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TO J. 2

Religion burns,

She’s forever young,

She smiles,

A beauty,

She’s ghostly.

 

Say her name ….

She’ll never appear,

Does she recall?

She forgets,

She grows.

 

A tragedy,

A flaw,

Out of control,

Out of reach

For a second ….

 

Turn music on,

Listen sweetly,

In silence,

Grow out of shame,

Grow up too late.

 

She knew herself,

She’s far away,

She’s far out,

Take her out,

Take her away.

 

On the piano,

An eternal image,

Eternal images,

She’s eternal,

She’s married ….

 

She haunts,

Her final thought,

It’s lost,

Does she regret?

She reunites.

 

She’s gone to waste,

A foreign body,

Don’t forget,

In that room ….

She was there.

 

Scars heal,

Friday evenings,

Late evenings,

She brushes her hair,

Thick, dark hair.

 

Analyse dirt,

That’s her vocation,

What does she see?

She wastes away ….

So long.

 

Does she regret?

What does she regret?

She regrets the same,

What dos she hear?

She’s here.

 

There’s fear,

She’s warm,

A fever,

In flames,

Remember ….

 

Errors,

To err,

An errant youth,

A childhood,

It went wrong then.

 

There!

Imagine,

Why was she born?

Why was she there?

She tortures.

 

Torment,

Terror,

Fall slow,

Ashes to ashes,

Again ….

 

What did she play?

What did she say?

What does she?…

A wondrous mind,

Burrow deep.

 

Turn away,

Forge a path,

Dead end roads,

Again, a fool,

Again, she’s there.

 

Perfect before her time,

There’s no time now,

There are words,

Words betrayed,

What’s her story?

 

A child ….

Whose child is this?

Abandon,

Neglect,

Then this ….

 

Who is this mystery?

She was unhappy,

Now she lies

And all’s fine,

All’s well.

 

Don’t dream,

She screams,

Long days

Locked away,

The door’s open.

 

To know her ….

To hold her ….

She’s on a step,

On her tiptoes,

A kiss ….

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LOVE IN STRANGE CLIMATES

So that was her name,

She was young,

It was unfortunate,

Love in strange climates,

In heavy rain,

Under overcast skies.

 

She’s downcast,

She looks him over,

He’s changed,

Sixteen days,

Silence,

Radios cut out.

 

Absent students

In denial,

Instrumental music,

He was cruel,

He was cruel then,

Always.

 

Leave her,

Leave town with her,

An enemy’s down south,

Sitting on a beach,

Up north

At a loss.

 

Insomnia,

Sleep’s slow,

It could be so easy,

She’s in his lap,

Read of her,

Madam Mystery.

 

Lonesome summers,

Lives,

Blacked out windows,

It becomes hard,

Walk back and forth,

Dark contemplations.

 

He’ll never reply,

It’s over,

He was once away,

Insist,

Darling brides,

Older women.

 

Learn from her,

Turn on her,

Run after her,

This is eternal,

A doomed soul,

This is a hell.

 

She welcomes him,

It’s been years,

She’s perfect,

Walk by her,

There’s not a word,

Apologise.

 

Tame her soul,

She’s ill at ease,

Make a home with her,

She’ll flee,

She’ll always flee,

She’s the right age.

 

Write her well,

A quiet word,

A stagnant pool,

She’s silent,

She’ll remain silent,

She’ll remain.

 

Against her will,

She stays,

She’ll stray,

So they say,

Keep her out late,

She breaks promises.

 

She frees herself,

Early next year ….

It’s adieu,

So long,

So long sorrow,

So long tears.

 

Is she free?

She imagines,

This is a trap,

There’s a hole,

She stole souls,

She made her way.

 

What did she see?

She’ll say that she saw,

There’s nothing near,

There’s nothing here,

She’s a song,

Sing to her at once.

 

Pray to heathens,

At length they pay,

Overdose,

He knows too well,

He’s a thief

Sitting in prison.

 

Tie his hands,

Take the stand,

Weep and beg,

There’s no way out,

There are hidden prayers,

She doesn’t care.

 

How is it that she knows?

Slow evenings,

Slowly wander,

Wonder,

Contemplate stars,

What’s her sign?…

 

It’s a sign,

She’s right,

A holy fright,

A sacred night,

Unabashed,

A final word.

SATURDAY NIGHT

There was something then,

Something to say,

Gradual changes,

Not so gradual.

 

Cut it out,

Cut out the cancer,

Leave him alone,

Leave him in corners,

Let him be.

 

It’s not unusual,

He’s the one,

We knew him then,

We knew his name.

 

She listens out,

She’s downstairs,

She’s bound,

She’s gagged,

She chokes,

She’s erotic.

 

Who’d have guessed?

It was all below,

Beneath the surface,

Kiss him softly.

 

Halfway,

One in two,

She’s out back,

She’s alone,

She awaits love,

Love knocks light,

A feather touch,

Not so much.

