1 April 2016

New micropoem up: Dreams

Heavy eyes eclipse to another reality,
I tried lucid dreaming but dreams demanded they were free.

For more micropoems check out here

Tear-stained Letter

Maybe I should write you a tear stained letter,
Take it to the old skool, it might be better
Than all my fragile spoken words,
You could read lines between the words,
And make some meaning from them.

The twisted seams and dropped down hem
Of a dress that's seen better days,
I'll fix it up and look the part and try again to raise
My expectations.

What did your investigations
Into a heart like mine come up with?
A defibrillator stitch-up with
Good intentions?
We could all pay more attention
To what our gut says,
Instinctive jump to jagged praise,
Leaves only questions.