ITS A BAILEY

its a bailey

when I was eight years old   in nineteen fifty-seven    on a sunday morning  with  2 way  family favourites playing on the radio    I came down late for breakfast    which was a weetabix   and I observed the actions of the family    like joe browns song   what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️   dad was working in his shed    mum was working in the kitchen    brother was reading on the sofa   ⚫️   i felt neglected  abandoned  alone   ⚫️   properly alone probably for the first time in my life   ⚫️   no one seems to notice me   isnt it a sin   what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️  then it came to me   i would have to leave home   i was six years old   ⚫️   i planned my exit and i was very apprehensive  ⚫️   i had the coolest toy gun you have ever seen and i mean ever    ⚫️   it was a retro luger pistol  ⚫️   i also had the coolest leather casket type bag with a shoulder strap   ⚫️   i would need to defend myself if i were attacked out there in the world   so i put the cool pistol in the cool bag   put the strap around my shoulder and headed off   i made sure not to bang the side gate while leaving  ⚫️   i felt bad for leaving home   it had been a good life and i really loved my family but this rejection i felt threw  serious doubts about their love for me   ⚫️   i went out our front gate and turned right   walking past the front of our house and turned right again into fieldsend road   behind the tall hedge and i was gone   ⚫️   i journeyed up the hill past fromondes road and turned left into tilehurst avenue and down the sharp incline to st dunstans bypass   it was always a busy dual carriageway   ⚫️   i looked both ways carefully and nervously and crossed two lanes to the small bollard island in the middle of the road opposite the wide swing gate to spillers field where there was a hawk that flew high in the twilight   ⚫️   i was six years old   ⚫️   i waited for the traffic to pass and crossed the remaining two lanes   turning right and onto the pavement and past the two cottages set back on the far side   ⚫️   two hundred yards and i could climb the few steps down into sears park and away from the noise of the traffic   ⚫️   i was wearing a tee with  denim jeans and black and white bumper shoes   ⚫️   i always wore black and white bumper shoes with white laces   ⚫️   sears park was one of many great parks in our area of around  say   six or seven acres   ⚫️   i crossed the park diagonally  passing the open pavilion where older boys and girls met and talked in groups   ⚫️   i did not enter the pavilion because i did not like to see some of the words scrawled in marker on the walls   although most messages were simple  naive   love talk   or  kilroy  style drawings   ⚫️   tom loves maddi   cas fancies jimmy   susie shagged richard   that kind of thing   ⚫️   i continued walking the remainder of the park which ran down the hill and past a wide bed of tree sheltered rose bushes and then i exited into the wooded path that ran for three hundred yards through to west sutton and the gander green lane shops   ⚫️    on entering the path i was probably three quarters of a mile from home   ⚫️   it was warm in the sun but coolish in the shade   ⚫️    this path was known as   boney hole   ⚫️   it was called that   as it goes  because allegedly while digging down the lane  workmen unearthed human remains   namely a skeleton   ⚫️   the legend was that someone had been murdered and buried down boney hole just next to the grammar school playing fields   ⚫️   the story gripped my imagination and i wondered where the bones had been found as i walked down the cold  enclosed path alone   ⚫️   i was six years old   ⚫️   at the far end was a barbed wire fence and an overgrown area which spread itself onto the path   ⚫️   i exited the path into the warm sunshine to walk past a run of four or five shops i was most unfamiliar with   ⚫️   i did not know why but the sight of these shops scared me   even more than the boney hole had   ⚫️   i thought i knew the way from here though   through the back streets to sutton which was three miles maybe from where we lived   ⚫️   i saw the red phone box and knew i should ring home   ⚫️   i was still six years old and a long way from home   ⚫️   i still had the luger pistol in my leather bag around my shoulder   it made it difficult to enter the phone box as the door was on a firm spring   ⚫️   i knew our phone number as well   people recited their number when answering the phone in those days   ⚫️   i had been told to lift the receiver and say clearly   fairlands 4205   ⚫️   the phone box smelled musty and i had no money but i lifted the receiver and dialled the number and listened to the bleep  bleep  bleep   ⚫️    my family must really be missing me and worried too   ⚫️ i exited the phone box and retraced my steps   ⚫️   past the shops   down boney hole   across sears park   down to the falcon field   over the carriageway   up the hill to fieldsend road and then on down down down   round the corner   past the tall hedge and in through the front gate and the noisy side gate   quietly in fear and trepidation   ⚫️  dad was working in his garden   mum was working in her kitchen   brother was lying on the sofa   ⚫️   what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️   nothing was ever said   no questions were ever asked   even about the anonymous phone call   on the day i decided to leave home   ⚫️

            writtenbyedenbray17.11.17

its a bailey … using no traditional punctuation

 

