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© 2019 by Abundare

Poems and Songs from the Bridge

Introduction

 

In October 2015 I was invited to host an evening on 'the Bridge', a painting of mine, at an arts centre in High Peaks, Derbyshire, in the UK. At that evening I also sang and read some of my songs and poems which I felt dovetailed with the artwork. After the exposition was over, some of those present came up to me and asked if I had any of my poetry for sale, to which I replied that I didn't but if they were interested I would do just that: bring out a book of poetry. I thus went on to publish a small collection of poems entitled 'Poems and Songs from the Bridge'. The poems below are those in the book. It's my hope that they will encourage, challenge and inspire you.

 

Contents

 

The Bridge: Rupture

Growing Up

Descent

Confused

Plea

Broken

The Good Shepherd

Hurting Song

The Hanging Tree

Slaked

Sobriety

Alone

Empires

Battlefield

The Stream

Love

The Boat

Colours

The Battle

The Light

The Bridge: Rapture

The Bridge: Rupture

Once

There was

A bridge

No

There was

No death

Once

All was life

 

And colour

 

And warmth

All was part

Of the Kingdom of Light

And the King of the kingdom

Fed every part of the land.

And all was well

And all was good

And God and Man

Walked hand

In hand

But

One day

The people

Who lived in the Kingdom

Made a fatal mistake

Resulting in

The fracturing

Of the land

That had been theirs

To take

 

And

A huge chasm

Began

To split the land

Which grew wider

And deeper

And darker

Until

 

It was

Impossible

To cross over

The divide

 

Condemning

Each to live

On its own

Side

 

The king

Was separated

From his people

And the people

Were separated

From their

King

 

At first

 

The people

Well OK, it was sad

But what was to be had?

They'd just have manage

The best they could

And make their own lives

Over here

 

However

 

They

Hadn't counted

On one thing

 

Life!

 

The King

Was the source of life

Where was the King?

Far, far away

On the other side

of the chasm.

 

Yet

 

They could see

The kingdom

Across the divide

Shining

With

Its

Warm

Glow

 

But

 

Over here

There was no light or life

The trees began to die

The grass grew brown

The birds stopped singing

And their feathers lost their lustre

 

It grew cold

The light had gone

The men and women grew old

And died

 

And

 

Their children

Grew up

Not having known the Kingdom of Light.

All they knew was the night

And the cold, dry world

Around them

 

They tried

To make their own light

To make their own world bright

They lit fires which glowed dull red

And cooked food which tasted bland

And chewed on their fingers

And rubbed their foreheads

Worrying

 

About

 

What they were doing

Where they were going

 

Far away

They could see

The light

Shining bright

Attracting their eyes

and bringing a hope

to their lonely hearts

or was it a pain

for their loss

 

But

 

How?

What to do?

There was no way

across

 

The chasm

was too deep

too wide

too steep

Men and women

all lost

asleep

 

Still

 

Some tried

to build a bridge

But never got very far

So they cried

and they screamed

and they fought

and they dreamed

and they wished

upon a

star

Growing Up

Younger days

Of summer haze

We'd laugh and play

Under Mama's gaze

 

We grew older

Summer's colder

Dreamed I'd told her

Wanted to hold her

 

Riven from home

Because of our age

Suddenly we're thrust

Onto life's bright stage

And we taste and we see

And we feel now we're free

'Til we're crying on the floor

Of society's cage

 

So finally we are what

We scorned to become

When we thought we were free

And happy and young

And we all jerk and dance

To the beat of the drum

'Til we're blinded and deafened

And crippled and dumb

 

Descent

It pleasantly amazes me

The depths to which I sink

The chasms I can fall through

In oh so many minutes

 

The light is far from here

Many miles higher

Than the cold clammy floor

I sit unmoving on

Yet a few feet away

A world is bathed golden

By the late summer sun

 

But down here

Nothing joins me

Although all agree

Light is a fallacy

Despair is extinct

That knew hope

Movement is dead

Yet death knew life

And so begat strife

The woman’s pain turns the wheels

Of remorseless continue

 

