Poems

I do both kinds of poems - the kind that rhyme and the kind that don't. 

Here is a sample. If you want more - and of course you do - 
go to the Buy Stuff page where you can order my books. 







EASTER ISLAND

Easter Island is a place 
where hardly anyone ever goes.
It's tiny, isolated, bleak,
and the wind relentlessly blows.


Its one distinction is its statues,
enormous carved stone faces,
relics of a vanished tribe
that left no other traces.


These people moved vast blocks of stone,
using stone age technology,
and filled the landscape with their art
to serve some long lost theology.


The sculpting of those massive icons
keeps the experts wondering:
how did that tribe achieve so much
with no arts council funding?

From The Invisible Parade


PLAY KILLED BY DEATH FOR ME


When I'm dead, I won't mind
if they bury me 
under a concrete slab
or a tree 
or even at sea.
They can cut me up
for medical research
or throw my ashes in a landfill,
as long as they play Killed By Death for me.

Heart attack, cancer,
accident, murder,
war, famine, pestilence,
overdose or natural causes,
they all come down to
Killed By Death.

If I die in my sleep 
or on the highway,
on a one-night stand
or by my own hand,
just one favor is all I ask:
play Killed By Death for me.

Play it loud like Motorhead would.
Even the dead need rock 'n' roll heroes.
Wake them up with Lemmy's gravel-throated bellow:

Easy...easy...
The only time I'm easy
is when I'm
killed by death...

Some might regret my passing,
some might rejoice,
and the vast majority
will neither know nor care.
That's OK. I'll rest in peace
as long as somebody cares enough
to play Killed By Death for me. 



ODE TO A TREE

O tree
would you like to become part
of a global bestseller
14 million copies in paperback?

O tree
would you lay down your life
for the sake of a daily newspaper?

O tree
would you suffer the chainsaw
so you could be reconstituted
as a composite wood product
in somebody's new kitchen?

O tree
would you be interested to know
how many pairs of disposable 
Japanese chopsticks you would make?

O tree
is your grain fine enough to become
veneer on an executive cabinet?

O tree
would you please make way
for a medium density housing development?

O tree
can you tell the difference
between the human who hugs you
and the human who kills you?

O tree
would you mind if I use a few pages of you
to write a poem no one wants to read?

O tree
if you fall in the forest
and no one hears you
I will tell the world
all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding
you did not die in vain. 



SEA BIRD AND HANG GLIDER



The hang glider takes off from the cape,
drops toward the churning waves, 
banks, gains altitude,
turns, hangs suspended,
then catches the onshore wind.
The little group
watching at the launch platform
taps into dreams that go back
past Icarus to prehistoric days.
Along comes an albatross,
wings wide and motionless,
a master of the updrafts
showing how it’s done.
Bird and glider sail toward each other, 
then drift apart,
with all they have in common
summed up in that moment 
and blown away.
The albatross is at home in the sky
and the pair of humans in the glider
sooner or later
have to return to earth for lunch.

From The Invisible Parade



APOCALYPSE NOW


Apocalypse, Apocalypse,
O long-delayed Apocalypse,
The time has come all to eclipse.
Apocalypse, O Pockle Lips,
O pucker up those blood-red lips.
O thrill me with your swivel hips,
O kiss me quick, O tease my prick,
Apocalypse me now.


O sing to me in sultry tones,
incinerate my flesh and bones,
boil the oceans, melt the stones.
Apocalypse, can you hear me moan? 


Apocalypse, with staunch intent
Tell me now you won't relent.
Tell me nothing will be spared,
Not the skeptic, not the scared,
Not the cynic, not the noble.
Go ahead and make it global.


Exterminate the good and great,
Annihilate the church and state.
Injustice, poverty and crime -
Wipe them out; they've had their time.


Lungs and kidneys, hands and feet,
Render them all obsolete.
Hummingbirds and lions and mice,
Beans and rhubarb, mangoes and rice,
Flies and spiders, aphids and thrips,
Consume them all, Apocalypse.                                                                                         


At the final midnight stroke
Push the button - go for broke!
No room for sorry compromise -
Everything must vaporise.
Bestow a flash of rapture, then
Clean the slate and start again.


O pucker up those ruby reds
And bring the crisis to a head.
Fulfill the ancient prophecy,
Apocalypse, you promised me!
O Pockle Lips, don't make me wait,
O Swivel Hips, please don't be late.
Apocalypse, we have a date.


Provoke my cries of ecstasy,
Apocalypse, and set me free.
I can feel a Big Bang coming.
Apocalypse, it will be stunning
When every living organism
Goes up in the cataclysm,
The ultimate orgasm.


O pucker up, give me a thrill,
O Pockle Lips, I know you will.
This is no ordinary kink,
Apocalypse, I'm on the brink.
O pockle me, Apocalypse,
Apocalypse me now.

From The Invisible Parade


OLD CLOTHES



A few words in praise of the snake:
he shrugs off his outgrown skin
and leaves it to crumble, well forgotten.
Better to crawl away
than to open the door to a closet
full of faded shirts, sad trousers,
lumpy jackets, tired shoes -
not good enough to wear in public, 
not threadbare enough for cleaning-rags -
should I give them to charity?
Well, yes, but 
what if I see someone on the street
wearing something I know too well?
Would he spot my furtive scrutiny?
Would I introduce myself as his benefactor?
Or wish I’d kept the damn thing after all?
I have to shut the door.

From The Alienation Shuffle



MY SPECIES


My species started out hunting and gathering
and wound up ruling the world.

