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words passed softly in the night
imagined or divine
like falling petals from a flower
each landing on the floor

a simple mattress with a sleeping boy
woken by the sound
unsteadily he walks next door
to find out why he's called

at first he's told he must have dreamt
the muffled baritone
he falls back in a tangled dream
uncertain when there's more

once again he's told he's wrong
before he's told he's right
the voice he heard belongs to God
be ready when he speaks

the boy lies fearful and frightful tense
alone in solemn dark
waiting for the voice of God
to spark light inside his heart
Up
deep inside an empty well
dark green with speckled silver moss
mute stone
soprano drips
my wet hands lifting up above my head
grasping rope which winches
  slowly
    upwards me
      up onto my toes
        then grinding past the hewn walls
          towards a glowing disk of night
            a starlit darkness
              high above
and then
  out into the full cold air
    above the stubbled fields of mud
  higher than the trees below
    which rustle so
  lifted by a whispered wind
    unmask the gentle curving earth
  drifting back
to black
underneath Kentish Town
the fine Fleet flows down
sneaking out dammed ponds
slidden across the thistled Heath
the source that took relief
hidden, next to Anglers Lane
a vanishing of oyster shells
flicked by idle ghosts of fishermen
who spit a murmured gargle
deep below in sewage world
a water's roar
silenced to hush
by the concrete poured
over centuries of bricks
From my first howl,
To the here and the now.

Is it always true the second half
Seems to go much quicker than the first?

I know I'm more than half way through
(unless I live past ninety-six).

So will it finish in a flash? Or will it
Slip into reverse? Will the things I said

I would never do, become the things that
come to pass? Or will I stay the same young boy

Who picked the quinces from the quince tree,
Who ate mulberries in the summer,
Who had a box of metal trains.
Who was that boy, I wonder?

From the here and the now,
To my last howl.
when all our words have withered
and our lips are cracked like wetted sand
  standing still
    still like the wind
  holding hands
    hands together
just three squeezes of our fingers
  as we turn to face the west
where the sunset spills great orange thrills
  across a cutout paper sky
in the gravel by the A road
where the tarmac fades away
there’s a bloom of wild flowers
with a dusty grey bouquet

and with every passing tyre
there’s a gentle nod of heads
as the flowers close their eyes
and whisper prayers for the dead

for the highway is a promise
of the better days to come
but it’s filled with weary pilgrims
whose own better days have gone

because every travelling stranger
has a tale to make you bleed
but the heart that goes on beating
knows the place where all roads lead

so you better keep on rolling
if you want to reach your goal
but be sure to look inside yourself
as the highway takes its toll
here it comes again
the swoosh
of love arriving
leaning on a café doorway
apologetically waving
aeroplane tickets
for azure places
setting toes curling
braced
for the fall
of falling
both hands holding
with faces facing
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