There is something desperately wrong
In olde England - how we still pretend
To be a world power, a first
Class nation with a long history
Of political lordism
Over so many lesser nations
Who have never recognised
The sources of our authority
Even if they respect our over-celebrated
History and look up to our
Bitter-sweet cultural icons - those
Bastards of a twisted and class-ridden past,
Even if they sometimes remember
Britannia the liberator, the Byronesque
Hero who himself despised its demesne
The rain spits in our faces
On our Anglo-Saxon south coast
All the way from ancient enemies
France, Spain, Germany
And Holland - all of whom
We never quite conquered
Even when we still pretend
We did - liberated yes,
But what kind of liberation did we give ourselves:
An old-age mixed with Britain’s filthy damp airs
Breeds lung disease and twisted babies,
Whilst the rich still fatten
On our stone-cold carcass
Bones poking out of drains and
Something is desperately lost
Even with stick and age,
Demented thoughts scrabble like crabs
In unfermented brains.
We feel no longer wisdom
As once our forefathers were honoured
To do - no we suffer politely
Still pulling a forelock at our betters
And copying their stately homes
In miniaturised imitation,
Which constantly need up-scaling
Until we really believe every Englishman’s home
Is really the castle of our dreams,
Defended not only against foreign scum
But those from any slightly lower class.
It’s a squeezed tight-arsed world
Where rules are more important than people,
When procedures dictate
If and when people can eat
Even though they are hungry,
When immigrants are locked up
And nobody owns up to throwing away the key,
When beggars are persecuted and givers
Are sent to gaol for sharing a crust of their wealth,
When algo-rhythms steal our souls
And replace them with every advert
We could maybe wish to see
Even though we are never buying it,
It’s just to distract us from the more important matters
Such as life and death,
Human contact and human trust.
One day every human virtue will be stolen from us
By sleight of a hidden computerised hand,
Or a bureaucrat just doing an honest days work,
Or an untrained assistant in hospital Brittania,
Whilst the highly trained qualified professionals
Hide behind their screens,
Equally puzzled by their tick-box over-managed world
Humanity, respect, individual trust
Is sunk in a whirlpool of lies
And eaten by the sharks and money grubbers
Of this technologized overly-controlled world
Lies disguised as saving de-vices
And dressed up as official & politically correct rules
These lies will one day eat up their manufacturers
When the chickens come home to roost
The chicken house will be in flames.
One Sunday Morning in Cologne
I came across a naked woman
Walking in the rain
A lonely Indian in the mall
Trawling the smokers’ trash cans
A man asleep before a bench
Clasping a silver chain
An elevator offering one lost shoe
Stockingless, hi-heeled and tan
Two giant plastic bags
Filled with the next night’s bedding
A wild-haired woman sobbing
A doll inside her pram
Flashing neon haloing late homecomers
Hung over from Saturday’s feasts
It was by chance I walked this way
Not fate that aligned these tropes
The choice lies in all our wills
Not spells cast on screens
Yet still the adverts circle on
Trundling the tragedies of missed desire
Every day the man from the clothes shop
Brings the same headless black dummies
Out into the street and thus displays
His wares to a careless world
Hver dag henter manden fra tøjbutikken
Samme hovedløse sorte mannequiner
Og sætter dem på gaden - på denne måde viser han
Sine varer til en ubarmhjertig verden
Thanks to Camilla Pless og Birgith Lotzfeldt for the Danish help
og de Chirico for part inspiration
Denmark! Oh Denmark
“There is something rotten …”
Holger Danske needs reawakening
Now the Danes are broken in two
One half supping at
Their social-democratic beers
In the long lines of ever longer bars
Expressing their needs
For the return of a lost universe
Of social allowances
Pensions and easy diagnoses
The other exploiting the holes
In a crumbling social system
Making profit from the other half’s tears
Lining their trouser pockets
(Which themselvers have been bought
With the funds from the party
An all night party that never stops
At the parting of every opportunistic dawn)
With the ill-gotten gains from
Technogiants, warehandlers and merchant
Fleets - those great and generous
Contributors to Danish culture
But more importantly
To the party’s continuance
The party that will never see the dawn
Of Holger’s awakening
The Graveyard for the Prisoners of War
When 70 people die -
In a war
In a prison camp
A thousand miles from home
Belgians, French, Russians
And one Lithuanian
No longer as soldiers
But merely as the victims
In the overcrowded camp
Not a concentration camp
For it was before these were
So that even the German doctor
He died treating them
But, of course, is buried elsewhere
And they were buried properly
With names written
On each simple headstone
And regiment and country
In their own little cemetry
Next to the long-gone prison camp
Far out in the fens
Of old Slesvig
- why do I find tears in my eyes
As I look down the rows of engraved names:
Bubowski, Dams, Faucault, and Stepkin?
