The Raising Of The Trickster

The Raising Of The Trickster

 

When the western sky turns slowly into the colour of an old bruise

And the last orange streaks of daylight bleed from the setting sun

A cold white vapour swirls through the fields of corn its fingers prising apart the stalks

As the lands of Albion darken and strange noises start to crawl from the mist.

 

At the edge of the fields there sprawls a ...

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Ghost Towns

Ghost Towns

 

Somewhere off the data highway

Quite close to router sixty-six

There lies a ghost town of splintered glass

A graveyard of useless stones and bricks

 

This is where the glitterati lived

They used to come in rumbling hoards

Stumbling through automatic doors

they walked the aisles of shiny floors

 

Nothing there now but skeletal racks

Dust settled ...

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We Get It!

We Get It!

 

We get it

It’s dangerous

Lethal, I think they said

We hide indoors

Obey the laws

It’s better than being dead

 

We get it

But it won’t harm

Getting a hug or two

It’s Christmas after all

And deserved

After what we’ve all been through

 

We get it

The vaccine’s near

So we’ll all end up being alright

A kiss

Under the mistletoe

...

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A November Haunting

A November Haunting

 

Halloween

Has come and gone

Leaving us with its

Vicious little demons

 

The howling wind

Screaming down the chimney

Like a banshee

 

Brittle twigs

Whipping along the windows

tiny scratching claws

of desperation

 

A wolf howl

Through the eaves

 

The cloying damp touch

Of dead leaves

 

Ice cold drizzle

Down th...

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The Unknown Soldier's Prayer

The Unknown Soldier’s Prayer

 

I could be your husband, father, son.

The lost bones of another pointless war.

A flag to drape across my resting place,

transported from a distant, hostile shore.

 

I could have been a tinker, tailor, thief ,

lying here for a century and more,

those passing trades mean little to me - now

the angry guns have relinquished their roar.

 

...

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Wraith

Wraith

 

We all reach that point in life

Where Halloween holds no magic

The ragged clothes and haggard looks

The pale of face and wrinkled mask

The wild unkempt hair of cobwebs

The brittle touch of ancient hand

 

The racing heartbeat

Pounding out its horror rhythm

The nervous look into dark corners

Death waiting across the grey veil

A cold sweat and night chi...

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Spirits

Spirits

 

The first

Showed me how it had been

The laughter and the tears

Sliced turkey

Rich juices flowing

Lights and tinsel

Greens and reds and silvers

The smell of pine

Needles on the carpet

Arguments and recriminations

Old wounds opened

New wounds pierced

This was how it was

 

The second

Showed me how it is

Lonely day holy night

The only ...

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Damnation Trail

Damnation Trail

 

Through forests dark and shadowed vale

He follows the damnation trail

Along the river’s twisted course

Through bracken thick and clutching gorse

The ancient path cut through the land

He walks with devil’s hand in hand

 

And where his steps flatten the crops

No more will grow the wheat and hops

For he has footsteps cast in death

He steals the fa...

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Corruption

Corruption

 

Here in the verdant meadows

All on a summer’s day

The dreaded army of the dark

Met with the noble fey

They fought until the long sundown

And the lost blood of the dead

Soaked into the sacred ground

And turned the roses red

 

When the fight was over

And the legion of the flies

Had swarmed across the corpses

Stealing hope from sightless eyes

...

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CrowLore

Crow Lore

 

We sit and watch the world go by

On fences long and oak trees high

The waxing moon the setting sun

We are the crows of Albion

 

We chronicle the human ways

Their restless nights and confused days

Mother, daughter, father, son

We are the crows of Albion

 

Our stories written down in books

Guarded well by crows and rooks

And no one knows what we ...

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Prophecy

Prophecy

 

The crows tell of the walking man

Who travels fields by day and night

The walking man who’s not a man

Who strides between the dark and light

 

Soulless, cursed to stumble through

The endless hedgerows of the land

He wished for life but walks in death

He is the sweet prince of the damned

 

The hares and rabbits run from him

The fox and wolf walk by ...

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Lazarus Curse

Lazarus Curse

 

I trudge across these ancient lands

Where crops are reared by human hands

And all I leave are footsteps deep

a crop the scythe will never reap

 

I see the changing seasons turn

The new shoots grow, bonfires burn

From the soil the world will grow

I track the sacred rivers flow

 

These things of beauty pass me by

I have no soul I cannot die

F...

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Resurrected

Resurrected

 

Down here where the beetles crawl

Where the leaves of autumn fall

A spider’s web of veins uncoil

To animate the resurrected

 

Sap permeates the ancient heart

A life’s blood for another start

Coursing through the body

Of the newly resurrected

 

Orbs of light spark into eyes

The keening of a newborn’s cries

Escapes the brittle twisted lips

T...

