Poetry IV

You call me perverse

You call me perverse,
sneering at me in the street
and condescending a greeting
to impress your friends with
your “broad-mindedness”;
such hypocrisy!
Because I choose not to recognise your rules,
or believe in your all-powerful Mammon,
the geopolitical might-is-right
that defines your narrow world-view,
you cast me out.
This is fine – it leaves me free,
free to pursue my own thinking,
go where I will and not where I ought,
mix with those who interest me
and learn from those who interest me
regardless of their social status,
colour, creed or culture,
while you,
trapped by your own conventions,
rat race boy racer par excellence,
you’ll be dead of stress by forty…
and you call me perverse?

January 2003

Shell Life

With no-one left to talk to,
without anyone to tell,
the stress just keeps on mounting,
the tension goes on growing,
the pain keeps gnawing at my heart
until I can’t go on.
Can’t you see me, here in the corner,
silently screaming in my everyday shell?

I’m the one with the bland facade,
the lopsided grin and jokes on cue,
bluffing a path through every day,
trying not to let it show,
waiting for the world to go away,
sure it never will.
Don’t you see me, here in the corner,
silently screaming in an everyday shell?

Without anyone there who understands,
no-one else who knows how it feels.
the strain keeps pressing at my mind,
the tension keeps on growing,
the pressure pounds behind my eyes
until I can’t go on.
Can’t you hear me, here in the corner,
silently screaming in my everyday shell?


In this house

So moving, don’t you think?
They say he came here from Vienna
for love,
giving up a career at Court
for one of his uncle’s
serving maids.
None of his music was published
after THAT,
of course; he died poor,
a piano-tuner to the nobility
who so despised him. Beautiful story,
but it would never fit on
that plaque.

Driven from Vienna by creditors
who couldn’t wait a year
(or two),
and who thus got nothing,
taken in by a
buxom wench
who saw in me a ticket to
The shrew never forgave me,
despising the little work my uncle’s family
could put my way. She nagged incessantly,
until tired of the daily, uphill struggle,
I died.