where I could take them in

I caught the words

late night

I guess in the space

where I could take them in

& I heard the rhythm


the arrangement

to carry the song on

but there

under the line

I caught the words


the pain expressed

given out so free

covert beneath the rhythm


sweet melody

& hidden in plain view

the loss the hurt

the derangement

of a lovers


I guess I was in the space

where I could take the words in

understand fully

so long ago

not that this happens often

or much


if I mention her name

his face goes awry

like he’s holding on to something

that he thinks I don’t know

& I want to say

let’s just let whatever go

that you might have had

with her

so long ago

I was done with her

she with me

& if you want to spit it out

do so

but let’s not pretend

about something

so long ago

to understand

I did not understand

being little more

than weened

the empty house

furniture carpets gone

all this space cold

no food no mother

something gone wrong

& some time later

I found her in another home

another child another man

& I tried to understand

feel some connection

warmth from her hand

& when I visited again

different people living there

no forwarding address

no letter no note

no ideas as to where

but I did begin

to understand

the great derangement

we have been like this

for over a year now

one topic of conversation

the great derangement

where people turn on each other

call hotlines to report

what they feel to be


no touching no holding

no kissing no love

backs turned in the street

to pass

we are the enemy now

to be avoided

shunned if you please

I fear it will be years

until we return to be

when we were free


at the seafront

sitting in the café

The Penguin

feeling sanguine

first time in a year here

indoors with a cup of coffee

some kind of nice cake

staring out the window

while the girl

with eyes like mine

ignores me

got her ears in listening

to what I don’t know

she knows I’m here

she knows I know she’s here

as the sun glistens on the sea

the wind blows the thin hair

of old ladies to & fro

feeling sanguine

at the Penguin

of the crowds

maybe it was

the light in my eye

way of talking

thinking strange ideas out loud

but I was always impressed

how others knew clear

way before I did

I was not of their kind

just a passing through man

destinations unknown

& there were times I dearly

wanted to be part of a crowd the crowd

but no maybe it was

the light in my eye

talking odd thoughts out loud

amongst people who will tell you

we like ideas like to discuss

but no there lies the smokescreen

the ideas the discussion was always

what they knew feel comfortable with

where that for me was a starting point

looking into the void

maybe it was the light in my eye

a madness keeping me out

of the crowds

& I couldn’t see this at all

but they always did

way before me

third violinist

I think he’d been third violinist

an orchestra in Sweden

but he’d quit though I’m not sure why

if he didn’t want to talk about that

I was certainly not one to pry

we were students together

which I was bored with from the off

it was all this is how things are

no back & forth no reasoning

no learning from exchange of ideas

just suck it up & spit it out to others

ours not to reason why

he had a battered old blue volvo

I called the battlestar due to its size

& we’d go out to explore the world

find strange places to sit think drink

try to figure out where we going

the love the ladies the work

& just knew he’d be ok

he was sucking it all up

being given ideas things to say

& knew too after our indoctrination

I’d never see his face again

the third fiddle always knows his place

trains of thought

there are a couple of schools

trains of thought

on these things

this place I’m living in for now

has Les’ wandering the hall

whispering in the bedroom

that he’s not happy

with the furniture

pictures hanging on the walls

he bought this place in the 50’s

when it was brand spanking new

moved in with the missus baby daughter

over time they either grew up or moved on

but Les’ grew his tomatoes

talked with the neighbours stayed on

part of his community

until last years the dementia

walking the streets bathrobe slippers

looking for something that had gone

& now he strolls the hall unhappy

with the changes we’ve made

the two schools of thought here

one being that ghosts walk amongst us

the other I’m mad as the hatter