If I go

Will you follow

I think no

 

But

If you left now

I would

 

Through

Heaven and Hell

Just to see your face

Once more

 

The intensity at which my spoiled love burns

Branded the Devil’s hide

And did you know that he blissfully cried

To see what depths I would plummet to

Just to retrieve your joy

But that

was long ago now

Despair once hoped

And there I groped

For something unfound

I shredded my fingertips on granite ground

Until bone reminded me

Of the fallacy

 

Throbbing

Oppression

Here

Far from all I knew

So many miles below

Warmth

Pressure

Is heavy

Hence nothing moves

But all is fixed in place

Possessed

Overcast

My head’s straining to stay above

Within wants out

And outside in

And between the screws

I’m cracking

 

I think if you touched me now

You wouldn’t reach me

I’ve matured into madness

 

The stars have all gone out

Their magic no longer shines

In an age of dying heroes

They were strangled by cynical minds

Confused

I'm so confused

My mind's diffused

My thought's have all blown away

Please leave me alone

To be on my own

Is all that I wish for today

Plea

Ah!

 

Will someone

Just reach out

And please help me

Before I drown

In this sea of insanity

Too soon it will claim

This still tender mind

And when they search

There’ll be nothing to find

Ah life seems too unkind

 

Wake me

Don’t forsake me

Just get me out of here

This once warm heart

Is cracking apart

And choking

On its own fear

 

Eternal winter blackness

Is smothering my soul

Break into my head

With something I know

Then hold the rift

Before I drift

Beyond all your reaches I’ll go

And don’t try to preach to me so

‘Cause even my saviour

My wind-swept moors

Are nowhere to be seen

Life’s mean

 

Yet I searched in desperation

I floundered in the rain

Crying out for her

Sobbing out my pain

But no, she’d gone

Or else I was blind

Life was never

Until now that unkind

This impenetrable darkness mocks me

Binds me up and locks me

And the denizens of Death

Dithering and gathering

Slithering and slavering

They baptise me with their breath

 

Down here it is colder than ice

My flesh and skin are pulsating with lice

And maggots which squirm

And gorge their pale forms

 

Still

 

The darkness is complete

Sheol’s winding sheet

Wraps me from head to feet

Once I had a dream

That it wasn’t always this way

Once my mind screamed

Now it just whimpers

Broken

I’m broken and dirty

Please help me I’m hurting

 

I’ve been through this pass

Too many times

And the mountains tower above me

Each time I’m hoping

That it’s the last

But time it seems just mocks me

 

I’m weary and weeping

Could you give me your hand?

 

I’ve been down this road

Too many times

And each time I’m pleading

But here I am

Yet again

My knees and knuckles bleeding

 

Because I’ve fallen

Could you forgive me?

I’m here calling

For you to release me

From these years and the hours of tears

 

It’s a dark and lonely place down here

The walls on both sides are sheer

The road ahead holds no light

And my way is never clear

 

I believe there is another place

Somewhere fields of green and sun

Help me believe though all’s dark down here

One day it’ll be over and done

One day it’ll be over and done

The Good Shepherd

You've pulled this broken wretch

Out of the mud and slime

You've dragged this ragged carcass

Through shattered streets of grime

You've brought me to a quiet place

A safer place, a calmer place

 

You've stripped these shattered limbs

And cleaned and bound these festering sores

You've washed this battered face

And you dressed me, you enrobed me

For you are the good shepherd who restores

Life and health and purpose to all

 

For you've given me a hope again

When hope was crushed into the ground

You've given me a dream again

When dreams were nowhere to be found

So I will fight for you my captain

My warrior shepherd king

I will follow you to hell and back

Though falling bombs and flashing flak

Might seek to push me off this track

I will follow you my servant king

Until the dawn breaks through again

Hurting Song

 

Help me

I am hurting

And I don’t

Know where to turn

Help me

I am hurting

And I don’t know

Which way to turn

 

Yet you are my God

And I your child

My God will be by my side

 

Help me

I am weary

And I have

No strength to run

Help me

I am weary

Of all the things I've done

 

Yet you are my God

And I your child

My God will be by my side

 

Help me

I am fading

And I feel

So all alone

Help me

I am fading

Don't leave me on my own

 

Yet you are my God

And I your child

My God will be by my side

 

 

 

 

The Hanging Tree

 

Fear

I take you

You have no part in me

I tie you up with bind in this sack

To drag you struggling

Up the stony path

To the place of crucifixion

And I place you here

At the foot of the cross

At the foot of the hanging tree.

