Poetry for today

Neil Young Live At Massey Hall 1971: Journey Through The Past

Neil Young & Bob Dylan were the sound track to my angst ridden long lost youth & lost loves – ‘What beautiful agony of feeling ,
for which there is no healing,
the songs ring through my time,
years of crumbling rhyme ,
questing for some truth ,
in naivety of youth ,
old I see the ways ,
how short now are my days,
darkness coming down,
Soon I must leave town,
as just someone unknown ,
alone with my dead phone,
no more talking now or hope,
Just dangling from a rope.
by Robert Cook March 2007
Robert Cook back home from Norwich, in front of his old shed , Victorian wheel barrow and broken push chair on a rubbish heap , summer 1974. Photographed by his dear mum, the late Nellie Gladys Cook.

Rita MacNeil – “It’s A working Man I Am” (with lyrics) – YouTube

As a poet and song writer, Beckett was a great inspiration to me. I never studied English Literature because it clashed with maths, but spent a lot of time reading him , including in French, during my final rather spaced out year at the University of East Anglia in the early 1970s. Robert Cook



why not merely the despaired of
occasion of

is it not better abort than be barren

the hours after you are gone are so leaden
they will always start dragging too soon
the grapples clawing blindly the bed of want
bringing up the bones the old loves
sockets filled once with eyes like yours
all always is it better too soon than never
the black want splashing their faces
saying again nine days never floated the loved
nor nine months
nor nine lives

saying again
if you do not teach me I shall not learn
saying again there is a last
even of last times
last times of begging
last times of loving
of knowing not knowing pretending
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love

the churn of stale words in the heart again
love love love thud of the old plunger
pestling the unalterable
whey of words
terrified again
of not loving
of loving and not you
of being loved and not by you
of knowing not knowing pretending
I and all the others that will love you
if they love you

unless they love you.

Working Girl

www.youtube.com › watch

Working girl flushed red

Out of school and keen for bed.

Ruddy rugged zest for life,

Eager to become a workman’s wife.

Working girl with rotten teeth

Tripping over Hampstead Heath

Struttin’ down to Camden Town

Wears more makeup than a circus clown.

Working girl with CSEs

Risks her life from  STDS

Working girl not understanding

Has taken off, no thought of landing.

Pills to take in a case condom fails

Crimson varnish on finger nails

High heels tapping in the park

Headlights burning through the dark

Alleyways and avenues ,

She is there for him to abuse.

What would she do with education

When she excels with masturbation.

Beauty fades , skin turns to leather

Hers is no job in stormy weather.

Bang bang bang against the wall

She takes them all, short and tall.

Better that than life alone

With her fags and telephone.

We’re all doomed I have to say

Like autumn leaves just blown away.

R,J Cook September 1979

Temporary Blip by Robert Cook, 2003

Old folk at home watching TV repeats

young ones fighting in the streets,

young ones fighting in the bars ,

killing each other in motor cars.

Urban warriors, black & white,

rats from the woodwork, out in the night,

Jennifer walks, takes a wrong turn,

spins when she hears the tyres burn.

Headlights flicker and flash like stars,

one then another go racing in cars.

She steps back in horror, nearly cut down,

heart beats go faster on this side of town.

His breath makes war with her perfume,

she’s another statistic, lost in the gloom.

Boy racers spinning, drowning her screams,

killing her hopes, ending her dreams.

This is a country with get up and go,

glittering adverts, all just for show.

Now there’s the sirens, like big cats gone mad.

Is this a city or an apple gone bad.

The economy’s slowing, a temporary blip,

time to get moving, find a big ship.

Islands of tower blocks light up the sky,

life specks inside them live and let die.

Lifts smell of urine, show messages of hate,

a whole world away from cottage and gate.

Life must adapt or it’s no more,

that’s why someone has got nine locks on their door.

Some have got guns, sticks or knives,             

Some are too stoned to fear for their lives.

The economy’s growing, Blair says so,             

Don’t sail away, please don’t go.

No don’t panic, there’s hope for us all,

England’s a place where you can walk tall.

England’s a planet, a world on its own,

where people are judged by the style of their phone.

England once swung like a pendulum do,

But spin now it does, like a drunk in a stew.

Copyright Robert Cook 2003.

Under The Bridge January 18th 2021

By Robert Cook

Living by the old canal, Aylesbury October 2020

Under the bridge where the water flows past

Is a man in a bed who is free at last.

He lived in this place in his ragged clothes

When people went by they turned up their nose.

He had no TV or internet connection

He had no means to vote in the election.

Pictures in his head while he froze in the Cold

Wondering how he lived to be so old.

