ART ARCHIVE

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IGGY POP

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LOU REED

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STEVE MCQUEEN

 

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JIM MORRISON

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TWIGGY

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PATTI SMITH

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BRYAN FERRY

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AGNETHA FOLTSKOG

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JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT X 2

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ALBERT FINNEY

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JAMES DEAN

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CLINT EASTWOOD

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JANE FONDA

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DEBBIE HARRY

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ARETHA FRANKLIN

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MARC BOLAN

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ROBERT SMITH

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DAVID BOWIE

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ANDY WARHOL

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LISBET SALAMANDER

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DAVID LYNCH

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MARILYN MONROE

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STEVIE NICKS

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EMILY LLOYD-PACK

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ALBERT EINSTEIN

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GUY GARVEY

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MALCOLM X

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KYLE MACLACHLAN

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HUMPHREY BOGART

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JONI MITCHELL

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TOM HARDY

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MADS MIKKELSON

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JOHNNY DEPP

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JACK NICHOLSON

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JOHN PEEL

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HAIR

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ADIDAS PORN

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JIMI HENDRIX

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BOB DYLAN

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AMY WINEHOUSE

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SINEAD O’CONNOR

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SIOUXSIE & ROBERT SMITH

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BOB MARLEY

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEIN

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WYNONA RYDER

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SID VICIOUS

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NUDE

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BARN OWL

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ELVIS

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LEONARD COHEN

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PETE DOHERTY

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SAM BECKETT

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SIOUXSIE SIOUX

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RUTGER HEUER

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JOHN LENNON

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CHE GUEVERA

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ROBIN WILLIAMS

POETRY ARCHIVE

Reflective Light pattern
Alaska. Southeast. Gentle motion of water reflects sunlight into the sandy bottom.

THREE SECRETS

The first tremor:

July 1974.

It’s been 3 months.

Sat on granite breakwater,

Peering out to the horizon.

Sun sallow

Ripped from the sky.

Gloom.

Sea Sniggers

in whispers…

Seen it all before,

but this is the first…

And now is

Not then…

Then was a fear,

Knowledge a gasp!

Nothing will come

of this age.

The second tremor:

July 1982.

one month away.

The tree is gone.

Just a stump.

I’m close to the edge…

A headlong fall through time!

Stolen years :

Thirty, count them,

lost by mistake,

a space-walk,

untethered…

and fall towards

the brutal sun.

No escape

Just waiting, watching…

The promise is

worth the waiting!

The third tremor:

April 2010.

A party surrounds.

It comes out of the blue,

out of context,

in amongst family…

She loves me!

I have always Loved her.

It takes a toll.

Months of hidden hopes

and stolen kisses.

So long the wait

so deep the need,

And the tremors…

Foretold in the first

denied in the second

and the third affirmed.

Thanks be on high!
Copyright Dale Beck 2018


IMG_0521AT MY MOST BEAUTIFUL

I am only beautiful in your eyes,

You take the ugly out of my psyche

Your grace gives me a sense of purity

A sense of the eternal godliness

Which exists just beyond understanding.

My only blissful moments are all yours

There can never be another because

You fill my heart to the brim beloved

My soul is salved by your proximity…

So this is faith, so this is believing

My world begins and centres in your eyes

There is no end because we are now one…

this is not a flower but a prayer

Because God only presents through your Grace.

Love, the only way to live, in your grace…

You are my cipher to the heavenly…

You are my love and one love til the end.

Copyright Dale beck 2018


maxresdefaultBITTER TEARS

How many bitter tears must fall

Into the stream of your life?

How often must the deluge flood

The meadow lands of content ?

Such is nature…

Bitter in blood, tooth and claw

Harsh is the sirocco blown

By jealous continents.

This is the Lore of society…

With each kind deed

An equally harsh.

The alternative is

an isolate.

We dream of perfection, but as God only knows…

This is not a perfect place…

We live on an incline,

but the top has long gone…

We are careering down

And hoping vehemently,

Someone will catch us.

Who’s got a net?

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


invertBLEACHED

Washed out wrung out

dried to a crisp

crumbling in texture

crumbling in fact.

Towering intellect

reflecting

refracting

obsidian mirror

pathways lost to the ocean,

forcing all colour

to drain.

Cracked like an old master

drawn out like an extruded wire…

Taut and over taught

And the thought is not of polemic

but expedience

Of making a small step

from room to room

in my fathers mansion,

calling his name…

but no answer comes

that I can hear.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018.


IMG_0427BLESSINGS

Bless my forever girls…

Bless the lady of the lump, my only daughter

Bless the lump and the world which she will become

Bless my beloved and give me grace to give her my soul

Bless my mother, constant and forever, my stalwart friend

Bless my surrogate babies, Freya and Ellie

Bless you all for what you give to me.

Bless my boys so clever and sharp

Bless my brother for all he has done

Bless my father for he is an older version…

Bless the friends old and new,

May your God or Icon give you blessings too.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


IMG_0265ABOUT THE BOY

The poet is the boy inside,

Bright with naivety and brash,

He wills a perfect world.

He knows nothing…

But Dreams.

The writer is the old man,

He writes of decadence

Of loss and sorrows

So many sorrows

He could float a boat.

The artist is a girl,

Plays with form to find

Beauty and hope

Colours flow and ferment

A lethe tincture of love.

The musician is a dwarf

Unable to form from the formless

He tries, bless him.

He conjures with sounds

But no symphony comes.

The actor is the youth,

thrusting and audacious

In control he holds

The audience Rapt.

Such artifice.

The sculptor is them all,

Finding the character within,

Happy hands mold clay to dimension

With tactile dexterity.

Until the joints creak…

Copyright dale beck 2018.



IMG_1265CHASING CLOUDS

Blue remembered days

navy shorts and grey socks long

rolled down over black pumps…

A brisk but honey time

Clouds rushing headlong

Up the street,

Like a drunk racing for the bar

At opening time.

But Then drunks didn’t enter the lexicon!

Then I would chase the cloud shadow up the street,

Headstrong and headlong…

One slip a toe trip

To a scuffed bleeding knee

Oh to have such problems

Oh to have such worries…

Nothing to keep you from sleep…

Nothing but the hedonistic chase

For no reason other than fun.

Fun?

Natural fun.

Pause.

I like that.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


CREEPCREEP & CRAWL

What is this thrall?

The unseen peering into the inner space…

He stands in darkness

or is he crouching low?

Maybe he is in a window

opposite…

His space in darkness

His eyes saucers

Dilated like a junkie…

Is this his Junk?

This watching…

This waiting…

This wanting?

Is it a want or need…

Is it a sexual desire?

Or is it a power?

Knowing what should not be known?

Stealing the safety of interior space?

When breached there is no further groin for the sands

Of your solitary existence

The viewer just by watching has violated

the inviolate.

copyright Dale beck 2018


DAY

To relive just one day,

Just one cycle of

Twenty-four hours.

What would you choose?

Would it be a magical day?

A day when you made love

And it was like the first time?

Or maybe it was the first time.

A day of pride validictory?

A culmination of all your hard work?

A day in gown and cap?

Aglow with that dayglow pride.

A day of unbounded joy?

When your child was born?

Perfect in miniature,

Cherished from inception?

A miraculous wonder.

And all of these would be fine,

Days to hang in a line

But in your heart you know…

There is only one day.

The day your brother died,

And you fought just before…

And all was lost when

There came that knock on the door.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


TAOIST ROCK

Your face the rock of ages,

Beauty unchained

Prometheus bound

against the surge of ages.

Like a gilded gelding you pranced

linnet caged in stardust

robed in satin and tat

clownish saviour machine.

You spoke of the outside

beyond the real

siren to the lost

your lament froze time.

Our bedrooms your altar,

you altered time

stopped clocks

for another grinning soul.

Creationist in theory,

you opened gates

to worlds serene

and the firmament flayed.

The tidal wave was spurned

As you surfed

the tempest wild

and sang to the stars.

A universe you gave,

cold and warm

hot and frozen

but the shimmer has gone.

A lad in vain,sane,

but sadly missing,

and aching hole,

The black star vacated.

COPYRIGHT DALE BECK 2018


DISSOLUTION OF TRUST

I used to envy the young

oh the future that they would have

you see this was the promise they gave:

toppermost of the poppermost

every day would be better than the last…

I would look at the young

and think… oh to have their future!

IT WAS A LIE!

The future they promised shimmered

like the emerald city

like the mole’s crystal castles

before he got glasses…

But we all got glasses…

the illusion of a glowing future

became ashes snowing down

across the Big Apple sun drenched sky.

I look at children with pity now…

pity poor tom…

the future hangs like a black cloud

over the blameless young,

the biscuit on the tongue

stale and inedible,

and every day as it gets worse,

they will sing hallelujah!

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


DISTANT SOBS

You caught me sobbing,

Deep heaving, heart tugging

Sobs from the solar plexus!

