Friday, 23 August 2019

The last of the Mohicans (Chingachgook)

The last of the Mohicans (Chingachgook)

Walking through the churchyard, I saw him there;
An original man, beyond compare;
An ancient eccentric, with a Mohawk;
A pensioner punk, who wanted to talk.
He asked me if I cared to share a few
Roll-ups and cans of lukewarm Special Brew,
And listen to a serious matter;
So I sat with him and heard his patter.

He said he was a ted in ‘fifty-six,
When Rock around the clock was at the flicks.
He had a flick knife, and during the show,
He slashed the seats at the Trocadero.
In the early sixties, he was a mod;
A pill popper, immaculately shod,
On a Lambretta, going up and down
Fighting with rockers in a seaside town.

In the late sixties, he found a guru,
And went to a commune in Kathmandu,
But it was run by a fake millionaire,
So he came back home and shaved off his hair.
And in the process became a skinhead;
Moon-stomping to music Jamaican bred;
Skins in the sixties, he said, were cool cats,
And only very rarely racist twats.

He was a Starman in ‘seventy two,
When Bowie finally made his breakthrough.
But when The Dark Side of The Moon appeared;
His taste in music went deeper and weird.
He grew his hair longer, became a freak,
Saw Hawkwind and Genesis reach their peak;
Back in the day when they were worth seeing,
Before the Pistols came into being.

The filth, the fury, Mary seeing red;
The established sounds dying out or dead;
He adopted a chain from ear to nose,
And the declaration; anything goes.
He was a punk till around ‘eighty-four
When the old romantics became a bore,
And for want of something better to do,
He found consolation in sniffing glue.

In ‘eighty seven he rapped with a mate;
And then acid tripped him into a state 
Of ecstasy; with new drugs to consume,
As DJs scratched and pumped up volume.
And in that smiley state, he changed his name;
“Chingachgook”; the chief of Mohican fame;
He’d reached a peak; and he had it in mind
That he was unique; the last of his kind.

Brit pop was hardly a sensation;
He felt it to be an imitation;
A knelling bell to the finality;
And demise of originality.

The scene petered out like a dying flame.
Twenty years went by and no eras came.
With nothing but more of the same in sight,
He aimlessly drifted, without a light.
Up shit-creek with no paddle or canoe,
Drowning to the sound of radio two;
Trapped for an age, in a digitised grave,
Of hip-hop, house, metal, mod, punk and rave.

And that was it; he had no more to say;
Silently he sat, and I walked away;
Leaving him staring blankly into space
Or maybe some other faraway place,
Where out of the blue, comes a sea of change
That’s against the grain and feels a bit strange,
Unconventional, untraditional,
Alternative, cool, and original.  

Chingachcook; the unique; the peerless one,
Look tired and jaded, by the time he was done,
And all his anecdotes, are written here,
Complete with glue, acid, roll-ups, strong beer,
And the thoughts of a man; long in the tooth,
Offering an observational truth;
DJs and bands are playing nothing new;
A watershed movement’s long overdue.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

A years' worth of tears

A years’ worth of tears

One day, I fancy, I’ll get a cup,
Collect all the tears that run down my cheeks,
And, if in a bucket, I saved them up,
I reckon, that after fifty two weeks,
The amount would be a hell of a batch.
What would I do with a bucket of tears?
Wash the car? Water the broccoli patch?
Or keep them, and save up another years
Worth of salty tears, which is quite a lot,
And I bet you’re reading this and thinking,
Why the Hell is he telling us this rot?
Is he on drugs, or has he been drinking?
The truth is, I sniff lots of onion juice,
And I want to put the tears to good use.

