Poetry & Music -
2nd May 2017
with Mike Parsons David Kessel, Abe Gibson,
and Roger Hoddle.
floor spots come early...
Powis Road (off Bruce Road) E3 3HJ see map
Bow Road or Bromley by Bow Tube/Bow Church DLR
3-Bees Cafe 4 - 8: bring a bottle/cans
Austerity Door Policy - give what you can afford
We think with our shoulders.
On the lime-quarried hillside
Down a stony lane lined with ash and hazel
A poor disused chapel where
Fierce hymns give men courage.
Hardship on this hillside, riven
By lime and bracken, thistle and scree.
A cold, slow rain on a cottage in the dell
Mortared with the blood of quarrymen hill-farmers.
Sheep grieve above the oak wood
Where a mistle-thrush storms hell.
A feral cat hunts the black redstart; so rare, so shy.
November beeches aflame, as many
Fallen leaves as slain quarry men.
Resistance of pain in the chest and spat gob.
From a dry-stone wall, jenny wren’s song
Holier than remberence.
Dangerous to take the sheep track at dusk.
The blessedness of February wind
Through an old goat-willow.
Here men pray with their stomachs:
The gnarled upland cabbage in
A broth with barley
The language of hunger: an alcohlic’s lack.
The fox and the crow pick the dead lamb clean.
Springtime in the valley and the hawthorn blooming.
LAMENT FOR A TALIBAN LAD
Rigor mortis of Brits' demented empire on hard famished plains. Rain falling on the troubled streets of London on Afghan iron fields, blood! A Taliban lad, lead in his liver, shot by a Surrey Para, his sister taken to a GI brothel the devil knows why we're there. Beneath an apricot tree their mother weeps, fallen, withered, apricots. When this winter's snows melt she will rise like the eagle over savage mountains, genocide, and the fragrant flowering pomegranate 'O the fatal loveliness of this land'*
* Arthur Nortge - 'Dead Roots'
In an East End park I smoke to death.
Do I care or take the piss?
Fury in the heart of an old timer;
Hanging and idiocy – English Fascism!
Toffs think life's a game;
The “shagging dead” I call them.
“White Power” - a cockney tragedy;
A mug of tea the colour of blood.
Freudian psychos talk about arseholes,
good folk, about saving the earth.
Will our great sea-faring nation come to this:
A Bengali lad, stuck in the gut, then pissed on?
Working class internationalism as rare
And wonderful as the black redstart.
Never so happy as growing old with
A loved one in a quiet council flat.
A low grey sky over Bethnal Green
And a cockney lass's whistled song.
(for the Tory Party)
"everywhere man is born free
and evgerywhere he is in chains" - Rousseau
The bells of St Anne's are ringing down East India Dock.
Do they ring for Christ or Pinochet?
Tears falling like rain
On the mean streets of London,
Red as workers' blood,
Falling on a market place,
On a labourer's fierce decency,
a busman's daily lot;
Flooding the streets with pain and desire.
Plane trees finger into a winter sky,
Beautiful as Bengali girls,
Straight as cockney lads.
We are all alone, but not separate
From each other in streets and parks.
We live in the spaces of other's lives.
To spill the entrails of M.I.6,
That worldly terror,
Onto the wide market pavements,
Between the alkis and fruit stalls.
Life so fragile, death arbitrary.
Lascar seament and Bantu gold miners.
and I have heard in desperate streets
Poor kids whistle like blackbirds, at midnight
David Kessel Friday 17.9.2010
Elegy for Patricia Walters and Tony O'Donnel – Hackney schizophrenics who died 2007.
Long before and after mankind
The wooded hillsides echo
With the call of the woodpigeon at dusk
Grey streets wherein my heart lies
Blacker the clouds heavy with rain
The sweet surge of heroin in a cold back room,
Smell of nuclear wind in the morning,
And the aftermath, alone as never before!
Addicted to life, all life, we may withstand.
Huge-hearted Pat Walters in a Hackney street,
Arguing and singing her black gospel,
Martyred by our indifference.
Wry humour of Turkish voices from an alleyway.
A trendy genocidal English gent in a fight with
ECT-wracked O'Donnel with his ruby courage.
Being hard to survive, tender to live.
And Copernicus, who transposed his lust
Into such wonder for a few naked years.
Hunger half of life, respect the other half.
The pain of London pavements
and sleet across Scafell.
Life Against Death
The east wind of high summer.
Old men with cider bottles,
And I suddenly an old man.
Through the slums with Jesus,
Black, broken hearted, golden Grace.
The whistling Cockney gives
His heart away at street corners
to the young alki: cursing, skint.
On the Whitechapel waste.
The Gestapo will pass-
There shall be silence
Broken by cawing crows
amd the vixen's cry.
Strong as our pain is strong,
Our children are.
A savage peace,
The rain over Stepney.