WATCHING LORRAINE

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WATCHING LORRAINE

Glenn was sharing a room with Lorraine. It was the first time he had lived with anyone other than his family. Twenty years old, and this was the first time he had awoken with a woman sharing his space…. Without a mad scramble to hide the fact that they had been in the same bed. An ecstasy of fumbling and ferreting around… But not here and not now. It had happened as a matter of expediency, he had needed a flat to live in, and Lorraine had needed a person to share with. They had been introduced by mutual friends, and Glenn had been game… Lorraine was not so sure, but when Sue, the girl who had let her sleep on her floor for the last few weeks, kind of insisted, Lorraine had agreed to give it a go.

They found a room in a semi-detached house at the top of La Pouquelaye, although it was quite a walk from the centre of St. Helier, that was probably a bonus. Both of them had felt stifled living in the town, all of the friends led a very incestuous life, living in each others shadows night and day, Glenn was quite pleased to have space to breathe and Lorraine was always over-shadowed by her more gregarious friends.

The room consisted of two single beds and a t.v. set. A small two ring stove and grill sat precariously underneath it.

So they moved in on a Friday night, had a few drinks and went to bed quite early. They sat watching a horror film, and talking across the divide of the chimney breast. They did not flirt, though Glenn was quite keen… She had a lovely Glaswegian accent and once she got over her shyness, she could be quite funny.

Come Saturday morning, Glenn was awoken by a fully dressed Lorraine and a nice cup of coffee.

Come on Lazy Bones, up you get, We have things to do.”

Glenn groaned. He looked across at his travel clock and saw it was only 9:30.

He rolled over and turned his back to her, he didn’t usually get up until 12 on a Saturday.

Hey you wee scabby b’stard, Get the fuck up! We need to go shopping, right? It’s all 50/50 right? So that means we go shopping together. I’m not playing Wifey… I’m not going on my own!” He rolled over and took up the coffee cup. He gulped it down. Then he rolled over again… Within seconds he was asleep. A minute later he was awake again.

What the fuck?” he spluttered. She had rubbed a wet cloth across his face. She looked very wifey, he thought as she stood over him with her hands on her hips. He looked closely at her face. She was cute when she was annoyed! her page-boy cut black hair with its long fringe… She had a mannerism, she kept brushing the fringe out of her eyes…

He felt a frisson below the duvet… Olive brown eyes, large lips and freckles… For Fuck sake… she had freckles. Again, She pushed away the fringe, she looked stern,

Are you getting up or do I have to pull your duvet off?”

He smiled.

I wouldn’t. You might get more than you bargained for?”

What?”

Down below… The old man is awake…” he smirked.

Oh My God, Men! one track mind. I told you we are not having any of that! You promised, strictly friends, you said, your very words… I need a friend more than a shag…You said that just last night… When You were talking about some Cathy or whatever.”

Katie. Her name was Katie. I’m not hitting on you Lorr, just telling you of my state of arousal. I have no control over the little man.”

You and every other man I ever met! And don’t call me Lorr, my step-father used to call me That! If you have to shorten my name it’s Raine. Ok?”

They went shopping. Raine met a friend in the market, and started making out that she and Glenn were an item. Most peculiar. She invited her friend and the boyfriend she had with her to come up to the flat for a drink later. Glenn said nothing. He thought maybe she did want to play wifey after all.

Before the couple came, Lorraine asked him to pretend to be her boyfriend, as her friend was always going on about having a boyfriend… So she had lied. Just to shut her up for a bit. Glenn went down to the off-licence and bought a bottle of Vodka, his own tipple and orange squash.

The couple came with a cheap bottle of plonk. Blue Nun. They drank that, and half the bottle of vodka… And seemed settled for the night. Lorraine sat next to him on his bed. She draped an arm around him, and pointedly said that she was tired. The couple took the hint and made excuses. When Glenn had seen them off the premises, he returned to the bedroom to find that she was asleep in his bed.

