Duke

Give up your ill-gotten gain
kings queens lords and dukes
of lands where forests once thrived
move out move on leave

If your palaces, castles
and manors decay
crumble down into the ground
I care not one jot

Ivy creep over all walls
let the roof fall in
dust and cobwebs catch the light
chandelier dull

“An ancestral general
he helped win a war
blood spilt, to secure for good
eternal reward”

No Duke, the battles were won
but not in our name
your birthright is a falsehood
entitlement gone

We’ll have the trees back growing
fish swimming the lakes
sheep and cattle grazing free
families return

A new age, heard it before?
nothing will change so you say
not now nor ever
well, don’t be so sure

We believe, not in your Gods
not your politics
but in people and friendship
and our planet Earth

And you Duke, well what of you?
you will need a job
to afford the rent each month
on a fair semi

Actually earn your wages
see what you can do
welcome to society
come sit next to me

A Whole Lot of Rubbish Too

I looked through the albums
of the Beatles recently,
studied track listings
and listened
to unfamiliar tunes.

Most of the little known songs
are pretty seriously
mediocre, in comparison
to the ones known well.

It’s true of the Stones too,
when you look.
Bowie and ABBA.

In actual fact,
it’s true of nearly every band
or performer.
Or writer, poet, painter, actor,
ever.

There’s a whole lot more rubbish
out there they did,
than the good stuff.

This probably comes as no surprise
to you.

Who the Hell is a “Morning Person”?

Who the hell is a “morning person”?
Is it a trait passed down the line
through the genes?
They who wake up,
look fresh,
rejuvenated,
smiling.
Heavenly.

Me,
A character from folklore,
mythology.
Twisted,
caught up –
bound in the bedclothes,
struggling free.
My eyes hurt by the light,
can’t read the time,
don’t know if I’m late or early.

Sway into walls
take rest against door frames,
battle my way to the bathroom –
an epic journey.

Stumble down the stairs.
Hate, that I didn’t clean the coffee pot
the day before.
Curse.
Wash, rinse, prepare.
Stand and wait.

As soon as the caffeine hits,
life begins to slowly seep back.
A treatment of the symptom,
but not the cause.
Could I change?

What would I have to do
to become a “morning person”,
rather than the “morning person
from Hell”
I am.

Barefoot in Church

Is it a strange urge
to go barefoot in church?
Although broadly ignorant of customs,
I know it’s okay in some places.
In some religions it might be a condition
of entry, for a place of worship.

But I’m not sure,
as I say, a lack of education
and of a will to research now
to know, leaves me in the dark.

So,
if stumbled upon and seen,
will I be challenged,
forcibly ejected?

“And why mister?
Why’d you want to go barefoot
in church, in the first place?”
Well,
it’s a sensory thing
is all I can think, in answer
to this particular question.

In the usual manner
entering a church –
shoes and socks firmly in place.
I kind of absorb something
of the atmosphere inside,
and this generates feelings inside of me.

“Well what kind of feelings are those, weirdo?”
I don’t know.

Feelings of calm and peace?
There is beauty in the construction
and decoration,
I touch a wall,
feel the stonework.
Admire artwork,
consider inscriptions.
Enjoy the
space.

Even in a small church,
there is a lot of empty space around me.

Anyway, so I did it.
I found a church.
Empty, yet with it’s main door wide open,
which felt symbolic for the matter at hand.

No one inside.
With antenna fine tuned,
able to hear the advance warning of
somebody approaching from the outside.
I felt safe.

Shoes and socks slipped off with ease.
Socks in my pockets (ankle socks)
Shoes, on the floor, near my shoulder-bag.

I walked down the central aisle.
I walked into the chancel.
I walked up to the high altar.
I stood and considered,
Reviewed all sensations.

Back to the nave, more wanderings,
then sat.
Felt confident.

And also more connected to the experience
than ever before.

Although, would I like it
if everyone walked barefoot
in church?

when nothing’s inside my head (and I have no clue what to say)

Unsure if the darkened cafe is actually open
I sweep inside, straight past the hosts
Despite their earnest efforts to engage
Princess Charlotte says I look ‘dapper’ –
Referring to my outfit

She – with dark blue eyes
Dual German-Irish princess, by birth-right
Still, I penetrate deeper into the darkened space
Ignoring the time-spent on decorations
I don’t register such things

So, I actually made it to the Christmas fancy dress party!
Having left it ’til the last minute to decide
Congratulations are in order
Certainly
No mean feat

Ignoring everyone I pass by
My mission is to disembark my coat
Find the safe place
Hat and scarf
To boot

Now
Where is the drink?
Wine
Why wine?
Why white wine

Against red?
Chat
Small-talk
Forced
Uncomfortable

Move on
Notice Derek, chatting intensively
To shy Lina
Join them
Graciously elbow Derek out

Lina opens up
I nod head, agree
Say something wrong
She leaves
Smarting

I disappear for a cigarette
Reappear, drawn to the Ladies in Waiting
I chew the fat, yet
Before I settle in
All six arise together and leave

I am doing well
Another cigarette, outside
Back in, attracted to Cordelia
The source of light
To a dusty old moth

“You look well. Pretty, you look, well pretty” 
Stumbling words
I am stared down by her friends
She leaves
To involve herself elsewhere

Secret Santa exchange begins
I watch my wrapped gift picked up
Several times and placed back down
I can’t bear to watch, find another table
Here’s Tara, locks tied back.

But it is exclusively me-talk
I can’t get a word in edgeways
Facing failure, I am elbowed out of the way
By a grandpa age-difference man
That’s how bad I performed

Full circle
I chat to the two Princess Charlottes
Explaining how my gift hasn’t been picked
Now I don’t want to give it away
I decide, so take it back for myself

Mild confusion ensues
I beg my leave
I retrieve coat, hat and scarf
I don’t look back
“If only I had said this…” all the way home

running

I prepare for running by buying the right clothes.

No more the cotton t-shirt, absorbent and heavy with sweat.

Instead, ultra light fabric, cut to a vest.

 

A pair of double shorts.

“Double shorts”?

A tight-fitting, stretchy material, housed within a classically styled pair.

 

A cap, to protect my head from the rain,

Socks, trainers,

Inserts within my running shoes, to protect my precious arches.

 

Unsure how I am going to transport bottles of water,

I plan hideaway points

In the branches of trees.

 

It’s been a while since I ran.

Between five and six years.

Initially, it’s going to be a killer.

 

I understand this.

But there’s only one way I will shift

This expectant belly of a hippo.

 

For flatness, first will come pain.

And suffering.

But I am ready.

 

I think

I am ready.

Pretty sure, at least.

i repeat myself

I wonder of the last meaningful word I’ll utter, mutter,
perhaps merely think of, for that matter,
if I have lost the desire or ability to speak.
As a baby, I know for sure,
repetition formed my world.
Habits grew.
The least most era, spiked around my teens.
But since then, an ever decreasing and spiralling descent has closed in around me
with usage of the same words and phrases, the same dialogues and stories.
My time will come, when without realising I tell my own children,
of an episode I have told to them only a short while before.
I can imagine their patient faces.
Unless, I am able to do an unknown, unspecified thing about this now,
stop all this repeating
and say something new.