When the Land Was New

This was the first poem I ever wrote, looked back on and thought Holy shit! I wrote that. I was 14, and, given the nature of the poem, that’s kinda hilarious!

25 years later, I’ve pretty much grown into who I was afraid of…

When the land was new, and the mountains were made
out of patterns in sand with a bucket and spade;
when the trees were just sprouting, the beasts were just made,
and the new-born was suckling, the new eggs were laid.

When the river was winding its way through the hills,
And the fishes were swimming and flapping their gills;
When my sentence was past by a voice, high and shrill,
And the cooking was placed on a high windowsill.

When the clouds sailed by in a sky of deep blue,
And the new buds awoke with the birth of the dew,
When I could be me and you could be you,
That was when the old world was new.

***

Yet now I worry about paying the bills,
And mending the crumbling, new window sills;
I trudge off to work to the beat of the drill,
And then find out my daughter is taking the pill.


My life is a mess, I’m locked in a hold,
I fear all the time, I don’t want to be old.
My life now is lead, my life then was gold,
And my thin beard looks like old food growing mould.

Now the mountains are carved out of leaden skyscrapers,
The outside world is restricted to papers;
The trees are all gone, and our planet dying,
The fish have stopped swimming, the birds have stopped flying;
the rivers are clotted, the seas are all dead,
and all papers are signed and all words have been said;
and yet still the carnage holds us in dread
for ours being counted with those all but dead.

***

Old age is a veil that covers us slowly,
Those high or low, blasphemic or holy;
All men fear it; and as I remember
My fire of youth burnt out to an ember,
I find that my promise of not fearing death
Disappears like the fog of a cold days hot breath.

Yet deep, deep down the fire still smoulders,
As my face grows wrinkles and I slowly grow older;
though its glowing red flame makes me no bolder,
I just tell my wife things that I already told her.

Soon my flame will stop glowing and never again re-light,
Save your breath, my love, please stop blowing,
I shall rest in the endless night.
I shall kill my fear of death,
Learn to love the night.
Yet I shall savour my every breath.
I and pass through willingly into the light.

I was fourteen when I wrote that.

Fucking mental.

Should’a been locked up.

Music

In the spirit of cataloging, this was a poem I wrote years ago. It’s full of teenage angst, but has a neat meter and I kinda love it in a cheesy way. Half of me thinks I should delete the first verse…

With music as my basis,
I travel distant places,
My mind’s a distant dream
My darkness falls in flames
The world still plays its games
And I’ll always be the same:
A soul without a name,
A dream without an aim,
Desperately searching for love
Without the obligatory shame.

Music is special,
It melts the mettle we cover our emotions with,
Brings barriers down;
A smile can quickly turn to frown,
Or happiness come from being down.
You can’t lie to it,
I’d like to die to it,
If love were a bed I’d lie in it;
‘Cause music be the food of love,
The Raven and the Dove,
The world beneath the physical,
The rest beneath the syllable,
With wisdom no less than magical,
My God music is so special.

We Live as Once We Did

This poem’s written in the voice of a teenage girl from a kind of post-apocalyptic tribe of Native-American type people – think like a hippy version of Mad Max…

We live as once we did,
Together amidst the trees.
A people protected by sheets of green,
with roots that reach deep and stay strong.

The rise of the moon brings the safety of night.
The chance to hide away,
Deep in the forests
Where our weavers dance the stories that bind us
to the space within,
And allow us not to drift
into waking-dreams of times long gone.

The Melancholia
is an illness that draws our gaze from the moment;
and the moment is what we cling to.

The weavers dance the stories that bind us
to the space within;
Not tales of strangers, who we never knew,
Or dreams of far of places that can never be;
This is not like the old days.
Here, we hear the stories that celebrate
those we know and love.
For they are who we stay for.

The weavers dance the stories that bind us
to the space within;
Our celebration is the life, the moment,
Not the dream.

—-

The night brings the familiar warmth of fire,
a chance to rest from travel.
We make camp,
Heal wounds,
And find peace
within the embers.
We talk amongst ourselves,
And we live amongst the trees.

—-

But I stay close to those who protect me.
For at night, fears shake my sleep.

Not fears of those beyond our realm,
Or of those with whom we share our home.
My nightmare is those who remain blinded to the truth;
Those who wander our world
hoarding and chasing
and seeking to own.

Those who learnt nothing from the fall.

They are who we hide from in the days.

They creep out from their concrete jungle
in stinking steel, and steal anyone they can find.
They try to restore what had fallen
and want thanks for bringing it back.
Their belief is a kind of zealotry,
Their faith is a form of oppression.

We have offered peace to them
but their hunger cannot be reasoned with.
They dream of the past,
And promise the future,
But never see what’s here.

And so, for now, we must hold our own:
Fight back when needs be,
Defend our space
And continue…

To live as once we did.
Together amidst the trees.
A people protected by sheets of green,
with roots that reach deep and stay strong.

Why I write…

Why I write…

To learn to write about myself
But not become a bore,
To learn to look into the heart of myself
But feel no shame for what I saw;
To create another’s biography
That’s honest and deep and aware,
But hide the preliminary autopsy,
The self-conscious autobiography,
And create another who’s self-unaware.

