Child sex abuse survivor’s long awaited second book now published worldwide

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A CHILD-SEX abuse and cancer survivor’s long awaited second book of poetry is published worldwide today (Wednesday, 9 May 2018).

Multi award-winning writer Nic Outterside quit his 28 year career in newspaper and magazine journalism following a nervous breakdown in June 2013.

He began the slow road to recovery under the watchful eyes of his doctor and the support of his family. Part of the suggested therapy was for him to begin writing and talking about the life experiences which had led to his breakdown.

His first paperback book The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light, published in November 2014. It was met with international acclaim and the first 1,000 print edition has almost sold out.

From childhood sexual abuse, through cancer, bereavement, bankruptcy, divorce, repossession of my home, the loss of two of my children and an assault which almost took my life, I guess there was a lot to write about,” says Nic.

Last week, Nic made the book more widely available by publishing a second edition on Amazon Kindle.

Now, after a three year wait, he has published its sequel Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft.

“When I released The Hill in November 2014, I was struggling to get back to a life of sorts and fighting my way out of the corner,” explains Nic.

“I am still really proud of that work… it is certainly raw and maybe at times too personal. I now view it as less as an anthology of songs and poems, and more as a document of my life.

“By the middle of 2016, I was more than halfway through writing a raft of poems for the new book and by this time I was out of the corner, and still fighting.

“But by the time all the work for Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft was concluded I was so far out of the corner you won’t find me… I have at last found my way home.

“I am so grateful to my close family and many friends who have given me support, inspiration and encouragement over the past five years,” he adds.

Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft is priced at £2.20 ($3) on Amazon Kindle at: www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Hill-Songs-Poems-Theft-ebook/dp/B07CXYJTV4/

 

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I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

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MY social and literary hero Patti Smith once said (three years ago to be precise): “I’m 67 years old; you’re not going to tell me what to do. The only person who can boss me around now is my daughter.”

And just a few short years behind Patti, I know that feeling well… although in my case, substitute son for daughter.

I started writing for myself when I was about 17, and almost five decades later, I am still writing.

As an angst ridden teenager I would while away my evenings writing poetry… you know the stuff, reams of stream of consciousness prose and rhyme littered with passions and desires, knitted together with unrequited love.

So, it was perhaps not much of a surprise that at the age of 22, I pursued a postgraduate teaching course in creative English and drama at Bretton Hall College in West Yorkshire.

I reckoned I had experienced deep love and rejection and that subsequently my own poetry had become profound and real.

Yes, I was a cocky, self-assured young man.

But that cockiness was soon dealt its first blow.

The university’s dean of faculty, a larger than life woman called Caroline St Leger, heard about my poetry and invited me to her room for “a small sherry and a reading”.

I was at first elated… I had an educated audience for my work.

I was a poet!

So armed with an A4 folder containing five years of my finest writing, I soon found myself sitting across a large oak table from the esteemed Ms St Leger, reading aloud a selected few poems.

Red-lipped with Bette Davis eyes and sipping cream sherry, she sat and listened intently.

I delivered my best poems, but she showed no emotion and carefully lit an untipped cigarette.

As the table turned I sat more awkwardly.

The ageing dean took her turn to read more of my writing quietly to herself.

She halted, sipped more sherry and took one long drag of her cigarette.

Then her critique began.

Her disassembling of my poetic structure and rhyming schemes was polite and scholarly.

Even her observation that she enjoyed my ‘lyric simplicity’ seemed like a compliment rather than a damnation.

But her final words dug deep and stayed with me: “It is clear that you don’t yet know love, Nic. When you have discovered love, you should try writing poetry again, until then write about what you know.”

I swallowed hard.

Crestfallen, I thanked her and walked back to my rooms.

“Don’t yet know love,” echoed in my brain.

Over the ensuing years I was married and divorced twice, helped create five wonderful children and kidded myself that along the way I had found love… and a few times too!

But it took 28 years in newspaper and magazine journalism and a nervous breakdown in 2013 for the poetic spark to eventually be re-ignited.

Now five years since the day of the breakdown, I have lost count of the number of poems – and attempted poems – I have written. But the truth is, I simply cannot stop writing.

During that time I have published two well-received books of my own poetry, and edited an amazing anthology of poems from a group of international writers.

Now I am two-thirds the way through writing my autobiography: Survive the Roller Coaster and Assume the Position.

Poetry is my art… and I have little care whether others read my words or not, because for me it is my calling… I write for myself, because it is all I know.

