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New Year's Eve on a Cornish Beach

The sky adopts the lingerie of night.
The sea foams and coams a siren song.
Other worlds explode and trace a fiery light
Across the starry throng.

The sweeping surge of the seething undertow
And the whispered sounds of living things,
A breathless, endless world of to and fro;
The breathlessness that beauty brings.

Distant worlds explode in fiery panoply
As each pyrotechnic star invades the night.
Etching skid marks on the velvet canopy
To indrawn snatches of wonder and delight.

We raise our glasses and our sight
To this gorgeous arch, scored with golden fire,
And toast the majesty of this night,
Reflected in our eyes and in our hope’s desire.

The Clay Figure

Strongly muscled fingers, those servants of the brain,
Pummelling fictile earth to a sinew-soft refrain
Of smooth and coddled clay
To impose a shape from somewhere
That reflects the artist’s mind, or gropes beyond the Id
To a Freudian, dark domain, where secret things are hid.

In searing kiln all moisture oxidises,
Sodium chloride, random thrown, lovely salt-glaze sizes.
Candescent heat, ritual concremation,
Lambent flames caressing the sculptor’s own creation.
A Phoenix, indurated, rising from a fiery cell,
Hotter than the hinges on the gates of Rodin’s hell!

Sculpture by
Neal French

Our Shame

God isn’t dead,
He never lived,
Except in you and me.
He’s the dead-eyed man
In the labour queue,
The drunk in the park
In the pool of spew,
And the cranky old woman
In the loony zoo.
He’s the whole farting shoot,
A scatological hoot,
That we call humanity.

We’re the gods,
God help us,
The Olympian owners of earth,
The Zeus’ and Daphnes’ and Chloes’,
The bringers of sadness and mirth.
We’re it,
Swift’s shit,
The words
And the turds
Of the world.
No one else is responsible,
No one else is to blame.
The whole bloody mess is ours,
Our triumph and
Our shame.

The Kiss

When we met, no words passed our lips
To impose their own half-truths, lies.
Our needs spoke for us.
Our lusts warmed and caressed each unvoiced desire.
Our yearning nuzzled our vulnerability
And they comforted each other.
Our fears met, withdrew sharply, ventured forth again
And were allayed.
Mutile, we melted into each other’s needs.
No mere words were needed or required.

The Invisible Man

They talked animatedly,
And I joined in.
But seemingly nobody heard.
I must be invisible, I thought.

So I reached for another biscuit.
“How many’s that?” she asked.
And my invisibility faded away.
But at least she spoke to me.

“He likes that kind”, she said,
Like I wasn’t there.
My invisibility was back again.
But she did speak to me…once
And you can only eat so many biscuits.

The Con Trick
(The profoundest confidence trick in the world is to dehumanise and ostracise people by giving them a label - it's easier to hate "them" than "we")

He’s not a man, he’s a nigger,
He’s not one of us you see.
He’s a spade, or a spic, or a Jew.
He’s different,
He’s one of a few.
He doesn’t belong,
He hasn’t the badge,
The suit, the tie or the hue.
So what do we do
If we both have the same point of view?
How can I point at a mirror
And say, “That bastard’s like you”?
They’re Protestants, not people.
Catholics, not you or me,
They’re dikes and kikes,
Rockers on bikes;
But we never invite them to tea.
You can kill a ‘Commie’,
Even a ‘Pommie’,
But you can’t kill the man next to you,
He’s real, he’s a person,
Unless, of course,
He’s like you.

Bird Life

Birds like noisy leaves
On a barren tree
Bring life to death.

Soul Food

In beauty and in calm
She walks alone
To feed her soul.

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