She looked like Betty Grable for she was

and post the Brighton bombing, 

Maggie Thatcher had her hair,

She might have worn a Carmen Miranda, extravaganza, 

I didn’t wear a care,

For in those days I philandered,

 selling artist materials,

Listening in to Brian Hayes

while British lads went down Falklands way, to fight

I listened in to anybody with half a tale,

as chance will often throw you up a sale

The sad man came one lonely afternoon,

we cope in different ways with our grief

It queues up behind our systems of belief

sad man only trying to turn over a new leaf

Concealed his pain in a harmless folly,

mourning the loss of his one and only


He coloured-in a technical poster,

during those days after he had lost her

A working diagram of a fairground Galloper,

that he had sent for in the post

In our gentle conversation

the man who was sad won my attention

I admired his style, his consideration,

and helped him choose the framing



Back in the centre of a domestic situation

we were unaware and green

of a mechanical complication

as we set the timer on our washing machine

It leaked, covered the living room Lino,

seeped through to the floor below – and

Having nowhere else to go,

it sprinkled on the sad man’s poster,

which now became a shop disaster

The sad man came to review the damage,

I would reimburse him for his trouble

I couldn’t help him colour-in the double,

yet in truth I thought it  better

Not as personal or heart-felt, not racked

with grief and certainly not wetter!

He thanked me, went on his way proudly

with his new framed Gallopers that was cheaper

In truth, he looked a little like Don Ameche,

without moustache and so much younger

He had gentle ways, he missed his wife,

she had died of cancer, you learn to listen

To your customer, let them have their say,

In that way, you become a counsellor

Cheer them up, pack their purchase,

send them on their Argentina way


Ref. 28092020







She looked like Betty Grable, she was and post the Brighton bombing

Maggie had her hair, she might have worn Carmen Miranda’s pineapple

I didn’t wear a care, for in those days I philandered, selling art materials,

Listened in on Brian Hayes as British lads were sent down Falklands way

Listened in to anybody with half a tale, chance often throws up a sale

The sad man came one afternoon, we cope in different ways with grief

Queue up behind our system of belief, sad man trying to turn a new leaf

Concealed his pain in a harmless folly, mourning the loss of his one and only


He coloured in a technical poster, during the days after he had lost her

A working diagram of a fairground Galloper, that he sent for in the post

In our gentle conversation the man who was sad he won my attention

I admired his style, his consideration, as I helped him choose his framing 


Back in the centre of our domestic situation we were unaware and green

to a mechanical complication as we set the timer on the washing machine

It leaked, covered the living room Lino, seeped through to the floor below

Having nowhere else to go, sprinkled upon sad man’s poster, it was a disaster


Sad man came to review the damage, I would reimburse him for his trouble

I couldn’t help him colour-in the double, yet in truth I thought he did it better

Possibly not as personal, heart-felt, not racked with grief, certainly not wetter

He thanked me, went on his way with his framed Gallopers, that he got cheaper

In truth, he had looked a little like Don Ameche, no moustache, so much younger

He had a gentle way, he missed his wife, she’d died of cancer, you learn to listen

To your customer, let them have their say, In that way, your like a counsellor

You cheer them up, pack their purchase, send them off, maybe down Argentina way



Ref. 28092020


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Sweet bird of youth, I attend your birth and watch thee grow

As fond as any doe or any love that I in honour still may show

The amplitude of life, either ascending or descending as a lark

My heart, faint of love becomes a river born of hope, another ark

I, I am William, William Blake, my true respect carries me forward

Through the dearth of my adolescence, through that awkward night

Of middle age, I rip the page, it held no bottle top nor taught me how to stop

Till the sun goes down upon my soul I will stand at heel in repose

The curiosity of exchange, where people meet unholy

In matters of discernment, frail the condition of society

Lament O’ Lamech, though the fires of hell await thee

Good fathers visit then thy children’s sin, treat to agree

Bold, the golden Lion of Judah, whose oiled template I desist

In favour of the pen, the fever of the brow, the trial, the grist

I scroll de capita, dismiss the leaven, bind Dante’s heaven/ hell

Speak only of the former, describe the torture – of Nebuchadnezer

And other spiritual contrives, important detail that affects all lives

The handle of the brush, the stain, the rush of watercolour as it dries

Art’s prophetic choices, in consequence of abandon, often does decide

How we listen to the voices, madmen, seers, taste prophets salted tears

Listen thee between the lines in soft words, illustrated by the mind

Beatrice addressing or what our forefathers, foolish, naive might find

Elohim, Newton, Satan, Job, the Ghost of a flea, Pilgrims of Canterbury

Innocence a freedom, infant morning Joy when the Stars all sang together

They journeyed on a dusty road, wan brothers Elisha and Elijah, to their Emaus

Sweet joy befall thee, the rule of ebbing life-blood never better than its cause

Who questioned then, other than my alma-pater of a negro hung alive by the rib?

