Friday, 8 July 2011

Full Circle

I really didn't mean
To get like this - '
And in the next few lines
I shall change from
Being hopelessly in love
With a feeling
I don't even know exists
To aimless wandering
Around like a tortoise
Called Fred
Who lives in a house
On his back
'Neath the dewy dandelions.
And I shall come in
From the cold unknown
To the warmth of home
And run through dreams
Of maybe one day love
To a solid semi-detached
Affair with pound signs,
Where I buy the drinks
And the talk and the scent and
The time until
The time you call,
When I'll come running
And I'll take you home
And start again.

November 1976

 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

One more for the fire

So you burned all your love-letters?
Oh dear, are you really that cruel?
Have my eyes deceived my mind?
That I saw only what I wanted to see?

Maybe they were mere teenage dreams,
Written on school-book paper.
Maybe they were just gentle words,
Simply written as your heart dictated.

Maybe...

Maybe they were mere teenage dreams.
But, oh, how we must dream.
Maybe they were just gentle words,
But far better than spoken lies.

Sometimes written words tell
More truth by far than words spoken;
Maybe you were loved more dearly
Than you knew or could understand.

So you burned all your love-letters.

If truth is to be burned then -
I love you.
And here's one more for the fire.

4 October 1976  

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Nice Surprise

It is very difficult
To open both palms
Before the excited wide eyes
Of an expectant child
When you've nothing to show.

How can you stop
The tinsled tear,
That grows to a raindrop ,
And trickles down the window
Pane on the little face?

You take him in your arms
And hold him close;
You tell him it'll be all right,
And show him the beauty
Of the world around him. 

You watch his little eyes
Mirror the sunshine,
And marvel at the way
His little fingers reach out
To touch the clouds.

As if we knew
That from up there
We are all very small,
Like little children,
Hoping for a nice surprise.

I have little to give
You cannot already find,
But let's pretend
That there may be something -
And maybe get a nice surprise.

4 October 1976

 

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Tomorrow Never Comes

How long will it last -
A month, a year, a day?
It may be soon past,
When all there is to say
Is: "I wonder why we ever..."
Or: "I'd like to know who..."
Or: "Were we really together...
"Just us and me and you?" 

So just in case
Let's make quite sure
That no-one ever says:
"They could've done more..."

Let's do all those things
We shouldn't but want to
Before the red robin sings
And snow falls onto
Our hopes and covers them
before we have chance
To seek and discover them,
Let's have one more dance.

Whilst the music still plays
And let us be the ones
For whom everyone says:
"Tomorrow never comes."

But today stays right here,
as you should, my dear.

1976

 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Moonshine and Mountains

from three be four
a fading photograph
burst splendidly into youth and lies
back in the heather so soft
to soothe the ache at the very roots
of the young pine
mountain
more than just the peak pointing higher
than neap tide waves would warn
nightingale
more than just the only song beneath
the sound of coming storm
so much but a year can but
yearn for one by three in all
clutching carefully clover four-leafed
shall the seagull shadow die
cast in the first night of day
only the one eye can perceive
only the seagull can know only
no-one can be sure
only memory free from wise men's 
lies can believe
or
remember

8 August 1974

 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

First Day

"Er, excuse me, I am supposed to report to staff department at 9 o'clock." I said in that terribly polite tone one uses on the first day in a new job. I had battled my way through a pair of ancient swing doors into a dark green marble-walled, marble-floored and marble-ceilinged vestibule. One of the walls had a hole in it through which peered a pair of spectacles.

The reply came as rather a surprise. Not that I really expected the little gentleman to say "Och, laddie, jest yoo be waiting there fra wee while," but I did expect a little tartan flavouring. "If you would like to take a seat, sir, I'll ask someone to come and collect you." said the spectacles.

I sat down and stared at a magazine called SMELSA or something like that and spebt ages trying to figure out what the title meant. Just as I had given up hope and was reaching for what could have been a gaelic edition of the Financial Times, a gentleman came bustling down some plush red staircase and remembered my name at me.

"I'll take you to the department where you'll be working," he said.

"Good morning," said I, which seemed a pretty stupid thing to say in reply but it wasn't a bad morning for the time of year and it didn't matter anyway as He Who Came Down The Red Stairs was half way towards some more swing doors.

When he opened them I realised why there were so many doors about. Behind them the carpet came to a grinding halt and ahead stretched a long narrow corridor, painted a digusting shade of yellow or brown, and no more Red Stairs anywhere.

Bustling Man suddenly dived into one of the doors which, luckily, opened at about the same time. I expected to see one huge desk with a tiny one nearby, the former occupied by a quill-penned, bespectacled, dusty Thin Man and the latter covered in leather-bound ledgers, topped by a tea caddy with a sinisterly vacant expression on the seat behind. It wasn't that bad at all. there were a number of leather-bound ledgers here and there, and it did take a minute or two to wind my way around a maze of desks, but it didn't seem a bad place to start office life.

The Departmental Manager had practically stood to attention when Bustling Man walked in. "Must be something to do with the Red Stairs," I thought. However, despite seeming to do something nasty to his knee in the process, he smiled pleasantly at me before muttering something about St. Patrick.

He went on to tell me all about the Computer and what it didn't do - therefore what I had to do. I couldn't remember whether I'd said Good Morning but as he was doing such a good job explaining how The Computer didn't I thought it best to look intelligent.

the rest of the day was spent shaking hands with Mister M and Mister A and Miss T and Miss M, who later turned out to be Freds and Berts like the rest of us, trying to find room for an extra desk, dicovering where the canteen staff hide the roast beef and staring at some green stripes on white paper with black blotches here and there. (I later doscovered that this was Computer Print Out paper, not new wallpaper as it had looked like it might have been.)

Just as I had learned which way up the main File Interrogation (Vee hav vays?) Schedule should go, the place caught fire. At least, I thought it had caught fire. Everyone disappeared in a way not unlike those girls on a David Nixon programme. "Ah, it must be quarter to five," said I. It was. (Why on earth the bother with the Big Ben rehearsal every Monday morning I do not know as it seems abundantly clear that everyone knows exactly how to get out and to do so extremely quickly already.)

As i went out I glanced up at the Red Stairs. Bustling man was coming down, accompanied by Big Tall Smiling Man. "Of course," I thought, "must be another way to the canteen. Wouldn't believe they were the chefs, to look at them, though." I soon learned that they weren't but it was an interesting thought at the time.