 

In this place alone yet so free

There is no wind nor sound nor time

And I leave you here still struggling to die

At the foot of the hanging tree.

 

I tie you up in this sack with bind

I will no longer struggle

With you on my back

I will leave this past behind.

 

Now here I stand, alone in this place

At my feet the struggling has stopped.

The hanging tree has spread its rays

Throughout and beyond all time and space.

 

From the beginning until the end of time

The tree has spoke its perfect rhyme

And the men and women who walked around

With the planks upon their backs

Have staggered to this stony ground

And dropped each one their bound up sacks

And stood alone, awhile before

Skipping and dancing, descending below

To greener places where rivers flow

They never, not one, looked back.

 

The hanging tree - a place of death

Has become a place of life.

At the end of the steep and stony path

In that still and silent place

It stands beyond the here and now

Exists outside of time and space

For all the struggling, weighed down backs

Of our battered broken race.

 

The hanging tree, a place of tears

Where women wept in sorrow

Has become a place of joy for us

Who can dance towards tomorrow.

Who can dance towards the fields below

Where rivers cool and full do flow

And fear lies dead, left up on high

Where the hanging tree meets the sky.

Slaked

I would’ve been a Buwoski

Some insatiable barfly

Because it was never enough

And whilst you were all always content

To wander home beneath the neon

Chatting amicably on

Catching the last tube home

Stopping off for a kebab or a curry

I never was

You see

Because

For me

It was always

Never enough

Motion and strangeness

Always unknownness

Driven ever onwards

By this unsatisfied urge

Seeming almost

As if craving to purge

Myself of my right

Within

To feel peace

Yet it came

With rest in its train

Enduring triumph

And though I would chase

The dragon yet again

For this barfly

It was never again the same

As it had been before

It was as if

Someone had closed

Some mighty, invisible door

Peace had come

Like a river

After the mirage

After the wandering

In the wilderness

Punishment redeemed

And the thirst

Finally slaked

Sobriety

 

What the hell

Am I doing here

Surrounded by

 

Nicey, nicey,

middle-class Christians

 

How can I say

These words I don't believe

'I will not be shaken'?

I'm shaken every day

 

Every day I'm being battered

By thoughts

I'm not supposed to entertain

 

How can I sing

'You are the Lord of all I am'

When it's not even true

It all feels so fake

It all feels so false

 

And

 

I know

All the pat answers

The scriptural quotes

And it all means nothing

All the involvement in

Home-groups, conferences

Leading groups, courses

Praise

Whatever

Nothing

 

Six months

Of sobriety

For what?

Yet I'm here

'Take me as I am'

Whatever that is

 

Yet I don't want that

Which was before

I know that to chase after the false god

No matter how beautifully painted

No matter how beautifully bedecked

With precious jewels and stones

I know that it doesn't fulfil

Doesn't satisfy

Just leaves you even more alone

And it only leaves me

With an emptiness

A hollowness

 

Yet

I'm so empty now

There's a chasm within so deep

So dark, so wide

And

It hurts

 

I know that the chase

Of all the pornographic priestesses in this poor world

Is futile, paltry

Leaves me face down

Flat

In the dirt

Alone

 

I know

That you are with me

I know

You are beside me

I know

That you know me

And accept me as I am

You

Don't demand of me

You accept me for what I am

You take me as I am

With you

I need only be

And with you

I am

Alone

No

I can’t do this on my own

Lord hold my hand I pray

I know that you are with me now

I just need to know you’ll stay

Yet

Your word tells me you will

And I believe your word is true

It’s just that I feel so alone sometimes

Was it ever like that for you?

