Monday, 11 October 2010

Dust In My Eye ..

Cherry Blossom

Our love is as the cherry tree
Whose flowers blossom a single day
A morning zephyr, tender
Casts the fragile petals loose to earth
Dust; their memory fades away

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Friday, 1 October 2010

Carnival of Dreams

Fair Ground

“Step right up and come on in come on in to join the mirth”
“Roll on up roll up this story is that greatest show on earth”

It’s everything all around more than a feeling it’s being there
Running through fingers
It’s neon it’s vapours it’s the electrostatic pulses everywhere

Shining spinning reflection of the sparkle in your eye
Laughter in the air and the squeal of delight
Colouring the world a freedom unbound
Hand in hand with tears of joy to cry
Where the lights are forever bright
Up here at the old fairground

Shoes covered in sawdust and sand
A barker shouts above the din
Drop a coin in his hand
Let the show begin

The riverboat ride through the tunnel for lovers
Hide their faces steal a kiss under those covers

Pull back that curtain and peer through the gaps
Progress measured in numbers through her flaps

Coconut husks jumbled and weighted against the punters
Hoopla rings wait for the greedy who think as big hunters

Two bits for cotton candy gifts from that vendor’s new trailer
The prostitute laughs at her paying boyfriend flabby old sailor

Two middle age lovers promenade nightly not hiding away
From crowded stares as furtively
They hold each other and whisper sweet talk

The machinery churns gears whirr a calliope organ blasts
Sound through tubes of steel to
Carnival drifters under that dusty boardwalk

It’s sexual it’s mechanical it’s robotic and endless
It’s terminal it’s tyrannical presents with kindness

All so fragile the life of sequins tinsel and rapturous jubilation
They say that this bliss will lead straight to hellfire damnation


That whirling swirling amusement of the senses is no shortage of extravagance
The opulent abundant indulgence of intellect heralds a richer and truer dance
Thinks the naive moderate youngster preparing to seize life’s first real chance

Opportunity comes knocking and he answers without fears
What’s he to lose this way he’s young yet with many years

No more wasted time on this silly sideshow
Destiny’s calling for serious business below

Parade through the high arch and past that guard on the gate
Leaving this show behind heading downhill to a game of state

Down to that valley I strolled to encounter real life
I studied and learned all conforming to those ways
The mist of confusion removed in protracted days
That boulevard is busy with big troubles and strife

You soon learn this grey stones existence ain’t nice
Work all day ensuring goodness is awarded its right
Struggle to resist you’ll soon give up that good fight
They aren’t trustworthy enough for truthful advice

Don’t listen my friend to those who say that you will gain
Down there is confusion too much sorrow anger and pain

The system in living there is settled for past dreams
That power and glory is a money changer’s schemes

News reports hide or reveal the creepiest sin
While never the lonely only the rich ever win

Although all talk a good storm the prayers for world peace
It’s only an illusion that disguises the dirty palm to grease

War justifies poverty and corporate pharmaceutical addictions
Starvation on televisions gives a community serious afflictions

Rhetoric employed keeping balls spinning in the air
All the falsehoods of history like the bride laid bare

These are the little things that make up every day
Going insane trying to live the sinister world’s way

Hierarchy keeps guessing but it never stops for the rest
Entrenched in accountancy that bureaucracy’s a big test

It’s chance or good fortune not ambitious technique with tools
When witnesses go down it’s fate that can teach us those rules

Only set pieces change as leaders of men come and go between
Backdrops painted in garish pastels that anthropomorphic scene


Down in the valley the shadow people congregate
Down in the valley those silhouettes do anticipate

What arrogances drove me to suppose talent during youth
What conceit that existed allowed me to paint with truth

What vanity I thought with language I could juggle rhyme
What pride inspired a belief that the arts can affect time

Down in the valley the shadow people congregate
Down in the valley those silhouettes do anticipate


“Step right up and come on in come on in to join the mirth”
“Roll on up roll up this story is that greatest show on earth”

Ink on stamped palms washes off like summer rains
The facade entices with a magical mystery name
The wheels keep spinning round and round
Daily lives change in the world of pains
But harmony always stays the same
Up here at the old fairground

The stalls are empty no one comes to play here anymore
Rides are deserted the ghost town is now simple folklore

Everyone is so busy making their deals down in the vale
A marketing industry that’s dying buying to make a sale

That marionette conductor waves his baton
The company strikes up the band
Above diamonds sparkling guides to dreams
Countless stars fill the night sky
One by one I watch as they fall to the earth
Cast down to the dusty tired land

Then a cavalcade of beasts marches through that door
We’ve no time to explain to this world what’s in store

We haven’t a choice in this late day and age
Write the story read the book turn that page


Wow! You can see everything from way up here
When you blink away that blurry and bluish tear