Actually the canteen deserves some mention. Not because it was all that exciting, but it was the only other place I had been all day. It was Upstairs - hard grey stoney ones for the likes of normal staff. But there was no haggis. No haggis. I mean, after travelling 400 miles for a job bring in not much more than £2.50 for each mile in the forthcoming year, there really should have been haggis.

Summer 1973 Two years after starting my first full-time job in Edinburgh, I wrote this article for SEMLAS the Society's in-house magazine.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

This Is A Party Political Advert ...

Since we came to power
Without scratching the bath
Prices have in fact only quadrupled
Free with ten thousand packet tops
Noise levels in most cities have dropped
Snap, Crackle and Pop
Unemployment is no longer a problem
Because this powder really works
More housing is being planned
Weetabix the builder tra la
Meat prices have risen somewhat
No, it's soya bean!! It's soya bean!!
But petrol has stayed level
Ah but don't 'ee knock it all back at once
Jim lad, I mean, Mr Callaghan
Costs less than other leading brands
Does go on a bit
Easier than any other gloss paint
However we shall make sure that
It even protects you from tropical heat
By Spring next year
The gum that really lasts
We shall have won the battle
Against even ground-in dirt.

 

16 August 1973 One of my favourites.

 

Monday, 21 March 2011

Before and Altar

Of course, the Minister was late.
Well - he had to be:
I was getting married
And two not-so-quick halves
At the Six Bells
Before joining two not-so-Christian halves
With church bells
Must have been a necessity.
I didn't mind that so much
But when "What are we doing here?"
Was his first question
I began to wonder and
With "Are you sure you want to
Proceed?"
As his second,
I felt like demanding my
Six pounds for services to be rendered,
Seven pounds fifty for the organist ("He's good."),
Including VAT and the Collection,
Back.
Anyway, he rustled about in his robes
And mumbled about in his beard,
Cried "God for King .. er .. I mean
"Andrew and Anne.
"Let no man pass under."
(With the emphasis on man
As if I'm not allowed any fun.)
He then pronounced Usmananwaif
Rather well
And looked coy
Which must have been the sign
For us to do the necessary -
Kissing ceilings and all that.
Quite enjoyed that bit,
Although we did wonder why
Everyone suddenly stood up.
To get a better view?
No. Photograph time.
When everyone got a chance
To justify wearing
Hats like double Pimms,
Suits like Bonnie & Clyde,
Colgate toothpaste and
Brylcreem.

After that and reception were
All over we headed for Crete
With little evidence of the day
Apart from rings on our fingers,
Smiles on our faces
And absolutely clear consciences
About unaltered passports
Proclaiming us still
Mr and Miss!
"Well .. er .. we forgot .. er .. to change it,
"You see.
"Honestly."

 

16 August 1973

 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Afterthought Before

Dew on the grassy slope -
Each little world of uncertainty
Stretching awake in the twilight.
Where will the sun go?

Blue on a pale cloud -
Coverlet over daily routine
Wrinkled brow of morning.
What colour did night see?

Forget-me-not leaves -
Children on their knees 
Unfurling to remember daytime.
Who'll turn the last page? 

Gold ring on her finger -
Window on another lifetime
Turning again through time.
When shall we meet again?

23 May 1973 Two days before my first wedding, I remember wondering a lot about what it all meant. 

 

Friday, 11 March 2011

Rosyth Halt

Standing in a crowded old carriage,
Red seats covered by grey suits,
Fur coats covered by wickerwork
Baskets.

God! I've missed the stop!
Suppose I'd better get off -
Running in mid air,
Trying to catch up with the platform -
A huge slab of grey steel
Newly forged slipping past
Like an escalator going nowhere,
Gradually.

Following now a small stone path
Of fawn through oily green
There's a bridge over water that
Cannot be seen but
Must be there.
The train looks like a small wooden toy -
But there's no chil;d's hand to push it.

Almost casually the engine turns and
Topples over the edge of the bridge.
Carriages helplessly follow their leader
But there's no child's hand to save them.

Muffled splash is the background of my wonder -
I just stand there feeling rather strange
And very relieved,
Wondering why the hell I got off but
Thanking God that I did.

No house in sight but a shed nearby
That for one second was a phone box
And then for another a signal box
But I enter regardless.
Inside I am just two feet tall
And clambering up to a phone which
Seems to materialise as I think of it.

Some faceless official hands me a coin
For the phone.
He just sits there
In blue, dark blue and black,
Oblivious to the world outside.

Presumably sometime later
I tell them the story in full
But no-one seems to take interest
As I hold out my hand in desperation -
There's no child's hand to hold mine.

 

22 February 1973 From a dream. Rosyth Halt was the old name of a station near the Forth Bridge. Strange.

 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Ours

The front door is a funny purple colour
And the back door lock is stiff
The hot tap leaks and drips all night
And there isn't a bath at all.

But there's you and me and a fire
To keep us warm when it works
And a pile of saved-up shillings
To spend on smiling in the hall.

There's a squeaky bed with a lumpy mattress
And a light that you have to get
Right out of bed for the switch 
And a draught at just the wrong height.

But it's our little flat for
Five pounds a month on Monday
All all that we want is right here.
And it's your turn to turn off the light.

30 January 1973 First home 38 Nelson Street, Kirkcaldy 

 

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Still Portrait

In shades of brown
The autumn faded memory
Still lingers;
Youth held in youth
Like the sparkle of water
'Neath Winter frost.
Eyes that still gaze
Through tears and joy
Of long ago now
Look far too young
To love someone of my years.
So far away
In time and istance;
Maybe somewhere I lie too
looking far too young.

30 January 1973  I rented a room in Edinburgh from an old chap who'd come to Scotland from Lithuania, or Latvia maybe, in the 40s. He showed me a few old photos - all the had from his home and family.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

How I Wish It Would Thunder

How I wish it would thunder
And the skies darken over
Letting loose an enormous downpour
Of truly torrential rain;
To hear that restless rumble
First overhead, then afar,
Growing steadily fainter
As the sky becomes brighter. 
False fear falls to real relief
When you know it's all over.
How I wish this damn drizzle
Of mournful mist would cease;
Neither more nor less water
Would fall in a great storm,
But this lasts so much longer
As we all wait to smile again.
No-one screams, no-one worries,
No-one runs for shelter in doorways ,
And there are no children's noses
Pressed firmly against window panes,
Nor eyes blinking at lightning,
Or watching skies brightening,
Gazing in wonder.
How I wish it would thunder. 

