Divining Hope

Can you hear the voices
From all your yesterdays
Berating you your choices
Lamenting your malaise
Or do you see the beacon
Lighting your tomorrows
Allowing you to keep on
Whatever life bestows

Will you add a plaintive word
To the disappointed shroud
Your heart descend deterred
Descending to your cloud
Or can you find your own nirvana
With your face turned to the sun
In the collection of your karma
Until the supernal day is done


The Misery Broker

The maelstrom swirls
As the wash shuffle curls
And the dealer builds his pack
The dealer doles
To expectant holes
Mine, diamond ace and jack.
Chip trick bade
Chip twirl made
And the gun is calling raise
Gun plus one
Cards are gone
Tossed to the mocking baize.
Gun plus two
Is also through
But middle raises again
Pot sized bet
Big and wet
Loaded up with pain.
Hijack – me,
Could it be,
This is just a bluff?
Nothing there
Just bluff and air,
Is calling flat, enough?
One fifth stack
An ace and jack
Suited, but shit he’s strong.
Screw it, I’m in.
In it to win.
Uh, oh, that might be wrong.
Fold after fold,
It soon gets old.
Heads up to the flop go I.
One fifth stack
Can’t take them back
Oh why, oh why, oh why?
Stare at the dude
With loaded mood
Too late to avoid the drop
Impassive stare
To who knows where
While dealer deals the flop.
Six, two, three,
Diamonds for me
Nut flush! Nut flush! Nut flush!
Calm outside,
Nut flush to hide.
He raise, me raise, he push!
Doubt my name.
He pushed! Insane!
A set? Or worse, flush straight?
Trying to breathe
To reject or believe
Am I winning or taking the bait?
The dealer grins,
Loves all ins,
I hate the pressure call
Hero me
Could well be
About to lose it all?
Can’t fold this shit,
So this is it,
I pray to the poker gods.
He’s pushing light?
I’m out of sight?
I’ve got to like my odds.
Good call says he,
Then turns two, three
And rainbow cards at that.
Two pair, four outs,
“One time!” he shouts
And the table erupts in talk
Bastard semi-bluffer!
Smile at each other
But I want to see the bluffer walk
Implacable stare,
Staring where,
The dealer deals the turn.
Taps the baize
A tap that says,
I have a card to burn
Then turns a card
That landed hard
For the sweetest seven ever.
The quickened heart
Might tear apart
Before the bloody river.
Too dry lips
Precarious chips
Please dealer, no two, no three.
The card descends
As the noise ascends
A sly look from the dealer to me
Blackness of a spade
As a bloody switchblade
Feels like a cold knife to my heart
Full house twos and threes
Me on my knees
Feels like I was doomed from the start
But, hey that’s poker
The misery broker
I came, played the game, lost it all
I’m the poker bum
Lucky as they come
Chasing luck, on a doomed hero call.


the ship awaits us all
invitation to another shore
upon the final boarding call
before the dark forevermore
soon the sails will surrender
to the course beneath the veil
we will wave as we remember
the light before the pale
taken by the gentle breeze
we will watch them sail away
’till soon the last of life leaves
in the dusk of their final day

The Ignorant Fear

She smiles a counterfeit kindness
With gender on her mind
Age fear, becomes her blindness
Unknown and undefined
She doesn’t know him, doesn’t care
What lies behind his smile
Because he’s a man with greying hair
He’s a danger to her child.
So she smiles a dishonest rainbow
Filled with shades of black
She only feels unknown disdain so
She calls her baby back.

Once Upon a Politician

We live our lives within versions of the truth
Smoking their bespoke definitions of a proof
Proudly living life like a sad, cuckolded stray
Supplicant to manipulative makers of the day

Our paths are planned with an ignorant smile
As we’re turned and twisted like a radio dial
Reaching our destination in bewildered haze
Like prizes to the show, or cattle to the graze

Where were you in the near death of equality
mercilessly slain by the “in it together” allegory
obfuscating the bullshit of their ordinary deceit
inequality of the masses and the bloated elites

John Cooper Clark

Poetry was twee
Once upon a time.
Readings, with
Old ladies and old men
Gushing rhyming purple prose
(I’ve been to them,
And I’ve written those.)
And don’t get me wrong,
That’s still okay with me, but
We needed a spark
A poet like
John Cooper Clarke.
He came to the game,
And made his name,
With machine gun rhyme
Like I’d never heard.
It sounds perverse, but
Word for word
His weight was worth
More than verse.
Like changing minds
In changing times
Aligned to punk,
He was different.
His words seemed higher
And wider
And beside the
Staid and twee,
Maybe it’s just me,
But, letter for letter
His shit was better,
I guess.
Go read him,
Go listen,
See his shit glisten
With words field fresh.

The Shy One

this is the story of a life
part one.
the birds flew south
marked by the clock
while the man below
governed by chance
jokers wild
met her glance
and upon a vaulting
beat of the heart
coyly turns
to spurn
the worldly ways of love
while up above
the birds flew south
so he berates himself
even a little
hates himself
and when
a second chance to say,
in a rain-refuge cliche,
fails him again
words of innocent love
from inner voice
remain a stranger
to his mouth
while up above
the birds flew south