Words

Landscape Poems (2018)
 

A limited number of signed home-made booklets are available for purchase here

The large and printable version is here

* Instructions for use: a) print pages 1-3 on A4 paper (set to 100% scale), b) flip them, c) print pages 4-6 on reverse, d) cut all pages in half horizontally, e) shuffle into desired order (see contents outlined on page 1), f) fold pages in half vertically, g) staple inner edge
 
 


 

Lyrics (2013-present)
 

Locomotive
 

I left a part of me, I guess
Where the birds ought to fly and coalesce
On city trains we talk of weather
For the war is alive, inked across the morning papers

And it’s like a mystery to be born
The devil’s eye will come to guide me away
It’s like a mystery to be born
We’ll fade to nothing
Of this I’m sure

These bloodied lands grew old together
Decaying borders in time, to trace a path and remember
All the reasons why
Kingdoms come to wax and wane
Rattling through the fog of yesterday

And it’s like a mystery to be born
The devil’s eye will come to guide me away
Oh, it’s like a mystery to be born
We’ll fade to nothing
In the continent’s rotten core

Through the empty streets we drift like snow
Over schoolyard games abandoned long ago
We eye the empty frames of shop windows
Echo the thoughts of men who could not be bought or sold

We’ll rain bullets at the sun
Conjoined in thorny meadows, end what we’ve begun
Razing forests of murderous ivy in flight
Imagination merging faith and candlelight

Disintegration sets the tone
Ashen skulls beneath our feet feed the crows our winter woe
Memory stalks the trees, all painted black,
They whisper tales of a pilgrimage to the frozen sea and back

Keeping time for a new resolution as the church bell rings
I’ll steady myself for the weight of suffering
On and on and on, for this was meant to be,
With the wind across my back, I stare into a pyrrhic victory 
 
 

The Russian Dolls
 

Fruit flies and ‘wonder why’s
And clouds that carry me home
By the orchard, withered and bruised
We’d sing, “Gloria!”

I’ll lead a quiet life
Though springtime clings to the bones
Among the relics and jewels of war

Our tangled rivers flow
And pass so silently
Through rich Caucasian blood
Spilt for the fish to breathe
In a field of burnished gold
Blue eyes turned to me,
“You know, I’ve never loved anybody…”

Ah-ooh!
I felt tenderness in my heart
Through fortune’s cosy kiss, a dream
“Now slide to sleep, dear
With a song to sing”
Oh, as twilight turned
And you were spiralling in my arms
I reached the point of knowing how to feel
The rosy punch of something real
 
 

Crushed Velvet
 

These foaming green isles mark the bounds of my love
If I could choose another home
Oh, sweet heavens above…
A curious laughter of lead in the heather
Says, “be scared –
They’ll rip you apart”

Should I abuse the right to be free?
By joining young bodies in the sea?
And leave a lonely wife, who hides in my heart?
Since we prepared to play our part…

For only when lying in the garden, so precious
Will this mean something, instead of nothing
Soft belly bare, under bracken and bark
I’ll take history’s cool hands in the dark

See, it’s never enough to only die –
There’ll be no chorus of kisses by my side
Will our families pen eulogies when we’re gone?
“Pale ghosts in the trees!
I can see clearly!”
 
 

Slow Ballad for a Distant Painter
 

A cancer we know by name
Is forming under les fleurs de May

Yet, your mother don’t mind
The cattle are safe and dry
Goodbye…

Old ‘Blighty’ will find her way
Return to battle, tired and scarred

For your mother, don’t mind
The cattle are safe and dry
Goodbye…

No, your mother don’t mind
The cattle are safe and dry
Goodbye…
 
 

Jerusalem
 

Killing time with all my friends
It’s the only way to make amends
For the kind of love
That haunts my years and my days
Even though it’s hard to tell
From the silver inside the wishing well
It’s the kind of love the harvest moon
Will never dispel

And there’s a road that you can find
Through the aching trees
Where magpies and turtledoves
Swim in the skies above
Over the sacred leas our boys are dreaming of
They mime my hymns and psalms
While on the run from Sunday’s song

The village beats to see you again
And fade all your freckles
When the day is done

But, while you were searching for a cause
You told me there’s no heaven
That we can’t atone
For the crowning of thorns
And we’ve a lot to learn
Yet, in the garden, we’ll bind our love
Stillborn:
Like father, like son…

I am a patient soul
Let me lie in your arms
God knows, I’m a fool for love
Let me lie, oh, forever
I’ll always be
Floating in the dark
Just return to me
 
 

A New Beginning
 

I know that it’s cruel
But, someday,
When this ship rolls ashore
Our sons will work the earth we died for

And raise slaughterhouse knives
If only to disarm
The false charm
Of countryside, where the nightmare resides

For I let them fool the Englishman
My summer tore apart
Who knew life could be so hard?

