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Watching an Astronaut Go into Space

After ‘Goodbye to All that’ by Joan Didion and ‘You, Very Young in New York’ by Hannah Sullivan

I fold into a bar stool,

watching astronauts airlock, a cockpit,

gulping their last earthly inhales like a front crawl breathe.

I smile at pilots enduring

g-force, loads of vacuum food,

this is a resupply mission, no giant leap for you.

SpaceX is an obvious step for philanthropists when they run out of islands,

they don’t live up to the love in their Greek root of ‘philo’.

A guy in the chair says ‘over’ but, disappointingly,

nothing has even started.

Some time passes.

/

So long in fact the moment the launch actually happens,

I’m watching a cockroach slaloming shoes by the door.

Eating Padron peppers, Piri Piri fries on my 4th pint.

The playlist crackles out Prince’s ‘Sign O’ the Times.’

“Truly man just ain’t happy unless a man dies.” 

I beam, bigger than in weeks,

a man can be truly happy with an indefinite number of pints and fries.

Those astronauts won’t get a bite or sip of either from that whole resupply.

I look up and see the television screen,

the launch is way past lift-off,

a family is being interviewed who drove all the way from Utah to Florida.

Somethings been released and it’s burning up.

I invite myself to leave, the pubs busying for the evening.

The bar doors swing, a goat-looking man walks in.

/

“My my, the inane prince, fancy a drink?”

Someone’s screaming; the cockroach has decided to fly.

I smile, “We come back to our minds with our dance and our drink.”

But I’m still staring at the screen, watching the rocket shrink.

Something hasn’t fully burned up, nobody seems to care but I

point it out to my fleeced friend “haha” he chuffs “Apollo’s tricks.

God’s just ain’t happy till they see a man die.”

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#poetry

Fight In a Chippy

Shakin vinegar drizzlers spatter the menu counter as he flicks for the want of a wetness to his chips. Flippin me off with his feculent middle digit of vinegar, booze-blind and deaf they jest at the sinister curry mess shot down my shirt. 20 eyes spearing the curry orange spilled like the sign for Pi. Poland streets been invaded by bruisers, real mccoys, tweed boys on speed and Shawarma slagging off the pickled eggs. Pukka pies in a warp, microwaved in maudlin walls with every gut coated ruby in red doner rage. Piss painted peddlers they’ll piddle themselves when I run em 4 storeys for fear of my name!

Meanest insults, saved for friends, offending to enemies when the silence descends. The saltshakers tilted, tipped like a sand timer. Mixed with stella and whiskey in the blood, the fuse is lit. Potent and malign so the rational slides the news has spread. The fights happening inside! Be the ropes or be a ref or be off or say yes just know, we’re in a ring. Other than a dealer’s old Mercedes there seems like no escape but the ferryman of Hades. But for a second, in drunk radiance, firecracker blows landing slowly like moon rovers, fists of battered fish bubbling in the neon of a drunken death wish. I’m content, the parties begun. Dawn peels from behind a tree-trapped balloon,

Helium in pink.

Growling louder with lost teeth

When I disappear.

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#poetry Poetry

Cows are Ok

You watch the other children play late on the turn of the solstice.

The youngest almost naked scatter amongst the outhouses.

Their pearly skin returning the moonlight, terrifying the horses.

The witches miss their hour,

And the somnambulists stay in bed.

You grumble about bent coppers in a burnt-out trailer,

Surrendering what remains,

Paralysed in a state of an embittered stranger.

A black stream collects in the courtyard as it rains.

The courtyard where I imagined when I first read Animal Farm,

The courtyard where the pigs would address the square with the authority of crows at traffic lights.

I wondered why horses were the only animals to need shoes when they went running,

Cows have hooves and they seemed to be doing ok.

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#poetry

Golden Street

A man sits in his van on Langton way.

He flicks through the sun, squints in the ray.

Every pipe needing plumbing’s been run for the day.

Lets the radio play; Noodles lunchtime Bombay.

Happy feet underneath the seat tap to a trap beat.

Glad to meet the teeth of a big issue athlete.

Concrete below her feet selling sheets by the heath on the high street.

Bittersweet never discreet, job never complete.

With a style never downbeat,

Golden teeth smile that you meet.

Her story unrevealed,

8 years on the street battlefield.

Are these present-day gifts worth the rap?

8 years her big issue not repealed,

High street chains rattle when their dragged.

Coins barely drop from the city handbags.

Credit leaks on account of new price tags.

Same clothes entrap when the cold snaps.

Hope that your coat fully overlaps.

Booby trapped sleeping in a Santa hat.

Laying on the pavement in a lapse,

Deprivation makes homelessness into a weather map.

Its a speed trap at a camera gap,

Got to get some coins in the cap,

Lay them in the lap.

8 years on the street battlefield.

Are these present-day gifts worth the rap?

8 years her big issue not repealed,

High street chains rattle when their dragged.

She sits in an internet café checking her emails,

She still dreams about how she want’s to live.

Empty’s her ashtray before checking every detail.

Outside we’d walk past and watch the cars pass,

Talk about how we wanted to live.

A broken glass trail reflecting her golden teeth like eyes reflected in the sun.

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#poetry

16/05

You could describe the last months with reductionist name-calling

But things are going to change whether my attitude or actions are ambiguous to it or not

Today I take breaths to fill the world with life.