Now… What to do? She was in his bed, that must be an invitation surely? But what if she was just trolleyed? What if she had snuggled down because she was drunk? He didn’t want to make an ass of himself, and he didn’t want her screaming blue murder because of a misunderstanding. He turned off the light and stripped down to his jockeys. He climbed into her bed. he lay there in silence. Looking at the orange glow on the ceiling, from the street light outside. He listened but he couldn’t hear her breathing. Was she really asleep?

Glenn.” A small voice called.

Yes?”

What the fuck are you doing in my bed?”

I was about to ask you the same question.”

I don’t know about you, young man, but I’m lying her thinking what’s wrong with me? Doesn’t he fancy me?”

I do.”

Then what are you waiting for?”

An invitation.”

Do you want a written invitation?”

Verbal will do fine.”

Glenn get your arse over her now!”

That will do it.” He leapt across the three-foot divide like Nijinsky on steroids.

Sunday morning, the anticlimax. Saturday night she was a live electric eel, all sensory and sensual desire. A flagrant and fragrant departure from the shy girl that Glenn had met just a couple of days before… She was a shocking sensation. The sex, it was always the sex… it was beyond the aching amateurish first-time delving of all his prior attempts.

So beautiful, so soft and tender, but also something else, something broken. He didn’t think this at the time but… in the morning when the madness had faded he realised that She had a need. Put Glenn in mind of the line in the song Dossier (of Fallibility) By The Skids.

He played the album just to hear the lyrics.

I never said never
I only said can’t
Move over move over
It’s unjustified romance
No more affair
It went on too long
No more communication
Time I was gone
Put down receiver.
Time I was gone.
Move over move over
Time I was gone.

The blood lay spilled on the receiving end
The wrists were cut unseen to all
The blood lay spilled an ancient blend
The wrists were cut during this call.

You are such a martyr
You leave such a taste
You are a disciple
You are such a waste
No more intimacy
Only footage news
Rejection of religion
Cascaded with blame
No stricken conscience
Attendance at the ashes
Sorry for the family
See you at your grave

A situation built round this plight
I no longer seem to require my greed
All these ambitions severed in flight
Just realised love’s more than a need
Inside and outside
Caught in between
The method that killed you
Was mine it would seem
A situation built round this plight
I no longer require my greed
All these ambitions are severed in flight.
I’ve just realised love’s a need
Should I endeavour to reset the wire
To reset the wire of life
This mental torment with nowhere to rehire
Please let my Dossier-grind-shoot-and
HALT
The blood lay spilled on the receiving end
The wrists were cut unseen to all
All these ambitions are severed in flight
And I’ve just realised love’s more than a need.

Why did he have time to contemplate? Because when he awoke on Sunday morning, she had flown the nest. there was no sign of her. He got up and went to the toilet. She was not in the bathroom. She was an enigma. She had issues, that was for sure. Glenn went back to bed. He slept. He woke again. It was lunch time, she was still not present. He got up and went down to the town, in search of food and hopefully Lorraine. He went to the cafe and ate a hearty all-day English breakfast. He went to the flat where Lorraine’s friends lived. She was not there. No-one had seen her. Now, he was worried. He went to the bar and drank. He was alone on this Island, he had found a girl he liked and promptly lost her again. What is wrong with you? He didn’t understand anything.

He went back to the flat. It was still empty. He went back to bed, switching tapes in his tape deck. He played Bowie Live at Philadelphia. He drifted in thought… and then sleep.

When he woke up again, it was dark. He didn’t know where he was. He had a stiffness in his member. He couldn’t remember what had caused it? Was it a dream? No. It was a full bladder. He got up and turned on the light. She was there. Sleeping in her bed. He went to the toilet. Cleaned his teeth. He turned off the light and went over to her and kissed the top of her head. She screamed.

It’s ok. It’s only me. Go back to sleep.” She grunted. She turned her back towards him. He went back to bed. He lay on his back, and stared once more at the ceiling. She was totally weird.

A small voice.

Glenn I’m sorry.”

It’s ok. I get it. You don’t want me.”

