TS LovePosted by Graham Thompson Fri, October 12, 2018 12:45:26
The sun falls on this balcony scene
Of blue Slovenian hills with gilded filigree
Villages uncurling on small ridges
One above the other in single file
& the Adriatic azure stillness
Washes its gentle waves
Over my last loved body
In endless Slavic embraces
Then kisses fall like petals on my skin
Or bruise my silenced aching mouth
Teeth clashing tongues wrestling
So long that even breath
And dead memory are utterly gone
Passion mystifies the maze of living
Under clear blue skies and Slavic eyes
A voice comes to me as if
From some deep well
In the fundaments of my being
Yours is the voice
Mine the song
This the final runway
For our entwining spirits
& this the meaning
from which our future lives
I have allowed you
To peer through the keyhole
Of my whole life
Without once fearing that keys
Rather than eyes
Will lock me in
Our future travels beyond
All those terrifying
& sometimes beautiful past hauntings
All those dark infidelities
& back-stabbed hearts
Outrageous badly acted parts
We played for some fiction of the Other
This future leans on the
Other side of that past
A future as clean as the sheets
We love on
O my love now
"I can only write" (1)
Not of leaving
Not even in the belief of the saving Graces
No only of this blinding love
That entwines us with the certainty
Of well-learnt dance-steps
Yes long learnt but freshly chosen
As if God’s angels were beating
Their wings in our hearts
In feet & toes now unfrozen
(1) Cf Neruda's lines in his 20 Poems of Love
All that has gone from me
You safely tucked away in your heart
All that you have given me
Is now a stage where the play of our lives can begin
It’s a production
Full of comedy
Not of giant-killing or tragedy
It’s a love story
Of the common niceties we enjoyed
A kitchen-sink drama
With two chefs at the stove
Cooking love’s meals
Nourishing and tasty:
May it last
To the very last spoonful
The mystery of time
And this place where spirits
From many tribes assemble
Whilst stars hold their place in the heavens
Like constant friends
And fishing boats blink inconstantly
To move every night to new grounds
There are so many peoples
Who have met at the Gulf of Kvarner
So many landings from Pecine to Trieste
Angels have flown from terrifying heights
In the poetry and writings of Europe's best
The sperm of young generations
Lost in the battles
The fleets and machinations
Of emperors, dictators and fake dramatists
But still the calm Adriatic, warm and entrancing
Swings in the minds of Rijeka's Children
Squatted on the shingle, listening
To their music, mobiles illuminating
Green blue and yellow their
Faces absorbed in the smallest
Of international shows
Skin bronzed and shoulders constantly turning
Towards one another, new
Spirits released from the curse of history
From power-mad conquerors
Politics reoriented by love
On this beach of a dream at Pecine
Pecine's Pajola Rock Cafe 12.9.18
Unlocked the tidings of the heart resigned
To teach these lepers of the mind new lines:
Schiele’s paper epigrams and Klimt’s
Tatooed dresses will be freed
To wander lightly beyond canvas bounds
And enter in mosaic walls and floors
Till stars drawn down at dawn
Carry us to the end of time
TS Political PoetryPosted by Graham Thompson Fri, October 12, 2018 12:31:59
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 …”
Tommys 70th Birthday PoemsPosted by Graham Thompson Mon, August 06, 2018 13:46:26
The cocks crow at 3pm,
they don't crow for anything.
A guest has come
but the host has gone out with his cows.
The guest sits outside waiting
never knowing if the host will come,
and observing the women doubled-up
like caterpillars, hoeing in their fields.
The ragged scissors of banana fronds
rustle and stir in the mountain wind.
Far below the plains seem close,
& above the clouds -
like a quarter-opened book whose binding
is uncertain, but whose pages can mirror
the scattered glyphs of clouds,
dark duplicates that run across
the alien mountain bush.
A child's cry is carried on the wind, the bati* groans
upon the fractured mud of walls,
and everywhere the same dank stink of piss,
human and animal, drenching both homes and earth.
And the blood red soil nurtures less and less
of these people and their religion:
untended ancestral shrines open to the rain, a home
only for rats, not spiritual sacrifice.
No birds sing here now, not even any woman's song.
It's half past three and I'm still waiting
For the host to come.
Note: Usambara Mountains are in north-east Tanzania.
*bati is the corrugated metal roofs on adobe houses.
angular bony hands
fingers creating form out of nothing
if even in moments of self-forgetfulness
had still to be fulfilled.
destroys the human form with the vicious strokes of a pencil
to recreate it again in his own spritual image.
love, affection - all our killed
a lust, a meaningless sexuality
makes even the hesitant touch
one individual and another
act of sabotage.
all there is left is a perverse adulation
constant masturbation both of art
his own body.
yet an innocence steals in
dream of attachment to one other
forever in a fixture
corrosion of feelings and sad time:
if the woman is elsewhere in her dreams
man is complete in his taking.
have broken the seal on the manuscript. I am writing across the
river unwinds its grief in huge meanders. The sky waits to appoint
is a three cornered hat: you me him. A crucifix around my neck. Never
stop leaving me.
bed is surprisingly empty, but my imagination is more than full now
you’ve gone. I have spent the night sober, alone, and in my room. I
was too happy to get drunk, too full of you to see another, and too,
too mad to be allowed out alone. But I’m so glad the only thing I
lost was my mind!
to think that men do all these strange and fierce things all for the
sake of that small hole in the wall of femininity.
need for you can never be quenched by your presence. It’s a need
that waters the deserts of your absence. Parts of me were healed by
you, other parts torn open revealing many unsolved mysteries and the
ulcers of my unfulfilled dreams. You were like an anarchist maid:
dusting and cleaning everything, but refusing to replace the
furniture in its accustomed place. My bed is now on the floor and no
longer in the air. My new clothes have all been sent to the jumble.
And my heart has a new pair of socks.
are only as painful as the original was beautiful.
are some moments in the brief and slim novels of our lives which make
us feel more than fictional characters, and only just less than gods.
are not on the credits, but I swear I hear your voice on the record.
How come? Is this some strange kind of doppler effect or are you
really singing behind me as I write?
are all the double agents of the heart. We are never sure at any one
time whom we are betraying, and who we are being betrayed by.
long to be eternally jealous and yet never possess you.
has stopped leaving me.
is it love always transforms me into a poor imitation of the loved
one? She is still in my voice, still in my movements. Surely the
whole world can see my falsity. Irony walks the corridors of these
worn out days. Everyday I wake and pretend again you are reassembling
me from the broken pieces.
it a smile or a grimace on the lips that wait for my kiss?
it laughter or tears that wait behind those envied lids.
photograph of your voice.
broker of broken dreams.
am writing to the ghost of my fiction.
Graubolle Man – dug
from the side of the
turf covered earth
your twisted arrow body
to the depths where you
in a thousand year old
What is it now that you
are digging up in us?
This need for public
eats away at your
leather thin sides
your body is sucked dry
by the latter day
from a future you never
agreed to share
To be hung upside down
was once an honour for
and a sacrifice to your
To be hung a second
in the museum of our
is a slow death for us
unless the lightning
in our bare modern
There is a Song
is a song below growing old
master lyric that has not been told
dread of dying cannot stifle its voice
love of living its altar place
this poor body is near massacred
aches and fevers are all that fascinates
to the love that makes it all worthwhile
it close to light the very last smile
if the good ashes scatter on an offshore wind
the tunes then that we always planned
never quite succeeded to usher in
our songs and let the Host this truth confirm:
godless men this ball of dirt do own
spirits will cleanse it finally from
waste of time, the greater waste of love
silence the tongues that twist my every last line