gone long gone

when freedom was a full tank

gone long gone

the excitement of those summers

holding off the light rain

doing things with each other

we had yet to find names

driving around no money no place to go

just hanging out with anyone everyone

going through the night laughing

bringing in the dawn the sun

playing music that changed our feelings

the way we felt about the world

& those people are gone long gone

to different places around the world

working stiffs each & every one

pulling their collars up against the rain

putting the hours in for sunny days

paying to go travel soak up the warmth

we had once for free in those years

now gone long gone

been misheard

darkest

before dawn

but I was awake

wide awake around five

thinking how I’d once

been misheard

by the hairdresser I was seeing

sitting in front of the mirror

watching her flow

I love what you do

got translated in her head

to I love you

& she ran away

leaving her equally nice

but less talented friend

to finish the job

which ended that line

of free hair cuts

friendship relationship

she didn’t want

to be with someone needy

& I needed hair trims

now & then

but not somebody

scared of words feelings

or appreciation

of a job done well

on point

somewhere at the edge of the swamps

I’d be sixteen out on my first navy camp

loving the canoeing up river

one pan cooking exploring the woods

until came the night exercises

I was good for hiding with guns

flash bangs set off by hidden wires

ambushes guerrilla warfare

but when they left me at the crossroads

with a tilley lamp & a message to give

in the pitch black except for my soft circle

listening for feet on the path

& they’d been given instructions

of which I was unaware

sneak up on him give the jitters

which every single one of them did

coming out of the undergrowth

walking on grass beside the path

when they came to relieve me

just before the dawn

I’d almost worn myself out

character forming they called it

the bastards

which was it to be please?

fifteen alone & lost

I found myself stuck

late in the mountain night

in Snowdonia

the cars had stopped

walking had ceased to get me anywhere

as my steps slowed in the dark

I slipped over a dry stone wall

huddled in a corner against the wind

& slept dreaming of giants a giantess

gold hair cascading on her shoulders

promising better days to come

if I would drink the water there

& woke in the dawn to silence

but for the crows cawing in the distance

I was powerfully thirsty with nothing

climbed back over the wall

put my thumb to the first truck

he stopped then asked me: which is it then?

I had no answer no understanding

he drove me into the local town

& drove away smiling shaking his head

as I went to buy water Dwr yr Wyddfa

drinking sitting on a low grey wall

later as I stuck my thumb out to leave

the same truck stopped again

& as I climbed inside he asked again

which is it then?

& as I shrugged he told me

of Idris the giant sitting gazing the stars

there on his mountain Cadair Idris

& if anyone slept the night on his mountain

in the morning they wake either

a poet or a madman

so which was it to be please?

us & the mojo man

nights listening to Jim

us & the mojo man

nothing but cigarettes

to get us through ‘til dawn

& I wanted to be your lover man

hold you close against the cold

with everything I had

which could never be enough

& I loved you best as I could

as you held me closer still

sex was enough in those nights

to get us through poor times

& if I think of you now

your dark beauty registers

that & a sweet wide smile

what we talked of

thought about cared for

argued about

is all gone

back behind

lost in the miles gone by