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 .. .



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And Another Thing .. .




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!


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Enter – the Thief

Enter – the Thief



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


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



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



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.. ..

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.
.. ..


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In The Land Of Never Was


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.


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I said when I was nineteen I would lead a useful life. Throw off the angst of adolescence, become a man of endeavour and history but do we ever really achieve? Even when we have scaled the walls of the castle and fought the foe till he is dead, do we actually triumph in our own eyes? Are our purple ribbons a happy and satisfying memoir to what we have wrought on life’s highest ramparts? While the crowd murmurs its fickle appreciation.

Sometimes I am sick of myself and my fawning ingratiation with my own sense of importance. My sense of self pleasure which alone wrestles with even my best moments of selfless abandon, to add question to whether I have indeed any good or any real worth over my overwhelming need to satisfy my self.

One really can go mad with this.

I am coming to the realisation that each day is indeed a re-run of the last and despite the intrusion of suffering we are caught like struggling flies on the papers of the mundane and repetitive. The record is not so much stuck but constantly set to ‘return’ as in that marvelous movie ‘Groundhog Day’ and as we have no alibi or ally that will fake the evidence, yesterdays dreams do amount to little more than ashes.

Only the fact that I am and do exist seems in some small but intrinsic dimension able to unravel the wooliness that can suffocate the creative mind and any vestige of spiritual influence. The ego stands up once more and demands recognition while we wrestle to stand proud and true and wholehearted in our own honest shoes.

Of course ‘others’ it seems have no such pretensions and exist, it seems, the happier for it which in turn begs the question, is intelligence an asset or a curse? Would the frailty of mind that blinds a Shakespeare ‘fool’ to gratification be rather a softer joy than the apparent torture of the tempest which assaults from within the melancholy of the bipolar and the innovational brain. Pity the fool? No, pity the scholar!

The more we resolve such dilemma’s the more personal space we find upon our island that we must conquer to survive. If you can find and live that fool’s folly then despite having not attained you will at least have learned and can quiet yourself and wait like Antartica’s albatross for your life mate to return.

Whats that coming over the hill, is it a monster?



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CHILD .. .


O’ weary me

O’ weary be

the sight of sun

the smell of sea

the yawn of death

the bite of flea

I give nothing

but a hand

a word, an arm

a coin, a kiss

the fanciful smile

a bared breast

O’ weary me

O’ weary be

the buzzing bee

a sight to see

and dangle thee

upon a knee

and so may we

hug our little children?


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Tribute to James Gandolfini


.. .

You can travel down the road,

check on every vine,

you can travel down the road,

you can travel down the line.

But there were few like Jimmy.

He was homemade wine.

Honest, good, pure, nothing added.

He wants you to have a good time,

sharing with friends like family.

He was homemade wine.

You  need a dollar? you’ve got Jim.

Loyalty and truthfulness, that was him.

Believing in something good out there.

Never got in the way, he was always fair.

A good brother, a good son, a good father.

He always tried his best.

And all the rest,

he was homemade wine.


.. .

Don’t usually write myself ~ with such rhyming sentiment

Not to say that I don’t appreciate sentiment

it just makes me cry too easily

.. . then I heard this on a You-tube tribute to James Gandolfini

.. . and it made me cry.


You-tube tribute : https://youtu.be/wZ_XzlIvgEQ

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I Wanna Be Free

There’s no joy in my heart,
only sorrow
And I’m sad
as a man can be
I sit alone in the darkness
of my lonely room
And this room
is a prison to me

I look out the window
and what do I see?
I see a bird
way up in a tree
I want to be free free
Free – ee – ee – ee
I want to be free
like a bird in a tree

What good are my eyes,
they can’t see you
And my arms,
they can’t hold you so tight
I have two lips
that are yearning,
but they’re no good to me
Cause I know I can’t kiss you tonight

I look out the window
and what do I see?
I see a bird
way up in a tree
I want to be free free
Free – ee – ee – ee
I wanna be free
like a bird in a tree
I want to be free
like a bird in a tree

.. .

guest poem/lyricsWrittenbyLeiber,Jerry&Stoller1956



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. ..

The swollen Arno overflows, only the wicked river knows

A trail of umber sediment, borrowed nuggets of rose-gold

Beneath the merchants tables, its soft, princely belly gored

The flower of the Medici on laden, merchant-vessels moored

A tale told, a crucible of fire, bonfire of vanities, lust and desire 

Firenze sleeps, artisans, courtesans both, purple, plush & bored

A cradle for a renaissance and Arno’s sacred arthouse store

. ..





GLOSSARY – savonarolA – Piero and the exile of the Medici: 1492-1494 – bonfire of vanities tuscany

Read more:http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa69#ixzz3TzqJ9YuP

#NOTE – I have never been what you might call a rhyming poet or written what you might call poems of form or open to exegetic or critical poetic analysis (No negative judgement on poems like these intended or implied). I have always tried to write in a more open, Kerouac-style of prose for want of a better explanation. Perhaps like the Beat-style poets of the 60’s/70’s, where feeling and emotion are more important than form.

I have suffered the occasional criticism for this and in a somewhat futile attempt to silence the inner demons who taunt, I entered a poetry society and whilst there, I entered this poem in a competition. It brought me some rave reviews from a few notable American poets who commented that it was ‘the real thing’ and also some criticisms – such is life but I actually like it because it seems to me, to meet the criteria of the competition and describe the history of one of the world’s ‘great’ art cities – Florence.

What do you think? 

~ edenbray22.10.2017  



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