guest contributions

Mark Yakes has been writing poetry and composing music for over thirty years. He has been a professional musician, music teacher, community arts worker, singer songwriter and recording artist. He has even invented his own 5 string guitar! leere were fortunate enough to work with Mark on the 2005 album 'Compassionate Ride'. Check out below some of Mark's poems from over the years (....and this 'YouTube' link with Mark sharing his array of talents : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Zucoq1vGg )

 

THE YELLOW BUS  (by Mark Yakes)


When lovers kiss

A yellow bus should go past

It's passengers, all trained acrobats

Should have candy-floss hair

Pink, blue

Or green: for in-between

 

Amidst the streamers, and champagne bubbles

Of the upper deck

They should somersault, tango and reel

 

Whilst, down below

Plasticine unicorns

Fashioned from a store of magic clay

Found in the conductor's locker

Come to life!

Bounding rainbow arc trails

From seat to seat

As the dancers spin their feet

Beat by beat

In the yellow bus

That should go past

When lovers kiss



WHEN THE LIGHTS GO ON (by Mark Yakes)



When the lights go on

And the clocks begin

Do they mix all the bits in a random tin?

And then start us up with a foolish grin

And say: "Find a way out of this"

 

And do we set to explore in our suits of pink

'Till we come to the edge of the precipice brink

Does the brink explode?

Do explorers sink?

Do we give ourselves head

As we tumble, tumble, tumble

Through the drink?

 

How are we so elastic?

Look how we form in bands

Is the way that we dance dictated

By the clapping of other's hands?

 

Or do we meet up with trusty Sherpas

Leaning against the wind

Do the clocks go ever onward?

Do the lights go finally dim?




PLAYTHINGS (by Mark Yakes)


Playthings and Paradoxes

Pandora’s boxes

Secrets with hidden drawers

 

Hypnotists and Unicyclists

Mirrored rooms with strange devices

Ceilings where there really should be floors




WORDS (by Mark Yakes)


Words are things to play with

Bright, white, light…

 

Quickens the pulse with rhyme athunder

Gypsy’s knives and conqueror’s plunder

Folds of clothes with torches burning

Crisp as icy skater’s turnings

 

Letters formed like Gallic roses

Blue desires acurl like hoses

Cusped arches, heliosynths

Architraves with Dorian plinths

 

Masons’ chisels, pens, dividers

Melodies that soar like gliders

Over views of evening skies

As rich and dark as blackberry pies




THE LETTER G (by Mark Yakes)


Take a train to Gloucester

Take it while you can

Before the first of April

Which is when they start the ban

 

'Cos the government's decided

{As governments sometimes will}

To introduce a new

And highly controversial bill

 

It's called the "Bill of Letters"

The moderates were appalled

To find that all who disobeyed

To prison would be hauled

 

But now it's been agreed on

And now they have decreed

To make illegal anything

That starts with the letter G

 

They'll start with Gypsies, Greeks and Gaels

And Galleons and Gangs

And then move on to Gammon Steaks

And Garden Gates and Grans

 

Then Green and Grey and Gold and Gay

And all that's Great and Grand

And Gifted, Gentle, Generous and Gracious

Will be banned

 

But it's for the best! It's your request!

They’ll slyly let us know

As Gobs and Gits and Guano shits

Are seen to go below

 

But Galleries of Galaxies?

Gazelles and Gulls and Geese?

Ghosts and Goats and Gyroscopes?

You'll have to tell the police:

 

"We start with G, we cannot lie

For G is what we are..."

And then get charged and carted off

To prisons dark and far

 

And Gamma Rays from Gallifrey

Globes with Glasses in

Giantess's Genitals

Giggles, Groans and Grins

 

Gremlins, Goths and Goblin Moths

And Gorse and Grouse and Gnomes

Will have to find their ways

Without their families friends and homes

 

Writers will be flummoxed...

Painters will be too...

Imagine all those still-lives

Without the things that Grew

 

And Gradually and Grimly

We'd all of us forget

That something was missing

In the G-man's safety net

 

But maybe they'll be thwarted

In all they plan to do

To stifle all these things

That simply came alive and grew

 

'Cos as they try to make us all

So G-less, clean and swell

They might, in error, wipe out

Guns and Governments as well

Singer/Songwriter, Poet and Performer Eamonn Harvey has released a number of albums and written pieces over the last 25 years. He explores a range of themes in his work from storytelling, the importance of  musical heroes,  life as a school teacher (....and he's worked in a few!) and from within his own precious Celtic heritage. We are delighted to share some of Eamonn's work here  at leere.co.uk. Best Wishes Eamonn!