2 January 1973, Alloa, Scotland

 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Little Shed

I ran into the little shed
For shelter from the storm.
Comforting pine wood panels
Kept me dry and safe and warm.

The lightning flashed,
The thunder roared,
As I played with some sawdust
And drew on some old bits of board.

I drew a picture of yesterday
With my finger in the dirt -
Of sunshine and those blue skies
And the little girl I'd hurt.

I'm drawing pictures now of another day
Called sometime soon and when,
But she'd cried when she saw the rain fall.
Perhaps the sun'll soon shine again?

If it does then she'll forget me
And marry, have children galore,
But I hate the thought of more rain for her.
And wish I'd thought of that before.

The windows are hazy - like my mind.
I reach out to try and clear
But whatever it is that makes me unkind
Is stuck on the outside I fear.

 

October 1972

 

 

 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Not Any More

And I turn again
With my back to the wind
Of change and cool unknown,
As I return to my homeland
With a handful of memories
And a hopeful smile in my eyes.

The nearer I get to home
The further I stray from home
And you with your welcoming warmth.
Yet still I carry on
Down endless grey paths
To a land that no doubt will have changed.

Deliberately alone,
Accidentally lonely,
I feel that I just have to go there
So that someone will tell me
In words harsh not soft 
That it's their home -
Not mine any more.

March 1972

 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Goodnight

Sleep my dear
And let me watch you
In wonder as you dream.

Dream, my dear,
And dream of me
Watching you
Sleep, my dear. 

20 April 1972

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Do You Take This Man...

Will you be there
When I smile at you
Will you be there
When I cry
Will you be there
When I feel so good
Will you be there
When I sigh
Will you be there
When I sleep with you
Will you be there
Whilst I dream
Will you be there
When I'm unnoticed
Will you be there
When I'm seen
Will you be there
When the day goes wrong
Will you be there
When I'm sad
Will you be there 
When I feel strong 
Will you be there 
When I'm glad 
Will you be there
When I wonder why
Will you be there
When I ask you
Will you be there
When I want you to
Will you be there
When you want to, too. 

20 April 1972

 

Star

Winding pathway through the conifers
Takes us to a milk-white cloud 
And, busrting through in an instant of snow-flakes,
We stare disbelievingly at the wonders of the night.

See the tortoise race the hare,
Hear the long grass whispering, 
Feel someone calling out,
Know you're in paradise.

Strange eyes in well-known faces
Glance our way in surprise
As we take to the stage and star
In our very own première. 

With our bright lights or
Our smiling faces or
Our effortless performance or
Our sound of applause,

Hoping that Grandma
Will be proud of us. 

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Glimpse

A round flash of colour -
Maybe blue, maybe grey -
A small dark centre,
Darkened by the depth
Of the world of which
It is only the beginning.
Sparkling somehow,
Reflecting beauty,
Reassuring friendship
Flashing a warning.
To catch her eye for a second
Is to see so far into her mind
That you blink
And look away,
A little scared, in case too much becomes known. 

 

15 February 1972

 

Friday, 25 February 2011

Peter

Peter just sits there silently
Watching the people go by and
Wishing he were one of them.
He smiles at his little book of
Delicate doodles and drawings that
Say the things he can't say.

His clothes are his brother's who
Is doing well in the city.
His hair is cut too short on
Sundays when his uncle comes
With the scissors and another
Pencil and little sketch book.

Mary just sits there and looks at
Him in his little world of no sound 
Telling him fireside stories which only
They know and only they hear.

A door slams goodbye after supper,
A car engine whispers 'they're gone',
A glance at each other says
More than just words,
A kiss says forever
For a while again.

March 1972

 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

And Still The Light Keeps Burning

I run down
A never ending slope
To a bright blue lake
Of sympathetic water
Surrounded by
The red and white stripes
Of deck chairs
In a room
In the country
Near one of those roads
Which goes round
And round
Next to the signpost
Pointing to the village
Of strange smiles
And don't you know faces
Facing nothing
That you don't know
Already
Connected by wires
To the socket
In the wall 
Where a picture
Hangs
Telling me I've been
There before
Before my eyes closed
On artificial sunshine
Trying to create
A world of their own
To see where the
Bluebells grow
In the pine needle wood
Next to the field
Where I fell asleep
And forgot
To turn the light off.

20 April 1972

 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sometime Between

Sometime between closing my eyes
To sleep and
Waking in the morning again
We're together in
One of those romantic scenes
Others only know at
Some kind of old time movie.
Our fingertips touch gently
As we look into
Each other's eyes knowingly.
I kiss your cheek in that nice way
Someone of
Our generation just never seems to do.
You smile at my baggy trousers and
My little bow tie whilst
I look down at the ground, embarrassed.
On a little island in carefree ocean
We are
Sometime between today and tomorrow.

13 March 1972

 

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Woman In White

Over the hill when the full moon is high
Sadness shimmers in the haze.
'Don't go there,' they say, 'while the dark owls fly'
'No not there' - in the distance they gaze.

Their eyes seem so weary, lacking lustre or shine
As they turn their heads back to the ground
Shuffling along with no sense of time
No smile of  joy, no laughter, no sound

Winter darkness veils the old houses
As candle shadows leap in the street,
Such silence only the unknown arouses
In the village, echoes waiting to greet
Morning's blue skies and cool breeze relief.
'She'll come again.' they say. 'But why?' they ask
'Why are we haunted?' 'Why so much grief?'
Questions perhaps to be answered at dusk.

Later in half-light strange, neither today nor tonight
When moon shadows send lambs running scared
Desperate sorrow arose neath the stars' light 
Few looked up, just the few who dared.

The shape of a woman appeared in the wood,
Walking silently yet demanding attention.
'I have come to you, as you all knew I would.'
Crystal voice spoke to aged apprehension. 

People knelt and bowed their heads to the earth.
'Look up!' she looked, 'You're old but alive,
'Not to linger for death did your mothers give birth. 
'I beg you, for love and laughter to strive.' 

'But why send us fear for thirty long years?'
Wondering voice cried out from the crowd,
'To our hearts so much fear, and so many tears?'
A question everyone echoed aloud.

'Aged are your voices, as the songs here once sung
'Like the last drop of snow in spring you remain
'And hide from the sun - you dare not be young -
You let sadness return once again.'

'I am that sadness, and the memories you know
'That'll stay until time will allow 
'You to forgive the girl who died long ago
'I've a right, I believe, to know how.'

