Old Scores: An Occasional Poem for Girrilang

By and | 1 October 2016

Three score years and then
Jean said
an allotment of words –
and then …
use ‘em up …
ya dead!
Freaky eh?
Yeh, well …
possibly true
likely false.

Someone of more repute than Jean
disputed …
‘What is truth?’
Wittgenstein opined
‘Whatever is the case.’
He might well be right.
Leaves the options open really.

Where is this place?
This third rock from the sun?
It’s on a gold plate
sent to space
not 3 score years back,
when a lamb’s leg was cracked
and the first sound
raced through OUR time / space continuum …
now wait a sec,
ya getting pretty tech-
Put another nickel in
the nickelodeon
Love these old times hits.
Mocking Bird Hill,
Killing me softly …

Ignorant of the devil
in the detail?
God knows.
Who the fuck was
Some old poof

gaily holidayed in Norway
with his friend
called Sven.
And then
back to
Cambridge …
Oxford …
Does it matter?
Metallica didn’t think …
Who does?

But thus spake Zarathustra
I am the crucified …
or was that Nietzsche
Whose dad was sadly mad
and died
when his words were all
The gospel according to Jean.
If ya know what I mean …
I’m not so sure I do.
A black history
arching back
aching back
to older times …
signs were there,
Yanks were there
(over here).
Who wasn’t?
We all had to come.
Some succumbed …
a need
to sow some seed
in foreign weeds,
a rank unguarded garden path
a new dark history.
Only you
may dig its mystery.

What is history?
One fucking thing
after another.
Some smart arse in
The History Boys
echo of some smart arse
1940s prof.
he said
One BLOODY thing
(after laughter, if you please).
… that’s history for you.
The old is new.
The new is old
i grow old
i grow old,
i’ll wear the bottoms of my trousers
in untold rolled up ways and byways
hike along some history’s highways.
What a fucking mystery
unless to be frank
I do it my way.

Black history,
dark history.
Don’t mention the war!
Whatever you do,
don’t mention the fucking war.
It saw you arrive.
Arrive and then survive.
Battles ever since
You’ve won most
and now there’s three score years and then
and three score scars
and then some.

Women are from Venus
Men are from Mars.
Venus is quite scarred
but armless enough.
Joke Joyce!
Thanks a bunch:
I had a hunch your play
could see the light of day
in something I had yet to say.
What’s a degree in Eng. Lit. all about
unless you get the right to shout
Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies
and other mysteries
that much remain unmentioned.
Like Nietzsche’s Übermensch.
The will to power.
How ya goin/ and
howza ya father?
if not …
who’s ya father.
rather have my history
than blanc mange of mostly other lives.

My dad’s wife had style.
Like Fred
he’s dead:
so’s she.
Soon too we all will be.
Slow down the talk
What’s the hurry?
Ya won’t be late!
Ya don’t have ta worry mate.
Take ya time.
We’ve got eternity
and then some.
Like three score years and 10.

Keats said
Beauty’s truth
Truth is beauty;
That’s all you need to know
on earth.
Those ancient blokes
knew a thing or three
or seventy.
Scores of things –
and so do you.
Secrets not for sharing
because you care too much
and as such
like the rest of us,
some dark dark history.
The mystery of your past is yours:
Tread lightly; don’t trample
all my Traumerie
Or else I die
It seems.

The whole world is a mystery.
Seven billion stories and …
Still counting.
Does it amount to
Who are we?
As Gaugin said,
Cometh whence?
Tarry where?
Hasten hither?
We all must needs to
(Fade to black.)

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