I do want you… but not yet. Let’s forget last night. Start again. Start slowly. I will be fine eventually. I’m just not ready yet.”

Where did you go?”

I just took a trip around the island. I needed space to think.”

The island isn’t that big that it can take you all day!”

I sat on the beach, had a drink in a bar. And I walked. Then I got another bus home.”

Did I do something wrong?”

Male EGOS! You were fine, a masterful performance. I give you a ten out of ten… It’s not you! It’s me!”

Really ten out of ten?”

Lorraine laughed. A bitter all men are such idiots kind of laugh, that Glenn had heard before.

I don’t know what to tell you… But I’m damaged goods, Glenn. I like you, and I know you have a good soul in there somewhere but I haven’t got the energy to find out where. So it’s back to the start ok? We are flatmates not lovers.”

Really? Ten out of ten.?”

I can’t tell if you are joking or are really that fucking crass… Either way, I need to sleep! I have to go to work in the morning!”

Bloody show-off…”

night Glenn.”

Night, Raine”

6 a.m. Monday morning. get that? 6 a.m.! Lorraine has to be at work for NINE. Now Glenn never got up before twelve unless he had to go to work. If he had to go to work he got up ten minutes before he had to leave… Quick swill, smell the clothes to see which are the cleanest… Grab a cup of coffee, and the sandwiches left out for him by his Mum, and he was away. A simple routine. Lorraine was up at Six to leave at eight thirty. What was she going to do with one hundred and fifty minutes? He groaned. She ignored him. She made tea. She sat watching him as she drank her tea.

You need to find a job. And quick, the way you drink your money will be gone in no time!”

I will look for work later.”

You need to get up early and look properly. you won’t find one in the pub.”

What about bar work?”

Too easy. Get up and go find a job… Pronto!”

Is this you taking a backward step? Just Flatmates? Jeez, Not even bloody milkmen are up at this time of the morning.”

You know I’m right. And as a flatmate, I need to know you can pay your half of the bills… I’m not going to have you sponging off me.”

I’m asleep.”

He rolled over to face the wall. She went into the bathroom. She took a shower. He rolled back on to his back and looked at the ceiling. She was right, he did need to find a job. he was shedding cash like a dog sheds hair. She came back into the room, hair wet and dressed in a toweling  dressing gown. She took out her hairdryer and began to dry her hair. Glenn watched closely the ritual. She brushed with one hand and dried with the other. The noise of the hairdryer went through Glenn like a dentist’s drill.

Thank God you have short hair!”

What?”

THANK GOD YOU ONLY HAVE SHORT HAIR!” he shouted.

She turned off the hairdryer.

Sorry if I’m disturbing you, sir!”

Not at all… Your dressing gown is gaping, and what I can see is most interesting.”

She looked down and saw her breasts were peeking out.

Pervert!”

Exhibitionist!”

She hit him over the head with the back of her brush.

Oww!”

Turn the other way you pervert, I don’t have time for your nonsense.”

He turned away but as soon as the hairdryer started again, he shifted around to get a better view. The hairdryer stopped and she put the kettle on for another tea.

Do you want one peeping tom?”

Coffee please, Mata Hari.”

What does that mean?”

Come on you must have heard of Mata Hari, she was a spy for the Germans in the 1st world war. Don’t they teach you scotch anything?”

Ok Clever bugger, firstly, scotch is a drink, I’m a Scot. Secondly, the first world war was 60 years ago, so why would I know of a spy from the dark ages?”

Good Grief, there is no talking to this girl.”

She sat on her bed. She looked so cute, he wanted to eat her. He drank his coffee. He thought, is this what it’s like? To be married? To live with someone? A constant back and forth… It was not what he’d expected. In fact, he didn’t know what he expected. He just walked into situations blindly… Fatalistic to the nth degree. No wonder his life was never plain sailing. That and the fact he was drunk most nights.

