its a bailey .. . sandals


its a bailey.. . its a bailey .. . using no traditional punctuation sandals

.. . and while we are on the subject of mothers  did i mention that my mum  mammy  mater  mother  mummy  was the best ever    for children growing up in the fifties  the mother father parental pairing was  still the accepted norm within pretty much the whole of western culture    in british society the mothers matriarchal position was still paramount    as a child i was never aware of any overt sexism    we just accepted the roles our parents played as distinct  not necessarily superior or inferior    in these  stripped down  personal memoirs  it is not my purpose to comment on modern gender politics but simply to tell things as i found them    i have some early memories  as an under 5  that some find surprising    for instance i can clearly remember our next door neighbour  mrs iffel   talking baby mumbo jumbo to me while i lay in my pram and also the softness of my blankets    i can also remember queuing with my mother outside a hall behind our local swimming baths one cold day in sunshine    once inside  my mother collected two flat medicine style bottles with corks  containing natural squeezed orange juice and a jar of virol  malt extract that were  supplied free of charge using  ration books  until they were terminated in July 1954    that fact alone places my recollection and my age at under 3 years    one memory i do not recall however  that concerned my mother  she would often retell  as it had made her feel guilty    one day she had left me in my pram outside the local greengrocers and  walked nearly 2 miles home before realising she had left me behind    unsurprisingly she had panicked and hastily returned to find me sleeping soundly in my pram on a lazy summers day in the surrey village where we lived    i never blamed my mother and grew kind of proud of her confession    ironically life gave her the opportunity to balance up that spot of negligence  a few years later at almost the very same spot where she had left me sleeping in my pram     she had been shopping in boots the chemists  the shop adjacent to the greengrocers where my mother had left me 7 years previously    i was returning from primary school early one evening at age 8 years  as children did in 1959    on the day in question i had chosen to walk with 2 friends through the woods    i would leave them at the corner of the village and journey on alone through the park to our home    as we reached the place where we normally parted we found a large number of trees had been felled quite recently  chopped up and burnt in a large fire that measured around 30 feet in circumference    the bonfire seemed burnt out and dormant  although it had left a huge circle of white ash    there were no barriers or warning signs    i suppose i was showing off as i rushed into the  circle of dusty cinders sending a shower of silver flakes up into the hot  sunny  afternoon haze    my friends laughed at my bravado    i rushed past the cold extremities of the fire toward the neucleus suddenly aware that my feet were strangely warming    i arrested my crazy dash on reaching the centre of the bonfires residue   anguished   as i was aware of intense sparks of heat penetrating the cut holes in my children’s buckled sandals    i glanced down in horror at my sandalled feet now nestling deep inside the silver piecrust exterior and encased by angry red and orange coals of fire    small blue and silver flames licked at my white ankle socks    inevitably i screamed and ran for the safety of the woodland floor    i was sobbing with the shock of my personal misfortune and painful burns while my friends offered  kids kind of palliative advice  stressing I should get home fast while also berating me for my foolish antics    easy to be wise after the event guys    my sobbing continued as i limped painfully in the general direction of our home deciding to take an impromptu route through the village    i was scared and had no wish to be alone so i limped painfully up the road toward where the road met the high street   the junction corner was where boots the chemist was situated    at this moment my mother exited boots the chemist as if on cue    with her purchases completed she planned to walk home    she stated later that she had been suddenly overwhelmed by a desire to turn left out the store and proceed down the adjacent road towards the park    she could not explain her actions  as she never used that road and it took the opposite direction to home    yet she proceeded down the road and recognising the sound of a child crying  she hurried to help    miraculously she was confronted by her own  distressed son    it was a remarkable and unforgettable mother son moment we often spoke of   

                                                              its a bailey .. .   4 december 2020 .. .   edenbraytoday

This picture shows me a few weeks after the bonfire incident with my older brother Martin on holiday in Littlehampton still nursing bandaged feet due to the burns I suffered