Strip back the layers of manners,
Pull down the Floydian wall,
Create a knowing self-consciousness
That’s not self-conscious at all.

To dive into the well of my mind
And wave and never drown,
To give to the world a piece of my mind
With a smile on my face and my feet on the ground;
To explore myself but not get lost
And create with the bounty I find,
To know myself and then use that knowing,
To create new worlds, new times;
To switch on a light in the long dark night of the soul that’s a vessel of growth,
To get lost in the underground caverns of mind, that are mine and lie hiding my truth;
To relax and be merry and allow all my dreams,
To be free in a guiltless mind,
To be happy and honest and decent and true
And to learn to use all that is mine.

In short, in truth, I continue to write
To grow and to learn how to be.
Sometimes it’s because I get worried,
And sometimes it’s because it’s just me.

So I guess it’s important to post this one at some point, it’s what I do after-all.

I don’t know what made me an addict of writing – I mean I’ve got a few theories – but this poem has a go at expressing what’s so addictive about it.

I don’t really “like” the first two lines, but I keep them because they’re the real first reason I got into writing – to learn to write about myself – though I’m slightly embarrassed about it now.

The truth is, I was fascinated by the experience of being. And not just being me –  though I was the only me I knew how to be, so it made sense to start there – but I was deeply attracted to just understanding of the sense of being and how that expressed itself through writing. 


Tonight I’m Gonna Go Running

Tonight I’m Gonna Go Running

Tonight I’m gonna go running
Feel the streets pass underneath me
stretching out before me
and next to me the sea will smash
a path
cause I’m not stopping

Tonight I’m gonna go running
my feet pounding like a heartbeat
heavy
rhythmic
drumming
but light cause they’re not stopping

At the end of the road is the end of my woes
a shame ‘cause the road don’t end
but somewhere along the way I’ll know
that the journey’s end
is not the goal
but it’s getting there
I’m getting there
I’m getting there
Please tell me that I’m get there
And not just growing old

So where is there?
Where am I going?
And maybe the secret I’m running for
is that there really is no there
the ‘there’ is just the getting
the going
the living
the loving
the losing
the bruises
the random acts
between us two
there’s no way back
from the things you do.

so what are you going to do?

Well …
Tonight I’m gonna go running
Feel the streets pass underneath me
stretching out before me
and next to me the sea will smash
a path
cause I’m not stopping

I’ve never dreamt of stopping
Though sometimes I don’t start,
I seem to spend half my days
Feeling for my heart
And wishing I could separate
the whole from all the parts.

The beat within
The fear of sin
The dream that at the end
I’ll find my friends
And we will bend
The steely rod that’s cold within.

The beat beneath my soles
The heat within my soul
The burning space that I can’t place
That leaves me off my role.

The beat beneath my soles
The heat within my soul
The burning space that I can’t place
That leaves me off my role.

I want to keep control
I wanna lose control
I want to feel that I can heal
the hole within the soul.

The orbit of thoughts
that ought to have brought
what’s sought but never sold;
The clearness of mind
that’s tried to unwind
the soul that’s lost control;
caverness dreams
that seem to believe
they’re gone but…

Let them go…

They’re gone now,
let them go…

They’re gone now,
let them go…

And tonight, you should really go running
Feel the streets pass underneath me
stretching out before me
and next to me the sea will smash
a path
cause I’m not stopping

Power

Power

He placed a small box onto the table.

Ornate carvings it had none;
Gilt and gold was not its thing.
In fact
It was hard to see the colour really;
It was almost hard to see.

But it was there:
A small box, sitting
on the worn green leather top
of a wide wooden desk, before
the most powerful man in the world.

“It’s yours, if you want it,”
The traveller said.
“It has the power to create
anything you desire;
the power to control people;
it has the power to meld and mend
consciousness itself
and as such,
it creates reality.”

The traveller sat back:
“It’s yours, if you want it.”

“What’s the catch?” asked
the most powerful man in the world.
“There must be something.”

The traveller shrugged:
“I have one myself.
And no-one needs
more than that.”

There was a moment’s pause
Where the man’s hand itched to reach out,
And snatch it,
And be damned with what else.

“What do you want?” asked the man.

“You have a choice,”
the traveller said.
“My asking is only curiosity,
But I want to know what you’d do:
You can have this,
I’ll give you ten;
Or I’ll give you one for everyone
On the face of your planet.

The decision is yours.”

The man thought,
in the way we often do,
not rationally or logically
but dreamily,
excitedly.
He played out hopeful scenarios,
Pursuing an end to a point of comfort:
If everyone had one,
What would that be?

The endless consumption;
Street corners riddled with drugs
And debauchery.
The population losing focus,
Chaos reigns.
The lecherous mob,
drowning in their luxury;
Humanity sinking into sand.

Or he could manage it,
Help them,
Distribute it fairly,
And see the future through.

And he knew what he must do.

The traveller left that afternoon,
His ship slipping silently into space,
And the man was left holding his box:

Ornate carvings it had none;
Gilt and gold was not its thing.
In fact
It was hard to see the colour really:
It was almost hard to see.

And it never seemed to work.
And he often looked back and wondered
If he’d simply chosen wrong.