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


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.


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,


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


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


Washed out wrung out

dried to a crisp

crumbling in texture

crumbling in fact.

Towering intellect



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.


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


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.


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.


Natural fun.


I like that.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018


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


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


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


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.



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!


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


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


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 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



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


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


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


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


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?


Marx would recoil in horror at this torpor,


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

They have won.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018.


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.


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


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.


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


tied down with gaffer tape.

Where is the hurt?

Where is the crime?


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


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


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


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 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


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.




Copyright Dale Beck 2018


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


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


What alchemy this? What kindling touch the torch?

A silver shimmer, a slight phase discrepancy…


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


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


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


So many irrefutable truths are moot.

Great swathes of truth planed away

The big blue ball is flat…

shaving 500 years

Of progress







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


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 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


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


Ours become legend.

I am legend,

I cry for all.

copyright Dale Beck 2018


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


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


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


It begins with the words

Softly spoken – Maybe an accent

A soft Dublin brogue…


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


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




Irish Rover – The Pogues

Great British Mistake – The Adverts

French Kiss – Sleep Thieves

Spanish Caravan – The Doors

For Our Belgian Friends – Duritti Column

Double Dutch – Malcolm McLaren

German Nun – Sex Gang Children

Poland Whole – The Tubes

Italian Summer – Stevie Nicks

Relax ( Greek Disco Mix) Frankie goes To Hollywood

Norwegian Wood – The Beatles

Flying Scotsman – Spear Of Destiny

A Prayer for England – Massive Attack

Here’s hoping .





Tonight the moon dreams in a deeper languidness,
And, like a beauty on her cushions, lies at rest;
While drifting off to sleep, a tentative caress
Seeks, with a gentle hand, the contour of her breast;

As on a crest above her silken avalanche,
Dying, she yields herself to an unending swoon,
And sees a pallid vision everywhere she’d glance,
In the azure sky where blossoms have been strewn.

When sometime, in her weariness, upon her sphere
She might permit herself to sheda furtive tear,
A poet of great piety, a foe of sleep,

Catches in the hollow of his hand that tear,
An opal fragment, iridescent as a star;
Within his heart, far from the sun, it’s buried deep.


The Rose Family

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

Robert Frost

He Is More Than A Hero


He is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes–
the man who is allowed
to sit beside you — he

who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing

laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can’

speak — my tongue is broken;
a thin flame runs under
my skin; seeing nothing,

hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip with sweat;
trembling shakes my body

and I turn paler than
dry grass. At such times
death isn’t far from me



Chuang Tzu in dream became a butterfly,
And the butterfly became Chuang Tzu at waking.
Which was the real—the butterfly or the man ?
Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things?
The water that flows into the depth of the distant sea
Returns anon to the shallows of a transparent stream.
The man, raising melons outside the green gate of the city,
Was once the Prince of the East Hill.
So must rank and riches vanish.
You know it, still you toil and toil,—what for?
Chuang Tzu And The Butterfly
Li Po



Elbowing our way, we run.
Someone is being beaten up in the market.
You wouldn’t want to miss it!
We pick up speed, racing to the uproar,
scooping up water in our felt boots
and forgetting to wipe our sniffles.

And stood stock-still. In our little hearts something tightened,
when we saw how the ring of sheepskin coats,
fur coats, hooded coats, was contracting,
how he stood up near the green vegetable stall
with his head pulled into his shoulders from the hail
of jabs, kicks, spitting, slaps in the face.

Suddenly someone from the right by the handcart
pushed his teeth in,
Suddenly someone from the left bashed his forehead with a
chunk of ice.
Blood appeared-and then they started in, in earnest.
All piled up in a heap they began to scream together,
pounding with sticks, reins,
and linchpins out of wheels.

In vain he wheezed to them: ‘Mates,
you’re my mates-what’s the matter? ‘
The mob wanted to settle accounts fully.
The mob was deaf with rage.
The mob grumbled at those who weren’t putting their boots in,
and they trampled something that looked like a body
into the spring snow that was turning into mud.

