Aftermath .. .




The tragedy of universal world order
conquest versus the scope and scape of nature
from Tehrain through the truthful priest
of Tibet to Queens then off to California
the Goldrush has arrived in this sylicone valley
Abysinia, Algeria, the caves of Tora Boro
said Ghengis Khan to all his sons hold ye well
to this protestation – ‘surrender or you die’

A despot perceived as second in popularity
to Jesus Christ both whose legions followed after
Temujin before death just an ironic if iconic statistic
created massive history with no followers apostolic
formulated by the exegesis of contemporary light
we view the hill of heads that were laid at the feet of
his great god Tengeri with only ruthless ferocity
before Australian wine, the Maori haka or the hakui

How long has it been since Japan became your brother
their cars and culture, your Kawasaki throttle open to a
captivating industry, Tokyo became a place you want to see
forget Hiroshima next to China, the rape of Nanking
women’s bodies lying on the street, hundreds and thousands
which is truth, which is lies, no truth without the smoke of fires
mass graveyard where khakied soldiers buried all your dead
where angels sing, peoples do recover and build again

Hard to mention the barbarousness of other foes
prehistoric murder, foundations devoid of closure
except my stomach turns over at the stench of humanity
we are happy to forget, turn blind eyes to society tourettes
one life to lead while others bleed, elsewhere war-torn lonely
where children pick through refuse for a meal without abuse
plagues and sickness, coronary disease, we wear it well
a smile upon the face it hides another Peyton Place

I’m receiving images of the steeple at Cologne Cathedral
it survived horrific bombing, what of the German people
a photograph or two to remember the aggrandized view
I was with my mother who recalled blood on the streets
bombing raids, architectural cascades, limbs severed in rubble
she was never comfortable in Cologne, how could she be
all she wanted was to forget the doodlebugs, the silence after
under the stairs in Mitcham, another night of awesome horror

We forget the holocaust at our peril or any evil we have known
perpetrators, the clue is in the name, humanity shot the sheriff
a quiff of pain, a soupçon of blame-shame, do you really believe
your god will forgive what you did or do, my god or any god too
Adolf and sons, painters and decorators who painted the sky
as black as pressed Shutzstaffel uniforms, if I lived in Cologne
if the morbid moon hung red for one more night over Aushwitz
or Chaldea, or Cambodia, Rwanda, Armenia, Yugoslavia, Haiti

Build your war horse outside the gates of Troy send a messenger
across the ramparts of the Crimea, raise your siege ladders
beat your ploughshares into weapons then beat them back again
when war is over count the dead, bury the dead, honour the dead
remember they are dead, they are dead and long forgotten
besides your illnesses, your ravaged health, your siege tested
capital wealth that is rusted, encrusted with mould and scurvy
the captains ship has been locked down aboard with dysentery

Blow the whistle, sound the horns we cherish, youths shout, come
enter drunk at our jubilation party let us bury this winter of discontent
raise new billboards, announcing new directions, sound warnings
hoist the flag, dress old Dobbin the horse in his Sunday best
we are so good at getting over, sliding under the precipice
our memories are not inclusive of past told stories
we make coffee-table books with photos that record our glories
battles ‘we’ have won, only mothers lose daughters and sons

Lay down weary soldier on another battlefield like Altamont
remember Meredith Hunter and James Chaney, Jimmie Lee Dixon
he was born in ’38, murdered in ’65, buried by Klu Klux fanatics
from ‘outer space’ we may view the tributaries, rivers and the spurs
of a snaking queue of peoples in different mourning colours
I hear the drums of war, find your stored, heaped memories
should I leave them by your door, or sad-eyed lady, should I wait?
for sleep to settle, sun to rise, the march of time to dry your eyes

Ye chronicles of pestillence and war, etched in sorrow, wide as any hell
becomes a desert we must cross to find the seven fatted calves
and when we cross we may announce that god is dead, we alive
attesting no virtue to a maker, a helper, an aide, a saviour
we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down, we start all over again
without a show of Nicolaas Tinbergen’s theories on emotion
instinct is the mother of us all and by consensus we deploy
wait only till tragedy wraps its fateful arms around us once more


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Oh! and Oh again!

iron maiden

I had been instructed under pain of a certain kind of  punishment
to ingratiate my humanness,
write boldly within a stream of consciousness
maybe a modicum of winsomeness,
fuck-fuck candydaddy humour
and the certainty of truthfulness,
not fearing at scaring
or the scanning of human history
scarred, scared from the human remains or the threat of corporal
  punishment administered a while ago with a cane or a cudgel
a flail, a whip, the back of a hand
or when we were still schoolboys,
before we mixed with the cattyness
or the prettiness of girls
the softness of a plimsole
a gym slipper, a fishy gym kipper administered without absurdity
as such outlawed by British governments a long while ago
yet not long, long or long enough ago
at least that we can remember
who took us to task,
who rapped our knuckles with a stick
who used a half inch belt from a mechanical drill on the back of our knees
who used a steel ruler
Rulers, tyrants with not the hint of social disgrace
tortured without taunts
Tinamen Square the ‘we’ ultimately faced the face of authoritarian authority
who wore a metal face that shows no pity
when speaking of a certain contemporaneous justice
in the days that followed
not even weeks or of a Gandalfini style retribution
Sopranoed, desk-top publisher suicides
that survived the open road
unconcerned or committed to a mafia-style justice
like a leg for a leg, take me back to Sardinia or Sicily
a hand for a hand waving blithely in the mid-distance
somewhere’s over the rainbow of Old Testament, prophetic acquittal
spittle hanging from societies face
its not my face, its not your face, its not a pleasant face
a masked face, a face hidden with the eyes of justice staring
social justice is a scary clown
who wears a scary clown face
who remembers
written with your facebook eyes, your twitter stare
who you show your body parts too
your pubic hair, your cock, your gash,
you show your angel face on there, your pubic smile
its all the rage, the rage, justice, freedom, no shame
the picture dissapears so quickly, snapchat quickly
even retribution can be fun yet society is a serial killer
who orders kill or be killed, phantom killer with a scary clown face
an agonising compilation of stored thoughts and images
hard disc memories you cannot rub them out with an eraser
a spray can of graffiti won’t rub them out
there there, not gone forever
into the wherever
There there, society will not forgive you
it will haul you over coals
put you in its iron maiden
who suffocates your imagination
who brain washes your freedoms
brain-stored abuses yet none of even these
compares to societies scary clown face staring in your face
now that you are famous for a day, a month, a lifetime
bosh, bosh, another day in the gymslipper prison
your sentence    unrevoked    uncloaked
another reason not to hide
who was it spread your face around
now that there is now
now, nowhere left to hide