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EDENBRAY in EXILE – 2* – selfie

‘Edenbray in Exile’ OUTTAKE

… … …


… … …

Entangled, overwhelmed, a picture in mezzotint

Dove grey – bordered in the usual way

Of men and women and games they play

Of piano-moods or senseless abandon

Where the wicked transgress and say it is not so

^ ^ ^

The leaf-lawn green and sweet, a mothers smile

We don’t only talk in words, language, gestures,

Mock perception or a hand to trace your face

The given moment sentient in the mind’s eye

Not deep or dark but tangled like wool

^ ^ ^

And in one moment, mounted on horses

Dressed in flesh, a mountain above easy feeling

We shake ofF the intrigue, guile and terror

And hold each other closer than our mother

Bite, scratch and scrawl passions sanction

^ ^ ^

If lonely guilt were left in the darkest room 

And the strangers we become, last years Kodachrome

Lying in a box, a cell of transparency

Every word full, close-ups, vivid pictures

And our honest selves introduced as friends.

^ ^ ^

…   …   …



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. . .


. . .

The wide, the woven, the smell of fear

Easier to hide than make a stand

Form a band, cover yourself in glory 

Write your own story, nights of fury


Intelligence is weary, culture vulture

Under the lights of night your face black

Your heritage an echo, a Gaelic refrain

Up on the stage of fame, spike the stain


Carry me home, wander free, a family

Stand out under the stars naked, your

electric harp, with the boys of harmony

Bringing it home, not when your alone


Pass the skit, the rush, the hit, atonement

Write it down in your mothers scrapbook

Looking for the mass ascension, Johnny boy

Collecting friends along the way, adjacent


Musha ring dum a do, whack for my daddy-o

The jar is left, shake the tree, where did daddy go?

Fender Jazz, Precision, give it to sad clowns of derision

Learned to star, scar the stage, no boot stud indecision


Fame train carries a barb, a wye switch derailer

Home mommy’s kid, not greedie tin’ bitch syringe

Leather clad, punk sad, ride the ferris wheel ..

Get off the track, gentle guitar man, Lynott you are a poet








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Hemmingway’s Folly

.   .   .

The rolling river knows and to this torture shows

From virtues sodden garments strewn

The bloodless captives body hewn


O endless river follow long, a plaintiff song

Where dreams will last forever

Our deepest friendships we sever


We cannot chide the moon its life is longer

Loves bite is stronger than the

Sentiment of shadows, wayward arrows


When we write our story down in verse

We suckle at life’s wet nurse

Who forces her to yield?


What bastard drone betide may step aside

Abandon loves purest reason

To fulfil the rutting stag in season


And nature charming like a sceptarian

Seven hands for seven throats

Seven lives, seven moats


And in this spun tale of summer gold,

I see within her folds, lust has wed

The serpents head, so angry and so red


The deed was done, of sumnal scum

O great Rome, she still speaks to the soul of man

Offers prayers to Zeus and gods of Roman story


O harlot tramp the hoary, not centre of our story

Some saints are set for glory

Shield me O’ phantom roaring


And in all this turgid mire she capitulates

Loves lovers lost beneath her virgin state

Loves moment born to virtue sworn


The specious dawn of fair Capricorn

O laugh to scorn the sanscript of her love forlorn

The lover bared capitulates to sporn


O holy fire that burns the chaff of lust in satan’s pire

The wire of restraint within a maidens fire

For they burn inside the hole of hell


And Saint Adronedes astride the golden shire

Steps forth to shout at Surgun’s sun

Her fervour to espunge


Ho, regulateur the northern sun as cold as fire

Extends her holy, male-born spire

This Captain’s heart of swollen desire


In Capita’ de Espana a Bull’s testiculos

to determine the diminutive

The collective compulsive


We stop to observe the wonder of her gaze

The memory of Hemmingway’s ways

Too endlessly they disappear




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its a bailey .. . madeleines