Soul draining tears…

“For a dog on the t.v.?”

You asked incredulously,

“The dog… yes the dog…

but no not just the dog…

The girl tugged at her hair…

Just like you used to

When you were a girl…

The girl you were before…

Before the interminable wait,

before the thirty three years went missing,

And… And I could hold you then

as I hold you now…

I sob for what I missed,

A yearning nostalgia

For the ages in between!”

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


HEAVEN – A RECONSTRUCTION

It was an afterthought, a confection…

A promise of a perfect place,

But it was a bugger to build.

The castles in the air,

Ephemeral and ethereal,

Would just disappear.

A turn of the head would

Shift the focus and blur the edges.

He needed help.

His son tried a different approach,

Make the earth a heaven

Its corporeal reality,

Would hold fast.

And for a while it seemed to work,

but the son was lost

And the Father despaired,

for no matter how hard he tried

To offer the man heaven,

Too soon, the elders would crush it!

“We don’t want perfection,

Imperfection allows us a space,

To exploit our differences.

copyright Dale Beck 2018



IMAGINE

imagine this:

Not still a boy

but a man:

Taken from home

Taken from work

Dressed in Khaki

Given a rifle and boots.

Turned back into:

A child,

scolded and scorned.

Screamed at an inch

distance.

YOU ARE A DISGRACE!

Hold your rifle right…

Left right left right…

And you, a man

Treated as a man

since you were fourteen…

Working as a man from that age.

And now your back to the remove.

And you have signed up for this,

by free will you are sectioned…

In a long cold hut,

with a row of cold cots

and clown cuts…

Barbered by butchery.

Prepared for butchery.

And you with a baby at home.

The reason you signed on.

To save the world from

Savagery and cant.

No neither can I.

Imagination only takes you so far…

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


THIS LETTER

As I write this letter,

send my love to you,

my blood runs from my veins,

silken threads of crimson

I feel no pain, but heart-ache

You have left me adrift…

In this inverse boat…

The blood quickened by the heat

Of the water, and the wine…

Is just for light relief.

I cannot go back to the half-life,

The tick tock of seconds

Turning into hours.

I’m not that brave,

Can’t take the stage again.

Its not your fault,

I would like to say,

But it is… I am your unbidden burden,

You never sought to be my Judge

Or jury.

The truth is I tried myself,

I’m guilty of over-investing,

In a sure thing,

But nobody is ever a sure thing…

I know that now.

I tried , you tried and now you have gone…

Don’t worry baby, I’m on my way.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


POST-MODERN SLEAZE

And there is no alternative.

The well of imagination

is dry…

no not dry,

but fetid with the decadent detritus

of a thousand layers.

Images used and re-used,

laminating synonyms

of the original thought.

The knowing and unknowing

fracture of image,sound and word

post Duchamp ready-mades,

already shards

style without content,

visceral but meaningless

artifice without art.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


LOVER’S TALE

Now in this moment,

Which is all time,

The essence of being.

A chemical bonding,

Alchemical touchstone,

Minds into mind.

Of one skin,

A cauldron mix,

Bewitched and beloved

Spell-bound and ionised

Body becomes lionised…

Held as a godhead,

In this moment

Are all moments.

Fused and confused,

It’s like life?

It’s like all life.

It is All life.

It is alchemy.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


MONEY

You talk about money as if it was real…

It is not.

It is an abstract realisation of work.

like tokens?

It is no more real than an old barter stick

or i.o.u.

It’s the way of stealing labour by the Man.

Suckling Pigs!

They wave paper in your face, a magic wand,

and you bow.

Do you not feel this a mighty injustice?

Travesty?

Marx would recoil in horror at this torpor,

Lethargy.

The fact is we are too tired to create a fuss…

They have won.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018.


IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOUNTAIN

Tomorrow I arrive at the base of the mountain.

I don’t know what to expect…

Something or nothing.

Either way I shall look to the peak of that particular mountain,

face the summit and say I will climb over it.

Which ever way it lies, I shall fly.

I’m tired. So very tired.

Given the choice … I would sleep.

A perfect blissful sleep.

A rebirth.

A body reborn. A Phoenix.

Born of the ashes.

Born out of pain into light.

Let the mountain fed waterfall

Wash the aches away.

Refreshed and renewed.

God Willing.

God willing.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018.


ORANGE SUN

The sun brushed blood orange

In a dry parchment sky…

A scroll carrying a wanton wish,

A whisper for the desert’s kiss.

Come play across my auburn heights,

And toe tip your rays in the windswept sands.

Come speak of Atlas and Heracles’ chores…

Cool your flame on the mediterranean shores.

Sahara offers her ferocious kiss

Smarting eyes and chapping lips…

Such ardour takes away his breath,

And tears his chromosphere to death.

We watched aghast the lover’s tryst…

as Sun and Sand merged from the mist,

We do not flower in yellow veils,

Nor in Vein-tracked chem-trails,

Which billows out across the vast and

leaden skies, loaded with laudinum,

And Lord know’s what…

And the soothsayer’s still call:

We Are The Dead!

Dale Beck copyright 2018


WHEN PANDORA’S BOX IS OPENED

It’s not so bad… You face change.

And it’s liberating. Nothing stops.

And it’s good. So good… You fear how good,

because acknowledging how good could hex it.

You stop cynically stepping on cracks

like a godless goon biologist…

No fairies must be risked!

I’m in a space, a self-inflated reality,

which a pin might pop.

Creation is so arduous…

Concentrating on one fixed point…

Whereas reactionism is easy.

And so banal!

I hold her box tight shut,

and maintain Hope for all.

copyright Dale Beck 2018.


PEELING THE ONION

The fake is faked.

A double negative

Lain like slabs

of prior knowledge…

denying, the denier

becomes victim

or aggressor

or both

or neither…

so truth is

beholden

tied down with gaffer tape.

Where is the hurt?

Where is the crime?

Obfuscated?

By sleight of hand

or word

or deed?

Who can say?

The screams are real!

The pain is sucked

the drama reels…

and the confusion is a bitter balm to wear.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


POST-TRAUMATIC SLEAZE

And there is no alternative.

The well of imagination

is dry…

no not dry,

but fetid with the decadent detritus

of a thousand layers.

Images used and re-used,

laminating synonyms

of the original thought.

The knowing and unknowing

fracture of image,sound and word

post-Duchamp ready-mades,

already shards…

style without content,

visceral but meaningless

artifice without art.

Switch to sample, horns from Spector,

Bass a stolen discordant throb,

Etched from a reverb, no verb

Adjectively speaking to nothing…

Is original a print? A Fingerprint?

Multiformed in stark white light

Eyes bleached to the uniformity

don’t walk into the light!

Sing Hosannah… Sing!

Dale Beck copyright 2018


PULL THE TAPESTRY

And of this fabrication

Silks sown and woven tight,

Each loving line picked,

Carefully worked into

The fabrication of your life.

The tapestry is the lie

Heroic as Sir Gawain:

And as deeply fanciful…

Weft and warp,

Weft and warp,

Each memory

Becomes reality,

But only in your

tapestry…

Woven like a film script,

Spoken like a soliloquy…

Until a thread is pulled…

The stitches unravel

The knots fray …

And the tapestry of your life

Is tattered like an military standard,

All Battles and victories

Ring hollow…

Gashed by the scythe of time

C’est vraiment vrai…

Is a lost language?

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


RAINBOW

Rainbow swoops across the sky like a proscenium

Ordering the flash and bang of the front

yelling at your eyes a sodium swipe

grandiose like a grand duke of greenery

Belligerent and beautiful, a sky smile

Intemperate and loquacious as April

Vestal and virginal … ephemeral and awesome.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


RELIC

With these bones and stones

And wood from the cross

And the truth and the or is it?

We pollute the now.

The now is the city we live in.

So why the relics?

We go back and forth

on the time-line…

As if it is real.

But what is real?

Reality is just a word now…

The ins and outs of the now,

The ins and outs of this time.

So why the relics?

The sphinx sits as a reminder…

And Easter Island heads walk

Down the hill to the plain.

To denote Times winged arrow

Flying back and forth.

A projection.

An abstract.

Time.

Now.

Then?

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


SHARD – JIGSAW PIECE

Suddenly, she said,”But I Don’t know any Russian poets!”

Yet there sat Pushkin, twirling his mustache to a point…

Quoting ‘I loved You’ with a rheumy tear in his bloodshot eye.

She pointed with a cigarette holder to a quiet shadow…

“You Boy, What is your last word”? He, the immortal He,

Ran blood-spattered fingers through his oil-black seal-backed hair…

An ode for the other He, Salvadore Dali…
“A rose in the high garden you desire.
A wheel in the pure syntax of steel.”

The Author cried. So sad the song he sang.

Lorca, You breathe forever with your words and deeds…

And they all circle round, and around, and around…

Ghosts in the machine, a routine of search and display,

This is the Tower of Babel.