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Boomer’s Story

Fancy Colours ©WARWICK J.EEDE 2021

Three score years and ten …  an odyssey

Above the tempest and the squall
I cannot remember the first time
I heard a train approaching
travelling down the stone-laid track 
the purple smoke, the rhythmic panting
the rush of a woman birthing
lying on her back 
the birth I never knew
those coal black engines greased and shining
thundered through my home town
on the Southern Region

We played football
we broke windows
watched the smoke curl from the chimney
on sunny days drifting
sights that last forever 
in the quiet of suburbia
or earlier where the summer brush grows
my dimpled rubber wheels and spokes
ran over snaking, antique roots
rode steep mud tracks 
beneath some ancient trees
cowhorn handlebars
my canvas paper-sack
enterprise and commerce 
thus began my salad days

Childhood, a softest pillow 
despite the constant wheezing
my asthma curse
a needle in the ass 
from old Doctor Williams
Christmas eve with emphysema scrooge
pictures of my understanding mother
jocund brother, blond, beguiling
and father it seems always emerging
from out of platform three 
from the smoke, the smog, the empathy
of post-war Britain and Billy B 
his redcoat land-trains, taking trips
round seaside towns
Filey, Bognor, Pwhelli

and Grandad’s knees 
were they ever knobbly 
or were we ever Dutch
Grandma’s hair, ginger and so curly
she had that Irish touch 
twas’ not taters brought her over
to our very English sod
only British valour
and the war to end all wars
our personal Abaddon 
when we stepped out of one past into another
a Jackson Pollack splash of adolescence 
Charlie Drake fell through the window
it made you laugh out loud
normal service will be resumed
on our black and white telly
we watch the death of Kennedy

Life moves faster when you’re seventeen
reggae, reggae, reggae
pushing the world’s soapbox cart along
also learning to be strong
write words of verse about your condition
the sedition of the political few
before Bob Marley started really sing-ging!
the fab four turned on
dropped out, then in again 
on psychedelic acid 
and you like Alice 
and her big white rabbit
come tumbling after 
in search of a lost dream
or joyous laughter

True answers always just out of reach
blowing in your avalanche of reason
heroes, urban and cultish
for that small season 
give way to personal freedom
suddenly God is not dead but much alive
he is a docker called Ron from Peckham
who met death alone
founded a band called Resurrection
took a look inside the church
it still remains a sadness 
that Auntie Pat was sectioned
taken from the family home
with her troubled thoughts
she was left alone

Seven years phenomena
extends to fourteen 
a rash more than an itch
and twenty one announces 
that you are fully grown
experiences with women
love and lust
the essence of musk
when wedding vows still make our day
without a dowry 
beneath the canopy
my fountain pen is always ready
we find each other 
and because of love
we sign upon the dotted line 
though I will write letters seven feet tall
with our loves children on the beach 
at places with names like Anderby Creek

Workaday years
a blurred collection of motifs
picture cards, memories like logos
we catch the stars in moments sifted
we say and do some things we choose
much of out truest selves we lose
with my pen I lie, late at night
examining my conscience
searching for my beginning and my end
caring for our mother
we loved our children well
earned a living, bought a house
ran a car, the usual things
did not travel far

The train it never stops running
across the yellowed pages
crisp like dried straw on the heath
the hills of hope, mauve and feminine
we search for visions mother
I paint, I draw, 
engage the brain on heavens shore
O’ feeling, you are my bitch
and you are my blood-soaked brother
I clutch your war-stained head
raise you, gasping air
to search for life inside your eyes
is this only my imagination
or my God-given spirits incantation
the poet in me leaves this question
by your nakedness 

O’ beauty of the written sonnet
Shakespearian, ruche or honest
I’ve scribbled in my cardboard notebook
tampered, played with words
fought the great wars
wrestled with deception
my greatest fears
I, the honest poet
wrapped a beat
laid my heart at my ladies feet
consideration, revolution
I’ve challenged you O’ mighty contradiction
to find a meaningful solution
I’ve fallen spent upon my knees 
a broken Job’s comforter
but made it through 
the psalmist as my tutor
the days of our years are three score years and ten
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years
yet is their strength labour and sorrow
for it is soon cut off and we fly away.


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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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