Later

 

Young men labour unburdened by care

Each day bookended by self,

Between Pillars of Consciousness waypoints of possibility converge.

Taken or abandoned they are what makes a life.

 

Old men in their slumber are shackled by regret,

Cavernous hours shared with ghosts.

The open-mouthed yawn of days bereft of hope

A life exhaling its precious intoxication.

I Forget

 

I haven’t seen a mole for years, or a lugworm

Not heard the creeping still of night,

Or felt the Diamond Cold of Sea

 

I’m certain those creatures still exist

And Seas are Sharp as ever were,

It seems I am becalmed adrift

 

I hear the wind out where I am

I feel the Sun it’s warmth and shade,

I see faces wither cruelly, Loved, Unloved

 

I haven’t truly shed a tear beyond my own regret,

And yet I sense I once knew love

Or maybe I forget.

Upon the Marsh

 

We walked atop twelve thousands years

Each metered strata rich with toil,

Beyond the streets that nurse our fears

We breathed the air time could not spoil.

 

While deeper down the past was trod

Each step on step we moved on by,

And too uncaring of the sod

Raised up our gaze to fragile sky.

 

And as that thinning blister yields

Might we pay heed upon the Land?

That those to come will know these fields

Still full of Life and not of Sand

 

Britannia Rex

 

Power seeks momentum not reflection,

Events of significance distort time.

Bearers of The Reins conjure new dimension,

Slower horses stall, re-joining by design.

 

Nothing has changed, no New Age awaits

The curvature of all bends towards its end.

An open door, once resplendent gates

The enemy a once beloved friend.

 

Goodbyes are mere hellos exhaled

No one meets beyond that breath,

Their atoms cast asunder, failed.

Each soul extant though flesh is death

 

Strength demands assurance

That each must know their place,

Survival is endurance

And the presence of a Mace

 

By Camp Fire Light

 

The Romance of Resistance

Crackling by Mountain Firesides,

So appealing from a distance

Out of shot where safety bides.

 

Not the subterranean torture cell,

The Holiday Inn or Stadium,

Not the flaming Halls of Hell

Not our friends? No, no, not them.

 

No Pasaran, No Jashari

They Pledge allegiance free from Arms

“Oh look, oh look, oh look at me”

They fuel the flames but do no harm?

 

In the back room pulling teeth

Beating soles with copper pipe,

That’s fake news. Well that’s their belief

Between the lines you’ll sense the hype.

 

Their enemy’s enemy, are Angels all,

Free reign to loose their lightening strikes.

Then when it’s done they’ll let them fall

And conjure new friends into their sights.

Some Other Place

 

Hot summer afternoons in 92,

Sarajevo.

Along the Banks of The Miljacka

The Streets shimmered a hazy hell

 

As if something beneath was venting fury.

In open spaces framed by high windows

The City’s damned would dash and dive,

Splashes of concrete ripped their flesh.

 

Eye sockets and temporal bone smashed,

Hearts exploded in tiny chests.

Mothers hung themselves in darkened rooms,

Fathers succumbed to quiet suicide.

 

Shopping bags flung loose their simple lives,

Gutters festered with blood and food

Never to be cooked, shared or prayed over

The dead piled in barrows under cover of dark

 

Some shooters kept count until madness came,

Their flashbacks fast-forwarding and freeze-framing,

More coffee, more Cigarettes, more Rakija,

Keep killing until the end, Mother Serbia.

 

Those that live now are shadows of men,

The fallout of hate and ethnic delusion

No longer the Whiskey steadies their grip

Their eyes blind, they replay only memories

Plea to an Unknown Saviour

 

Wrapped around my hollow chest

A velcro’d corset clings defiant

Should blasted steel e’re pierce my breast

The faith I place be too reliant

 

To walk these Shattered Avenues

Their Silvered Birch now shredded stark

I count the curbstone gaps for clues

As if the day be shrouded dark

 

A plume of dust marks where I left

The rubble’d waste that was my life

I can but seek some shaded cleft

And trust in you to ease my strife

Richard de Cetrefort

 

Richard de Cetrefort submitted only to God

Withholding what little he thought God had forgot

 

What God had forgot the Church had forespent

And neither those Kingdoms would hear him repent

 

One fired up its bundles and drove deep the Stake

The other forsook him and closed up its gate

 

The Poor of The Parish mourned his cruel death

They starved through The Winter betrayed and bereft

 

Raise up your voice

 

Quieter Minds hold wisdom close

Distrusting tongues to speak their truth,

That should their words betray the host

It weights on them as burdens proof.

 

Of Brasher Minds those others wag

To twist and mold their crooked want,

Beseeching Souls of Sword and Flag

To quench their thirst at Wars Deep Font

 

Between two Points like Polar Drift

The Flotsam Minds wash To and Fro,

For it is they that are the sift

Of who Will Stay and who Must Go.

 

So Gird your Quiet Mind with Steel

And trust the words you fear to tell,

For better The Life that does not yield

Than one that bides in Silent Hell

 

Full Circle

 

Undulating, curving slow,

Skirting peat banks thick with reed,

The road uncoils to where I know

Though I know not where it may lead.

 

Where the stone gives way to Sea

I’m cradled gently through the brine,

Then birthed ashore where I was me

Two lifetimes meet their parting line.