  ⚫️    ⚫️

TOY LUGER

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ITS A BAILEY

its a bailey

when I was six years old   in nineteen fifty-seven    on a sunday morning  with  2 way  family favourites playing on the radio    I came down late for breakfast    which was a weetabix   and I observed the actions of the family    like joe browns what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️   dad was working in his shed    mum was working in the kitchen    brother was reading on the sofa   ⚫️   i felt neglected  abandoned  alone   ⚫️   properly alone probably for the first time in my life   ⚫️   no one seems to notice me   isnt it a sin   what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️  then it came to me   i would have to leave home   i was six years old   ⚫️   i planned my exit and i was very apprehensive  ⚫️   i had the coolest toy gun you have ever seen and i mean ever    ⚫️   it was a retro luger pistol  ⚫️   i had the coolest leather casket type bag with a shoulder strap   ⚫️   i would need to defend myself if i were attacked out there in the world   so i put the cool pistol in the cool bag   put the strap around my shoulder and headed off   i made sure not to bang the side gate while leaving  ⚫️   i felt bad for leaving home   it had been a good life and i really loved my family but this rejection i felt threw  serious doubts about their love for me   ⚫️  i went out our front gate and turned right   walking past the front of our house and turned right again into fieldsend road   behind the tall hedge and i was gone   ⚫️   i journeyed up the hill past fromondes road and turned left into tilehurst evenue and down the sharp incline to st dunstans bypass   it was always a busy dual carriageway   ⚫️   i looked both ways carefully and nervously and crossed two lanes to the small bollard island in the middle of the road opposite the wide swing gate to spillers field where there was a hawk that flew high in the twilight   ⚫️   i was six years old   ⚫️   i waited for the traffic to pass and crossed the remaining two lanes   turning right and onto the pavement and past the few cottages set back on the far side   ⚫️   two hundred yards and i could climb the few steps down into sears park and away from the noise of the traffic   ⚫️   i was wearing a tee with  denim jeans and black and white bumper shoes   ⚫️   i always wore black and white bumper shoes with white laces   ⚫️   sears park was one of many great parks in our area of around  say   six or seven acres   ⚫️   i crossed the park diagonally  passing the open pavilion where older boys and girls met and talked in groups   ⚫️   i did not enter the pavilion because i did not like to see some of the words scrawled in marker on the walls   although most messages were simple  naive   love talk   or  kilroy  style drawings   ⚫️   tom loves maddi   cas fancies jimmy   susie shagged richard   that kind of thing   ⚫️   i continued walking the remainder of the park which ran down the hill and past a wide bed of tree sheltered rose bushes and then i exited into the wooded path that ran for three hundred yards through to west sutton and the gander green lane shops   ⚫️    on entering the path i was probably three quarters of a mile from home   ⚫️   it was warm in the sun but coolish in the shade   ⚫️    this path was known as   boney hole   ⚫️   it was called that   as it goes  because allegedly while digging down the lane workmen unearthed human remains   namely a skeleton   ⚫️   the legend was that someone had been murdered and buried down boney hole just next to the grammar school playing fields   ⚫️   the story gripped my imagination and i wondered where the bones had been found as i walked down the cold  enclosed path alone   ⚫️   i was six years old   ⚫️   at the far end was a barbed wire fence and an overgrown area which spread itself onto the path   ⚫️   i exited the path into the warm sunshine to walk past a run of four or five shops i was most unfamiliar with   ⚫️   i did not know why but the sight of these shops scared me   even more than the boney hole had   ⚫️   i thought i knew the way from here   through the back streets to sutton which was three miles maybe from where we lived   ⚫️   i saw the red phone box and knew i should ring home   ⚫️   i was still six years old and a long way from home   ⚫️   i still had the luger pistol in my leather bag around my shoulder   it made it difficult to enter the phone box as the door was on a firm spring   ⚫️   i knew our phone number as well   people recited their number when answering the phone in those days   ⚫️   i had been told to lift the receiver and say clearly   fairlands 4205   ⚫️   the phone box smelled musty and i had no money but i lifted the receiver and dialled the number and listened to the bleep  bleep  bleep   ⚫️    my family must really be missing me and worried too   ⚫️ i exited the phone box and retraced my steps   ⚫️   passed the shops   down boney hole   across sears park   down to the falcon field   over the carriageway   up the hill to fieldsend road and then on down down down   round the corner   past the tall hedge and in through the front gate and the noisy side gate quietly in fear and trepidation   ⚫️  dad was working in his garden  mum was working in her kitchen   brother lying on the sofa   ⚫️   what a crazy world im living in   ⚫️   nothing was ever said   no questions were ever asked   even about the anonymous phone call    because no one had even noticed that i had left home   ⚫️   all this on the day i decided to leave home for the first time    ⚫️