3 March 1972  

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

I Believe

I believe there's a city in the pleasure-grass
with towers of hopeful in the clouds
a door in the smile-please opening to a hello
and a welcome-mat bristling with joy
somewhere that over the rainbow knows
but the better the devil ignores
somewhere that sometime goes for a wind in the stroll
visiting clothes-horse and whiter than whiter
accelerates motor-car and
fares tram-ride gaily whilst
heard sits there silent on
the sun 'neath the road-sign 

29 February 1972

 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mine Is

Getting dressed on a cold winter's morning
As the snow slowly whitens the ground
Making breakfast and lighting a fire
Crouching close to the warmth of a flame.
Smiling at faces at work when when I get there
Wondering what they're thinking and why
Opening a file and writing on papers
Trying to work hard when your mind wants to wander
Feeling hungry and parting with pennies
In return for a brief but hot meal
Sitting back for a moment to let it go down
Then waiting for 'time to go home'.

Watching the sky grow dark in the window
Seeing the moon grow bright as I leave
Listening to night's slow fall all around me
Hearing the rush-hour crowd rushing by.
Getting back to my room and one comfy chair
Resting in please don't disturb land
Writing that must write a letter to her
Reading it, folding it, just sitting holding it.
Closing your eyes at the end of the day
Dreaming of tomorrow and what it will bring
Hoping it's good knowing nobody knows
Sleeping by accident, dozing on pupose
Waking at dawn to an early bird song
Musing the mystery of mist on a grey day
Til sunshine bursts through once again.

15 February 1972

 

Monday, 14 February 2011

Words

So difficult to say
What I want to.
These very lines
Seem so inadequate -
Just scratching the surface
Of untold depth of meaning.
My mind cries aloud
But my voice merely murmurs.
My brain screams 'How?'
In a wondering whisper.

I can run through thoughts with ease
Only to stumble in audible clumsiness
Like dropping a knife
And severing my heart from my lips.
Miming to a record
Of well-used phrases.
I do want love care mean
I have can will need
I see know believe
I trust hear feel seem
I hope understand
I hope you understand.

 

15 February 1972 

With Infinite Care

To open the door on a an empty room
And look down as your heart sinks;
To walk across, as your mind wanders
Through thoughts like wisps of smoke
From the cigarette, burning;
To sit on the bed and logically think,
Then hold a pen and grasp some words
Suspended in the haze around you.
To move black over white
Like a stick in the snow
To describe wondering plight -
Where have you been?
Where'll you go? 
A hard fact in the cold
As the clock ticks aloud -
On your own you are bold,
But afraid in the crowd;
To wait and to smile
As you walk through the door
And look down at the child
Dropping ash on the floor;
To worry, wonder, laugh and cry,
To understand without knowing why,
To have and to hold
But never grow old;
To give, to try,
To live, to die,
To know that you know that
Is to love.

 

14 February 1971 First written and now published again on Valentine's Day. Something special, this one.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

In The Eyes Of A Girl

Do I?
Yes ...
Thanks...
"Hello -"
"Hello -"
You're beautiful.
And you ...
I wish ...
So do I ...
But ...
But ...
Quite ...
I'd like ..,
I could love ...
No ...
I'm sorry...
So am I.
"Pity... "
"Pardon?"
"Oh, sorry, just talking to myself..."
"Bye"
"Cheerio."

15 February 1972

Friday, 11 February 2011

If I could

If I could only read your mind,
I'd know;
If I could only hear your heart,
I'd listen;
If I could only see your thoughts,
I'd look;
If I could only touch your love
I'd hold
You in my arms
And tell you in silence 
And be a light in your darkness -
But I do -
So perhaps I can.

15 February 1972 Presumably a Gordon Lightfoot track inspired the start. 

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Masterpiece

Grey-tiled rooftops,
Dirty brick walls,
Smoke-blackened panes.
Drizzle of rain
From meaningless sky
In a dusty yellow frame.

That's the picture
On my wall.

15 February 1972  I think this was the view from my top story rented room in Morningside Edinburgh

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Tomorrow Perhaps

Wandering aimlessly in what next land,
Stumbling noisily over pound signs,
Counting pocket's pocket money,
Wishing it were countless.

Trying not to think,
Dying for a drink,
Standing on the brink
Of sit down and wait land.

Feeling almost but not quite happy
Then knowing out of luck sad,
Wanting to sleep until it's all over,
Closing wide open eyes.

Running away,
Forgetting to pay,
Remembering to say
"I'm sorry, it'll be all right soon."

Impatiently rushing at the sun,
Desperately clucthing at clouds,
Touching them slip through my fingers,
Falling down once again.

Tomorrow I know I must win.

20 January 1972

 

Thus

I walk through my mind
On a path called Why
That leads to a place called Where.
I eventually arrive
At a time named When
And I speak to a person
Called Who.

"Whyever do I wonder?
 Wherever do I go?
 Whenever do I get there?
 Whoever is there?" I ask.

Whoever it is that plays
Tricks with my eyes
That I can see
What I don't want to know;

Whoever it is that replies
Without words:
"Wherever you are, I am there,
 Whenever you are, I am then,
 Whyever you are,
 I'm the reason you are,
 Whoever you are
 I am you." 

18 January 1972 One of my favourites! I was definitely improving by then, if still a bit bizarre.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Young Love

map on the wall
directs me to the door
into darkness
where bespectacled pillows
sleep soundly
beneath flowering carpets
and undone shoes
whose feet scream
for peace 

picture on the wall
shows me the window
through a mountain
of whiteness
over a sea of tears
and foxglove seeds
whose hands reach
for eternity

letter on the table
takes me through time
into eternity
where i'm a mere pen
in your hand
writing down laughter
where the lines on your face
should be

 

18 January 1972 apparently 'unfinished'. Goodness knows where my mind was heading. Uncertainty and a fellow St Andrew's student Jim Robson influenced this, one of the first in a new style I began then.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Silent March

A thousand feet march a million miles,
Their orders an unwritten law.
Above their heads, forcing their smiles,
Flies the blood red banner of war.

From hamlets of life dead cities arise,
Amid newborn strife laughter's child dies,
Love's churches fall in rough shallow graves,
Deafeated saints crawl, condemned to be slaves

By an unspoken word from an unknown mind
In a land of anyone where no-one is kind, 
And seas of sorrow wash shores of sadness,
Where hate makes dark any glimmer of gladness.

