Open Book

Poems - a selection of extracts

The sun came out today


The sun came out today

Illuminating every leaf and blade

Insects buzzed through the floating dust

And bending petals stretched out in the welcome rays

And cast warm shadows through the light

The sun didn’t show today

Heavy heads stared down at the ground

Huddled shut and swaying in the draft

Casting no shadows from the thin grey light to the frozen ground

Waiting and shivering for something to change

The sun didn’t show today and neither did you

HOWL2012 - abridged [extract]

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by greed laziness apathy, rolling drunk in the streets while their brothers were ordered to invade sovereign states to secure the drug of developed nations, to proclaim democracy, equality and self-determination, 

I saw the bodies of generations destroyed by warfare, suicide bombers, genocide, collateral damage, friendly fire, pre-emptive strikes, slaughtered by blind, greed-fundamentalism-and pride, piled up body bags in anticipation of the avoidable loss, women and children not spared, condemned to participate by equality and coercion,

I saw stricken seabirds greased and feeble, the last of species expire, rising floods and withering crops, man’s vicious footprint across his inheritance,

I saw the peaceful protests of those who identified the greed with the destruction, beaten by those sworn to protect and serve, protests hijacked by anarchy and destruction, and I saw tsunamis of the will overpowering oppression,

I saw the best lives of my generation strung out on credit, their investments gambled by the bonus boys, gambled over and over, double or nothing always ending in nothing, who blamed Wall Street and the euro-zone for their collapsed lifestyle when the cheque bounced back into their dirty hands, dirty with the sweat of poverty in foreign lands, where you could and you would refuse to work, in conditions you chose not to know, your excuse not to care, (continues)

asthma [extract]

 . . .

the tyrant sits on my chest laughing

a straitjacket holds me from striking out

my mouth is open but his hand is on my throat

my wooden lungs creak, dry and splintering (continues)

The Earth Turns [extract]

the earth turns towards the sun

edge of light rolling over mountains and seas

a wave of awakening

early with anticipation

or staggered late behind the dawn,

spinning slowly

warming then cooling

one seasonal pole missing out each turn

the other always in view

tilted towards our star

slipping back over the horizon at the equinox, (continues)

Surrendered Judgement [extract]

It's too late to care after all these years

washing your hands with crocodile tears

what was he to you, this King of the Jews ?

an obvious pardon, but aggravation for you

release Barabbas roared the crowd

and history scored your cowardice loud

an act of indecision we still remember 

a template for judgment to surrender:

clean air targets for all to meet

car-makers publicise all complete

but leave us breathless in the streets

exhausted by emission cheats

. . .

children meet your idols, secret games in the night

protection for our famous names, hiding in plain sight

dirty hands giving treats

wipe them clean on hospital sheets

favoured access, to young and new

the rich and famous, alone with you

stealing your youth with glamour and silence

our establishment condones the betrayal and violence

carbon clouding up the air, cooking up creation

vote denial and leave it for, the next generation

and imprecise science is just an excuse

to carry on, with the abuse