Monday, 27 February 2012

One-Eyed Witness

Marie Colvin 1956 – 2012. There are two sides to every story...

A rat-faced creature, very often pissed,
Who hacks his way into our private calls
And brings contempt upon our ‘hallowed’ halls:
Perfidious, deceitful columnist;
Untrustworthy and faithless journalist.
The fourth estate has got us by the balls,
As back under his slimy rock he crawls
To itemise the lovers we have kissed.
By motorbike, by stealth, she creeps across
The border, to a place few dare to go.
Until she dies we cannot know our loss -
Nor comprehend the gratitude we owe –
As thousands perish in a foreign land,
The one-eyed witness sleeps beneath the sand.


Russell J Turner – February 2012

Thursday, 23 February 2012

'On the art of writing'

And the ink flowed like tears...

A stream of consciousness flows from my pen
Across the paper’s blank, unyielding stare -
Some flights of fancy take me who-knows-where?
It’s not a question now of ‘If’, but ‘When’
The spirit soars beyond its normal ken,
With all those secret hopes and fears laid bare.
I journey now, above all earthly care –
Composed, serene, within my scribing den.
But then, the faintest sliver of dread doubt
Begins insistent whispering in my ear,
And rises to a raging, throaty, shout
From all those bards and poets down the years,
Who care not if I bend or break their rules:
“Enough! Just write, you poor deluded fool!”

Russell J Turner - February 2012

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Leaving of Harar

The outlaw death of Arthur Rimbaud

He lies upon a stretcher in the square
With grim men, pistoled, daggered, standing guard:
The leaving of Harar is proving hard,
But harder still to stay under the glare,
Such hatred and contempt. And so from there
By camel, across countless burning yards
Of sand, at last a precious boarding-card
To France, with gold enough to pay the fare.
Then birds take flight around a drunken boat
That cuts the Meuse beneath those voiceless trees,
Where reputation grips him by the throat
And cancer drives him finally to his knees.
The widow brings her devil-son back home
From Marseille, to a grave under the stone.

Russell J Turner - February 2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Day That Love Was Banned

All watched over by machines of less-than-loving grace

The day that love was banned I packed my things,
That debris of my life, into a case
And headed for the coast – some other place
To hide all hope and joy under the wings
Of hawks. Whilst handsaws sliced the souls of kings
In half, machines of less-than-loving grace
Disfigured poetry and brought the face
Of beauty deep beneath, where no bird sings.
But birdsong broke then far along the beach:
Her footsteps, muffled by the surf and sand,
Still boomed like drumbeats just within the reach
Of outstretched arms. She stopped, and took my hand,
Then climbed the cliffs and sat us down to teach
Our hearts to soar, the day that love was banned.

Russell J Turner - February 2012

Monday, 13 February 2012

So pale she was, so pale

S├ęgou, Mali, 1993

She floats above the river like a shade
Of summer in her yellow cotton dress,
As pale and perfect as the moon’s caress;
With blood-red fingers slicing down the blade,
Then tracing tracks across the roughly-made
Old linen of those maps, which only guess
At crimes the conquerors dare not confess.
She hesitates: for now she is afraid
I want her. But, in truth, we never met -
Just some conceit that I may know her need,
While empires rise and empires fall - and yet
The hope remains that we may still be freed
From fear, to lay a perfume on our sweat,
To have, to hold, to love until we bleed.

Russell J Turner - February 2012

Thursday, 9 February 2012

I'm on the side of the angels but the devil is my best friend

For all the Ranters in the audience...

I went out on the piss with Satan’s mates,
Cruising up and down the Old Kent Road;
Searching for the Goddamned motherlode,
A box of hope, a perfect twist of fate,
Jerusalem – now Lucifer’s estate
That flourishes through streets where Blake once strode,
Where angels longed to tread, where beauty flowed -
Some fucked-up paradise of fear and hate.
But then, outside the World Turned Upside Down,
We met a bunch of loved-up seraphim,
Who spread the spirit of the dove around -
Big fish, little fish, shiraz, dope and gin -
Whilst shouting at uncomprehending crowds:
“You may only ever know the Lord through sin!”

Russell J Turner – February 2012

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The day I forgot my password...

The day I forgot my password an asteroid crashed into the Atlantic, generating a massive tsunami that engulfed Europe, Africa & the Americas, whilst throwing millions of tons of water into the atmosphere and precipitating a ‘nuclear winter’ which wiped out 90% of animal & plant species on the planet. The cockroaches were pretty fucking smug about it all.

The day I forgot my password the love of my life flounced out of said life to set up home in Brighton with some wanker called Digby. In a fit of pique I crept into their house and wired the front-door handle to the mains.

The day I forgot my password Richard Dawkins challenged the Pope to a game of darts in a pub in Hackney, in order to settle once and for all the question of the existence or otherwise of God. This historic match was abandoned halfway through the second set when a drunken punter glassed His Holiness.

The day I forgot my password the cat drank an entire bottle of brandy, stole a selection of kitchen knives and then hijacked the number 27, shouting “Take this bus to Cuba!” in a bizarre Yorkshire accent. It was trending on Twitter for literally minutes.

The day I forgot my password Tony Blair was caught naked in a brothel in Singapore, masturbating furiously as he snorted coke off some hooker’s pert little tits. “Well, at least nobody died” he chuckled, as they hauled him off in handcuffs.

The day I forgot my password absolutely nothing noteworthy occurred. I simply kicked my computer in the fucking teeth and put the kettle on.

Russell J Turner - February 2012

Sunday, 5 February 2012

28 Sonnets Later

The poem below is part of a project I'm involved in during February. Visit 28 Sonnets Later for more sonnety goodness.

The Prevention of Literature

After an essay by George Orwell

The glories that we find in fourteen lines
May justify those wars and battles fought,
Or timeless conflicts of another sort,
With portents, miracles and wondrous signs.
For there is power in a crafted rhyme
And beauty in a gleaming frozen thought,
But power, craft and beauty may be bought,
Then set to service in some evil time.
A time when we should heed the clarion call
And steel ourselves to face the common foe:
Though literature and journalism fall,
Yet poetry shall be the last to go;
Till jackboots echo, endless, down the halls,
As Orwell whispers “See, I told you so...”

Russell J Turner – February 2012

Thursday, 2 February 2012

oh it's unlust and the one dimensional boy

she clips her nails like a film star carves fame into tawdry caravan doors swooping aerodynamically down some red carpet into a golden future where young men file her tax returns and fawn on hearth rugs drunk on hearth rugs till that faded photo microphone thrust where did it all go wrong just sing that same old song but who’s this puppy on your shoulder is it marriage is it love the fingers scrape again again oh it’s unlust and the one dimensional boy

Russell J Turner – February 2012