different by Phil Burns

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the smell is overwhelming
the others move away
with angry hands and voices
tell him he can not stay

he is confused and broken
unsure why he was picked
sly smiles at edge of vision
tell him he has been tricked

the child approaches carefree
with a clear unpoisoned mind
despite no common language
says his tormentors are unkind

she points up at the street lights
her eyes are twinkling stars
her words uncomprehended
still reach deep into his heart

the ill-will is forgotten
the mother leads the way
now gentle hands and voices
tell him that he can stay

to be different is unwelcome
except through a child’s eyes
until she too is taught to hate
with bigotry and lies

but he moves quickly onwards
to another hostile town
where angry hands and voices
will bring the curtain crashing down

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dancing anchors by anelephantcant

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I wander by the sea wall
around the port of St Tropez
the mist drifts soft across the gulf
the coast like you seems far away

two anchors sprawl across the rocks
tempted lovers touching hands
I pause and watch with bated breath
as they begin their fateful dance

I see rubbish burn in distant fields
dull grey as melting snow
the smoke curls thin on shadowed hills
like love’s ghosts from long ago

waves rumble soft beneath me
sea water salty as my tear
the tune brings thoughts of you my love
their music only I can hear

a shoe floats in the harbour
then starts sinking like a stone
I know just how it feels there
I too am drowning on my own

for once again I’m all alone
like Medville’s rusty anchor
but Venus once brought you to me
for that I’ll always thank her

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edinburgh by anelephantcant

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my friend ate crab and fresh baguette
she smiled in pleasure through the tears
I was surprised to see her there
she had been dead for many years

we had last met in the Grassmarket
she preferred to drive a van then
the MGB GT was quickly sold
I recalled she was a man then

the carpet was worn and multi-hued
it had been changed while I was eating
the old one showed beneath the edge
I knew then that I was beaten

when I asked her what the specials were
the waitress laughed and shrugged
she raised her palms and wandered off
I thought she might be drugged

my brother came but could not help
I thought he could put a mat down
somehow he knew I had no choice
it was time to move from that town

of the six who sat for dinner there
each one had many lovers
I felt that I was out of place
I had slept with all the others

I thought about unfaithfulness
whether she had been untrue
she confessed that they had been entwined
for just an hour or two

my crime had been indifference
her nakedness was subverting
she was not ready to forgive
the future bleak and grey and certain

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a poem

church bell’s chimes by anelephantcant

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a poem

once upon a poem
I fell in love with you
and in a breathless moment
my heart was filled with rhymes
of morning sun
sweet days of fun
soft evenings blessed
with church bell’s chimes

and now I hear you talking
to a friend as yet unknown
your voice is warm and laughing
ah yes I used to know him
and that cuts deep
as I recall
I fell in love with you
once upon a poem

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the sky

blue Scottish sky by anelephantcant

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the sky

the poet loves to contemplate the sky
though most folk say it is over my head
I like to savour each drop as I gaze lazily up
unless of course I’m at home in my bed

le ciel over la Med is quite dreamlike
with the occasional wisp of a cloud way up there
floating gently as high as an elephant’s eye
or a balloon with no string and no care

in Scotland the sky is much darker
covered in low-hanging menacing cloud
the promise of snow brings some joy and some woe
and the future may be thunderously loud

darkness delivers an alternative vista
diamonds sparkling in silver moonlight
your scribe’s eyes keenly scan it seeking out the Red Planet
once again admiring Vincent’s Starry Night

but the blue Scottish sky in the springtime
has a gentle tranquillity all of its own
this old heart reminisces of childhood summers it misses
when days were long and the sun always shone

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number 46 by anelephantcant

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warm summer days mean naught to me
I don’t care for golden sunbeams
I prefer to dwell in moonlight
and to spend my life in dreams

I recall those nights from times long gone
seconds crawled and hours ran
I remember you were woman
and for fleeting moments I was man

so many fragments in my mind
they never cease I can’t begin
yet still I see the traces left
by your fingers on my skin

those days in number 46
when we struggled free from strife
enough to eat enough to love
the best days of my life

but all the joy you gave to me
I dragged blind through each bleak mile
and never more was I to see
your truth your soft vague smile

they strangely disappeared one day
near the brow of Briar Hill
a moment wide a moment bright
a decade of dark cruel chill

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no direction

in clouds by anelephantcant

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no direction

winter creeps in from the east
cap lardier lost in misty shrouds
the sky is wretched dark and grey
my spirit writhes in clouds

sun shines warmly in the south
forgetting pain and dismal cold
but in the darkness left behind
my soul is bleak and old

for she is far off to the west
the angry tortured sea
broad prairies cities mountains high
that’s where I yearn to be

so I seek solace in the north
my land of ice and sleet and snow
even ‘mong the bonnie lochs and glens
all love seems long ago

now I wander aimlessly
unaware of the direction
it doesn’t matter where I go
there’s no dream of resurrection

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