Why do they plead me their cause
As they stare out over the flatlands
Of what is now Denmark
But what was once Germany?
No member of my Thompson clan
Was captured by Germans.
No grandfather of mine ever fought
In the Great War.
Is it that they died
Far from homes, wives and friends?
Or is it that they represent
A common Europe which
They augmented by their deaths,
Buried by Germans
Tended by Danes
And at least one Englishman?
EXHUMATION OF THE WORD
In my head
With Calvin and cigar
Charles the three-eyed XII
And Christ the humble hero.
Silence etched by rain,
The streets I walk on
Paved with three faces,
Cracking secretly their hidden thoughts,
I tread fiercely,
Hunchbacked we fight it out
Sadistics scrapping on into the night,
Till something breaks,
Or is it cut?
It fell to me a sign
In quiet Génève
Where every line of desire
Was knotted into fear:
I am the ethos by which the judgment is made.
Show me the talents you have won for our Lord,
Yes, show me your tokens of faith.
Remember the prodigal son .......
The eyes of needles grow.
The cigar gves him away
In the row of small shops;
It is six o'clock precisely
And time to lock up.
It brings a small profit,
The sum his wife knows
Buys hats large and small
And sometimes tight shoes
O for they shall inherit the earth
Two by two on a predestined raft.
The security beneath my fingernails is destroyed.
The manor is left deserted,
My mind a cog, my heart a wheel,
I own nothing I can call my own.
Except a bottle.
It is mine.
I have bought a bottle.
With my own money,
Which I have earnt.
And I have worked to earn the money with which
I have bought a bottle.
I am speaking from a brothel
Conducting my own research
Into the vices of the mob - you know the kind.
I am all that is nice
But I am not beauty
For beauty is vulgar
If not a little indecent.
Tell me my whores
Do you think I am nice?
Do you not think my fingers are nice?
Bought a bottle full
Caught her throttle full
Better than a bottle full
All over you
2. Charles XII of Sweden
Glory be to glory be
Land of sleeping elephants
Land of the free
It does not matter who we invade
As long as the kids are put in the way
Scots Welsh or Vikings
They'll all do the dirty spade-
work - though I was a King at the front
An old fashioned King
Who got my hands bloody
With all the best
At least the best of the rest
I carved my name with Swedish steel
From Narvik to Constantinople
Cockpitted and heroed for the folks back home we were
Joyriders in the clouds
Following the apocalyptic four
And full score seven millions
Got blasted on the ground
We´ll give them medals
Their babes free milk
We'll light their candles
And chop off their heads
If they desert my sinking ship, boys
If they support me back to front
And I am God's witness
If God exists
I watched the blood of the lambs
Washed whiter than the Narva snows
And heard the death-man play in Paris
The subtle drum-like tones:
The king now lies in state,
His bullet eye of death
Winks his glory to the world.
And nobody laid a finger on the préfecture,
Not a howl was raised from the mob
Searching for a new King’s head
In the bowels of the silent Pont Neuf.
Now the rain still falls,
The flame still flickers
For the swine who played football:
The referee is French,
And the pitch between the lines
Is human pitch.
3. Jay C. chats with Nietzsche
I spoke as a child to my
I speak with the knowledge of my universal murder
Without hope of salvation,
And cannot bear the rhythm of the eternal plan.
I speak with a child’s understanding
But as a man I am judged.
I have the taste of my body.
My body nourishes my mind:
O the ecstasy – devour the lamb,
Absolve it in the selfless soul,
For this is my ritual murder
I am the guiltless idiot:
Humbly I bow before thy feet;
Humility slips from my mouth
Like a sudden saliva bath.
Wine, wine & song,
O play the madman’s drum.
Daddy the devils are behind you with their needle eyes;
And Daddy the sky is moving,
Is shifting in the thunder.
Speak to me Daddy......
I lie unattended.
The tree rests in drunken angles:
It has soaked all the sweat from the land.
My teeth crumbles the soil in perpetuity:
Ickory dickory dock
The blood ran out the clock
The generations lie in the scrum,
Waiting for the water to turn into wine
At the marriage of life and death.
