John Row: poems

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April 5 2008
Yesterday I used my nationwide bus pass for the first time
The driver punched me out a ticket and wanted no money. Free at last ..

Love Letter
Whiskey and ginger,
Van Morrison,
A log on the burner
And I’m feeling

Human Without Tag
My gender is male
I rage like a bull
Find it hard to pull
My horns in at vital moments...

Open Letter To Myself
The passing is of your own making my friend,
The unanswered letters
The lost and twice changed addresses...

It is not that I’m unaware of why
We fisherfolk spend hours
Untangling the threads of our feelings
But when the ice is on the fingers...
Suffolk Eastside
I have walked this coast from Bawdsey to Lowestoft
Past bird sanctuaries
Power stations...
Why Worry
Why worry about who puts what in who, where
When paradise is being obliterated
And understated ethnic cleansings occur on a regular basis...

Fresh Jazz
You are listening to fresh jazz
Not dried up, hard, refrigerated jazz
Not deep frozen
Take care to defrost jazz
Not “What is that smell coming...

There is a time
There is a time
For anger
A time
For despair
A time
For love...
Tenby Memories
I love the weather,
The cleanliness of the beach,
The fine sand
And my children digging tunnels,
Building sandcastles...
By George
His daddy was an Arab
His mum from Palestine
A martyr for his own beliefs
He could be from any time...
Sunday walks and best frocks,
Long hours in bed and breakfast cooked by the old man.
Rice peas and chicken after church,
Roast dinners, horseradish sauce, Yorkshire puddings...

Convenience Music
Buddy Holly is playing in
The prize winning public toilets
Of a Lichfield car park.
Now that’s a long way from Texas
And seriously mainstream.

I need a poet she said
Like you can just pluck stars from the sky
And mix monsoons with cherry blossom...

It’s a Road Thing
This is really crazy
Three thirty in the morning

Know Nothing
The thing is
She thought she didn’t know anything
Not when it came to stories
But she knew people who did.
She told me how I ought to speak to so and so...

All I am Asking
 All I am asking for
Is not my people
For we are my people...

Suffer Little Children
Sometime between us taking them out of the factories
And the end of the second world war
Children used to play in the street.
But I was a new Elizabethan, six years old...

In Memory
'All you need is love’
an anthem to live by
and he did
and we did
and earlier...

Writing in red
I wasn’t even born
When that horn
Blew away a generation
And if the movie news is anywhere near...

Old Heathens
Old heathens walk into teetotal households
And demand whiskey,
Lust after unattainable women,
Refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves...

Rosetta had the music
Way back when in eighteen eighty two
They gave her the prize
One book of lies
Telling her how Columbus discovered America..

Eating Children For Breakfast
My father clad in number eights
Dug his own drain from the Nissen Hut
Five miles inside a land fit for heroes.
Still in my perambulator
Offspring of the occupation...

Peace in Our Time
After a while it’s easy to understand
Why soldiers need their wars
Why it needs fighters
And peacemakers
And after that the peaceful...

Make Love Not War or Motorways
You can tell me it’s about black and white
Till you’re red in the face
And you can tell me it’s about your race
But I can’t stand the pace
Of misdirected hatred...

It’s the fighting that wears you down
With sons and armies
And magistrates
And wives and lovers
And those that employ us...
America 2005
I wanted to write a poem about
How the rest of the west views America,
But then I saw a flamingo flying across the bayou
On the Creole Nature Trail...
Poetry It’s
Poetry it’s a black, white, yellow and red thing,
A love, hate, mad and mellow thing,
A “I’ve got to break out of the middle of my head and tell the world I’m not
dead,” thing,...
Time spent counting money spent,
Both gone forever...