So now in the autumn of my life, dare I pass on any advice to younger writers?

I am unsure I am qualified to do that.

But, I will share Patti Smith’s advice, taken from her discussion with Christian Lund at the Louisiana Literature Festival on 24 August, 2012.

She spoke to an audience captivated by her charismatic charm and frank openness about the life challenges and dilemmas involved in pursuing a creative life.

These are her words, and for me they resonate so loudly. They are a profound lesson for any person diving into the ever-flowing human interaction with writing… or just plain living:

“A writer or any artist can’t expect to be embraced by the people.

You know I’ve done records where it seemed like no one listened to them. You write poetry books that maybe you know 50 people read and you just keep doing your work because you have to because it’s your calling.

But it’s beautiful to be embraced by the people.

Some people have said to me well you know, “Don’t you think that kind of success spoils one as an artist or you know if you’re a punk rocker you don’t want to have a hit record?” and I say “Well I say well fuck you!”

It’s just like one just does their work for the people and the more people you can touch the more wonderful it is. You don’t do your work and then say well I only want the cool people to read it. You know you want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired by it.

When I was really young, William Burroughs told me – I was really struggling we never had any money – and the advice that William gave me was build a good name and keep your name clean.

Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work.

And if you build a good name eventually you know that name will be its own currency. And I remember when he told me that and I said, “Yeah, but William, my name’s Smith you know (just joking!).”

To be an artist, actually to be a human being in these times it’s all difficult. You have to go through life hopefully you know trying to stay healthy being as happy as you can pursuing and doing what you want.

If what you want is to have children, if what you want is to be a baker. If want you want is to live out in the woods or try to save the environment, or maybe what you want is to write scripts for detective shows. It doesn’t really matter you know.

What matters is to know what you want and pursue it and understand that it’s going to be hard. Because life is really difficult. You’re going to lose people you love. You’re going suffer heartbreak. Sometimes you’ll be sick. Sometimes you’ll have a really bad toothache. Sometimes you’ll be hungry.

But on the other end, you’ll have the most beautiful experiences. Sometimes just the sky. Sometimes you know a piece of work that you do that feels so wonderful. Or you find somebody to love. Or your children. There’s beautiful things in life so when you are suffering it’s part of the package.

You look at it: we’re born and we also have to die. We know that. So it makes sense that we’re going to be really happy and things are going to be really fucked up too. Just ride with it. It’s like a roller coaster ride. It’s never going to be perfect. It’s going to have perfect moments and then rough spots but it’s all worth it. Believe me, I think it is.

You know I’m sure that each generation can say that their time was the best and the worst of times.

But I think the right now we are at something different that I’ve never seen. It’s a pioneering time because there is no other their time in history like right now.

And that’s what makes it unique. It’s not unique because we have renaissance style artists – it’s unique because it’s a time of the people because technology has really democratized self-expression.

Instead of a handful of people making their own records or writing their own songs everybody can write them.

Everyone can post a poem on the Internet and have people read it. Everyone has access and access that they’ve never had before.

There is possibilities for global striking. There’s possibilities for bringing down these corporations and governments who think they rule the world because we can unite as one people through technology.

We’re all still figuring it out and what power that we actually have. But the people still do have the power more than ever.

And I think right now we’re going through this painful sort of like adolescence. Again, what do we do with this technology? What do we do with our world? Who are we?

But it also makes it exciting. You know all the young people right now, the new generations they’re pioneers in a new time.

So, I say stay strong. Try to have fun, but stay clean, stay healthy because you know you have a lot of challenges ahead.

And be happy.”

A video of Patti Smith’s Advice to the Young can be found on Vimeo at: http://vimeo.com/57857893

 

Sex abuse survivor’s first poetry book now available on Kindle and paperback

WP Hill

MULTI award winning writer Nic Outterside quit his job as editor of North Wales’ flagship newspaper The Denbighshire Free Press following a nervous breakdown in June 2013.

Nic launched his own publishing company and began the slow road to recovery under the watchful eyes of his doctor and the support of his family. Part of the suggested therapy was for him to begin writing and talking about the life experiences which had led to his breakdown.

From childhood sexual abuse, through cancer, bereavement, bankruptcy, divorce, repossession of my home, the loss of two of my children and an assault which almost took my life, I guess there was a lot to write about,” says Nic.

“My first book a paperback The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light, published in November 2014 was a huge success, and last winter I started work on the follow-up.

“I also decided to make the book more widely available this week by publishing a second edition worldwide on Amazon Kindle,” he adds.

