12. Do Not Disturb


Whispers of a wind to lift you off the ground,
the breath of air that’l take you where it wil ,
this flight of fancy carries you until you know for sure
there’s no going back
to where you were before,
now you’ve lost the knack.

With best-laid plans you once flattered to deceive,
of fatted calf were intent to eat your fil .
Perpetual motion carries you but stil you now for sure
that you can’t keep track
and you can’t keep score
there’s no going back any more.

You were tethered,
eyes and ears peeled tightly on the ground,
what goes up is certain to come down…
steady measures,
learn to take the whole thing in the round.

Keep on talking,
for that’s al that’s keeping you aloft;
it was awkward
holding in your breath before the off.
Now you travel, though you’re not so eager to arrive.
On the journey what respect you earn is token,
faith in progress goes unspoken
and that’s al that’s keeping you alive.

And you know it’s not the going, it’s the getting there
that’l slow you, so you real y can’t remember where
you were heading when you started;
al was eloquence but now it’s al hot air.

Draw breath in apprehension,
no safety features left in place,
your sentence in suspension.
you’re clinging on, a basket case.
You didn’t want to tel me
about your secret passion.
What dummy would you sel me
with such unfashionable haste?

Hold it steady,
can’t afford to let direction drift.
Are you ready?
The denouement when it comes is swift.
Are you joking? Were you hoping for some jol y japes?
Eat those words or spit them out before they choke you.
Flailing progress,
from this moment
I don’t see you making your escape.

And you know it’s not the going, it’s the getting there
that’l get you, that’l get you, no-one lets you
know you’re slowly in the process of forgetting where
you were heading when you started.
Al was eloquence
or was it al hot air?

So the pay-off’s due,
now you’ve told your tale.
Al the words you used
are exhaled.


In the fullness of time, when it’s al waxed and waned
and the cycle’s complete maybe it’l make sense at last,
al the strangeness explained, al the stories discrete.
Maybe then it’l al be clear.

I’ve got a lifetime’s library of unreliable mementoes
and I could show you one or two
if it’s of interest, it’d be an education
for me to simply talk you through
how I wore my innocence as some kind of novelty
as if I didn’t know
between the devil and the deep blue sea
lay the fire down below.

Al sense of caution was abandoned in the moment,
our eagerness to claim the day.
The dice we rol ed would take us anywhere
and there were no excuses left to stay.
This was the time, this was the chance to go
and do it in some style.
Just turn your face up to the summer sun
and drive a thousand miles
in an Alfa Berlina.

I saw a wolf high on the mountain pass,
the stars were tumbling end to end.
I knew I’d never feel as free as this again.
The sea below us like a looking-glass,
we drifted through the hair-pin bends
in the Alfa Berlina.

So very long ago, so far away,
it’s al time out of mind
but when I think about the way it was
we were recklessly alive
in the Alfa Berlina.

In the fullness of time I can look back and say
I first fel on my feet
in the Alfa.

ROOM 1210

He kept to his own company last night
lay upon the bed,
drapes and blinds shut tight.
He booked the wake up cal ,
his cases were al packed up by the door.
Al ready for it, then:
goodbye Room 1210.

He’s taken a view
and squandered a few moments here
but no time’s wasted when
he’s in Room 1210.

Away from al the brutal noise outside
he paces out the waiting time,
Delaying at the threshold of the door,
he’s never going to go back to the party.

A black and white film
dubbed in a language
he can’t understand’s
been on the TV awhile.
The night rush below,
the sirens outside come and go –
no-one can touch him when
he’s in Room 1210.

Time and event disappear
but every wal has ears
and the stories accrue.
Dimly, he notes spinning gears
he’s one among the ghosts
whose lives have been spent in
Room 1210.

A place of safety al his own
now he’s not ever going home.
Behind the door
there’s just one favour he implores:
do not disturb him
any more.


I reorganised the diary,
I had pencil ed in a window for us to meet,
though I knew that you’d be dancing to a different beat
When you showed up. I was ready
for whatever psychodrama you’d got in store.
Yeah, we both knew we’d have been through this before.

Check the time and motion,
put a stopwatch on the story and don’t look back
as we lock in to our repetitious act.
You’re the eager beaver, keen to make a mark,
I’m a true believer, whistling in the dark,
building up the fever.

