Poetics Presently Past

It’s a poets mission – War, and attrition
Despite what he might this fight is of
His own volition,
His own decision,
The doom come true and into it’s own fruition
Through the actions of fractured factions and foul precision,
Fractions of our fathers, of our mothers – fighting fights that are
Far from sight,
Out of mind,
Have had their day and rest in restless nights
To only spend their hours in nightmarish revision
Of past collisions-
Of Unkind times,
And demolitions of their former forms
Living in dormitories come barracks victim of their own reform
Drawn from war to peace and back to war-
Torn from where once they might have told stories of
Cruel times conquered
And former glories
Owing the former to another because that’s more easy
Than retelling how you stood in line and felt ‘uneasy’
How you wouldn’t mind felling orders that made you feel unworthy
Queasy at the thought that they made you feel ‘less’
So instead you fell in battle brand new with a rusted bayonet
Because days like those were days that you’d rather forget

© Thomas Grice, 01/06/2017


Live To Taste The Tale

Live for the big taste, long taste
Living for the strong taste
That tells me, I’m alive
Listen for the sweet sour sounds
Angelic hounds and nails on chalk board frowns,
That shrink the pupils in your eyes

Hurt a little more everyday,
Love a little more in every way
And try save everyone, save everything that you can save
Lose a part of yourself in every fray
Get angry at what the opposition say,
And revel in the spikes that raise you from the grave

Some of my best days have started six feet into a cemetery.
Which reminds me- that when it comes to it,
The best kind of fight will always be one that you lose
It hurts like hell, but only this way can you tell that somehow
You have survived to suffer the bruise
An arrow in your chest is a battlefields best test
Confirming that you are dead or have suffered a wound

If your coffee is made wrong, make a fuss
If it tastes of disappointment, then voice that disgust
Whether you’re having a sugar rush – or suffering the after crush
You’re racing heart is a beat you can trust
If you stump your foot and need to swear to high heaven for it’s betrayal,
To prove that you’re still living
Then do what you feel that you must

Love yourself everyday
Cry tears of joy, pain and then in another way
And always remember that feeling
So when the question comes up, prick yourself with a needle
And you’ll know if you’re living, if you’re dead
Or you’re dreaming

© Thomas Grice, 17/05/2017

A Political Satire

Haven’t you heard? It’s on the news,
There’s more people to hate than I ever knew!
With all the bombs there’s less places to go
And all the best places are covered in nuclear winter and snow
Someone will probably be shot tomorrow
So it is only right a black citizen gets put on trial today
Our faster than light retribution might save us some time, so to follow
We can crash into some buildings with planes
What’s that you say? You’ve got nothing planned?
Well then we can probably fit in lunch after invading Iran
Don’t worry about accuracy- I’ve got it all planned out,
We’ll only bomb places that innocents hang out
And when they retaliate with a fight instead of a funeral procession
We can say we were motivated by extremist aggression!
A minority has been attacked, in the UK? How sordid!
We best deport it, before the media report it!
Problems at home? Follow ‘Instruction manual; Step one’
When your people get angst’y find somewhere far east to bomb

© Thomas Grice, 15/05/2017

That’s Me All Over

I’m sorry, that I’m mix-matched
Yeah, I’ve taken some knocks
But I built myself out of what was left in the lost property box
It’s true, I didn’t follow the manual properly
But page three through seventeen was all that was offered me
Which I dug out the bins like a fox
Your mocks need not be so lonely – join the choir
Whom are getting good business out of me

I lost everything I wanted to keep
But instead of re-joining the flock, I killed all the sheep
I’m not a wolf – that’s not in me
You say I’m a welcome mat – keep saying that, it’s fine
Because my friend I’ll tell you this
I, am a mountain that CHOOSES to be easy to climb
I’m complicated, maybe, I’ve known rain and thunder – I’m no fool
But you can’t deny that falling over was far better when you were younger
Because when you were younger there was far less far to fall

If you don’t like my attitude well – get used to it, It’s my altitude
It’s not my fault your lungs think my air’s too thin
If you think the ascent is too much to climb, then by all means turn back
Because you are going where I’ve already been
Just know that you don’t need to fight my monsters for me
My demons are statues, epitaphs. record of history long since passed
Don’t you dare look at me like I am one of them
I’m not any of them – they are merely definition from storms
Which serve as a wind in the canvas of my mast

