The Abbey

20130118_145227I’m not here again to fall and pray on my knees

For if there’s a God he wouldn’t waste time on me.
Nor am I here hoping that old faces I should see
For if I did I doubt that they’d remember me.

I’m not here again to confess sins or sing songs,
But this was my pew whenever I did wrong,
Among pillars of stone as cold as my heart has gone
Where the smell is musty and the echo of the choir strong.

I’m not here again because I’m feeling low
Or to once again count the stained glass windows
Or read the words of the Lord carved on the walls
Or hear the organ shatter deafening silence.

I’m here again because in this new world of mine
There isn’t much time to reflect and rest your mind,
And of all the haunts that this old town has got
I miss most that Abbey and the chiming of its clock.



IMG_20141010_202403Depression is asphyxiating in negativity; it saps the joy and energy from you and won’t leave you alone. It makes you hate yourself. Finding the energy to face the days is hard. Yeah it’s been one of those days; one of those weeks. But there is beauty in every life, beauty I will always hold onto.

I walked head first into the blizzard’s blow
I stood alone suffocating in snow.
I felt the numbness growing in my bones
And the chill gnawing my fingers to blood.
I heard the wind whsitle its wistful tune
In my heart which longed to meet you soon.

Now if I meet you I know I shall be free
Of all this snow that has encased me
And to beautiful stories we shall tend
When the camera and pen come to blend
And if you have another hour or more
Shall we go and dance amidst the snow thaw?
Time is short, alas we’d soon have to part,
But with you spring will come and a fresh start.

I walked head first into the blizzards blow
I collided with you in the evening glow
And felt the blood warm again in my viens
felt feeling returning to my bones again
An avalanche that returned joy to my face,
Shedding snow in a thunderous embrace.

Now I have met you I know I am free
Of all that snow that encased me
Forever stories we created sing
Of beauty we find in feathers and wings.
So if you had another hour or more
I’d have loved to dance amidst the snow thaw.
I can’t bare the pain as again you depart
But with you spring came. And a fresh start.


I had a dream that Hades came

His ashen face so close to mine

Clasping his hands around my neck

And begging me for my soul,

For I belong in the world below.

I told him that my soul was gone

And to a girl it now belonged.

He laughed at me maniacally

Then shook the last life out of me

And led me to the underworld.

Along the Styx he rowed me down

And at the gates he promised me

Her and I would sit side by side

If I could wait an eternity.

I waited an eternity

In my prison dark and empty.

Although I could not play the Lyre

Or as sweet as Orpheus sing

I played the violin for him

I played for an eternity.

When at last her soul desecended

She was old and lifeless now

But with beauty still unfaded

She breathed life in me once more.

My patience pleased Persephone

And Hades was impressed with me,

He offered us return to earth

To live again as we were young

If in passage I could hold my gaze

From her until we saw the sun.

Along the Styx I row once more

And staring straight in front of me

I take her hand in mine at last,

I squeeze it and it is warm.

But as the light begins to brighten

She withdraws her hand from mine

I in fear steal the regretful glance

At her young again as she was.

And just like sweet Eurydice

She now dies again in front of me.


A Single Candle

100 years

100 years

The lamps are going out all over Europe:

So I’ll light a single candle

For seventeen million souls

Each of them rekindled. For an hour

In that solitary lick of flame.


And I will watch that golden tear

Weaving its memorial waltz

Weeping its warm crimson wax

Like blood through Belgian soil.


And I will watch as one poor moth

Lost and confused descends

Frantically flapping into the flame

Perishing on a crimson pyre


That’s what happens when you play with fire.


And the flame begins to whisper,

As the singed wings are consumed

Whispers of the stories of the dead,

Drawn to war like a moth to flame


Soon our hour’s reflection has past,

Barely an instant of their eternal rest

It’s time to snuff our single flame

And let them be at peace again.

The Voices of the River

Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again.

If anybody could’ve saved me it would’ve been you.

Forgive me for being unable to stay

It was never supposed to end this way.

Every drop of creativity

Has drained from my bones grown heavy.

My mind is locked in an asylum of sorrow

And I cannot fight one more tomorrow.

All of my happiness, to you, I owe.

I can’t keep bringing you nothing but woe.

You’ve been my rock, you have kept me afloat

One rock I can’t put in my overcoat.


I’ve long heard the voices of the river beckon,

Its eager whispers calling me to its edge.

Sweet Ouse, can you finally bring me peace?

Your cool touch can drown the fire in my mind,

your graceful depths shroud my broken soul.

I know I’ve found the place where I belong

Your seductive splashing on my boots

The hypnotic lapping of your waters about my knees

Your shimmering ripples tempting me

Under. Cold and sweet.


If anybody could’ve saved me it would’ve been you

The Man in the Shadows

Even though it was for nothing I myself had done

I knew it was the proudest I had ever felt.

I just rose to my feet through some invisible force,

As I watched you emerge from the shadows past

Transformed from the bashful bud I had once known,

The one who’d been laughed at for his stuttering speech

And had told me how he wished he was someone else,

Someone like those who’d always seemed to eclipse him.


It is only fitting that the man in the shadows,

His dirty face caked in the dirty grime of industry

Should see his name etched in a majestic gold

He himself had cut through illness and injury,

As he takes his seat beside that old coal merchant

Who always knew a lovely bloke when he saw one.


I realized, as I rose, that you, once the bashful bud,

Whilst I had stunted in the last rays of boyhood

Had, in the shadows, flowered into a gentleman,

Emerging at last. For your standing ovation.

Tunnel Rats



They call us hood rats, a plague upon these streets.

The waste society flushed away to forget.

We’re lurking in the cracks and the crevices,

Inner city menaces carrying that same stench,

That metallic stink of paint always clings to us.

Shaking spray cans, our chosen weapon of combat,

We scurry through tunnels, our natural habitat.

For we’ve a battle to fight. A battle to be heard.


I used to paint trains. Too slick for all them coppers,

More notorious on the tracks than the Great Train Robbers.

Any train, any line, you wouldn’t have to look far,

Metropolitan, District, Central, DLR.

My name top to the bottom all along the train,

Six o’clock on the platform the suits stare with disdain.

They can’t ignore it or are they blind as well as deaf?

Are you getting the message that we have nothing left?


I did it for that buzz too, that thrill of the chase,

When the cops and their dogs came sniffing on our case.

Just another working class disaster, they say, 

A master of my own failure who’ll learn the hard way.

I got nicked once. But they can’t put us all in prison,

And I don’t expect them to understand our mission.

They can’t ignore it or are they blind as well as deaf?

Are you getting the message that we have nothing left?


I lost a mate on the tracks. A split second, flat,

And you find out it don’t take much to kill a rat.

And that is when I turned my back. Mission failed.

But I was a father now and could not get jailed.

With real responsibilities now, I had no choice

I gave up rebelling and trying to find a voice.

They do ignore it because they’re blind as well as deaf.

They just don’t get the message that we have nothing left.


I’m still a hood rat. But I’m changed on these streets,

No longer waste, I’m making something of myself.

I’m still lurking in the cracks and the crevices,

Still spray my anger away, but now leave a creation,

A piece of my heart, which people admire as art.

I paint on legal walls and people watch and applaud:

It feels really special to no longer be ignored.

I learned the hard way, but there’s always something left.


~Another Urban Ballad. A while in the making, this one. Thank you to all those who put up with me on Leake St for inspiring this little piece, top blokes. And to Rosamund Freeman for the photograph~ Chris