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The Warp

More Poems 2

Poem in White

the glass coach

there she is for the first time she is devastatingly beautiful

from the extreme top right hand corner of our window frame

we can see now

one magnificent moment which was however but a prelude

shining in the sunlight they swing left now

crowd of girl guides

ladies in waiting

yes there she is

hardly a breath of breeze now to flutter the union jacks

troops of stalwart life-guards

some waiting many hours now

this is the moment

flash of whiteness inside the coach


flash of flashbulbs

a most lovely figure

fanning out behind

in shadow and sunlight

it was wonderful to hear those cheers

more cheers

the Archbishop of Canterbury in a superb cope

it was wonderful to hear those cheers

diplomatic corps

queen’s scholars

special fanfare

special cheers

O eternal God!

These families of noble blood take their place

in what is the best of our island’s story

O this is a happy moment

O it’s worth any price to be here a superb moment superb

that was a most moving and touching moment

worth any price

O that was a most touching moment to see that glass

coach move away at a canter the four greys mounted

by men of the fifth they take with them as I am sure our

heartfelt wishes to see such ceremony

and such happiness worth any

we have listened to the service itself in silence and in sunlight


Croeso Cymru!

I know that Welsh people (many hundreds of thousands of them

present) all over the world

will join me in that loyal message

and she and he and she have left the coach

it is about to leave

and there will be yet more memorable moments in

this memorable day

low flung branches of the plane trees

now over to colleagues in the courtyard

yes this inner court has been almost an oasis

an oasis of silence amid the festivities

picture from an illuminated manuscript

ancient, stretching back through the ages

whole thing almost entirely overpowering for one who

has not seen it before in person himself

loyal messages

this was the moment

there were other moments

finally, she herself, and he and that other he

and she so overpowering

poem in white

Poem in White – Sequel

and the pigeons

having a bird’s eye view of it all

some in fact sitting

on a statue of King John

which had lain forgotten!

(until luckily, one day

somebody found it

in his back garden)

now a very special

Royal Bodyguard

comprised of

the privy equipage

still wearing their fifteenth

century unforms

(after all those years)

(with red and white roses round their hats)

and now the honourable

corps of the gentlemen at arms

a little tottery

but gentlemen

and still they pass ...

the Lord Mayor staggers

beneath his mace and sword

provokes a tumultuous

sixty-two gun salute from

four jolly old

twenty-five pounders

so the stately procession continues

the coach, weaving

round a traffic island

on the wrong side!

(nobody drunk today however)

(and this can be forgiven on a day like this)

now a flurry of flags

ah what memories

this must stir her

and him and her

and them and above all

now the canon in residence passes

blasting off as he does a salvo

of hardhitting bonhomie

wearing a jubilee cope designed

especially for this occasion

and given

(wait for it, this is extraordinary)

by well-wishers from the home counties

(notice the Royal Peculiar on the mitre)

the college of heralds in their scarlet tabards

the Wales Herald extraordinary

the clanoncer king of arms!

what splendid names!

splashes of colour in this black city

and the coach again heaves into view

the crown on its top supported by three balls

representing of course Wales

and Scotland and Ireland

it’s weaving round the traffic island

once again on the wrong side!

(and contains Blackpool supporters)

(O no, I’m so sorry for that mistake

I meant to say

our own dear very special Royal Family)

(hope that can be forgiven on a day like this)

and the statue of King John stands


with on his head the pigeons having

a bird’s eye view of it all

Far Memory

Have You Been Here Before?

Who were you in your previous life?

Queen? Priestess? Parson? Lord?

Virgin? Schoolgirl? Prince? or Fiend?

Rapist? Centurion? Saint? or Fraud?

did you scare the pants off them

or cringe in awe

when you were here before?

were you a nifty slicer with sword so pucker

householder, wanderer, rich or poor?

warrior at arms or just some poor sucker

the cat brought home for its supper

when you were here before?

far memories far memories

flowing fast you come to me from misty times long gone

calling me to recognise to recognise

places where I’ve never been

melodies that tease me from some half forgotten song

that I never heard in this life

sounds of ancient temple bell, mountain flute

and long since ringing sounding ringing sounding

ringing sounding ringing sounding echoing

echoing ...

gong ...

with you and your mate was it love at first sight?

or was it really that you already knew each other

already had loved for a lifetime or a night

sought each other out for a fuck or a light

in ages long before?

the sands of time are shifting

and nothing’s what it seems

so when we meet someone new

often we feel we know them already

from our own distant dreams

and is there any end to it

is there anything else in store?

or will we through all lives

always be brought back for more?

who were you in your past life

a nifty slicer with the sword, or a sucker

householder, wanderer, duck or whore

a king enthroned?

or just some poor fucker

the cat brought back to ear for its supper

when you were here before?