Down in the town he would beg for food

Eating scraps improved his mood.

His water came from the mouldering canal

This was his world, a private hell.

How did he get here, did he come by boat

How come his life just didn’t float.

It did for a while, he had a house

There he lived like a little mouse.

Lost his job at the stroke of a pen

Man in the office said he didn’t need men.

The world was changing, all re arranged

It helped you survive if you were deranged.

His wife went to work and he lost her approval

She called the police who sorted his removal.

She said he had started speaking out of turn

Not good enough now he couldn’t earn.

She had a job at the local bank

Then ran off with a very rich Yank.

She took him to court for his abuse

When truth be told he was no more use.

She copped the lot of his life time achievement

So off he walked with his bereavement

All squeezed into two battered cases,

He was just another loser in the human races.

Robert Cook January 18th 2021

Nothing to Say By Robert Cook, January 17th 2021

Life don’t flow, doesn’t ryhme

Long road back before my time

Wish mum & dad were never there

To make a boy with golden hair.

Wish I’d stayed lost in space

Never ever shown my face.

Not a footfall on this earth

No good for me, no real worth.

Full of animals, humans too.

Put the humans in the zoo.

Wish I wasn’t one of those

Planted here where bad grows

Where liars cheats lead astray

drive the good ones far away.

Mum and dad from depression years

Parted young many tears.

Wars for who, rich folks way

Had to go, no real say.

Say hurrah for democracy

Believe all that, then U can’t see.

All the dead from long ago.

Hear the bands, all for show.

Glory, glory, vote for me

Then see things you’ll never see.

See the world on a plate

fight the people, don’t relate

Fear the police, learn the rules,

rebellion is all for fools.

Deprogramme yourself, vaccinate.

Learn to love what you hate.

Call the man if there’s trouble,

Take more pills when you’re seeing double.

Madness is so normal now

Don’t worry, don’t ask how.

Watch the news, do as told

Then they’ll let you get old.

Be careful, pass the mark

Then they’ll put you in the dark.

In the dark, in the gloom

They will lock you in the room.

Slowly dying, dying fast

all you had is in the past.

Scream for release , scream aloud

On your knees, don’t be proud.

Then in time, time will pass

There’ll be no more , no more grass.

No more sky to fly away,

No more words, nothing to say.

R.J Cook January 17th 2021

Robert Cook Summer 1974. My late mother Nellie Gladys took this picture and bought my first electric guitar from her cleaners wages, on installments. I was fresh out of UEA and wanted to be like Bob Dylan. When my girlfriend Helen dumped me, I was going nowhere, working in a garage. So I said to her ‘So it’s all over now baby blue.’ She looked at me with contempt, saying ‘You & Your Songs.’

Bed Sit Girl By R.J Cook

Bed sit girl, water colour sketch by R.J Cook

Bed Sit Girl

Bed sit girl now must work as a hooker.

She lives in a room with a small cooker.

Her clients arrive by the light of the moon.

She hates them all and will give up soon.

All she needs is a lot more money.

Then life can be just milk & honey.

Before the plague she worked in an office.

Now this poor girl must work an orifice.

A girl must live, there’s rent to be paid.

So bed sit girl gets laid and laid.

Up the stairs they come to her creaky bed.

They use her face with her lips so red.

Her life is a dream, a hopeful past.

The future’s gone, it didn’t last.

One day there will be nothing left,

Just a corpse but she did her best.

R.J Cook September 6th 2020

Imagining Tony Blair as the white rapper star he always wanted to be.

The Bliar who set fire to the Middle East and then got paid well as the Middle East Peace Envoy.

Dis me song in de line o’duty
I’m phoney Bliar lookin’ snooty
Listen up to de true liar
Am gonna set de world on fire

Phoney Bliar rocks again
Phoney Tony I’m insane
Wid me on lead, Boy Bush on bass
We blast de planet into space

Phoney Tony playin’ de lead
Me band we call ‘Total Greed’.
‘Human Rights’ now number one.
Foolin’ de people, havi’n fun

Freed Bosnia Kosovo as well
Turned Middle East into hell
Open de doors for refugee
We de band set you free

Freed for de rich not for you
Phoney Tony’s still brand ‘New’
Me not bad, me not good
Me just king o’ de ‘hood’.

War Crimes here, war crimes there
All 4 U , I don’t care
Course I’d do it all ag’ en
Boy Bush and me, we real men

Any chords will do for me,
Phoney Bliar, I’m still free
My guitar hardly used
Not like u not abused

Distortion pedal is full on
Just like me, it’s a con
Never get me Phoney Blair
‘Rock Star’ see my mental stare.

Robert Cook June 30th 2020