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#poetry

SALT FLATS

Tender tendon string, lined with sweat beads from hot open palms, poring springs of sensory hand weaving roots 

Wrapping thumbs and fingers of warm bodies like woven silk in cotton sheets;

Salt flats , Heaven for a goddess

Exception to a rule, a paradigm shift; 

His eyes in a crowd, like staring up at dancing clouds of a million raindrops afraid to be a world of light

Hiding in strangers  

 

 

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#poetry

I Want To Write Something For My Friend

I want to write a little something for my friend

Something comprehensive rising from all the time we’ve gone and spent

A final singularity of grillings underwent, but questions still remain

With more willingness I look forward to more we ascertain;

I used to think you always knew the way,

And my confidence in you meant potential felt as easy as hopping on the train

but now I know I pointed too and guided just the same

From my point of view I never knew how much anger masked the pain,

Some of your stubbornness has almost gone and driven me insane

And god knows how many times I must have left you waiting in the rain, but I can’t wait to be back at vicarage and laughing all the same.

I believe in you

The roots are deep

There’s love in view

You’re the glue.

Your time has come and you’re coming through

You’re growing stronger still, we’re a team, an ever stronger will

A love no one can take, no one can kill

A glass so full I know it’ll spill

To a colder beat, a biting chill, a rising sun, it gives me chills

The thrills of life; the things I’ve thought of

I see you instil in a son or a daughter.

Her hair flows, it flows like water, at the alter

Your hands won’t falter, carrying her weight up on your shoulders.

Sitting on settees, with cups of tea, with the TV like a magic carpet

As the atlas sky holds up a blue, that dots her eyes with jet streams like uncrossed T’s.

A pupil of her potential to seize her exhaustion like supplicated knees,

On searches for alternatives to unforgotten dreams,

Digging up resilience like Tony’s Time Teams.

I haven’t ran up enough mountains to not be breathless at the peak of your esteem

Belonging to the present can still make you currently mad at its stream

Wear your heart on your sleeve and bare your flaws on your chest and love might just drive you insane at its best

Obsessed with what seemed the easiest test

Sometimes you suffer when you talk to you

Become a hanging mist over a beautiful view

I can be the lighthouse that’s beacon guides you through

I can be the lighthouse that’s beacon guides you through

An important day, a choice to take a better way, another pillar planted come what may.

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#poetry

3 Nails

When you are full of thoughts that you cannot suppress

Pick a simple pattern from which you cannot digress

Thoughts of the future, the past; long narrow corridors that undermine the art

On the walls of these halls so squalid and dark

They are questions to be answered, there to pick apart

We’re all part of a history rewritten to the convenience of a few,

Adapted by survivors of the wars that passed this knowledge to you

Reading epic stories about men who could part the sea for their people

In shock & awe, we must write our sequel

As we attempt to invade the media

As our own personal promoters in a haze of hysteria

We dig a little deeper, but history seems to repeat like a beat to the same meter

Hoping with our tongues in our cheeks on our letters that may never be read

Billions of words bottled up and thrown into the sea in our heads

Chanting in the street the few not left unsaid;

Our thoughts float like boats down paths marked by high vis wrapped cones,

As our bodies are stoned by those who have lost hope in our dream encrusted boats

But as long as you still float, don’t lose hope,

You could be picked up near the coast when, damaged, filling and sinking almost

You write a letter that lengthens, which floats in a bottle

You swear you will never return home for the fear you will sink to the bottom

Until a gentle wind comes to salvage the broken battered beams of your boat and its holy sail

If someone opened the bottle, they wouldn’t find a letter, inscribed with perfect detail

Instead they would read the words of artists, preaching pastors, farmers, martyrs;

Mothers and fathers of future teachers,

Words of extraordinary seekers of a country for as many speakers and believers

Who are demanding new meters from the drum beaters

Here to become leaders, who are poor feeders & not for the needless because its time to write our sequel,

You don’t have ages, life is just a turning of pages and your fingers will turn them

You are the thinkers and the barbarians that will burn them

It’s simple, this is your time.

 

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#poetry

The Art of Work

Pick the fig
Fathom the loss
Reconnect the dots
Push the boat
Ride the current
A slave to nature
Feel the heat
Bathe in the fountain
Feed the litter
Paint the sitter

Cut the fruit
Empower the moment
Gather your family
Focus your presence
Count the gifts
Work in community
Mill the soul
Thankful for good health
Build yourself
Elevate the whole

Plant the seed
Grow the tree
Proceed; reach the next plateau and breath
What is done will be
Look to see
Come and cross the river with me
Earn the progression,
Without practise you will never be free

Win or learn or lose
Head and heart must both decree but will not exist harmoniously
Listen to experience and
Intuition will guide us too eternity

Inspired by The Art of Work by Maynard James Keenan

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#poetry

L.O.V.E

A Love can feel senseless, uncensored but essentially sensual, salival, moist and obscured from view

Overshadowed by morning hourglasses tapping on the glass, keeping a steady mast, before the blubbering is over fast

Love in the past, shameful body Love, all but the heart, a cheap craft, a dinghy, drift wood, careless fatherhood slides to sound the bell

More Love than I could sell, too many chapters to begin to tell of Love in the mind but a cell for the body, a drug for the sully, mischievous bully

Kicking and singing out Love for a dummy, the stupid and cunning, euphoric and coming again, the Love we spend

Selling and bartering, soaring so suddenly hardening, the shock and ever darkening, pleading, bargaining, marketing the entrance of a Love to a parting; but not lasting long enough to realise the rule of lust that tethers us

To never be Loveless.