Wine, wine & song,
O play the death-man’s drum.
4. A Very Old Present
I walk into the night,
The precarious pearls of orange rain
Reflect their crown to the eyeless multitudes.
The walls of ordered memory -
The atrophied organ of time -
Are broken through,
Leaving the spatial fool
Gobbling the pity
Of unalterable reality,
Of arbitrary existence.
Insanity reorders it’s words exhumed
Into mosaic resurrection.
Morning creaks my guilt
Intends to catch me
By the cemetery of previous desires.
Who hopes? I tell you:
Green garb and Roman silk
O leafy halos on whose head sweat it be
I tell you:
Eyes for circulation
Corner of Leicester Sq.
The thoughts hide behind the hoardings.
Have a ton
It was that (yes that) precise kind of day
(The paintings against the Notre Dame are sinking in the Seine)
(The ash in the grate hugs the nine-tenths of my unused brain)
Up and at
The colonel backfired
The window no ladder no...................
Pearls in back pockets
History sits on us to produce the consumable product.
The word is dust and dry
The lines around the pitch are only lines
Painted an honest white
By men innocent of grounds.
Pandering to the footlights I might find a body
Hanging from the spotlight.
Up and at and into
The home straight is not straight
For drinking eyes?
But do not touch
Symmetrical placards hung from the interpretation of human life.
Touch me I am hot
A plane in the sky perhaps
In my head.
Pass over me
Where bolder names lie more nobly,..
Mouths sucking teat sea
Or old tea leaves
In Rizla reds.
But is held on either side by boulders
I would not like to say of titanic dimensions!
Ah, that famous old double negative
A Cretan repeating his lies
To Bertrand Russell et al.
It's not the class of all classes
But it's my kind of underclass ...
For mine is the wine
The power and the glory
But it is too much for one head
Such clear clear white wine,
Forget and be -
Etches days oozo go away,
In my misunderstanding.
[Begun in 1967 in Luton, UK, finished in Svendborg, DK 2018]
Notes for the reader:
“It is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass though the eye of a needle.” Matthew 19 vs. 24
Charles XII 1682 – 1718.
In a life just a little longer than Alexander the Great's, he managed to travel and conquer most of Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Saxony, Poland and Russia, only for those lands to immediately fall back into native hands as soon as he had passed through them. He spent time in luxury with his ally the Ottoman emperor in Istanbul before returning and being shot through the head before a castle on the Norway-Sweden border whilst trying to reconquer Norway. His body, with the shot producing the affect of a third eye in his right temple, was lied in state in Copenhagen and drawn by some unknown artist for history's "consumable product". His most famous battle was at Narva in Estonia where his army of 10,000 men defeated one four times as large from Russia`s Peter the Great. Thus he was a better general than Napoleon but without the big idea.
During the second year of the 1st World War on Christmas Day there was a one day truce. The soldiers from both sides strolled into “no-man's land”, started chatting and exchanging cigarettes. Soon the working class ordinary soldiers from both sides had laid down their army jackets as goals, and started the first of what was to become the greatest rivalry in football history – England vs. Germany. The next day the ringleaders on the German side were court-martialled and sent to a concentration camp In Schleswig, near Løgum Kloster (see above). The Brits were of course more civilized: they shot the whole team as deserters. The result of this famous first match remains unknown, though the Germans claim a 7-2 victory. We finally got revenge in 1966, and the English team got medals from the Queen. But who had the last laugh???
An old English nursery rhyme whose last line actually goes: “The mouse ran up the clock”.
This is based on the old children´s rhyme that used to be sung by mothers:
“Rain, rain, go away, come back on mother's washing day.”
I have used and adapted in different sections the 16th century prayer from the Sarum Primer: “God be in my head, and in my understanding.”
Autumn in Denmark
Lithesome females smile and turn
Oncemore to face the sun.
Autumn suddenly feels like spring
But winter is in Denmark’s seas.
Seagulls wheel the town’s spires,
Pale moons reflected in eyes
Unready for the turning
Seasons. It’s later than
The clocktower bell’s
Svendborg, DK 12.10.18
From One Inside The Box
Psychiatrists are actually
Ventriloquists, speaking for
You rather than to you
Oh yes they listen
But when you open your mouth
What comes out is:
“I am mad,
I am my diagnosis
I cannot recover
From a lifetime of insanity,
I am damned to die
Manic, depressed, anxious
With psychiatrists who do not tell you
But only speak for you:
“I am mad, mad, mad …”