            writtenbyedenbray17.11.17

its a bailey … using no traditional punctuation

 

  ⚫️    ⚫️

TOY LUGER

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LISTEN .. .

Listen .. .

Bali_Bomb_Blast

..

There’s always thunder in the distance

The sound of war not far behind

You can count the years on fingers

Man’s lightning striking mankind down

..

writtenbyedenbray12.11.2017

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FACING UP .. .

Facing Up

(YOU BROKE MY HEART)

wiv me Dad at Bognor Butlins

I CAN’T SAY ‘You broke my heart’

It hurts me too much

I never knew you, we never spoke

I never knew you that much ..

..

The world it’s turning slowly

Each and every damn day

When we are children everything is rosy

Things you love moving away

..

I stepped on the pavement

Walked on the long, wet, grass

Buried my seed in earth’s umber vase

It’s been so hard to face up

..

And if you had a moment

I’d whisper in your ear, I always loved you

I always said a prayer

I never changed  a moment

..

In my heart, I hold such a memory

I have tales I can tell

Pass me that whiskey

Then I’ll whisper it well

..

People don’t understand

When your shot to the hind

You run with a falter

And it prays on your mind

..

Now I must love my children

For my heart it might burst

For it’s not about the money

Not the chapter, nor the verse

..

So sing me your sad songs

Lady divine, & sing for your supper

Sweet lady of mine

For my love it is broken

.. .. and it bleeds from the vine

..

writtenbyedenbray12.11.2017

..

in memory of my sweet mother – Roma Joan and the love of my life

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OLDFIELD

edenbray

Oldfield  

Is taking the time

whose taken the train

or followed the line

to where the end is before the beginning ?

Whole nights wasted and forlorn

pasted in albums 

with yellow ends torn

not even buried, not ever drawn

Fake moments dressed 

cold cake, cold flesh

peppered bold, worn yet stressed

a layman’s cove 

                                                         writtenbyedenbray13.11.2016

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ENIGMA

the enigma

..

roenigma ore

..

tall, not short the enigma lives

does not feel or feels too much

refuses aid and scorns to trust

with no desire to use a crutch

..

alone again the enigma smiles

investing dreams in hidden files 

hiding hopes that others show

afraid to think where they will go

..

too much information .. .

..

writtenbyedenbray31.10.2017

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AND ANOTHER THING .. .

And Another Thing .. .

.

Hands_Baton_451x300

 

Our expectations dwindle as we grow older which is a sad thing. We should always expect more than we can accomplish and reach for the unattainable. Like a relay-runner stretches to grasp the baton and strides to conquer his leg and finish the race ahead.

I am spending more and more time looking backward rather than forward lately which suggests that I am feeling I have run my race and that I am entering the sphere of reflection and maybe that last leg.

I also want to talk more. I crave conversation and a listening ear which I think younger people find intimidating and mostly avoid. People generally do require freedom to meander through life, occasionally careering, not necessarily out of control. To make their own mark and their own history. They enjoy the opportunity to leave deep footprints in the crusty snow.