Over and over we go through the motions,
hold on the notion one day it might change.
Try not to show it but we’re lost in the moment
meanwhile I try to hold on to the ghost of a chance,
fal ing through my fingers.

Season by season we seek an agreement
beyond rhyme and reason, however estranged.
Meeting and greeting, our time here is fleeting.
Meanwhile we wheel around in an impression of dance.
Fal ing through our fingers,
it’s al fal ing through our fingers.

What’d you real y want?
Dare you ever say
what you real y want?
Watch it slip away…

And the moral of the story
if there’s one at al is, surely, to get a grip
on what’s forever fal ing through our fingers,
forever fal ing through our fingertips.

You’re the eager beaver, keen to make a mark,
I’m a true believer, whistling in the dark.
What a pair of divas! What a pair of bright sparks!


I don’t want to talk about the old days any more,
I’ve set aside al the unsettled scores
but nonetheless the past stil casts a shadow on me.

I could walk away without a second glance,
the way things panned out down to random chance
but nonetheless the logic’s far beyond me.

Oh no! I guess I must have said yes.
Oh no, I must have said yes.

So now I find I’m in a parlous place,
repenting at leisure for what I did in haste,
al my past promises are catching up on me.

Oh no, I guess I must have said yes
although I’m inclined to digress
I know I must have said yes.

And if blame’s attached to anybody
It’l be me,
I’m the one who said that I agree.
I apologise to everybody,
what else can I do?
Now I’l do my best to see it through,
I’ve got not other option.

No excuses, no stewing in my juices,
denial is useless, holy cow,
with precision my everyday decisions
have led me to be in the here and now.

I’l be right here and now for what it’s worth
hoist on my own petard as I am
but let’s not talk about the old days

except to say the consequences run,
to be plain, what’s over isn’t done
and you thought you were only having fun.

Oh no, I guess I must have said yes
although I was under duress
I know I must have said yes.

Though I don’t know quite what happened to me,
how the story went,
somewhere on the way I gave consent.


Named, the day and date,
picked, the place and time to meet,
set, the words I uttered in stone.

To right the many wrongs
that I’ve done along the way,
now the bal 's in my own court.

Angels hide in the inglenook.
Saints alive, I’l be brought to book.

One false move was al it took.

Al the wicked thoughts wil be brought to book.
I’m not proud of what I did before,
I acknowledge al my actions nonetheless.
Undiminished, the returning score,
I played my part in any sins I now confess…

Al that’s done is done
and al that comes along the way
lands up in the lap of the gods.

One false step, one last look,
under time and tide I’l be brought to book.

I never thought I’d get to see this through,
the cold documented case.
One by one the arguments fal through,
the past stares me in the face,
never thought I’d see it through.
Here it is, the self-obsession and surrender,
here it is, it’s right in front of me,
here it is, the package gets returned to sender
here, with interest, it comes back to me.
I never thought I’d see it through.

Final y wearing history naked on my face
I’l disclose the truth of what I’ve done,
reveal the lines I’ve spun in passing.
I wil face up to the music
and with what breath’s left in my lungs
I’l settle up the score and bid farewel to everyone.

Time to square the circle,
time to dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s,
time to keep on working
to unspot the hand that did the deeds,
to wash out the wounding,
to effect a final remedy.
In the last accounting
al the sum of parts in threnody.

I’m not proud of who I’ve been before.
I’ve no pride in what I’ve done before.
Time alone holds what’s in store.

I’m gathered in by hook or by crook;
al in due course I’l be brought to book.


These are almost the words
I intended to say,
this so nearly makes sense.
Although the cut’s too close for comfort
language goes eventual y astray.

There goes the neighbourhood
under the flood
and comprehension’s culled and clustered
round the sudden onrush of hot blood.

And in imprecision
we are al lost for words.

Al lost, alas, alack,
al points alarm,
sounding out the sweet sargasso
sea of language we are al becalmed.

So close, almost the words
but nearly isn’t clear and drains our
understanding of the overheard.

In incomprehension
we are al lost for words,
al at last lost,
we are al lost for words.

At last you come round to believe what you heard
as circumstance found you lost for words.
The secret’s unspoken, the sense is absurd,
the safety net’s broken, lost for words.


There’s the thing, hold it close.
You had your fling. you laid your ghosts.

Time to leave, close the door.
You can’t believe you wanted more,
more or less, al for the best
in the end it’s al behind you.

There’s the thing, for al you know
it’s time to let go.

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