Along the way my species invented language,
tools, the wheel, agriculture, religion,
war, slavery, history, poetry,
music, painting, mathematics, philosophy, 
patriarchy, sexual repression, guilt, 
universities, factories, internal combustion engines, 
Coca-Cola, television, cyberspace,
and weapons of mass destruction.

My species consumes resources
unsustainably until they are gone
and wonders what went wrong.

My species is breeding cancer
in an unregistered laboratory covering the entire planet
and won't admit it.

My species acts like violence is the answer
and it has forgotten the question. 

My species is raising the global temperature.
My species is destroying forests.
My species is depleting fish stocks.
My species is losing topsoil
and won't even try to find it.

My species has something in common
with every other species on the planet.
It is endangered by my species.



TOTALITARIAN VISTAS



Are you looking for a good investment?
With outstanding returns?
Huge growth potential?
A captive market?
Then lock up your funds in the prison business.

Prison management is one of the world's
fastest growing industries.
By investing in prison corporations,
you can help fight crime
and at the same time 
unlock your own prosperity.

The USA is the nation
that turned incarceration into wealth creation.
With more people in jail than any other country,
America knows how to make crime pay.

After structural adjustment
the factory jobs went
off to the third world 
where wages are cheap.
That left surplus populations
with no place in the new economy.
These people want everything they see on TV,
and when they can't have it, they turn to crime.

No politician ever lost an election
talking tough on law and order.
Taxpayers want to be safe from crime.
They don't mind extra money
going into the police budget -
better than throwing it away on welfare.
Discreet contributions to chosen politicians 
keep policy moving in the right direction.

Prisons are a recession-proof investment.
In hard times you get more crime.
Building new prisons creates employment
and helps the economy grow again.

And if the crime rate starts to decline,
pass some more laws,
invent some more crimes,
get some more people doing time.

The USA has led the way in prison privatisation.
Now prison corporations are going global,
bringing the benefits of privatisation
to forward-thinking nations.
Astute investors will take the opportunity
to secure a share of this growth industry.

Corrections Corporation of America, 
Securicor, Australasian Correctional Management
all have excellent profit margins,
steady cash flows, 
and customers delivered to the door.

The prison of the future is a partnership
between business and government.
Enlightened legislation will combine
social objectives with the bottom line.
Take the drug laws, for instance -
a perfect example of synergy
between government and the prison industry. 

Lock people up for getting ripped,
take the moral high ground
and send out a message 
to keep our children safe from drugs.

Let the violent offenders out
to make more room for the junkies.
Up goes the crime rate
and before you know it,
we need to build more prisons.

We might have to cut back on education,
health care, et cetera -
this is the price we have to pay
to be safe from the scourge of crime
and keep those customers
coming through the door.

That's how they do it in America,
the vanguard of the New World Order,
with mandatory minimum sentences, 
three strikes and you're in for life.

Never mind those bleeding-heart liberals
crying out for rehabilitation,
compassion and decriminalization.
Bring on the crime stories,
make sure they're gory,
the media do that for free.

Call for justice, call for revenge,
lock them up and throw away the key.
Pack them in, lock them down,
feed them on reject GE food,
let the guards do whatever they want.
They're just hookers, junkies, fags and niggers.
Supervise them closely with a finger on the trigger.

Put them to work for a dollar a day,
doing the jobs that used to be out there.
It's surprising what some of them can do.
They're worth too much to let them go.

Economies of scale,
containment technology,
ruthless efficiency,
victimless crimes
bringing down hard time,
in concrete and steel
it's a done deal.

From the Big House to the White House
the politics of cruelty
profits from misery,
asset confiscation,
disinformation,
justified repression
for the public's protection,
manufactured consent
gets the money spent,
out of sight, out of mind,
you get the picture.

It's as clear
as the the totalitarian vistas from the guard towers,
the razor wire gleaming in the moonlight,
the highway of bones rolling back to Year Zero,
and the bullet holes in the Democracy Wall.

And now, our theme song:

Nazis in blue
out to get you
with clubs and tear gas

They'll violate your rights
and punch out your lights
then they'll arrest you

Resisting arrest
it must be stressed
will not assist you

Once you're inside
appeals denied
they profit from you

Nazis in blue 
out to get you
and me....

From Hate Mail, the Faction anthology


SAID AND DONE


You can tell it like it is 
in song or spoken word,
wherever willing listeners can be found.

You can pour your heart and soul
into uncompromising lyrics
composed to bring the power structure down.

You can rage against injustice, 
the evils of the system, 
the oppression of the many by the few.

You can give detailed descriptions
of abuses by the hour,
but the ones who need to listen never do.

No, your words won't reach the boardroom
or the corporate retreat;
those strongholds have all been soundproofed well.

You can hurl your best invective
against the men in suits -
all they care about is what you have to sell.

You can preach to the converted
in their favorite cafes,
and reaffirm their righteous point of view.

You can bask in their applause
while you support some worthy cause,
but when that's over, what good does it do?  

And if you seek recognition 
for your talents and your causes, 
you have to be prepared to sacrifice

so much of what you stand for
that you begin to wonder
if you really want to pay the price. 

They'll package and promote your work
and put it on the shelves,
and market it just like a can of beans.

You'll become another product
of the culture industry,
and try to learn to live with what that means.

If you succeed, then you're supporting
the system that you hate -
that's a fact you can not help but face.

For the company that's selling
your commitment and your rage,
you'll help to make the world a better place. 

So tell it like it is,
as well as you know how,
and enjoy your moment in the sun.

One day you'll be forgotten
and the system will survive,
after all your words are said and done.