The seven pioneers are gone. In the early hours after dawn They were departing their Earthly home Vast and airless space to roam-- When unexpected errant force Caused a sudden change in course And thrust them through an unseen door To a universe they now explore With all the same excited cheer They showed to us when they were here. And we, their sacrifice recall Was for the benefit of all. And let those many tears we’ve cried Be not of sorrow, but of pride!
A DARK FANTASY
When the seas retreat drawing finally from the feet of cliffs they have always tried to reach and slide away from sandy beach leaving air to drown the creatures they have kept so long, Even then we shall meet again and walk beneath what was the rim of crashing waves and rolling sea and ocean that can no longer be. When mountains decide at last to follow their tears, the rivers, and fill each hollow of lowlands with their eroded might to leave no monument in sight of the homes they were to birds and beasts and trees, We shall tread the flattened peak and finally find the words to speak the endless songs and stories of the vanished mountain glories. When the starlight flickers out and endless darkness leaves no doubt that our sun too will fade away ending forever the light of day and making sight a useless thing now past, We shall wander upon a world old, flattened, withered, dry, and cold but cannot vanish till we meet and trace its borders with our feet. And, when it is all finally done, crumpled Earth and faded sun, then shall we know the reality of lovers’ immortality and the emptiness will await receiving of our spirits. Together, finally, we shall go unmoved by all we’ve come to know of the death of things in matter cast-- for we know that love, alone, must last.
ONE NIGHT STAND
Can you spare a slab of corned beef? And sandwich it with rye, Some mustard and some mayo? And don’t let me hear you cry. And add a little wine ‘Cause my throat is feelin’ dry.
I been flyin’ high without a plane Feelin’ ecstasy and pain And it gets twice as tough to stop With every pill I pop
Have you got a cigarette? And a place where I can crash? You won’t have to worry ‘Cause I’ve used up all my stash And if you are not hurtin’ Could you spare a little cash?
I feel my mind a-slippin’ Every time that I go trippin’ But it gets twice as tough to stop With every load I drop
I know I have not treated you As men should treat their wives. I’ve used up all our money And wasted both our lives And while you suffered sleepless nights I lay stoned in sleazy dives.
And I don’t love these things I do I’d rather spend my time with you But it gets twice as tough to stop With every load I pop
And in the morning when you wake I’ll have left you high and dry, I’ll have taken all the money And not even said goodbye. But as for now, just fix me please One more corned beef on rye And add another glass of wine-- My throat’s still feelin’ dry.
Grit is brave and Slick is glib Smooth is velvety persuasion The girl and boy enjoined in fib tolerate concrete abrasion One is mindful of complication Till silky soothing pacification Denies parental condemnation Creamy dreamy heady swirl Will collapses in subjugation The hideout’s an aberration Spotty ripe immature girl Relentless now in conjugation Heedless of family friction Proceeds despite the implication- not for lack of sex education
He’s summoned at the double For his staccato explanation Gone now is syrupy diction He’s steering a course for trouble Since he weakened her defences as boys have done ere creation to prematurely stop the menses
It’s 2.30, quiet and dark. I think about the little things I often break. The things I do and have to do: the people to email or remember to call to fix the things I broke yesterday, the dinners I’ve to plan, shop for and make, the places I need to visit, the appointments I need to write down and all the things that resist oblivion in the mind of the veteran insomniac awake. There are batteries to buy and letters to write and dates to finally agree. There’s my offspring to contact, to love and cherish and verify their health. There’s the dry-cleaning to fetch, airline tickets to collect for you and me. Work wants confirmation of a meeting and you want me to verify, by stealth, if our son has paid his outstanding bills. But the SONG is relentless in this ridiculous mind of mine
The SONG reminds me counting sheep doesn’t work and cancelling caffeine doesn’t work. I toss and turn and cuddle the pillow and pummel it and push the sheet with my feet and entice the SONG and thoughts to go away and emptiness to fill the place where lurk the ideas that will form the menu for this week’s dinner party and the wedding of our daughter to her beau in September and the venom of the election in The States and the beggar that I didn’t give to, the lentils to wash and the state of the bedding. I remember the night sleep lasted right through the night – forsooth - it was in Singapore, just before Christmas 1985. That would be funny if it weren’t the truth!
To dull the maelstrom of disjointed thoughts in the depths of my sleepless mind, I lie and undo a clock starting with 12. I try not to think of the starving or the droughts OR the latest tsunami or Syrian rebels in spate Or that loveable second cousin of mine Oh, I do hope her breast lump is benign. Trace the route of the Caledonian Canal. No, it’s far too straight. Anything, anything totally banal To break the break-dance of an insomniac awake.
Forget the people in the depths of this head, The SONG that repeats; the poems that I can’t remember or the lines I get wrong. The talk that I re-live, the expressions I analyse; all the things that were said by people who are unaware of the electrolysis; the polarized parting of good and bad, caps and corks, yellow and mellow, buttons and bows… friends and foes. Who needs my help; who should I invite and where should my thoughts be darting? But hello, Bliss, it’s 5.30 and I drift, drift, drift. It’s half an hour till my alarm goes off as off to sleep I go... “Edelweiss may you bloom and grow” can wait till I’m in tune again at 2.30 tomorrow morning.
My beautiful princess my veritable empress I happily took you down the aisle I waited so long and longed for the day A day to wallow in your beatific smile Melt in your kiss grant you any wish believe me in this: I foresaw only bliss But my temptress turned banshee in the wink of an eye and in the kiss of a hiss
Your demeanour became outrageous unbelievably ungracious tho’ never salacious Your temper was fire - the heat became higher and my need to deny you rapacious Then callously curt you’d maximize hurt when the fire was doused next day But the vows I made, for better or for worse I knew I’d keep - come what may
Never knew why nor will I until I die fathom the rage that met me after a hard day’s work The piercing banshee cry or worse an all embracing silence to confound me Criticisms repeated and recalled time and again I could never atone for my folly I forgot about bliss. I had the kiss of a hiss amid the scene of a screaming volley
If I could start again, I’d begin in sin with no wedding ring to contract me in Then I’d run from my mistake in the wake of the rattling battles you’d contrive to make I’d think about the folly of interpreting beauty without for within and I’d save myself a lifetime of disappointments and the inevitable degradation therein. I’ve never had an opportunity to think about me. but now that you’ve passed on, I’m finally free.
The brutal beasts, birthed in warm Gulf waters, blatantly lift their fury to expose gargantuan eyes to the angst-ridden populace of the Gulf Coast.
Boarded windows and barred doors cannot lessen the angry sting of the growing, blowing interlopers; amidst tears and fears, Nature's tantrums screech and scream.
Borne on spiteful wings, they swoop across the sugar-white sands-- slamming, shaking, smashing; like a beaten drum, the Coast reverberates in hellish cadence.
Afternoons turn black, rooftops shed their weight, trees quiver with fright, objects are hurled hither and thither, and Death rides the flood. Yet, life goes on for the steadfast few who brave the tossing manes of the migratory beasts called Gulf Coast Hurricanes.
A flock of geese was flying south As azure skies turned crimson red. Though weary, way worn, stressed from strain, They knew there would be rest ahead.
A fearless, peerless leader led The flock through dark and dismal days With words of wisdom, words of hope, Consoling them along the way.
A shot rang out, the leader fell, And chaos seemed to rule the day. But harmony was soon restored: A loyal friend would lead the way.
And soon the flock will be at home With friends who've made that flight before; And they will live in endless peace On that idyllic, sunny shore.