Still under master’s orders




The walls are bleeding by the south terrace
  running down the chapel of Santa Andronicus
the colour of walled flowers that grow
  the large weeping petals of the hibiscus

Running livid across the painted white bricks
  those painted, once were the colour of cinnamon
beside grasses bowed like mourners weep
  and where a helmet lays, two black holes staring

A parade of stuck mothers, blood-spattered brothers
  torn nightdress, tear-stained lovers, corpses silent
moving the awkward path blood follows down a rendered wall
  snaking the bond of bricklayers lines, his shrapnel trowel

War in the afternoon, smoking fires are burning fervidly
  its payload wrought angry, its payback stained history
rebels, guerrillas, soldiers of fortune, of might or of glory
  loss rationalised, convictions quaterised by crimsoned mud

We seek to balance an august moon atop a Matterhorn
  square up the finest order of nature without atonement
without compromise, only madmen’s sighs mid ideology
  alone nature weeps, guardian crows the executers

Who clear away the bodies, tie the flags low, remember
  who exchange your smile for piles of shit-brown guile
overgrown death yards where the lazy cats still piss upon us
  armouries choking the bonfires of our burning emotion

Given to this shame we fashion, indignant we all rise
  discard our jesters eyes, turn ploughshares into knives
broadswords, guns, anarchised of reason, despised
  roll dice in war-game arenas, still shun cowardly demeanour


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4th Time Around



When she said, “Don’t waste your words, they’re just lies”
I cried she was deaf
And she worked on my face until breaking my eyes
Then said, “What else you got left?”

It was then that I got up to leave
But she said, “Don’t forget
Everybody must give something back
For something they get”

I stood there and hummed, I tapped on her drum
And asked her how come
And she buttoned her boot, and straightened her suit
Then she said, “Don’t get cute”

So I forced my hands in my pockets
And felt with my thumbs
And gallantly handed her
My very last piece of gum

She threw me outside, I stood in the dirt
Where everyone walked.
And after finding I’d forgotten my shirt
I went back and knocked

I waited in the hallway, she went to get it
And I tried to make sense
Out of that picture of you in your wheelchair
That leaned up against

Her Jamaican rum, and when she did come
I asked her for some.
She said, “No, dear”, I said, “Your words aren’t clear
You’d better spit out your gum”

She screamed till her face got so red
Then she fell on the floor
And I covered her up and then
Thought I’d go look through her drawer

And, when I was through, I filled up my shoe
And brought it to you
And you, you took me in, you loved me then
You never wasted time
And I, I never took much, I never asked for your crutch
Now don’t ask for mine

.   .   .  


I like to think that this BLOG PAGE is a celebration of the written word and from time to time I like to run a GUEST poem or a song lyric that I feel has something pertinent to say. During the past few weeks and months I have been exploring areas of the bizarre and random thought loosely connected around a current theme of exploration concerning mental illness.

Today I am sharing a song lyric by BOB DYLAN whose poetic writing I generally admire. I am inclined to agree with Alan Ginsberg who stated at one time that DYLAN was the one true poet of the 20th century. Interestingly, this piece wouldn’t count as one of my favourite poetic pieces by the great man as I get the feeling it was written at a time when DYLAN was reacting to overdue analyses of his work and influence by followers and critics alike, consequently he wrote a few songs that might be termed satirical in that they were partly Dylan’s attempt to respond in a humorous way to a kind of media obsession, an increasing tornado of speculation over his life and work. I say partly, as ironically these satirical backhanders and their lyrics actually invite further psychoanalysis of Dylan’s mental health at the time and go some way to exposing the personal stresses and pressure he was working under. Stresses that no doubt were reflected in his personal life with Sarah. 

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converging lines - 2

4th of July – ring freedom’s bell… (new york edition)

Inside the soldiers drum
    rat a tat a tat a tum
the imagination of science decrees
within the vortex of constructed value
the causality of our genetic stream

Adam meets Jesus
  rat a tat a tat a tum
meets himself as father meets son
soldier meets lover, meets death
lowers captors flag, conversion disorder

Captain cries murder
  rat a tat a tat a tum
Olivia deHaviland, the gates of death
sucking the skeleton’s thumb
wet feet adorn the dead screen

Carnations for the victor
  rat a tat a tat a tum
the actor’s voice is calm, measured
the feeding of the five thousand has begun
the document ordered is delivered!

