not enough

we sat in the cold

having nowhere to go

listening on the radio

or if we had money

for batteries

a tape recorder

playing Alice

Led Zep the Floyd

& Jethro Tull

because we knew

how it feels

to be thick as a brick

shut out of the parties

unwelcome at home

our feet worn at the heel

wanting something

anything to come take us away

this cold pretence of real

& now he has forgotten

all of those days

telling stories of love happiness

no days of worn coats

nothing to do

but sitting on benches

with nowhere to go do

& whatever we had

was not enough

to last in his feels


cigarette smoke

curling in the air

blue against grey

white walls

she wanted to draw me

as I sat thinking

tho’ I was wondering

how any of this

just might work out

until she threw the pencil

pad paper down


fuck it I’m done

take me for a drink


it would be a year

before the sketch came back

it was me

but not a me

I wanted to see

cold aloof alone

but by then

she too

had moved on

benign neglect

They finally killed the old bull

not on a sunny summer afternoon

with a sword & cheering adoring crowds

reflecting honour & courage

but on a cold January

of benign neglect in a hospital

he’d been left to die in

hips broken after falls

one & then the other

deposited there by his second wife

(the first ran away from his rage)

of forty years deciding

she could not do care for him

though she did visit after bingo

hair appointments & spending his pension

a slow lonely death not in glory

as befits a strong willed man

the worms in his head taking away

anything he had left of his life

& when he did finally die

his workmates formed a guard of honour

though none knew after fifty years

of working side by side

he had any children until

that last day

all I had to do

drifting to sleep

tired & alone

times I was thinking

if this was down

to anybody

who I could blame

these shoulders cold

the chill filling the room

all this is mine

I made it my own

turning down women

ladies who would’ve stopped me

from feeling the cold

kept me high & fed

tucked up my head

warmed up the bed

& all I had to do

was keep sayin’ yes

when like the fool I am

I kept giving no


living low

shit always happens

places get burned out

the rain thu’ windows runs

the roof comes in

& all you can do

being poor

find someone


safe tonight

share out the pain

sleeping in a single bed

as the windows

let in the cold

wanting more to come

& she resents your poverty

almost as much as you

just almost

because she was asked

if tonight she could share

& you found her depths

her limits on care


it is not only places

get burned out

the wind

would come in through the window

up until late October

then I’d slam it shut

until winter was overcome

spring little leaves of green

those rooms I painted

one long weekend with you

overtired you ran away into the night

while I cleaned up the mess

waited for your return

we had a little money then

you working in an office

while I taught the little I knew

the future was open

the past was all in a song

& I tried to be the man

coming home to you

& what I did not get

is how little of you was there

the rest being withheld from view

while I felt I was giving

your soul was turning blue

keeping all breath within

until the night I touched your cold

knew it was time to close the window

& the worse of all that was

you felt you were the one

knew what was happening

had control of our river song