Was Moji only yesterday
Callao the day before
The swaying creaking gangway
To purple night and neon light
As we hotfoot to the shore.
In Buenos Aires the sailors bars
Tangos, Faro, Goldilocks
In scented booths
The flowered frocks
The wicked laughter
Would tease the cocks
Of tan randy youths
Hard tattooed hands
Span silken thighs
With beads of sweat
And flashing eyes
They’d frisk us for the pesos
Hidden wisely in our socks.
There are holes in time where I shelter
Out of the cold and the pain
I slip down the slide helter skelter
And vanish into my brain.
In there I’m not strange nor famous
Life’s neither a blessing nor curse
I have my own fey refrigerator
And a magic replenishing purse.
It’s a place I found in my childhood
When I flew with the soaring birds
When I learned how to be invisible
How to hide in books with the words.
The words like Typhoon and Euphrates
Cataphract and Heaven Born
I painted my mind with Corsair Gold
And sailed the Golden Horn.
But now and again I can’t hold on
My dreams all turn to dust
I stumble through my memory
strewn with broken promises
Tripping on traitors trust.
Then the Cloth of Gold becomes a shroud
I struggle and fight for breath
The Unicorn dies in a welter of blood
And the Orchids all smell of death.
O Lord of Dreams don’t forsake me
I’ve tried my best not to care
Don’t force me into this murderous world
I want a pen and a desk and a chair.
Just leave me be,with some music
Something Blue in a minor key
A smile, a joke,cup of tea and a smoke
I’ll spin yarns about going to Sea.
I see you believe
Said the blind man
Referring to my soul.
I said “O eyeless Seer
Of what consists the whole”
The whole is just your heartsong
The perfect melody
It’s not what you believe O child
But that you believe
Tournament Of dreams
She came to him once again
In the small hours when
He waiting, bereft in four dimensions
Saw her face once more; a living jewel
Brighter than the evening star silent shimmering beauty
Moving across the skies of his nostalgia
Time and fading memory desperately polishing the lens.
They are now in one of those medieval romances
With the unrequited love of courtly verse
Where chained males and admiring women contest
The lethal game that entrances more deeply than a purse
Or the Tourney Lists of Mace and Lances
Chargers curvetting frolic and prances
And youths in brocade tabards
Flaunting brightly coloured silken hose
Vaunting pointy shoes with turned up tasseled toes
While gauzy wimples float love’s banners
Above the ebb and flow of dancers
It was well known then that adultery is a curse
And for courtly love to flourish; it has to make it even worse
That sadly infidelity irretrieveably betrays
The fearsome wedding oath, sworn upon a naked sword
All it needs is a wanting woman and a hard young man
Who will have to wear his armour for the rest of his days.
However, he may be going home alone
But not quite according to his plan
Nor any known or chosen course
But led slowly, by a child, face down
Across the saddle of his blindfolded horse.
The old man, thin and pale, somewhat shrunken in his cot
A nurse said about him ‘He doesn’t say a lot.
He has a healthy normal appetite,
But I think he lies awake at night.’
Sometimes, very late, we hear him laughing
It can give you quite a fright, but he seems alright
Dreaming in the silent ward
Reviewing his long romantic life.
His lady’s favour, a silver thimble
And a handkerchief that still holds
The perfumed phantom of his long departed wife.
Working In Alberta
When the slick muscled hydraulic door
Barricaded for so long gasped me into now
I changed in tense but in no other order
Wind spun from the whirling sky
Time slipped, I’ve walked this way before
In hammered streets clogged with flesh and steel I cringe,
Remnant genes remember I should not be here.
Across forever black swelling night
Faint music whispers through the crackling never and where
A single phrase repeated sadly, your home is here not there.
Tears run into your ears when you’re crying lying down
When dark night flares with what might have been
If only. What if. I wish.
Your wet face alone on the tiny half of the endless,friendless bed
Stifling sobs into silent scissors
To snip petals from the flower of your love.
The clattering of your broken breath
Wakes soft voice, ’What’s the matter Honey?
But nothing and only nothing can
Describe the scale of utter desolation.
Dead sunless planets alone in three directions. Cold mirrors
Reflecting emptiness and glimpses of a stranger
Laughter cruel and faraway.
Love flutters in the killing jar
Powdered wings thrash the curving glass
Beating weaker weaker; waiting for the pin.
We live in dusty corners whispering in dead tongues
Vaguely aware of other times wading in trivia, waiting, waiting.
Emotional amnesia is seeping through my heart
In an age of lining up, listening for my name
Learning how to play my part
Yearning for a lover to find me
Who will know I am not the same.
High on Blake and steel I watch the west
Waiting for a signal;
Dreaming of your eyes.