Yes

When you hung upon that cross

Exposed for all to see

Your cry spoke of such devastating loss:

'Eli, lama sabachthani!

Empires

Empires rise and empires fall

And trends of thought and art change place

Shifted by the currents of time

What’s now admired and praised by all

Is but a monument in some future lonely place

Or worse broken up to be mixed with lime

To construct the next temple to mind

And tongues form face from their surroundings they steal

Their images vainly attempting to capture

The spirits evasive then extinct

According to science for an age or so

Until the next discovery is hailed: ‘Eureka!’

The new is never in time’s rich gaze

And time herself, whilst all pervasive to those within yet beyond

Is as translucent as web and likewise as fragile

Bending with the wind of the one who wound her

Out there, there are no stars

Just sceptred beings of light

Transcending in beauty and power, all one

The whole of man’s history from conception to death

And they themselves mere shells on sand

Reflecting the roar of the ocean

Battlefield

When I deserted God

on the battlefield of life

When the heat got too much

I chickened out

But his son filled the gap

His son took the flak

And as the bombs were raining down

Bursting all around

He stood his ground

And cried out:

'Go! Run! Be free! Live!'

This son, he took my place

In the withering line of fire

Took my shame and my disgrace

Midst the mud and blood and mire

Took my uniform, cleaned up my face

He gave me brand new clothes

And boots and a gun

And he said to me: 'Stand firm son.

Just stick with me and you'll be fine,

stay close and even on the frontline

You'll have no need to fear.

You'll see amazing things done,

'cause I've seen the future

And the battle's already won.

So that's how I'm here today

To pass on the baton, to convey

this message, this second chance

So that you can do the same

So that you can beat the enemy

at his own game.

The Stream

Let’s throw it all to the wonderful wind

And jump a train that comes along

Go take those thoughts you previously binned

And try again to write that song

If only to prove yourself wrong

So let’s take the next train and step up on board

Then roll a dice for our descent

Because your life was really never meant

To be ruled by worry and fear

Who says we have to stay here?