A thousand hearts cry a million tears,
Their desire a mere open-mouthed stare.
But nobody, nobody, nobody hears -
There's nobody, nobody there. 

 

17 January 1972

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Where you live

Elephants fly in the sky
Where you live
And crocodile's friends drink tea,

And hippos always keep dry
Where you live
Where the moles can easily see.

Giraffes they go for walks
Where you live
Holding hands with the mice in the air

And the wise owl eternally talks 
Where you live
Whilst badger paints his lair.

I could pack my whole world in a case
Where you live, 
Including a sky blue and fair,

And I've got a smile on my face
Where you live.
Just wish that I could be there.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Dear Santa

For Christmas I'd like a racing car
Like Jimmy got last year
And a soldier and guns and army things
Like Jimmy got last year
And a plane that flies on its own
And a lorry that tips up
And a cowboy hat with tassles
And a gun that shoots real bullets
'Cos I wanna shoot Jimmy
'Cos I don't like Jimmy
'Cos he got lots of things
Last year
And I didn't
And I'm not speaking to Jimmy
And anyway 
Jimmy's bigger than me
And it's not fair.
So you've gotta help me Santa,
'Cos daddy won't.

 

December 1971 For some reason I really like this one. Has to be read faster and faster up to the last two lines. 

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Further Adventures of Unwin and Arthur

When Unwin and Arthur got home that night
They sat down to curry and beans.
They lit a candle and turned out the light
Then witnessed incredible scenes -
Natanielle came in and jumped on a plate
and started to dance all around,
Whilst the pair were amazed - how could she create
Such delicate steps with no sound?
"Must be dreaming," said Unwin to Arthur the bear,
"Or I've drunk just too much of your booze."
So assuring each other it wasn't her there,
They ate their fill and sat back for a snooze.

6 December 1971 Unwin was a furry pink elephant, Arthur a white teddy with a blue bow and I invented Natanielle (in my mind she was a tiny elephant dancer).

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A Child In Autumn

Leaves tumble gently to the mossy floor,
Softening his footsteps,
Easing his breathless hurry to the sun.

Wind whispers crisply through the sparsely-clad branches,
Caressing his heart,
Cooling the sweat on his worried brow.

Light flickers down on to welcoming late flowers,
Opening their eyes,
Brightening the path to a land they'll not ever see.

Like a watery world of wonder
A tear drops,
Falling with a leaf, landing lost on the ground.

Then another tear falls from the silhouette sky,
Pitying his sorrow,
Crying out for Mother to comfort, to care. 

Ferns softly stroke his little body,
Searching his mind,
Feeling for his hand to guide him home.

Tall trees slowly sway in their world above,
Beckoning him on,
Reaching up through the clouds for another hand.

As light fades the paths seem the same in the grey -
Turn back, turn around, turn again -
Lost.

Now flowers close with his eyes,
Dew mingles with his tears,
Night falls with his hopes of home.

Perhaps come morning
The late sun will rise
Once more
And a dying world 
Will make one last attempt
To take him through the forest of time -
And make good his escape
From the coming clutches of winter -
So that they may all
May finally sleep
Until Spring.

 

16 November 1971  

That She Loves Me

Arthur and Unwin went for a walk along the sands on the shore.
They had just had tea at Panda's place and were feeling pleasantly sore.
Arthur lay flat on his back on a dune and stared at the Moon above 
Whilst Unwin tried hard to tie knots in his tail
To remind him in case he forgot.

Panda had told them "Don't be late 'cos I'm tired,
And feeling incredibly dizzy -
'Twas the tiger, I swear, tying knots in his hair,
To remind him in case he forgot."

Then Arthur leapt up. "I'm asleep." he did cry.
"Rubbish!" said Unwin, "You're not!"
And promptly proceeded to knot Arthur's bow
To remind him in case he forgot.

The night was still young and nowhere a cloud
So the two of them started to talk.
"Don't you agree, my dear Unwin," said Arthur quite loud,
"That the air smells distinctly of pork?"
"No, it's ham or roast lamb," the elephant replied,
"With maybe a touch of plum jam."
"As you please," said the bear, who was combing his hair,
Whilst Unwin swayed with the breeze.

"Anyway, it's time to go home," they both said together,
As they romped through the sand on all fours -
Across the grass, tying knots in the stars -
To remind them in case they forgot,
Of course.

 

25 October 1971 

Monday, 31 January 2011

When

When I'm feeling small,
When I'm sad,
Walking just inches tall
Through the wasted time I've had;

When I'm feeling down,
When I'm alone,
With no friend around, 
To make this place feel home;

When I'm feeling low,
When I'm hurt,
My body hating so,
And feeling numb, inert;

When I'm crying,
Drowning in my tears,
My will to live is dying,
Stifled by my fears;

When I'm screaming
To the heartless night out there.
Afraid that I'll start dreaming
But the dark brings another nightmare; 

That's the time I need you, dear,
To make me reach up high.
That's the time I want you, dear, 
To help me to find blue sky;

That's the time I long for you, dear,
To cast away my fear;
That's the time I love you, dear,
Forever I'll love you, dear. 

 

27 September 1971 The first line of a Simon & Garfunkel track inspired this

 

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Sun, The Waves And Other Things

Soft blue wavelets
Gleam shrilly in sunlight
Flashing gently
In pinpoints of beauty
Cascading in harmony.
A cool splash of water
Comforts hard rock and
That stubborn silhouette,
Shielded in shadow,
Will soon melt and then smile
At the blue sky above.
Waves break over sand
In snowy white laughter,
Caressing so carefully,
Teasing tumbling pebbles
Which roll in pursuit to
Float freely in the blue,
Dancing weightless on the surface.
There's a seagull over there
Walking on the water,
Happy to be
Part of life's natural splendour.

 

3 May 1971 Kilrenny beach 

Friday, 28 January 2011

Seagull

How incredibly absurd
Most people say
To talk to a bird
Throughout the day.

I talk to a seagull
And he talks to me
Which makes me cheerful
And we seem to agree.

We get along fine
Just talking of friends
Whilst all the time
A concerned ear he lends.

We sort out ourselves,
The the world we debate
Then file onto shelves
To get things straight.

He flies through the sky
Finding somewhere to land,
Starts wondering why
People don't understand.

Free to think up there
And sort out his mind
About why some people care
But most are unkind. 

The next time you see him
Smile and say hello
But don't try to catch him
Or to the clouds he'll go.

Surrounded by cloud again,
The quietest place -
His very own fast lane -
Safe from your gaze.

