How to get on without society

Just eat with your fingers, Riley,
The washing up’s not been done;
And don’t make a mess in the living room
Before my friends have come.

Are there loo rolls by the toilet?
The Dorito dips‘ll have to wait
Till we’ve stocked the fridge with Lambrini
And washed another plate.

It’s bloody boiling in the living room,
But the kitchen’s not so hot
And Connor’s on his Playstation,
So come with me and have a shot.

Here’s salt for your tequila,
No! No need to take off your shoes;
And sorry I didn’t ask you sooner,
But what’s your favourite type of booze?

Cheers and all the best then!
Maybe we should have one more?
Oops, I’ll grab the Hoover,
I’ve spilt salt all over the floor.

*written after reading Betjeman’s How to get on in society

Everything I Say Is Wrong

These words spew forth,
They erupt out of me,
Violently,
Aggressively.
I don’t know what my words mean,
I try to connect the dots,
And then I see who I have been.
They don’t say what I mean,
But they do say what I feel.
There is a growing disconnection,
Between my words and my feelings.
And I am a monster with those words,
Who spits hurt effortlessly,
Unknowingly,
Unconsciously.
I am endlessly misinterpreted.
Even by me.
The vocabulary I have is lost in the effort
To communicate in a lexicon
That can’t reflect me,
And my words go lost.
And in the moment I say those things,
Then I agonise over what I have said,
And I analyse the words away.
I vocalise the things I think I may have meant,
Spend hours dreaming up reasons,
For the contradictions.
But I am in a circulate of confusion,
Because I don’t know why words arrive,
And why I birth them when I do.
I am in a place of nowhereness,
My language restrains me.
My language is everything I feel,
And nothing I mean.
The control is gone,
Its direction is lost.
Everything I say feels right,
Yet, everything I say is wrong.

This Middle Age

I am middle-aged,
And the rage that once consumed me,
Is a memory,
And I am at a loss.

Like the world beneath me opened void,
But I do not drop.
Destroyed possibility awakes,
Staring within me.

All I realise,
Is the ghost of my adolescence,
Fenced in by fate
And what these hands can this day create.

I am a success,
But I know I wouldn’t impress him,
The yesterday we,
Who dreamt a vast lasting legacy,

Who like children dreamed
Of fantastic lives lived and worlds won.
Whilst I with a shrug,
Dismiss what I bring into being.

With distant memories,
A wave of grief powered by regret,
I forget to be,
And I am lonely reminiscence.

Married In Bliss

They no longer trouble each other,
Not the way they did,
When passion’s heat seared
And when they ached to be together.

In their spring, everything was bright,
And right, fresh and new.
But the blossoming of that new growth
Gave way to plain boughs.

Paradise became just a garden,
And it needed work.
The unavoidable work was clear
And they muddled through.

They worked with what they had been given,
Broke earth and broke bread,
And although exhausted by their toil,
Accepted their lot.

Their battlegrounds were defined by chance,
Sowed into that dirt.
Oh, what a place they did build themselves,
Where war and love raged.

Separate allotments developed,
And jealous eyes gazed.
Questioning grounds and decisions made,
Where love was betrayed.

Autumn leaves fell down
And brown mulch decayed to soulless grey.
Winter brought hard frost,
And a silent, barren no man’s land.

But life still takes hold
And complicated accord did out.
A new contract writ,
Brought warring parties back together.

Those things grown with love,
Were set aside for this endeavour,
This togetherness,
The practicalities of being.

There followed beauty,
In their hard-won utopian pax.
Words and deeds dismissed,
For those wars are past and gone and done.

Establishment renewed rivalries,
Then it changed again.
As that new life sowed, looked at them, old,
And took its own root.

Then, new joy was found.
Unexpectedly, they shared again,
Daring to build new edifices,
New memories.

They no longer trouble each other.
Admiration sparked
For what they have achieved,
In their own Eden.

Only life rocks them.
Inevitability managed,
In their slow decline,
Until they harvest that final fruit.

