AfterBirth

 

“It’s not necessary that Women play Cricket”

said the zealot

whilst adjusting the dress of his own middle wicket,

fearful of progress and all that goes With-it

 

In the Maternity Ward out pops another

Allah is praised for the gift of a brother,

while the now Empty Vessel knowing her place

Averts lesser eyes from his superior face.

 

The Un-bearded head spat out between Thighs

coughed out Her Blood and replaced it with lies,

to think all that hate was born of his seed

It’s beyond all debate that it’s him we don’t need

 

 

Poets do nothing

 

Poets do nothing

save to steal and to share,

they relocate riches

That are already there.

 

A Sunrise unspoiled 

from a blue virgin sky,

they’ll scrawl on the page

not knowing the why

 

They’re up in the morning

when the wild things awake

like Cat Stevens yawning

fuck, give us a break

 

They’ll paint secret colours

that you’ve never seen,

and tell you of places

that they’ve never been

 

But mostly they sit on their

arses and write,

subjecting poor wretches

to unfettered shite.

 

 

Whatever happened to?

 
Whatever happened to quiet confidence inspiring leadership?
 
Biden capitulates immediately to the American call for blood, entering into a mindless tit for tat media driven kill-fest. What happened to stoicism and patients?
 
The people of Afghanistan may well find themselves hostages to a new kind of misery as they hunker down in their vulnerable homes. The oppressive Taliban regime prowls the streets outside while emerging factions scramble for position and power on a new ladder of variable horrors, there seems little doubt innocent Afghans will be caught in the crossfire.
 
It is entirely probable that under pressure from the US electorate and a media thirsty for blood Biden will engage in a campaign of drone warfare, raining death on what he and his Generals will state are specifically targeted groups and individuals.
 
The everyday Afghan will consequently be trapped inside a desperate battle for control on the ground by multiple factions whilst having to live under the possibility of death by drone strike from the skies. An additional insult is that those inflicting such bombardment will do so whilst stating they are doing so in the name of Afghans right to freedom from tyranny. The irony that such statements will be spoken by leaders who abandoned them needlessly should not be overlooked or understated by any of us.
 
Any sustained pursuance of vengeance on the part of the West will gradually garner support for the Taliban, igniting fresh hatred of the West in Afghans who previously viewed it with hope.
 
I would prefer that we follow a policy of quiet endeavour to pursue the freedoms of Afghans utilising methods previously dispensed with. If that includes the targeting of individuals or groups by all means possible, excluding methods which lack the surety of discriminate targeting then I believe it is those methods which should be engaged. However repugnant to many of those who sleep soundly in their beds at night it is sometimes expedient to dispose of our enemies while they sleep restlessly in theirs.

Killing’s easy Talking’s not

 

It’s not enough to sit in the quiet of night and conjure peace,

for it’s in moments of furious hatred

We need the noise to cease.

 

When the steel or the Bludgeon fills the Hand,

and the defences are all but breached

when the lines are crossed we drew in the sand

 

When the end of Civility’s Reached

 

It’s not enough to withdraw and Blame War,

in the aftermath of an act

But to stem the Blood with the Words spoke before.

 

When the Pen and the Dialogue fade in Retreat,

and young men are pushed to the fore

it’s then the march must be stopped with the feet

 

It’s then that we must ask, what for?

Old Coat

 

One pocket full of crumbs 

in the other shrivelled chestnut,

between weather fingered thumbs

The chaff we can’t forget rubs.

 

In the lining of lapels

are the remnants of soft petals,

and a fair ground list of spells

That a Gypsy never settled.

 

Where once the button met the eye

no longer shall they couple,

how elegantly they did lie

where now the creases sadly crumple

 

The threadbare loop is fraying more

each longer night untwisting,

it hangs there lonely on the door,

No earthly thing is listening.

 

National Trust

 

They took all of the stolen things and put them into crates,

they emptied out the Palaces

they planned their great escapes

 

They sailed out of the bay in fleets,

they kept their ensigns hid

they knew to keep the silence just like their fathers did

 

They sailed to where they once called home

they disembarked with glee,

ingloriously now alone in silent victory

 

They disgorged their silken pockets, the treasure chests and crates,

emblazoned all the crockery, beatified their greats,

then laundered all the plunder onto sterilised estates

 

Yet all this honest robbery we claim it as our own

complicit in our snobbery disregarding those unknown,

Displaying faded fortunes that once were someones home.

 

Headstone (On the first day of the Kabul evacuation)

 

Where do you start after twenty years of blood?

A thousand miles from the origins,

On a blank page like a tombstone awaiting the chisel.

The names have all been carved in stone and flesh,

 

They are burned in the memories of orphans and widows.

Some even breathe tonight that will be gone tomorrow.

Messages of love are punched on keyboards,

Anger is raging yet resigned to the calm of inevitable deliverance.

 

That brief sublime before the bullet hits the skull and in comes peace.

I see their faces smiling and grimacing alike,

I hear their laughter, their joy at being alive in troubled times.

I reach out into the night that takes us all, and imagine hope.