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Apothecary

Apothecary

 

Beneath the ancient gallows tree

There sits an old apothecary

Where deep within its ancient rooms

Resides an old man selling ‘shrooms

That he has harvested from soil

Of graveyards where the serpents coil

And if the ache screams in your joints

Just follow where the way-marker points.

 

The place smells of dust and moist mildew

And the foul dark liqui...

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White Witch Of Winter

White Witch Of Winter

 

Corvus the white witch

Once flew the sky on crow’s wings

And fed on battlefield dead

She ate the hearts of serfs and kings

But soon she lost the taste for flesh

And transformed into what winter brings

Her skin is cold to human touch

She feasts on other-worldly things

 

She turns snowflakes into blizzards

Freezes your blood and tears

Sh...

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The Pumpkin Queen

The Pumpkin Queen

 

The pumpkin queen is orange

Like the colour of her fruits

She wears a giant apron

And polished hob-nailed boots

She has a heart as big as Oceans

And helps others when it suits

The pumpkin queen is deeper than

An oak tree’s ancient roots

 

She sits in regal glory

On a throne of wood and leaves

And will animate her chosen one

As long as i...

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Messiah Of The Fields

Messiah Of The Fields

 

They left me hanging on a cross

The saviour of the summer crops

Just rag and straw so no great loss

My blood is in the wheat and hops

 

I faced the black and vicious hoard

Their coal cruel eyes and sharpened beaks

I am the ragged overlord

Who scares the crow yet never speaks

 

They pray to me to save their soils

From dark boned devils ...

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Britannia Waives The Rules

Britannia Waives The Rules

 

Rule Britannia?

Britannia waives the rules

Encourages returning to the pubs

Puts students back in schools

One rule for the inebriated

One to avoid uneducated fools

The slavering wolf of commerce

Rolls its bloodshot eyes and drools

 

Britain’s never, never, never

Shall be slaves?

Burying its vulnerable

In Covid-shallow graves

...

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Aching All Over

Aching All Over

 

My back aches and my head aches

And my eyes ache in bright light

My arms ache and my hands ache

When I go to bed at night

But when anybody asks me

I just say that ‘I’m alright’

Aching All Over

 

My ears ache when I listen

To those heavy metal hits

My stomach aches after a curry

My arse aches after the shits

My toes and fingers ache

As ...

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The Mound

The Mound

 

It started way back when I was a child

One cold November night in sixty-four

Old furniture and windfall from the trees

Piled high into a mound of combustibles

 

Each year new kindling was added to ashes

That had smudged the verdant back garden lawn

Layer upon layer added to the blackened hill

That was gradually growing towards the sky

 

One year I lo...

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To The Saint Of Lost Causes

To The Saint Of Lost Causes

 

Melancholy Monday

Brown sugar blues

In the same vein

As your father

 

But you never made it

Across the river

To the other side

 

When you combine

The names of flawed giants

Who have fallen by the wayside

More than once

There is a grim

Divination

 

You leave us

Those sweet moments

From the Tennessee sun

To ...

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Turning Mirrors

Turning Mirrors

 

Roll up, Roll Up

For the job swap circus

Where the occupations

Of minor celebrities

Drawn to the power

Of politics

Are filled by the learned

Men they depose

 

Hanz Folckhart the physicist

Walks on a tightrope

Whilst juggling the balls

Of the theory of gravity

Bernard Bochelli a notable chemist

Throws great custard pies

At the blo...

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The Bayonet In The Shed [REPOST with audio]

I'm reposting this poem with the audio I recorded of it (as a song) to commemorate my father and the other soldiers who fought during WW2 in Asia - The Forgotten Army of Burma - for the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day

 

The Bayonet In The Shed

 

He put it there in forty nine,

in a woodworm riddled drawer,

wrapped it in a greasy rag.

A remnant from the war.

On top of it he laid h...

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Dog Day

Dog Day

 

The day was hot

Hot and humid

Stretching out

Into a dog day afternoon

 

The boy was young

Young and stupid

Stretching out

Beneath the furnace sun

 

The tarn was cold

Cold and ruthless

Stretching out

Along the sunny banks

 

The swim was exhilarating

Exhilarating and cooling

Stretching out

And heading for the shore

 

The tar...

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Otherness

Otherness

 

We all know they’re riddled with Otherness

And they’re bringing it over here

I don’t care if they have the same body parts

It’s their Otherness that I fear

They’ll only have to look at you

And you’ll catch their Otherness too

They’ll be lazy, scrounging, Otherness spreading

Heathens – not like me and you

 

I bet they had lives of champaign and caviar

...