The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light is a raw, and at times shocking, book of angst, joy and reflection on subjects as diverse as abuse, cancer, politics, depression, bereavement, love and joy. The full story behind the book can be listened to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2N2X7t7awo

You can buy the book on Kindle, priced just £1.43 at:

www.amazon.co.uk/Hill-Songs-Poems-Darkness-Light-ebook/dp/B07CNZ75MZ

Alternatively you can still buy the First Edition paperback (120 copies left of the print run of 1,000) The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light in paperback, is priced at just £1.99 with £1.80 for UK post and packing and is available via Ebay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Hill-Songs-and-Poems-of-Darkness-and-Light-Nic-Outterside-Paperback/222959978770?hash=item33e9734912:g:3O0AAOSwdjha6DvY

 

 

Brilliant new book of international poetry published worldwide today

BLOG LUM PUBLISHED

A UNIQUE new book of international poetry is published today (30 April 2018).

While global warming, poverty, pollution, homelessness, the refugee crisis and warfare dominate world news, a group of global poets have turned a spotlight on the frailty and hope of humanity.

Their book: LUMINANCE – Words for a World Gone Wrong is published worldwide today by Amazon.

The writers include a mum of four, a 16 year-old school student, a haiku writer, a freedom fighter, a 62-year-old grandfather, a modern day minstrel, a novelist and a self-proclaimed ‘mystic’.

Their poetry is breath-taking in its style, its range and its subject matter, assembled in categories marked: Darkness and Light, Heaven and Hell, Love and Theft, and War and Peace.

The writers live and work 11,000 miles apart, across 18 time zones, in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Palestine, Japan, England, Scotland and six different states of the USA. Their poetry displays the diversity of their home cities and cultures and form the unique nature of the book.

The writers of LUMINANCE are:

Austie M Baird is a 32-year-old mother raising four young children in rural eastern Oregon, USA.

Sophie Bowns, 25, from Cumbria in England, is a trainee teaching assistant and a fiction author, with four published books to her name.

Hanalee is a 17-year-old American gardening enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona, who plans on attending college at the University of Iowa in the autumn.

Bridgford Hashimoko, 52, is an EFL teacher in Tokyo, Japan, who is fascinated by the many forms and variations of Haiku.

Annabel James, from Oklahoma, USA, writes poetry as a positive outlet to manage a chaos of emotions and thoughts into a form that she can share.

Anjali Love is a mystic, poet, writer, storyteller, artist, and tantric yogini, from Melbourne, Australia and is a lover of life with insatiable wanderlust.

Heather Lynn Matthews is a married 30-year-old mother of two, from Ontario, Canada, who loves to write poetry and short stories.

Joseph Nichols is a graduate of EKU’s Bluegrass Writers Studio, and lives in Kentucky, USA. By day, he works for the state transportation cabinet; by weekend, he is a minstrel with A to Z Productions Mobile DJ.

Nic Outterside, from Wolverhampton in England spent almost 30 years in newspaper and magazine journalism. He discovered the therapeutic power of writing poetry following a nervous breakdown in 2013.

Brotibir Roy is a 16-year-old and a 10th standard student in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who writes to pacify his mind and to play with words.

Megan Taylor, 21, is an English and Film student currently studying at Aberdeen University in Scotland.

Troy Turner is born and raised in Los Angeles, USA. Nothing has captivated him so much as the written word and the interaction between author and reader.

Zanita is a 36-year-old college lecturer from Gaza in Palestine. When not teaching, she publishes books and leaflets to support the liberation of her country from the control of Israel.

Nic Outterside is the publisher of LUMINANCE.

“I have edited many publications over the years,” says Nic, “But none has been as challenging and exciting as this.

“I was lucky to have so many amazingly talented and beautiful people contributing to this hugely diverse project.

“Their writing alone is breath-taking, but it doesn’t stop there… they were all brimming with ideas about the book, its publicity and ways to reach more readers than I ever believed possible.

“And we all hope you enjoy and share their end result… we think it has all been worthwhile.”

