Sunday, July 28, 2013

Human Experience

Human experience is what I know:
I've been accepted and rejected, played
And lied to, and abandoned, and betrayed,
Made love in sunlight, dreamed, put on a show,
Revealed a hidden past (not long ago),
Made choices — drank, left when I should have stayed,
And sang, when all the noise I should have made
Was whispering, like footfalls in the snow.

That's why I don't pretend that my advice
Is any good to anybody. Sure,
I boldly plant my feet, pronounce a cure
For everything from climate change to lice,
But no one listens, though I'm very nice,
My voice is steady, and my heart is pure.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Beyond This Space

Explore the sounds and sights that lie beyond
The usual, the ludicrous, the sweet,
The endless jokes and junk, the swollen feet,
Detestable remarks about the blonde
Of whom we were inordinately fond,
Allegro movements with a slow repeat,
Regrets, reflections, riot, incomplete
And passionate, life in a lily pond.

Come back when you've decided what to do
About the troubles you can't bear to face,
About the sure fate of the human race,
About the lies that turned out to be true,
About desire that draws a sharp line through
This uninhabitable, cold, dark space.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Social Policy

Replace the axes with some bowie knives,
Replace the water with some cheap rosé,
Replace tomorrow night with yesterday,
And who will we be then? When peace arrives,
Our kids come out of hiding, and our wives
Put on their summer dresses, who will say
It wasn't worth the wait? We'll laugh, and pray,
And spend our evenings in suspicious dives.
When war returns, whenever evil comes,
Our sweet command of jazz and poetry
Will save the empty house, and revelry
Among the clans will rise: my good old chums
The unicycle riders, Frenchmen, bums,
And mooks will live together faithfully.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

About the Past

I spoke to you about the past, before,
When we were thinking of the future, proud
Of how we stood then, in the present, loud
In praise of our discernment, how we wore
Our wisdom humbly, how our open door
Was welcoming, no matter what the crowd
Or circumstances, never bent or cowed
By fortune. That was boastful, nothing more.

You told me nothing matters but the truth,
And truth changes, desire and fear don't last,
Your favourite smock wasn't colourfast,
The marquess was dishevelled and uncouth,
The sun set. That was only your lost youth,
And so I spoke to you about the past.