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The Gilt of Cain

Here is the ask price on the closed position,

history is no inherent acquisition

for here the Technical Correction upon the act,

a merger of truth and in actual fact

on the spot, on the money – the spread.

The dealer lied when the dealer said

the bull was charging the bear was dead,

the market must calculate per capita, not head.

And great traders acting in concert, arms rise

as the actuals frought on the sea of franchise

thrown overboard into the exchange to drown

in distressed brokers disconsolate frown.

In Accounting liquidity is a mounting morbidity

but raising the arms with such rigid rapidity…

Oh the reaping the raping rapacious fluidity.

the violence the vicious and vexed volatility.

The roaring trade floor rises above crashing waves:

the traders buy ships, beneath the slaves.

Sway machete back, sway machete again

cut back the Sugar Rush, Cain.

The whipsaw it’s all and the whip saw it all

The rising market and the cargo fall

Who’ll enter “Jerusalem” make the margin call for Abel?

Who will kick over the stall and turn the table?

Cain gathers cane as gilt-gift to his land

But whose sword of truth shall not sleep in hand?

Who shall unlock the stocks and share?

Break the bond the bind unbound - lay bare

The Truth. Cash flow runs deep but spirit deeper

You ask Am I my brothers keeper?

I answer by nature by spirit by rightful laws

My name, my brother, Wilberforce.

Invisible Kisses

If there was ever one

Whom when you were sleeping

Would wipe your tears

When in dreams you were weeping;

Who would offer you time

When others demand;

Whose love lay more infinite

Than grains of sand.

If there was ever one

To whom you could cry;

Who would gather each tear

And blow it dry;

Who would offer help

On the mountains of time;

Who would stop to let each sunset

Soothe the jaded mind.

If there was ever one

To whom when you run

Will push back the clouds

So you are bathed in sun;

Who would open arms

If you would fall;

Who would show you everything

If you lost it all.

If there was ever one

Who when you achieve

Was there before the dream

And even then believed;

Who would clear the air

When it’s full of loss;

Who would count love

Before the cost.

If there was ever one

Who when you are cold

Will summon warm air

For your hands to hold;

Who would make peace

In pouring pain,

Make laughter fall

In falling rain.

If there was ever one

Who can offer you this and more;

Who in keyless rooms

Can open doors;

Who in open doors

Can see open fields

And in open fields

See harvests yield.

Then see only my face

In reflection of these tides

Through the clear water

Beyond the river side.

All I can send is love

In all that this is

A poem and a necklace

Of invisible kisses.

Colour Blind

If you can see the sepia in the sun

Shades of grey in fading streets

The radiating bloodshot in a child’s eye

The dark stains on her linen sheets

If you can see oil separate on water

The turquoise of leaves on trees

The reddened flush of your lover’s cheeks

The violet peace of calmed seas

If you can see the bluest eye

The purple in petals of the rose

The blue anger, the venom, of the volcano

The creeping orange of the lava flows

If you can see the red dust of the famished road

The white air tight strike of nike’s sign

the skin tone of a Lucien Freud

The colours of his frozen subjects in mime

If you can see the white mist of the oasis

The red, white and blue that you defended

If you can see it all through the blackest pupil

The colours stretching the rainbow suspended

If you can see the breached blue dusk

And the caramel curls in swirls of tea

Why do you say you are colour blind when you see me?

The Battle of Adwa*

It was not one of Ethiopia

But Ethopia as one

It was not part of the sum that won

But part of everyone

It was not the heart on its own

But its veins that pumped on

It was not just the warriors

But where they were all from

Remember this;

How the story washed across the

Continent enslaved

Flooded with the story of Adwa

In a whispered tidal wave

From Kenya to Senegal

From Morocco to the Gambia.

The liberation began in Adwa in 1896,

And ended in South Africa.

* Ethiopian forces defeated the Italian invading force, first defeat of a European power by African forces during the colonial era.

Let There Be Peace

Let there be peace

So frowns fly away like albatross

And skeletons foxtrot from cupboards,

So war correspondants become travel show presenters

And magpies bring back lost property,

Children, engagement rings, broken things.

Let there be peace

So storms can go out to sea to be

Angry and return to me calm,

So the broken can rise up and dance in the hospitals.

Let the aged Ethiopian man in the grey block of flats

Peer through his window and see Addis before him,

So his thrilled outstretched arms become frames

For his dreams.

Let there be peace

Let tears evaporate to form clouds, cleanse themselves

And fall into reservoirs of drinking water.

Let harsh memories burst into fireworks that melt

In the dark pupils of a child’s eyes

And disappear like shoals of silver darting fish,

And let the waves reach the shore with a

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Inspire and be inpired

Open the dawn in the open sky
the laboratory - open the book, open the challenge, with open eyes. Open. Out. Look.

Open all minds, open all dreams, research, question Open all doors, open all senses

Open all defences, ask: What were these closed for? In the possibilities of light,

the nature of trust, the strength of unassailable us.

How strong the night lies as light aeriates the dark and atomic dreams multiply from a graphene heart

We who have walked the world in the name of here and where we came from

stand in this great city and say: I belong here, I belong

I bring my past, I bring my future, I bring my rights and I bring my song

I stand atop The University of Manchester - we belong here, we belong

Anthem of the North

The North Star leads the way
To the mountain top in awe
That, my friend, is why they say
Up up up… North

And so we build year after year
And we rise tide after time
We bring light to darkness
And we shine

Welcome to our future
And all she endows
This is our dream, our vision
This is our power, our house

This is the backbone of Britain
And they say it is cold
But there is nothing warmer
Than a Northern Soul

Even the tides of oceans speak of you
Upon their chosen course
“Bring as many waves as you can” they say
“for we are heading North”

And they come in waves to kiss our coast -
Urged on by the North Wind
The surge of river greets the Sea
“Come in” it says “come in”

The A’s the E’s the I’s the O’s the U’s
Flocks of vowels fill the night with song
Great they are and migrate they do
The North is where they belong

Daughters of suffragettes sons of mines
The digital revolution - the creation
True North you North
You heart of our nation

And our children grow wings
And soar across this earth
But home they are assured
Is the greatest place on earth

Oh North North I love you
You made me the best I could be
You waited with open arms
And took in a stranger like me

We are the beautiful North
The darkness of night bows
We are a waterfall of light
This is our power, our house