its a bailey ..  its a bailey .. using no traditional punctuation  madeleines

women usually raise their eyebrows  as only women can  when i say candidly that i have an affinity with women  but its true    of course it is considered a bastion of the ladies that they believe no man can ever really understand a woman    hence raised eyebrows   accompanied with a sympathetic but questioning  oh do you  really    woman scribbles note in mental journal  this one thinks he understands women  hmm    its like breasts    i understand all about those as well and their unconscous power over men    women  from adolescence must be fascinated to learn how these emerging mounds of flesh growing on the upper ventral that make certain movements more awkward  have a silent power over the male of the species    like a pair of magic wands you can wave from side to side and from time to time  to get you your own way  distract  or win an argument    i think  my mother  made me comfortable with breasts because she was so comfortable with hers    a few times I would burst into her bedroom without thinking  while she was dressing to ask her a question and saw them hanging there  two  beautiful  orbs of joy    she would immediately cover up but the relaxed way she would say  stephen you should knock  made me realise she did not really mind    i loved my mothers breasts    in truth i love  breasts in general    someone will say that sounds like perversion as they might if a woman stated publicly she loved all penises    i would say there is more than a subtle difference in that comparison as the breast is a universal symbol of good cheer and maternity    my relaxed acceptance and enjoyment of the female bosom meant that when accompanying my actor father backstage  at his rehearsals  as an under 10  i was unphased by the sight of many different sizes and persuasions of titty on show  some brassiered  some hanging free    actor ladies in those days were not inhibited at all    on reaching my teenage years my investigations continued on my girl friends  as i carried out detailed examinations to determine  variance in circumferance  width  shape  hang  buoyancy  solidity  bounce  pertness  softness  sensitivity  alongside valuable  studies on nipple shape and feel    the variance I found was particularly diverse in both colour and texture    in my later teens I learned more about the 7 recognised breast shapes while attending life classes at saint martins art school where we were encouraged to sketch all 7 naked female models within a 90 minute lesson    it was an evocative experience    marcel proust wrote his classic 7 volume discourse    in search of time    relating how childhood memories were evoked by the taste and smell of madeleine cakes    prousts concluding premise was  that certain things  like a familiar taste or smell can become sensory cues that trigger the human psyche  so that our memories are retrieved by intelligense    for myself I would interject  that a pair of breasts may well be another proust madeleine  to evoke mammories  sorry   memories of other women    past girlfriends and artist models included    they say you can tell a lot about a girl by her eyes  is that a euphemasim    the salt seller shape of a british madeleine has not escaped my recognition either    nor possibly recording artist madonna  when she was designing some of her pointy breast outfits    have I uncovered a new madeleine mammory theory I wonder    my mothers relaxed attitude to her body and body parts was compounded by the way she would confide in me personally after my father abandoned us    at 14 years of age I found myself acting as a surrogate husband in those usually male  no go zones  such as listening and understanding  i even proffered sensitive advise    i became her shoulder to cry on and began to learn at an early age some important things about a womans needs    my relationship with my mother was as pure as the driven snow    she discovered the sweetest way of teaching me the facts of life    one day she presented me with a story book which told of the problems a dog breader had in getting an alsatian to mount a yorkshire terrier    i suppose that could have damaged my view of sex for life  it didnt     another madeleine memory i have is triggered by those big fish-eyed fashion buttons    i had no sisters and was curious what lady bits looked like downstairs    so when a girl at primary school offered my friend a viewing in exchange for the two bob she owed him  i jumped at the chance of joining in the viewing    so behind the curzon cinema where i had seen my first film  dumbo  five years previously  i saw my first vulva    when barbara duffy lifted her dress and dropped her drawers to proudly show us her halfpenny    i thought it looked like one of those buttons on my mothers new home-knit fashion sweater    since then im afraid that idea has stuck    i often wonder where barbara duffy ended up and if the two bob she earned showing her fanny by the bike rack was the start of an exotic career    or maybe she became a seamstress sewing on buttons    of course my claimed affinity with women is not based purely on a few goodnight fumbles and a two bob striptease behind the curzon    firstly there was my mother and later a very real but platonic friendship with my sister in law    as i moved on in my relationships with women I found my interest in them  divided  between wanting to get my hands on their gazubas and becoming their bestie    i suppose my mum really had done a job on me    into my twenties I reconnected with a past girlfriend   she had had east west boobs I remember   she now had a little mixed race boy  they had been dumped by the father   i began a new and enjoyable friendship with elaine but was confused by my feelings for her    my mammory memories of her were not prompting me in that direction at all    i felt sorry for her in her situation and considered asking her to marry me    she sorted out my confusion by assuring me she valued me purely as a buddy  really appreciated my friendship and support and confessed she had been wondering if I was actually gay    it was a reasonable assumption and one several women have questioned since    it is well recognised that women often feel safer with and appreciate the company of gay guys    my continued excitement at the sight of a nice pair of bosoms and a happy heterosexual partnership of 45 years happily lays that particular question to rest  and yet it continues a reality that my affections can easily be divided between platonic and sexual  which must be confusing to women as it is  to be honest  for me    it is one marvellous development that such matters may now be discussed freely and openly and that our individual sexuality and preferances are now no longer taboo subjects   