Questioned the absurdity, analysed eternity, profanity, a religious life yet never glib

I am Blake, my conscience I forsake, led by opportunity, by the invisible forces

Engrave a pallet from earths hard core of stories, some brave, some darkest blue

Some born to warn, some impossibly true, the aspect of Newton’s compass, Pity,

The Great Red Dragon and Woman Clothed With the Sun, Titania, Puck, alongside Oberon

The season I decided my pretence of reason, through age does not seem as long

A song of thorny youth, caught in the crossfire of distant revolution, a forkéd prong

The mysteries of organic nature and causal moments to each generation belong 

Those who weaken, set to fall, those who widen their belief, like William stay strong

I, as William Blake understand  the changing tides, like Canute I walk naked out to sea

Realise in daubs of paint, line and light, celestial forces fight the Archangel of the free

As Job I settle on constellations, question truth, barter youth, on pain of wise conclusions

Within my reverie, the only Angels that I see are those that offer me practical solutions

And that being that, we queue to view The Night Of Enitharmon’s Joy, then let us salute

The actors who must take the stage, jealousy and cowardice, laid out within the page

Honour, love and rage, triple law to triple love, all creatures woven here, except a dove

In tone nothing is much darker, the rule of Rome, a mythical lack of love and laughter

The world was stronger, life seemed longer in the delve and sway of William Blake

A sniper who set his sights, amidst the glow, ere the dawning of the feast of lights,

Banish then dull tradition, attest brave St Pauls divine confession and utterly forsake

All others for one night, the chimes rang out in London Town to our prince of Light

I, am William Blake unrecognised, I walk the streets unseen through life’s darkest sunrise

Such deft compromise causes Sun at his Eastern Gate to rise, despite the horror of my eyes

Refill my pen, incline my brush, I record this triumph of the Dawn, reflect in artists’ ways

Draw lines, write verse, assimilate, I meditate and at my last create my Ancient of Days 



Ref. 24092020


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She is a beautiful girl is Lexy, hair in waves, as dark as Irish peat

Her tiny feet, she can run to greet you in the pale morning

Such a beautiful girl is my Lexy, as warm as Rosey by the fire

Her little hearts one desire, to be loved and cared for, therefore

I am the fiddler, I am the jaunty sailor leading thee, I’d never hurt thee 

I’d bring thee home my wee, timorous girl and put you safely to yon’ bed

The sweetest doll is tiny Lexy, a morning song is my Lexy, a sonnet

And if she were a wee girl she must wear a flowered bonnet



Ref. 20092020

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pillars of deceit

The Pillars of Deceit by Michael Lang



A look of recognition, the sun streaming making abstract shapes on the new, suspended ceiling, a Miro!

She stepped through the door, I harboured a good feeling, a pantechnicon crashed past blocking the sun intermittently and heading south

The light in the shop flickered as though the fluorescents by the door needed a new starter, nothing like the fireworks that were to follow after

I disappeared from view into the cool, half-lit stock room where we stored piles of Beswick, Coopercraft and other gifty boxes

In the corner, stored safely in large, manilla bags, some wrapped in corrugated – the completed, framing orders waited

She seemed a fragile and inconsequential soul but for all that, obviously she loved some kind of Jesus

She had seemed damaged by religion, fragile, emotional, somewhat irrational I thought but you have to appear non-judgemental

Yet the way now that she was standing at the counter made me nervous, the expectation was tangible, though the lights had stopped their flashing

I try to put my customers at ease, you must use so much discretion, send the message in your eyes, ‘we only aim to please’

Two weeks before she had bought it in, a triangular thing knotted at the back, in texture and in colour, a monks habit, a hessian sack

‘Its a picture of our Lord’, I could tell, ‘you’ll take great care of it I hope’, I thought I heard her say – those words always make your day!

Well, what can you say? ‘Lets get down on our knees and pray?’ I mentioned it to Michael as I always thought to do

The traffic outside was noisy, light played again over the pictures on the wall – a Turner, a Gainsborough, an Utrillo, a random bag of daubs

I questioned with myself should I tell her no, just tell her where to go or try to sort it out, leave Michael to decide

Michael, he retorted she’s pulled the stitches far too tight – I’ll have to damp it, stretch it, see if it comes out all right.

