While I, erm, get a proper site together, I'm using this blog to share a few poems that I've either performed a few times and get asked about a lot, or others that I never get to finish, or never make it to the stage.

Check out my bio (there's a link somewhere here) for more info about me, and http://www.zoneonetosix.blogspot.com/ for gigs, random thoughts, poetry I'm writing right now, and more
non-poetry related stuff.



Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Drum

I was conceived in drum
Tough, taut skin stretched tight
And beat, beat, beat
Till sweat soaked flesh brought me fourth

I was born in drum
Hit with sticks and not stones
And they shaped my tone
And the beat, beat, beat
Moulded me into a melody

I was raised in drum
Hollow barrel of my inner soul
The hands and the sticks
Just beat tap beat-beat
Until I began to make music with my wails
Resonating harmonies with my howls
Skin-crawling rhythms with each crack of the stick
On my mahogany skin
Soaked in the history of violence

Oh talking drum, speak to me!
Tell me how many trees felled?
Recount to me the blood rushing to palms
The hot slap of pressing hands
The tap tap tap of the tingly-fingered
Tremble of the skin still suffering
Under the snare of percussion

Oh speak to me drum!
With your crashing cymbalism
Ricocheting through centuries
Where clashes create fusions
And new rhythms are formed

Tell me, how can such violence breed such music?
How can such force bring out such rhythm and reason and rhyme?
How can the uprooting of a whole people
Become the beautiful beat-tap-beat pulsing inside of me?
Filling my veins with history
Stretching my baritone vocal chords with its howls
Of bloodshed and injustice?

Oh speak to me drum
For I am your echo…


(Something I wrote at the same time as a short story with the same title... Just performed this once)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Tell Me...

Tell me what you believe
What you really, truly believe

What rights you'd fight for
Lay down your life for
What you want to strive for
Save for
(Mis)behave for or just be brave for

Tell me what you stand for
And what you'd sit down at the back of the bus for
Prepare to make a fuss for
Bleed for
Cuss for

Tell me what you believe
What you really truly believe

What do you have a dream for?
And what would you lose sleep for?
Sigh for, weep for
Starve for weeks for?
What would you take risks for?
Raise a gloved fist for?
Sit down and resist for?
Chains on the wrist for?

Please tell me what you believe
What you really, truly believe

What would you stand and block a tank for?
And receive no thanks for?
Just bullets in your chest
No peace and no rest
What could make them want to put you under lifelong house arrest?

Please tell me what you live for
And what you'd die for
Lie for, kill for, surrender your will for
What would you give your last resource for?
Throw yourself under a horse for?
Prepare to be jailed for?
27 years and no bail for?

Please tell me what you believe
What you really, truly believe

What would you sacrifice your life for?
Get scarred with a knife for?
Be put behind bars and risk your children and your wife for?
That's your boyfriend/girlfriend/civil partner, your siblings too...

What can't you turn a blind eye to
Because it ain't right to you?
Is there something that would make you go to lengths you're not used to?
Make a stand even though you know people aren't going to like you?

Please tell me what you believe
What you want
What makes you breathe?
What would you speak up for?
Is there anything you give a fuck for?

I thought so.

I thought so.