They beat him up with relish. With ingenuity. Juicy.
I saw how skillfully and precisely
one man kept putting the boots in,
boots with greasy flaps on them,
right under the belt of the man who was down,
smothered in mud and dungy water.

Their owner, a guy with an honest enough mug,
very proud of his high principles,
was saying with each kick: ‘Don’t try your tricks with us! ‘
booting him deliberately, with the utmost conviction,
and, sweat pouring, with a red face, he jovially called to me:
‘Come on, youngster, get in it! ‘

I can’t remember-how many there were, making a din,
beating him up.
It may have been a hundred, it may have been more,
but I, just a boy, wept for shame.
And if a hundred are beating somebody up,
howling in a frenzy-even if for a good cause-
I will never make one hundred and one!



In his tenth July some instinct
taught him to arm the waiting wave,
a giant where its mouth hung open.
He rode on the lip that buoyed him there
and buckled him under. The beach was strung
with children paddling their ages in,
under the glare of noon chipping
its light out. He stood up, anonymous
and straight among them, between
their sand pails and nursery crafts.
The breakers cartwheeled in and over
to puddle their toes and test their perfect
skin. He was my brother, my small
Johnny brother, almost ten. We flopped
down upon a towel to grind the sand
under us and watched the Atlantic sea
move fire, like night sparklers;
and lost our weight in the festival
season. He dreamed, he said, to be
a man designed like a balanced wave…
how someday he would wait, giant
and straight.
Johnny, your dream moves summers
inside my mind.
He was tall and twenty that July,
but there was no balance to help;
only the shells came straight and even.
This was the first beach of assault;
the odor of death hung in the air
like rotting potatoes, the junkyard
of landing craft waited open and rusting.
The bodies were strung out as if they were
still reaching for each other, where they lay
to blacken, to burst through their perfect
skin. And Johnny Pole was one of them.
He gave in like a small wave, a sudden
hole in his belly and the years all gone
where the Pacific noon chipped its light out.
Like a bean bag, outflung, head loose
and anonymous, he lay. Did the sea move fire
for its battle season? Does he lie there
forever, where his rifle waits, giant
and straight?…I think you die again
and live again,
Johnny, each summer that moves inside
my mind.



Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can’t I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?

Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison –
Just for paying a few bills!
That’s out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:
Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
They don’t end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
they seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets – and yet
No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that’s the stuff
That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.

I don’t say, one bodies the other
One’s spiritual truth;
But I do say it’s hard to lose either,
When you have both.

by Philip Larkin


Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.



When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.




Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’



And a poet said, ‘Speak to us of Beauty.’

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, ‘Beauty is kind and gentle.

Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us.’

And the passionate say, ‘Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.

Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us.’

The tired and the weary say, ‘beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.

Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.’

But the restless say, ‘We have heard her shouting among the mountains,

And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.’

At night the watchmen of the city say, ‘Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east.’

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, ‘we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.’

In winter say the snow-bound, ‘She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.’

And in the summer heat the reapers say, ‘We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.’

All these things have you said of beauty.

Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,

But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,

But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.


A Star Without a Name

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,

it easily forgets her

and starts eating solid food.


Seeds feed awhile on ground,

then lift up into the sun.


So you should taste the filtered light

and work your way toward wisdom

with no personal covering.


That’s how you came here, like a star

without a name. Move across the night sky

with those anonymous lights.



Unfathomable Sea! whose waves are years,
Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe
Are brackish with the salt of human tears!
Thou shoreless flood, which in thy ebb and flow
Claspest the limits of mortality,
And sick of prey, yet howling on for more,
Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore;
Treacherous in calm, and terrible in storm,
Who shall put forth on thee,
Unfathomable Sea?


Celestial Music

I have a friend who still believes in heaven.
Not a stupid person, yet with all she knows, she literally talks to God.
She thinks someone listens in heaven.
On earth she’s unusually competent.
Brave too, able to face unpleasantness.