Michael calls on Fridays, before the weekend-trade, Saturdays always are the busy day, busy people just got paid

We unpacked her tapestry almost as the golden sun streamed through our picture window for the first time that day

And Jesus shone, the lumps had gone, the triangle square, I in awe of total transformation, a miraculous resurrection

How does it look?, her question was intense as I peeled back the sellotape and pulled her Jesus from the bag – ‘I think you will be pleased’

I’m sure the sun only shines through that window and it was hot, hell-hot, I never saw a face so changed, so anguished

Mary Magdalene, by Raphael did not paint such a joyless study, her face, by observation, replaced by Dante’s view of Hades in Van Eyck’s ‘Last Judgement’

This needlepoint disciple, her chagrin broke, her face contorted, Saint Peter spoke, hot spears of tears squeezed out from her eyes

‘What has he done?’ she lamented, like my Jeremiah, a cardboard poster I kept of Rembrandt’s famous study, I considered him my buddy

I used my Jeremiah to back my daily sales graph, it hung on the store-room door, I tried to reason, ‘Honestly, our framer really could have done no more’

It was twisted, it was pulled, it had almost been de-wooled, out of shape, wouldn’t budge – the work that Michael did was splendrous, Jesus, please defend us 

The customer is always right, this poor creature’s face now ashen-white, blushing in the cheeks, where a women’s tears will always make you guilty

A monochrome in grief, despite my disbelief, she tugged at my conscience as I had tugged relentlessly at her abysmal tapestry, with no joy!

‘I don’t know what to say, I’m not sure you understand, what my picture-framer has achieved is quite beyond belief’

Her attitude had changed from sad to sassy, there was definitely more behind this complicated lassie, ‘I hate it!’ she cried.

Well, here comes the great capitulation, not the famed oil of Velazquez 1635, just one more dent in my jaundiced view of humanity

Standing behind my oak and plate glass counter I offered now this little weeper to send it back or make it cheaper – she took it cheaper

The Pillars of Deceit by Michael Lang come to mind, so was the broken lady really so cast down? Could I tell my framer his work had been maligned? 

And how can Jesus happy be in a cheeper casing, how can this lady sleep at night with her Jesus hanging, stretched and mounted on her wall?


ref. 18092020


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Screenshot 2020-09-16 at 06.20.36

There was a red stain on Jessica’s dress, it grew, an inkblot, a tattoo, a cloud above the East Fen and it travelled slowly above a spread table where the community were gathered

Ben Dawlish, whose whiskers fawn and charcoal curled upward at their ends, himself fourteen years a brother, poured, while the sun glinted on the children’s faces and they adored the amber falling

An aura spread, livid, across the eastern counties where the dark peat sod gave to the blade, five proud clydesdales each to their separate duty adorned, shiny with sweat, plaited by red ribbons hidden in their curls

Forged steel white, the frog, shaped like a hammered scimitar, weathered oak always the preferred timber for the mouldboard, it bears a heavy burden, a subject once of a Sunday sermon by Brother Sherman

Jessica asked neatly to up from the hand-plained table and all the younguns’ ran, this bleached summer, swallowtail, cetti’s, even a gyr falcon all frequent in the valley, another cloud hit the sun

The Marion maids so pretty, plain in cotton blouses attended to their duties, polyester smock dresses, their hair cascades in waterfalls as the trio that run off Bear Mountain on the long walk down into Ebdon Canyon

We came today to betroth the unity of freedom, two people washed of order and servile duty, now to bare their final vow and honour not the mutiny and infidelity of disorder but celebrate impunity with grace

The ladies rose to form a line, rehearsed and fine, a harmony, a coalition, despite its fond tradition, larks rising and falling, a cuckoo’s call, trumpet swan, no sound of hen, the baton bounding

And now across the fen, the sound of oiled engines, kick-start, bass rich and low they do splutter, proving not all men have morals of the gutter, a shout, a brave salute, we pound the back, rejoin, never mutter and never mute

The sun descends behind the eastern slopes, fires lit add apricots and cardinals, a galaxy of cerulean, silver and lemon and the warmest glow, excited children late to bed, their voices lift, a golden bow to angels arrows

Jessica has changed her dress, her hair no longer is a mess, aside the fire she sings a prayer, a voice of water, a galaxy of stars and to this tune community attests this evening, this day, this union, nothing less – 



Ref. 17092020

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my position

a minimalist study in dialectics and peace control


my employer decided not to trade

my job description was terminated temporarily


my employer wishes for me to work somewhere else under the same contract

my contract does not include a mobility clause 


i have no wish to comply for various reasons

i made my position clear in a calm, open, honest and reasonable manner


my employer wishes for me to work somewhere else under the same contract

this conflict in dialectics has caused me serious stress and depression


i believe i am being bullied without due consultation 

i am being treated by my physician


i have no intention of working at a new location

it will be for a tribunal to decide

this is my position


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when Croydon was Reggae City – the Boss and Scottie

