A Little Number

Before I was born
Just a twinkle
In the universe
Of possibilities

Reflected in eyes
Both bluest grey
And olive green
Did you know me?

Or was the I of me
And mine all one to you?
My seedling promised,
But unplanned

Was a meeting of
Hearts and minds
Foretold in song
To bardic strains

Or merely Cast
Upon the plain and
Simple lines
That sprang and pranced

This two-fold dance
Of fire and ice
Your foreign couplings
Kept apart

By Mother Earth
Who did not dream
Of feelings torn
From the widening

Womb-like walls
And shallow shores
Of an underground

Nuts and Colonels
Carried away
With crowns of pine,
From slender hopes

To careful, caring
Tender traps in
Wadded cotton
Whose snoring sheets

Wedded Pluto’s
Darker dreams to
Persephone’s Oblivion
Before there was me


The ones who showed up
(Nothing better to do)
Who responded – what luck!
This dispassionate few

Lacking courage; conviction;
Lose energy fast
As they gawk at the faction
All hurrying past

This embarrassing spectacle;
Lacklustre, bored;
Ensuring their protest
Is safely ignored…

What happened to fervour
And faith in a cause?
Results of endeavour
Wrought change, not just snores

You want anyone
To accept your world view?
Then there’s work to be done
And it’s all up to you

Not a person will heed
Any nonsense you spout
If you, hasty to lead
Fail to plan for the bout

So don’t wing it on camera
Prepare with a script
Ere the freedom to clamour
Is hastily stripped

Once your message is seen
To be patently dull
You’ll have blown it on screen
For the others as well

Bobbing for pips

I am approaching the threshold of my grief
That dismal dawn where words break –
Fast over stale feelings
Like waves on a rock-ridden shore.
This stilled tongue tunes no trills for sorrow,
Sigh-chapped lips, no plosive feasts
But my ragged pen thirsts
For consonants, vowels
Forming words, eyes closed,
Half-asleep, I drift,
Tossed upon the foam
As one who drowns for air
And breathes only memory.

Humanitarian Crisis

I worked late today
In the usual way
Then stood long for a bus
While ignoring the fuss
All the placards and song
Of a protesting throng

When the first one came full
Joined the back of the queue
‘Til I hopped on the second
No wiser, I reckoned
To pressure or purpose
That brought out the workforce

I sat in my headphones
Absorbing through eardrums
The tunes of a playlist
Unchanged through two ages
And stared through graffiti
At people beneath me

Not knowing, nor caring
What fate we were sharing
Familiar landscape blurred
Into the sounds I heard
Hopped off three stops early
Finished one journey

I trudged ‘cross the common
To see if I’d find one
More bus driver’s hubs
Standing still by the pubs
Sure enough, there I saw
Not just one, but some four

When one finally, late
Put his pedal to plate
He pulled up to the tavern
Waved me past his cabin
For NFC, broken
Would not zap my token

I settled inside
Chose a tune for my ride
But two stops, no further
We stopped in a lather
Five kids, come from school
With no change to fare-pool

Tried to board, barter, beg
But compassion was neg.
As commuters grew restless
One woman, well-dressed, stressed
Their selfishness loudly
“Eff off!” she yelled, proudly

Some gentleman, small
Added footage to gall
Thus the youths took offense
At this lack of good sense
And a row quickly rose
As his phone met his toes

While we waited, suspended
To see what might end it
Some ran for the next bus
Some added their voices
And called for policemen
To make them see reason

It took three more stops
And a call to the cops
But not one among us
Could hit on the obvious
Tempers grew heated
As workers felt cheated

Ashamed, I forgot
Or I simply did not
Check I had enough money
Available, on me
To throw them a bone
So we’d all make it home.

Chanson de guerre

Les gens qui font la guerre
chez-eux ou bien à l’étrangère
n’ont jamais ni jamais comprises
ce qu’ils font à la belle patrie.

Les hommes vont mourir sans mûrir
les femmes seront laissées toute seules
enfants n’auront plus aucun père
et les enseignants assez de guerres.

Mails ils font la guerre chantant
pour gagner leur montant
ils font la guerre criant de joie.
Et leurs mères et leurs sœurs
et leurs filles et toutes celles
n’auront rien plus à faire que pleurer.

Mes enfants de la patrie
entendez comment je vous supplie!
N’avez plus rien à faire de combattre
Vous vous heurtez le mur de la belle cimetière.

