In Camera

Ferret and Featherbird
No More (the Sub-mariner)
Tapeworm
Again
Faint-heart and the sermon
The Comet, the Course, the Tail
Gog
Magog (in Bromine Chambers


      

Ferret & Featherbird

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Time has come between us: in the passing months I've felt you slip away as your words and mine came like nursery rhymes till there was nothing left to say. Distance came between us long ago, as our memories faded away... over the miles I ceased to smile because nothing felt the same. That's how it seemed a week ago, far off in time and space. Time and distance are between us now, they form a bond to make things sure. Nothing ever shatters, you know what happens: time and distance make a love secure.

No More (the Sub-Mariner)

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In my youth, I played at trains: now all steam is gone. In my dreams, brief shelter from the rain, I try to catch the fireglow.... With Dinky Toys, I thought that I was Stirling, with cricket bat, I saw myself as Peter May; now, with all these images returning, I wonder who I am today? As a child, I refought the war with plastic planes and imagination: I sank Tirpitz, blew up the Mohne dam, all these and more, I was the saviour of the Nation! Oh! To be the captain of a ship of war! The pilot of a Tempest or a York! To hold my trench against the Panzer Korps instead of simply being one who talks and reminisces of his fantasies, as though life was nothing but to lose... these only antecede the knowledge that, eventually, he must choose. It's a hallmark of adulthood that our options diminish as our faculties for choice increase, till we choose everything and nothing, too late, at the finish. In my youth, I held belief: my faith and thought were strong. But now I'm stripped of every leaf, and it robs me of the sight of right and wrong. Oh! To be the son of Che Guevara! One unit in the serried ranks of black! A Papist or an Orangeman, a eunuch... then doubt would never cast the dagger in my back. Oh! To be King John or Douglas Bader, Humphrey Bogart or Victor Mature! Which one is false and easy, which one harder? Of that, of this, of me I'm really not too sure.

Tapeworm

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When I was a child they made me read word-daggers of quiver and squirm; now in the stumbling dark I see I am a worm, silently fruiting your garden, my sister ,my child . Night casts ominous meanings on the purity of my soul I feel devilish leanings I'm beginning to lose control and the vortex sucks me in. Steeped in sin I die but am reborn. I want to see the cosmos slip, planets and moons collide, feel gravity lose its grip... it's all inside All the dead husks are shattered, my life-blood, my world ripped apart in the laughter of space it's all chaff blown out and lost. Now I am making the pace although I don't know what tape I'll cross... maybe catastrophe. When I cross the line I know that I will find myself or maybe you. I am a man from the country of destruction, I am a man a woman and a god, I am my own weapon of kamikaze and will one day cut through the hidden knot Feed me honey and watch me rise to the bait lying on the knife; if you let me I can hypnotise your life. It's all really so simple, my lover, my twin. Hand in hand, sprinting down the highway, running over the edge, on and on into our doomsday; there is no saving ledge nor outgrown shrub. Is this the way? Out in a blaze of glory? Some day I'll find the answer some day I'll end the story.

Again

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I stretch my hands, clutch vacant laughter in silence and sweet, sweet pain; without demand, but with a longing for what will never come again. I smell your perfume on the sheets in the morning: it lingers like the patterns on the window after rain, a past that lives, if only for the present, but which is gone and will never come again. To your sad eyes, turned away, mine say 'Do you? Did you? How?' As the darkness slides away the day shows what was and makes what is now. I see your picture as though it were a mirror but there's no part of you outside the frame except the change that you gave to me: this will never come again. I am me, I was so before you, but afterwards I am not the same. You are gone and I am with you: this will never come again.