Where he has the sun
Shining so bright
And he's free, the only one
Who can really see the light.

5 April 1971 Kilrenny beach

 

 

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

It Is

It's nice to be sure
That when you leave for a while
You will soon long for
That welcome home smile.
It's good to realise
Whether near or far
There'll be those deep brown eyes
Wherever you are,
And feel happy to entrust
All that you own
When you really must
Be left all alone.
It's cheering to be sad
Just for an hour,
Putting pen to a pad
And draw a red flower.
It's beautiful to know
You're being followed around
Wherever you go
Yet not hear a sound.
It must be beautiful
To be
Beautiful. 

 

30 March 1971

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Milk Float

A little milk float is standing
Just over there.
It looks happy, proudly bearing
Its daily burden.
An old lady is talking to it.
She's smiling.
She lightens its load
Slightly.
The little milk float is moving
A little further along ...
Just over there.

 

30 March 1971

 

Monday, 24 January 2011

Rabbit

When the sun shines in a clear blue sky
It just isn't the time to sit down and cry;
Tears for love or distance, so think and hope
Under blue above, to dance, then elope
With day dreams and summer's warmth and beauty,
Away from ties, trains, people and duty.
Run, skip or jump in a field with some lambs,
Watched in wonder by ewes and rams.
Invite them to join you, then climb some trees;
They'll refuse and scorn you, but do as you please.
Tumble and fall off a branch to the ground,
Smile then laugh at life, now scattered around.
Reassure the rabbit - leave Alice to chase
A white rabbit vanishing into the haze -
The haze of your very own Wonderland
Now losing reality without her hand.

You must wake up and see her before the red queen advances
So near that you'll forever sleep amongst chess board trances.
Mushrooms are blocking your path to humanity
'Behead!' is the order, screamed by insanity;
The sunlit warmth is now a cold steel glint
And the countryside assumes a blood-stained tint,
The lambs are enormous, their teeth are bared,
Frighteningly different from those whose joy you shared.
In fear you run, stumbling, lost in the grass,
Then suddenly halted by a wall of glass.
You sit down in despair, wondering if you matter at all -
And that very thought seems to shatter the wall.
Step through and adorn shirt, tie and collar,
Clasp that briefcase and rolled-up umbrella.
Jump on a bus and go for a ride.
Look out the window -
It's raining outside. 

 

30 March 1971

 

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Mirror, Mirror ... Who?

I drove away from the road
And climbed into the back seat.
I lit a cigarette and watched
The smoke curling round.
I looked in the mirror
And saw a face; it smiled, querulously. 
I smiled back.
"Is it I?" I asked,
"Encased in that two-dimensional world of yours?"
"Yes," the mirror replied
"Since I am you."
"But you only show a picture," said I. 
"Yes," the mirror replied
"Since you are but a picture."
"I am more than that," I hoped.
"Yes," the mirror confirmed,
"Since you think that you are."
"But other people think that too," I remarked.
"Yes," the mirror repeated,
"Since there are no other people."
"There are no other people?" I repeated.
 "Yes," the mirror repeated,
"Since I see no other people,
And I am you." 
"Thus I am you?" I repeated, reversedly,
Wonderingly.

 

30 March 1971 The first of a whole batch of writing I did sitting in 'The Cardinal', my 1957 Wolseley 1500, parked in The Booksellers' Retreat, Kings Langley at the end of my second term at St Andrews University.

Friday, 21 January 2011

ISITANDTHINK or just ISIT?

It's not easy to say
That you love someone else.
I said it today...
It's true, not false.
It's not easy to watch
A shiny tear fall
From one you loved much
And would once give all.
It's not easy to hope
That she'll understand,
And be able to cope
Without your hand.
It's not easy to see
Into two tender eyes
And convince her that she
Will soon realise...
...And very soon know
That while I'm away
Three into two do go -

At least, that's what I say.

It's not easy to mean
'I love you'
When it's easily seen
I love her too.
At least that's what I say.
And it's not easy.
It's not easy
To love. 

3 January 1971 

Thursday, 20 January 2011

I Smiled

I smiled today
At a baby
Who didn't understand.
I grinned today
When a child
Didn't understand.
I laughed today
At a youth
Who didn't understand.
I cried today
When a man
Wouldn't understand.

28 May 1970

 

 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Chase

I'm being chased by the world
Across the universe
By glass people.
Senseless and dumb.
Press a button, flick a switch,
And they'll work for you,
Speak for you, hear for you;
But they can't feel for you:
There's no trigger in the mind
Of a gun that shoots the heart,
And wounds you, kills you.
Then you're a dead person,
No longer being chased by the world,
No longer being hurt by the world.

The gun's been fired
Too many times
By too many people,
Already dead, killed by the world
In the chase.

Catch me if you can. 

 

27 May 1970

Break even

Gold
Is what you find
When you lose your heart
Then get high again.
Gold,
Just enough to pay
For the trip.

 


 

High -
ho! -
Silver!! -
Lining. 

 


 

The root of all evil
Is beneath the
Tree of Knowledge 

 

May 1970 Three little notes when things seemed good but weren't really after all.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Sentient being

I can see
I can hear
I can touch
I can speak
I can feel
And it hurts. 

 

May 1970

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Perhaps 2

Perhaps one day
One girl will talk
To one boy
Who's not just looking on
But listening.

I drove home that night
Faster than ever,
I felt like shouting out
"At last we're together!"

The air was warm
But I was shivering'
I felt so good
I couldn't stop quivering.

I didn't need to dream at all,
Just lay awake for hours,
Clinging to the wonderful -
'Perhaps one day' was ours. 

A dream that came real
Of love that was real
Creating a smile
And a glint in the eyes.
Something now that I'll
Not want to disguise.

Morning came soon,
But could not bring me down
From a cloud of reality
That just would not frown. 

 

April 1970 See Perhaps a while ago.

 

Wild white wilderness

A robin's red breast stands out in the snow.
At this time of year even he has no foe,
Except, that is, the cold wind and frost
Devouring so harshly precious breadcrumbs he's lost
In a wild white wilderness that chills all men.
Yes, Christmas time is here again.

 

December 1969

 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

I am black

My ears are deaf
To people's words,
My eyes are blind
To their curious gaze,
My mouth is dumb
But replies silently,
My mind is dead -
Slaughtered by hate,
My limbs are broken -
Just parts of my body -
Buried in a black coffin of skin
Six foot above the ground.

