I Don't Obey The Rules When Writing Poetry.
I'm Triggered By Life Events & Observations.
The Words Are A Gut Reaction
But From The Heart...

A Few Of Steve's Poems From His Second Collection Published September 2019

See A Few Poems From This Latest Collection After This Introduction:

I’ve reached my three score years and ten, so everything else is a bonus. This collection of poems is about a life not always so well lived, with bald observations of in-growing expectations but with uncredited, exceptional outcomes.

My Christian life has been full of colour from shades of grey to blinding, dazzling shafts of light, the primary colours of grace merging to create endless possibilities in the hands of an ever-creating Creator, in whose hands I have been shaped and will always dwell.

I am dying for the future which is full of hope and splendour. Your journey, like mine, does not have to be an inevitable unpredictability. Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance, awaiting our response to the invitation of Jesus Christ. As C S Lewis so beautifully describes it in the last of his Narnia books, The Last Battle, the door stands open for a short time only.

I wrote most of these poems whilst on holiday with my dear wife Sarah during the summer of 2019 in one of our favourite places, the North Coast of Cornwall.
Two weeks without a television was bliss.

Note to self: Back home, I must resist the temptation of watching mindless TV programmes and use my time more creatively, more productively.

The title was inspired by the name of a house in Porth on the way down the North Coast of Cornwall towards Newquay.

01 Is It Art Or Should We Call The Police?

Tracy sleeps on a hard wooden floor,
She beds an installation, I think I hear a snore
And that Neon Heart not a patch on Matisse
Is it art or should we call the police?

Tate Argh! Tate, Incarnate
Flesh to funky, Art to junky
Our culture gets the art that it deserves

A small black dot in a large white hall
‘Racial Prejudice’ the inscription on the wall
Now a straight jacket is on general release
Is it art or should we call the police?

Tate Argh! Tate, Incarnate
Flesh to funky, Art to junky
Our culture gets the art that it deserves

My senses invaded by light and sound
Ear peace shattered, to break new ground,
Bemused punters hunt a showpiece
Is it art or should we call the police?

Tate Argh! Tate, Incarnate
Flesh to funky, Art to junky
Our culture gets the art that it deserves

Diamond jewelled skull stares through empty eyes
Sparkles and spangles a 50 million pound prize
For The Love Of God, may he rest in peace
Is it art or should we call the police?

Tate Argh! Tate, Incarnate
Flesh to funky, Art to junky
Our culture gets the art that it deserves

Art-official makeover conceptual in mind
Sensory incentives for the eyes of the blind
A flushing toilet for the art lover’s feast
Is it art or should we call the police

Tate Argh! Tate, Incarnate
Flesh to funky, Art to junky
Our culture gets the art that it deserves

A blank white canvas gets pride of place
Draws a crowd with an equally blank face
The price tag’s enormous, I think we’ve been fleeced
Is it art or should we call the police

Tate Argh! Tate, Incarnate
Flesh to funky, Art to junky
Our culture gets the art that it deserves

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

17th July 2019
Dedicated to our annual pilgrimage to
The Tate Gallery, St Ives, Cornwall

02 The Valley Of Dry Phones

I looked into the valley
And saw thousands of dry phones
Mis-shapen, obsolete, last year’s model,
broken, detached, discarded, disowned

And he said to me,
Can these phones become mobile again?
And I said, but how can they be of any use,
When there is no breath in them?

And he said,
Breathe into these phones that they may live
And I said, but the kids aren’t interested in old phones
They want the latest model.

And he said,
Do as I command you.
So I breathed into them and there was a rattling of phones
And digital displays began to gleam with the latest data

And the phones rose up like a mighty army
And spoke with one voice,
From this day forth, humans are obsolete, last years model
Detached, discarded and disowned.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Based on Ezekiel 37, The Valley Of Dry Bones.
29th July 2019
On holiday, in a beautiful location, having a meal out with family and friends - still people of all ages cling on to their mobile phones. Endlessly texting, interacting on social media, checking messages, checking in with their 500 ‘friends’ on Facebook, most of whom they have never met! People, get a life! You don’t own the phone, it owns you!

03 It Can’t Be Poetry

I don’t like poems that are too obvious
I prefer the poets that are slightly mischievous
Like Roald Dahl or Pamela Ayers,
Although they don’t fit as a comfortable pair.

Some people think it can’t be poetry
Unless the words rhyme in perfect symmetry
Like John Betjeman where all the words rhyme
Anything else is surely a crime.

But poetry can be much more than pagination
Words can paint pictures to trigger imagination
Bring to the surface emotions long hidden
Unpack the feelings we deem as forbidden

T S Eliot, C S Lewis and R S Thomas are all worth reading
See, their first names are capitals, must be their breeding
But seriously, when you open your mind,
An adventure begins, that can’t be defined.

So next time you read a poem without rhyme
Give it a chance and give it some time
You may find the words will capture your thoughts
On the other hand it may not!