She got up and painstakingly began to put on her make-up, in the mirror which was set upon the chimney breast. Fascinated as if by a boa constrictor, Glenn watched as she put on her foundation. She then rouged her cheekbones. She put on her blue eye shadow and finally stroked her eyelashes with mascara. It was a long and laborious campaign. She cursed when the mascara smudged on the corner of her eye. She took out a cotton bud and slowly and carefully, stroked away the smudge. It was as if she was creating a mask.

Hiding her youthful looks for what reason? To make herself look more professional?

You don’t need make-up, you look beautiful naturally.” He said earnestly.

It is expected. You have to look the part when your job is dealing with the public. You should take note, you need to smarten up if you’re going to get a job!”

Don’t you hate it? I mean, taking 2 1/2 hours to get ready? Do you go through this rigmarole every morning?”

Yes. I do it every morning, and no, I don’t hate it. It helps me prepare for meeting people. I feel I am at my best.”

Dear GOD.You are only shop assistant !”

I have a job, you do not. So fuck you!”

Sorry, didn’t mean anything against you Raine, just that the job is not what you are worth… You are much better than being a shop assistant.”

It is a job. A start. You have to make concessions, you can’t just walk into the job of your dreams. Now, go and have a piss or something so I can get dressed in peace.”

Glenn got up and walked across the room. He paraded his erection proudly, pouched in his y-fronts.

For god sake, boy, stop swinging that thing in my face!”

That’s not what you said Saturday!”

We’ve forgotten Saturday, remember?”

Very Irish, you sure you’re scotch?”

She smacked his arse with the hair brush and he scooted out of the room, sharpish!

When he came back, she was fully dressed and stood in front of the mirror, applying her lipstick. She left at 8.30. am. Glenn had a leisurely stroke and thought about her naked.

THIS IS HISTORY -1980. MOSTLY TRUE. FUNNY TO THINK OF YOUR LIFE AS HISTORY…

FORTY YEARS ON.

LIFE IS STRANGE.

DALE BELOVED PARTNER OF ‘M’

EVERY DAY

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EVERY DAY

EVERY DAY I TRY TO FIX YOU IN MY MIND’S EYE,

I KISS YOUR PICTURES AND SAY I LOVE YOU,

JUST AS I SAID I LOVE YOU EVERY SINGLE DAY,

WE WERE TOGETHER,

JUST AS YOU SAID YOU LOVED ME…

EVERY SINGLE DAY.

 

AND WITH EVERY ACTION AND EVERY THOUGHT,

OUR LOVE WAS APPARENT,

SO ALONE I CARRY THE TORCH,

AND ALONE I’M NOT EVEN HALF THE MAN…

YOU MADE ME.

I SCUTTLE FROM DAY TO DAY,

LIKE A SPIDER SCUTTLING FROM CORNER TO WEB…

WITHOUT A FUCKING CLUE!

 

THERE’S A THOUGHT?

DALE ‘M’

POETS FOR THE DAY ARCHIVE

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SORROWS OF THE MOON

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.

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE


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

 

Sappho

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


 

PICTURE OF CHILDHOOD

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!

YEVGENY YETUSHENKO -1932 – 2017


FOR JOHNNY POLE ON A FORGOTTEN BEACH

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.

ANNE SEXTON


Toads

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


ALONE

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.

MAYA ANGELOU


LOSS AND  GAIN

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.

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW


HENRY V

 

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!’

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.


BEAUTY XXV

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.

KAHLIL GIBRAN


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.

Rumi


TIME

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?

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY


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
BY SIEGFRIED SASSOON
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


Despair

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?
Despair,
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

PERPETUAL WINTER

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Will the sun ever shine again?

I don’t see how…

You made the sun gleam with wonder,

You made the world a magical place…

Now all the magic has gone,

And I am left with the nothing…

Empty pages flickering in front of my eyes.

 

I’m emotionally chilled to the bone,

Nothing can warm my half -soul,

But the match of yours.

A half-life in half light,

Always winter and never Christmas.

And yet it is just weeks from your smile,

And your joyful love…

Which I can never share on this plane again.