On the London Road, south of Brixton, eight mile north of Coulsdon South
Two friends had slipped the cordon’s leash down the road from Banstead Heath
Notoriety and fame, inside a Consul convertible, they rode to light the fires of youth
That eternal, adolescent flame – tho’ we were still but children playing adult games
In a playground of our choosing, a culture fuelled by boozing and music Caribbean
Cropped-haired girls, shaven-haired lads, intoxicated for a season, drawn by that age-old reason

Let loose on a four-bar beat, a syncopated rhythm, culture born of immigration schism
At a time before glam, punk, American pie, when non-LGBT males had no wish to die
Around the brag and dazzle of boy-girl seditions, under a veil of virginal permissions
She learned to drink babycham, attend to boys emissions, excepting all conditions
He was out for tottie cruising, learned to play the game so well, terrified of losing!
Collected girlfriends, proficiency badges, a young gigolo who could talk to the ladies

We shared a bed like brothers, not like real lovers, at his parents home near Sutton,
Intoxicated by beers, we shared our hopes and fears, planned our next night out
We never got in fights, earned the right to go on double-dates, we were solid mates
The modesty of the age was far less specific, far more erotic due to a shared naiveté
In truth, a generation raised on Andy Pandy and Woodentops struggled to get randy
Her brand new skates, his brand new key and a wet halfpenny between her knees

Teddy boys, beatniks, rockers, looking over her mod-suit, mohair shoulder,
Saw right through her ‘Chelsea’ cut, she tried to look like a skinhead slut,
Talk dirty, wear suits with a slit in her skirt that was split to halfway up
Yet the face she wore betrayed her moral choices, a blur of ‘ten’ adolescent voices
Susie would much rather grasp his shiny key and choke his splendour
Than risk explaining to her mother how her little girl became a sixties lover

Tailored, tonic mini skirts and tops discreet, 60’s mod-girls never flashed their teats
Faces pale as pastry, eye-shadow huge, baby cheeks coloured with just a little rouge
Working class girls, sound as a pound, from the top of their heads to their feet on the ground
Accepted attention to their cups and their plates, only allowed on pre-arranged dates
She knew his good-night kiss, that fumbled feel inside her skirt might require a tissue
But as long as she kept her honour – ‘the pill’ wouldn’t become an issue

When we were jaunty, walking the streets – ‘All ye skinheads put ya’ boots on yer feet’
Ben Sherman shirts, masted jeans, with roll-over tops and braces
The boys at the disco wore shiny suits, the girls cropped haircuts were honest-cute
Though the papers talked of roving gangs who terrorised London
That being the age-old duty of the press – struth! – in truth, in Croydon Town
You would struggle, to find a better vintage of youth, on or off the vine

Where I was raised, upside of sleepy Cheam, identity was not there for the taking
Post-war rationale shaped your life, all that what was expected was a job and a wife
Youth culture was only just emerging and only Billy Butlin offered any hope
So we learned how to dance at the Croydon Suite, to Jamaican bands, a reggae beat
Journeyed to Balham, to an all-blacks store, next to the station to buy some more
Or at the Music shop in London Road, Croydon where you could buy your 45 Trojan’s

The panic we carried was nothing to today, violence was minimal whatever they say
The press they love to exaggerate, from Primrose Hill to Watergate
The scariest place I have ever been was a trip to Crystal Palace Hotel Reggae Night
Where each Saturday at the Disco you could dance to ska, reggae and rock-steady 
The place and the faces there, were as black as coal, the Rude-boys ruled the show
Scottie and I, with his shaved blonde head, were the only white boys I saw that night
Then a Rude-boy placed a blade to his back and whispered coldly in his ear
‘White boy you don’t belong in here, don’t ever come back!’

… so we never did!


Ref. 12092020

Authors Note

Yes, I was a skinhead in Croydon Town 1966 – 1970!

The relationship between white skinheads and black culture is a hard one to explain. Back in the 60’s, generally, black boys, they humoured us but never welcomed us. The skinhead fascination and love of West Indian music and culture was no doubt in part, prompted psychologically by a recognition that black people had been downtrodden, misunderstood and in lots of ways annexed by middle-class white society. A perfect background resume for an anti-establishment cult-trend you might say. That skinhead cultural shift might even appear today as an early step towards BLM. Unfortunately the facts do not support this idea. The truth is, that us white boy skinheads, suede heads, peanuts, hard-mods, whatever you might have called us back then, were seen by working-class black boys as culture vultures! They saw our interest in their music as intrusive, as an attempt at yet another form of racist exploitation and an attempt to steal and enslave something that was theirs by birth-rite and blood – we weren’t really welcome in their clubs, bars and establishments and generally they didn’t like us or visit ours. It also should be noted that despite enjoying black music and culture, other skinhead hotbeds around the country could be overtly racist with early links to groups like the National Front which kind of creates a cognitive dissonance when attempting to comment on the whole ‘skinhead’ cultural history. It can only be explained I suppose by recognising there were many different outworkings of the cult-fashion-trend and after all we are talking about – Croydon, where the terms suede-head. that Morrissey later sang of and even peanuts were as frequently used to describe skinheads way back in 1967.