We found a caterpillar dying in the dirt, greedy ants crawling over it.
I’m always moved by disaster, always eager to oppose vitality
But timid also, quick to shut my eyes.
Whereas my friend was able to watch, to let events play out
According to nature. For my sake she intervened
Brushing a few ants off the torn thing, and set it down
Across the road.

My friend says I shut my eyes to God, that nothing else explains
My aversion to reality. She says I’m like the child who
Buries her head in the pillow
So as not to see, the child who tells herself
That light causes sadness-
My friend is like the mother. Patient, urging me
To wake up an adult like herself, a courageous person-

In my dreams, my friend reproaches me. We’re walking
On the same road, except it’s winter now;
She’s telling me that when you love the world you hear celestial music:
Look up, she says. When I look up, nothing.
Only clouds, snow, a white business in the trees
Like brides leaping to a great height-
Then I’m afraid for her; I see her
Caught in a net deliberately cast over the earth-

In reality, we sit by the side of the road, watching the sun set;
From time to time, the silence pierced by a birdcall.
It’s this moment we’re trying to explain, the fact
That we’re at ease with death, with solitude.
My friend draws a circle in the dirt; inside, the caterpillar doesn’t move.
She’s always trying to make something whole, something beautiful, an image
Capable of life apart from her.
We’re very quiet. It’s peaceful sitting here, not speaking, The composition
Fixed, the road turning suddenly dark, the air
Going cool, here and there the rocks shining and glittering-
It’s this stillness we both love.
The love of form is a love of endings.

John Donne

Summer Dawn 

My sleeping children are still flying dreams
in their goose-down heads.
The lush of the river singing morning songs
Fish watch their ceilings turn sun-white.
The grey-green pike lances upstream
Kale, like mermaid’s hair
points the water’s drift.
All is morning hush
and bird beautiful.

I only,
I didn’t have flu.

Spike Milligan

Everyone Sang
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.


Ignorant before the heavens of my life,
I stand and gaze in wonder. Oh the vastness
of the stars. Their rising and descent. How still.
As if I didn’t exist. Do I have any
share in this? Have I somehow dispensed with
their pure effect? Does my blood’s ebb and flow
change with their changes? Let me put aside
every desire, every relationship
except this one, so that my heart grows used to
its farthest spaces. Better that it live
fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than
as if protected, soothed by what is near.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Who is he?
A railroad track toward hell?
Breaking like a stick of furniture?
The hope that suddenly overflows the cesspool?
The love that goes down the drain like spit?
The love that said forever, forever
and then runs you over like a truck?
Are you a prayer that floats into a radio advertisement?
I don’t like you very well.
You don’t suit my clothes or my cigarettes.
Why do you locate here
as large as a tank,
aiming at one half of a lifetime?
Couldn’t you just go float into a tree
instead of locating here at my roots,
forcing me out of the life I’ve led
when it’s been my belly so long?

All right!
I’ll take you along on the trip
where for so many years
my arms have been speechless

 by Anne Sexton


me and two



Come Home – IAMX

Wait til my Bobby Gets Home – Darlene Love

A Place Called Home- PJ Harvey

Baby Let Me Take You Home – The Animals

Better Be Home Soon – Crowded House

Coming Home – Royksopp

Drive You Home – The Verve

Feels Like Home – Basement Jaxx

Going Home – Leonard Cohen

Home – David Byrne & Brian Eno

Home – Depeche Mode

Home – Clinic

Home Again – The Auteurs

Home Is Where The Heart Is – PIL

Home Of The Saved – The Skids

Homesick – The Cure

Hurry Home – Spear Of Destiny

In Every Dream Home a Heartache – Roxy Music

Low Place like Home – Sneaker Pimps

Let Me Go Home – Camera Obscura

She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles

Home In Your Heart – Solomon Burke

Time To Go Home – Chastity Belt

When Will You Come Home – M83

Woncha Come On Home – Joan Armatrading

back home from the sea.