In this wild, cotton phase
  rat a tat a tat a tum
ideas and papers scatter the place
damn damn marvel’s salvation man
where is peace in the valley?

Women like their strawberry jelly
  rat a tat a tat a tum
pouring cream on autumn’s belly
time talks things through slowly
the Bentley’s running on empty

Wolfgang opera’s applied gently
  rat a tat a tat a tum
the scorpion hides within the breast
Pablo plays his mandolin best
Shafts of newsreel buildings

Dong dong, Dang a dong Dang
  rat a tat a tat a tum
the anthem we all sang, together
in the market, by the ironmongers
whilst we queued for bread

Where elders of the city gather
  rat a tat a tat a tum
It’s miracle stuff they chatter
Portia dominatrex of proceedings
bluesmen in their grainy pictures

We need passports to escape
  rat a tat a tat atata tata tum
my friend John says he can sort this
Swedish step stools at the ready
dimpled white and plastic


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Philip Roth .. .

Philip Roth .. .



Sometimes it happens. Sometimes I’m a writer and sometimes I’m a liar. You can’t pick up your life and live it for two hours and then put it down again. When Horowitz or Henry, Patrick or Marlow decide to paragraph their upbringing or record detail that would shock your closest friend or possibly spoil your reputation with your mother’s. That same lady you used to call your Auntie but she wasn’t, then you realise you are stepping over the divide. Finally saying something that makes your nipples stand on end and moves you down below.

When women meet together, to lunch, they want to know things. Personal things, but to reach deep inside to those things they have to find a reason to talk anyway as though they were discussing their shopping or possibly today’s weather, not their fathers embarrassing prostate problem that they understand about completely. Then, it becomes just matter of fact. Men can always subvert it because they are not afraid to lie or at least exaggerate things. This way you can hide the detail and bring it back coded. The detail and the fact are kind of rolled together like you are making pasta or kneading dough.

That’s what a writer is supposed to do, right? To write and unfold things, unpack stuff, important stuff as natural as unrolling a carpet or rolling a spliff. You don’t have to write to shock, only to find your level.


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My Apex Window – London Bridge and the Odeon, Leicester Square

It’s falling down, it’s falling down
the world we made is falling down
down into a hole named Abi-synia

Desolate mountaineering
when the guides have all gone home
you can’t reach them on the phone

Or the pilots, or the guppies
Lost and lonely, can you phone me
I am your Dad, your one and only

I am your father lost and lonely
The world and all its feathers phoney
I picture you smiling, making happy face

When I was seventeen I had a dream
Of what my life would be like
And it was nothing like this, no not at all

The Bridge over the River Kwai
the film in which Sir Alec Guinness dies
guinness and champagne relieves the pain

London Bridge 1973, went box-girder
replacing stone-arch bridge that replaced another
this stood 600 years, witnessed medieval murder

Before those bridges they were made of timber
before that Roman order saw them cross our border
Pontem Londoniarum falling down to find a singing game

At Leicester Square I watch from my small apex window
above the rush of celebrities and classic films, they arrive
chauffeur driven, lead-lady smitten, director bitten

Stand by your beds watch out for the reds
Holly GoLightly and the things she said, Audrey Hepburn
sophistication on the big screen became a kind of queen

Our cultural history caught like stranded wildebeest
gnu savaged at the crocodile river in the blistering sun
our sweaty horses set, our race-start gun, the finalé run

Attenborough pass the gauntlet, pass the baton on
and on. Greta Thunberg, pass to Xiye Bastida, Xiye
pass to Lesein Mutunkei watch Antarctic’s setting sons

Come daughters of the revolution and Tyrannosaurus Rex
who birthed a notion with their elemental child, their suffragettes
before the electric storm or even Greenpeace was born

All allegiances, all loyalties sworn, Sally, Sally Greensleeves
don’t ever leave me, pride of our alley, yes you mean the whole world
and all its tiny houses made out of ticky tacky

El-awrence fought for Brit-ain on the silverscreen, David Lean
upsides Arabia, Boadicea fought the Romans not for the black oil
Welsh Queen Buddug, Tee heE Lawrence, hero or agent royale ?

