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To the madhouse....It's a little strange for me to re-read these poems after so many years. I don't think that I am any longer the man who wrote them. All the same, there is only one that I would no longer wish to be associated with. I'll leave it to you to guess which.

I have another poetry project going at the moment which will reproduce one more ancient collection, "sinking situation" which I put together for my friends in the late 70s.

Have a good time...


the early morning hills
stride out
to meet him

the shotgun crooked
in his hollow arm
directs its silent abuse
to the passive earth

a servant
following behind
spreads quicklime
in his footprints

he counterfeits
his passing youth
in shattered birdsong

there you go

there you go again
scratching out new jerusalems,
on the fine fingers
of your penman's hand

there you go again
straining after the holy city
with your weak eyes
and softened palms

you were all good for it
it was all you were good for
a smile a song
a black september


we found something there
at the edge of the lake
but did not know what it was
until it was long gone
and only the sunlight
left to remind us

and lying later in my narrow bed
with your hair like wine soaking into the pillow
we smoked and talked
and both of us

stopped laughing


we walked
not touching
not to touch
across the bridge
the trees
were silent
we never said
i love you

tho you had said it

it was all
bad pop songs
a saccharine
the lies we told
held us together
in our

tho never

and later
i watched
you stirred
your coffee
a breaking storm
a way the coffee
did not deserve

tho nor
did i


remember when you were young
and wanted to do only things
that were big and beautiful?

like paint the sky red
above the avenue
or bring the herons back
to the dying lake?

now you are not so young
and the things that are left to do
are small and ugly...

come over here
and do them to me

the times

the times
i've stayed up late
for you
long past the times
i've been with you
riding shotgun
on the night


tearing small pleasures
like rotten teeth
from the jaws of the sleetstorm
walk on
where the town lies
cut off at the wrists
by a leprosy
of concrete
sometime afterward
you may raise the strength
down long corridors
of blind doorways
to raise your head
and spit
inconsequentially direct
in the eye of time


The poems in this collection were originally published by the magazines Dogberry, Eureka, Ludd's Mill and Novice and as a collection by Hilltop Press in 1975.

More recent work is in the pipeline.

Copyright Keith N. Dearn 2002. None of these poems may be reproduced or published for commercial purposes without my express permission in writing. For non-commercial purposes, you can do what you like with them with my blessing!

Pax Vobiscum.

Keith (aka daft old Mick)