Faint-heart and the Sermon

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With my face drained of colour and my brain of blood, like Billy Budd I'm lashed to the grating. With senses growing duller and with quaking heart I make a start at temperature equating and my lungs suck useless air. Like paraplegic dancers in formation team my understanding seems hidebound in its movements, contemplating answers that could break my bonds - to be half wrong would be, in me, improvement... but my comprehensive faculties are impaired. And it seems absurd, but now all I've heard fades in empty words and is worthless as the Human Laugh rocks the cenotaph but the joke is half-true, and mirthless. Trying to trace a reason from the spinning words but all I've heard seem at odds with their meanings, phonetically pleasing but delivered in such haste that in their place my mind commences screaming. On the verge of belief I crash onto the reef and a cynical thief steals my senses. So I cling to the pew with dimensions askew, and recognition refuses present tenses. All the lives of the saints demonstrate that my faint is a minor complaint, but the end is nowhere in sight. Why can't I find me a way to go? I don't want to die in the nave, but I know it may be with me some day so I've got to find a way I can save up my energies, and find a cause to pray to something for something to which I can give my creed. I'd gladly succumb to the wave, if I thought the water taught a way to light; I'd gladly succumb - I'm not brave, and it's easy to believe what the preacher says except for the conflict raging between my head and my brain. I don't want to die, but just the same, some day.... Waiting for a moment that I know will come when I'll have to run and find another sermon. Everyman and Norman and the talking priest-- still, I am at least holding all the doors open. Inside me all outside is shared. As the cracked bells peal it all seems unreal but the seventh seal stays unbroken and the Offertory plate tenders no escape - still I refuse to scrape up a token of esteem for these false alleyways of the course; I must try to divorce sense from sensing. Tell me again, tell me the way to go. So when I talk to myself although I take good care to listen my heart grows ever more faint, there's something missing?

The Comet, the Course, the Tail

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They say we are endowed with Free Will - at least that justifies our need for indecision. But between our insticts and the lust to kill we bow our heads in submission. They say that no man is an island but then they say our castles are our homes; it's felt the choice is ours, between peace and violence... oh, yes, we choose, alone? While the comet spreads its tail across the sky it nowhere near defines the course it flies, nor does it find its own direction. Though the path of the comet be sure, its constitution is not so its meaning is possibly more than the tracing of a tail in one brief shot at glory. Love and peace and individuality, so order and society are man-made? War and hate and dark depravity, or are we slaves? Channeling aggressive energies, the Death Wish and the Will to survive, into finding and preserving enemies, is that the only way we know that we're alive? In the slaughterhouse all corpses smell the same, whether queens or pawns or innocents at the game; in the cemetery a uniform cloaks the graves except for outward pomp and circumstance. There is a time set in the calendar when all reason seems barely enough to sustain all the shooting stars: times are rough. I'm waiting for something to happen here, it feels as though it's long overdue... maybe a restatement of yesteryear or something entirely new. And the knowledge that we gain in part always leads us closer to the very start, and to the founding questions: How can I tell that the road signed to hell doesn't lead up to heaven? What can I say when, in some obscure way, I am my own direction?

Gog

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Some call me SATAN others have me GOD some name me NEMO...I am unborn. Some speak of me in anagrams, some grieve upon my wrath... the ones who give me service I grant my scorn. My words are 'Too late', 'Never', 'Impossible', and 'Gone'; my home is in the sunset and the dawn. My Name is locked in silence, sometimes it's whispered out of spite. All gates are locked, all doors are barred and bolted, there is no place for flight. Will you not come to me and love me for one more night? Some see me shining, others have me dull; gun-metal and cut diamond -I am ALL. Some swear they see me weeping in the poppy-fields of France... in the tumbling of the dice see them fall! Some laugh and see me laughing down the corridors of power: some see my sign on Caesar and his pall. My face is robed in darkness, sometimes you glimpse me in the shade, All friends have gone, all calls are weak and wasted, there is no more to say. Will you not crawl to me and love me for one more day? Some wish me empty, others will me full, some crave of me infinity - I am NONE. Some look for me in symbols, some trace my line in stars, some count my ways in numbers: I am No One. Some chronicle my movements, my colours and my clothes, some trace the work in progress - it is done. My soul is cast in crystal yet unrevealed beneath the knife. All wells are dry, all bread is masked in fungus and now disease is rife. Will you not run from this and love me for one more life?

Magog (in Bromine Chambers)

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In Bromine Chambers there can be no mercy, no bitter flagellation for your sins; no forgiveness and no sackcloth can cease the dance of ashes on the wind. Too late now for a wish to change all wishing; too late to change, to breathe, to grow. Too late to smother out the tell-tale footprints which mark your passage through the greying snow.

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