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Tag: Journey

For Many Years Have I

For many years have I
Alone wandered
On the uneven path
Of my life
While the darkness devoured me
And my fears assailed me
And my guilt besieged me
I would cry on the wind
But no-one heard
I would scream to the stars
But no-one cared
I would shout to the emptiness
But no-one came
And on I walked
Isolated
Desolate
Scared
Scarred
Longing for the greater night
To overwhelm my tired soul
And end the pain

07/02/2018

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At Swartmodder – I

Moon shining down
Upon a lunar landscape
Of reds and browns and pinks and blacks and greys and greens
Shimmering in the heat
Of a thousand ovens

Quiver trees stand guard
Over vast emptinesses
Of sand and rock
Hot, burning my hands
As I stoop and touch their barrenness,
Their wildness and their loneliness

I feel as if I am alone
With this landscape
Nothing exists but us
Both blown by the same hot winds
Both scorched by the same hot sun
Is there any reality but ours?
15/02/1991

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Come the day

It’s ten to six in the morning
A cold, cold morning
Travel through the haze
Of half sleep
Returning to hateful wakefulness
And with it
Another day
Maps itself out
In full bloody detail
Before me

Roll off the bed
Hit the floor
Trying to wake up
Failing
Eyelids glued together
Won’t come unstuck
A thousand deserts
In my mouth
Stumble to the bathroom
To shave
If I don’t cut my throat first
By mistake

Brush my teeth
Up, down
Up, down
Brush
Not head

That fuzzy thing in the mirror
Is that me?
Hell, I look rabid
Maybe I am
I feel it

Dress
In what?
Something from the heap
On the floor
Something clean
Well
At least something
That doesn’t smell too bad

Breakfast
Something floating
In my bowl
Oh, it’s cornflakes
I think
It’s so full of iron
I could rust

Go to work
Car won’t start
Kick the damn thing
Sit behind the wheel
Hitting my head
On its hard rim
Start
For fuck sakes, start!

Sit behind my desk
All day
Papers pass before my eyes
Unread
Unheeded
Unwanted
Oh please let me die!

Glance at the clock
Ten more minutes
Until parole time
A bloated blurry body
Dumps more papers on my desk
‘These are important’ it bleats
As I try not to kill them

Finally I am finished
It is dark outside
I sit in the car praying
To the gods of starter motors
Cough, cough, whirr, BANG!
Well I guess that counts as starting
Shit! The fuel light is on

Get home, open the door
What should I eat
Whatever is in the fridge
Whatever isn’t green and furry
Should I cook it?
No why bother

Sit down
In front of the TV
A talking head is asking
Whether I have had an accident at work
Hell
My whole being is an accident
Can I get compensation?

Turn the taps
Of an arthritic shower
Waiting for the water
To go from freezing
To almost lukewarm
Now where’s the soap

It is way past midnight
As I hit the bed
With a sickening thump
Of head on pillow
Crawl under the sheet
And pull it tight
And hope
The nightmares don’t come again

Repeat…

18/09/2000

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A Homecoming

Suburban walls, suburban gardens,
Suburban bricks
Confront me
A decade on
So much has changed
Behind my suburban exterior
Am I as unrecognisable
As the scene before me?
As cold, as hard, as bleak?
So much changed
Beneath the same shell
Like these houses and shops
Am I, like them,
Decaying,
Rotting from within?
Have these ten long and weary years
So etched their pain
Into the very stones of my soul
That I may never return
To what I was?
But if I could
Would I?
Have I endured the torturing winds
And tormenting rains
For nothing?
Have I watched them erode my hard exterior
And expose my raw and bloody flesh
To the tempestuous elements
Just to say
“It is right,
Right to suffer so”?
No, no I will not
But stand and shout
At my new found strength
Swept clean by those who seek to hurt
And once more return
Return to this suburbia
Unlike those around
In their safe suburban lives
A newcomer
Returning to my fathers’ land
To these
Suburban walls, suburban gardens,
Suburban bricks

13/07/1990

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So many years have I

So many years have I
The littling voices heard
And listened whilst
They lying spoke
And mouthed deriding words
Malignant in my mind
Of how I ungainly, unseemly and unfit
For custom social and for life unsuited was
Of intellect enfeebled and any skills divorced
And so believing siren song
Until now I travelled blind
But now I meekly sit and I ask
The truth of all I knew
If so unskilled am I
Then how have I become
All that I am and that is much
And more there is to come
So now must I
The littling voices still
And onward go
And higher still
To see what lies beyond
Then shall I with perfect peace
Full consummated pass
To darkness then
To seek what lies beyond

29/11/2009

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At the grave of James Hogg, The Ettrick Shepherd

Silent stone word carved
By church and heath
Says so little
Of the soul that lies
Under turf
And sky
What spark was lit
From that mortal frame
And raised
From lowly shepherd
So divine a voice
In this lonely place?

I feel a debt
Of thankfulness
And humility
To this kindred spirit
Whose majesty I feel
Reaching out
As I stand
Before the
Silent stone word carved

19/09/1998

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Passing By

How many years have these stones
Here stood?
Mute watchers of hurrying seasons
Here where once lived voices
‘Neath turf and heather roofed
Lie now open to storms hungry soul
Windows where eyes once gazed
On walls and ferns and burn below
Now lie open to the clouds
Like needle eye unthread
All is silent now
Except for winds harsh howl
Garden grazed by black faced sheep
Lichen grows on fireplace
Where peat a family kept warm
All is cold now
Untended
Unheeded
As I walk on

18/09/1998

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Suburban Hell

As I stumble through this existence
I wander past
Rows of stark stone prisons
Encaging sad suburban souls
Within their lifeless, faced-brick cells.
They mete out their unhappy existences
Behind tired chintz masks
Vying with each other
In uselessness
And emptiness
Trying to be the first
To new levels of unhappiness.
They seek to pacify
Their material gods
With plastic offerings
Lain before a brushed chrome altar.
They have the same oneness of mediocrity,
Of outward decency
And inward moral gangrene.
They talk of the weather,
The news,
The garden
And inside they lust
For fornication
To the world they are virtuous
And to the universe nothing
Forever NOTHING.

13/07/1990

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