Fate of the Desecrators

And of stone circles

impossible to number

no one, say the country people thereabouts

was ever able to reckon their number

or even to draw pictures of them

some indeed tried but were struck dead upon the spot

or became afflicted with such fearful sores, blackheads and other problems

as soon carried them off.

Finally one John Wood numbered the stones

he had succeeded!

A stupendous cloudburst followed;

the stones were washed away!

How many?

who would care to reckon the number?

With cromlechs, much the same

some fools who sought to move them

experienced fierce storms of hail and wind

thunder, mysterious noises

and swarms of bees supposed

by those in the know

to be disguised fairies.

and at cottages, backing into the stones of Avebury

mysterious happenings are reported

though exactly what happened who can say?

something though – mysterious

who would care to reckon that mystery?

a stone was in

a farmer’s way in Shropshire

for years it stayed there

for he knew it was sacred;

at length moved it

and on the third night thereafter

he and his family heard strange noises

cattle bellowed, dogs howled

and a thunderous voice cried, clearly heard by all

Put back that stone!

some American airmen

moved a stone that marked a witch’s grave

upon which

cows stopped producing milk

hens no more laid eggs

a haystack fell over

animals went into the wrong fields

the church bell rang of its own accord!

a cromlech was being dismantled in Parc-Y-Bigwrn field

near Lanboidy

six horses were drawing the stones away when

suddenly the road was rent asunder

and at Banwan Bryddin an inscribed stone

pillar standing on a tumulous

was moved to form part

of Lady Macworth’s grotto, but

a hill fell on top of the expensive grotto!

and then an old man, long a gardener on the estate,

spoke these words;

Iss indeed, and woe will fall on the Cymro or the saison that will dare to clear the stones away.

Children of the Dawn

O you who go up into the high places to meditate

you who gather for celebration on Garway Hill or

Glastonbury Tor

you who live scattered in the hills round the monastery at


you who assemble for festival at Innis Boffin

or for the halucinatory mushroom festivals of the Black Mountains and Golden Valley

O George Trevellyan white-haired leader prophet for the

New Age

John Michelle saintly ley hunter and spacecraft jotter

sing now children of the dawn

and all of you who draw on new consciousness

O teachers sectarians cultists poets

mythologists, ecology freaks, spiritual hunters

O survivalists O self sufficient people

O you of innumerable counter cultural

consciousness changing, myriad techniques

you who so truly believe that a new Age has dawned ...

sing now children of the dawn

O tea heads and holy dealers

O Findhorn where roses the size of cabbages like beach balls

vegetation of great luxuriance grows on barren sand

tended with seaweed,

Enniscorthy Castle where O you followers of Isis worship

in your Temple to the Gods of Egypt

Regal Sid Rawle, Black Valley folk living in Wales in tipis

sing now children of the dawn

O Guru Mahara Ji O Meher Baba

and O Temple of Baba Oceanic

O all innumerable other Gods and Prophets

George King Rejneesh O Maharishi

O Glastonbury pilgrims you who are camped

in caravans tents ditches round

this ancient holy spot

O spirit of William Blake who knew it all before

Be with us now

children of the dawn

That Dry Summer

There you are suddenly

having erupted down from a hedge

somewhere beside the A4912

for luggage 12 LPs

and a sleeping bag

having nearly

capsized yourself

standing akimbo

by the road

smell of hay

smell of tarmac

hard on my brakes

screech of tyres behind

you’ve bounced into

the car seat beside me

and on we drive

passing through fields

rich with the smell

of evening hay

there was little water

that summer I remember

many of the fields dry


someone was dying

who was it?

O yes, Phillip,

dear once friend

he once so powerful,

so attractive,

so unreasonable

dying in a room far away

I’d come down to take

care of the children

while their mother tended him

you giving the

hitchhiking sign

clutching your LPs

under a hedge

by the road

somewhere in the West Country

always unheard, unseen

but always present

a room filled with flowers

Phillip, dying.

There was death

in your life too,

I remember

a tale of horses,

a race horse owner

you worked for him as a stable girl.

A horse was dying


before a race.

Another horse

had been substituted

while this one was

kept in a field

in a shed far away.

You told the police

got him in the shit

he gave you your cards –

And always, unheard, unseen in my head

a room filled with flowers

Phillip, dying, dead,

and you so full of life.