As a child of 8 years, I was allowed to walk to school through a generous and fabulous park. It was a long and interesting walk through a changing landscape of parkland, woodland, trails and paths. It was thrilling to turn, look back and see the footprints I had engraved upon the long, sweeping incline I descended from at the top of the Cheam Park end of Nonsuch Park. Apart from a few three-toed bird trails which ran like little emoji, Neptune tridents here and there, my solitary scraped bootprints I had left behind were the only other blemishes on the tranquil dunes of snow that stretched out wide behind me, a panorama of clean space and suburban beauty.

If I had never enjoyed childhood moments so private and intense, would I be even a fraction of the person I am now or have so plaintiff a recall on a day where I sit reminiscing? This purpose of recall has no other result however than encouraging parallel thoughts in those patient or caring enough to read along, although being humoured shows there is respect, even if there is no relished or perceived joy to the listener.

Tomorrow, I might go on an adventure to rediscover some of my amazing childhood which despite being wrecked by later pain still gives me wonderful moments to relish. I am to spend time with those who share my own DNA, which sounds as oblique as it can do but no doubt could be wrapped in humour and fantastic words for a future generation by one of those carrying the heritage of say, the bard, within their particular epidermis. 

My eldest son is still waiting to see a certain unusual bird which skulks mysteriously in the reed beds of Norfolk like a frightened jew at the time of the Holocaust. There is a natural sanity to it, that in these days where discretion is no longer the better part of valour but a debilitating  embarrassment we should learn to ‘come out’ from and declare, there is still such a prehistoric creature that affords the ultimate protection of our ‘new’ open society, while its more demure forerunner apparently caused this birds awkward shyness. What irony but ‘what goes around comes around’ I suppose and for one week I will be able to share the world of that same son and my grandchildren who no doubt carry a ‘spark’ from this old curmudgeon somewhere in their spunk.

On another solitary trip to school across that same parkland where my snowy feet had left an encrypted trail but this time on a sharp but sunny, spring morning. I heard the loud rattle of a black, white and red woodpecker in a pair of trees and as I approached, he unashamed, continued to pound the bark and timber with his beak in that staccato, unsyncopated fashion woodpeckers do and in full view of my wonder and surprise. He finally caught sight of me staring up in awe, he kind of cocked his head in a self-conscious way and then flew off crazily in a straight line toward the woods and at a break net speed!

                                                                                           writtenbyedenbray23.10.2017

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Enter – the Thief

Enter – the Thief

jackdaw1_earlyalan90

”’

Mercy is, yes mercy me, I find the battered key

Opening dreams of mysterious dances you could not see

Or touch, or feel, or understand with your mind

Speaking words that glisten as fairy-dust that flies high

SSSSSSS

Mercy as, to mercy be, I turn the golden key

Standing plain naked for all and hollow as the night sea

Where golden calves, darkest thoughts and deeds, all should be

This trail of rough energy sharpened like a quill knife

 

SSSSSSS

Mercy is, to mercy me, who holds this treasured key

Where life and hope and love and dreams can still be

Plaintiff as nature’s darkest night might yet surround my thought

To me, the jackdaw’s mouth brought a borrowed rainbow feather

writtenbyedenbray22.10.2017

 

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HORSE

HORSE

HORSE

.. ..

One day I will walk off the face of the earth and there will be a kind of silence
A gentle wind blowing, rustling the taller grasses, caught in golden clusters
A bird’s call lost in the sunshine and children’s distant voices; the sound of waves
 .. ..
I have always been a romantic, enjoyed the soft drizzle of cold, grey rain on my face
Leaned into the wind; imagined what my love might be attending, is she bathing?
Felt my neck tighten and a holy spirit sprinkle at the sight of a twilight hare bounding
 .. ..
I cannot imagine the darkness of a killer’s landscape or their eternal hatred; the fire! 
I would rather slit my wrists than share their mire, no love, no acceptance, no desire
Saint Augustus emerging from the flames with worn hands, furrowed brow, inner smile
 .. ..
A horses shape against the sky, its brick-white belly, long, blonde legs, flowing, grey mane 
Best form ever drawn, next only to a woman’s soft, pubertal line, so handsome, so fine 
The eyes heavy set, the nostrils such dark holes, the fullest contours, a formation of  design
 .. ..
This horse is running, pounding the dusted plains, its sweaty, oiled coat flushed peach
The horseman riding is my better self, no words, weapon or long coat drenched in blood 
Breeches, boots, a simple white shirt. I am prepared to meet my maker in the dirt.
.. ..
                                                                                            writtenbyedenbray17.10.2017