LUMINANCE – Words for a World Gone Wrong can be purchased via all Amazon outlets at:

WORLDWIDE: https://www.amazon.com/LUMINANCE-Words-World-Gone-Wrong-ebook/dp/B07CQMWVJP

UK:                  https://www.amazon.co.uk/LUMINANCE-Words-World-Gone-Wrong-ebook/dp/B07CQMWVJP

CANADA:        https://www.amazon.ca/LUMINANCE-Words-World-Gone-Wrong-ebook/dp/B07CQMWVJP

INDIA:             https://www.amazon.in/LUMINANCE-Words-World-Gone-Wrong-ebook/dp/B07CQMWVJP

AUSTRALIA:    https://www.amazon.com.au/LUMINANCE-Words-World-Gone-Wrong-ebook/dp/B07CQMWVJP

 

Introducing the poets of Luminance who shine a light on a world gone wrong

 

BLOG WRITERS2A UNIQUE new book has brought together a collection of amazing and diverse poets to shine a light of words on a world gone wrong.

While global warming, poverty, homelessness, the refugee crisis and warfare dominate world news, the poets of LUMINANCE turn a spotlight on the frailty and hope of humanity.

The writers include a 32 year-old mum of four, a 16 year-old school student, a haiku writer, a freedom fighter, a 62-year-old grandfather, a modern day minstrel, a novelist and a self-proclaimed ‘mystic’.

Their poetry is breath-taking in its style, its range and its subject matter, falling nimbly into the categories: Darkness and Light, Heaven and Hell, Love and Theft, and War and Peace.

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Most of the writers have, until now, only seen their work published on social media.

They live and work 11,000 miles apart, across 18 time zones, in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Palestine, Japan, England, Scotland and six different states of the USA. Their writings display the diversity of their home cities and cultures and form the unique nature of the book.

The writers of LUMINANCE are:

Austie M Baird is a 32-year-old mother raising four young children in rural eastern Oregon, USA.

Sophie Bowns, 25, from Cumbria in England, is a trainee teaching assistant and a fiction author, with four published books to her name.

Hanalee is a 17-year-old American gardening enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona, who plans on attending college at the University of Iowa in the autumn.

Bridgford Hashimoko, 52, is an EFL teacher in Tokyo, Japan, who is fascinated by the many forms and variations of Haiku.

Annabel James, from Oklahoma, USA, writes poetry as a positive outlet to manage a chaos of emotions and thoughts into a form that she can share.

Anjali Love is a mystic, poet, writer, storyteller, artist, and tantric yogini, from Melbourne, Australia and is a lover of life with insatiable wanderlust.

Heather Lynn Matthews is a married 30-year-old mother of two, from Ontario, Canada, who loves to write poetry and short stories.

Joseph Nichols is a graduate of EKU’s Bluegrass Writers Studio, and lives in Kentucky, USA. By day, he works for the state transportation cabinet; by weekend, he is a minstrel with A to Z Productions Mobile DJ.

Nic Outterside, from Wolverhampton in England spent almost 30 years in newspaper and magazine journalism. He discovered the therapeutic power of writing poetry following a nervous breakdown in 2013.

Brotibir Roy is a 16-year-old and a 10th standard student in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who writes to pacify his mind and to play with words.

Megan Taylor, 21, is an English and Film student currently studying at Aberdeen University in Scotland.

Troy Turner is born and raised in Los Angeles, USA. Nothing has captivated him so much as the written word and the interaction between author and reader.

Zanita is a 36-year-old college lecturer from Gaza in Palestine. When not teaching, she publishes books and leaflets to support the liberation of her country from the control of Israel.

Nic Outterside is the publisher of LUMINANCE.

“I have edited many publications over the years,” says Nic, “But none has been as challenging and exciting as this.

“I was lucky to have so many amazingly talented and beautiful people contributing to this hugely diverse project.

“Their writing alone is breath-taking, but it doesn’t stop there… they were all brimming with ideas about the book, its publicity and ways to reach more readers than I ever believed possible.

“And we all hope you enjoy and share their end result… we think it has all been worthwhile.”

Stay tuned for more news about LUMINANCE in the run-up to publication on Monday 30 April 2018.

 

New book unites 14 poets to shine a light on a world gone wrong

BLOG COVER

A UNIQUE new book has brought together 14 diverse poets to shine a light on a world gone wrong.

While global warming, poverty, homelessness, the refugee crisis and warfare dominate world news, the poets of LUMINANCE shine a blinding light on the frailty and hope of humanity.

The writers include a 32 year-old mum of four from Oregon, USA, a 16 year-old school student from Bangladesh, a haiku writer in Japan, a freedom fighter from Palestine, a 62-year-old grandfather, a novelist living in England’s Lake District and a self-proclaimed ‘mystic’ from Melbourne, Australia.

The project has been pulled together by a retired newspaper editor.

