the ice sliced the street while counting the paced steps under my breath. we're all here for the temporary feeling — the things that kept us alive, the books that were written, the songs that were sang. your demitasse of cold coffee and glass of sangria with fruits that was drenched in the cold blood of wine. the intervals of your horrible sanity, the tingling edges of your pulse and the pain in its very unusual degree. the infinite possibilities of what can be taken away from you until you actually run out of things to write about or realizing that nothing is meant to last for more than lightyears away in time.
- please stay, i want to write about you.
Trampling through their city paths,
Hunting ground, mean street.
They perch aloft towers of oak;
Dripping with prestige vine, wrapped
With silk leaves, soft to touch
And hard to climb.
The Sun sets over the seven lakes
Of spring kissed, freshly mown
Fields of scorn blessed by
Solitudal and beady eyes.
Gates keeping out the world that
Wishes them harm.
They sit so high peering down,
At our destitution, our self-prohetised Might!
“Pfft you all wish you could fly
We ambled the streets of Harare
Fleeting past wide-eyes scanning us enviously
Hand in hand we walked into the restaurant
Leisurely on Second Street
Our hunger awakened
Our appetites heightened
At almost closing time
With no one in overtime mode
A signal that here we could only dine on another day
Joina City was our next stop
Up the lift right to the top
'Closed' it read at the coffee shop
Into the nearest chair I went flop!
Though hungry, we gabbed non-stop
By and by we regarded the clock
It chimed 8 o'clock
And sadly, it was time to go home
Busy and noisy
Were the streets of Harare
Jabbering crowds, kombis hooting
Hawkers, vendors or is it hustlers now -
Calling for buyers or just huddled to pass time
No chill in Harare
Picturesque like a dream
Hand in hand we dawdled
In despair for a hot meal
In the shimmering distance
Like a mirage in the desert
The neon lights read
Something to calm our rambling bellies
Nippy evening air hit our souls
'Ice-cream tastes better at night'
'I can't believe I'm having ice-cream'
Hand in hand we danced past faces painted with adoration
'What a handsome lover!'
They probably thought:
My delectable younger brother
Wrote this after one of my visits to Harare, Zimbabwe in 2017.
On city streets
late at night
in the cold winter
not too numb
not too blind to see
like a summer day
long gone now
only cold to crystallize my fate
like frost on the window
trying to get in
reached the limits of my reach
and pound my fist
against the wall
stretching across the horizon
as far as I can see
I am lost in a crowd
only the sun
I am hot, so hot
I'm going to die
on city streets
It won't be easy
like a summer day
long gone now
we walk on the same streets
but i am never by your side
and you, never by mine
but i can always almost see you,
always almost touch you,
and though we couldn't be
further from each other,
they shake the ground
beneath my feet,
it follows my every move
you are opaque yet so translucent,
crystal clear yet you blur before my eyes
we are both aware of one another,
yet we never leave, never meet,
and never do we walk in the same direction
but still we walk on the same streets,
just not together
The napalan man in a violet cape
descended the stair with a lopsided gait
a wretched procession, subscribers in cue
rattling off as they stream from the pew
sounds and smells from a shadowy place
a catholic priest to gin up base
lanterns strung from bolted doors
cobbled streets and wooden floors
stepping stones and iron bell
fortified by the citadel
hallowed halls and sepulcher
dragon cane for the horse drawn tour
castle turret, archer holes
centaur scribed in chamber bowls
garden columns in courtyard view
the blood ballet and hullabaloo
ancient tombs on warrior grounds
gods and saints who made their rounds
goliath still with battered scythe
knelt in prayer and mummified
battle fires and crowds that roar
gallows, caves, abysmal war
gargoyles flock the terraced *****
pearly gates to bring on hope
serpents, snakes and burning ash
lava bombs and trident clash
mariners drift in absentee
as neptune rises from the Tyrrhenian Sea
Sunday sermons are spilling on the inner city streets
through the green heaps and brown bags
through the downtown whisperers
and sage solitude souls
Army bands prepare for march
(their trench members filling packs with canister and cane)
the high command and tricked militia head pinned
quick on the look for splinter, lorry and skuttle
Traffic patterns change at the COP connect
camouflage bearers break formal stride
battle men slip between colorful floats
unsuspecting slumlords (vein pricked and weary)
grin in their second suite dying rooms
Twitching men and rubbernecks
sit discreetly on the corner wall
JJ and the chief revere a 21 gun salute
holy rollers raise cheer (in a moment of silence)
chess men hold steady
with ivory cues
Flames belt from the distant foundry
streets come alive with crackle and dust
members of the attic group glance down from their perch
an elderly man in a straight jacket (happy in the now)
sits solemnly with a cold reflective stare
It’s not far from the steely mud holes
from the flying fragments and sharp broken dreams
from the arsenal digs and madmen (who quietly turned the *****)
the ivy trellis
and flowing white gown
are a nocturne fit
for this elevated rolling highland
through the streets and column cracks
culture weaves and summer smacks
sacred figures, holy shrine
monastery in grand design
cathedrals, convents, heaven’s stars
god of neptune, god of mars
doge’s palace, alley ways
gondolier on full display
winged lions on pastel breeze
cicada singing from the trees
pillar walk of saint mark's square
basilica in all its flare
crosses shade the carousel
a bridge of sigh that leads to hell
golden stairs on placid ridge
arches of rialto bridge
torcello! murano! grigio!