 

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IN THE LAND OF NEVER WAS

In The Land Of Never Was

Diana-Gabaldon-writing-life-image-main-960x450

I started ‘writing’ when I was fifteen just before I left school and yes, fifteen was too young to be leaving school but as we say – ‘that’s the way you did it in those days. Like getting married at seventeen, having children early or having unprotected sex.’

I couldn’t wait to leave school and I landed a pretty ‘safe’ job with prospects, providing I worked at it for a number of years. I was a draughtsman in a switchgear firm that manufactured switchboards for offices and hospitals. I earned a £5 note per week before stoppages, had to fetch the teas for the whole drawing office and attend evening classes 3 nights per week at the local Technical College to earn a ‘day release’ in my 2nd year.

My writing was very personal and at that stage quite private and fuelled by my non-conformist tendencies. I had the idea even then that I was a kind of bohemian and I found myself drawn to a radicalism of thought as ‘impressionable’ teenagers often are. My unhappy home life since father broke my heart and our happy suburban family facade wide open, had given me a raw ‘edge’ which suggested I was worldly-wise way beyond my years and experience. I was fairly disdainful of the petite bourgeoise, middle-class values my father and mother had esteemed so highly and blindly. This contempt was no doubt bolstered by the notion I carried that my parents had somehow lied to me while trying to protect me from the truth of the unhappiness in their relationship. 

I left my apprentice draughtsman’s post and found the perfect position working in Leicester Square for an Artists’ Agency where my avant-garde leanings developed by the day as I journeyed around the streets and landmarks of central London, ferrying art to and fro from artists to publishing houses and back, while amongst other things collecting and posting artists materials and photo-shoot reference from various, curious backstreet suppliers and agencies in Fleet Street, across to South Kensington and back to the Edgware Road. I consumed art and read literature ravenously while traveling on the Underground or on the Southern Rail from Cheam in Surrey to Victoria. 

I loved both George Orwell’s lesser and better-known titles and began to read avidly Herman Hesse, John Steinbeck, John Wyndham, Ernest Hemmingway, Emile Zola, Voltaire, indeed anyone that tapped into my slightly subversive but nevertheless intensely creative mindset.  I visited Art Galleries old and new, joined the famed St Martin’s Art School who boasted a Life Class with 8 naked models who posed delightfully in one large room and I became friendly with virtually all our bunch of 30 or so virtuoso artists, from the hermit-like Alex Oliphant, a sad and lonely widower and whisky drinking alcoholic, who illustrated tawdry tales of lust and intrigue for Parade, the men’s magazine, to the entirely petite and quaint Miss Jeanetta Vice who drew Noddy and Big Ears for ‘Robin’ Comic. Jeanetta lived in an exquisite luxury apartment in Portman Square, a few minutes walk from Mayfair and would offer me cups of English tea served in bone china whenever I called.

There was also the entirely charismatic Walter ‘Wally’ Wyles who walked on a club foot and would happily blow up to 20% of his substantial fees received for 12-part magazine illustrations on full day binges in a classy little French Restaurant in Longacre near Covent Garden which he would take over for the day. Wally would invite everyone and anyone who had been engaged in the projects:- editors, agents, secretaries, assistants, photographers, models,  etc. etc.,  just to thank and reward them for their cooperation, even though they would have already been paid handsomely for their part.

The life and characters of so many of those artists and personalities I met during my time in the West End of London, truly expanded my literary landscape and when I produced 5 poems for publication a year after finally leaving the teeming and vivacious world of art and print, those poems were, I believe, some of the most creative writings I have ever written. Sadly at a time of personal revolution and subsequent confusion, the poems though accepted were never published and eventually were lost. I have tried to re-write a few of them but never felt they matched the originals for their tumbling verve, boldness and intensity.

writtenbyedenbray11/12.08.2017

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