Time and distance has conspired
to make our love brave concertina wire,
while this may be an over statement of our case,
nonetheless, you and I have the wounds to prove it.
around Folsom prison
& watched the water
tumble over the dam.
I saw the concertina
at the top
of the fences
& wondered if
the armed boys in the tower
would shoot me
if I took off my boots
in the cool
Then I thought to myself,
"Naw, I'd better not,
think I'll swim a mile
or two away,
it's safer that way!"
Stairs fly as straight as hawks;
Or else in spirals, curve out of curve, pausing
At a ledge to poise their wings before relaunching.
Stairs sway at the height of their flight
Like a melody in Tristan;
Or swoop to the ground with glad spread of their feathers
Before they close them.
They curiously investigate
The shells of buildings,
A hollow core,
Shell in a shell.
Useless to produce their path to infinity
Or turn it to a moral symbol,
For their flight is ambiguous, upwards or downwards as you please;
Their fountain is frozen,
Their concertina is silent.
create a foreground effect
below glistening concertina wire
as the morning sun shines down
the prison in April blooms forth
despite itself –
goslings, tan with black spots
forcing recognition of nature
in a place void of hope
springtime blessing the groundskeepers
and those fortunate enough to have been given yard time
blue skies only corrupted by chemical spray –
laughing inmates break my concentration as a pigeon lands on
a cool breeze creeps in diluting the stale air
education floor buzzes with activity
as forgotten men seek to become more
I sit encouraged by light bulbs –
crackling radio signals the line movement
round two of handshakes and polite jokes
another hour and twenty minutes of magic
I quietly sit back and smile at the scene laid before me
no student has more fire for education
than a man who thought himself less than nothing
Arms at her sides
Hangin' like a noose loop
Radio music sporadic static
Choking on some air waves
Her heart is locked up
She keeps it in the bottom drawer
Her house is surrounded by chain-link
Shes too good for you
She has a picnic alone
Feeding crumbs to the ants
So grown up and independent
I thinks its just chemical imbalance
Are you still waking up
To the shotgun blast alarm clock
Sleeping in the pitch black
Washing dishes burning matches
Watching television addict
To have it all figured out
You'll choke on the pieces
Dog on a short chain
Too good for me
She's too busy curing cancer
And feeling sorry for herself
Someone told me what you said
I was a piece of shit hick
Drug addict rat
Because you know me?
I've got a strong chin
Been hit harder than that
There's the door
I rolled into that city
sometime after midnight,
had been fighting
my peepers from closing
I wore shades to hide my eyes,
sixteen hours on the interstate
had made me feel like toast,
less than human,
a bit comatose
& I needed a room.
My pointed boots
accented my slim jeans
& I moved through
the lobby with ease,
as if I were a ghost.
I could feel the disease
in that place,
bars were in the windows
& hookers glanced
The concertina wire
should have been a clue.
And without a sound,
I slithered back
to my spaceship
& moved southward,
onward toward El Paso.
With one more to go,
I floored myself
had to get
out of that place
I learnt this week
that time and distance
can be friends to memory
their respective lengths
only wet and sharpen
the edge of love
but for us dear friend
we hold hard to hope
that we may
one day soon
share the present
and live each moment
in each other's heart.
Hearing you on Holkham beach
- whose soul is greater than the ocean
whose spirit stronger than the sea -
did I doubt for a moment
that you, though buffeted
by a cold east wind
would never age for me,
nor fade, nor die.
Nor you for me (she said)
Goodbye, my love,
a thousand times goodbye.
Write me well (she said)
and turned and ran.
The Reedham ferry was but a river's width
and yet I stood at the water's brink
and watched the reeds quiver in the wind,
watched the rain splatter on the puddled path.
All around to the human eye
this valley, a plain of grassland
broken only by reed-fringed pools,
was a gentle, unpeopled, easy place.
The absence of relief left
no fixed frame of reference.
Places apart from one another
would concertina and merge.
Tempted to cross I waved a no
to the ferryman in his quayside hut
then turned and walked quickly
back down the long, low road.
Red jagged rocks are mirrored by a calming lake,
A boy stands there, restless, shrouded in a woolly jumper,
Above his head brooding clouds echo his unsettled mood,
They roll and roar across the sky, no purpose, no restraint,
Then, a moment of clarity—peace to the madness,
Then it falls,
Let it fall,
A perfect pure snow flake,
Swirling, curling….buffeted by cruel winds,
The boy now subdued, enchanted by this concertina of beauty,
In the scene’s ephemeral light he sees his desires,
This charming flake will quell his smouldering fires.
Now a drink fuelled room of pent-up angst and dumb excess,
The boy in the jumper observes a hedonistic scene,
Red eyes gleam, full of passion and lust,
But in this room full of people; just one caught his sight,
A brown curled beauty of the cold New Zealand night,
The boy, subdued now, in her eyes glimpses something,
Her brimming brown orbs flicker,
Let him fall,
Deep within he sees his reflection,
A boy in a woolly jumper looks back,
In HER eyes he sees it again,
Snow’s first flake, pure and right,
He is content.
Hallelujah Simpkins, Syllogism Brown,
Wandered up to Barkingside to walk around the town.
Does it make you wonder, when they ring the bell,
How they press the organ keys and sing along as well?
Syllogism wondered so he climbed the tower to see;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, I know that I am free.
Hallelujah Simpkins, Pendlebury Jane,
Hurried to the hospital and hurried home again.
Does it make you wonder, when they run so fast,
How they know they'll ever reach the hospital at last?
Pendlebury wondered even though she couldn't run,
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, today I have a son.
Hallelujah Simpkins, Academic Smith,
Never et an orange if they couldn't eat the pith.
Does it make you wonder, if oranges can float,
Why they catch the Underground and never catch a boat?
Academic wondered so he went and caught the train;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, and said it once again.
Hallelujah Simpkins, Concertina Flight,
Hear the song the angels sing in Dagenham tonight!
Does it make you wonder, climbing Heaven's stair,
How you'd speak to Hallelujah Simpkins, if he's there?
Simpkins only wondered whom he followed as he soared;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, and glory to the Lord!