trying to sing

in the Clouds of Creation

wondering if

as the philosophers

would have it

I am vox populi

putting down the line

of the everyman

or vox dei

putting down the line

being the mouthpiece of god

& if I had my preference

knowing as I do

I am but one of you

these words I throw

trying to sing

my way home

that guided us

as a child in the front

the dugout tree in the night

we would paddle

2 or three inches

of tallow reed candle

upstream

until we found the place

sell our eggs chickens pigs

float back home with sheep

iron to create

until we grew older

invited to become a family

a dragon ship with crew

across the darker green sea

there we found our family

& more

in the dark cold night

something to believe in

not the gold the silver

women slaves corn

this thing more than us

that guided us

destiny

to kiss the flame

the fire that burned the brightest

in those early years

was the feeling of missing out

on family friends companionship love

so many things

so much so

I’d turn to half a hand almost a fist

to kiss the flame

feel the scars begin

consume skin

crisp the edges

just to feel something

anything

over again

so if you ask me

why do people do things

that hurt them so

I can only tell you

for so many reasons

you will never know

compassion as compassion can

she is aged now frail

comes round or better said

is picked up brought around

for dinner later delivered home

still wanting the world to be

in any way she chooses

&

I will dutifully push the wheelchair

settle her down with sherry before

inch of red during her meal

& later after she has gone

forget the ever-present animosity

now because of age unable to be hidden

by a smiling face soft delivery of curse

for me being the despoiler of her daughter

taker of attention from matriarch command

&

I will clean the faint stains she leaves on walls

pick up her tissues careless leavings done

because I was never the bad person here

nor to try & prove her in her doings wrong

she will never see these as she never did then

I was just the one who was in her sights those years

stopped her from getting her frivolous biddings done

as context

we were sitting on a concrete bench

opposite the courthouse

early spring sun warming the stones

there is only one way to survive prison

he said in the confiding way strangers do

half looking at me eyes slitted half looking away

oh yeah? I offered back half listening

you have to shut up & listen

watch closely everything that happens

take nothing from anyone

no gifts no favours no shit

don’t walk in all arrogant be hard as nails

keep your head down see how the land lies

before you make any moves

that sounds about six ways I offered gentle

wondering why he had chosen me

as confidant? fellow felon?  easy prey?

he looked straight at me then hard

working to put serious into his wind battered face

fuck you son you’ll do just fine

& as he got up to go anyways what are you up for?

couple of unpaid traffic fines i said & you?

assault deadly weapon assault police officer by two

as he began laughing all the way to the courthouse door

here try this on

he thrust his gold rolex at me

here try this on

give me yours

& I put it on my left wrist

felt heavy felt tight

& I had no ideas on why

was he testing if I’d cut & run?

playing some rich man poor man stunt?

he never explained

& after five minutes

gave me my watch back

put his gold roly’ on

you like? you like?

that is what you’re aiming for eh?

your turn to buy the drinks

& as I made for the bar

his attention had wandered

checking out the beauties

while I was thinking heavy tight

the discomfort in more ways

than one

did not want

he was pushing coke on me

there at the funeral

that I did not want

I‘d driven couple hundred to get there

same of course to get back

needed a clear head but no

he was a coke dealer

had the baggies wanted needed to sell

& I took a left then a right nostril

seeing snowflakes on my black coat

haunting of a scene years before

black beauty did not want me to come inside her

demanded I come on her stomach to show

& I had not thought of her in years

I’d not transgressed then but now…

good eh? he demanded to know

buzzing the funeral for our absent friend

in a daze playing head movies

over thinking each second moment

I did not want to get fucked up for this

& then

driving home remembering our times gone

the future he did not want

while I drove high as the clouds he’d joined

girl can’t help it

we got workmen coming in

changing windows doors

& she can’t help herself

riding my shoulder

as I see their eyes flicker

from me to her behind

& I’m making sure they’re ok

understand what it is we want done

& I’m waiting pensive still

for the words to come over my shoulder

something I know to be sure

will bother them as sugar in coffee

have you brought dust sheets

your own vacuum to clear up?

these poor bastards who have

not even started yet

offering assurances to her behind

riding my shoulder

even tho’ we have discussed this

her ability to piss workmen off

to leave it to me talk to the guys

but y’know the girl can’t help it

herself

professors of literature

the one who came to our Ranters readings

parties really where we’d read get drunk

play some music close the show

he wouldn’t read to us just try to listen

those words that meant nothing to him

on the look-out for meter scansion high prose

something he alone understood as the literary soul

the one visiting who loved John Fowles

taught the French Lieutenants woman in class

who I guided out on the undercliff see the place

sliding into the sea where John had sat & wrote

loving his excitement joy at being there

for him then to put his hand in his pocket

pull out a handful of loose change

let me give you this for your time

not understanding my refusal or look on my face

these professors of literature I have known

no idea on people places poets

or words needing thrown

these things

took a shot

at being the guy

in a community centre

who gets things done

place was run by an ex cop

you know the kind

got his pension plays golf

finds it hard to let others do stuff

asked if I’d go help Bill

fix his PC unblock a glitch

I go over Bill offers a drink

leaves me alone

while I do the simples

run some diagnostics

brings in a hot coffee

we sip & talk just a bit

& as I get up to go

he reaches for his wallet

been there on the desk

all this time

offers a tip & I say no

all’s good part of the job

walking away thinking on ex cops

these things they do

laying little traps

see if the bait gets taken

these things they think

they must do

on those they don’t trust