Thursday, February 16, 2006

Underground Lullaby

It was an underground lullaby

Somewhere beneath, outside, left of centre
There is another kind of world
Where things operate by other rules
In my underground lullaby

A world of secrets, passions and blue desires
Just behind the curtain of reality
There is another world
In my underground lullaby

Strange to relate and even stranger to recall
I was caught up in reality once
Before zen caught up with me
And I learnt how to be free from it all
One day at a time

Moments of time mean nothing
If they fail to rhyme and chime
In with the web of life
The flow of existence
The patterns of perception
The Golden section

Droplets of yellow fall from blue piano keys
The old joanna never fails to please
When in the hands of a master
The dappled dreams and drifting thought beams
The old singer acknowledges the applause
And shuffles off his mortal coil right there
On the bareboard stage
We watch as his soul uncurls and spirals upwards
Like smoke and disperses in the rafters
Adding a scintilla of stain
To the browned ceiling panels that keep out the rain
Havanas never smelt so sweet
As that man’s soul escaping on Bourbon Street

Lies are the hard stuff to chew
In your eyes so much harder to live with
Nothing walks the night like fear

Dressing rooms strewn with pantaloons
Buffoons playing bassoons
A hairy-eyed monster casting the runes
Bill Evans playing those cool jazz tunes
The waitress with her big bazooms
Swirls of chat wash round the room

Drenched by life, I stumbled into space
I remember falling four stories
Watching the iron balustrades tumble past me in slow motion
As I whirled like as astronaut mending a communication satellite
Right into the arms of mother earth
When I awoke I knew I was a broken man
Who’d been healed by life

The star-struck sailors cluster round the raven-haired star
Who’s laughing at their biceps, choking on their applause
They form a ring around her radiance

And the sirens sound in the neighouring streets
As whores and pimps come out to eat
The fresh meat

The batter and clatter
Crash and dash
Holy commotion
Of daytime
The sweet night
With birds asleep above
The street lights

Trust in me whispered a voice in my ear
I tried to comprehend what it was saying
But the words just seemed to hum
And the sky was turning my way
And I fell down to my knees on the damp street

Trust in me
How long had it been since he heard those words
And how many times had they been betrayed
Her face came back wholesale
He could smell her neck and hold her tiny hands
Once more

To little to late and then a mistake
A bad word at the wrong time was all it took in the end
To unlock the padlock of attachment
And send me spinning through the bars of the world

Hold tight to me she said
But I had to set her free
There was no time to dream
Only puddles and islands
Fringe thoughts on curved beaches
And the passing smudge of a steamer’s smoke
Like a brushstroke on the horizon

Scheister strokes his tie, spits in the street
Picks his nails, picks his nose
Adjusts his velvet collar
Snorts in anticipation and waits
She comes out of the third door on the left
It bangs shut behind her
Scheister peels off from the brickwork
And ambles in her wake
The chase begins
Bound to be bad stuff waiting up there’s a way
As the old man used to say
The old man
The old man
How many times can I say that
Like a mantra

And, as to a friend
I confided my secrets to the man in the weatherproof suit
He didn’t seem to care
The women opposite me in the train
Spread her legs the more I talked
I wanted to talk my way home
But my nerve failed me at the first tunnel

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