A Travelling Bird
Flitting across the waves and shallow straits,
High ecstasy she glides in graceful flight,
From lands afar, from royal kingdoms borne
Sheer mystery beyond the common sight.
Petitely formed, a ball of beak and bone,
Thy size shall never match thy wisdom sought
By restless souls forbidden yet to know
And break the crest of animated thought.
[1969, In praise of Hardy', Shelley' and Keats's dickies]
I leant out from a high crack’d ledge
When sulky summer was concrete-grey
And heard the break of house music
I knew t’was here to stay.
[2011 cf. Hardy’s A Darkling Thrush
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.]
[At the advent of House Music 1988/1989 the author was sharing a small room on a high floor of a block of flats Edmonton, north London, overlooking a busy dual-carriageway]
Down on the Ones
Here lies the dust of time spent cast
In forms of regulated lives,
Moulded by the mass have past
The ones the mass could not drive,
Rich law courts play – the poor are tried –
If wrong hands hold the gambling dice
Then history will ever lie,
Shields and spears can'st ne’re entice
The free to end their search in vain,
Reward the patient ones with gold,
When dying echoes Life’s refrain
We may one day know or be told.
Here lies the dust of some waif’s dream
They turn their own to mix with strife,
Plagued with sorrow will ever seem
They cannot win the game of Life.
There was a time
I could have said
Wooder bin better
To stay in bed.
But now I say,
‘Let’s get up!’