                                   … its a Bailey .. .  27 November 2020 .. .  edenbraytoday


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the slaves of causality

.   .   .


.   .   .

At Pollock Shores, in summer squalls, a madcap stepped across chianti walls

To celebrate the morning like a thousand eons before, where universes collide,

Coloured balloons at a kiddies party, which one to take home, which one to hide?

Mr Universe, I’ll write your name on your coffee cup with a coloured sharpie


Thats blackish blue and white like the sky at night when the planets come out to play

Some so old they are dead, some revolve around our sun, the ones who have most fun

I’ve had so many friends and then they end, people walk away, closeness can be frightening

We are not all disassociated the closer you get, the universal glow can be enlightening


Priscilla is an aunt who hasn’t seen a single one in days, diagnosed with a condition

She juggles with her position, concerned with a smooth transition and coprophobia

Angie ties herself in knots, struggles with procrastination, was told that she’s depressed

This led to self annihilation, which Doctor James considers a misappropriation.


Out under the stars Jake has discovered too late, he suffers from astrophobia

While his friend cool Harry, once caught in a lift, had an attack of the claus-trophobia

And Margie now sat on the mat with a rare case of clinical lycanthropy

Her new life as a cat has altered her mind to a permanent state of fantasy


Birdman of Alcatraz, Donnie Darko, Syd Barrett, Herman Bosch sit alone in their prison

They lost their ability to reason, like Margie was convinced she had turned into a kitten

Marcel Proust joins the debate his views on the constructs of relationships so great

For too many souls, lost in the darkness of their minds it maybe is already too late


Understanding root causes will make you less vulnerable to future episodes, is a line that I heard

Addressing the facts with a cognitive stance based on an intelligent supposition

A statement of truth in the context of a mental contusion, a potential psychotic delusion

Whilst the analyst constructs, in the course of time, to find a healing solution


Medication, pills and tranquillisers often are the equalisers in the psyche’s restoration

the treatments for the workings of the mind often in the past so unkind, wrought an evolution

to stave off any ridicule and pain the victims of the shame of becoming less than human

I myself met the horrors of electro-therapy in the face of a beautiful young woman


Mari Antoinette, the Shah of Abu Dhabi, Good Queen Bess, characters of minds illusions

Jesus, Budha or Rasputin, the mad monk, where imaginations ritual become the minds new spiritual

as the opium of the weird and the wonderful may be forced upon them by the constraints of religion

This travesty becomes the more obscure the more that politics override a natural sedition


Jackson does not throw his paint so much as let it fall, he pours it all like oil upon the floor

A lottery ball, a wooden floor, a mad dogs paw, a detective story, a what the butler saw,

The unfathomable fathomed, our reason is not diminished, our rationale is partitioned

Jackson is confirmed by Saint Margaret of Cortona, her misery atoned, the dependants would all own her


At Pollock Shores I stand and greet the dawn and the soon incoming tide.

