Ten – Thirty

Falling in love with the painting we hung
Over my piano – a dark and rainy night
A bridge of cars and glowing lights
Artfully smudged to please
A scene of childhood dreams – when I
Still believed good would come of arguments,
When all of life was a journey
I’d gaze at the rain on the glass, reflected
In the sepia and orange flashes of each lamp
As we crawled through the traffic jams
On balding tyres in the darkening wet
Our parents itching to speed through red lights
In such a hurry to drive each other to distraction.
Crossing the river to the South Bank for
Another sycophantic symphony. Performance Art.
Adults in their finery who’d brought their
Best feet to put themselves forward
And left their manners at home in their holey jeans.
The gloom of this familiar view is comforting.
I can remember the Christmas at my Grandparents’ flat
When my Grandpa threw a tantrum ‘cos the
Tree trimming was taking too long.
My sister was inconsolable and cried for an hour
For our ever-distant mother, absent again
And I helped Grandma in the kitchen until
The storm clouds blew over and all
Was cherubic plaster smiles and tinsel twice over.
The picture knew how I felt.
The picture was the view from the bridge
Another bridge, in a different city
But no matter; we understood each other.

Words and Music

There came a point in my teens
When the sounds of the world
Invaded my palate
Until I was choked
With a burning desire; to speak
What I’d swallowed; to say
Everything possible
Tear myself open
Screaming words
The world could understand
But at the age of minority
People rarely listen
So I sang melodies
Whose complexity spoke
Of a simple beauty
And we became friends
One day, the words may
Overtake me in my music
And the whole world will hear

Nighttime conversations

Sometimes I talk to spirits that come in while I’m asleep.
It must get lonely as a ghost, quite often they will weep.
But others tell me stories of far-off distant lands.
Of things they did while of the earth; how life is hard to plan.
I listen to adventures, hear books I’ve never read,
But somehow upon waking this gets trapped inside my head.
It’s hard to talk to people – they rarely want to hear.
Some smile and nod, but mostly they just run away in fear.
When young, I used to wonder why all adults told lies.
They’d swear to me they couldn’t see what’s right before their eyes.
But now as I grow older, I understand their fear –
If they admit they see them, then they must exist, my dear.
And if, in truth, these beings are trapped here once they’re gone –
Perhaps in time we too will share their fate, go on and on.
Yet still it seems a pity, with wisdom they could share,
To tell us not to trust our ears and eyes, or ‘talk to air’.

Some questions are not meant to be asked

When I was but a little lamb
I rarely pondered why I am.
And yet as now my whiskers grow
I wonder, do I want to know?
Philosophers do quite a bit
Of reasoning on this subject…
Perhaps it’s better left alone
The answer to me’s an unknown.
We humans are a curious lot
And choose to prod more oft than not
At puzzles plagueing to our mind
Not fearing what we seek to find
And rarely pausing in our quest
To ask if knowing why is best?
Some things are meant as mystery
Still others, such as we can’t see
Or comprehend, though try we might
To find solutions to our plight.
Yet knowing not as I do now
Is lesser agony somehow
Than understanding finally
What little point there is to me.