Echo Chamber


Echo chamber

Can you hear
For the many
Not the few
Strong and stable
Off the table
She relents
He’s on the fence
Tweet it text it
No deal exit
Second decider
Boris the spider
Giving it large
Cummings Farage
Join the fray
Divided nation
Ever contending
Dollar ascending
Pound descending
Public spending
Slump impending
Trump befriending
Tweets offending
Queen attending
Deal depending
Bluffing bending
Border defending
Union rending
ISIS blending
Never ending
Project fear
I’m fucking
Out of here
Can you hear
Me me me me
Me me me me
Me me me me
Me me me me

Monday, 12 August 2019

Jimmy Daley

Jimmy Daley

Jimmy Daley was a baby in need
Of love, kindness and parental care;
His dad was a squirt of abandoned seed;
His mum was an addict who wasn’t there
When Jimmy was found outside a drug den
By social workers backed-up by police,
And driven away at the age of ten
As mum OD’d and found permanent peace;
Hers was a story not properly heard,
A statistic; a problem left too late
To prevent the fate of a boy referred
To a children’s home funded by the state;
Foster carers saying he was too much,
And in need of more than a loving touch.

Jimmy Daley was a runaway teen;
Home was a future Panorama,
A tale of abusers; ignored, unseen;
A national scandal; a TV drama.
He was barely fourteen in ‘93
And he was sleeping in a shop doorway;
Hiding from the eyes of authority,
Stealing after dark and begging by day,
Till he was picked up and brought back again
By the local police, time after time,
To an institution of fear and pain;
A cycle of abuse and petty crime,
Leading to where it isn’t hard to guess;
Prison-wings, addiction and homelessness.

Jimmy Daley was a desperate man,
And his desperation grew all the more
When the local council enforced a ban
And he had to steal what he once begged for.
Who would give a job to a man like that?
An alcoholic without an address,
A thief, a junkie, a beggar, a rat,
A welfare scrounger, a permanent mess,
A man who you wouldn’t look in the eye,
Let alone talk to or have as a friend;
A scumbag, whose every word is a lie;
In short, he was labelled and in the end,
The labels prevented people seeing
An individual human being.

A homeless man froze to death in his sleep;
I read the story, took note of his name,
And thought about the things that people reap
When others sow seeds in life’s cruel game
Of winner takes all, or luck of the draw;
Harshness and indifference came to mind;             
It appeared to me, that his lot was poor,
And subject to things unjust and unkind;
The system never offered him a choice;
Who, with a conscience, can honestly say
Without doubt or irony in their voice;
That life is what you make it, come what way?
Jimmy Daley couldn’t make it a plan;
His life was finished before it began.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Ghost Town (part 2)

Ghost town (part 2)
Bags of rubbish block doorways
Naked dummies mock displays
Boutiques in administration
Prior to permanent termination
Vacant signs stuck on doors
Of banks and chain department stores
Metal shutters coming down
On every other shop in town

In amongst the rubbish bags
Retired workers dressed in rags
Unwanted adolescents
Zero-hour-contract dependents
Manic souls in numbers countless
Jobless hopeless helpless houseless
Down-trodden disrespected
Used abused burnt-out rejected

Spectres in a ghostly play
Many from a bygone day
Occasionally catch the eye          
Of other people passing by        
Some stay silent others talk
Most but very rarely walk
Beyond the confines of the spot
Where day and night they spend their lot

I passed them as I walked along
Reminded of an eighties song
One indignantly composed         
That told of nightclubs being closed
Walking home empty-handed
Haunted thoughts occurred expanded
Lead me to a different time
Before smartphones and Amazon Prime

And finally a lamentation
A tribute a dedication
To traders on the high street
In empty stores that can’t compete
This town is a wilting flower
Wetherspoons Paddy Power
Aldi and Lidl are doing fine
Everything else is in decline

This town is one of recession
Debt redundancy depression  
Future prospects in a mess
Homeless damsels in distress
Empty husbands empty wives  
Empty pockets empty lives
Food banks running out of food
DWP staff being rude

This town is a dying show
A sale where everything must go
Selling costing lesser still
With no-one paid to work a till
Online trading on the cheap
Shops forever put to sleep
Metal shutters staying down
This town
Is coming like a ghost town