Polanski’s creative energy ran out much too fast
Hollywood has its demons tied to HMS Bounty’s mast
LA cinema viewers their mouths aghast

Down on Sunset Boulevard, their fifteen minutes in the sun
William Holden, Gloria Swanson their glossy tile review its in history’s can
cinemagoers view the reality of earths sadnesses, O’ the horror

Apocalypse Now bled from a heart of darkness
Joseph Conrad sat at his typewriter, tippety tap, ‘all work and no play’ ‘makes Jack dull boy’ the moon still ‘shining’ for Kubrick and King

Sydney Pollack sang a song of Af-rika, of Mozart strains and aeroplanes
Runnaway Trains, Jon Voight searching for Nazi stains in Turtle drains
Eastwood on the High Plains a Drifter moseying on down, nosing around

The starlings are in a murmuration high above the Leicester Square
Just hours before the Premiere – Judy Garland, Fred Astaire
The trees are bare where the starlings and the people stand and stare

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A black sun sets on the yellow sea, splashed golden
  trees whistling strangely, pyramids the grey mountains
this mauved sea, twisting and turning, a whore at her work
  turns men’s minds puce awa’ fray the words a’ King David
these worthy anglers abate the falling, flaming arrows titian
  ever the black sun steps out coldly of his argent skies
my alma-mater singing urgently the purple clouds of warning
  I hear the shepherds green who stand in lightening storms
kissing hoary clouds of which many may fold me in their arms
  carry me from this white hole of death, lay me fleshy grey 

                                                                        © edenbraytoday15.05.2021

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The Invasion of the A.M.A.T.E.U.R.S

DEC wardrobe

                                      War we always have with us…

West of pier point on the cusp of Ben Hazi
the guerrillas set up camp
the sound of gunfire in the east
and on the west silence
interrupted with the horror of explosion
as a barred pony wanders onto the Brick Lane
which had been mined
halt the rebels incursion
the war on hierarchy and the status quo
in the underground
on the overground beyond
the sound of rushing water
behind enemy lines
we nestled in to watch the slaughter
of our innocence and candour
the bunker was so crowded
the noise of artillery and gunfire
the wetted, red bandages of the lost and fallen
lips dry and swollen
were it ever sweeter
fighting for the homeland
for my inch of intelligence and space
my cabbage patch
scratch the itch, lacerate the underbelly
drive my fence stakes
still deeper into the dead and lifeless
mention me in despatches
remember me on the hill
when the blackest black flag is still flying
the weaver is weaving certainty
when the piper is drumming
and the ice of a diamond frost
bites my blackened fingers off

Over these hills and far away
Johnny Corporal shouting the loudest
the longest, he even screams
words I hear in nightmares
my nursery, belated dreams
Jon shouts the enemy out
we are making inroads
inside the turrets of anxiety
the flabby dykes so drowned in crimson
that it streams oozing
soaked in it’s own mud and shit
my philosophy lies face down
ebbing life’s richest pageant scorned
an errant horse stumbles on it
kicks the hell from it
its breathing like an anemone
at the base of the clearest sea
o philosophy sit thee here upon my knee
so I may strangle thee
call out in the daubed night
cries of lostness and alone
where lies the gurkha
where lies his Cintamani stone
his Fashi feels the bullets raw
his followers light a watch
at the approach of night
distilling calmness from the still
sending thoughts of light and steel
hearty band of insurgents
dotting i’s and cutting trees
the labour of their grief
the murder of the sea
the imam, the punjari and the rabbi
you are now alone my brother, sister, brother

© edenbraytoday 20.05.2021

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I bought Bukowski

I bought Bukowski .. .