The waves of ‘bright’ and health and healing, to mend this broken ceiling

This paranoiac feeling, like we are all just dreaming and victims of the scheming

Whereas in fact the walls are not chianti red but dressed in shiraz black

.   .   .

a poem concerning mental illness





Authors Note ~ A Foreword to POLLOCK SHORES

This poetic piece represents the most personal, insightful and researched examination of the subject of Mental Illness I have been able to complete.

I present it here as a written frontispiece to my latest publication – MENTAL ILLNESS – it is a written illustration of this worthy subject.

Alongside the other written poetry and essays contained in my latest pamphlet, I believe they provide a notebook or journal to promote thought and discussion. An introduction to a potential think-tank that might encourage a greater understanding, empathy and willingness to appreciate how much healthy minds matter.

Maybe the collection could be used as a work-book to encourage discussion and openness and help relieve us of some of those taboos and dogma’s we still cling to, this is my hope anyway.

This poem was written at a time of personal reflection, during and after illness and it deals with a recurring theme that shows in much of my work :-

‘We were born involved with one another’

My history, your history – although relatively dissimilar can become curiously enmeshed quite suddenly when we begin to be honest with each other and are prepared to reveal more of the people that we really are and then we may discover those same fundamentals that have affected all peoples from all walks of life. Our similarities and our ‘connections’ will begin to emerge out of the murky past of our individual human histories and maybe even out of the ether of time itself.








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.   .   .


.   .   .

And if he be an Welsh poet

It is true one day he maybe up and leave me sound

but for now, he loyal Dylan stands his ground

and answers not, my loyal prince of Camelot


And if he be a folk singer

Of tempered voice and regional accent pure

His detractors may stammer, turn to extracting ure

he answers not in pain, my loyal knight Gawain


And if he be a faithful dog

He meddleth not in politics with law or health

but Question not, rather he to rely on stealth

To catch his ball and run with it, my loyal prince Sir Lancelot


And if he were a Jousting Colt

Of Arabian extraction dressed in pomp’s caparison

He would carry me upon his back, go forth again

To smite the foe a fatal blow, Llamrei’ my loyal knight Sir Dylan 




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Walked from the West End to Streatham once 

we had been out on the razzle-dazzle

Lived there later, I knew London Town

It’s back streets and its souvenir trail

I drew street women in art classes at St Martins

Met the tallest man in Britain

When Holborn, Longacre and Covent Garden

Still showed signs of  the forties war

The Garrick, Queens, Adelphi, Dominion

The theatres were old and cold and lived-in


Salt-beef sandwiches on rye with mustard

From the Turkish Bar in Garrick Street

Or the Sandwich-Man with spotless hands

In his tiny shop of mirrors and three bar stools

Hamleys, The Wedgewood Shop down in Regents Street

Turn left at Oxford Circus, up the road

Past Selfridges and the Bond Street stores to Marble Arch 

and heaven, which is Mayfair! – then left again

Down, opposite the Park, where the Bunnies hopped

next to the elegant Dorchester Hotel!


