Sing Us To Sleep

They’re putting up barbed wire fences,

Between you and I,

They’re burning down the bridges,

Raising up the walls,

They’re showering the world with bullets and bombs,

They’re tearing the peace flag down,

They’re coming for us now,

Waving guns in our eyes,

Well, how do you sleep at night?

I sleep well,

Because I never truly wake up,

The nightmare will be there,

Eyes open,

Eyes shut,

I should be terrified,

I should be truly afraid,

But they’ve numbed my senses,

To their violent reign,

Day in,

Day out,

The news channel speaks,

Of war,

Like it’s expected now,

Any day now,

But never on our doorstep,

Who are we kidding,

To think we’re safe,

Wasting life away on Facebook,

Or watching trash TV shows,

Where our main concern is how popular we are,

To the online freakshow,

In a quest for a taste of fame,

We’ve been conditioned to crave,

While they,

Put up barbed wire fences,

Between you and I,

And everything we’ve been dreaming of,

Was a wicked lie,

They’re coming for us now,

Waving guns in our eyes,

How do you sleep at night?

How do we sleep at night?

How do I sleep at night?

The nightmare is real,

Eyes open,

Or eyes shut.

 

What lullaby do they sing?

While they send us all to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Lost

For the ones who stagger drunk,

Down dim lit alleyways, 3 in the morning,

Past graffiti-stained walls,

Through piss scented subways,

Those who blow smoke rings at the moon.

 

Those, blown from one disaster to the next,

Like yesterday’s news blown in the wind,

For the ones rocking back and forth,

Cold sweat running down their backs,

Head in hands, worried for their sanity.

 

For those crouching in shop doorways,

Asking for spare change,

From passing strangers,

Smoking cigarette ends off the concrete pavements,

Eating leftovers from supermarket bins.

 

For the abusing and the abused,

For those scoring pills and powders,

For those in the aftermath of the fight,

Bruised and grazed and believing the lies,

Circled by the redness of tearstained eyes.

 

For those hanging around dingy flats and broken homes,

With nowhere else to go,

For the dealers, for the whores,

For the things that brought you here,

Whether you were rich or whether you were poor.

 

For the losing, for the lost,

For battles fought at the greatest cost,

For the countless ways, you’d wave goodbye,

For the countless reasons a new-born cries,

You’re still worth the fight to survive.

Caricatures

Sitting in the Tavern,

Waiting for food to arrive,

The table next to us,

Was massaging its ego,

Six people in total,

Four doing the talking.

 

One of the four,

An outrageously camp guy,

Whose effeminate mannerisms and voice,

Made him obvious,

He was the more sensible conversationalist,

-Most the time.

 

Another was a lady with a posh prim English accent,

Who, over-accentuated words,

Clearly spoken full of upper-class pomp,

She seemed to like to maintain her idea of personal status,

Boasting about her education and upbringing,

She had an air of self-importance that was insulting, to watch.

 

The next guy sitting adjacent to her,

Had a bunch of witty anecdotes,

For all occasions, most of it ridiculously unlikely,

Most likely bullshit,

He was one of those popular guy types,

Alpha male, one of the lads,

But it kept the conversation fresh,

His lies, well-rehearsed.

 

While across the table an American woman,

With a blunt and self-righteous humour and manner about her,

Had an over the top ‘put on’ laugh,

That was embarrassing to listen to,

The laugh would last for a while and then stop abruptly on cue,

It screamed through everyone in the bar,

Fake as hell, but ridiculously loud,

Loud as a fog horn,

We couldn’t hear ourselves think.

 

When their food arrived,

It silenced her a while.

 

The waitress could barely keep a straight face,

She tried so hard, she almost managed, but she cracked a little.

 

 

 

 

 

Shape-shifters

The agreeable sort concern me,

Those yes men and yes women,

Who’ll bend over backward,

To grab your attention,

Shape-shift to fit the mood,

Chameleon skinned slippery little critters,

If you’re in the right crowd,

At the right time, with the right face,

If you’re popular if the pieces fit,

If you have anything they want,

Anything they crave,

They’ll suck up to you like leeches,

They’ll wear your mark of approval,

Like a flashing neon sign,

With sirens blazing,

Arrows pointing at them,

As you stand in silhouette,

Whilst screaming look at me! Look at me!

And they’ll follow you like a lost hound,

Everywhere you go,

In case you might adopt them,

Or throw them a bone to chew,

They might even share it with you,

Something you can both sink your teeth into,

You’ll begin to wonder,

At the bones, you’re picking,

You’re living, but who’s living it,

Who are these imposters?

 

Whoring for attention,

On your time,

Sneaky opportunist bastards,

I don’t trust them,

They don’t like me so much these days.