Stevie Smith smiled or thought to smile but,

She was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Sassoon arrived to say his piece,

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;. And I was filled with such delight.

And with this the most joyous point, poignant as it is

As a remembrance of the millions Dead…

I leave the the last to Rabindranath Tagore:

But I know a nicer game than that, mother.
I shall be the cloud and you the moon.

What nicer game can there be than to be a cloud

as a satellite to the mirror sun.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


THE ART OF SILENCE

She can sit and stare at the nothing for hours

She needs no sounds to delve the depths

She needs no rosary to commune with her Godhead

She carries it all inside her head.

This is what she has taught me.

Me of the loud crashing bangs

Of The bluster and bravado

Of the effervescent effusiveness

Of the trinity, three things going at once…

Just to hold the silence at bay,

Because in the silence is all the pain.

And the pain is ignoble, it pulls no punches…

And I am a crybaby.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


SILVER SHIMMER

What alchemy this? What kindling touch the torch?

A silver shimmer, a slight phase discrepancy…

You.

Deja vu?

Nothing of the old world equated to this reality,

unprepared for the polar shift…

I played dead-pan.

I had no tools,

equipped to see the monochrome screen,

my eyes scorched in the technicolour of

Ave Maria!

Ave Maria?

So cool yet blazing, burnished from ice and fire,

You are the air, I’m the water

Quench your thirst my angel.

dale beck copyright 2018


SPREAD ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

It begins with the words:

The words are love, peace, and care.

Love is the most powerful;

Its effects are contagion

Spread by deed and hope

There are no barriers which can contain it.

It is the most virulent antidote

To war, bombs and hate.

Peace is less effective and more fragile,

It needs careful nourishment,

One false move can destroy it

Peace has to be cherished

Like a new-born child…

Care is easy,

It requires only an open heart,

An empathic sense of other’s hurts…

With care we can breed gentle peace

and love will spread across the universe.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


STILL LIFE

Her bare shoulders are sheathed in a glow of sweat…

Night has yet to steal the latent heat from the day.

So still she sits intent only on the unbolted door,

Cigarette decorously dangling from slender fingers,

The grey pall of smoke curling into the twilight

The only movement the scene can take…

Does her crossed leg allow her foot to bob?

The slight edge reflected by this childish tick…

How long as she waited for the handle to turn?

How long the memory of his rugged jaw…

Of his thin harsh lips brusque against her own?

Of his cruel pale blue eyes pinning her…

Like a butterfly?

Does she think of escape?

Or does she still feel his hot breath against her neck?

What is this moment of stillness…

A paralysis of fear?

Like a rabbit held in headlights,

Or is it a desire?

A poignant wish to feel his strong arms around her…

His dark heart throbbing against her bird in a cage ?

Moment of stillness,

Dripping a longing

But what longing?

Desire or dread?

He becomes the isolated idol,

His absence builds his part.

And the threat of him is greater than the reality.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


STOP THE WORLD

So many irrefutable truths are moot.

Great swathes of truth planed away

The big blue ball is flat…

shaving 500 years

Of progress

away

to

?

I

am

dumb

in this world

My truth has no currency

I can’t believe in mediocrity

Can’t hold on to two planes of reality

Where up is up and down simultaneously.

I don’t blame schrodinger but His cat

Live and Death is now a moot point.

And God is a cloud-faced Jesus…

Are we being played by the Elite?

Are we lost in a deliberated maze?

Will it all come good?

I don’t know what I know…

I don’t proclaim answers.

I just scratch my head,

and my arse.

copyright Dale Beck 2018


SWEVEN

The land between,

we fly

Like Dragons

We curl : ourobouros

Devouring ourselves

Inch by inch.

This land between,

we swim

like dolphins

We dive : Leviathan

Deep down deep.

This land between,

we love

like godheads

we trip : Dionysus

low down lust.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


TAKE IT ALL

Take this blood from my veins,

Let It sustain you.

Take My breath for I breathe

Only by your Grace.

Take these words that crowd my head,

For without you I’m Mute.

Take my flesh in golden mounds

For You have my Soul!

Take all that I am And all

And all… I become.

Take me Into your body

and Of your body.

Take all you need… Because

All I Need is you.

copyright Dale Beck 2018


TEARS

The purple pelt of sadness soaked

In the statuesque solitude of sorrow.

Staring at the ceiling unseen

Through the veil.

Shouting: I will not do! I will not do…

An answer to Plath… Of Sorts.

We wear our feelings on the outside,

Like a hair-shirt

An Open display of dismay.

Flagellating our sores

In penitence…

Some will turn away in disgust,

But most will have to look

Having read the book.

We are the keepers of all

Sorrow, of all tears.

The emotional equivalence of the jester…

When none can wear callow

Despair…

Ours become legend.

I am legend,

I cry for all.

copyright Dale Beck 2018


THE TYRANNY OF OPHELIA

Ophelia slipped waif – like between the waves,

Clutching her garland of windswept leaves,

Her tell-tale tears become a torrent

A Maelstrom, spinning northwards,

Darkening with the loss of land…

Emboldened by the sea’s warm embrace.

Lost in grief, her wailing winds are heard across the ocean,

Like a siren call to the suckling seals of Ramsey,

Who looked out across the horizon… helpless and hopeless!

Maybe their mothers called to them to follow their lead,

Tempting them beneath the wash of waves…

But too soon came the call , too young the offspring,

And the powdery white pups became further froth…

Fizzing through the awesome waves to crash, at last, on land.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


TO THE FOREST

Bleak November, just the two of us…

Wednesday afternoon, sport and no resorts,

A charade of scrabble. Pick a letter…

S is for sin, and it is a sin,

R is redolent of reefer, smoke serene,

D is the drab thought of dinner or drink.

It was always going to be sin.

It had to be found out, what might have been?


S it was… did we linger?

Did we pause to recourse?

No we jumped up, minds set, set long ago, just to know…

You know. I laughed like a tickled choir-boy,

To the forest, maid Marion, to the forest green.

Hands held like Hansel and Gretel, we ran

Dr.Marten’s cloying and caulked in mud,

And the lake washed its hands of us…

Up against a tree, with back to me…

Jeans around knees. Leaning back hard.

And snowflakes fell, great big flakes of foolishness.

We felt foolish. But we knew, and we had to know.

You always have to know. Was this the one?


February. A brief relief from the overwhelming bleak winter.

A birthday surprise. I smoked a fat one. A treat. A bitch of a skunk.

Top-loaded and I was on thirty frames a second.

A spastic in time. Seconds stretched to millennia.

Space totally replaced from one moment to the next.

And you took me by the hand, led me back to the place,

the very tree. On this tree, we became an altar…

She told me that her other-half had been told, and retold.

It was nothing, we had to know, and now we knew.

He could not accept the verdict.

He ordered a pyre to our love,

And all your clothes… All your clothes were taken

To this spot. This very spot. Lost in the forest.

And with paraffin, came la fin, the end.

The curls of smoke, enraptured by the moment of

When we had to know.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


TRY HARDER TRY BETTER

I was a boy when I met you,

You were a sophist…

Perfectly drawn, temptress!

So tall, so willow-whipped.

Gypsy heart and ten paces ahead.

You wanted me. I followed.

You took the boy, broke him, and

Made this man. Alchemist.

I came with baggage,

You came with a need,

Dark and sultry

Tamarind dusk…

With all-knowing, all unknown

I was not worthy of the opening,

But sought your soul to remake my own.

And when I was tempted, or feigned temptation,

You took another route

And left with all the light.

darkest dawn. I was resurrected as a shadow.

The shadow played across the landscape

The longest time lost in wilderness.

Latching on to suckling breeds,

Nurtured by nurturing others.

Soul-strained and spirit soaked.

Suddenly, it came back

The light rekindled.

You broke me and awoke me.

I am all new.

I love you

As no other.

As no other,

Retrained to savour each moment

Hand-fasted and entwined

This is the truth

I only ever sought truth…

You are my lexicon of truth

My lexicon of love.

My only one

My only one.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


SPREAD ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

It begins with the words

Softly spoken – Maybe an accent

A soft Dublin brogue…

Perhaps.

The words are love, peace, and care.

Love is the most powerful;

Its effects are contagion

Spread by deed and hope

There are no barriers which can contain it.

It is the most virulent antidote

To war, bombs and hate.

Peace is less effective and more fragile,

It needs careful nourishment,

One false move can destroy it

Peace has to be cherished

Like a new-born child…

Care is easy,

It requires only an open heart,

An empathic sense of other’s hurts…

With care we can breed gentle peace

and love will spread across the universe.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


YOUNG IDIOT

The boy is an idiot, two-tone black and tan,

Drunk on the need to live fast as a cheetah…

Hard-on life, thrust into it all and all…

Take no prisoners or passengers

Just the drink and the draw, speed and soar

and a one-night stand becomes four…

On all fours from the floor to ceiling

And it’s all so good and so right,

Until you wake in the middle of the night

Catching your breath in a brown paper bag

And your cheeks are sallow and sag

And the blackness sits in rings around your eyes

And even the party people look at you and sigh

I knew him once, when he was good and fun

Now he hides in shadows and stays out of the sun.