Most of the writers have, until now, only seen their work published on social media.

Now, LUMINANCE is providing a professionally produced anthology of their poetry and prose for worldwide publication at the end of April.

This “family” of contributors live and work up to 11,000 miles apart, across 18 time zones, in Melbourne, Dhaka, Ontario, Gaza, Hong Kong, Tokyo, England, Scotland and six different states of the USA. Their writings display the diversity of their home cities and cultures and form the unique nature of the book.

“As individuals we are all so very different; different cultures, ages, races, genders, but as writers we have been able to form an incredible bond that reflects the many ways that, as humans we have common needs, hopes, dreams and hearts,” says mum Austie Baird from Oregon.

“This project has provided an incredible opportunity to see the way that different voices can come together from around the world to carry forth unified sentiments of hope, hurt, suffering and support.

“Together, I believe our words are shining a blinding light on the reality of being human, in a world of seeming chaos.”

Zanita, 36, a college lecturer in occupied Palestine is effusive about the project. “We are all voices in the dark until others react and in doing so shine a light on our words,” she says.

“I think of myself as a poet and a freedom fighter for my beloved country… but we are all freedom fighters for our own faith for a better world.”

Retired newspaper and magazine editor Nic Outterside from Wolverhampton, England is the editor and publisher of LUMINANCE.

“I have edited many publications over the years,” says Nic, “But none has been as challenging and exciting as this.

“I am so lucky to have so many amazingly talented and beautiful people contributing to this hugely diverse project.

“Their writing alone is breath-taking, but it doesn’t stop there… they are all brimming with ideas about the book, its publicity and ways to reach more readers than I ever believed possible. Their excitement is palpable.

“My working day is unlike anything I have ever known… one minute I can be chatting with a writer who is eating sushi in Tokyo, the next I am swapping emails with another in Oklahoma or taking a voice message from a poet in war torn Gaza.”

  • Stay tuned for more news about LUMINANCE in the run-up to publication on Monday 30 April 2018.

Songs and Poems of Love and Theft

September Song

Boots and bottles and a telescope reel

No-one knows just how I feel

Sitting blindly by a Catherine Wheel

I open my arms to you

 

Write me a song to sing all day long

Catch me a tune to howl at the moon

Watch me waltz on a silver spoon

I open my arms to you

 

My golden daughter does what she oughta

Reading medical books with whisky and water

The words get longer but never shorter

I open my arms to you

 

The breakdown came, the breakdown went

Forty-four years they were paid and spent

I’ll pack up my shoes and buy a new tent

I open my arms to you

 

The sun still warms the September air

The grass is green and the day is fair

I look at my life with barely a care

I open my arms to you

 

The fox it will run and the bat does fly

The poacher stares at the empty sky

Time it passes with no reason to cry

I open my arms to you

 

 

Redemption Song

I stand here amazed

Lost in your gaze

Emerging from hell

In a delicate shell

You came and you saw

Just like the law

I gave you my soul

And it made me feel whole

 

One life

One chance

One kiss

One dance

 

I asked for some time

Tasted your wine

Looking to the sky

As the comet passed by

You came and you saw

Just like the law

I gave you my soul

And it made me feel whole

 

One life

One chance

One kiss

One dance

 

You waltzed by the moon

At the dark of the noon

Standing so still

My glass yet to fill

You came and you saw

Just like the law

I gave you my soul

And it made me feel whole

 

One life

One chance

One kiss

One dance

 

 

Tortured Blues #2

And now that it is over

He could sit and count the cost

Wondering if she’d changed at all

And realised what they had lost

He was standing in the driving rain

Water filling up his shoe

She was lying on a snow white bed

Hair and face were all askew

Tortured by the blues

 

He found shelter in a small café

Writing hymns and poems on the wall

She slipped close by and cursed at him

They were both heading for a fall

Outside the booths were filling up

Minstrels and waiters in the queue

He stopped nearby and filled his cup

The last romantic of the few

Tortured by the blues

 

Their breaking up was a tempest storm

Promises and words were said in vain

She withdrew from the human race

Neither one could take the strain

He drowned himself in red wine

Street lanterns burned green and blue

Once their love was something fine

Now it was split like cracked bamboo

Tortured by the blues

 

Another year had passed by slow

His young face was lined with pain

She lay wrecked in a juniper bed

They both had to start out again

But all the while he was alone

Clinging to an old church pew

Women came and lovers went

The howling wind it ripped right through

Tortured by the blues

 

 

