The Old Merry-Go-Round

The old merry-go-round,
scratches into action.
Once again curling its spurs.
Horses, fixed horses.
Going nowhere but a-round.
Make them gallop.
Make them jump.
Work them though they’re crippled,
by years of repetition.
No canter to a quick end:

The cold rusted gun.
Stroking a silver mane.
The click submerged beneath
a steam organ drone.
Burned beneath a pile of wood.
Delivered to the atmosphere.
A ghost rider in the sky.

And the old merry-go-round,
scratches into action.


Christmas in Vietnam

The Christmas music in Saigon
Is enough to drive anyone insane.
Strange glockenspeil renditions of
Carols and familiar festive tunes.
Even George Michael is remembered.
Forever consigned to a Last Christmas.
Frozen in an Alpine Ski Lodge.
All buffant hair and heavy coat.
Chiming, imbibing, living on fresh air.
So distant from the man he would become.


A Strange Cacophony

What a gathering.
What a host.
How they all played,
not quite together.
See-sawing through a tune.
Like a drowning man,
signalling to the shore.
What a cacophony
said my companion.
But I point-out
the unwritten rule.
The one that says:
even when you’re
not quite together.
You’re more together
Than the dangerously
unrehearsed.
The bumbling fools.


Forward Motion

The scent of morning
as it flows into midday.
A perfect end,
to a special slice of time.
Meet me at two thirty.
When the afternoon
is in full swing.
A round wheel spinning
in forward motion.
Hold out your hand.
Feel the cool air, venting.


Time Tunnel

or the end of British Summertime.

Mojo the navigator,
turns onto an unfamiliar road.
Got my man-boy workin.
Says the puppet master,
breathing-in a shot of rarified air.
Only lovers of pure CO2
will be left alive by the end of the month.
That glorious day when nothing happens.
Just the clocks keep on ticking an hour behind.


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Marching through thin air.
I become old.
Unswervingly fragile.

Hovering outside,
on the perimiter,
sit the ghosts of real people.

Narrow tendrils of pain.
That sting again, again and again.


The Whirligig

Imagine taking a pill,
to make everything all right.
Fixing those things
that can’t be fixed anymore.
How come it’s all been undone.
The silk thread running
through the tapestry,
is through unravelling.
Grotesque is now normal.
A whirligig has wiped away calm.
Imagine just one day of peace.