Yes, I let them fool the Englishman
My honour tore apart
Since I lost the love I long to give
In heaven, mark my words,
There are soldiers smiling…

God, let it be my life to live
Picking apples in the park

And when my brothers knock at the door
Well, I’ll never want to know
Because I never want to breathe
Scattered ashes blowing upon the breeze
 
 

Midnight at the Orangery
 

Under velvet sky, a hive of love
The nectar of landmines
And a rush of blood
I could see you were scared
When the morning vowed
To beckon oceans and stars to appease your doubt

Yet, I don’t even care
If we’re floating down a road to nowhere
The spirit leads me to you

They caught us playing cards by the weary pine
I stole your final words
While my hands were tied
A pack of cigarettes
Should pass the time
Before they split your head in the cowering light

Oh, I don’t even care
If we’re floating down a road to nowhere
The spirit leads me to you 
 
 

Blood from a Stone
 

You want to fly over the stolen edge
Of solitude the day you die
As I recall how you long suffered
To form the scenery you bled through
In a silent way, the seasons turned away
The house felt different today
Your legs as thin as a distant violin
Flashed through the fields, where children play

Oh, how I longed to call you…
Oh, how I tried to be true…
As I wait, stars align
You left that night

 
(Reading from The Peregrine by A.J. Baker)
 
 

Forever Dreams of a ‘Private Life’
 

I see all your friends
As they line the streets of London
The day unfolds before me now
With arms outstretched in sleeves of Indian cotton
As raindrops fall to the ground

Oh, now that you’re leaving
You cast a sense of wonder
By the blinding white magnolia, you sit me down
Saying, “I want to live
And restore my faith to forgive
I wedded our history with a myth”

And whenever I breathe
You defy the strength I need
For nightmares do hide behind my door
So teach me to draw
Cool sands from the shore
By waters so free
Lying back on the beach
These words came to me…

“Hold your body still
And feel the hooves of thunder
The bugle cries for you now
For all is fate, and in soft and simple sound,
Must I wait for this life to fade out?”
 
 

Voices
 

There are times the war played me so
Now, wild roses in the hoarfrost grow
Quiet children do lay their wreaths
A perfect day to cut my teeth

And I say, “A loaded gun made my body still
And voices…”

Holy choirs of angels seek
To stir the soul from these bones I keep
Quarter-eyed in death’s fever throes
Flesh takes root among the worms below

And I say, “A loaded gun made my body still
And voices…
Voices…
Voices…”
 
 

Willows
 

A word to the wind unfurls
Through milky teeth white as snow
The eyes of a daisy chain
Float in blue far below

Your dreams held me close
As a frail web on skin
Covering your face, these lips
You graced without wanting

And when you wake
New grass on a meadow grows
Where loneliness shimmers and flows

So you led me down
All stars in blossoming glow
By weeping trees, so you see
I’ve nothing to show

Heard fire kiss the dawn
Willow ribs seethe and bend
Forever bound to believe
In a season you haunted

And when you wake
New grass on a meadow grows
Where loneliness shimmers and flows
Our tender mistakes
In spirals assigned to sow
A violence set free to circle and crow
 
 

Lavender Daydream
 

The whisper of your name in the sequined summer rain
Is lucid as a bell
On the nature of your ways fall only callous eyes
Too weak to judge you well
You’ll leave the past behind
In striving to be free
Free from the chain that buckles and sways
From the family tree

I gave you blind encouragement
And faith, for what it’s worth
Hoped clarity, like vegetables
Would bubble from the earth
Yet on such fantasies
We suffocate from birth
As folly and sin seep from within
To feed the sacred dirt