 

Blake Avenged

 

Angels are such boring Prey

they hang around these gates all day

expressly charged to turn away

all who don’t do just as they say

 

But I am fallen and have no fear

of any souls that enter here

I bear the wings of lesser gods

who grant such things as they cannot

 

For I am free to choose my flight

whatever’s wrong whatever’s right

my Talons pluck their eyes of sight

that they might dwell in endless night

 

I roar and swoop to great applause

and soar above our masters floors

and all this too it could be yours

exchange these gates for open doors   

Behind the Lines

 

Don’t worry too much that someone isn’t having their throat cut

while you sit on your couch, 

while you flick through the channels,

While you peacefully slouch.

 

Don’t worry too much that there’s no-one beyond the wall

while you turn the next page,

while you inwardly rage,

and you do nothing at all.

 

Don’t worry too much that some hold the tide

while you splash in the shallows,

while you pray at All Hallows,

While you comfortably hide.

 

Don’t worry too much that their names are unknown 

while you make your donations,

while you curse those cruel nations,

While they die alone.

 

Don’t worry too much that young men are dying

while you swallow the Kool-Aid,

With the price only they paid,

While our leaders are lying.

 

Don’t worry too much while you sleep fast tonight

that you’ll not wake in the morning,

to a new day that’s dawning,

That you’ll not be all right.

 

Our leaders sit in comfort while our young men and women put themselves in danger attempting to fix their incompetence. Armchair experts write poetry and advice to anyone who will listen, imagining they know what the streets of Kabul might be like. A small group of silent men and some women work tirelessly in ways that will never be reported in their own lifetime to save life and take life, in order to save life. They will come home quietly unannounced and Un-flagged to a nation of virtue signalling ignoramuses who imagine they could do what they do simply by thinking about it in a bloody armchair. Many of the silent actors will descend into madness and drunkenness, some will make good but none will get the credit they deserve and all will have to live with what they did and saw with no thanks or recognition. While every tom dick and harry knows better than those who can never speak.    

 

 

Insolvent

Tonight the traffic sounds like abandonment

the universe expands ever outward

I’ll never find the place you went

In the Cathedral the Saints have turned their painted faces

toward the wall 

from where gargoyles gurn the world seems small

The Sun refuses the Moon its Sky although there’s

room for all

and Wild Dogs howl not knowing why

 

A clank of sacred keys hangs heavy on rusted chain

unlocked or not the door remains the same

where prisoners forget their name

And so the years roll on and on marked by things that fade

another firework celebrates another dull parade

We bleed beyond the possible for a debt that can’t be paid

Oculus

Flooded with what we steal from eternity our Chambers are Gilded with the imaginings of victories and wisdom.

Yet all is illusion, not one atom is prisoner to man. For all men are bound by the fractured crust of expanding fusion, every cell entropic chaos.

Still, we record our various journeys as if they matter, we lie and deal and love and die for what is meaningless.

The truth burns holes in our mortal canvas and we perish to dust, to rise some other day beneath a weeping Oculus

Shut up and listen

Shut up and listen

I couldn’t have managed all these weeks without the unfailing ego’s of the ever-wise.

Where might I have found myself without the endless invites to self indulgent zoom circle jerks?

I might have simply gone for a walk shut my own self pity down for a while, read something a proper writer wrote.

Just for once shut the fuck up and listened to another voice not quite so in love with itself.

I wish more of us had done that, too late now you all look like the egotistical twats you truly are, damage done.

The futility of Seasons

And the tears that fell were as leaves falling out of season,

in no Earthly Cycle,

for no Human Reason

Yet still they fell and were trampled into time

dull footprints mulching

your memories with mine,

then when Spring time pushes its head above the soil

when new buds bloom that all may be forgot,

We’ll wish away the seasons but know that we cannot.

A Requiem of sorts

Is it a bad thing all this death? Making room for something else, shuffle along and don’t block up the hallway please. I’m having a substantial meal later today, my Yorkshire Puddings will be floating on pints of Guinness. I’m socially distancing myself from sanity, it’s comforting to surrender responsibility and to do as I’m told. Holding my partners hand has become an intimate act for which I’m grateful, we could have sex in a public place provided no more than six people are present (does that constitute dogging) can I mitigate it as a necessary act to maintain good mental health? A return to innocent pleasure has heightened my appreciation of intimacy. The sale of “Viagra Connect” has notably dropped in my postcode. Spotify reminded me today of my favourite tunes of 2020, they are a requiem for a lost year, a reflection of woodland walks, of marital breakdown and a flood of tidal booze rising and falling to the sound of the Netflix home page opening. “Rightmove” is now at the top of my Bookmark tabs and I have come to despise estate agents even more than I used to. I haven’t hugged my mum and dad for over a year but to be honest that isn’t such an unusual occurrence, although the imposed restriction has made me realise I should have done it more. Even Bob Dylan got his mojo back and wrote a song like a Psalm…I guess “The times aren’t a-changing” See you on the flip side folks…I’m off for a substantial feed.

Visiting The Dead

A sodden wreath wheels across our gentle path

while scudding clouds like aftermath

chase crows across greyscale skies

that in their bleakness ask us why

both young and old succumb to war

to lay beneath this forest floor

where reverently we softly tread

and whisper praise upon the dead

Then with your hand so firm in mine

among the ruins of our time

I kiss your warm and loving face

with thanks that I can leave this place 

In nature

Two chestnut horses beneath a Blackthorn tree

their perfect forms against the sky,

we stopped and watched incuriously

as they no doubt did you and I,

their breathing heavy, their eyes afire,

alert with every sinew flexed,

did spark in us our bright desire

to follow that which we know best.