Young white girls who tried to retain their moral convictions in white-white relationships, preferring a culture of heavy-petting and male or even mutual masturbation to full sex became easy-prey to black boys whose interest in them was far more direct, sensual and in some cases, definitely predatory. White skinhead girls in Croydon dated black guys as a kind of badge they wore, seeing black boys as the ‘real deal’ and often these girls submitted to the notion of full-sex with black guys whilst in white-white relationships they would defer and offer a hand-job substitute. You have to understand that many parents of teenage girls in both working class and middle class cultures were still reluctant in the mid-sixties to encourage their daughters to take the pill, fearing it would lead to promiscuity and so young people often relied on ineffective condoms as their only means of birth control. Consequently, as birth control and ‘the pill’ were still taboo subjects, many young, white girls became pregnant to black fathers who then sadly then dumped them, I personally knew of several girls who had this happen. Of course there were notable and very happy exceptions to this rule many of whom have gone on to enjoy happy and faithful relationships.

It was only really the arrival and mainstream acceptance of artists like Eddie Grant, Bob Marley and performers like Jimmy Cliff and Desmond Dekkar who alongside white artists who performed ‘reggae’ style songs such as the Beatles, the Specials and UB40 that black youth eventually set free the reggae genre and moved on to other more exclusive and radical black music-styles like rap, hip-hop, gangsta etc.etc.

~ ~ ~

Authors Final Postscript

I agree, this is as raw and basic as it gets. This piece was an experiment in poetry.

Adolescence is far from pretty – It’s fragile, vulnerable, selfish and messy.

It’s about what I need and what I can get whilst I metamorphosize from a child into an adult. Poetry should not always be fine and pretty and honourable, sometimes it should be human, awkward and shitty. There is no one more disillusioned, freaked out, uncool than an adolescent youth. No one has more questions to ask than a young adult. No one is more ashamed of their humanity and its degradation. No one needs more understanding and care and love and support than the adolescent and sadly no other age of young people got less than we did in that time of perceived plenty after the war when apparently we had never had it so good and we should have thought ourselves lucky.

Don’t judge my poem because its not Wordsworth, Byron or Shelley. Understand its honesty, naiveté, its simplicity, its youthful sway and you may discover it is charming.

Therefore, despite it’s sharp rough edges and lack of discernment and taste I’m leaving this poem here on my page as one of my ‘That’s Me In The Middle’ Series of Poems.

It’s autobiographical, very very honest, it’s funny and what’s more it’s true.

edenbraytoday ~ 14th September, 2020

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It would take too much time to tell the tall man all the mighty moments he had stored

Aboard the centrifugal, the stargate frugal, the narrowest way known to heaven

And he surrounded with adorned pleasure, only this the measure of a stargaze warp

And Delaware, a mystic rose whose gown floats above any battle-scarred morning

She of sweeter disposition, she strong, mighty in battle, like a Boadicea on her chariot

Golden as the palace of Versailles where all is wooden like chess pieces in a drama

We are always just voyeurs, stepping in and then stepping out, uncertain, yet nervous

Like two small children faced with the problem of adulthood bearing down upon us

No wonder Gerollitas’ generation had that real problem with acceptance and worth

I have missed your warm smile and your attention, I digress to the point of annihilation

Only smooth talkers, aristocrats and charlatans eventually find a way with words

The rest of us struggle like warm wasps on the scent of Mexican hunny or fresh apples

The accolade interrupted by moon-worshippers heading west to greet a ‘brand new day’

Where sonnets roll around the yard like blue grass tumbleweed, hogs snort contented

And all this while, sound Orion’s gassy surface pumps light into our chosen hemisphere

A madrigal plays on softly, borrowed from another time and the latin quarter

Herecles still spinning wool, has surrendered his club to serve Lardanus’s daughter

Even great legends like Hercules or JFK can bow submissive to passions disorder

And there’s always a silly wren hopping around inconstant and shallow as a limpet

Clouds can be so disarming, vivacious, yet threaten, they are prone to characterisation

Dispassionate, an undervalued word in a psychiatric world where ambiguity is desired

The choices we make, so often strapped to Orion’s belt, drifting ever so slightly

Orion, caught in the dark sky awaiting the makers time to throw off his hunters caution

Climb the seven steps, jettison the seven stars, the sisters who are tied to Orion’s girth

Ainitak, Ainilam and Mintaka beautiful names three, but were these the names chosen?

Or the names spoken of in the great counsel where sit the elders golden, twenty four?