Mes enfants, chers enfants de notre avenir,
Je vous avise contre la guerre de nos guerres.
Car tout le monde sait deja comment on tue
Et on n’aura plus rien pour quoi vivre dessous.

Song of the smitten

Mi spingi lontana di te
Mi spingi lontana, perche?
Io son quasi fuori di me!
Ma tu non hai cuore, e mi spingi ancora.

Mi son ‘namorata, c’era ‘na volta
Mi son piegata con quegli tuoi occhi.
Occhi ben scuri, e bocca del diablo,
Lo sguardo m’incrocia e non vedo piu.

Mi sei torturando, lo sai.
Piu che lo fai, piu che piangerei.
Ti voglio poi bene e come e quanto
Ti voglio tanto ma mi vuoi far piantar…

Mi son ‘namorata, c’era ‘na volta
Mi son piegata con quegli tuoi occhi.
Occhi ben scuri, e bocca del diablo,
Lo sguardo m’incrocia e non vedo piu.

Canzon del stalker

Quando mi perdo, sola nel buio
Ti voglio bene, ma non sei piu mio.
Ti voglio tanto, ma tu mi sei perso
Poi io canto, per tentar di cambio.

Tu sarei mio, quando e quanto non so
Ma poi sai che ti voglio tanto
Tu mi tornera… forse l’estate
Ti amo, ti voglio, ma tu lo sai pure.

E poi ti vedo, in mezzo del’ folla
Mi rende pazza: t’abbracciando un altra!
Quel altra, Donna; ragazza, fanciulla che sono;
Domani vergogna t’avra!

Tu eri mio, c’era (u)na volta,
Non so se mi torni, ma come ti voglio!
Tu che mi manchi, con quella puttana,
Ti vedo, ti voglio, domani t’avro!

Oggi ti sposi con quella puttana,
Io son sbarrata, non vedro le nozze.
Piu che mi rispingi, piu che ti vo’
Io non vedo l’ora che vedova sei…

Tu sarei mio, quando e quanto non so,
Ma poi sai che ti voglio tanto.
Mi tornera sai, e forse l’inverno;
Ti amo, ti voglio, ma non mi vuoi piu!

Emergency waiting room scribbles

Suddenly the dam bursts,
Letting all the feelings flow,
The lust and the pain,
Tears I never let show,
All the misery builds
As the hurricane grows
And then calm in the eye of the storm.

I can cry forever
But my eyes will miss their sight
I can scream my hatred
But that’s giving up the fight.
So I grab the reigns more tightly
As I store the pain up nightly
How I miss the most unkindly cut of all.
And again, all the tears fail to fall.

I need a release, God! When?
Will I ever find peace, again?
Could I take a break now?
Then when?
Does it ever get easier?

Power Ballad

A while back, my other half was in the A and E. It was a really bad time for it – a Saturday night, late. There were a lot of emergencies and the aftermath of a botched drugs bust, i.e. police everywhere, people screaming, covered in blood, as well as the usual drunks, illness, domestic violence, suicides and accidents. I managed to get him seen to straight away as he was a genuine emergency, but due to the chaos we got separated. My mind wouldn’t stop buzzing, shut in the lousy atmosphere of the relatives room, surrounded by other people praying or cleaning up after their battered kids and preparing to give up. I couldn’t settle, sat there in my pyjamas, sweatshirt and trainers, listening to the terrified screams of someone in withdrawal on the other side of the wall, so I tried to put some of the turmoil down on paper to get it out without adding to the noise myself. What follows are the variable results:

Sometimes it’s the silence
That causes us to weep.
Life in all its violence
Maybe just lack of sleep?
But somewhere in the darkness
That clings about us all
The light of something glitters
And you catch me as I fall

To my knees, in silence
You don’t fear the violence
You bring peace
And lay me down at last
Until the night has passed.

Alone amidst the madness
I feel the others crash.
Their tears break hearts, bring sadness,
As mental Titans clash.
I’m standing there, an island
Surrounded by the gloom
And you light up my world
As I see you ‘cross the room.

You are there, I need you
Please beware, I need you.
Don’t let go!
I’m shaking from the blast
The dawn will come at last.

And when I feel your heartbeat
That thrums about my ears,
The strong arms that enfold me,
The love to dry my tears,
You keep me safe in chaos
I feel you, strong and true.
I love you, please believe me –
It all comes down to you.

You are there, when I need you
And you care. How I need you!
I don’t know where I was long ago
Before I knew you…

You are strong, I know it!
Feel you there, you show how
Much you care
That I get through all right
You give me strength to fight.