The Clouded Window

The Clouded Window

I live down there in that basement flat.
I wipe clean the clouded window
to look up at the street and sky.
From the front yard floor I climb the stone steps
to join the strangers passing by.
Sometimes I smile to see the fishmonger’s cat,
out on its prowl, sniffing at the bins,
free of the squalor I read in black and grey
in my newspaper, stained with crimes and sins,
but as we sleep through most of the dark,
in the contest it is the light that wins.

I climb the stone steps from the front yard floor,
go to the market for fruit and bread.
My voyage was slowed by ice and fog
but I managed to float on the turbulence
like a beaver would on a log.
Home in harbour, I lit a lamp and walked the shore.
I would dream a novel if I had the words,
try to tell of how things were,
in prose fine as the call of birds,
when we were wanderers on the green plains,
and saw the mammoths roam in herds.

The spider weaves its web to catch the flea.
There is no end to how bad it can be,
but the further in we go the more light there is to see.
If we can clean the clouded window,
we can see the street and sky,
we could climb the steps to say hello
to the strangers passing by.

Snow will come sweeping in, rain will always fall,
but I will never wear a hat,
and though I smile to see it on the ledge and wall,
I do not envy the fishmonger’s cat.
No pet could be fed better than that,
but I do not envy the fishmonger’s cat.
No, I do not envy the fishmonger’s cat.

Wipe clean the clouded window
to look up at the street and sky.
Climb the stone steps to say hello
to the strangers passing by.

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Franz Kafka Knew

Franz Kafka Knew

Franz Kafka knew,
he knew it was bad.
He could see through,
so clear it seemed mad,
until he grew
too stern to be sad.

They made it grim,
the machine men in charge,
they who had power
to wield loud and large.
They hit the table with a hammer,
to silence the regular folk
with their petitions and appeals,
to make them fail, quail and stammer.

So he wrote his tales,
one of a man
who woke as a spider,
another of a man
roughly arrested and put on trial,
never knowing for what crime
or who was the decider.

Let us for a laugh,
imagine him sat in a café.
He orders his meal,
his stomach is cold,
his hunger feels real.
He tells the waiter,
his onions are over fried,
and his peas are burned.
The manager listens,
but does not recognise him as a customer,
so his pleas are spurned.

He walked the streets like everyone else.
His coat got soaked when it rained.
His feet cold in his shoes,
he grew pale when he complained.

Franz Kafka knew,
he knew it was bad.
What he thought true
was what made him sad.
He was too sane to say
who he thought was mad.
Franz Kafka knew,
but what could he do,
except write his tales,
concoct his own brew?
Franz Kafka knew,
he knew what he knew.
Franz Kafka knew,
he knew what went into the stew.
Franz Kafka knew.

 

Falcon Moon

Falcon Moon

Falcon moon.
That’s what happens sometimes
when you are moved to find words to fit a tune,
you come up with something like falcon moon,
then you study it like syrup balanced in a spoon
till falcon moon leads to raven sun, eagle earth,
and you ponder what each word might be worth.
A swan glides through reeds,
sparrows peck at sunflower seeds.
A pebble drops in a lake,
rings circle out,
as you strain to be satisfied with what you try to make.

Only the lion paces with no fear over the grass.
It does not matter who you see when you look in a glass,
all of it will pass.

Obsession with the body seems worst in the west.
When the spirit is forgotten you cannot be your best.

Time with the one you love is a summer long song,
every note clear, every chord strong,
means you can get right what you used to get wrong.
Yes, time with the one you love is a summer long song.

Falcon moon, raven sun, eagle earth.
Wonder what each word is worth.

Abandoned Child

Abandoned Child

Some women shop for hand bags in Harrods,
I’ve never seen them but I’m sure they do.
Some men smoke cigars in night clubs,
only order the finest brew.

While out there on a bare mountain
lies an abandoned child.
The wind carries its cries,
its pain never dies.

What is it that is real?
What does the mask conceal?

Some men run up escalators,
they have not time to pause.
Some women want more than diamonds,
sapphires with no flaws.

No matter how much they impose a structure,
this world is wild.
Out there on a bare mountain
lies an abandoned child.

It was left on a ledge too high for the hyena,
even the eagle and the hawk.
At times we sense such things
then we carry on with our walk.

Is that what lies at the core,
when the mist lifts, cloud shifts,
out there in the wild,
high on the ledge of a bare mountain,
an abandoned child?
Abandoned child.

Waiting For The Sphinx To Speak

Waiting For The Sphinx To Speak

I sit in the desert,
old but not yet weak.
No one knows I am here,
waiting for the Sphinx to speak.
And when he does,
he will tell me everything,
complete the pyramid
from root to peak.

I am happy to be sitting here
in the desert sand
with nothing in my head or hand,
like a bird with a seed in its beak,
waiting for the Sphinx to speak.

I once saw a face in a drawing
that knew everything.
I stood and listened
for what it might say or sing.

The story of the silent seekers,
the mystery of the meek,
I wish to know as I sit,
waiting for the Sphinx to speak.

Tom Appleseed

Tom Appleseed

Tom Appleseed woke from a dream in a wood.
After bread and berries for breakfast,
he felt refreshed, put on his cloak and his hood,
grateful for the gift in his hand,
to pluck and strum the strings of his lute,
and with his song, like birds in spring,
bring mirth to the air and the land.

On the back of a cart, he wheeled into town,
stood by a stall in the market square.
The apples were green and the berries were brown.
All in harmony as he planned,
he plucked and strummed the strings of his lute,
and with his song, like birds in spring,
brought mirth to the air and the land.

And where are you now, Tom Appleseed?
Have you returned to your dream in the wood?
Do you sleep warm in your cloak and your hood?
Do you still have the gift in your hand,
to pluck and strum the strings of your lute,
and with your song, like birds in spring,
bring mirth to the air and the land?

Bring mirth to the air and the land.

 

 

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