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.

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. 


The Classics are Rubbish

The Classics are Rubbish

Some people try to flower their verse
with metaphor, simile, rhyme,
or any other literary mediums available to them;
They use long words, or even worse
long dead tales, from a long dead time,
and expect us to do the homework.

That’s all very well, they say what they say
to the few who can translate,
but whatever happened to seizing the day
for the rest of us who have to wait
until the revision notes come out.