 

Fade

Days pale into insignificance,

Dreams fade with the first light of day,

I remain like driftwood,

Waiting on the shoreline-

 

To be washed away by the tide,

Lost to time,

I leave no impression in the sand,

Nor bruise on your heart.

 

My bottled dreams cast aside,

Our picture is torn in two,

Heartfelt words laid to waste,

This page is a blank canvas now.

 

Drunk with the heat of the sun on my brow,

You are no more than a mirage,

This too will fade.

Hypothermia

The thin ice where we danced together,

Had been weakening for a while.

 

I watched your smile and mine,

Slowly turn to a frown.

 

The cracks appeared swiftly,

Once they began to show.

 

We had shared the same dream, but,

We were competing for the same ray of sun.

 

So, the icy water gripped our bones,

And together we drowned.

 

We pulled each other under,

Struggling for air in the deep deep water.

 

Nothing is ever solid as it seems,

We murdered the dream, that day.

The Remedy

I close my mouth and listen,

To words unspoken,

They shout louder than silence.

 

Dissolve on my tongue,

Like bitter pills,

I am reluctant to swallow.

 

I take the remedy,

Like a worm in my gut,

Eating me inside out.

 

You might thank me,

For what I didn’t say,

If you knew how it felt,

To feel.

Reckoning

The day smothers me,

With a kiss empty of promise,

The hours bleed out from the dawn,

Sunlight shifts across the sky,

Casting shade on my sorrow,

Blinding my eyes so I cannot see,

Unready for the reckoning, to come.

 

My stubborn heart,

Bends toward the day,

Seeking a fool’s reward,

For seeing through,

This list of disappointments,

Written in solitude,

I check the time,

Seconds tick by,

I remain, motionless.

 

A storm rages in my heart,

With each breath entering my lungs,

A violent pulse moves me,

Toward the inevitability,

Of day folding into the earth,

In her veil of black,

I am paralysed,

When the hungry earth,

Wraps me in her blanket of thorns.

 

Cold sweat,

Of the night terror remains,

Anxiety rushes through my veins,

Day pierces the shade,

I stare into the light of the sun,

Unready for the reckoning,

To come.

Sentimental

These strange things that hold sentimental value,

Like my great grandmothers’ pocket watch,

It has one hand only to tell the time by,

It no longer winds or ticks and the silver case is badly tarnished,

Family jewellery engagement and eternity rings,

Gemstones missing,

The big old seashell my grandfather kept in the hallway,

That I used to hold up to my ear to hear the sea,

The old pencil sketches he made of his allotment,

Where we used to plant vegetable seeds together and watch them grow,

Kitsch ornaments that play musical tunes,

Old teddy bears, threadbare and stinking of age,

Knitted hand puppets made by my grandmother,

Stitches weak and unravelling,

A moth-eaten old Robert Burns Poetry book,

Dated 1896, with yellowed thin and fragile pages,

A rhinestone necklace that used to grace the youthful neck,

Of my grandmother when Clark Gable was her favourite actor,

The last time my grandad held my hand before he died,

Sometimes I can still feel his grip on my fingers,

I don’t think we ever truly let go, do we?

The Room

Before I moved here,
The room was clean, neat and tidy,
Pristine, there was a corner for guitars,
A corner for creating music,
A TV set and a bright sunny window,
No dust, no cobwebs,
No love.

I arrived and tidied up of course-

No!

I came in and trashed the place completely,
I gave it that shabby chic touch,
I hung the cobwebs and sprinkled the dust,
I gave it that squatters paradise look, with added glitter,
I left my muddy footprints on the carpets,
I left my lipstick on the rims of cups,
I made the cracks in the paintwork more apparent and,
I moved in to add that, left-overs-on-a-dinner-plate appeal,
Yes, I gave it that lived-in quality.

I gave it; me.

The fresh outlook on life you found my love-
Was me in all my chaotic glory,
No pretence left in my bones,
No appearances to live up to.

I turned down the silence,
Turned on the music,
And dimmed the lights.

The house is a ruin-
A few years’ have passed now, and the room is a pigsty,
Me, my stuff, my creative flair, my late-night brainstorms,
My creeping up the stairs.

 

While our guitars have been replaced with photography magazines,
Camera club paraphernalia stacked under the windowsill.

There’s a large artist’s easel, paint brushes in jam jars,
A desk covered in paint spatters, loaded with clutter, like-
Old compact discs, hairbrushes, tape measures and diaries,
Old books, new books, paperclips and lens hoods,
Cameras, hair scrunchies, keyboard, and mouse,
I can barely move about this desk let alone the house,
Trinkets and craft bits and microphones and a wool hat,
Jewellery wire, beads, and a cinnamon bun; half eaten.

There’s a corner dedicated to paint pots and tubes,
Art inks, pens, there’s art on every wall in this room.
You know I turned your world upside down,
Inside out and back to front, but,
This is home, and every room knows we’re alive!