 

Famed expressions

On golf courses,

An outlet,

A warm sun.

 

It hits hard,

Break into rooms,

Lonesome rooms,

Allow dust and dirt ….

Allow fleas.

 

She’s away,

No naked bodies,

Not this morning,

Saturday night.

 

It’s dark,

Draw the blinds,

There’s little interest.

 

More is less,

Covered bodies

On train tracks,

A cup of coffee.

 

Probable,

Definite,

How were they blind?

How did they not see?

Why?…

 

He’s guilty,

She’s innocent,

He was found innocent,

Courts of law.

 

It’s amazing,

He was amazed,

He was amused,

Psychology,

Psychiatry.

 

Console him,

Confide in him,

Classical cities

Expecting rain.

 

It hammers down,

It hails,

Glass shatters,

Glass bottles,

Look over fences,

Condemn.

 

He was a child,

Sing of other worlds,

Grow up there,

Speak up. Weep.

 

The word’s helpless,

He’s condemned,

He condemns,

Forgiveness,

He killed him,

Put him down,

Lay him to rest.

 

The wrong land,

Historic land,

Speak their language,

There’s a sign.

 

He signs his name,

It wasn’t him,

It was his double,

He’s not that grim,

Morbid,

Morbidity.

 

That was the word,

That’s what he said,

He lied,

He lies.

 

A flawless smile,

A lopsided grin,

He was out of time,

That was then,

Yesterday,

Accusations,

They fly about.

SATURDAY

It’s Saturday,

Out they come,

Criticise,

It’s fine,

Hide,

Run and hide.

 

Silent

In the corner,

A song in mind,

A long absence,

A death,

An absence.

 

Don’t reply,

Solitude,

A pretext,

He’s back home,

A secret,

Dark secrets.

 

Go without,

Clear the table,

Self-conscious,

A throbbing head,

A growing brain,

It’s flawed.

 

Still ….

Addiction,

It reappears,

Surface waste,

Weakness,

A wife scorned.

 

Return in silence,

Secret sorrows,

Pluck a note,

Strum a chord

In her honour,

She’s nameless.

 

No reply,

She won’t reply,

She doesn’t,

Look her over,

Look her up and down,

A second bride.

 

Hold hands,

Holy ghosts,

Against the wall

In the dark,

Go to ground,

Shut it down.

 

He’ll understand,

The youngest son,

The eldest,

Without a roof,

Without a prayer,

Hope for too much.

 

Don’t say a word,

She’s forsaken,

Her trust’s betrayed,

He’s oddly here,

He oddly hears,

He misunderstands.

 

Away in Rome,

Why does he bother?

Put guitars down,

Put him down,

Weep softly,

He suffers alone.

 

Too much pride,

He was afraid,

It was dark,

Dark skin,

Tall and dark,

Short and fair.

 

She went away,

She’s away,

She’s still away,

She’ll stay away,

She’ll stray,

She’ll betray.

 

He arrives,

Ever confident,

Pretty boy smile,

The second choice,

A substitute,

A replacement.

 

It’s hard here,

Move towards fear,

Bellow loud,

Below deck,

Seas part,

The lord arrives.

 

She’s coming,

She’s on her way,

Her way out,

Build on wisdom,

Add stories,

Final straws.

 

Remain with love,

Without hope,

Disease free,

Live longly,

Sickly,

Poor daughter.

 

It ends with her,

She was brilliant,

She’s nothing,

Toast her,

Roast her,

Break her.

 

Hence, she’s broken,

Well prepared,

An onslaught,

Avenge her,

See her weakness,

Leave her to drown.

THE WAY HOME

Simple language,

Great achievements,

Finery,

Fine finesse.

 

It’s been days,

What to add?

A new moment,

A moment ago,

Moments pass slow.

 

Dangerous displays,

From kingdoms to rags,

Disparate states.

 

Does she miss home?

Does she care?

She made herself there,

She’s alone,

She’d be best accompanied,

How is she known?

She’s known worldwide,

It’s a conundrum.

 

Pay them a pittance,

They’re passionate,

Summers at home,

It’s winter there,

It’s winter now,

It’s springtime,

All through the season,

Autumn ….

 

Years ago,

Errors,

Don’t forget,

There’s no more,

There are traps,

There was hope,

Turn the table.

 

Blind rage,

Blind wives,

Bearded phonies,

Is he gone?

Cut him off,

He’s now useful,

He’d be useful,

Burn bridges,

That’s life.

 

They’re open,

She’s open,

Her secret woes,

A glass of wine?

A beer,

She’s gone further.

 

It’s hopeless,

She promised,

Offer her a rose,

Carefully worded letters,

First drafts,

Rough drafts,

Ancient love,

Estimation.

 

Ordered photographs,

Happy birthday

Birthday boy,

He’s in reverse.

 

Where is he?

Not him,

Faster!

Louder!

Faith boils over.

 

Philanderers,

Mother tongues,

Mother’s tongue.

 

Strength,

His family’s motto,

His family’s crest.