Willow’s End

I’ll wait for you where the Willow bends

Where lives and deeds make no amends

Branches and leaves punctuate the sky

Life races quickly

And the grey gulls fly

Talk to me, talk to me, we have such little time

We drift this way and pass sublime

And sip our cup of blood red wine

 

I’ll wait for you where the fenland breaks

Where time releases our past mistakes

Branches and leaves punctuate the sky

Life races quickly

And the grey gulls fly

Talk to me, talk to me, we have such little time

The day it breaks and shadows fade

Into a life of light and shade

 

I’ll wait for you by the wooded glen

Where lovers search for the souls of men

Branches and leaves punctuate the sky

Life races quickly

And the grey gulls fly

Talk to me, talk to me, we have such little time

Turn and face the tangled weeds

Forget the curse of forgotten deeds

 

I’ll wait for you on the old brown moss

Where the water birds don’t count the cost

Branches and leaves punctuate the sky

Life races quickly

And the grey gulls fly

Talk to me, talk to me, we have such little time

Clouds of oblivion blow around my head

As we creep still closer to the living dead

 

I’ll wait for you where the seas cascade

Where life and death are not betrayed

Branches and leaves punctuate the sky

Life races quickly

And the grey gulls fly

Talk to me, talk to me, we have such little time

Then drink to me at the graveside brae

And pray together for the passing day

 

 

Drifting

You drifted in from nowhere

On the breath of a southerly breeze

Your face now haunts my dreams

Like golden butterflies in the trees

Your eyes pierce my soul

And your fragility tears a hole

So I reach out

To touch you

But struggle

Stupidly

You know me

Yet

Heaven is a place

That dreamers want to see

And sometimes you may find

An occasional angel

 

 

Redemption Paradox

She was the rose of Sharon from Paradise Lost

The scent of peach blossom beneath the Conquerer’s cross

I told her about my own agony and the driving rain

She told me about the year when her innocence was slain

Was she a girl or a woman, I can’t say which

From one to another she could easily switch

My Kether, my Abbadon, my redemption

 

We went to a place that our friends could not reach

We learned from the lessons we both could teach

She looked into my soul through the clothes that I wore

And told me without words that she knew the score

Was she a girl or a woman, I can’t say which

From one to another she could easily switch

My Kether, my Abbadon, my redemption

 

Our lives they were ruins and her heart was a snare

We both had to run and leave hate to die there

I hear my voice crying, “Help,” and she echoes back

But it’s only the silence as the darkness does crack

Was she a girl or a woman, I can’t say which

From one to another she could easily switch

My Kether, my Abbadon, my redemption

 

 

Empathy

Beauty is a painted veil

Its colours are skin deep

Love is just a holy grail

Fading grey while you’re asleep

 

Don’t look away, I’ve drained the cup

And life’s race is all but run

Thinking of you when the sun comes up

To finish where I begun

 

Magic sparkles in the night

And laughter fills your dream

Hope dances in the morning light

Drifting away on an urgent stream

 

Don’t look away, I’ve drained the cup

And life’s race is all but run

Thinking of you when the sun comes up

To finish where I begun

 

Life it seems to crawl away

Drowned by rivers of blindness

Curtains shutter the brand new day

Floating on a sea of kindness

 

Don’t look away, I’ve drained the cup

And life’s race is all but run

Thinking of you when the sun comes up

To finish where I begun

 

Time lingers on the ocean’s edge

To where the soft winds blow

High up to that golden ledge

Looking back on what was left below

 

Don’t look away, I’ve drained the cup

And life’s race is all but run

Thinking of you when the sun comes up

To finish where I begun

 

 

True Love Never Dies

The sky dawns grey

The branches they sway

Your beauty it knows no bounds

Our eyes they still meet

And your lips taste sweet

The brute is running from the hounds

 

By rivers of blindness

My love is pure kindness

We’ll drink another cup when we meet

It’s the cutting of fences

To sharpen the senses

That linger in the fireball’s heat

 

So come with me quietly

Dance with me slowly

This time is for us both to share

This true love will never die

For the sky does not lie

The evil of man will be laid bare

 

So bang the drum slowly

And play the harp lowly

You know the song in my heart

In the turning of twilight

In the shadows of moonlight

You can show me a new place to start

 

 

Shades of Abandoned Love

I can feel your hand upon my knee

Deceived once more by the clown inside of me

My head tells me it’s time to make a change

But my heart still screams I love you, something strange

 

