gone long gone

when freedom was a full tank

gone long gone

the excitement of those summers

holding off the light rain

doing things with each other

we had yet to find names

driving around no money no place to go

just hanging out with anyone everyone

going through the night laughing

bringing in the dawn the sun

playing music that changed our feelings

the way we felt about the world

& those people are gone long gone

to different places around the world

working stiffs each & every one

pulling their collars up against the rain

putting the hours in for sunny days

paying to go travel soak up the warmth

we had once for free in those years

now gone long gone

Dumb kid

I travelled over the ocean

sitting in the farts of others

rebreathing 30% dead air

not just to come & see you

took those needed detours first

had some time in the desert

reminded myself at graves there

just how it was back then for us

you chose the music I chose the line

touching places your mumma loved

letting the wind fly the sand the earth

right out the palm of my hand

& when I got to where you were

I left messages we were in town

& a couple of days later

after you were sure we were gone

made dipshit excuses of neglecting your phone

like I’d come to see you with no reason

had something or nothing to convey

or did you think my hands were open empty?

well now I guess your mummas dead

you get to feel really be free

though one of us is just a dumb kid

for putting in no effort

& one needs now

to just let it be

carijillo

I was exhausted

having driven just under

a thousand miles

in a day & a half

had stopped in a Repsol

somewhere deep in Spain

had found the lower car park

away from the road

the dash & a splash car park

had wedged in between a cement truck

& a long distance haulier

sleep came fitfully

thinking of sun

& meeting you somewhere

at an airport close to the sea

waking at six

walking to the Repsol café

the long distance trucker just ahead

taking a piss

washing my hands gurning

at my white face in the dead mirror

went in for a coffee

as the trucker signalled a cake

from the pile on the counter

& in a weary gravel voice said

Carajillo

she brought over his coffee

& the Osbornes 103 brandy

Dos he said

& she poured a good measure in

he ate his cake

downed his Carajillo

& left

the last I saw of him

was his wide greasy grey arse

as he climbed into his truck

& then I felt the rest of my journey

was as good as done

life was going to be great

for the touch of a hand

boarding a bus for four hours

then finding my way through back roads

asking uncertain strangers

if you lived just up ahead

tapping your door

just as the light faded to grey

waiting & hoping

I’d got the right place day

your mother coming to the door

asking forthright could she be of help?

knowing then in the instant

I’d been a fool for love again

setting back in the dark

feeling heat & shame in my face

down the same back roads

waiting for a bus to come

another four hours swaying in the night

back to the place I’d started from

& if nothing is ventured

nothing is gained

but as I adventured on that long journey

this fool knew nothing would ever

feel the same

again

there in the road

granite & redstone

in the mountains

side of the road

I’d lost track of the days

miles travelled gone before

& I sat there for an hour more

stuck on which way to go

I could start back

head forward take either fork

there in the road

& that indecision wasn’t fear

of the something unknown

more that any path was just as likely

would eventually lead me home

as poets

we get a wider repertoire

of emotion

but that don’t mean

there is no suspicion of us

as failed beings

despots of despair

spring summer autumn winter madness

barking at the wrong moon

step too far fall to the fey

back the other way

too brutal to live today

how to lead others

lanes seldom traveled

paths to different destinations

without signposts predetermined

judging these efforts to lead astray

Travel is ever hopeful

visiting the unknown

disliking the discomfort

the inevitable delays

frustrations of language

& hard as we might try

to surrender to the strange

we tend to create

the customary along the way

oh that looks like

this reminds me of

those houses are similar

to those in that place

where was it now?

& on we go

slotting the new

exotic places events

into familiar holes

fast tracking the fresh into familiar

so as not to scare ourselves

too much & to

make the world easier to digest

each time

I always wanted to travel

be gone

somewhere else than here

& yet

each time before I go

I need to sit & think

not just the

have I got?

thing

more the

supposin’ I never come back

have I left order

for those left behind

the things hidden need be hidden

from those left behind

& I know

anticipation nerves

are but part of excitement

wanting to find something

elsewhere

to stop me

from ever

coming back

you have a loose foot eh?

yeah, I guess I do

I had to get out of my beginnings

the people there

had such a thin view of what I could be

& the habit went on growing

I kept on keeping on to pastures new

& if I can share one secret

listen in children listen up close

if you begin to put roots down

put an ear to the ground

people around you

if you sit still for one second

who have not known you long

will tell you straight

who & what you are

what they will want you to be

& if you like that just fine

keep on putting in those roots

but if you don’t like your box

want to break its confines

pull ‘em up & get walking

try your luck in a new town

be who you are there

see if they can understand