 

It’s the nights, always the nights,

When the yearning cannot be abated.

I wake and sob every night,

And know it will never stop.

The days can be contained by action,

But the night just drags on forever.

 

first time I’ve been able to look at these blogs since I wrote them, Back when grief was new and all consuming.

Dale

EXISTENTIAL POWDER

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AND THE WAKING HOURS,

THE POWDER-LESS WONDER OF SLEEPLESS DREAMS…

WHERE THE HEAD IS BUZZING WITH THE NOTHINGNESS

AND THE OVER-BLOWN GESTURES OF  THE MEANINGFUL,

JUXTAPOSED ABSTRACTION AND INSTRUCTION,

AND WE ARE LIVING,  I SUPPOSE,

IN A WORLD WHERE EVERYBODY HAS READ THE MANUAL,

EXCEPT YOU… AND ME.

I HAD A MANUAL,

I HAD AN INSTRUCTRESS,

SHE, THE IMMORTAL SHE,

READ THE MANUAL…

SHE POINTED TO THE SALIENT,

BUT I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THE BEAUTY…

I COULD NOT FIND MEANING.

AWE-STRUCK AND AWESOME,

LIKE THE CHILD IN THE CATHEDRAL…

WHERE ADULTS PLAY OUT THE RITUAL,

AND THE CHILD SAYS,

“IS THAT IT?”

ALL IS PLASTIC PORNOGRAPHY

AUTO-EROTIC WITHOUT DIDACTIC INSTRUCTION

IMAGES FLICKER THE 30 FRAMES A SECOND

REALITY, WHICH IS NOT REALITY,

IS THE ABSTRACTION.

STUCK IN THE MUNCH SCREAM…

THE SIREN SOUND OF THE 20TH CENTURY,

OR THE BECKETT ‘NOT I ‘,

WHERE JUST THE LIPS

AND THE SOUND OF THE LIPS MOVING,

IS THE VACUOUS POLEMIC

OF MODERNITY.

 

AND I CAN’T SLEEP, A WEEK OF UNSLEEP,

TAKES IT TOLL,

I LIVE IN THE POINTED POINTILLISM

OF IMAGES LAID SIDE BY SIDE,

AS IF MEANING CAN BE MIXED BY EYE OR EAR,

BY BLURRING THE EDGES,

DISTORTING THE SOUNDS…

BUT EACH UNMIXED LAYER

TAKES ME FURTHER AWAY FROM ANY MEANING.

WHAT IS MEANINGFUL?

LOVE DIED IN A MEANINGLESS WAY…

ON THE WAY TO A MEANINGLESS JOB,

AND THERE IS NO MEANING IN THAT…

SLICED BY THE METAL DISC OF A MUCK SPREADER…

AS SHE SLIPPED EFFORTLESS BENEATH A DARK TRAILER.

THERE. THERE IS A MEANINGFUL IMAGE.

THERE IS A REASON WHY?

WHY I CAN’T SLEEP.

 

IT’S HORROR IS TRIVIAL,

IN A WORLD WHICH IS MONUMENTALLY HORRIFIC…

DAILY.

AND I, THE IMMORTAL I,

STRUGGLE TOWARDS THE AWE,

AND AWAY FROM THE AWE.

AND I STRUGGLE TO FIND BEAUTY AND LOVE,

WITHOUT BILE.

 

AND I PAINT LIKE A BULIMIC,

GORGING ON THE MID-TONES OF GREY,

UNTIL I HAVE TO THROW- UP WITH COLOUR.

DON’T DIE OF BOREDOM.

DIE IN HORROR.

 

DALE ‘M’

SHRUNKEN SKULL

tattooed-maori

SHRUNKEN SKULL

THE FATUOUS HOURS BETWEEN 1 AND 4 AM

HAUNT MY ACHING BRAIN AWAKE.

SCOOPED OUT MIND AND STUFFED BACK

WILLY NILLY INSIDE A SHRUNKEN SKULL.

A NOODLE NOGGIN.