Love was found

Rekindled

And then lost

Sitting here trying to count

The cost

Of an abandoned love

 

Everybody’s wearing a disguise

To hide what they’ve got left behind their eyes

But me, I can’t cover what I am

Wherever the spirits go I’ll just follow them

 

Love was found

Rekindled

And then lost

Sitting here trying to count

The cost

Of an abandoned love

 

I’ve given up the game, I’ve got to leave

The pot of gold is only make-believe

The treasure can’t be found by men who search

Whose gods are dead and buried deep within the church

 

Love was found

Rekindled

And then lost

Sitting here trying to count

The cost

Of an abandoned love

 

We sat in an imaginary place and we kissed

I asked you please to cross me off your list

You looked at me with a smile upon your lips

Your heart it heaved towards me in another script

 

Love was found

Rekindled

And then lost

Sitting here trying to count

The cost

Of an abandoned love

 

One more time at midnight, near the wall

Put aside your unspoken fears and your shawl

Please come out from the dark room where you sit?

Let me feel your love once more before you abandon it

 

Love was found

Rekindled

And then lost

Sitting here trying to count

The cost

Of an abandoned love

 

 

Coloured Memories

It was in another lifetime

When we walked together

On the moss

Hope it stretched before us

Beneath the Southern Cross

 

Blue, the sky explodes above you

Green, the leaves they dapple free

Brown, the earth beneath our feet

Black, the colour of the mud

 

It was in another lifetime

When we talked together

In the woods

Laughter it sang so sweetly

The wine it tasted good

 

Blue, the sky explodes above you

Green, the leaves they dapple free

Brown, the earth beneath our feet

Black, the colour of the mud

 

It was in another lifetime

When we danced together

On the green

Our feet moved so swiftly

Your beauty could be seen

 

Blue, the sky explodes above you

Green, the leaves they dapple free

Brown, the earth beneath our feet

Black, the colour of the mud

 

It was in another lifetime

When we drank together

In the yard

Words they flowed so freely

Written upon a card

 

Blue, the sky explodes above you

Green, the leaves they dapple free

Brown, the earth beneath our feet

Black, the colour of the mud

 

It was in another lifetime

When we laughed together

By the lake

I told you that I loved you

Was that my last mistake?

 

Blue, the sky explodes above you

Green, the leaves they dapple free

Brown, the earth beneath our feet

Black, the colour of the mud

 

 

 

A Handful of Rain

I was drifting in from nowhere on a prayer and kiss

Life passed me by, 34 years I had missed

So how did this happen and when did she come?

Like Louise in the attic of Dylan’s radio hum

 

A handful of rain, a handful of rain

Tempting me to defy it

My scruff bag sweetheart, you don’t know how to buy it

 

She came from nowhere and she carried my name

Talking to a banana in her wild childhood game

Mercurial mouth and missionary times

Lost in a dream of music and rhymes

 

A handful of rain, a handful of rain

Tempting me to defy it

My scruff bag sweetheart, you don’t know how to buy it

 

She captured my heart by words in the mist

Still waiting in line for her geranium kiss

Floating ‘cross the airwaves from time gone by

Tracing blood on blood to the fog on the Tyne

 

A handful of rain, a handful of rain

Tempting me to defy it

My scruff bag sweetheart, you don’t know how to buy it

 

Insomniac cat now dancing on her bed

Sixty miles away morning sky’s turning red

Sleepless in Seattle ghostly figures at my door

And words that trip unconscious from phone to the floor

 

A handful of rain, a handful of rain

Tempting me to defy it

My scruff bag sweetheart, you don’t know how to buy it

 

She holds my hand in a dream undercover

Tracing Patti and Frederick asleep she’s my lover

Under a southern cross she casts the years unspent

Matching I for eye for a back broken and bent

 

A handful of rain, a handful of rain

Tempting me to defy it

My scruff bag sweetheart, you don’t know how to buy it

 

So how did we meet and where do we go?