There’s a whole world of beauty

Waiting for you to conquer yourself

A world of shining novelty

Willing you to uncover its wealth

If I take a leaf and set it

In the arms of a meandering stream

Though we both exist beneath

The same cloudy sky of God’s wonderful dream

It will see so many hidden faces

That up to now it has never seen

As it finds itself passing through places

Where up to now it has never been

How much richer will its life then be

When it finally reaches the embrace of the sea

And how much dearer could our life be too

If you would only let the stream carry you

Though for the moment I can’t really tell

One day I know we’ll arrive there as well

Love

Love

Only love

Is the curlew’s cry

On the edge of the dawn

A whisper and fragile

The unborn

Carried away on the wind

Like honey blossom

Or pollen

Waiting to be picked up

Treasured

Protected

Kept safe

For the little ones,

The helpless, the blind

Nourishing, feeding, surrounding

All calm and warmth within

Love

May travel

A dandelion seed

A thousand miles

‘Cross land and sea

Joining two hearts

By invisible thread

Stronger than iron

Or death

Love goes beyond

For love’s not confined

By time or space

But travels beyond

Further than this place

Love

Is the mystery

With power within

From the beginning and before

It existed

To the end and beyond

Completed

Love is the whisper

To bring down empires

The pillars of existence

Collapse with its breath

Death

A mere servant

No more

No less

And fear

Extinguished

Finally

Just be

In love

And all

Is well

The Boat

Cut through

The soul bonds

And you'll be set free

You're a boat

And you've been waiting

For an eternity

Tied up

To an old post

In the past at a rotting quay

But there's a shiver

On the river

And you're being cut free

And the silt of the river

Has been cleared

So you can head on out to sea

The kettle's de-scaled

The water's pure

There's a stream in a forest

Below a high moor

Surrounded by foliage

Of emerald greenery

So take life again

From the source

And launch into eternity

Colours

With you I am a king

With you I can now begin

To realise

The me that you see

The me

That you see

With you I can now begin

To throw off everything

Enabling me

to be free, the real me

To be free

The real me

And the light shines, yes it shines

It shines so bright

And the light shines, how it shines

Dazzling white

And the light shines, now it shines

No more night

And the colours, truer than true

Because of you

And the colours, truer than true

Because of you

To you I will now sing

For you are now my king

All I have is yours

I’ve opened to you my doors

I’ve opened to you

My doors

I’m open to you

My Lord

The Battle

But

This

Greyness of spirit

The mundanity

And banality

Is a deathly lie

A creeping shroud

Because it stifles the wonder

And slowly blinds me

To the beauty

The intricacy

The amazement

Of everything

I'm surrounded with

This whole, wonderful

Work of art

Of which I'm a part

Yet apart from

So that I can observe

Enjoy

Trace each

Line

Contour

Shadow

With my eyes

And through my eyes

Wonder

Wander

Trips down the corridors

Of my being

To bring

Life

And light

And hope

And warmth

To my soul

I must see

The signature

Of the almighty

The creator

The master craftsman

In all his works of art

Be it

Stone

River

Child

Insect

Clouds

Shadows of leaves

The smile or tears

Of one I love

Or a stranger

To remain

Alive

To remain

Afloat

The Light

Go wander

In the daytime

Fair further

In the night

Still and always

And again

Outside

Inside

The Light

The Bridge: Rapture

Down here is darkness,

Suffering, bleakness

On the TV, the radio,

The papers, the Net

Daily, unending pain

Reports of injustice,

And selfish gain

To the detriment of the many

The detritus, the rest

And the rich get richer

And the poor get poorer

The innocent abused

By the powerful

And the gun spews death

In the third world arena

As the fat cat buys

Another house on the interest

There's no justice in this world

 

But unseen

The golden ones

Sent from above

Abide

At our side

Custodians of love

Messengers of

El Elyon

They stand at our side

As we climb and we slip

And we stumble and trip

 

Yet hope

Still leads us

Ever gradually

Up the slippery scree slope

Leads us on

As imperceptibly

The grey seems to grow

Above us

Beyond

The brow of the hill, a glow

So we push on upwards

Struggling forwards

Through the clamming night

In this vale of tears

Through these broken years

 

This mortal coil

Unravels

The twilight

Gives way to the blush of dawn

Colour!

As at last

The long fast

Draws to a close

As new sight is born

As we arrive

The summit

The end of our uphill struggle

 

And as we stand at the top

Taking our breath

Stretching our limbs

Taking the view

Below, a bridge

Stretching out

Across the void

The abyss either side

The sunrise beyond

 

A bridge bedecked

With flowers, it seems,

Or the jewels of dreams

Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, jade

All light and colour and life

Mind as we drop down the slope

Not to falter

Or fall

 

Near the causeway

The light reveals the truth

Not flowers but people

But colourful, dimensional

Shadows no more

How they shine!

Where before mere shades

Now transfused with the warmth

Of life and the light from beyond

 

And the bridge

This bridge

By which we traverse

The impenetrable darkness far below

Where once we were

Beyond

Beneath

 

This bridge

Upon which hangs

The man

Stretched out

Taut

Hung out to die

Pegged, a washing line,

Bleeding,

Dripping,

Haemorrhaging life

Head dropped in death

A life cropped too soon

Gives up its breath

Bones unhinged

Bread broken for many

Poured out like wine

Offered for any

Who so choose to dine

With the King

Slayed for all

 

We walk

Towards gold

We walk towards life

We walk towards the honey-dew

And milk of Paradise

Over the outstretched arms

That unite here

With heaven

Pulling together

The rip torn asunder

Condemning the abyss

Forever

 

I hope these poems have blessed your spirit. If you would like to order a copy of 'Poems and Songs from the Bridge' as a gift, either for yourself or another, please click on the link below.