 

THE FUZZ OF ALCOHOL AND PAINKILLERS,

UPSET MY STOMACH.

MAKE ME THROW UP :

LUCID TORTUOUS DREAMS!

AWAKE AND BOLDLY CRUMBLING…

 

THE SQUEEZE OF MY MIND,

EVISCERATES MY SOUL.

I TREMBLE AT YOUR ABYSS,

THE VACUUM OF YOUR SPACE.

I TRY TO FILL IT.

 

NOTHING FILLS IT,

NOTHING CAN FILL IT,

I HAVE TO OCCUPY

LIKE A PENITENT PILGRIM…

ON MY KNEES.

 

DALE ‘M’

MIDNIGHT PLAYLIST

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MIDNIGHT PLAYLIST

  1. A MODERN MIDNIGHT CONVERSATION – CHEMICAL BROTHERS
  2. ANOTHER MIDNIGHT – TRAGICALLY HIP
  3. BURNING THE MIDNIGHT LAMP – JIMI HENDRIX
  4. DOWN IN THE TUBE STATION AT MIDNIGHT – THE JAM
  5. FROST AT MIDNIGHT – SARAH NIXEY
  6. GENO – DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS
  7. IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR – BRYAN FERRY
  8. ISN’T IT MIDNIGHT = FLEETWOOD MAC
  9. LADY MIDNIGHT – LEONARD COHEN
  10. MANY MOODS AT MIDNIGHT – GHOSTPOET
  11. MIDNIGHT – T.REX
  12. MIDNIGHT CITY = M83
  13. MIDNIGHT COWBOY – JOHN BARRY
  14. MIDNIGHT FEAST – MR.SCRUFF
  15. MIDNIGHT LOG – THE CLASH
  16. MIDNIGHT MOSES – ALEX HARVEY
  17. MIDNIGHT RAMBLER – ROLLING STONES
  18. MIDNIGHT TRAIN – SPENCER DAVIS GROUP
  19. ROCKIN AFTER MIDNIGHT – MARVYN GAYE
  20. SISTER MIDNIGHT – DAVID BOWIE

EITHER DRINKING TOO MUCH OR TAKING TOO MANY PILLS… BUT STILL CAN’T SLEEP AFTER MIDNIGHT… AND THE NIGHT IT LASTS FOREVER, AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BREAK THIS CYCLE, THIS ENDLESS ROUND OF DAY OVER NIGHT AND NIGHT OVER DAY…

THE BLACK RINGS CIRCLE MY EYES LIKE BUZZARDS CIRCLING A CORPSE… AND I DON’T KNOW HOW AND I DON’T WHY, BUT I HAVE TO CHANGE THIS CIRCLE… I TAKE 90 DEGREE TURNS JUST TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE I HAVE SOMEWHERE TO GO…

DALE ‘M’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HALF-LIFE

IMG_4527

HALF-LIFE

DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE ME,

WITHOUT YOU.

IT’S LIKE I’VE LEARNT THE ROLE,

BUT FORGOTTEN THE SCRIPT…

I WALK THROUGH LIFE

LIKE IT’S A REHEARSAL,

IT WILL COME INTO FOCUS,

WITH PRACTICE.

 

BUT THE WEEKS GO BY,

AND I’M WELL VERSED…

BUT THE EDGES ARE SHARDS,

OF EMPTINESS AND UNLOVE.

BEFORE MY LIFE WAS STRUCTURED,

BY LOVE, COCOONED IN A FIXED SPOT,

THE SPOT WHERE YOUR SOUL

MIRRORED MINE,

AND OUR LOVE WAS ETERNAL.

 

ETERNAL?

 

DALE ‘M’

WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS PAINTING

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William Seward Burroughs II (/ˈbʌrz/; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer and visual artist. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author whose influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films. He was also briefly known by the pen name William Lee. Burroughs created and exhibited thousands of paintings and other visual art works, including his celebrated ‘Gunshot Paintings’.

WIKIPEDIA.

HIPPY ICON.

DALE ‘M’