Oh look! There’s my ex-girlfriend standing outside a shop
Still waiting to buy her dreams or for the pennies to drop

And hey! There’s that guy I’d once thought my best friend
He turned out to be like the weather so, it too had to end

Down there it’s my old teacher going about her business
When I learnt how to think I realised she knew even less

I wasted too much of precious time chasing the life that ends
And that trivial parade below isn’t the reality that transcends

Artists beneath the hill try to capture pieces of what’s up here
Vision they show simply mirrors of mass production all unclear
Don’t worry about perspective acidic ideas now they drink beer
They don’t get no blues and that salt water’s a crocodile’s tear

They will do anything to appear all new hip and trendy
Telling a public it’s so cultural it’s media hype friendly

If artists use government power to settle their critical acclaim
When another one comes along then they too share the blame

Social stratification buys new theories of a treasured trash
As long as it fills this space and grabs bagfuls of grant cash

Time won’t be kind to those of this disposable art generation
So enjoy this fleeting moment of fortunate fame an ambition

Being part of a transitory scene can limit potentials for scope
A politics of art that retires future paradigms in a grand hope

No fair ground believers are struggling down at the base of a hill
Those who stomach endowments
Insanely giving up a dream are the ones who’ll survive there still


“Step right up and come on in come on in to join the mirth”
“Roll on up roll up this story is that greatest show on earth”

That devil at the gates tempts me toward the prospect of fate
He’s but an angel disguised in kindness I’ve recognised so late

Leave the material world’s objects back in the past
Why chase the irrelevant things that can’t ever last

We climb that hill ‘cause we know what we’ll find
Laughter dreams and hope fulfil those of our kind

Play with the game of this age a trip beyond reason
Festivals exist for this through each change season

Humanity’s indulgence is the essential ecstatic luxury
It’s simply another truth to set all seeking minds free

Outside these gates where reality awaits
The depression greed and corruption
Outside these gates that sadness berates
The suffering that continues forever
Outside these gates a darkness hesitates
A delusion of true happiness lasting

Embrace eternity’s archetypal representation so divine
Through time the importance will age well as fine wine

Don’t worry about some local in-crowd’s latest fashions
Discover the inner self create thoughts of true passions

Search deep for revelation it exists in this simple line
Discover wisdom beyond words the sweetest sunshine

Open your heart break down the stone walls
Meditate daily connect with those universals

Enjoy all emotions of a love that we feel
Only pleasure and our memories are real

Up here at the fairground
Prodigal homecoming welcome
I’m going where all is as it seems
Everyone knows Love the world around
Playful yet peaceful a paradoxical pandemonium
Get a ticket hard earn easy currency to satisfy dreams

Then come and celebrate tonight with the lost and now found
In the comfort of friends on the wheels at the old fair ground

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I’ve given a great deal of thought to the role of the artist both as an active agent in this world and participant observer of our time .. should we be attempting to define our age and illustrate the disparities and inhumanity that cause so much suffering as well as the noteworthy moments of wonder at our distinctively human achievements – should we attack injustice with works of powerful meaning and relevance in hopes that our efforts can sway the minds of those with power, or, is it our job as keepers of the flame of creativity to transcend temporary concerns and fashion works that reveal the universality of the human condition and attempt to reveal truths that provide pleasure and peace of mind ..?

Can artists actually make a difference? Sure, Picasso’s Guernica was a potent anti-war statement, but his Weeping Woman is surely more touching, evocative and moving in it’s revelation of the person within, and these basic traits exist forever whilst particular events are transitory .. war, famine and the hideous consequences of greed are disastrous and evil, but the soul survives – and passing along from one generation to the next the message of what we hold sacred and dear – the mystery of life in all it’s forms and the need for happiness to sustain love, might be a more sincere endeavour ..

I have always believed finding a balance, an interactive relationship with our era of change and it’s concerns whilst investing art with significance and substance that exemplifies the eternal, is necessary and perhaps, eventually, more appreciably enduring ..

I hope you enjoy my poetry; at almost 1500 words this is one of the longest pieces I’ve written and contains some of the most complex rhyming structures I’ve attempted (don’t believe those who say rhyme is dead, poems don’t need to rhyme but sometimes it’s more fun that way)(and I tried my hardest to maintain the rather complicated formatting for the blog, but it still isn't perfect, oh well). If you have any thoughts on the work please contact me through my usual email address or by private message on FB. And, if you enjoyed the poem, and believe any of what it is about, then once I get my tongue outta my cheek and my heart outta my hands, I’ll see you up at the fairground ..

For another enjoyable take on the theme of the ‘Fairground’ visit this site:  The Bontempis and listen to my cousin Bill’s band .. they are based in the Cayman Islands and have recently been touring the UK.

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