I went out for the last time
from the white gate with peeling paint
with no more reason to stay
each having been laid aside quietly, slowly
until nothing more bound me to the place
I went out the white gate.

And pushing my pack across the back streets
the ways learned over many journeys
now to be laid aside quietly, slowly
each in its own time, unlearned
and forgotten in a space of weeks
as I push my pack across the streets.

And as I come to a road I’ve known,
though not very well, it must be said
I am joined at once with my selves from all ages
each treading a lonely path away
for the last time,
from some situated equilibrium –
and in our solidarity, though it is a shock
we march together, breathless.

The People’s Innocent Blood

Can you hear it?
Gushing out of each TV?
It’s the people’s innocent blood.
Out of the collars of crisp suits
pouring down the streets.

Parting around the cenotaph
and meeting again the other side
the gurgling, murmering, tide of blood
drowns patiently the shoots
and budding flowers of peace.

And the gears of war begin to laugh
as the blood returns their grinning noise
the dark, unwitting, furious and dull
use their teeth and tongues to supply
hecatombs of glorious red grease.

And in exhausted disappointment, stand
the faded dead, in memory’s faded land,
and the blood brings with it the visions they saw
when murder wore the mask of law;
“will it always be made to wear it once more?”

but how can the dapper war-mongers,
with their cartoons of liberation,
reading blood soaked scripts
be blamed? It’s not down to them.
They can’t see names that were never written in their papers.

Names not flown home in once-folded flags,
names with no glory, who win no honours,
names of the peaceful, who would not kill,
names that flow by, submerged in blood,
and the latest civilian death figures.

They can’t be blamed for death,
it would happen anyway – what were they to do?
And miles and miles away, too – let them have their fun.
Doing Their Job. And blood continues to pour
out of each victorian, or cut glass door.

“They have no care for human life.
And will attack women and children
our bombs are lying fallow,
why else do we have them?
One life or two are no cost, to a civilised nation.”

(Art by Akram Zaatari, Centre Georges Pompidou)

Song of Days

there is an underground calm in our air
where ‘decay’ should give so much cause
for anxious collapse, a stone frozen shattering
why no one speaks, says so much
concerning the endlessly turning
return of the day?
in a ripping piercing singular instant
I lay quiet as my eyes are screamed
from their sockets.
O God, you joker, you git.
what in your name were you thinking
my hands warm, my feet dying of frost
thousands of tamed and blinking*
rectangular souls, standing aloft

Why now do I shiver?
hecatombs of days await me,
precarious hecatombs piled behind
but all is quiescent, only aroused
by a passing glance out the window at dusk.
and a careful light.

(*see Zarathustra’s Prologue)

Becoming Political

We are anarchists:
we all imagine.
But why not use that imagination?
It would save us all some trouble.

We are democrats:
we all care.
But we do not care too much.
For that can cause some trouble.

We are communists:
we work for each other.
But why not work by each other also?
It would save us all some trouble.

We are anarchists:
we give gifts.
But why not make life a gift?
It would save us all some trouble.

We are democrats:
we talk to each other.
But why not talk to each other more often?
It would save us all some trouble.

We are communists:
we do not threaten.
Only the scared are threatened.
If by ‘threatened’, you mean ‘scared’.

We are all already anarchists.
So why not become anarchist?

We are all already democrats.
So why not become democratic?

We are all already communists.
So why not become communist?

(The graffiti says “property does not feel pain”)


A lonely owl, flies into the night, and calling
to a ship, flowing backwards, the river, and sheets of rain falling
in the eternal silence of these infinite spaces, frightening
the quietly chained individuals deep in their earth, and lightning
illuminates the abyss, splitting itself into two
through the singular authored and perfectly crafted town
whose fair individuals are not born, but rather become
each aware that its hell is out there with the other persons.

They hear the grey lady with luminous speech who consoles;
condemned to the flames are the nothings of life, but behold…
there is nothing outside, no nothing outside of the text
these black cows are invisible, marked with the darkness and blessed
thus, not to emerge from the earth, with the blood and the dirt…
how much of a human does one have to be to be hurt?

The spring of which they fondly dreamed never comes
again – for there is but one spring in life.
The storm is not thawed by the gentle wind from the sea
but deepens slowly, into arctic night.

Debt Inspectors

The old world struggles, lying under a net
“Cast it off” someone cries “and quickly be free”
but the lead weights appended of heinous debt
make this acrobats trick an impossible feat.

“Don’t you see spaces” they say “in the web?”
(It is made of holes for the most part, it’s true…)
“in fact it’s ninety nine percent
simply dice yourself, you’ll quickly fit through.”

And so a knife was taken up
and hacked and carved from foot to head
but the finished pieces weren’t small enough
and the ground ran with blood: white, black and red…

For want of not upsetting the cart;
We’ve had the tragedy, now it’s time for a farce…

Reasons of State

Cameron wants to go to war
he’s wanted to since he were small
he wants to show he’s good in a fight
moving small pins on a wall.

All his mates, they want to, too
to show they’re worthy to stand
before rudyard kipling’s dodgy verse
in barbaric foreign lands.

And their mums and dads are very proud
soon they’ll have stories to tell
like them from imperial history books
with winnie, and dyer as well.

“When will we sit, at luncheon, with dave
sipping on indian tea?
When will we hear of his Amritsar?
or even his Gallipoli?”

Meanwhile cameron is on the stand
his eyes are a flame of fire
“I’ll war like maggie, I’ll sink their ships
I don’t care how many die”

“You see it’s Us and Them, my lads
we’ve known it to be true
since 1956, old chums
and You and You and You”

He points to Corbyn and his aides
spitting the scourge of his tongue
“you aren’t with Us” and flashing eyes
“we know whose side you’re on”

And miles away in the middle east
in the land of the setting sun
a mother walks, with her quiet kids
oblivious of what’s to come.