Who cast their crowns down by virtue of their knowledge of Job’s understandable folly

O bright counsel informs the stars brighter than the planets, the knowledge of the free

O marvellous reason that unfolds the seasons to offer words of hope to the bold Orion

Caught in Samson’s madness, overcome by the sadness only the pure must endure

Arise, shake off the morning, pledge the moon, salute the burning sun and stars,

Write words in sand, travel long, acknowledge now that time like Orion is not free

Run to greet the crashing waves of futures dawning, surely Orion’s summer has come

The sisters sound the warning, cascading and drawing, lines of perspective in the sky

We learn much from tales of splendour, prophets candour, the rigmarole of anger

An unfurled banner, as Apollo’s lie and bad manners direct Artemis’s arrows as they fly

The arena of consequence is now settled like an evening sky, the band play Perfidia

Even Orion cursed by this polygamy of treachery and betrayal awaits his redemption

The old man of the night bound by satans light, cross-referenced to his heathen plight

The dichotomy of reason hides so well the magical and submissive virtue that was Isaac

History’s vaults released some 10, some 20, yet the unknown is also known by its father

The truth set free for all to see attended by the spill of wine, sounds of joyous laughter

Collect the pages now, assemble them in order, bind them down with cord and gum

Clear the back room, Gallileo’s horn points t’ward the sky, Caxton’s press of ink runs dry

Guttenberg, a godlike hero like Alexander Graham Bell, Newton, Maximillian Schell?

Absurdity, nestles in with honesty and valour, frailty and discord find no place in Valhalla

Asgaard’s mountains resound with echoes of heroes fallen, not tales of treachery

Within such silver vaults, Orion and the brothers walk and talk of mankind’s destiny

There is not time to tell of all embroidered yarns, plaitted curls on Adam’s tattoed earth

Or book a seat alongside mother Eve, watch commentary of her iconic, anguished birth

The globe turns slowly for the lost and lonely who look hard for the noble and holy

Orion speaks into a chaos, a catastrophe, centred around metropolis’s pained contusion

We all sit, full of learning in the counsel of King Arthur, knights who wait for their end

Summon Jupiter, Methuselah, Odin’s son, the counsel of the wise, armed with weapons of iron

Hammer the breastplate, gild the helmet, mount the white horse, rouse the sentry

Here we, masters of our inheritance, regal champions who slew Behemoth in turn

Circle like crows beneath the dome of Andromeda, afeared the hunters beak and claw

There steps forth then, as bold to speak, from out the carbon skies

One who has listened deep and cold to many stories, myths, and to their many lies

Not a fourth comforter whose disgrace and pain of shame never were well hidden

A bright star listed in the book written by the heart of god if not by his injured hand

Collected words from a sorry band of misfits, harlequin and humbled rogues

Who in their weakness and their folly, sowed frailty and brokenness, to cut a slice of holy 

Orion speaks for those with fears, for those who stand a little nervous in Jibrails hall

For those who stepped outside the tent, whose eyes arched away from heaven

Who true of heart, enjoy the strangest loyalty to Pleiades band of seven

Listen now ye coldest moon who lights the bleakest beacon and ye dumb Trojan horse

Whose wooden, blanket eyes hide the stench of good men stolen, listen as Orion speaks

He understands your treason, shows pity, understanding, God’s mercy, bronze-swollen


Ref. 02092020


In common with a lot of my recent work and in part motivated by a habit I picked up during my recent CV-19 Isolation, I have taken to writing a kind of PREQUEL – FOREWARD – an ‘AFTERWARD’ if you will but at any rate an Author’s ‘comment’.

I do this, not by way of translation but rather as a suggestion or possibly a more attainable connection. Poetry is actually how I prefer to communicate with others but its a hard language with which to develop relationships.

‘ORION SPEAKS’ as a written piece has been brewing a long time inside and I’m still not sure its finished. ‘Distilling’ may actually be a better choice of word than brewing.

It forms a ‘pair’ with the TRIALS OF MILES BLACKMAN which I also may open up and work some more on. A POEM is a sculpture that is never finished, a story that really has no conclusion. There may even be a 3rd Part to follow.

ORION is a mannequin upon which to hang my clothes and it might also be termed ‘autobiographical’, I’m not certain I can claim that.

Can you step away from EARTH for a brief ten minutes to view the stars and ‘listen’?

Can you search your soul for one brief hour and consider in truth our beginning?

ORION has been important throughout the story of mankind. ORION SPEAKS and has spoken to many generations.

edenbraytoday – 3rd. August 2020


PSALM 147:4  

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

JOB 38:31 

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion?”

JOB 38:1-41

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? …

AMOS 5:8

He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is his name; AMOS

The Orion Arm is a minor spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy that is 3,500 light-years (1,100 parsecs) across and approximately 10,000 light-years (3,100 parsecs) in length, containing the Solar System, including Earth.