 

December 1969 [It's just occurred to me that I hadn't ever seen a black person then, except in a newspaper or on tv.]

Friday, 14 January 2011

And silence.

Awoken by some instinctive alarm
You get up out of bed
And yawn.
You grab a pair of grey flannel trousers
Wander into the bathroom
And wash. 
Swing a tie round your neck,
Drop in at the breakfast table
And eat.
Complain about having to go to school,
Wrap up and rush to the bus-stop
And wait.
Watch two yellow spots grow larger
And two red ones grow smaller
And go home again. 
Climb out of father's car at school
Turn up in the formroom
And talk.
Get hustled over into an abbey.
Mumble about Maths prep
And sing.
Sing silent anthems
To one who wears a veil
Even to fervent believers.
Between verses -
A silent question,
A silent reply,
And silence.

Probably 1968 - St Albans School days

 

Empty

Just sitting here, looking
Out of the window
At the blue sky
And the sun so low; 
Just sitting here, thinking
Of how happy I am:
I haven't a care,
I don't give a damn; 
Just sitting here, dreaming
Of life's reality:
Violence, pain,
Apartheid, inequality;
Just sitting here, bleeding
From wounds to my mind
Caused by others' words,
Harsh and unkind;
Just sitting here, wondering
Why
I'm just sitting here, blind.

 

December 1969 Not at all sure where this came from! [Nor the next one coming tomorrow! ]

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

When I'm 72

In the year 2024
I am going to die.
Because I'm Mr Average.
I have already lived
One quarter of my life
And have only just started living.
Every day that passes
Brings me nearer to my grave.
If I save a penny
For every day of my life
I will have only
Eighty one pounds -
Not even enough
To change my name. 

November 1969 Presumably this arose from the Zager & Evans No.1 and a Beatles' track. The calculation is right, £1 = 240d then!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Umbrella

The wind has blown his umbella
Inside out.
What a pity.
That's what life is all about
In the rain
In the city.

November 1969 London commuters on my mind this month but no idea why as it was a year before I would become one.

Bowler Hat Blues

He wakes up.
He gets up with difficulty.
He quickly swallows
A cup of tea
With two sugars and not too much milk.
He catches the 8:17 to Euston
And arrives on time.
He's dead. Dead to a dead world
Of dead on time people,
Thriving on punctuality sandwiches.

The train was late today.
There was an accident near the station.
Some stupid young chap
Threw himself under the train.
Now he's dead. Dead to a dead world
In which to dying for life
Seems better than living to die.

November 1969 

Monday, 10 January 2011

Beautiful, just beautiful

When the pale moon grows bright
And the silhouetted trees
Move on the horizon
In a cool night's breeze,
And a hand in your hand
Holds you warmly,
And lips on your lips
Speak without words,
You realise that
No longer are you standing alone
But floating together on clouds
With your mind in the sky,
Dancing to Venus' tune.

October 1969 Fond memories of Abbots Road, Abbots Langley.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Good Boy

One of these days
I'll jump on a bus
And take a free ride
And go bathing
When it's high tide.
One of these days
I'll throw stones at police
Carry a banner
Demonstrate for peace.
One of these days
A new day will dawn
That'll be the day
That I'll be no longer torn
Between what I should
And shouldn't do.
It's hard being good
And being myself too. 

October 1969

Saturday, 8 January 2011

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen ...

I awoke that morning
To the smell of bacon
And trudged downstairs.
'Hello," I said, as
I sat down
At a bare table.
A joyful shouting drifted
Through the wall with
That smell of bacon.
I tore at a crust.
'Happy Christmas,' I said .

December 1968


 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Immortal Fear

The coldness of the grey stone wall behind you,
That dampness that mingles with the sweat on your hands.
The sight of the lamb that escaped the culler's blade
Only to meet a fate far worse 
That, thank God, her tiny mind never understood.

The wind cries as it rushes through
The paneless windows
In search of shelter that doesn't exist.

The bitter taste of the crisp air
That will forever haunt your lips
As does that of a death that you once deferred
And now long for. 

January 1969? Where did this very dark stuff came from? Possibly Vietnam TV coverage.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Perhaps

Every morning
At the same bus-stop
At the same time
The same girl
With the same boy.

Another looks on,
Yet another talks
To the one looking on
Who's not listening.

One girl, three boys.
One talks, one looks
And the other talks
To the one looking on
Who's not listening.

The same bus arrives.
Now one girl, two boys -
One looks, one talks
To the one looking on
Who's not listening.

Perhaps one day,
One girl will talk
To one boy
Who's not just looking on,
But listening.

March 1968 Waiting for the 322 bus from Abbots Langley to Hemel. Carole Young in the queue.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Fool On The Hill

Bulging eyes stare,
Fingers search abysses
Of toothless mouths.
Middle-aged women
With the voices
Of 90-year-old men
Pick their noses
And play hide and seek.

Then someone shrieks.
Someone else laughs,
The first falls,
The second runs.
Men flood in
And, one at a time,
Tear at the body.

Later, satisfied and bloody,
They fall to the ground,
Fast asleep,
With yellow grins
On mellow faces
Of 6 year-olds.

They won't sleep for long,
No-one ever does.
They can't.
There's always someone -
Laughing, grinning, mocking
at the man in the house
At the top of the hill.

He's frightened to come down, they say.
He's built a wall
So that he can't get out, they say.
He plays music
So that they can't hear him, they say.

He has windows
So that he can see them coming, they say.
He's different - queer, weird.
He has weird, queer things
And he grows
Things
Behind the wall.
They say. They say say say.

He looks wrong:
He has two legs
Two arms
Two feet
Fingers
On both hands
And other things
Other things
They say.

Yes, there's always someone
Laughing, grinning, mocking
At the
Fool
On the hill.

January 1968 Influenced by The Beatles' track of the same name on their newly released Magical Mystery Tour EP

It's a free world?

No law was broken
No advantage taken
No offence committed
Except one, admitted,
Improving the bank balance
With too many advertisements.

But their freedom was curbed
and although quite absurd
They were forced off the air
By men with white hair
And oaken walking sticks.

So now on two sixty-six
Just a fuzz of air -
No there's nothing there.
Now's there's just two four seven,
And that stops at eleven!

In protest at the curbed freedom of Radio London - thus disbanded 15 august 1967

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Psychedelia


Purple
Deep Purple
Deeper purple
Dark purple
Darker purple
Darkness
Blackness
Black clouds
Velvet shrouds
No feeling
Ceiling reeling
Vision and hearing
Light that's searing
To a brain
But no pain
Don't blink
Don't think
Just realise
That your eyes
See. see lights
That your ears
Hear. Hear sounds
Sight and sound
Exist for a second
Every other second.

