Archive for the ‘Poetic attempts’ Category


Everything is clear,
Straightforward and decided
Until one event
The world into turbulence,
Sending it ricocheting
Against unseen walls,
Leaving it bruised,
Dizzy, exhausted.
And suddenly all the ground
That had been covered
Turns to paper, shredded,
Then incinerated,
Leaving smoke, not even ashes.
Time is unreal, meaningless
As years are extinguished
And problems that were solved
Are unsolved.
Images unfocus
From black and white,
As gates which had been bolted shut
Inexorably release
The ghosts which had been
Laid to rest.
The smoke clears
Leaving a battered world,
Grey with uncertainty,
Alive with dancing ghosts
The final conclusions,
Demarcation lines,
The arrogance
Of what is momentarily
Clear, straightforward and
Certainty and confusion
Lie intertwined,
Gilt and serpent,
Temptation and rebuke.
Never again is a challenge
To the gods.
Forever an invitation to irony.

(written in 1985)

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What’s my line?
Flashing phone lights and a TV screen
Cigarettes and office politics
Orange juice and kit-kats
Messages to pass on
Dictation of prices
Quotations, offers, bids,
The offer is x years of isolation
On the trading team,
The bid is integration and participation.
We are not sellers.
Low voices with no names audible,
Obscure facts
Not to be understood.
What can’t be heard should not be heard.
The boss pulls the final strings,
The boys rule.
Who’s a cheap seller?
Bubbles to fill the working day,
Brighten it up with fantasy
To lift the dreary din
Of prices, rates and shipment months,
Buy ten Dec at market,
Give me Sep dollars to sell,
Are we sellers of April/June Lagos
At fifty over …?
The differential is too high,
We’re too far apart.
We’re too far apart.

(written in June 1981)

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