Youth dies before you do, ain’t that the truth.

And your candles flutters and splutters

And no matter how hard you try,

You falter and die… By degree, by design.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


MIXED TAPE

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I did a mixed tape for the Lauren Laverne show about 8 years ago, which to be honest I can’t find now… So I’m making a new one just for you!

SIDE ONE

GO – MOBY

 

SONG 2 – BLUR

SOUND AND VISION – DAVID BOWIE

SOUND OF THE SUBURBS – THE MEMBERS

SUBURBAN RELAPSE – SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES

REHAB – AMY WINEHOUSE

WATER WITH THE WINE – JOAN ARMATRADING

WATERFALL – STONE ROSES

STONE HEROES – PENETRATION

UP THE NECK – THE PRETENDERS

SIDE TWO

START – THE JAM

FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE – ROBERTA FLACK

SUMMER (THE FIRST TIME) – BOBBY GOLDSBORO

 

STATE OF INDEPENDENCE – MOODSWINGS WITH CHRISSIE HYNDE

HANDS AROUND MY THROAT – DEATH IN VEGAS

 

TEARDROP – MASSIVE ATTACK (LIZ FRASER)

HOW DO – SNEAKER PIMPS

REZ – UNDERWORLD

FOREVER KNOWN – THE MACCABEES

THIS IS THE END – THE DOORS

DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE.

DALE

NOT MY OWN

Astral-Travel

NOT MY OWN

SO MANY MEMORIES TRIPPING LIKE LIQUID

ACROSS THE VACANT LOT OF MY MIND,

DELICIOUS AS PASTRIES IN A BAKER’S STORE,

THEY ARE NOT MY OWN,

BUT THEY SMELL LIKE TEENAGE REBELLION,

AND I WOULD LIKE TO CLAIM THEM

FROM THE LOST AND FOUND.

 

THEY ARE OF LIFETIMES  AGO,

LONG THOUGHT LOST IN THE ANNALS OF HISTORY,

LIKE THE DEEDS OF MY FOREFATHERS,

WITH THEIR QUAINT TASTE FOR GOLD,

AND WARRIOR WAYS VAINGLORIOUS…

SLOGANS SUCH AS OFFA, FRIEND OF CHARLEMAGNE,

KING OF KINGS.

 

AND I WANT TO BELIEVE THAT THESE ARE ALL MINE,

THE SWATHE OF LYRICS FROM DAYS OF YORE…

A TWINE BINDING ME BACK TO PAST GLORIES,

PAST CONQUESTS AND DEFEATS…

ANYTHING WHICH STOPS THE CONSTANT

DRIP DRIP OF REAL MEMORIES,

OF THE YOU AND ME, THE ONLY ONES.

 

DALE ‘M’

FLEET OF FOOT

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FLEET OF FOOT

THE LAST TWENTY FIVE YEARS

WERE SO FLEET OF FOOT,

THEY PASSED IN DAYS…

A TWINKLE IN A RHEUMY EYE,

A SAD SONG’S REFRAIN,

REMEMBERS YESTERDAY’S LAMENT

 

OH FOR THE DAYS OF YOUTH,

WHICH LASTED THE LONGEST OF LEAP YEARS…

A DAY WOULD BE A LIFETIME,

INTERMINABLE AS DOUBLE LATIN

OR AS HEADY AS A FORTNIGHT’S HOLIDAY…

ALL IN ONE DAY.

 

AND THE DAYS STRETCH NOW LIKE A SALMON’S RUN,

WAITING BELOW THE WHITE WATER,

FOR THE MOMENTARY LEAP,

ACROSS THE DIVIDE,

AND BACK INTO YOUR LOVING ARMS,

AND BACK TO THE BEGINNING AGAIN.

 

DALE’M’

QUIET PLEASE COMPLETE STORY

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QUIET PLEASE

The thing about December in the University Library is the fact its empty… Totally devoid of under graduates. It is a place of peace and contemplation, a place where serious study is at last possible. Unlike the normal atmosphere of the Univesity in semester, where one rushes from a lecture to the union then on to a tutorial… Yeah, that’s a lie, the rush is from one excess to another, the lectures and tutorials are the incendentals, the thin layer of intellectual rigour spread evenly across the drinking, the smoking and the fornicating. These are the central tenets of the first years of being an under-graduate. As a 27 year old, who has spent ten years in the real world, working in industry, long hard hours of toil and turpitude, I grasped these tenets like a newly converted zealot. I drank to excess, smoked too much weed, and enjoyed as much female company as I could muster. In effect, I got to be a teenager again.

However, with all of those destractions away for the christmas holidays, spending time actually doing my essays and projects in the peace and quiet of the library, was a total joy. I would travel unto Campus on the bus, the same time as I did in term time. As the Library didn’t open until ten, this gave me an hour in the union cafe, a time to read the Guardian, do the crossword and drink a mug of disgusting coffee… but all in peace. None of the remaining students, the ones who lived on Campus and hadn’t gone home for the hols, would not be up and about until midday at the earliest. Peaceful times.

At ten, I would get up, put the newspaper in my brief case, and toddle off up to the library. In those last years, before everything was on the computers and everyone had mobile phones, the only way to find the information you required, was to read. You had to wade through hundreds of essays, novels and pamphlets… Magazines like New Society, New Scientist etc, you had copies of every newspaper from the year dot on microfiche, which as a sociologist was a goldmine… It was a pleasure to use all these tools, and with the aid of helpful Librarians, you could find information which none of the other students would begin to research. In effect, the time spent alone in the library was probably the most productive time I had in my four years of University education.

At twelve, I piled all my books up and placed them on the end of the desk, with a note that I was coming back and please do not remove them. I put all my papers and notes in my briefcase, and made my way down the circular steps of the library back towards the Union building, looking forward to a hard earned cheese baguette and a cheap pint of lager. At the bottom of the steps I stopped and lit a much needed cigarette, the library was one of the few places on campus where you were not allowed to smoke… Heady days before the anti-smoking fascists took over, these days you can only smoke in a dustbin on the first thursday in september, but in those halycon days you could smoke anywhere, even in the maternity ward of the local hospital!

As I walked across the car park I was passed by a rather beautiful asian girl, who stared and smiled at me as if she knew me. I smiled back, desparately trying to place the girl, was she in one of my tutorials? She passed by, and I continued towards the pigeon holes where our internal mail was placed, it was important to check your pigeon hole at least twice a day, because the individual faculties tended to treat communication as espionage. You were never told anything, but instead got messages written in invisible ink, which you had to decipher with lemon juice and the burn on pain of death.

Well, I might be exaggerating a little, but I had missed re-arranged tutorials and new essay assignments, simply because I hadn’t checked my pigeon hole a second time on a given day. So, it became second nature to check the pigeonhole every time you entered the union building.

As I found nothing for me there, I turned and bumped into the girl of the biggest smile again!

“Sorry… Oh it’s you… Hello… How are You doing?” This was before Friends so I’m claiming the phrase back from Joey.

“Do I know you?” I asked, as her smile and demeanour suggested some previous knowledge of each other.

” I don’t think you remember me, but we have met.”

“Have we? I’m sure I would remember… You.”

” You remember the reading we did of Macbeth in Drama?”

This was not proper drama, I hasten to add, drama was not a faculty or subject allowed in my University, the drama mentioned, was part of the Teacher training faculty, which at the time I was studying concurrently with my proper studies. I gave it up after the first year, because I didn’t want to teach. I was pencilled in to teach English, History and Drama… So I had to attend these Drama classes as part of my teacher training. It was very dull, we were treated like pupils, and led by the nose on how to stand up a play from the page. As I had studied Acting at Drama and Dance School from the age of nine, it was quite run of the mill. When I turned up to the classes, which was not always, I was most often drunk… or at least libated.

When we had stood up Macbeth, I’d played the drunken night watchman, from the beginning of the play, and had hammed it up a little, as it was improvised. The other classmates had fallen about in hysterics, and a terse Tutor had called time on my performance.

I’d neglected to return after the event, as it wasn’t an integral class to the subject, but an extra add on. I’d just dropped out of it. So, the members of that class had not become a permanent fixture in my firmament.

“Were you there? I don’t remember, I’m afraid I was rather drunk.”

“I was supposed to be Lady Macbeth, but you rather stole the scene.”

“I’m terribly sorry, I don’t remember much…”

“Yes, I know, you were rather drunk… I just wanted to thank you!”

” You did, why?”

“I was terrified of playing Lady Macbeth and then your performance brought the place down, and it was never stood up again, so you saved me from that fate.”

“Well you’re very welcome.”

“You were very funny, you should be on the stage.”

“I was drunk, I’m always funny went I’m drunk.”

“Seriously, you look like a filmstar.”