So many the places, so many different coloured faces

Don’t forget to mention the art,

Walking over Waterloo Bridge to see the Messiah

Or the Moody Blues at the Festival Hall

The buildings, museums, stadiums and stations 

and the dirty river, must not forget the dirty river

The old, cold river, the colour of liver and onions

or the docks where it all started, this town

On the East-end side, north of the Tower 

and Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich


We were St Dunstans kids in Surrey, 

ferried around in a greenline bus

A bus de-commissioned for trips such as this, 

It soon smelled of kid’s travel-sick and piss

Then in the middle of November

In sixties mist with that drizzled rain

A trip to the Docks, its boats, warehouses, cranes

Children of under-11 on a day-trip with Mr Weston

I now know what ‘the Origins of London’ meant

100 miles down from the town, Thames Head





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So many pieces of the puzzle, there is no need to hide

but they were lost, caught in nets on Pier 39

Like an unfaithful son on the day of his bride

the colours of this city run and they rhyme

Pollock might say its a bit of a daub

until each piece he numbered

Pasted my memories in a red, paper book

there, all bands all should have names like Doctor Hook,

Flying Burrito Brothers, Jefferson Airplane

Hate was spelt Haight in that part of town

and the clever kids all wore a Berkeley frown

Nathalia my friend she dressed in a sexy gown

We walked for miles up and down and there

across the green in pastel colours

that row of little houses, little boxes

A little Malvina Milder/Reynolds maybe loved

when she was a small Jewish daughter

wandered into the famous Chinese quarter

Union Square and Macy’s, the photo’s are coming fast

We take a trip out to the Bridge

don’t drive too fast or blink, in this mist

even International Red will blur

and that massive Bay is slipping past

No time for Vertigo or to take a Bullitt for the team

In hippie land, now a spiring concrete forest,

or among those massive Redwoods

on the other side, its still the best place you can dream

If little cable cars don’t quite drive you to the stars

if your tired hop on, the corporation

will not charge you until you sing Your Song

The corporation will not warn you of the people down below

the street of shame where each dog born had a different name

yet now in cardboard, rags and jumble they sound the plain same

Step out on the street over homes and yet your room was cute

high-ceilinged estate, ornamental cornice,

bed linen tasteful, great, without a crease,

Air conditioned, sound-proofed, high windows barred

you could be living now on Mars

except your worried as you walk the line

Those inhabitants of boxes down the lane

those aliens of shame

will get in your face again

let the booze loose

exhalate their pain

So we sat one night in John’s Grill to consider where we’d been

what we had seen, with 2 free glasses of water



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In walking of your sunny streets, I see your past is Prussian bled

And in your markets the abundance of paprika, parcelled orange-red

For now we amble thoughtfully as though the Danube’s greyish blue

Refuses now to conjure illustrations brave Buda’ has alone lived through


A tale telt of twin cities and the blood that runs betwixt the two, we view

When the Magyars paid full bounty for their change of heart to prove

That honest endeavour of their wartime choosing, offers not regret at losing

Except those citizens of Isaac’s birth be left themselves to float the river bruising


And so, we know in full part, the governments procedure in consequence of the union

Buda’ a champion of the people wed a prince as full of zest, the fair and noble Pest’

Whose joining pledged the best of bridges, parks and awnings would greet the morning

The lost position made of once fair Royal Budapest, adorned in purple with golden braid


At the time of our arrival we saw signs of peoples honest toil, their patience in survival

Of opulence, decadence, royal scorn where prince’s born, folks allegiances were torn

Much change affects us all, fair Buda-pest has often heard, answered one too many calls

We found there now a younger tribe, so dressed in black, a pack, attended by a vision


Within this grace of indecision, cultures meet in apprehension, the river flows through

A nation forced to start again, scars hardly cleft of pain, mid brave Pest’s blackened fires

History cascaded, a furnace of desire since Atilla of the Hun, it is time Budi’ had some fun

We waltzed the Blue Danube beneath the stars midst a whirl of newborn entrepreneurs


Our ship of dreams nighttime cruiser passed beneath the Bridge of Chains, lights aflame

Drifting at its widest part so well situated, this city deserves its youth to begin ingratiated

Fireworks on its hills – cakes, clusters, kamuro, roman candle, spyder, chrysanthemum and fish

Crossroad to the east, gateway from the west, a flower printed skirt, a buttoned tunic vest





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