 

To cross one way and not return

Forever leaves the pathway broke,

To read a book yet not to learn

Steals from its pages wisdom spoke.

 

Often not by purposed step

We find ourselves from where we came,

An accident without regret

Full circle, brings us home again.

The Painting of a War

 

Every frame through narrowed sight

The edges blur to indistinct,

So honed the thought, so free of light

A moment’s life, then life extinct.

 

A breath released, the action spent

The snapshot fused upon a mind,

A palette’s hue cannot relent

The vivid bleed its colours find

 

Then shuffling through the silent rooms

Wall on wall the canvas stained,

Memories brushed like smoking plumes

That rose to leave yet still remained.

 

As if waiting for The Echo

 

Angels know a Million things The Coded Genes that fix their Wings,

Devils know a Thousand Lands Of Poison Tongues and Idle Hands.

 

Knowing’s not the thing to fear when Thunders far there’s Lightening near,

The Reapers Scythe lurks in the gaps between the Contours of our Maps.

 

After Smiles and Shaken Hands Serpents loose their Bloody Plans,

While Dogs of War attend their Wounds Havoc Slips to Rage too soon.

 

There’s no-one Guarding at the Gates where Saints and Sinners Congregate,

They’re Far to busy Preaching Hate to recognize their Brain Washed State.

 

As Word on Word the Pulpits Fall into their Pits go One and All,

Their Little Voices Hollowed out no matter how they Scream and Shout

 

In a Quiet Place

In The arbour under bough

A silence fell, quite still.

The breeze was cooling gently

Our blazing want of will

A Robin followed swift of wing

Dancing light before our feet,

While all around her Sisters sing

Great Hymns of Nature, Incomplete

Words seemed to float away from us

While painted in that place,

For all the reverence spoke of love

Not one could frame your face

And often times I’m taken there

When from my mind you’ve flown,

To save myself from dark despair

For there, I feel I’m home.

Hegel’s Parallax

 

What is harder than to realize we are wrong?

Standing before Altars, beneath Spires

 

Are we then without pause to blindly carry on?

Or to extinguish the constructs and causes of The Fire

 

For what are we if in our time we pass from East to West,

Circuitous by nature, unknowing beyond the bend

 

Believing earthly toil might deliver peaceful rest

To be welcomed by a moment after which, is only end.

 

In such blissful nothing would the Journey be in vain

The winding path of travel ever lost?

 

Or might those who follow never tread our way again

And with their every footstep repay themselves, our cost.

 

Victor Ludorum

The Sinewed boy Glistens, Spent,

At Sports Days end, Magnificent

 

The Golden Smile, his Ruffled Crown

A Monarch Raised to be Brought Down.

 

Mothers Pride, Fathers Fears

Too Much to Hide through all The Years

 

A Trophy in a Picture Frame

A Silver Chiseled Long Lost Name.

 

Of all The Battles Fought and Won

None held its Day as that has Done.

 

Kit Bag Repatriation

The Stock sat snuggly in the shoulder,

Now here they are a lifetime older.

The greater mass filled Rifle Sights

To squeeze the trigger, felt so right.

 

Someone said they were the one’s

To fall before the blazing guns,

And so they fell, some Mothers Sons,

Some lives snuffed out and some begun.

 

Some went home in sleeping bags

Rotten flesh in haversacks,

Some The Low Road, some The High

Not one of them knowing why

 

 

Fatal Blow & Rural Rides revision

Fatal Blow

Down where The Land yields to The Sea

As the edge of an offered blade,

A boundless ocean flows harnessed yet free

Through trenches millennia made.

 

At The pool of my blood I’m cut to the bone

Fractured cliffs rise up to defend,

My heart echoes through chambers forever alone

With a pulse that no steel could end

 

Love is The Sword that rusts in the tide

Thrust too deep to ever withdraw,

Like the myth of a King who drew it but once

To find himself ever at war

 

 

Rural Rides (The Bird Scarer)

Under Sack Cloth between The Cracks,

In ditches by The Workman’s Tracks,

Beyond the Bawdy Ale soaked House,

The Scarer Wakes with Field Mouse

 

The Dust of Bones that fell in France

Was scattered here to bring advance,

To farmers fields with Heavy Plough

Our Dead are churned to feed us now.

 

A Bastard Boy no Mother Mourns,

The Blasted Cannon of Empires Dawn,

His Clapper Claps to scare the Birds

Each Clattered Beat Drowns out his Words.

 

Across these Patchwork Jaded Hills

An echo gently whispers still,

Of all the voices never heard

Drowned out by time to scare a bird.

The Dangerous Silence

My anger today is silent

It is beyond rage and ranting.

 

It is my fist through a door on the other side,

fractured but healing itself

 

It is the blasted walls of my room scattered around my feet,

And I’m standing in the Sun, still alive.

 

It is a closed door opened to find dead friends behind

their peaceful faces purple and putrid,

 

It is the darkness of a room in which I sleep and dream,

of lucid night flights to place’s never seen

 

It is absent weeks and months not knowing who I was,

Slowly opening my eyes, the bandages coming off.

 

It is answering questions offered by machines about my health,

Folding the blade shut, putting the glass down.

 

My anger today is in every single cell

So terrifying is its silence it becomes a living Hell.