“Who Alan Ladd?” Ok, this needs explaining. Alan Ladd was a famously short filmstar, 5ft 5 inches, from the 40’s and 50’s, exactly the same size as me. You, dear readers will probably not be aware of this fact, given your of a later vintage, and the girl similarly, looked perplexed.

” You know, the American actor who is famously short.”

“Oh, I see, no I never thought of you as short… You act a lot taller!”

——————————————————————

QUIET PLEASE : THE DENOUEMENT

I told the girl that I was just going up to the Union, for a sandwich and a pint, did she want to join me?

She shook her head.

“I’m going out for a walk around the lakes, I need some fresh air, you can join me if you like…”

Given that it was the middle of December and that there was a couple of inches of snow on the ground, and the extra joy of a windchill approaching -5, the thought of walking around the lakes, a good mile and a half in anyone’s money, was of course an absolute delight. I chided myself for being a sucker for an adventure, especially if the adventure involved an interesting young woman. Cock-led, I smiled as if it was the best idea i’d ever heard.

We walked away from the Union, across the main road and down by the side of the old Hall which housed the English Faculty. We walked in silence until out of sight of the Hall and the snow gave out to sludge and then mud as we got closer to the lakes.

I was still carrying my briefcase, and formed an incongruous image, what with briefcase, a bright blue motorcycle leather jacket, jeans and Dr.Marten boots. The girl brought her own picaresque elements to our costume, as she was wearing a long flowing kaftan skirt underneath her Afghan coat… She too wore the obligatory Dr.Martens shoes.

Despite the efficacy of wearing an Afghan goatskin coat in those freezing conditions, the smell of it required someone with extreme confidence in their own personal hygiene to carry it off. Momentarily distracted by the comical false landings of a pair of mallards on the half frozen lake, they had landed like a pair of ice skaters in a free dance routine as they glided across the ice, only to come unstuck when the ice gave way to sludge, and both pitched forward in a most ungainly manner, I hadn’t noticed that the girl was no longer beside me. I turned around in shock, and caught her carefully aimed snowball squarely on the bridge of my nose. My eyes watered, this walk had taken on an unexpected turn of events. I tried to laugh playfully, but it dried in my throat as her next ball caught me smack in the lips. I bent forward gasping. She looked at me as if concerned, bloody woman!

“Are you ok?”

“Of course… cough cough… splutter splutter… I love a snow fight!” I looked around me for snow, but alas and alack, the path next to the lake where I stood, was devoid of snow, only mud lay to hand.

I toyed with the idea of throwing mud at her… But it probably wouldn’t be construed as playful, at best it would seem mean, at worst it could be seen as an assault. I put my hands up.

“Ok, you win.”

“I’ve never seen real snow before.”

“Don’t they have snow where you come from?”

“No, not so much in Tower Hamlets, the city tends to keep snow at bay.”

I laughed… I didn’t know anything about her, but I’d presumed that she was from… somewhere else…

“What is your name?”

“Tee, my friend’s call me Tee.”

“Why do they call you Tee?”

“Because it’s easier than saying Ateebah?”

“Ateebah is a lovely name, what does it mean?”

“it means something that is soft and gentle I think, at least that’s what my mother told me.”

“It suits you.”

“You think? I just smashed snow all over your silly face… Was that soft and gentle?” I pursed my lips. I was not used to losing any competition, verbal or physical, and yet she had me two for two. I would regain my composure somehow… but not yet.

“Do you know my name?”

“Dave or something.”

“Not Dave.”

“It’s something like that, all your names sound the same to me…” Would she rile me? No. But she certainly had me off kilter.

“My name is Dale. Dale Beck.”

“And what does your name mean Dale Beck?”

“It means Valley Brook.”

“So it’s basically a tautology?”

Oh she is good. Very good.

“It suits you.”

“Really how so?”

“Well look at you, you’re all wet!”
She skipped off delightedly, like a little wood nymph. I gave chase, determined to find snow before she did, once caught twice as vicious I thought, pay back would be sweet.

Of course the inevitable happened, my briefcase got caught between my legs and I fell headlong into the mud. My hands flew forward to halt my fall, and I flung my briefcase forward. I lay in the mud, face dripping and aghast watched as my briefcase arced across the path and smashed into a tree. It sprung open and all my notes spread themselves deliciously across the mud.

Tee stopped running and looked as if she was about to erupt into hysterics… You could say I have a natural flair for slapstick… But then replaced the look of glee with a look of actual concern,

“You’re bleeding…”

“My bleeding notes, look covered in bloody mud!”

She looked around to where I gestured and saw my spilt briefcase.

“But you’re bleeding, seriously!”

I rubbed my hand across my temple and found it redden hued,

“I’m always bloody bleeding Tee, I play rugby every weekend! But those notes are the product of a weeks study.”

I got up groggily, and went to the scattered ashes of all my labours. I put the notes, such as they were, back into my briefcase and relocked the open clasps. Luckily, the case wasn’t badly damaged, just a little dent in the lid, and I breathed a sigh of relief. The blood streamed down the side of my face. Tee ran to me and pressed a handkerchief to the wound. As my face was equally smeared in mud as well as blood, she feared the wound might go septic.

“Oh God, Dale look at the fucking state of you!”

“I can’t maybe you can look for me.”

“Quick I’ll take you back to my halls, get you washed up.”

“Where are your halls, Tee?”

The thought of walking half across the campus covered in mud and blood would not do my street cred much good… Even if most of my friends were already away home for the hols.

“They are just across the lake there, we can get to them without going through the campus… Look just there beyong the trees.”

I let her lead me around the lake, taking care not to slip again, because dignity once lost is difficult to regain…. Bloody fool!

She sat me in her small bedroom after removing my coat and boots, and stowing my briefcase behind the small desk she had in the corner. She went off to find a bowl and soapy water… I stood still in her inner sanctum and looked around. I did not wish to muddy her furnishings. As a student, the first thing to attract my attention was her books. She had an array of books with cyrillic script, which given her ethinicity seemed incongruous, she was studying Russian? Along side the incomprehensible Russian texts sat the equally incongruous science text books… I knew something of Astral Physics and Quantum Physics, but her books were on Chemistry, a subject I knew very little about.(Strangely, I ended up doing Chemistry for morons as one of my minors later in my academic life, and managed to scrape a pass… Chemistry for Morons was officially called, Environmental Pollution Protection… and I passed by being able to synthesise the lead from grass from the motorway verges, something to do with spectroscopy I think… As i say it was Chemistry for morons!) She also had the text book written by the Professor of Education at our University, which was required reading on the syllabus… The perks of being a Professor, you get to sell more copies of your interminable doggerel which you call a text book! I had not purchased the book, but rather photocopied the chapter we were required to read each week from the library copy. Waste not want not, I’d already decided I was going to give up education next year, so decided the money saved on the books would be better spent on alcohol!

She returned from the kitchen with a bowl of warm water and dettol. Tee washed me down, and somehow persuaded me to take off my trousers and shirt…

“There covered in mud let me put them in the wash…”

I’d like to say I was embarassed by being in such a state of undress, but being a tart, I didn’t shame easy… I still had a decent physique then… If only now… Oh well. Years of excess take there toll. Worth every extra inch I’d say.

So there I sat, on her bed, in my underpants and socks and totally unabashed. She returned to the room this time with a band-aid for my forehead and a bottle of Peach schnapps for my spirits.

Peach Schnapps is an acquired taste. I acquired it quickly as I emptied the proffered shot glass, whilst she applied the plaster to my inconsequential nick on my head. It was no more than a graze and I felt a fraud letting her minister to my medical needs. When she stepped away to admire her handiwork I put out my shot glass for a refill. She refilled it. And again. And again. I lay sprawled length ways along her single bed. She sat at her small desk. The chat was blurry. I remember reading some poetry to her. She was enchanted. She said she was enchanted. I was not in a position to judge. She could have been faking it. I fell asleep, either through the shock of the loss of blood or by the ministering of an unknown spirit.

When I stirred Tee was lying next to me. She was naked. She had covered us in her duvet. She was very warm and coccooned my body with her own. There seemed to be sme sort of state of arousal going on. I wasn’t sure how much of this state was down to me. A sudden fear.

“Tee how old are you?”

“Nearly twenty.”

“How near?”

“With in a hair’s breath.”

I was alarmed. I didn’t want to compromise myself… She could have been one of those child prodigy’s whose lives are nearly always ruined by being sent to University too soon.

“What’s your date of birth?”

“23rd December 1967″

I tried to do the maths, nearly twenty, nearly eight years younger than myself. Though people might frown, it was not an unacceptable age difference.

I relaxed back unto my back and she gently stroked my taut belly.

“You have a lovely body.” I reached around her and stroked her back. She had skin like velvet.

“So do you.”

She leant forward and kissed me passionately on the lips. She was so hot! Literally as hot as a five bar electric fire.

“Are you too warm?” I was worried she might have a fever.