Life’s race

Your past will catch up with you,
It doesn’t matter how fast you run.
The history you’ve restrained,
Will seep through, undermine, then flow out,
And flout itself and goad you,
Never to be tamed.

Long time dead deeds threaten you,
Like a vengeful ghost echoing names.
You know this will engulf you,
So make meaningful what you have made,
’til it serves you no more and
Before it’s too late.

Stalked by premonitious fate.
Like thunderous beatings on the ground,
All around you rings despair,
Lifting the shroud on a songless corpse,
That gapes a future-past you;
Terror resides there.

Where you run, you don’t yet know
And as times go by, the start is lost.
And the cost is far too great,
A burden you are shattered beneath.
No matter how fast you run,
It will be your past that’s won.

He.

He is the very best of me
And the very worse.
He dances with our destiny,
But questions his own self-worth.
He looks around and takes it in,
He runs at the world
Head down.
A frown; a raised eyebrow;
And probably a thoughtless putdown.

He gives a shit what people think,
His anxieties on show,
But blow after blow after blow after blow
He keeps going forward,
Meeting it and taking it,
If sometimes his stoop is low.

Dance well precious one,
Dance with the devils you know.
Take heed and heart
And don’t despair,
For onwards you’ll go.

Go up to the top where the Gods love,
But go well when you go forth.
Announce yourself as their true heir,
And assert your determination to go higher.

At times you’ll almost break on your ascendancy.
But you won’t be broken,
You won’t be beaten down,
You won’t be silenced,
You won’t take that back seat;
You’ll turn up,
Because you’ve got to be there to make a difference.
And when it’s all done, you’ll have left your legacy.
He; We; Me.

She walks with destiny

She walks with destiny, like fire
Of ferocious heat and bright flame;
And lights the way when others tire
Expressed through countenance and frame:
Oh, so serene this kindly liar
Who those nighttime deeds could never tame.

But less to do, less passion spent,
Denies the world of honesty,
Which pharaonic eyes testament
And exude that fierce quality,
So all around know what she meant;
No locked up nymph of tragedy.

And from those eyes cut through pitch locks
So brightly, a blaze burns intense,
That draws you in whilst gently mocks,
Deftly dismantling your defence,
In sweet command of what she took,
A love not lost of innocence!

* written after Byron’s She walks in beauty

Have I finished?

This is enough, this life,
This bright being.
Seeing through these eyes,
What has come to pay.
Set out on this path,
A happy story,
This trajectory,
Wandered forth this day.

Have you had enough?
Had your fill, your spills?
Have you danced your dance?
Do you need to take a bow?
Have you built it up,
A golden treasury
Of memories,
Built-up your temples,
And then ensured they’re found?

I have done enough
But still, I must go on,
Destiny’s wish
Demands me head down.

What now comes to pass,
From this day,
Those superstructures
Lay on foundations
Of security.
They’re embellishments,
For I have finished.

Like A Summer’s Night

The night is dark like the often burnt ground,
When the skies sparkle with eternal fire,
Where the winds bring tastes to those yet to tire,
Bringing down the moors to be all-around.
And the tree boughs like pikestaffs guard the way,
To guide those deer who deftly search the night,
And whom homewardly dance, prance and fight,
Their weary legs wander to the coming day.

* written after Dunbar’s A Summer’s Night

Of Service And Sacrifice

They were called to serve,
Called to duty and to fate.
When times were better,
Caring corralled in exemplar.
They formed up Our Wall.

Then they were called
In times of great distress,
To further service.

They knew some would die.
Some scarcely their training having ended
Taking up their oaths,
As all who serve do,
Spoken out loud
Or sworn and kept inside.

Their names inscribed on plastic tags.
Each name starts a story
And most will go untold,
Of honour, bravery, service and kindness,
In the face of relentless threat.

Honoured heroes.
Some names now echo,
Printed, etched and engraved,
Filling the nation’s hearts.
Their sacrifices applauded
As those lost, are called
To higher service.