8. pH7

My Favourite Przekład

In my time I’ve told a lie or two,
I’ve been a deceiver, but believe me
what I now say is true.
There’s no other way
I can express what I’m thinking of:
You’re my favourite, you’re the one that I love.

It’s a one-horse race,
still I’m ready to place my bet.
I’m a pretty slow starter,
and I haven’t quite caught up with it yet.
It seems so extraordinary
that you should care for me.
You’re my favourite – how lucky can any man be?

You’re my favourite –
will you stay the course with me?

You’re my favourite of all time.
You’re my favourite, can’t you see?
You’re my favourite of all time.
Say you’ll stay the course with me.


I don’t know, can’t you see
I’m just passing through, fast as you –
don’t ask me.

Careering out of control
disappearing down the black hole,
careering – the white man’s soul
stands stark naked in the floodlight glare,
stands stark raving on the strap.
I’ve had the feeling that I’ve been there
but I can’t quite believe it.

I don’t know, can’t you see
I’m just passing through, fast as you
so don’t ask me.

Careering, simply day to day,
engineering everything I say,
careering for the work and the pay.
I’m just a passenger passing through,
I’m just an average chap.
If I said I hadn’t got a clue
there’d still come the questions.

I don’t know, can’t you see
I’m just another case of wasted space
so don’t ask me.

Careering, my apprenticeship
no nearer than my pension slip;
careering down the Cresta Run,
I screw it up just like anyone;
careering – pointless anyway
to do it just for the work and the pay.

Look here: I don’t know, can’t you see
I’m so near the end, get it straight, friend –
don’t ask me, don’t ask me, don’t ask me.

Porton Down

Won’t hear a sound at Porton Down,
the clear liquids keep their silence,
buried underground at Porton Down
the fast form of the final violence.

Quite right to be worried about the proliferation
of nuclear bombs and power stations,
but there’s a deterrent that’s going to
unearth us yet…

Hurry on round about Porton Down,
a quick glimpse of the future warfare
hidden under ground at Porton Down;
far too frightening to utter what you saw there.

They got bacteria to drop us where we stand,
they got diseases still unknown to man,
they got the virus and a microgram’s enough
to do in a continent.

The ultimate madness,
just one shattered test-tube to wipe out the world.

It begins with the mustard gas,
it proceeds to Hiroshima.
The culture moves on –
now it’s bacterial, truly insane.
Porton Down waits to fever the brain.

Won’t hear a sound at Porton Down,
the clear liquids keep their silence
buried underground at Porton Down,
the fast form of the final violence.
Hurry on round about Porton Down
a quick glimpse of the future warfare,
hidden underground at Porton Down,
far too frightening to say what you saw there.

No sound at Porton Down,
from Porton Down,
after Porton Down.

Mirror Images

If I’m the mirror and you’re the image
then what’s the secret between the two,
these „me”s and „you”s, how many can there be?
Oh, I don’t mind all that around the place,
as long as you keep it
well away from me.

I’ve begun to regret that we ever met
between the dimensions.
It gets such a strain to pretend that the change
is anything but cheap;
with your infant pique and your angst pretensions
sometimes you act like such a creep.

And now I’m standing in the corner,
looking at the room and the furniture
in cheap imitation of alienation and grief.
And now we’re going to the kitchen,
fix ourselves a drink and a cigarette,
getting no closer to being the joker or thief.

Still, I reflect, this nervous wreck
who stands before me can see as well,
can surely tell that he’s not yet free;
he can turn aside, but can no more ignore me
than know which one of us is he,
than tell what we are going to be,
than know which one of us is me.

And now we’re going to the kitchen,
fix ourselves a drink and a cigarette,
getting no closer to being the joker or thief.

These mirror images,
these mirror images
won’t stay, go away, are no help.

In these mirror images of myself
there are no secrets.

Handicap and Equality  Przekład

All men are born equal at the moment they arrive:
check the limbs and senses we require to survive.
But some come deaf and dumb and blinded,
some have damage to their brains;
parents constantly remindedthat they’ll never play
the normal children’s games.
They may not be normal,
but they’re people just the same.

If Christ had been born defective
to fulfil the Father’s plan
would he be as easily accepted
as God made man
or does the human value alter
in the crippled human frame?
Though the tongue and fingers falter
must we shut them out and shut them up,
and shut the case and whisper „such a shame”.
That’s how we shut them away.

Most of us are lucky, free from accidents at birth
but their victims share our right
to the inheritance of earth.
For all their grunts, their stumps,
their tumours, their eternal wheelchairs,
we’re the freaks, we’re the inhumans,
if we close our eyes and turn aside, pretend
that if we do they’ll not be there….
They’ve got to face it, so we’ve got to face it.
Still they’ve got to live with it
in a world we supposedly share.

Not for Keith

In Germany, his days finally caught him;
I won’t insult his memory with long-distance grief.
Tears and wakes weren’t his style:
not him,
not for Keith.

He’d have laughed in my face
if he saw it get mournful,
he’d pull me up short and say „Life carries on”
in that gentle way of being cruelly scornful…
now he’s gone.