 

She comes around,

She’s missed,

She’s set free,

Cut her loose.

 

She’s in the snow,

It’s getting late,

Early mornings,

Dark evenings,

Candlelight.

 

Bottles are lined up,

Knock one over,

The last.

 

There’s nothing to see,

There’s no more hope,

Windows are covered,

Blackened rooms,

Fear in small rooms.

 

Don’t be afraid,

Slow music,

She’s changed,

It’s all for cash,

Keep track.

 

How do they know

What’s outside?

A void ….

 

They’re the experts,

What’s behind this wall?

A mystery.

 

Father,

Daughter hens,

Cocks crow,

It’s dawn,

They’re glad,

They know the way,

The way home.

TWENTY FIVE YEARS

Step back

Twenty five years.

She’s thirty,

She’s eternally thirty.

 

Does he know?

Does he think?

Where did he go?

Where is he now?

 

It’s too far out,

Too far from home.

Strange men greet

Little women.

 

Hey little lady,

Sit right here,

Have no fear ….

She fears.

 

Brown face,

White face,

Pale face,

God’s face.

 

Write ransom notes,

Suicide notes.

He’s doting,

He’s amiss.

 

Soon comes death,

It comes slowly,

It sidles up ….

He!

 

Heathen.

She was a friend

For one day.

Talk about her.

 

She was a lover,

She was a love.

The wrong language,

It’s unintelligible.

 

She’s illiterate,

She was barred

From school.

She read the Bard.

 

She heard his voice

From centuries ago.

She saw actors

On stage.

 

In dark corners

They hide.

Cells fit for vermin,

Sit for hours.

 

Break spirits,

Drink spirits.

Ghostly whispers.

They’re reluctant.

 

A phone rings,

The same number.

It stops and starts,

It stops.

 

The halfway house,

Children are ashamed.

She’ll never return.

It’s tragic.

 

Tragic figures,

Romantic figures.

Elizabethan era,

A bloody mess.

 

Heading east

To greener pastures.

What did he say?…

There’s plenty.

 

There’s much to lose,

Much to use,

To abuse.

Again, little women.

 

Again, little lady,

Leave her behind,

She weeps.

Smiling mugshots.

 

Mona Lisa in prison

For seventeen minutes.

Middle ages,

Just before.

 

She’s unjust

In skirt and stockings.

She’s buxom,

She’s bespectacled.

 

She’s boyish,

She’s among girls.

Say her name,

Vampire name.

 

Saints and sinners,

Holy ghosts.

Sacred men,

They’re startled.

 

Arise with a start.

Is she injured?

She’s been punished,

Two black eyes.

 

This has never been,

This will never be.

Fallen heroes,

Anti-heroes.

 

Antitheses,

Write theses.

Doctoress,

She’s cold.

TO L.

A song in mind,

An evening,

A new story,

A land of women.

 

Take her hand,

Kiss it lightly,

Ladylove,

Lie beside her.

 

Deep brown eyes,

Once it was simple,

Those days are past,

Walk her home,

A dark porch,

Perfect moments.

 

What was her name?

Darling girl,

First true love,

Move away,

Don’t look back

Desperately.

 

A train station,

This spells the end,

She’s on her way,

She’s in the past.

 

She went away,

She’s returned,

A great beauty ….

Maybe.

 

Her words are lies,

Her face is pure,

Innocent,

She steals hearts.

 

Speak for her,

A cup of tea,

A wooden chair,

That was home,

That was the world,

There was nothing more.

 

It was all so simple,

Weekends in bed,

Late mornings,

Take her slowly,

Take her peace,

She’s now troubled.

 

Bright days out windows,

She’s pale,

She’s sickly,

Her hair’s dirty,

Cigarette smoke,

Breathe in. Breathe out.

 

She understood,

She’ll return,

She’ll reread letters,

She’ll fall again,

She’ll stumble,

Magical first dates.

 

Where was she from?

She couldn’t say,

Indistinct accents,

Outrage and lust.

 

We don’t know,

It doesn’t exist,

Strange numbers,

Believe the hype,

Blonde hair ….

Fall over backwards.

 

Bend to her will,

Will she?…

Won’t she?…

It becomes clear.

 

She knows the truth,

A second word,

A third world,

A final prayer.

 

Black and white,

Brown rice,

Sorrowful promise,

Prise it out.

 

She’ll be a bride,

She’ll be a wife,

Till death?

Till death.

 

See the world,

Tell tales,

Long strolls,

End in Rome.

 

She’s a vision,

She’s barely visible,

It’s negligible,

Questioning face,

There’s mistrust,

A sacred pledge.

 

Think of her in vain,

Realise too soon,

She’s the one ….

There’s another.

 

She’s in the shadows,

She’s hiding,

She’s unsure,

She’s incognito,

She’s a phantom,

See straight through.

 

There will be lies,

She’ll consent

In her sleep,

She’ll smile,

She’s still here,

She’ll never leave.