Skip to content

this whole town is leaving town

September 29, 2016

this whole town is leaving town
to feed the hungry ghosts;
what have I done for my ancestors
lately?

do they gather,
in bonnets and breeches
hands tough from the soil
the weaving machines
black with revolutionary soot,
of rough learning and survival of infancy

do they gather in sacred places

amongst the dark satanic
tea houses, Red Lions and White Horses

do they sleep peacefully in
consecrated ground, dust under stone,
stone carefully etched with their
vital statistics,
slowly wearing away
into more dust

here they are burned,
ashes to ashes,
and return to remind,
and today the roads are dusty with travel
as the whole town is leaving town
to cross the divide
between now and then,
now and them

journeyman

September 28, 2016

journeyman, journeyman,
by the beat of the day by day,
the distance from the start
is a journey for sure
there are no accidents
and there are no mistakes

journeyman, journeyman,
a pipe through which
strange waters flow,
a craft cuts through the waves
on its path
towards the
unfathomable

journeyman, journeyman,
take your tools
and do what you can,
make shapes and sizes
make sounds and colours
make sights into words
make thoughts into text
make music

journeyman, journeyman,
strike the line between
peaks and troughs,
feast and famine,
desolation and joy,
with chin up
and hopes buoyed

rest easy
smile sweetly
live slowly
age gracefully

advance an idea
climb into bed
fall into rhythm
shoot into space

sometimes the misheard
is the truth:
vocation in paradise

liquid dusk

September 27, 2016

the blessings of a liquid dusk,
the baptism,
and the gift of wait

the excited rush of the
natural world,
unapologetic

the comforting white noise
of millions of journeys
meeting a horizontal end

here’s one for shuhei

September 26, 2016

rising sun guitar
and wasabi bass
old friend on the shelf

old tunes
early days at
good times

blacks and whites
open door
sets the music free
new friends at the bar

old tunes
early days at
good times

remember the sweat and the dust,
remember the dates advancing
without remorse,
remember the struggle,
and the endless days
and then celebrate the night

with the rising sun guitar
and the wasabi bass
old tunes
early days at
good times

 

every day is market day

September 26, 2016

corners within corners,
life lives on and through and within,
brimful, it runneth,
ancient

the village within the village,
where each is the same but unique
with its own history and dust

in and out of days
and all through the night
commerce floats delicate
and in proximity –
food here,
clothing there,
bright shiny and
pyjama clad,
wandering past
in effortless
timeliness,
transport constant,
inside within,
outside without

the coming and the going
and the in and the out
and the turning of a corner
that brings another corner
and leads to another corner
but not quite the same corner
but maybe it is,
and wasn’t that corner over there?

daily form by virtue of function,
where there are people there are needs

nickel and dime, nickel and dime,
accretion, accretion,
the old in and out
one pocket to receive
and one pocket to spend,
in and out,
within and without,
around another corner
to find another corner

the old thin out and are
replaced by the multitudinous young,
fortunes are told in
incense and cards,
and the futures play out
for all to see
in an endless present,
the whiff of prophecy
balanced by the
the banal eternal:
eat, sleep, work, repeat,
in and out,
one pocket to receive
and one pocket to spend,
in and out,
within and without,
around another corner
to find another corner

day is preparation for night,
and night for day,
a thousand colours
but only seven styles:
beauty compressed into
standard form,
only to escape
again
when the door is left open
and run to the corner
around another corner
to find another corner

and there to eat, sleep,
work, repeat,
one pocket to receive
and one pocket to spend,
in and out,
within and without,
around another corner
to find another corner,
the village within the village,
around another corner
to find another corner

he started to listen

September 24, 2016

dropping hints come
from a neverblank sky
and leaves nod in welcome

then the percussion solo
through gusts and peals
is insistence itself

the air wet and tremblng
like sad eyes

a good time to be
somewhere you
don’t need to leave

he started to listen
and what things he heard

the sharp crack
of the abandoned
empty
used
done
plastic water bottle

as it is flattened,
first and then
again and
again until
it is as flat as the
once too-brave rat
that also lies
in the Phnom Penh street

forever mistiming
its run
from gutter to gutter

he started to listen
and what things he heard

multi-coloured songs
pierce a
blue morning,
rake and hoe
and sow seeds
that the rain will bless

the saintliness of flesh
cool after the rain,
protecting the skeleton,
where the knowledge is held,
where the answers may lie,
upon eventual autopsy:
what we know
that our mute bones
can only imagine us understanding

he started to listen
and what things he heard

far away
loping over the lands in between
the distant calls
of lullabies
and nightsongs
at walking pace

footsteps
one by one
is the only way to get there
anywhere
somewhere

well worn boots will trudge
in answer
to the call of mute bones

he started to listen
and what things he heard

when the moment comes

September 23, 2016

will we be ready
when the moment comes
or will it be a Tuesday

will we be ready
when the moment comes
or will it not be compatible
with our hardware

will we be ready
when the moment comes
or did we miss it
accidentally
while busy

will we be ready
when the moment comes
or will it not matter

will we recognise it when it comes
will we know it already
will we nod and smile and say
of course