Orion’s Belt or the Belt of Orion, also known as the Three Kings or Three Sisters, is an asterism in the constellation Orion. It consists of the three bright stars AlnitakAlnilamand Mintaka. Looking for Orion’s Belt in the night sky is the easiest way to locate Orion in the sky.

Which star shines the brightest?Sirius ASirius A and B. The brightest star in the sky is Sirius, also known as the “Dog Star” or, more officially, Alpha Canis Majoris, for its position in the constellation Canis MajorSirius is a binary star dominated by a luminous main sequence starSirius A, with an apparent magnitude of -1.46.

 “Over 25,000 individual measures of the Pleiades stars are now available, and their study led to the important discovery that the whole cluster is moving in a southeasterly direction. The Pleiades stars may thus be compared to a swarm of birds, flying together to a distant goal. This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are not a temporary or accidental agglomeration of stars, but a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship.” From our perspective on Earth, the Pleiades will not change in appearance; these stars are marching together in formation toward the same destination, bound in unison, just as God described them.

Two of the greatest of its stars, Betelgeuse and Rigel, possess, as far as has been ascertained, no perceptible motion across the line of sight, but there is a little movement perceptible in the ‘Belt.’ At the present time this consists of an almost perfect straight line, a row of second-magnitude stars about equally spaced and of the most striking beauty. In the course of time, however, the two right-hand stars, Mintaka and Alnilam (how fine are these Arabic star names!) will approach each other and form a naked-eye double, but the third, Alnita, will drift away eastward, so that the ‘Belt’ will no longer exist.” Unlike the Pleaides clusters, the stars in the band of Orion do not share a common trajectory. In the course of time, Orion’s belt will be loosened just as God told Job.



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…   ⚐⚐⚐  …


I came very late to the party

By the time I arrived it had started

Coleridge was dancing with Langston

Emily had a whole group of admirers

In the corner I noticed was Seamus

and the spotless Paul Muldoon

Shamelessly chatting of McClaverty

with Longley and Andrew Motion

Keates and Byron they were there

And Shelley at one point stood on a chair

Hemmingway kind of got in the door

Eminem sat in the corner on the floor

The music was loud they were playing Dylan

Some fool was heard reciting Ibsen

I heard some voices raised,

might just be Ginsberg, Kerouac

along with other bad seeds and Nick Cave

out the back, on the table, in the kitchen

In the yard, some actor fellows

had started a fire with guffaws

and a pair of ancient bellows

Wordsworth was seated at a bureau

he wrote an ode 

While ‘the bard’ was there

directing the show

In the far distance I heard an owl

and later a pussycats soft meow




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OUTTAKES ~ 04 – Guilt never wears a happy face!


I’ve been in the attic, I’ve been in the cellar, I raided my notebooks –I’M HAVING A YARD SALE – It’s a Car Boot – THEY’RE UNFINISHED LINES, unfinished poems, POEMS THAT MISSED OUT ON PREVIOUS RETROSPECTIVES, good ideas, BAD IDEES, inspiration, OR JUST GOOD TITLES, abortive attempts – IM CLEARING THE BACKLOG – opening up the storehouse – IT’S A COLONIC IRRIGATION – an enema – I’M MILKING THE PAPS – so mother writer’s milk might flow through fresh again!

… … …



Setting aside our current concerns over Covid-19, people of today get paranoid about a number of relatively illogical things, depending on your point of view or your particular peccadillo. From the dangers of passive smoking, through asbestos poisoning and wells disease to the many and varied phobias including the usual and familiar, like claustrophobia, aracnaphobia and onto those even more extreme than the likes of brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms) or mysophobia (fear of germs)!

However damaging the subject of these rattlesnake fears may be to their victims, none of them can ever be as controlling or debilitating than the inner curse that is the nub of that mischievous little 5-letter symptomia known as – guilt (cue – flashing thunder and scary music please) … Psychologists, psychoanalysts, fundamentalist Christians theologians, Catholic priests and basically most world religions teachers, philosophers, political leaders and social analysts would all give you differing, possibly predictable but non the less worthy responses to the age old question,  what is guilt?


Edenbray is not here today to catalogue, reiterate, confirm or criticise these many well documented beliefs or respected, proven and accepted diagnosis. No, today I just want to simply take a cool, long and hard look in the eye of the little blighter. This annoying, secretive parasite of the human psyche that can burrow its way into the human mind and soul and grow to such an unhealthy scale that apparently, it can help create mass murderers, serial killers and psychoanalytic nightmares of the weirdest and strangest order, yet for the most of us ( hastily he separates himself from the earlier list ) guilt has at the least, been the cause of not a few arguments, both inner and vocalised, has wrought untold emotional pain and angst and contributed to not a few very stupid actions and reactions. Or am I the only one? 

