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Ballad of the death of Federico Garcia Lorca (for Mr.Joe Wilkes)


The olives in the trees shine

likes shoes of patent leather,

too radiant is this mountain

for a man to meet his end.

Descending from the moon

are its cries of melted silver,

civil guards are not immune

but they are ready for the kill.


Where are the gypsies Lorca?

mocks the captain of the men,

Are they coming to this fiesta?

Are they hiding in their caves?

Did the fear unhinge their knives?

I cannot hear their saddle bells.

Did they discharge their horses

or are they dancing in their tents?


But all the stars responded,

quivering fiercely in the night:

You will ruin this poet’s body,

but you’ll never touch his mind.

O, the smell of blood and wax!

O, the anger of the fig trees!

No bullet from a fascist thug

will deter our birds from singing.


Dark, dark is the heart of Spain,

black reeds grow upon its chest.

All of the angels have departed

for the pain of Lorca’s death!

Heated youths rip off their shirts,

Virgin girls insult their mothers,

whimpers for a foreign Christ,

rage for the son of Granada.

You deserve to be loved

You deserve to be loved with your guard down,

with no make-up and your pants inside out,

when you wake up late with sticky eyes

and say you don't feel like you should work.


You deserve to be loved in your splendour,

in the midsummer dances under the stars,

when all you want is your wildest friends.

You deserve to be loved from a distance.


You deserved to be loved 'coz you lost a tooth

and never got money enough to replace it.

'Coz you can't see the gap between you

and everyone else's image of you.


You deserve to be loved for your longing,

for your restless mind that fails to give in,

for the days you spend counting mistakes

and failing to denote the spirt of sense.


You deserve to be loved with your mojo on,

jumping about like the world was your patio,

yelling you could have been an Olympian

if only your folks had got the school right.


You deserve to be loved 'coz you whimper

about insubstantial stuff like phone signals.

You deserve to be loved 'coz you met terror

and looked at the Kraken straight in the eye.


You deserve to be loved 'coz we all do.

No matter how bent you think your back is

or how far away you are from the moon.

In times of hate you deserve to be loved.

The Flower Lady 

When I asked you to wrap the roses in foil paper
For a woman who likes things modern,
What I meant was, save me from the pattern
Of knowing everyone but myself.
You see, I seldom say what I mean and most days
I long for someone, preferably malnourished, 
To cure my utter indifference to sanity and health.

It's the London thing I guess:
Drinking latte and worrying about train connections.
The city throws a curve ball to your face
And your life becomes the dance to dodge it.
Not much time for wisdom or enlightenment
Except in flower shops and street markets.
Don’t look at me that way! Where else should I find it?
Poetry has been kidnapped by comics and nerds,
Music silenced by myth-seekers and narcissists.
And art reduced to a way of exfoliating snakes.

Don’t wrap them in foil paper!
Tell me I am eerie and insane.
Give me an alternative to roses.
They grow feeble and they smell.
Give me your views and your telephone number.
Remind me of the wonder,
The magic, the splendour
In the veins of the world.

Yes, flower lady, I am up to the neck
With postmodern deconstructionist theories.
I want to love a human and wash my own dishes.
I want to plant surrealist daisies
In the coffee shops of Brick Lane.
I want to reinstate the dogma
Of being placidly insane.
I want to know myself enough
To let my demons out to play.
I want to know the right time to walk in and possess you. 
When I asked you to wrap the roses in foil paper
I was really asking you to let me start again.

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