Set sail; across the sea that I know – my archipelago
And do not fret when my ocean grows thin
Just because my hull has got holes and there’s water below deck
That doesn’t mean that I’ll sink, it just means
I’m a ship that doesn’t shy away from a swim
And I don’t know about you, but if you are facing pirates? That’s alright
Because when I was young I dreamt of a life on the seas and
I’ll happily join in that fight

That’s my life,
I don’t cast you off the edge of my cliffs or throw you into the sea
I have no interest in watching you plummet
All I know is, there’s a great view up here
And a great spot to see it,
And you’re very welcome at my summit

© Thomas Grice, 14/05/2017

Debts Outstanding

In a dark, dark room I was brought to the table like a criminal
With no crimes to speak of the spotlight made me an angel
With the eyes and hair I have, blue and gold
Gloomed apart by the dark, and at whatever angle
The questions were asked everything was black
And no one was there,
The chair was empty and thin air filled my lungs
My blood pumping an array of uselessness bottled blue
With my breathlessness, it was dark, very dark
And my hands were bound, they still are

Shackled by the limits I was born to, I did not dare move
As an empty evidence file was pressed against my chest from some assailant behind
As gravity would have it, it fell from me with all feeling that I had left
Bereft of it all it was inherited by my innocent self who could not afford the bail
I still remember the lingering underlined words on the blank pages,
And I quote, Waiting – to – be – filled, end quote
And I quote, Investigation – on going, end quote
And I found my fervour and spoke out
And I quote,

In fact the whole matter doesn’t quite add up, as I’m sure you know Detective
This case existed for far longer than me, I was born to it, born in it
Instead of my mother’s arms I was cut and stood up in the regular line up
As some lawmen pointed at me asking if I looked the part
Retrospectively I should have killed every living person present
But what was a babe to know? I wasn’t born yesterday
And here I find myself, on my first race around the clock
On 24 hour stand down, like a one child army I hold a world hostage
The surveillance they say, saw it all, there were witnesses
But I promise you, I will have you hear on the stand as you oath me
To the secrecy of the truth whilst I live in this court
My defence will be, and will always be
That it is negligent of history for me to inherit the debt
I cannot pay it. Beside a part time job and a student loan
How am I make it all alone? I didn’t practice a speech for the stand
I gave it no mind and I made no plans, I’m free on Wednesdays

Thomas Grice, original date of copyright 30/03/2017 ©

A Clear Day On The Line

Here stood the line, befriended by decay
Here they ran balling, tripping comrades dismayed
Listeners, only to the brim of the spilling sorrow
of their simply dug out stench
The shells fell as they came shelling
pouring death bits in our trench
we were, not to know
we were promised a clear day.

The muzzles pointed our way were cheerful enough
Pushing us, tough, against the rails of our post
Merciful, only to their own ears – spilling, bleeding
In the moment they’d reload
The bullets fell, charging as they were
Bartering an eye for a throat,
we were, not to know
we were promised a clear day.

The sergeant shouting against the shrill of distant flak
“At ease my lads-rest your backs” kind to the care
of the sleep we lacked, numb and pained, dirt and inflamed
in this waking sleep to which we fell victim as we stood
The torture, twisted, torturous as it was
The guns screamed hell when we could
we were not to know,
for it was a clear day.

When the sun rose the clouds retreated from the sacking
the exasperated breath, metal cracking, of a thousand long guns
the scattered earth, for all its pitted worth was lit up under the well missed blue
For the tortured skies torn from its disguise, alien to a field where, for friends
it seemed it was only smoke that it knew, far removed from a long held breath
Wind, wailing, sailing as it was, blowing
Leaving a scattered field of tainted metal, glowing
We were not to know,
for it was a silent, clear day.

Thomas Grice, original date of copyright 30/3/2017, ©

“How do we begin?” he asked.

Every idea springs about from a thought that we think
And much like a boat we float or we sink
But we humans are trapped by our own trepidation
How on earth do we start a journey, let alone a conversation?
How do I begin and how do I start?
How many steps can I take before the map falls apart
We are at sea, we’re all at sea
And all we see is where we are
And our footing begs us to begin.

© Thomas Grice, 27/04/2017