“You make me hot, you’re a sexy man!”

“Really? With a cut head and mud on my knees, I still look sexy to you?”

“You’ve always looked sexy to me.” Now, bear in mind, I’m a little drunk at this stage, so my normal reactions cannot be relied upon, because given that I had not known of her existence until a couple of hours before, the phrase you always looked sexy to me, might suggest someone who is a bit stalkerish? A bit Kathy Bates in ‘misery’? But I’m drunk and being flattered, which are two of my favourite states to be in, so I don’t take to flight. She is now doing unmentionable things to my manhood with her hand… And judging by her smile, it is having the desired effect. Not to be left out I begin to explore her exquisite body, from head to breasts with my hands, then with my lips… as my hands continue their scouting mission further down… My hand discovers a mound which is erupting like vesuvius… pity poor pompeii! She is awash, more so than any other woman I have ever known…

So we have a perfect chemical bonding here, both elements are liberally prepared for their chemical romance.

I’m about to slide between her thighs when she says something which stops me in my tracks.

“Do you think it will fit?”

“Of course… Why do you ask?”

“It’s my first time.” Those dread words. I’m turned to stone, apart from the required part, which in effect withers on the vine.

“You’re a virgin?”

“Yes, is that ok?”

“No. It’s not, I can’t take your virginity.”

“Why the fuck not?”

“Your first time should be special.”

“You are special, you are the person I chose… I wanted it to be you!”

“You don’t even know me, Tee, I’m a total shit!”

“You’re friends say you are the best lover in the University.”

“Who Does?”

“Judith, she’s in my Russian Studies tutorial. I told her that I wanted to lose my virginity, and she said, I should come and meet you, she said you are amazing, the best she’s ever had!”

“She must have had a sheltered life then, is all I can say…”

“But everything has felt so right today, and you are so nice, even when I snowballed you… It seemed so right. Look at me, I’m crazy for you!” She pulled down the duvet to show her perfect flushed form to me. I was sorely tempted, I mean, who would refuse such an offer? I jumped out of the bed, and reached for my trousers, now folded across the chair beside her desk, She reached around for my cock and pulled it towards her mouth.
“No.” I pulled away.

“Please, Dale, Please Fuck Me Now!” I leant down to her dirty mouth and kissed her passionately.

“My sweet girl,if you get to know me first, spend a couple of months to become full acquainted then maybe I might be able to help you, but not like this, I couldn’t forgive myself if I took advantage of you. I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to take advantage of me. I will just take advantage of you.”

I pulled on the rest of my clothes.

I bent to kiss her cheek. She had tears rolling down them.

“Listen Tee, your a lovely woman, so beautiful I will be berating myself all the way home. It’s not you it’s me… I don’t feel worthy of taking your maidenhood, you need to find a guy to love first…”

“What if I love you?”

“If you love me sweetheart, you will wait a couple of months until we know each other.”

I turned to the door and left.

I stood at the bus stop, very nearly sober, kicking myself for a missed adventure. I berated myself mentally all the way home on the bus. Damning myself for this innate self-loathing. I had always felt the same about virginity… It wasn’t the first time it had happened, but I really did feel that it should be special and with someone you loved. I had lost my virginity at the age of fifteen, behind a shed at the back of a block of flats, a tomcat had pissed on my head from the roof of the shed as I enacted the eternal petit mort… the girl at the time had been incidental, I had not really cared for her, she had not cared for me, it was an itch we both wanted to get over, so we did. I felt guilty afterwards… And had cried into the night. I swore that I would never put anyone through such a tawdry experience again for their first time. And I hadn’t… Damn my eyes!

 

QUIET PLEASE : THE DENOUEMENT

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QUIET PLEASE : THE DENOUEMENT

I told the girl that I was just going up to the Union, for a sandwich and a pint, did she want to join me?

She shook her head.

“I’m going out for a walk around the lakes, I need some fresh air, you can join me if you like…”

Given that it was the middle of December and that there was a couple of inches of snow on the ground, and the extra joy of a windchill approaching -5, the thought of walking around the lakes, a good mile and a half in anyone’s money, was of course an absolute delight. I chided myself for being a sucker for an adventure, especially if the adventure involved an interesting young woman. Cock-led, I smiled as if it was the best idea i’d ever heard.

We walked away from the Union, across the main road and down by the side of the old Hall which housed the English Faculty. We walked in silence until out of sight of the Hall and the snow gave out to sludge and then mud as we got closer to the lakes.

I was still carrying my briefcase, and formed an incongruous image, what with briefcase, a bright blue motorcycle leather jacket, jeans and Dr.Marten boots. The girl brought her own picaresque elements to our costume, as she was wearing a long flowing kaftan skirt underneath her Afghan coat… She too wore the obligatory Dr.Martens shoes.

Despite the efficacy of wearing an Afghan goatskin coat in those freezing conditions, the smell of it required someone with extreme confidence in their own personal hygiene to carry it off. Momentarily distracted by the comical false landings of a pair of mallards on the half frozen lake, they had landed like a pair of ice skaters in a free dance routine as they glided across the ice, only to come unstuck when the ice gave way to sludge, and both pitched forward in a most ungainly manner, I hadn’t noticed that the girl was no longer beside me. I turned around in shock, and caught her carefully aimed snowball squarely on the bridge of my nose. My eyes watered, this walk had taken on an unexpected turn of events. I tried to laugh playfully, but it dried in my throat as her next ball caught me smack in the lips. I bent forward gasping. She looked at me as if concerned, bloody woman!

“Are you ok?”

“Of course… cough cough… splutter splutter… I love a snow fight!” I looked around me for snow, but alas and alack, the path next to the lake where I stood, was devoid of snow, only mud lay to hand.

I toyed with the idea of throwing mud at her… But it probably wouldn’t be construed as playful, at best it would seem mean, at worst it could be seen as an assault. I put my hands up.

“Ok, you win.”

“I’ve never seen real snow before.”

“Don’t they have snow where you come from?”

“No, not so much in Tower Hamlets, the city tends to keep snow at bay.”

I laughed… I didn’t know anything about her, but I’d presumed that she was from… somewhere else…

“What is your name?”

“Tee, my friend’s call me Tee.”

“Why do they call you Tee?”

“Because it’s easier than saying Ateebah?”

“Ateebah is a lovely name, what does it mean?”

“it means something that is soft and gentle I think, at least that’s what my mother told me.”

“It suits you.”

“You think? I just smashed snow all over your silly face… Was that soft and gentle?” I pursed my lips. I was not used to losing any competition, verbal or physical, and yet she had me two for two. I would regain my composure somehow… but not yet.

“Do you know my name?”

“Dave or something.”

“Not Dave.”

“It’s something like that, all your names sound the same to me…” Would she rile me? No. But she certainly had me off kilter.

“My name is Dale. Dale Beck.”

“And what does your name mean Dale Beck?”

“It means Valley Brook.”

“So it’s basically a tautology?”

Oh she is good. Very good.

“It suits you.”

“Really how so?”

“Well look at you, you’re all wet!”
She skipped off delightedly, like a little wood nymph. I gave chase, determined to find snow before she did, once caught twice as vicious I thought, pay back would be sweet.

Of course the inevitable happened, my briefcase got caught between my legs and I fell headlong into the mud. My hands flew forward to halt my fall, and I flung my briefcase forward. I lay in the mud, face dripping, and aghast watched as my briefcase arced across the path and smashed into a tree. It sprung open and all my notes spread themselves deliciously across the mud.

Tee stopped running and looked as if she was about to erupt into hysterics… You could say I have a natural flair for slapstick… But then replaced the look of glee with a look of actual concern,

“You’re bleeding…”

“My bleeding notes, look covered in bloody mud!”

She looked around to where I gestured and saw my spilt briefcase.

“But you’re bleeding, seriously!”

I rubbed my hand across my temple and found it redden hued,

“I’m always bloody bleeding Tee, I play rugby every weekend! But those notes are the product of a weeks study.”

I got up groggily, and went to the scattered ashes of all my labours. I put the notes, such as they were, back into my briefcase and re-locked the open clasps. Luckily, the case wasn’t badly damaged, just a little dent in the lid, and I breathed a sigh of relief. The blood streamed down the side of my face. Tee ran to me and pressed a handkerchief to the wound. As my face was equally smeared in mud as well as blood, she feared the wound might go septic.

“Oh God, Dale look at the fucking state of you!”

“I can’t maybe you can look for me.”

“Quick I’ll take you back to my halls, get you washed up.”

“Where are your halls, Tee?”

The thought of walking half across the campus covered in mud and blood would not do my street cred much good… Even if most of my friends were already away home for the hols.

“They are just across the lake there, we can get to them without going through the campus… Look just there beyond the trees.”

I let her lead me around the lake, taking care not to slip again, because dignity once lost is difficult to regain…. Bloody fool!

