hard gig

there are

these people

who know people

know everyone

get invited & love to go

to parties

meetings committees’ groups

just love to organise others

for their own good

of course

& it’s a hard gig to suck up

that these are the right people

socially active involved

and you are the wrong people

for wishing to avoid them

& their gatherings

forgotten to nurture

another one gone

was how I got to feel

after a while

but that first one

the second

mebbe even the third

pulled my head around

left me walking wounded

unable to sleep eat

look after myself

in any meaningful way

a roar between the ears

aching deep in my gut

feeling foolish as anyone can

letting the pretty bird

I’d forgotten to nurture

flutter away

prigs paradise

never one in any way avuncular

a snuffling pig hunting me down

every chance he got

handcuffed me to the back of the sofa

so’s I couldn’t watch the tv

pulled my fingernails back

until I confessed to smoking

which I had yet decided to try

all he said to keep me in line

& the other turned a blind eye

though he had once helped

me to learn to read help me he claimed

to keep my snotty nose clean yet

invited confessions of everyday things

wanted me to tell him of my days

make reports back to the torturers

those with rules but no handkerchiefs

& the others were distant creatures

beasts wandering far off plains

whose only homilies seemed to be

honour your father & mother

do as your duty entails

meantime do as I say

not what I do

or else

long winter nights

with no lights heading to a darker place

I just had to let her go

she was a sweet kid & everything

wanted a man to look after

be looked after by

& we swung ok between the sheets

except the one time my finger strayed

& that would never do she said

& it’s not as though

that was the end of my repertoire

finish of explore

but it was for her

finito de nada no mas no encore

I just had to let her go

in her sweetness & bright

for if this was our summer

how would we cope

hanging together

in the long winter nights?

shamans blues

they come for me middle of the night

bearing down

taking memories

experiences different from theirs

mine are current

theirs finished

& there is no exchange

gifts of wisdom

hints of the bigger plan

& this one here at my shoulder

says tell them we mean no harm

only wish to live again

& they never understand

I don’t want sleepless nights

them taking bits out of my head

standing looking over

disturbing the peace I once had

as I try again to shut them out

keep them pointed to the light

fishing

I could land them

but I could never

find the way to keep them

maybe it was my way of talking

that not give a fuck thing

I had going back then

some said it was my bedroom eyes

but they came they went

maybe I was no good at the sex thing

so few of us are

according to the women’s magazines

useless at commitment

was a word that got flung around

but I didn’t care there were always more

fish in the sea

more of me

to fritter away slowly surely

into decay

I reckon

one cold frozen night

when the thinkin

gets to be a problem

you can run me outside

don’t leave the door open

see if I can work my way

back inside

& if not

well then

surely the problem is solved

I don’t want to get

be like these

sittin in traffic mind all closed

wonderin what

those yellow blinky lights do

walkin around

forgettin their street shoes

let age be for those who want it

got their own

yearnin

for achin grown old bones

I’d rather be remembered

bright as a button

shapin my life

not headin downwards

soft in the belly head

everythin a strife

a burden on those I loved

forgettin their names yesterday today

riding

was I just younger then?

more open to the what happens

I had to just get away

thinking if I stayed somebody would die

& I did not want that to be me

riding out into the country

letting the miles slide by

pictures in a picture show

eyes caught by the wind

or so I wanted to believe

& then the sound no rider wants to hear

a missing beat in the engine

coughs & some loud backfire

& you count back miles to the gas stop

think of things that can go wrong

pulling over when the lurching begins

a dry scrape side of the road

checking the fuel plugs

doing that whole sweating kick start thing

& a bike pulled in behind

fella gets off’f it strolls over

y’ok? need a hand?

& you go over what’s been gone over

they notice a break in a HT lead

yeah that’ll do it eh?

grins all around

come back they say I got tape to fix that

& you follow

what else is there to do?

back at theirs the helmet comes off

& you see the first time

the rider is a girl

they notice the surprise & smile

gotcha eh?

you fix the lead

while she makes the coffee

& you get to stay a while

trouble to my door

you brought plenty of things

nights of love & laughter

sweet sunny days that sped by

the happiness togetherness brings

times with you in Paris France

where we didn’t need music

the booze to get us up

on our feet to dance

& if I could I’d do it all

driving through Spain

the bullfights running the streets

sleeping outside too hot sheets

endless distances in deserts

to hold you close to me

but I swear I’d do it different

say goodbye sooner

before you created the rain

so I’d feel the same sad pains

of goodbye & distance

but not let you

ever again

bring trouble to my door