the countess rides the river poe!
sins of seven, fiery hides
poplars bank the levee side
black plague, attila the ***
eden formed before the sun
paradise above the marsh
high alter, gothic arch
middle age, religious wars
celestial fountains, marble floors
sculpted peacock, catholic faith
all is true the great god saith
empty houses and car-less streets,
this town holds beauty without residence.
people move into this town of beauty and run up and down the streets damaging little by little slowly.
the people take away the beauty and throw it all away for their selfish needs,
they build tall tall buildings and put gas into the lovely clean air.
leaving this town a horrible disease.
Let me pretend our life is normal
there's no illness here
As I lay beneath the covers
Under the covers
On a chilled mornings day
outside beyond our window
children are at play
Freshly brewed coffee
drifting in on the air
As we lay
beneath the covers
without a care
Spring flowers bloom
dancing in on the breeze
Hear the Kookaburras laughing
outside in the trees
Dogs bark in the distance
a few streets away
But under the covers
nice and cosy
is where we shall stay
Till it's time to get started
on our day ahead
But for now I'm quite content
under the covers with you
in our bed
Pretending life is normal
He was asking for something,
I took out an earbud to hear what.
He was born ten years after me
But looked ten years older.
He told me I'd never been in jail,
Never been homeless.
He asked if I knew
How he knew.
I said, "Good guesses."
He told me I looked different from other people,
Said there was no fear in my eyes.
He was proud of knowing so much about me.
But there was more he did not know,
Such as what makes me different
And why there is no fear in my eyes.
Up steep streets
In a dream
Words seen in windows
Left and Westwood
Checking number plates
For initial surprises
Numbers for primes
The number of years
By the number of days
Adding the leaps
The few left over
To arrive in the viewfinder
To stand on the edge
To look at the scene
To breathe with the light
To know finally that I am
He walked the streets a begger
they buried him like a king
he played a six string guitar
he wore no golden ring
She had the voice of angels
survived a valley called death
then fearing no evil
she passed every test
They wrote the songs with sunsets
they walked the line together
they stood in a ring of fire
in love they burned forever
Tribute to Johnny Cash and June Carter
When a white woman is victimized they'll scour the streets, fan out, stop,
harass, detain, arrest any black man. Any one they can finger for the crime.
They say things such as they all look alike or something to that effect.
A black woman is abused they'll look around, see white males everywhere but they cannot find any suspects? None of them fit the description.
Why is that?
Yeah, that's right, it is because they all look alike! Too many of 'em. Can't arrest everyone now can we? People have rights!
I suppose they do...
As long as you consider them,
-they have rights.
For those who bother to check..my father told me about the original T.V. media on this and I deduced the rest by a sheer enjoyment of the man. Love you AL.
I grew up in the loneliness of one hundred streets
The more poems I wrote the more I'd get beat
The rare times were few but I wrote them down
Poetry as confession in a lonely town
I'm no Leonard Cohen, I am no Rod McKuen
And so far any talent remains unproven
But from those streets I have lived my Rhyme
A Journeyman Poet stride by stride
In the World streets have doubled now, in number and size
But I hope Poetry is no stranger in our lives
It's the 21st Century, let's put our Art on the breeze
Giving voice to the vow in our words there is Unity
My Town is about 240 streets now (2018) but back in the 1950's it was only just 100 (give or take a few). A small-minded small town on the North East Coast of England where being 'different' wasn't always a good thing to be... especially for a young lad who wrote poetry.
The dead lie like Rome,
Like toppled sunshine in stone,
From a boy who had blown
Into the seashell of the Forum,
Heard back in restoning, the alley of home,
The narrow, basket-flowered angiportum…
But, lips too strong, let out unknown
The stone-witherings of Medusa
And the bone dust of empire.