And there was some other story too

wasn’t there?

how you had been

till last week

going out with a dope dealer

how the law arrived

you leaped from the window at the back

with the stash

fractured your arm –

and were caught

as you ran down the street

and later escaped

but still they wanted you.

Which happened first

before we met?

I forget now

Or maybe I never

sorted it out

You giving the hitchhiking sign

clutching your LPs

beside a hedge

somewhere in the West Country.

Why not go down the quiet country lanes

why not go down to the edge of the sea

why not why not?

there was no water that summer

I remember

It was the dry summer

cool to get down to the end of the pier

the sea ferocious turbulent,

one of us had a cough I remember

was it you? was it me?

the wind blowing shrill around us

water tossing

and back to a pub

because we had

turned off my route,

your route,

our route

the children have been

settled down in the kitchen

cooking the dinner

I’d do it for them’ you said

only I’m not domesticated’

we upstairs

put a record

on the stereo

now you lying on the bed

I caressing you

you say ‘I’d like to make love

with you

but I’ve got my period’

a towel

you dreamy

as if not there

listening to the music

and when it’s finished

under your white limbs

a red mass of blood

on the towel

and you saying

what a lovely place


it feels like fairyland’

downstairs again

to help the children

make their dinner

they telly-bound

have burnt it

we make love

again and then

looking at

each other before

lights out ask

why did we meet

beside that road?

fate’s strange

isn’t it

why you?

why me?

why us?

And that’s the end of it really

but still now I

think back sometimes

to that silver

night when we

were in a tent

by the sea and

loved each other

so much that we

ended up rolling out

under the bottom

of the tent

amid the dew-covered grass

in the starlit darkness

the mist-filled



O riding school on the edge of the scrub

O riding school on the edge of the scrub

riding school whose hazy arid dust rises

high above the flanks of the horses

there see where my girl goes

now on a mare’s back

leading four others of those prancing ones

rising falling crested splendid

rising falling manes and bottoms

you astride looking back at me

taut thighs beneath your blue jeans

grip the horses’ flanks tightly

then plunge on cavorting snorting

as the day over we are taking them

to evening pasture

there’s dust rising

all round

red dust

now we go off the road down smaller lanes

under the arch of a deserted railway

and into a narrow leafy valley

which still has water

and now the horses

scent the sweet grass

and the damp of evening

and go careering

all the length of those slim fields




crazy along that

quiet green valley

Whispering Pines

Whispering pines

on the side of the hill

O you collection

of railway carriages

and little shacks

amid the trees

when the wind blows

the pines shake overhead

sending down a roar of



and under the pines

I can see distantly

the white-grey

gleam of the sea

and O generous hosts

and O liberal

libations of dope

in joints

in pipes

crushed between knives

one of them made red hot

on a flame

then held in a bottle

whose bottom is shattered

I suck from the top

an overwhelming blast

the inside of the chalet

spins round

with psychedelia

glowing incandescent

on the wall a huge poster of

God Ananandra

all is calm here

gentle considerateness

and a sort of ultimate

searching for experience

in the town’s newspaper

I read – ‘We Must Stamp Out

This Hippy Menace –


three guys get up

well, off to work

what is your work?

I ask

Oh we’re the morning shift

on the buses.

I did happen to notice

I did happen to notice

a man

yes that one you introduced me to

who turned his head away from me

didn’t seem to want to talk

and when it was time for bed

wasn’t it the same one who

went to sit just outside the door

so that we had to pass him as we

went through it

and he put a blanket over his head

and as we went through the door

sank down further

under the blanket

as I shut the door

he lay down outside across it

pulled the blanket entirely over him

I don’t like to mention this but

who was he please?

is he important

how long is he going to stay there?

will he be there all night?

You reply: O it’s just someone I never met.

And so now I leave your radiant bed

to return to a love that’s

less whole

through fear

I thought that you were heading

somewhere I couldn’t follow

now I know that

I should have followed

I fancied that you’d

travelled further

since I last saw you

into the psychedelic


than I could go

I should have been more reckless.

All that I really

can say is that

next morning

when we went

down to town

so you could pick up

your social security

and on to a caf

where with your new riches

you ordered mashed peas

and mashed potatoes

and gravy

all I could feel was

a desire to be

out by the sea

out on the shingle

where winds blow

and spray flings

and words

have not yet been


My last sight of you

astride one of the best most fiery of horses

leading a crowd of

sack-of-potatoes riders

across the blank moors

it was on a day when they said

rain would come at last

mist came across the hills

obliterated you

and all your riders


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