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Covid Mary

Covid Mary

 

This world is made of razorblades and bile

Where every step is dangerous to tread

Bloody footprints stretch out mile after mile

Leading to the bone mansions of the dead

They chew on rotting meat and bitter wine

And breath the fetid air of charnel house

The graveyards filled with beggars is a sign

Of every corrupt moral they espouse

In darkened rooms they ...

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Curfew

Curfew

 

Leave the light on – lock the door

This ritual plays out each Friday

A barrier to the debauched reveller

Who slips behind the clock returning home

 

A curfew for the beer vampire

Who will only find a soothing bed

If father specifically invites him in

After knocking twice and shouting through the letterbox

 

This ancient tribal face off

Between uprigh...

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The Turning Of The Tide

The Turning Of The Tide

 

Walking along the beach at sunset

A romantic moment at holiday’s end

The sand and condoms slip between our toes

The dying red rays reflecting in rock pools of piss

And glinting off discarded coco-cola bottles

Children collecting the shell-like husks of food cartons

And skimming smooth flat plastic plates into the sea

Surf lapping gently against ...

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Amputation & Education

Amputation & Education

 

Some wounds won’t scab over

As some wounds never heal

They are infected by colonial blades

That hot irons won’t seal

Puss filled abominations

tainted by avarice and greed

you cannot absolve the guilty knife

whilst open wounds still bleed

 

You say ‘history was not written in pencil,

You cannot rub it out’

It’s not what it was written ...

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One Hundred Days In Plague Town

One Hundred Days In Plague Town

 

I met a man in Plague Town

With bird’s beak and a long black coat

He carried a cane in his left hand

He spoke to me and I quote:
‘Don’t travel far from your fire son

Go runaway and hide

For Fear stalks the streets of Plague Town

Some are ill and others have died’

 

So I went back home as he told me

And I sat and counted the days

...

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Insomniac

Insomniac

 

The floorboards above

Crack like rheumatic bones

Late at night

The house groans

And wind whispers

Through the open windows

 

The curtains open

The lights out

The darkness presses

Against the window

A streetlight drops

White light on the path

 

I can see a pale moon

Crawling through the trees

A cat sashays

Beneath the porch opposi...

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Six Grandfathers

Six Grandfathers

 

There is a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Where the sculptor Gutzon Borglum chiselled rock

Into the shape of four gigantic heads

Symbolising birth, growth, development, preservation

Sixty foot high lies on the formation of a nation

Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln

You were not here at this great lands birth

You stole it and sha...

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Marketplace

Marketplace

 

This space is like a ghost town

Trestle tables row on row

Echoing with the hustle bustle

Vendors cries of long ago

 

I held my mother’s hand

And listened to them shout

‘apples sixpence a pound

Come on get your money out!’

 

Comics stored in cardboard boxes

Toys stacked high on stands

Gleaming in the Friday sun

Just out of reach of sticky h...

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Spells

Spells

 

She paints pebbles with rainbows

And places them on walls

Poetry on larger stones

For others to find

 

It is a small act of kindness

Of acknowledging our plight

She takes the paints and daubs

Her handprint on a slate

 

All over the footpaths and walks

Her art is left to the elements

A bright sun shining

through dark clouds

 

the people wh...

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Old Vic

Old Vic

 

Once these doors close

The lights are dimmed

They may never open again

 

The soft ghosts of actors

Fading in our memory

Leaving only distant echoes

 

The bright gaudy costumes

The greasepaint and powders

All left where they last fell

 

The empty seats collect dust

The stage becomes a mausoleum

Of tragedy and comedy

 

Pennies draining ...

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Needles & Thread

Needles & Thread

 

I remember her sat at an old Singer sewing machine

Turning the handle in the half-light of autumn

Making dresses and skirts for herself

So that precious pennies could be invested in children

 

She made me a Lone Ranger mask

From remnants of black cloth

She had left from one of her creations

I wore it with pride and a whoop and a holler

 

When ...

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We Never Suspected A Thing

We Never Suspected A Thing

 

Serial Killer

Feathers on the patio

Innocent soft eyes

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You Could Own An Upright Piano

You Could Own An Upright Piano

 

You could own an upright piano

The newspaper advert said

And although I can’t play one

The words got messing with my head

 

We had one when I was a young boy

It stood in the front room, unused

Because no one in our house could play it

So it left all our visitors bemused

 

Well – actually – I could play ‘Chopsticks’

And my gran...