She stood me in her small bedroom after removing my coat and boots, and stowing my briefcase behind the small desk she had in the corner. She went off to find a bowl and soapy water… I stood still in her inner sanctum and looked around. I did not wish to muddy her furnishings. As a student, the first thing to attract my attention was her books. She had an array of books with Cyrillic script, which given her ethnicity seemed incongruous, she was studying Russian? Along side the incomprehensible Russian texts sat the equally incongruous science text books… I knew something of Astral Physics and Quantum Physics, but her books were on Chemistry, a subject I knew very little about.(Strangely, I ended up doing Chemistry for morons as one of my minors later in my academic life, and managed to scrape a pass… Chemistry for Morons was officially called, Environmental Pollution Protection… and I passed by being able to synthesise the lead from grass off the motorway verges, something to do with spectroscopy I think… As i say it was Chemistry for morons!) She also had the text book written by the Professor of Education at our University, which was required reading on the syllabus… The perks of being a Professor, you get to sell more copies of your interminable doggerel which you call a text book! I had not purchased the book, but rather photocopied the chapter we were required to read each week from the library copy. Waste not want not, I’d already decided I was going to give up education next year, so decided the money saved on the books would be better spent on alcohol!

She returned from the kitchen with a bowl of warm water and dettol. Tee washed me down, and somehow persuaded me to take off my trousers and shirt…

“There covered in mud let me put them in the wash…”

I’d like to say I was embarrassed by being in such a state of undress, but being a tart, I didn’t shame easy… I still had a decent physique then… If only now… Oh well. Years of excess take there toll. Worth every extra inch I’d say.

So there I sat, on her bed, in my underpants and socks and totally unabashed. She returned to the room this time with a band-aid for my forehead and a bottle of Peach schnapps for my spirits.

Peach Schnapps is an acquired taste. I acquired it quickly as I emptied the proffered shot glass, whilst she applied the plaster to my inconsequential nick on my head. It was no more than a graze and I felt a fraud letting her minister to my medical needs. When she stepped away to admire her handiwork I put out my shot glass for a refill. She refilled it. And again. And again. I lay sprawled length ways along her single bed. She sat at her small desk. The chat was blurry. I remember reading some poetry to her. She was enchanted. She said she was enchanted. I was not in a position to judge. She could have been faking it. I fell asleep, either through the shock of the loss of blood or by the ministering of an unknown spirit.

When I stirred Tee was lying next to me. She was naked. She had covered us in her duvet. She was very warm and cocooned my body with her own. There seemed to be some sort of state of arousal going on. I wasn’t sure how much of this state was down to me. A sudden fear.

“Tee how old are you?”

“Nearly twenty.”

“How near?”

“With in a hair’s breath.”

I was alarmed. I didn’t want to compromise myself… She could have been one of those child prodigy’s whose lives are nearly always ruined by being sent to University too soon.

“What’s your date of birth?”

“23rd December 1967″

I tried to do the maths, nearly twenty, nearly eight years younger than myself. Though people might frown, it was not an unacceptable age difference.

I relaxed back unto my back and she gently stroked my taut belly.

“You have a lovely body.” I reached around her and stroked her back. She had skin like velvet.

“So do you.”

She lent forward and kissed me passionately on the lips. She was so hot! Literally as hot as a five bar electric fire.

“Are you too warm?” I was worried she might have a fever.

“You make me hot, you’re a sexy man!”

“Really? With a cut head and mud on my knees, I still look sexy to you?”

“You’ve always looked sexy to me.” Now, bear in mind, I’m a little drunk at this stage, so my normal reactions cannot be relied upon, because given that I had not known of her existence until a couple of hours before, the phrase you always looked sexy to me, might suggest someone who is a bit stalker-ish? A bit Kathy Bates in ‘misery’? But I’m drunk and being flattered, which are two of my favourite states to be in, so I don’t take to flight. She is now doing unmentionable things to my manhood with her hand… And judging by her smile, it is having the desired effect. Not to be left out I begin to explore her exquisite body, from head to breasts with my hands, then with my lips… as my hands continue their scouting mission further down… My hand discovers a mound which is erupting like Vesuvius… pity poor Pompeii! She is awash, more so than any other woman I have ever known…

So we have a perfect chemical bonding here, both elements are liberally prepared for their chemical romance.

I’m about to slide between her thighs when she says something which stops me in my tracks.

“Do you think it will fit?”

“Of course… Why do you ask?”

“It’s my first time.” Those dread words. I’m turned to stone, apart from the required part, which in effect withers on the vine.

“You’re a virgin?”

“Yes, is that ok?”

“No. It’s not, I can’t take your virginity.”

“Why the fuck not?”

“Your first time should be special.”

“You are special, you are the person I chose… I wanted it to be you!”

“You don’t even know me, Tee, I’m a total shit!”

“You’re friends say you are the best lover in the University.”

“Who Does?”

“Judith, she’s in my Russian Studies tutorial. I told her that I wanted to lose my virginity, and she said, I should come and meet you, she said you are amazing, the best she’s ever had!”

“She must have had a sheltered life then, is all I can say…”

“But everything has felt so right today, and you are so nice, even when I snowballed you… It seemed so right. Look at me, I’m crazy for you!” She pulled down the duvet to show her perfect flushed form to me. I was sorely tempted, I mean, who would refuse such an offer? I jumped out of the bed, and reached for my trousers, now folded across the chair beside her desk, She reached around for my cock and pulled it towards her mouth.
“No.” I pulled away.

“Please, Dale, Please Fuck Me Now!” I lent down to her dirty mouth and kissed her passionately.

“My sweet girl,if you get to know me first, spend a couple of months to become full acquainted then maybe I might be able to help you, but not like this, I couldn’t forgive myself if I took advantage of you. I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to take advantage of me. I will just take advantage of you.”

I pulled on the rest of my clothes.

I bent to kiss her cheek. She had tears rolling down them.

“Listen Tee, your a lovely woman, so beautiful I will be berating myself all the way home. It’s not you it’s me… I don’t feel worthy of taking your maidenhood, you need to find a guy to love first…”

“What if I love you?”

“If you love me sweetheart, you will wait a couple of months until we know each other.”

I turned to the door and left.

I stood at the bus stop, very nearly sober, kicking myself for a missed adventure. I berated myself mentally all the way home on the bus. Damning myself for this innate self-loathing. I had always felt the same about virginity… It wasn’t the first time it had happened, but I really did feel that it should be special and with someone you loved. I had lost my virginity at the age of fifteen, behind a shed at the back of a block of flats, a tomcat had pissed on my head from the roof of the shed as I enacted the eternal petit mort… the girl at the time had been incidental, I had not really cared for her, she had not cared for me, it was an itch we both wanted to get over, so we did. I felt guilty afterwards… And had cried into the night. I swore that I would never put anyone through such a tawdry experience again for their first time. And I hadn’t… Damn my eyes!


I never saw ‘TEE’ again, and my friend and chief cheerleader Judith denied all knowledge of the girl. So was it real? Did it really happen? I think so, but I am a little mad, so who knows.


I struggled with the second part of this story, I asked a close friend is it believable? I mean no man would turn down such an offer surely? She said it sounded like me… Which is a nice thing to say… I think. Then I suddenly realised something from what she said to me… I had never actually asked anyone out in the entirety of my adult life. Girls or women I should say had always asked me out. And I’d always been surprised and delighted. What man reaches the age of sixty without ever asking someone out?

My Marie had practically dragged me upstairs to consummate out relationship, my ex wife had asked me out, the two girls before her had both asked me out too. Even when I’d met people in a disco or a pub, I’d just gone with them, gone along with what they wanted. If they wanted me, they got me, if they didn’t I just went home.

I’ve come to the conclusion I’m a fucking freak!

oh well, too late to change now.

Dale ‘M’

FREE PLAYLIST

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FREE PLAYLIST

  1. MEMORY OF A FREE FESTIVAL – DAVID BOWIE
  2. FREE NOT FREE – CLINIC
  3. I FEEL SO FREE -!!!
  4. FREE THE FIGHTERS – CHELSEA
  5. FREE LOVE – PRINCE BUSTER
  6. FREE WORLD – KIRSTY MACCOLL
  7. GERMFREE ADOLESCENTS – X-RAY SPEX
  8. CHEAPER THAN FREE – STEVIE NICKS
  9. FREE TO BREATHE – COLD WAR KIDS
  10. LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD – ELBOW
  11. SET ME FREE – GROOVE ARMADA
  12. FREE TOY – LONGPIGS
  13. FREE MONEY – PENETRATION
  14. RADIO FREE EUROPE – REM
  15. FREE RIDE – NICK DRAKE
  16. FREE TO FALL – DEBBIE HARRY
  17. AT LAST I’M FREE – ELIZABETH FRASER
  18. RUNNING FREE – BUZZCOCKS
  19. FREE NELSON MANDELA – THE SPECIALS
  20. EMOTIONAL FREE FALL – MERCURY REV

 CARRY FREEDOM IN YOUR HEART! BECAUSE THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING WE ARE ALL GOING TO MISS FREEDOM SOON!

