people

you have to give them five minutes or more

let them know you’re really listening

& people will tell you anything everything

fella had a government job now

the kind where integrity is meant to count

& as we had nowhere to go

had our no judgement faces on

he opened up some about himself

slight hint of glint in his eyes

I was thirteen fourteen had this fetish

about hair womens’ hair that is

he rushed on: I’m no pervert…

I set myself up corner of a street

& when a woman came by I spun a story

of doing research would wash her hair

two products for her to say which one was best

the third or fourth along one said yes

took me to her home luckily no one else was there

& as she leant over the tub as I soaped that lovely head

washed her long hair twice

& she chose one as the best so I left that there as a gift

dunno how I got away with that & I never did it again….

the glint left his eyes like a doll running down

& for a minute or two nobody looked in each others eyes

was this truth? was this for real?

some other story told in disguise?

we never spoke of this ever again

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

antennae

to go into a room of people

paddle your way through

looking around

feeling

with your invisible antennae

knowing who is who

likes the same things as you

holds similar strange beliefs

will back you in a tight corner

comes from the same

broken home blended family

strange belief systems

& then we speak

& all of this dissolves

as we let words

get in our own way

it was late

I was talking loud

as I can do when wine drunk

aware with all tensions

as my words were not getting through

to my vino sozzled mob at the table

the death of the hippie my theme

giving in to passion writ large

the death of the hippie was an event

the Mime Troupe the Diggers

Emmett Coyote all the mommas

recognising hippie was done

over

taken up by the store greedheads

selling shit beads mandalas incense

paisley rags run up in sweat shops

too many kids had run away arrived

hoping to find a dream instead got hungry

exploited found the wrong drugs people

missed the message of inner being

but bought the fashion to fit in

never the hippie way

the substance the ideas were lost

in graphics music written words

& me you we were the losers

because there was a time when

love was all you need

& all that’s left is smoke dope

beads mandalas paisley patterns

the barroom

I knew

the barroom

long before I got there

the taunts whispers

from ne’er do wells

who would wish you

ne’er do well too

in case that would

show them in a true light

the sneers

pulling down of hopes

wishes dreams

to keep you on a par

the falsity of smiles

claps on backs

two faces to the fore

veneer encouragement

glad handing back slapping

more in the hope

of brief entertainment

than care

for these were the people

who raised me

a place to sit

these things happen

when not paying attention

I had bad dreams

for days afterwards

fighting demons

until I understood

where I’d gone wrong

not paying real attention

to the people walking by

looking right on in

knowing exactly where I was

tho’ covered by camo

deep in amongst the trees

then came aches in my legs

low voices whispering

unkind in the night

this once precious space

was mine no more

whether a wrong coven

ditched disbelievers

had gotten in to sully

the signs were there

time to say adios

thank you & goodbye

find another place

where I could just sit

let the world

whir on

by

another way

I’d drive them out of the city

sensation seeking students

& sometimes aspiring ne’er do wells

who the city wanted put straight

driving out to nature

where I’d walk them down a trail

to a full green valley bowl

scatter them off to disperse

find a spot by themselves

just sit for a while

four hours maybe five

until they heard the come here whistle

& some would come back too soon

unable to be alone

to be set back off again go complete

& at the end of the exercise

some would complain

of the tedium boredom isolation

the long dragging day

others would say felt like minutes

& the long drive home

was full of silence as the experience

of no phones no tv no people

just sitting by themselves

settled into their bones

now they knew

there was another way

worst part

of growing up

moving away from toys

to being interested in people

was finding the lie

everything it seemed

was made

composed of great lies

my parents marriage

school rules

rules on the street

bullshit on the tv

the closer I looked

the more I saw

the smoke & mirrors

illusion

difference between

what people said

& what they actually did

low victories

I hear them out

nodding along sympatico

listening to low victories

she said so I said

he turned to me

& on infinitum

wondering just where

when

their fire went out

these were people

gonna be in movies

rock stars from the garage

creating making writing

subsumed into sad moves

he thought he could cheat

so I burned all his clothes

scratched his car

called his boss reported

as they then subside to tears

these low victories

are never enough

to plant a flag upon

say

I was here