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advertchildhood memoriesday92lack of abilitypianopurchasetemptingurge

Hand Count

Hand Count

 

Sixty times a minute

I have travelled round this face

Three thousand six hundred times an hour

I have faithfully kept pace

Eighty six thousand four hundred times a day

I’ve ticked along

Six hundred and four thousand eight hundred times a week

Always right and never wrong

Eighteen million one hundred and forty four thousands times an average month

Relen...

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Bull In A China Shop

Bull In A China Shop

 

‘all breakages must be paid for’

She told the bull in the china shop

As he stamped his hooves impatiently

And snorted through his ringed nostrils

 

So he tiptoed around glass cabinets

Admiring the fine white porcelain

The delicate hand painted vases

The plates and cup and saucers

 

Until he saw the red beating heart

Pumping rhythmically...

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napowrimo2017day29(90)bullchina shopfeelingslovecontrolheartbreakending relationships

The Dig

The Dig

 

Thousands of years later

They found the sacred site

And used their soft sable brushes

To clear the earth from their finds

Here was what looked like a drinking vessel

Owned by a Covid-19 man called Persil

And look part of a plate with the lettering McDon

So possibly owned by someone from the Northern Zone

Inflation devices with logos of Asda and Lidl

Ancie...

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Eye Of The Storm

Eye Of The Storm

 

The black clouds gather

Heavy rain drops splat

There is iron on your tongue

The bitter taste of storm

Head thick with thunder

White light splits the sky

The trailing crack rattles windows

A cat cowers beneath a bush

Shivering in its fear

The deluge follows

Straight javelins of rain

You lift your head back

As the heavens empty

Water fi...

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Independence Day

Independence Day

 

At first they said ‘infect the herd’

but experts told us ‘that’s absurd,

you will cause deaths in the old.

What sort of shepherd risks the fold?’

So they put the cattle in the pen

only to be let out when

the time was right, or so they said,

they didn’t want their people dead.

The woolybacks baa’d and the daft cows moo’d

And farmer Boris calculate...

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Lucky Coins

Lucky Coins

 

It would have been about nineteen seventy-seven

Outside The College pub at ‘Closing Time’

When I nearly stumbled over an old man

Lying by a slate stone wall.

 

He was dressed in dark clothes and had grey hair

That lay across his face

So that his features were obscured

And he was trying to pull himself up to his feet

 

I stepped towards him and help...

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napowrimo2017day25(86)coinslucksuperstitionshilling

Lockdown Birthday

Lockdown Birthday

 

We walked up from the river

Beneath a canopy of trees

The air was filled with birdsong

On a warm and gentle breeze

The sun was high in the June sky

The road stretched out ahead

We drank some wine together

shared cheese and new baked bread

 

After lunch we wandered home

The air was hot and hazy

Then we sat around and drunk beer

Refused t...

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napowrimo2017day24(85)birthdaylockdowncelebratingmaking the best of itsuncompanionship

Mask

Mask

 

Mask

Covers face

Unknown eyes watching

Religious tolerance found wanting

Fear

 

Mask

Double standards

Stops the spread

Of disease and death

Secure

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covid 19day 23(84)double eleveniedouble standardsfearmasksnapowrimo2017religionreligous intolerancesafety

Save The Planet & Your Heart

Save The Planet & Your Heart

 

The seed drill not the fracking drill

Will serve our country best

The vegetables not the beasts we kill

Will be humanities test

Plague is never spread

from the fruits of the earth

when we pay such a heavy price

what is a carcass worth?

 

From cattle, bird or bat

There spreads human disease

Letting the gristle and the fat

Brin...

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anti-fossil fuelanti-frackingday 22(83)georgic formgoing greennapowrimo2017veganvegetarian

Mischievous Pedant

I wanted to wish him happy Fathers Day

But according to pedantic Facebook chatter

I’m not allowed to do that any more

Because hashtag ‘All Parents Matter’

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napowrimo2017day21(82)fathers dayall parents matterBLM analogypedantic

The Biff!

The Biff!

 

I’ve seen it happen anywhere

Rochdale on a pouring down Sunday afternoon

Melbourne on a baking hot Saturday

Featherstone on a cold midwinter Friday night

Sydney on a misty winter Wednesday

The Biff!

 

At the eruption of a scrumdown wrestle

The stiff arm of a bewitched fullback

As a dancing standoff sidesteps his frame

A punch that comes from the seco...

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day 20(81)fightsnapowrimo2017punch upsrugby leaguesportthe bifftough

Creation Myth

Creation Myth

 

If you were God

You would create a back story

On how you came to be

 

Something about a mother

And a father coming together

 

You would gradually create

The world around you

And the history of what went before

In order to keep you sane

 

You would form existence

to fit your needs

And each thing learned new

Would be to satisfy the r...

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napowrimo2017day19(80)creation mythself awarenessgodlifeexistence

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