On a boat on a river we meander and flow

But my darling you have me for time to come

I know I have found you and found my home

 

A handful of rain, a handful of rain

Tempting me to defy it

My scruff bag sweetheart, together we try it

 

 

Comfort Zone

She cuddles up beside me

The log fire is burning bright

I whisper that I love her

We’re settled for the night

 

The music plays quite softly

Our glasses both half full

Her head it rests upon me

Warmed by old lamb’s wool

Love is

Love is

Love is

Love is just a pretext for a better place to be

 

A fox slides through the hedgerow

The owl hoots a new refrain

The wind it howls like thunder

And suggests a chance of rain

 

The new moon casts mad shadows

Across the placid pond

The air it is enchanted

From the doorstep and beyond

Love is

Love is

Love is

Love is just a pretext for a better place to be

 

A half familiar key change

A riff that sounds so blue

Guitar music fills the air

It was made for me and you

 

You searched for love eternal

Now tell me what you found

A passage of lost time

And we are homeward bound

Love is

Love is

Love is

Love is just a pretext for a better place to be

 

My golden ring shone brightly

As I hit that long lost chord

It held our love so tightly

When the final lyric poured

Love is

Love is

Love is

Love is just a pretext for a better place to be

 

 

Vision

Your face

Your voice

Your eyes

Your hair

I sense you here

And everywhere

The sun

The rain

The night

The day

My love for you

Does not decay

 

 

The Moving Finger Writes

On the windswept dales of limestone Karst

See Emily play

A romantic farce

Heathcliff searches

For a Wuthering lust

The window glass shatters

And life returns to dust

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight

 

My love she sleeps in Cham

In a bed of Norwegian wood

My heart is buried somewhere

Under Dylan’s old Milkwood

 

On the melting tarmac of Kerouac’s road

The sun now rises

On Sal’s paradise load

Dean Moriarty sleeps

His heart trips a beat

Life it slowly creeps

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight

 

My love she sleeps in Cham

In a bed of Norwegian wood

My heart is buried somewhere

Under Dylan’s old Milkwood

 

On the frozen streets of forgotten Oslo

Knut Hamsun he tries to write

But his words are just a show

As the hunger eats within

From Kafka, Joyce and Camus

Their life is full of sin

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight

 

My love she sleeps in Cham

In a bed of Norwegian wood

My heart is buried somewhere

Under Dylan’s old Milkwood

 

On Woody’s slow railroad train

The hobos beg for dimes

His broken voice remains

In Bob Dylan’s homage song

His tune plays ever onward

Bound for glory all along

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight

 

 

Siren

Salt spray

The crashing waves

The sound of thunder

Can you hear it?

The ocean so deep

Your eyes shine

Your face, your smile

A vision shared to keep

I’ll keep it with mine

The siren of my dreams

I can never forget you

Old bathetic fool

I know that fate is cruel

I ought to forget it

Yes, I know it’s true

I’ve seen what love can do

But I don’t regret it

My voice chokes

I can no longer sing

I love you… but

I can see what’s happening

I must now admit it

Unrequited love

A tsunami from above

I have to accept that

Now within your coral sea

You swim so deep

And don’t need me

We’re both safer without it

Is that really the case?

If you were in my place

You never would doubt it

The mermaid of my dreams

I’ll never forget you

Can you hear the siren screams?

I’m glad that I met you

Old bathetic fool

Who has broken every rule

I tried to resist it

Though it’s all in vain

I’d do it all again

I’d give my world to you

Just to relive one minute

By your side

I have to admit it

As I fall in love

Your presence I breathe for

And I am not mistaken

So I think of when

And turn to sleep again

A lot was meant

But nothing was taken

 

 

Beyond Dark Eyes

I am sat here alone and writing

The midnight moon shines on the temple gates

They’re drinking wine and talking

And my thoughts they all now separate

I live in another world

Where pain and death are iconised

My life is strung with traitor’s pearls

And all I see are dark eyes

 

I think of you sleeping so far away

Hear you breathe sweet innocence

Your face it fades into darkened grey

But your words now enter my inner sense

I can hear a desert drum

Beating beneath the poet’s disguise

Four riders watch as they come

And all I see are dark eyes

 

I was raised to be discreet

For all life’s intended purposes

They tell me revenge is sweet

Against my enemy’s twisted vertices

But I feel nothing for their game

Where beauty goes unrecognized

All I feel is heat and flame

And all I see are dark eyes

 

 

Future Comfort

Sweet gentleness

Your name is life

It surrounds my being

Cuts like a knife

Cascades and unfolds

In all that I do

The love that surrounds me

And the friendships too

 

I watch the rain fall

And the winter does grip

But your warmth it envelops

So nothing will slip

Risk and perspective

Valour and pain

Is marked here forever

Though death does remain

 

So fear not my love

As we walk up that road

Stronger than ever

Let me carry your load

And we come now full circle

To the top of the hill

And hold hands together

Brave blood to spill

 

For love is not blinded

And neither is truth

As my tale unfolds gently

Our own fountain of youth