Friday 18 April 2014


Last post I mentioned that I'd found some old poems in the loft. I am beginning this post with the only one that worked. It is a short poem and echoes some of the ideas I used in a recent post.


Lenin in America
homeless in the Dustbowl
on the run from hunger
no police on his trail
just another faceless man in ill-fitting shoes

Woody in Russia
learning to play the balalaika
talking blues on the banks of the Danube
getting married when the mood takes him
starts to travel when he feels the urge

March 1999

I remember I was reading a book about the Russian Revolution at the time and how during the Soviet period children were told of Lenin's pre-revolution travels around the country, this taking on an almost religious aspect with him converting whole villages to his cause. Nonsense of course. I think I'd reread The Grapes of Wraith as well. If I remember it correctly Tom Joad leaves prison in ill-fitting shoes, arriving back at the farm he complains that his feet hurt or as he says: his dogs are barking.
Now a recent poem. I think some of the ideas may need explaining- the death-knell of a poem is when you have to explain it! Anyway some science. In 1909 Franz Haber discovered a means of fixing nitrogen in the soil that has lead to the development of artificial fertilisers, in turn these have made possible the huge population growth over the past century. Malthus warned of the dangers of the population growing beyond our ability to feed it.

The trick of fixing nitrogen bought us some time,
so we fuck like rabbits and sit in our own shit.
Just beyond the circle of light,
cast by the burning of hydrocarbons,
the shadow of Malthus circles,
snaps at our heels,
growls: one day soon, one day soon...

I have nothing to say about the content, I think the words speak for themselves.
On a lighter note I leave you with a video of Friends of The Bride, one of those bands that should have been big...


  1. Very nice Paul. Your first poem reminds me of the famous American picture.

    1. Thank you MsMariah. I know the portrait, it is very haunting. Strange to think it was taken not even a hundred years ago and we are once again in a similar plight.