++++++++++++++++++++++

24th July 2019
With thanks to Baldrick who inspired this piece with his famous poem from the Blackadder series entitled The German Guns:

“Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom
Boom, Boom, Boom,
Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom
Boom, Boom, Boom.”

See A Few Poem's From Steve's First Collection Below This Introduction

There are some things you can’t talk about, even when other people are giving a running commentary on your life. As hard as it is, you have to stand back and let them have their say, even when assumptions are made that don’t match the truth.

That’s what people do. That’s what we all do.

Challenging false assumptions is commendable, but when you are in the firing line, it isn’t so easy. The more you challenge, the more entrenched all parties become and before you know where you are, you are standing in a hole.

My life journey since 2001 has taken me through spectacular collapse into indescribable peace. Peace with myself, God and those I love.

I hope you enjoy “Spilling The Beans”.

Don’t read between the lines, just take the journey with me. You may find the connections with your own life closer than you think.

01 Beyond

Beyond the blue and the white
Police vans are outnumbered by TV satellites
An unscripted screenplay
Complete with Heckler and Koch
Kevlar bodies and hooded faces
Stare into the jaws of hell.

Beyond the blue and the white
Blood red bits of humanity scream in terror
A controlled explosion
Like a caged animal with a view to a kill
Bottled up rage whimpering
Into the next callous fist of hate.

Beyond the blue and the white
The coloured mind of insanity holds
the moment
While a single shot
Raises an army to a cause beyond
Fired by bullets and blackouts and
exclusion zones,
Disfiguring the heart of God.

(The London Bombings – 2005)

02 Six Years On

Six years on
My fingernails are clean now,
After the pit.
The red light on the phone blinks again,
Seems like I exist after all.
Life can still be difficult without the mask
But at least I got rid of mine.

Six years on
I have a better view on the box
The key was inside all along
Strange I didn’t see it.
Might have been the mirror shades
That coloured my rose spectacles.
Sometimes you can only see
When the light hurts your eyes.

Six years on,
Part 2 rolls after the intermission,
I feel a song coming on.
Stepping from minor to major
And bursting without innuendos.
I was living on the edge of a dream
But now I drag them into heaven’s reach
And live them in your warm embrace.

03 A Far Cry

I can still hear you.
Hidden in the shadows of injustice
Taken by relentlesswaves of oppression
Overlooked through commercial expediency
Trampled by democratic manipulation
Caught up in monogamous trade delegations
Ignored by nationalistic self interest
Struck down by religious bigotry
Pushed aside by unscrupulous money merchants
Sidelined by monocle’d visionaries
Exploited by hit and run tourists
Conned by the patronism of well wishers
Stepped on by horse blinkered developers
Saturated by sanctimonious clichés
Annihilated by the reality of isolation

It’s a far cry from where I’m standing now.
But I can still hear you.

(From my days working in some of the poorest locations on
earth with the organisation I founded: Soapbox Expeditions)

04 Beauty Of The Broken

I stepped into melancholy boulevards
History in suspension through
Weak shafts of winter light
Relics of the past
Embalmed in dust and cobwebs
Mouldering prayer books and jumbled organ keys
A silent monster once a herald of good tidings
Now out of breath
Embarrassed by the silence.

Then a still small voice broke cover.
“I’m lonely”
The poetry of eternity
Yearning for the beauty
Of the broken.

(Remembering my first step into an empty and derelict Graylingwell Chapel in 2007. We re-opened the building and it became the home of our church)

05 Negotiated Settlement

Bringing the bombers round the table
Could be explosive
Too many nails flailing the air.

Suffocating the innocent
Insulting the peacemakers
Talking the soft talk with the enemy
Could be deafening
Too many egos flailing the air

Clash of ideologies
Words stuffed with innuendos
Stepping into ill-fitting shoes
Could be dangerous
Too many revelations flailing the air

Surrendering positions
Walking the extra mileBut stop!
Didn’t Jesus say
“Love your enemies
And pray for those who
despitefully use you.”

 

06 Ten Years Of Silence

Ten years of silence
Broken only by the roar of a precarious dawn
Attacking paralysed emotions
Thawing frozen fingers
Breaking distant voices
Healing heartfelt memories
Stirring dormant passions
Finding ancient treasures

Ten years of silence
Now gaining a foothold on a glorious summit
Doorway to panorama
Vista of endless possibility
Curved horizon beckoning beyond
Words clamouring to become flesh
Fresh air energising the spirit
Tantalised colours in freefall
The still small voice speaks

 

07 Out And Out

When I’m gone,
I’ll step out of my picture
And remind the perpetrator that his days are
outnumbered.

And for a moment,
I’ll take leave of my senses,
And stretch heaven into earth in wild abandon
outrageous.

In one audacious act,
I’ll reverse the exit signs,
And call into question the science of despair
outmanoeuvred.

In a split second,
I’ll bounce eternity across the chasm
A heavenly bungee jumper
on a spring of hope
outpouring

From where I’m standing the
Big Country is just ahead

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