Faraway, people say
That the boy was unmoved by your love
But it was never enough
And what you thought
Was the empty talk
Of lunacy dying in the dark
Was fortitude to change
For the malice you impart
Won’t help us find a way

A killing jar enclosed
To show me purity
In deadly nightshade’s glow
From a house of wood so thin
Shed a light that shone within
With voices soft and low
I’d have been your everything
But how were you to know?
Where secrecy reigns, it’s a delicate game
Yet we play on our own

Faraway, people say
That the boy was unmoved by your love
But it was never enough
To fake it through the day

On crying shoulders, quiet and meek
Truth lies in a feeling you seek
When all alone it comes on so slow
Gather ways to talk
If that’s what you want
 
 

Joy is a Lucid Sea
 

The blood of fate
Is running away from yesterday
With memories
So tender when you cry
He won’t be borne again
For the love in my heart
It blooms and fades and withers away
Like candles in the dark

Because the only way
To ease the pain is in time
And your good faith
Will someday come to light

A rush of precious sympathy
Would relinquish my part
Yet, hollow friends don’t want to talk
And worst of all
There’s a desire to seek
A love that guides me away
A love that blindly leads me back to you again

So that’s when I run to the sea
The beautiful times tend to be
When the cruellest of days
Is a heartbeat away
I want you to be free

I find pretty lies to live for
When you lean into me
If hope was born
Why do you bleed so easily?
 
 

Ivory Palaces
 

As time will tell
You were the only one
Who tried to love me honestly
When I recall what made you laugh
Pale fire hums through my regret
So I’ll go and in illusions drown
To see you tonight

So here’s the life that you tried to live
Laced with mistakes that you sought to forgive
As ivory palaces collapse
To adorn the waves’ acrylic grasp
Well, after all, there’s always hope
However slight

These are the days that we rise above
Feeding the dreams that we fill with love
Only the ghosts in your eyes
Sweet darling
Will slow the ailing tide of fear you hide

You dye your hair for immunity
For strawberry blonde is tough
And in silence pray
For the dying day
To anchor and dissolve your distrust
And I know
I’ll bathe in the white
Of a haven of light

These are the days that we rise above
Feeding the dreams that we fill with love
Only the ghosts in your eyes
Sweet darling
Will raise the veil and decay your pride

Because it’s the only way to give
A purer vain of love
Through blackened skies
Clemency rains from above

Only a god could forgive
What you’ve done to me
And free feathered breath
To coil through the trees
The golden hour is rising
What are you going to say?
It was a crime
Born of innocence?
The road you take will wring life
From a Sunday sigh
Does mercy fall at the right time?
The world was torn at the seams
When you lied to me
Still, I find
I’m still breathing
 
 

The Flowers of Romance
 

So you were lying down
And your heart was like lead
Lit by a make-up moon
A sailing eye overhead
Leaves turn to coolly fade
The taste of doubt when you’re down
For among the rocks and stones
Pale roses are found

Yet, you still arrive at my door
With your thoughts woven to the dark
If you wanted me
Then it would have been said
When we were apart

Look on the morning dew
A railway drips to the sea
Lifting and carrying calm
From Calais’ arms to me
As plumes of curly birds
Rise from greying dunes on the wind
Your riverbed will hold me again
When summer begins
And I’ll pray

Yet, you only arrive at my door
With your thoughts woven to the dark
And your plans to leave
Sing like knives in my heart

Reeling at the bay
I see the only way my life can restart
As washing over me, like a mystery
In the pearly whites of Dover
Come promises you made
At the penny arcades
Where your honey hands first gleaned
Those kissing coins to shore
And left tied to the core
The obsession of love’s masquerade
 
 

You Loved Me
 

You know your jeans are ripped?
Down on your knees again
So take another sip
I see misery made of it
Her voice is seeping in
Clay fingers tread to the edge
And house a hidden shame
A frail silhouette

Yet to me you’re spinning a line
What’s the deal with your lies?
Only tried to be your friend
To hear you say
You loved me in the end

A room to clear your head
Away from roving hands
Today you cut your legs
So little help to stand
Remember when you said
Good people find a way?
You say you never see my friends
I know you don’t believe in them

But do you know what it’s like when you die?
You never looked deep enough in my eyes
Only tried to be your friend
To hear you say
You loved me in the end
We all pretend