Monday, 31 May 2010

Old poem

Way back in 1973 I wrote a poem that was published in an duplicated poetry magazine called Vole. In 1987 in a house fire a lot of poetry and books were burnt but I saved some scorched poetry magazines. In 1995 I threw away all the poetry I had written along with some unpublishable novels etc. Then of course a few years ago I started writing poetry again and wished I hadn't burnt my stuff. Two weeks ago I remembered the scorched magazine and I performed the following poem yesterday (and 10 days ago at Manky poets)

Some P Poems

'Nothin's gonna change my world'
you did

Cliches are useless
I have lost you

I'll mail me through the post
For I am a poem
Je suis un objet poetic

It was early very early
And I walked the streets
Of Calais crying

No longer have I you
All I have is the experience

In no way can our love
Be wiped out
It is stronger than our memories
Longer than our lives
Nothing can stop it

To travel is to suffer
At times
To live is to suffer
I love to live
I live to love

Imagine me walking the streets of Calais
at 5 in the morning
Tears streaming my face
Imagine me asleep on the ferry
& awakening to find you
Not with me

Imagine you and me
Together again
Imagine love

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Poem, I still carried away

I still get carried away

Years ago
Walking in Alexander Park
I was captivated
By the blossom on a pear tree
And lifted out of my grief and depression
I was transported to another world
Of bliss and rapture
Where everything made sense
And no questions needed asking
Before they were answered
Coming back to normal life
I wept tears of gratitude

40 years later I still marvel
At those trees
And I still get carried away.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Mystic detective(5)

[creative writing]

Mystic detective(5) meets with Percy and Micky

Finally Paul and Percy meet face to face. Whatever expectations Paul had about Percy – and there were many - were confounded by that first meeting. There was areal dishevelled quality to Percy. It was not just that he needed a haircut badly (so did Paul for that matter) and a wardrobe makeover (ditto) – ‘my would the TV experts have a real field day with him’ thought Paul. It was also that this outer mess that was Percy was mirrored by something inner. Percy was a man who could hardly complete a sentence let alone hold a thought together.

This was in such sharp contract to Paul’s experience of Percy’s wife Brenda who was so neat and together despite her worries about Percy’s disappearance. Maybe opposites attract or maybe something had happened to Percy, something perhaps that involved OM? This was one occasion in which Paul’s laid back style of interviewing needed to change.

- So Percy – do you mind if I call you Percy-
- No… that is I mean… Yes please do
- So Percy in your own words tell me what happened
- What happened?
- Yes, how you came to leave Brenda…
- Leave Brenda… uhm…. I didn’t
- OK tell me about OM
- OM?
- Yes OM
- Well, I …er hmm… I started going to their classes cops I was stressed up about work and needed to relax and my GP suggested yoga or something…
- What happened?
- What happened?
- Yes what happened?
- Well, er… I started going to the early evening class on Thursdays…
- Yes?
- Yes and it felt good at first… definite improvement… more relaxed… and …uh what?
- The OM yoga classes felt good and?
- Oh yes they told me that I needed to do a retreat at their ashram…
- In York?
- Yes
- Why?
- Why?
- Yes why?
- Oh… er… yes they said that I would get even more benefit from a retreat. This seemed to make sense to me… at least at the time
- Did you tell Brenda about this?
- No…. they told me not to… said she would probably talk me out of it.
- Would she?
- Yes and I wished she had!
- What happened there?
- Oh… er .. hm.. yes… what?
- What happened there?
- (In a strange stilted voice lacking any affect) The OM Ashram seeks to promote world peace through inner harmony and prayer.
- Percy what’s happened?
- Whatdyermean?
- You just spoke to me in a strange voice
- Did I?
- Yes
- Oh
- You said ‘The OM Ashram seeks to promote world peace through inner harmony and prayer’
- Ye-es that…is… right
- Percy?
- Yes
- Percy what happened at the ashram?
- Hm… what happened at6 the ashram?
- Yes, what?
- It was calm and good
- Calm and good?
- Calm and good
- Why did you leave?
- I dunno, I wish I was still there.
Percy started weeping. Paul as usual felt awkward and this was something different
- Do you want to see Brenda?
- Yes… but I can’t (sobbing)
- Why ever not?
- They… they… wont let me (sobbing louder)
- Wont let you?
- Wont let me?
- Why ever not?
- Because… because they sky is blue it makes me cry
‘Oh fuck’ said Paul under his breath.
- But you do want to see Brenda?
- Yes
- OK leave it to me.

Percy was clearly in some hell of a state and needed care, although there was some risk in involving Brenda at this stage it made sense to Paul even if only to get the best possible help for Percy. Brenda would surely see to that. There was very little more that Paul could learn from Percy but that was not the end of the matter. There was still the question of what OM was up to, what OM had done to Paul himself and to Claudia and of course the vulnerable position that Paul’s friend Frankie was in. It was clearly time for Paul to speak to Micky Flynn.

Next morning in Fuel Micky joined Paul for a post breakfast Americano.
- On the QT we have had our eyes of OM for some time (Micky had this curious and old fashioned way of expressing himself)
- Oh yeah?
- Yeah but there is nothing we can p[in on them… their accounts are squeaky clean… but
- But?
- Well this is strictly between you and me (Paul nodded) God if it ever got out I was talking to you in this way I would be for the high jump…
- Strictly between me and thee
- Strictly… well a few people have needed mental health treatment following a stay at the ashram
- Really?
- Yes, but the OM people who include a medic or two have always argued that they attract a few punters who are in their words ‘volatile’ and so they can’t be held responsible…
- It begs a few questions
- It does indeed but they get everyone who stays there to sign a disclaimer
Paul nodded for he had signed such a form himself
- What about ‘donations’?
- Well they have had a few large ones including one from your client’s husband Percy.
- And?
- And well they argue that if satisfied customers want to donate to their OM Foundation what is wrong with that?
- Hmm… I’d like to see their balance sheet
- I thought you’d might but their latest accounts aren’t due for another 6 months and the previous year’s figures were not that striking
- Hmm so what do we need to do?
- Keep a watching brief. At least your client’s husband is well out of it
- True but I worry about Frankie and his alleged daughter who is well mixed up with them
- Keep me posted
- Will do

Micky left having raised more questions than answers even if he had supplied some useful background information. The next, indeed the only step, seemed to be via Frankie and Claudia but how best to handle it and what was the link between OM and the fascists? Time for a long bicycle ride trying not to think about things but letting the matter stew on the mind’s back burner if that was not a mangled metaphor!