Thursday, 27 October 2016

Irina Ratushinskaya: And for the cry from the well

Irina Ratushinskaya is a Russian poet. In 1983 she was sentenced to seven years in a Soviet labour camp. The charge against her related to political agitation. Her supposed crime had to do with publishing unauthorised literature. 

Ratushinskaya wrote the following poem while incarcarated. During her incarcaration she was forbidden to write poetry. As such she was forced to write covertly on cigarette papers, bars of soap and other items.

And for the cry from the well of "mama!"
and for the cross knocked from the cathedral,
and for your lie of "telegram!"
when it's an order for arrest--
I will dream of you, Russia!
In the curse of your triumphs,
the anguish of your impotence,
in the nausea of your hangover-
Why is it fear breaks through?
All is lamented, all laid to rest-
Who is it that makes you suddenly flinch?
Though you deny it, take refuge in illusion,
and lay blame on those who have been killed.
I will still come and stand before you
and look into your eyes. 

Irina Ratushinskaya - 5th July 1984

Wednesday, 26 October 2016


drafted lyrcis to go with the Guernsey-French tune 'J'ai Perdu ma Faumme'

lost my wife in a coffee cup. lost my love while taking sips from my mug. happened so sudden i spat out half the cup. luckily i've got my servants to clean it up.
they buzz round while i drink from my coffee cup. these girls are like bees on lavender. they form tight circles like muck-drawn flies. no wonder my wife went down the coffee cup.
i took no notice of my cofee cup. drank it softly down and made some rubbish up. would have seen my wife but the mornings, when the coffee's flowing, you get so you're blind with excitement.
lost my head in an aching cough. lost it when the servants came round. fill up my coffee cup. fill it till it spills on the ground.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


the sun strides in
long-legged over the landscape
while rivers of light snake by this platform
a daily cask is broken
so where sunshine finds its way, the dust dances

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Today in the Past: June 27th

Today is the anniversary of the writing of the song 'Happy Birthday'. You may have heard it. How can we say that it was definitely June 27th 1859? Well, Johnny, we can't, but it must have been first written on some day and that date is as good as any. The solstice had passed and a Central plain was cooking in a dry heat, wind dropped. Probably an Arctic discomfort balanced itself on each toe and every nose in the room. Perhaps there had been an argument. The words weren't added till nearly half a century after. Much death would have happened in the meantime. The melody's writer had most probably kicked the bucket by that point. Generations of people since, in a lot of different places, have sung simple words to mark some person's birthday. We all deserve to take our turn in the middle of the circle. Switch from a completely different language, or sing the meaning in your own way. Follow the pattern. People come and go. It may be worth noting. Why not sing in the meantime? Cliffsides, attacked by ever-lapping waves that work tirelessly till eventual collapse, and buzzing meadows, too: all's sunkicked. Charged up and alive for a while. 'Happy birthday x'.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

never need to sleep again

never need to sleep again
will it and it could come true
the dream butterfly cloud passes
and everywhere plants grow ceaselessly
till the whole world's swallowed up

wrecking the fibres of the mind
by willfully unpicking happiness fret by fret
hard-fought for joy's hard spent, too
with the pleasure being to ransack your spread-eagled wallet for its every last scrap of fortune

die a whole lifetime to reach the top
only to jump off
never need to sleep again
if there's work to do

Friday, 8 May 2015

In Love With The Geek

"Her voice isn't for everyone. Well, you know what I mean." I'm wasted and I can't find my way home. "Listen to the ease with which Ginger Baker does it - swing blues punch god." Arguing that Dylan was a great singer, that Kurt Cobain really was a marvellous bard. Taking it up the nose, talking out your hat - to the point that Pop majesty's a pixie stardust nightsky mystery, the smoke up at the Oracle, a sprinkling of religious connection. In love with the geek, you talk yourself blue.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

there's a fucking forest

the trashed-out car is,
though it's not moved for a year or two,
still a vehicle of eras that constant abide,
(between each, bijou to bijou),
as fog-soaked language passes the divide.

dandelion blossom as bright as the sun,
(you know)
distant-sourced photons make life, one to one,
grass-fed beef complements a vegetarian diet,
you all should try it.

finally, a hundred-hundred folklores
from far-flung shores cross-globe
can document the microbe,
enunciate the concept of infinity,
don't talk to me about a tree of humanity,
there's a fucking forest

there's a fucking forest
since time time time immemorial
there's been an inevitable progress
that can only ever orbit a lifespan
flourish before sinking back down
in the voiceless firmament

but how do you pay the rent?

there's a fucking forest
Chinese gods process

'I have heard the pigeons of the seven woods
 Make faint thunder,'
hate any 'greats'
that's WB Yeats