Yeah, we should tidy this place more often than we do,
But the same chaos inside of me,
Is inside of you,
This room is a reflection,
Of a mutual truth, and affection,
Of passion and creation,
Of becoming and undoing,
Of unravelling and renewing,
Me and you.

Sociopath

 

Whenever I felt your hands delve into my skull,

I knew how you needed me most.

-Like putty in your hands; malleable.

 

If you were to reshape the things that make me, me,

Go in and fix what wasn’t broken and smash up the things you fixed.

-You needed me; vulnerable.

 

Always acting like the one with all the answers,

The first to speak up, last to shut up.

-You needed me silent; gullible.

 

To play me like a puppet,

Make me dance at your command,

-You needed me reliable; agreeable.

 

To validate yourself, in your own hour of weakness,

-You needed me.

Saturday (Explicit)

The nightclub toilets,

Are full of staggering heels,

Tight dresses, short skirts,

Fake tan and lashes,

Loud shouting women,

Fixing their makeup, and hair,

With as much care as possible,

After several shots of happy juice,

There’s a heady mix of perfume smells,

Sweat, and booze,

That hits you as soon as you open the door.

 

You stand in a queue of women desperate to pee,

You can hear every word of,

Gossiping about the dance floor incident,

Where some random cow threw lager,

Over Angela’s new dress, in her face, in her hair,

It was completely unprovoked says Sharon,

Bitch was trying to stir shit says Kerry,

She was trying to flirt with Ange’s fella says Laura,

This fucking dress is ruined says Angela,

Dry clean only too for fuck sake, fucking bitch, fucking slag,

-She mops herself up with toilet paper,

Wipes the mascara into a tidy smudge,

Plotting silent revenge.

 

Pissed up women are hell in a handbag,

For losing the plot on the sudden,

Stacy is crying her eyes out in a loo cubicle,

Kicking the door like a mad head,

Refusing to come out after being dumped by Richard,

Cursing the tosser, for choosing tonight of all nights,

Next door,

Jane stands in a toilet cubicle with the door unlocked,

Half swung open,

Snorting a line of coke off the top of the toilet cistern.

 

Done, she folds the tenner note back into her purse,

Along with the credit card,

Sniffs and wipes her nose before shimmying her way,

Bold as brass past the toilet queue,

Back out to the banging tunes,

The flashing lights, the ultraviolet,

A crowd of fucked up happy fools,

All jabbing at the air with arms and hands,

Wiggling their asses,

Dancing up close and personal,

On a sticky dance floor.

 

This is Saturday Night,

Heaven for some. Hell, for others.

Summer Roses

She turned a cold shoulder with all the usual cutting charm,

Of a butterfly with razorblade wings, fluttering gracefully by,

Moving through the scene, a silent tornado,

Slicing petals off my summer roses,

To leave me with this bouquet of thorns,

To remind me that the petals scattered at my feet,

Would never last.

Itch

You know I’m well acquainted with your smile,

Having known you a long while,

So, no matter how sweet you wear it,

I can tell when your pretty face lies.

 

When your “See you in the morning, sleep well, sleep tight,”

Really means, “Goodnight forever, good riddance, goodbye”.

 

If I feel an itch I’ll scratch it, every time,

I’ve scratched this one down to the bone.

 

Yes, and I’m well acquainted with my flaws,

I went through living hell to be collapsing at your door,

I owe you my apologies for the fallout, I know,

All I ever gave was honesty.

 

Yes, and I’m aware of how that might read,

When you’re looking in from outside of the book,

When the story isn’t the fairy-tale it seems,

Well, the story wasn’t a fairy-tale to me.

 

If I feel an itch I’ll scratch it, every time,

I’ve scratched this one down to the bone.

 

Grace in Surrender

I lost my naivety,

Learned what it meant to fall,

From the dizzy heights of innocence,

To no longer be blind.

 

Too wise before my time,

I lost my sense of danger,

As I tied myself to the railway line.

 

The oncoming train,

The reality I never anticipated,

Slammed on its brakes to spare me knowing,

What it would be like not to feel,

My heartbeat but-

 

For the rest of my days,

I had wasted my prettiest years,

On tears, born out of wanderlust.

 

I had wasted my breath,

Whispering into the night,

Lost in fantasy world,

With no hope of mending,

Such fractured dreams and-

 

I’m a burnt-out shell of a former grace,

With the truth etched on my face,

I’m a disgrace, but isn’t everyone,

I know.

 

Now I’m scared of everything,

And I think too much, too often,

As do you and so does everyone,

I know.

 

Maybe there’s grace in surrender,

Grace in hindsight,

Grace in surrender to next time around,

Grace in surrender to being still after all,

Grace in surrender to the fall.