„I want to see it all, and eat it”
was as close to ethos as he came;
though he knew he couldn’t beat it,
he never gave of himself anything less than best
in the game.
Oh, one for the game….

I never did say, I never quite found time –
he taught me a lot, and I carry it still.
Never thanked him at all for his friendship
and now I never will.

The diaries we write are those that we crave for,
we never put the P.S. at the foot of the final page.
He deserved more time, but he never was made
for middle age,
not for middle age.
Not for Keith.

The Old School Tie

Oh the bright young men in their tight-buttoned suits:
the light beams out from capped smiles to the shines
on their lick-spittle books.
Oh these sharp young sparks with their fresh rosettes –
yeh, the artful way that they promise the earth
to all suffragettes.
What they won’t promise we don’t know yet.
They say they’re build – and shaping society
but we know they’re just saving for their own
safe home in politics.
Anything goes: look at them run.

Come from every side, noses Pinocchio clean;
lock in synchromesh, oil the wheels and the gears
of the party machine
and the final goal is a cabinet seat…
in the trappings of power, the presumption to speak
for the man in the street.
Once they move in, they’re in for good;
yeh, once they get that bed made
it’s a safe home in politics.
Jobs for the boys: look at them run.

There’s just one thing none of us should forget:
a political man is just in it for the power
and the smell of sucess.
Sure, some start out as idealists –
pretty soon they all cop for ideal careers
and a safe home in politics,
a cushy job in politics;
look at them run.

The politicians fight it out on the conning tower
but they all agree not to rock the boat..
A safe home in politics
It’s built on your vote.

Time for a Change

Time for a change:
I felt bad, things looked strange.
Home, home on the range…
yes, it’s time for a change.

„Well, young man, when you grow up
what do you want to be?”
„Please, sir, if that’s alright
I’d really rather like to learn how to be me.”

Switch on the light,
getting late, almost night.
A shilling puts you right,
you can switch off the night.

The world was looking stretched and tight,
it’s an overblown balloon.
I’ve got the feeling something big
has got to happen soon.

Oh, time for a change,
out of reach, out of range.
Go and tell Doctor Strange
that it’s time for a change.

(Chris Judge Smith)

Imperial Walls

Strange to behold
is the stone of this wall
broken by fate.

The strongholds are bursten
the work of giants decaying
the roofs are fallen
the towers are tottering
mouldering palaces roofless
weather-marked masonry shattering
Shelters time-scarred
tempest – marred
undermined of old.

Earth’s grasp holdeth
its mighty builders
tumbled, crumbled,
in gravel’s harsh grip
till a hundred generations
of men pass away.

(Anonymous 8th century Saxon)

Mr. X (gets tense)

The current affair gets to be my business,
I heard the news on the radio:
the sun on earth… what is this?
Is that the way that the crazy goes?

Attention tuned to the satellites,
looking down for an overview.
In the chapel of space we are acolytes.
In the battle of time we’re all soldiers too
and the relative choir push the energy higher
Under fire.

The sliding show in the macroscopic,
finger on the button pointing to progress.
The apparatus roll, no-one here can stop it,
too busy learning more – always knowing less.
Soon turkey-wrapped in the spaceman blanket
we’ll offer up lame duck apologies
and settle down for the final banquet,
the gourmet dish of technology…
cryogenic device catches all human life
under ice.

The current affair gets to be all our businness,
it’s filtered in through the T.V. screen.
The norm, the average…what is this,
when it goes blank what does that all mean?
And what’s the drive of each individual?
And what’s the way that the story ends?
Is it Mr. X, left as the last residual
holder of the flame, conscience of all men?
But he’s so tense to expire
he throws himself on the wire
under fire.

Is this the way the world ends?
Under ice, under fire?
Has there been some mistaken design?
Under ice
got to find the human voice.
Lord, deliver us from Babel.

Faculty X

Hope by and by, hope by and by –
motes in the eye, portcullis is shut…
a skull isn’t much
of a castle to live in
when the change is going to come,
the change has got to come.

Explosions in the brain attest to it.
evolution down the drain – let all the rest do it.

Oh yeah, the only result
is cumulative drek.
It won’t be the drug,
it won’t be the sex,
it’s got to be the Faculty X

Looking for a method, I play a straight bat,
throw away the chances to slip.
Yeah, you talk about the average –
I don’t care about that
and my words are only giving me lip

When I know that the change has got to come,
or what am I living for? Or why am I here?
I’m running, I give in more,
far away from the near.

Go meta-physical world,
he sign that protects
It wasn’t the last,
it won’t be the next,
it’s Faculty X.

Reading seers, sages, prophets,
obscurantist tracts,
draining the elixir to the dregs;
active yeast in the bottom is on the attack
and it leaves me without any legs to stand on.

Still I hope that the change will come

Meanwhile I don’t know,
I think I’ll have to go,
go for the governing body
my consciousness elects.
It won’t be so clear, it won’t be direct,
it’s all that I fear, it’s all I suspect
and I’ll disappear in Faculty X

I pluck all these characters out of thin air,
I push them down into the lungs;
I infuse them with meaning as much as I dare.

Stretch out for the shoreline and wait for the wave….

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