Been Away … Been Around: the Second Chapter.

Some friends are visiting the area. All the way from Sicily. All the way from Turkey. All the way from Cyprus. Staying at a hotel in Walsall. Close friends. Part of an international project with some work to do …

But we set out on a mission: to find the churchyard where former Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham is buried. Led Zeppelin – never my favourite band from a time where loyalties were tribal: so the Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin? Mod or rocker? And me? Loved the strutting arrogance of the Stones and I’d heard Made in Japan at a biker’s party – my loyalties were forged.

But Led Zeppelin were legendary*, among other things, for being loud. And especially Bonham: no nonsense, intimidating, aggressive, big and demanding. Born and raised in the West Midlands. Eventually we find the church (St Michael and All Angels at Rushock ); surrounded by sweeping agricultural farmland: barley, pastures … and quiet. A few martins slipping through the blue skies. Otherwise, if you stop talking the only sound you can hear is your own breathing. This provokes some interesting thoughts about life, death he nature of eternity and – once photos have been taken and tokens left … where to go next.

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Again and Again: Why Not?

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… and back again, to the magical mixture of clean, high air, friends (old and new), chemical free beer, home brewed schnapps and to-die-for cakes.

To Linz via a  Germanic-efficient and very dramatic “go-around” (aborted landing) at Frankfurt’s massive hub. Arriving late at the “Blue Danube” airport. Which must have disrupted the lives of people who were collecting me … though you would not know it from their greetings.

Life moves on different wheels here. The pace is human and addictive, relaxing and energising. People are friendly first, ask questions later: no pressure, smiles are big, generosity bigger.

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The way You See Them

 

Hot feet, impatient to eat the miles,

Get past – over, through, round – the

Heart attack jams on this

Stretch of cold-as-business road.

Runes, signs, lines

Whispering at me

“Blue open skies

Are nothing but lies,

Friends will make you weaker …”

But the technology that,

Yesterday, was going to be

All I’d ever need:

To get ahead,

Stay the pace

Is strangling my soul,

Selling my secrets.

Things are always

The way you see them;

Until they change …

Or you do.

Time, Whisky and Friends

As if overstaying

My fragile welcome

Were not enough

I had to fall

Off the wagon again;

Fall so hard I missed my

Leaving-thunder train

By a pocketful of hours.

Now I’m buying

Time, whisky and friends

In a lock-in bar, while,

Outside, in the sodium lit fog

Two hog-jockeys and

A crooked lawman

Take it out of the

Latest version of my god.

Ghost of the Big man

Blows tears through his

Angel horn, like he always did:

Truth is a pale, poor story.

21/6/2013

Temporarily Suspended

 

Just me, temporarily suspended

From family,

From friends.

Just me,

A one-eyed, limping razor billed gull

And a long-limbed chestnut foal

Watch the purple and silver sun

Rise like eastern-dream blossom

From ripple-free water.

None of us could see the stars –

They are extinguished by this

New god-candle –

But, between our heartbeats,

We could still hear

Their whispered prayers.

 

12/5/2013

Short Ain’t Always Sweet

 

hourglass

Sand that is not sand,

That will never be sand,

Representing time that is not time,

At least not time we will ever have

Slips out of hands

That are not hands;

The hands of friends

 -You know it as well as I d0,

As if this were happening to you,

Even as you read –

Friends that are not friends.

 

8/4/2013

 

Number Eleven

Sat in a box today –

For the first time ever –

Something I had truly believed

Beyond me …

Or below me;

I am not sure which.

Funny how

Number eleven

And a name from the past

Can bring

You down …

And up short!

 

Sat in a box today:

Alone, but

Surrounded by friends.

We won –

We do these days –

An exciting habit:

But maybe

I lost myself

And found a bigger picture;

That leaves me so confused.

Now that I have stumbled upon

A truth, is it right

To go on

Playing the fool?

 

1/4/2013