Deny guilt has a say in your life to your peril my friend, for this devious little ‘shit’ will gnaw out your very soul right in the fleshy centre of that denial and at the very least ruin many a pleasant afternoon stroll or even a healthy game of scrabble. No, joking aside, we are not all psychopathic monsters riddled with parent-induced, strict religious guilt but we all do on some scale or other, fall prey from time to time, to the little monster known as ‘guilt’.

#Note :~ the word guilt rhymes with ‘quilt’ which seems kind of poetic as squares of guilt when sewn together will eventually grow into huge proportions in much the same way as a patchwork quilt??


It has to be said that bed linen may not actually disguise guilt but it could be seen to cover those many acts of unfaithfulness and deceit that can easily lead to one very common cause of guilt. In my search to determine what guilt actually looks like, I have decided to organise an ‘identikit’ operation that hopefully will lead to a kind of IDENTITY PARADE and to eventually single out the little shit. We may then stitch these patchwork cameo’s of ‘guilt’ together and ultimately learn to recognise the traits of this insidious little demon known as ‘guilt’.

Guilt never has a happy face

We may process what we know about guilt more by what we know it doesn’t look like than what it does. For example true guilt never has a happy face, nor is it particularly attractive. It may smile but that smile mostly turns out to be little more than a sneer. G.u.i.l.t can never really be beachball jolly, I’m sorry but that’s the way it is!

When we have eventually singled ‘guilt’ out, isolated it, named it and shamed it we may begin to ask – How did we ever fall prey to its wiles and devious schemes? How did we let this little phsyco bully us, invade us, worry us, negatively influence us and ultimately dominate us.

Paragons of un-virtue will interlude at this point that they have no truck with this ‘pious’, self-righteous and shameless little roadster. ‘I feel no guilt’ is the monogram on many a playboys shorts, embezzlers wallet or dodgy tradesmen’s van. Any shyster, con-artist or on a bawdy tarts bra and knickers, if she wears any. To these and all those who manage to control their inner voices like Al Capone wielding a baseball bat, they will maintain they remain ‘guiltless’, yet guilt still remains an Alien in our midst, under our skin and inside our heads and personally should I ever meet such a one, face to face, he’ll get short shrift from my particular maple bat as I’m certainly not one of those to entertain the notion of change, open-mindedness or to willingly allow any one, sick, psycho to influence my life or actions.

So this essay on guilt is clearly aimed at those who believe in visitors from out of space or  that have already met the slimy little monster with a head full of teeth whose name begins with a ‘gee’ and ends with a ‘tee’.

Yes, guilt my friend affects us all I would propose at some time or other, even the supposed ‘guiltless’ and while guilt is not beautiful, alluring, pretty, handsome or desirable it is not necessarily ugly either, in the same way as say a malignant cancer’s physical appearance to the naked eye can be mute and non-alarming.

The problem with guilt is that it nags like a puss-filled boil, an insect bite, a domineering wife, husband or partner. It chaffs and worries us like a hungry baby, a pain in the groin or an unpaid bill. Until we meet its demands, it hangs over us like a blackmailer with the darkest of our secrets. It sends messages with devious cunning that we uncover in the unlikeliest moments. It can make us act strange and if we bury it deep, it leaves molehills on the surface of our landscaped lives to remind us it has escaped and is still roaming ‘out there’, dangerous, naked and free.

Guilt is no respecter of a persons age, background or social standing and people caught in its spidery web resort to the strangest, wildest, most diabolic recourse to remove its incessant taunts. You might say its vengeance is extreme.

Guilt does not let you be your ‘real’ self

Guilt hides away in the crevices of the human heart and the folds of the human brain and teaches us to do likewise. It is a skeleton in the closet, a ghost in the dark night, a rat in the attic – appearing at moments when you think it may has gone for good. Guilt is ‘your’ secret, even though you hide it so well, or you think you did. You’re better off without it but how do you ‘out’ it and how do you get the alien ‘out of the closet’? How do you set that particular demon free? It’s a dilemma and no mistake and one that keeps a whole lotta’ people in work.

Multiple analysts, counsellors, doctors, priests – all earn a good living dealing with other peoples guilt …. So how do we cut loose from this fettered monster? Choose your poison. Maybe we should all learn to become a bit more honest about the things that make us feel guilty. Drag them screaming out into the light of day and expose them for what they are. Make coffee-time with your friends your personal confessional. Come on, get it off your chest, you know you want to and you might be surprised where it will all lead, just a little of that good old heartfelt honesty. Maybe people will find you a lot more interesting. It might turn out a real turn-on for them or maybe they will recognise you are human after all and a lot more like themselves than they had realised. Open the cage and step out into the light my friends.

Right then whose first?

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