DALE ‘M’

QUIET PLEASE

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QUIET PLEASE

The thing about December in the University Library is the fact its empty… Totally devoid of under graduates. It is a place of peace and contemplation, a place where serious study is at last possible. Unlike the normal atmosphere of the University in semester, where one rushes from a lecture to the union then on to a tutorial… Yeah, that’s a lie, the rush is from one excess to another, the lectures and tutorials are the incendentals, the thin layer of intellectual rigour spread evenly across the drinking, the smoking and the fornicating. These are the central tenets of the first years of being an under-graduate. As a 27 year old, who has spent ten years in the real world, working in industry, long hard hours of toil and turpitude, I grasped these tenets like a newly converted zealot. I drank to excess, smoked too much weed, and enjoyed as much female company as I could muster. In effect, I got to be a teenager again.

However, with all of those distractions away for the Christmas holidays, spending time actually doing my essays and projects in the peace and quiet of the library, was a total joy. I would travel unto Campus on the bus, the same time as I did in term time. As the Library didn’t open until ten, this gave me an hour in the union cafe, a time to read the Guardian, do the crossword and drink a mug of disgusting coffee… but all in peace. None of the remaining students, the ones who lived on Campus and hadn’t gone home for the hols, would not be up and about until midday at the earliest. Peaceful times.

At ten, I would get up, put the newspaper in my brief case, and toddle off up to the library. In those last years, before everything was on the computers and everyone had mobile phones, the only way to find the information you required, was to read. You had to wade through hundreds of essays, novels and pamphlets… Magazines like New Society, New Scientist etc, you had copies of every newspaper from the year dot on microfiche, which as a sociologist was a goldmine… It was a pleasure to use all these tools, and with the aid of helpful Librarians, you could find information which none of the other students would begin to research. In effect, the time spent alone in the library was probably the most productive time I had in my four years of University education.

At twelve, I piled all my books up and placed them on the end of the desk, with a note that I was coming back and please do not remove them. I put all my papers and notes in my briefcase, and made my way down the circular steps of the library back towards the Union building, looking forward to a hard earned cheese baguette and a cheap pint of lager. At the bottom of the steps I stopped and lit a much needed cigarette, the library was one of the few places on campus where you were not allowed to smoke… Heady days before the anti-smoking fascists took over, these days you can only smoke in a dustbin on the first Thursday in September, but in those halcyon days you could smoke anywhere, even in the maternity ward of the local hospital!

As I walked across the car park I was passed by a rather beautiful Asian girl, who stared and smiled at me as if she knew me. I smiled back, desperately trying to place the girl, was she in one of my tutorials? She passed by, and I continued towards the pigeon holes where our internal mail was placed, it was important to check your pigeon hole at least twice a day, because the individual faculties tended to treat communication as espionage. You were never told anything, but instead got messages written in invisible ink, which you had to decipher with lemon juice and then burn on pain of death.

Well, I might be exaggerating a little, but I had missed re-arranged tutorials and new essay assignments, simply because I hadn’t checked my pigeon hole a second time on a given day. So, it became second nature to check the pigeonhole every time you entered the union building.

As I found nothing for me there, I turned and bumped into the girl of the biggest smile again!

“Sorry… Oh it’s you… Hello… How are You doing?” This was before Friends so I’m claiming the phrase back from Joey.

“Do I know you?” I asked, as her smile and demeanour suggested some previous knowledge of each other.

” I don’t think you remember me, but we have met.”

“Have we? I’m sure I would remember… You.”

” You remember the reading we did of Macbeth in Drama?”

This was not proper drama, I hasten to add, drama was not a faculty or subject allowed in my University, the drama mentioned, was part of the Teacher training faculty, which at the time I was studying concurrently with my proper studies. I gave it up after the first year, because I didn’t want to teach. I was pencilled in to teach English, History and Drama… So I had to attend these Drama classes as part of my teacher training. It was very dull, we were treated like pupils, and led by the nose on how to stand up a play from the page. As I had studied Acting at Drama and Dance School from the age of nine, it was quite run of the mill. When I turned up to the classes, which was not always, I was most often drunk… or at least under the influence of several libations.

When we had stood up Macbeth, I’d played the drunken night watchman, from the beginning of the play, and had hammed it up a little, as it was improvised. The other classmates had fallen about in hysterics, and a terse Tutor had called time on my performance.

I’d neglected to return after the event, as it wasn’t an integral class to the subject, but an extra add on. I’d just dropped out of it. So, the members of that class had not become a permanent fixture in my firmament.

“Were you there? I don’t remember, I’m afraid I was rather drunk.”

“I was supposed to be Lady Macbeth, but you rather stole the scene.”

“I’m terribly sorry, I don’t remember much…”

“Yes, I know, you were rather drunk… I just wanted to thank you!”

” You did, why?”

“I was terrified of playing Lady Macbeth and then your performance brought the place down, and it was never stood up again, so you saved me from that fate.”

“Well you’re very welcome.”

“You were very funny, you should be on the stage.”

“I was drunk, I’m always funny when I’m drunk.”

“Seriously, you look like a film star.”

“Who Alan Ladd?” OK, this needs explaining. Alan Ladd was a famously short film  star, 5 ft 5 inches, from the 40’s and 50’s, exactly the same size as me. You, dear readers will probably not be aware of this fact, given you’re of a later vintage, and the girl similarly, looked perplexed.

” You know, the American actor who is famously short.”

“Oh, I see, no I never thought of you as short… You act a lot taller!”


to be continued.

DALE ‘M’

 

NOT HERE

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NOT HERE

I’M A DISCARDED BOTTLE,

AWASH ON THE SHORE,

PICTURESQUE BUT VACUOUS…

 

WITH NO LID, I’M FLAT,

THE EFFERVESCENCE DISSOLVED,

MY HEARTS NOT IN IT.

 

AND I WANDER THE BATTLEMENTS,

LIKE HAMLET’S DEAD FATHER,

PLAYING OUT THE SAME SCENES.

 

I WISH FOR A NEW STORY,

TO HAVE AN AWAKENING…

BUT DON’T BELIEVE.

 

HOW DO YOU KICKSTART YOUR LIFE?

WHEN YOUR ENGINES GONE…

YOU ARE JUST SCRAP!

 

YOU CAN TELL ME TO MOVE ON,

BUT WITHOUT MY SOUL…

I HAVE NOTHING…

NOTHING AT ALL.

 

DALE ‘M’

 

 

EVERY PLAYLIST

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EVERY PLAYLIST

  1. EVERY BIT A LITTLE GIRL – ELBOW
  2. EVERY DAY IS A MIRACLE – DAVID BYRNE
  3. EVERY MAN HAS A CHAIN – DONOVAN
  4. EVERY KINDA PEOPLE – ROBERT PALMER
  5. EVERY GUY WANTS TO BE HER BABY – AMAZING SNAKEHEADS
  6. EVERY LITTLE BOX – CULT WITH NO NAME
  7. EVERY TIME THE SUN COMES UP – SHARON VON ETTEN
  8. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS -!!!
  9. EVERY LITTLE THING – THE BEATLES
  10. EVERY DAY IS YOURS TO WIN – REM
  11. EVERY PLANET WE REACH IS DEAD – GORILLAZ
  12. I SPEAK YOUR EVERY WORD – CURVE
  13. EVERY LITTLE MEANS TRUST – IDLEWILD
  14. KNOW WHO YOU ARE AT EVERY AGE – COCTEAU TWINS
  15. EVERY LITTLE THING SHE DOES – THE POLICE
  16. IN EVERY DREAM HOME A HEARTACHE – ROXY MUSIC
  17. ON EVERY OTHER STREET – CABERET VOLTAIRE
  18. EVERY YOU EVERY ME – PLACEBO
  19. EVERY BREATH I TAKE – GENE PITNEY
  20. EVERY TEAR DISAPPEARS – ST. VINCENT
  21. EVERY WORD – BELLY
  22. AFTER EVERY PARTY I DIE – IAMX

 

EVERY DAY IS A NEW ADVENTURE

DALE ‘M’

ALEXANDER PUSHKIN (1799 -1837)

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AWAKENING

O dreams, my dreams,
Where is your sweetness?
Where are you,
Joy of nightly fleetness?
They’re gone away –
My fancies, gay,
And now alone
In darkness grown
I, sleepless, stay.

A mute night hovers
My bed above
In a flash lone
Turned cool and gone
Dreams of my love,
Like a tense crowd.
But still heart beats
The longings’ sound
And catches bits
Of dreams around.

Love, hear my plea,
Hark to my prayer:
Send back to me
Your visions, fair,
And by morn sky,
Again enchanted,
Let . . . Let me die
Still unawaken’d.

DEAR OLD PUSHKIN...MORE RELEVANT NOW THAN EVER.
DALE 'M'