I bought Bukowski
I bought White Stripes
seven deaths on Lincolnshire roads
where I live
the rain still falling
on the window ledge outside
sexy as suck

I bought into Bukowski
I bought into Seamus Heaney too
my boots not made of leather, ardent
ardent just as you
I compare thee to a shoe
which fits around me, a fenny glove

I bought into the Charles Bukowski thing
and Shostakovich, Frederick Delius too
culture bomb
internecine implosion
the creative mind set free
laid out on vermillion pantyles
dappled, a splattered roof
not blind except
by reason of conformity
when owls and savants meet
another Lincolnshire Posy

Cultured Frederick D.
met the Aussie Percy Grainger
near Brigg Fair
in pre-war-one sun
before the world turned
in full circles since 1903
I travel across the East Fen
on a bicycle with spokes
that roads so full of cheese
of Stilton, of Maasdammer
upon this reclaimed land
so damn holey moley
the Dutch masters taught us
to stick fingers into holes
O’ my forefathers in clogs

I bought White Stripes
and Death of a Naturalist
to add to my august road
going nowhere
Dmitri S. walked a matted path
to prove he were a Russian
befriended Jewish folksongs
turns out he had much to lose
his friends were shot
family members murdered
creative minds analysed then herded
announced he was a communist
announced it far too late
I announced it in 1972
I wouldn’t have had I known
about Stalin’s ‘creative’ list

I bought Bukowski
and I bought Miles Davis too
a Touch of Blue
I’d bought into things before
I will again
my creative brain
both my pleasure and my pain
I bought into Miles Davis
Alicia Garza, Rosa Parks
Ralph Ellison
Langston Hughes
heroes every one
I bought into Charlie Bukowski


                          © edenbraytoday08.05.2021

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Copyright and Comedy .. .



I, a radiohead
hear voices
I hear peoples screams

live peoples nightmares
water board cruelty
splints under nails

humanity is not holy
it has no compassion
who can own a feeling?

I am a charlatan
making crazy rules
stealing what should not matter

who sells emotion at the door
artists freedoms
rhymes, schemes, seasons?

I am an oasis
in the crumbling desert
a pack of well-thumbed cards

water collected in a butt
a crystal stream
on a craggy mountain top

I am caravan
hired out cheap for the day
shared with my lover

where the crows now gather
on the rivet roof
we are fully woke up

I am rolling stone
always moving on
the name I use already chosen

names cannot be swallowed
no credits given
Pubilius Syrus was here in 1023

I, the pumpkin smashed
lies empty on the floor
the festival was here long before

everything it seems is fake
nothing is what it seems
who would pay a bent cent for their own dreams?

                                © edenbraytoday29.04.2021

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Britain Has Its Biscuits .. .



Alongside the apothecary of jars and potions
the baker’s biscuit designed to aid digestion
was accepted by the nation not bicarbonate
but by skill in appropriating diffused libations

In this regard it waits in line behind Rich Tea
as of the absorbent qualities of les bis-cuit
each regional recipe, an axiom of alchemy                                         
that augments the modernism of our history

The character of style and taste preferred by
members of the ruling class, the Tea Biscuit
stirred in 17th century, t’was a York-shire treat
biscuit tale unwrapped t’was far from complete

Cornwall like a British daughter back in1886
began exporting its famous ‘fairings’ to order
wi’ added spice, an eastern sparkle they would travel far
across the globe, ‘gingernuts’ became a biscuit star

To celebrate the exploits of a revolutionary leader   
we baked a ‘garibaldi’ – ‘dead fly’ sandwich, modelled
loosely on the eccles cake as seven years before
Guissepe visited our broken-biscuit isle in 1854

Early in the 20th century came custard creams and
bourbons, a touch of baroque with a chocolatto cloak
to steer us to Biscuitato Heaven with butter cream,
vanilla or cocoa powder, Victoriana met Mr Bojangle

This Island of Brittish Biscuit Makers creaks
many biscuits here wish to speak, have their say
double-baked and famous in their traditional way
the likes of Jaffa Cakes and Jammie Dodgers queue

They wait for their moment, a sight they are to see
lined up with purpose beside a nice cup of tea
O Britain roll your banner beat your drum, dip your t.bag
your moment for deciding is later than you think

At the behest of yon’ apothecary the nations roots
were laid amidst fair sweet potions for our potentate
like Kellogs flakes and Pepsi Cola the digestive biscuit
was created to sit on shelf twixt honey and molasses

Behind the highest spires of Britains pomp and fire
there stands a humble biscuit to whom we may retire
for while the people murmur and complain of much to do
there is loyal hobnob, sweet digestive to dunk in our brew


© edenbraytoday23.04, 2021

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