post-tribal

i was dreaming
in the midst of the screaming
of a post-tribal time
where i don’t give a fuck
who you are or where you’re from
where i will stand in wonder
at the myriad and the marvel
beneath this life-giving sun
and sing with a newer voice

but for now
there is just the screaming
and the hope for a different song

this city

this city embraces you
it holds you close to keep you warm
and plunges a knife into your back
to cut out your liver as it laughs

this city cries with you
when you languish in your isolation
and it laughs at you
when you seek to crawl from shadow

this city is a knife edge
between furious possibility
and a plunge to the dagger rocks below
while we walk the centre-line
between a life and a death

this city that would love you
like you were one of its own
and just as soon tie you in a sack
and throw you to the cold, dark waters

this city is insane –
infected by the leaking minds
of the swollen multitude
trying to fever-burn us away
weeping all the while

and i,
i can feel its bones
in the granite and the asphalt
out of which we will shape our caskets
that we might be buried beneath her skin
forever together

so long

so long
so long a reign
my whole life
my children’s too
and most of mum’s
more than 70 years
on my money
periodically
on my mind
so long this heart beat;
stability through tumult
a quiet ever-presence
so long we’d thought,
it would never end…we’d thought
God save the Queen
were words we would sing
now instead will echo
God save the King
as Charles does ascend
Elizabeth we commend
to that rest we all receive
so long, so short, now gone
so long…

Calliope

not one to imprison, not one such as she
i think that i would, i must, set her free
that inspiration would come gifted to me
unencumbered by debt or darkened envy,
unburdened by forced word, a forced quality
weighed down and crushed as one judged guilty;
i would rather spin away to chaos and entropy
to drown beneath the waves of a wordless sea
than bind my muse,
my fickle goddess,
my somewhat present
Calliope.

life will kill you

he remembered thinking once –

“it’s life that leads to death in the end, really…”

one of a million
strange thoughts in the middle of the day
that drift in and play tag in your brain

strange truths that rattle about
and give you a headache
until you want to just scream
or simply distract yourself
with the day in day out
biding of time
until that day when
life will kill you

haunted

their love was a lead blanket
weighing down their prey
until they could not breathe;

it was an insecurity anchor
threatening to drown beloved
beneath the crushing weight
of ever-present expectation;

like a solid granite olive press
rolling constantly over bodies
in an unconscious effort
to maintain that “extra virgin”
until every drop of affection
had escaped and run away –

but still they clung
to the ghost of an image,
an imago phantasma,
chained inside their skull
and haunting
the attic of their mind,
rattling chains in omen
forever frightening away
the inquisitive…