Heavy rock playing at a disco. August 1967

Nothing

Swirling patterns,
Black discs revolving,
Grooves spiralling
Never endingly
Towards a centre
That doesn't exist.

Velvet blackness
Unable to darken
The room completely
For flashing patterns
Of discordant colours
That don't exist.

People moving
To an individual sound
They only can hear;
No reason, no feeling,
Just grooving around,
No love, no fear -
They don't exist.

August 1967 about people on drugs at a disco

Monday, 3 January 2011

Another World

A cool breeze
Wafts through fields
Green, gold and brown.
What he sees
The country yields
To the tourist from town.

They can't realise
The pace of life
Is slowed right down,
Nor why those eyes
Are focussed on the wife
Of the tourist from town.

Every tensed muscle
Relaxed in the green
And, oh, what a pity
That amid all the bustle
Only grey can be seen
By men in the city.

A country lane
Twisted to a sign
Where two tracks parted.
He turned to the right
Then came back again
To the very same sign
Back where he started.

Yes, those fields of green
That form our countryside,
Where pastel colours flow unfurled,
Are by many people seen
Not as a place to abide -
But quite another world.

You Cannot Conquer Time

The rocket was prepared,
Everything was polished,
Everything was streamlined
To the last rivet head
Or menacing tail fin.

Just climbing into the cockpit
Was the gallant Professor.
According to his theories
If one travels round the earth
At twice the speed the earth
Is revolving, then after two days
One will be precisely two days
Ahead of Earth time.

Those who couldn't understand,
Those who wouldn't understand,
Those who dare not understand
Had told him
"You cannot conquer time."

The countdown began:
10 - 9 - 8 - 7
6 - 5 - 4
3 - 2- 1
Zero!
With a fiery blast of red and yellow
Followed by a thunderous roar,
As if Nature herself were rebelling,
The rock took off.
The Professor set out on Tuesday
On his journey
To conquer time.

He was alone up there,
Haunted by the ghostly stars
In the silent blackness
And by his thoughts -
Other people's warnings -
"You cannot conquer time."
Echoing round the round room.

Soon people began to realise
That if the professor landed
Two days ahead of them
They would never see him,
never catch up with him.
His prize for conquering time
Would be to be alone in their future.

On Thursday people said
They saw a shooting star.
However upon examination,
A round cockpit was revealed,
Encasing a shrivelled burnt body.

The Professor had avoided the sentence
But couldn't
Or, perhaps, dared not
Conquer time.

Time Span

I wandered
Across the hard, monotonous, concrete yard,
Past two modern, indifferent houses
And past their immaculate, boring gardens
Coloured, not by blossoming flowers' colours,
But by litter, or children's toys, new,
But unnoticed while newer ones were free;
Through a gate painted a conspicuous green.
Perhaps, three years ago it would have blended
Into a background of green trees and meadows.
Now only a noisy butcher's van
And the occasional drainpipe were green.
Then I came to a bridge -
Not modern and angled
But old, very old, and delicately blessed with moss
Whose gentle curve was just slightly slippery enough
To catch unawares the well-dressed young man
Who, in a hurry, had chanced the short-cut
Through the uncivilised to civilisation.
Here I stopped, but my thoughts wandered on...

My thoughts wandered
Across a muddy, ever water-logged field,
Past the ancient ruin of an ancient house, waiting,
Waiting to be put out of its agony,
And past its overgrown, yet still bright gardens,
On whose tangled growth no litter dared alight,
Through a gate, broken down yet still a gate -
It kept foes out but let friends in.
Everything was brown or green or shades of these.
Then no man had dared spoil Nature's d├ęcor,
Only Nature herself,
Who had made the sky and waters blue.

Then suddenly a new colour had pervaded the scene -
When the sky turned grey
And the waters turned grey,
Bright yellow streaks shot through the sky,
Straight and angled, fast and fierce,
Followed by a noise that rumbled and terrified.
Perhaps Nature had seen into the future
And predicted, only too truly, to man
The angled shapes,
The bright lights,
The noise.
Life,
That was to come,
And to stay.

A Day In The Life

A boy woke to the patter
Of rain on the window
But that didn't matter -
He was already feeling low.

He got up out of bed,
"What a terrible day,"
Was all that he said,
But his thoughts were of  another day.

Such a day - he'd never forget
When he went for a walk...
The pretty girl he met...
When they started to talk...

It all came out. He'd seen her before
And felt she was the one.
Their hours couldn't be more
Filled with laughter and fun.

Hand in hand they strolled.
Together through the town
Neither really very old,
She in blue, he in brown.

Both about fourteen
And perfectly content.
Age. What does it mean?
What had it meant?

That day was timeless
Or so it was seeming
That first caress -
Surely he was dreaming?
But it was real
And it was true
But they knew and could feel
That the day would soon be through.

They soon decided
That they would meet again.
Let their age be derided
They felt no shame.

Yes a perfect day
That seemed to stop time.
They could have stayed all day
And lain in the sunshine.

The sun was just sinking
Later behind a night cloud,
Alone the boy was thinking
How to dispose of the shroud
Of disgusted glances
That were shot at the pair,
The shroud that enhances
And hangs in the air.

Why can't those who've lived long
Try to understand
That there's nothing wrong
In holding a girl's hand?
Why this segregation
Of teens from adults?
Forcing separation
Like two different cults.

Yesterday was fun -
My spirits were high,
And happy I'd become -
Yes that boy was I.

I had often dreamed
Of that special day -
A day that seemed
To, come what may,
Dispel everything bad
Or, rather, just delay
All that was sad
Until today.

May 1967 About the first time I actually went out with a girl called Gillian Hawkins in Hemel Hempstead.

Boxes in the garage

I've just found some boxes in a garage. Inside there are all sorts of things that I thought I'd lost years ago. The things I'm especially pleased to have found are poems, school homework and drawings from the 1960s and 70s, with another pile from the early 1980s.

There are hundreds of bits and pieces and this is me starting to publish them all, well, most of them. It's going to take ages but brings back so many memories that I get completely lost in the past, remembering how happy, mischievous, sad, in love, angry, frustrated, confused I must have been in my teenage years and, indeed, later years too by the seems of things!

I hope readers will enjoy some of these too.