Tiofadh  An Sambradh (Summer will come) by  Eamonn Harvey

 

 Sing,Softly,Sing a Song of Sad Farewell

  Jingle,Jangle,Joyful small dips in the Wishing Well

  Sleep a sleep of peace my love

  Summer will come

   Again

 

  'Vignettes’ by Eamonn Harvey

     

Riding on the Dolmus up to  Kabak...through Faralya and  Yuva

I look at the gentle,smiling faces and think of you

How you would have been enchanted by the view

And the visit to Attila’s for Tahini and Sage tea

And up into the hills in the arid heat

The little Dolmus winds its way...each and every day..up this mountain road...where I stand alone....incomplete

 

 

Subtle,Stickleback, Stowlangtoft, Suffolk  West

Across the bridge of childhood rests

Old rooks rise above the Elms and Sheepy Droves

Memories of Lucky Dips from George Tuck’s sweetshops long since gone

And Auntie Peg’s flint cottage standing so forlorn

Gentle Lanes lead me on to figments of my boyhood dreams

The orchard where I tempted fate in a derelict,deserted Morris 8

And watched the keeper with his gun—where pigeons fell crimson blood chested—at the time it seemed such fun

Now these dreams all seem to diminish---the man I have since become

 

Beautiful country----Ireland of Dreams

My home in the Comeraghs—mist softening fields

Turf-fired evenings---Bunmahon Strand

Kittiwakes soaring—holding your hand

My sense of belonging at last is instilled

My own Anam cara-at peace and fulfilled’

THE FACTORY ACADEMY (by John Kinane)

When they step out to the other side

Make sure they are the models described

Obedient and clean, just as prescribed

Trust in the academy production line

Value added and progressed tracked

Fit for purpose, packaged and stacked

 

Teacher……………“Stick to the template”

No matter what

Don’t motivate or deviate

Remember the plot

No individuality

Charisma or flair

Cut out the humour

Pretend you care

 

It’s a grand parade of inane individuals

Processed and classified with positive residuals

Ready for use in our brave new worlds

Trust in the academy production line

Institutionalised bullying stereotyped lies

Dehumanised products no light in their eyes

 

Teacher……………“Stick to the template”

No matter what

Don’t motivate or deviate

Remember the plot

No individuality

Charisma or flair

Cut out the humour

Pretend you care

 

If the factories performance shows invention

They will come under scrutiny through inspection

If inspiration is used you will get intervention

Trust in the academy production line

A new linear structure uniform on time

Schooled factory primed and sublime

 

Teacher……………“Stick to the template”

No matter what

Don’t motivate or deviate

Remember the plot

No individuality

Charisma or flair

Cut out the humour

Pretend you care

 

So here we are at the factory gates

Select and synthesise your class awaits

A generation of clones produced by the state

Trust in the academy production line

For you knew it would always be fine

When you sell your autonomy right on time

 

Teacher……………“Stick to the template”

No matter what

Don’t motivate or deviate

Remember the plot

No individuality

Charisma or flair

Cut out the humour

Pretend you care

 

HUMILITY (by Dom Hanway)

 

In  the face of adversity it takes great strength 
In the face of stupidity your work is at length 
For a fool  who thinks he  always knows better
Who will wake up one day wrong and however
Will realise that he just might never
Possibly have it any better,

Full of  kindness and  understanding, 
It will lead you to  shattered,
For  someone who thinks that sometimes things don't matter,
It's tried and its tested 
What else can there be

Let me say it's....

From someone who will always love….

Your precious humility.

SHADOWS (by Dan Ingram)

Troubles wear down my mind 
Through the storms we call life 
But I knew you were with me 
I felt you hold me tight 

We're all going somewhere 
But now I'm neither here nor there 
I feel lost, in the crowd alone 
As a tear trickles from my eye 

I can't believe 
What life can do 
When I lost myself in losing you 

I don't believe 
I'll ever see 
Someone of such beauty 

In all my life 

But I'm never far from you 
You always pull me through 
When the storms break my mind and my body 
My shadow will hold on

UNTITLED (by Chris White)

 

Walking along a familiar path, through a familiar air.

Walls stand tall but do not forebode, these are the walls of home.

From the deepest of oceans, the light of a million stars comes to rest in the windows of a soul.

Pausing for a sparkle...

then back to the race,

a memory of the heavens moves on.

 

An intense spark of life in the passing of forever, bearer of a gift much maligned.

For “Insignificant” is an ugly word, we all become part of the celestial shroud.

That memory which lingered so gracefully in our eyes took a piece of us on its flight through the sky.

 

Walking along a familiar path, through a familiar air.

Light-years from here and now, thoughtful eyes look up at a million stars.

Pausing for a sparkle...

Our memory moves on.

Fusing another soul to the sky.

READING THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT  (for Vanessa)

 

No single day will unfold

Without the voice of the woman you know

Without her hold

Over your heart, over your head

Let her carry you in new ways, by whisper

At any moment

It will come

No sunny day will pour out its stream of light

Without the spark of the mother you know

Without her hold

Over your heart, over your head

Let her carry you in new ways, by promise

At any minute

It will come

 

In the days of an obvious love

You will mark the future with your own stride

Unravelling genius and genetic tides

You will read it

You will read it

In the days of an obvious love

You will mark the future in your own time

Unravelling genius and genetic tides

You will read it

You will read it

 

No single night will unfold

Without the voice of the woman you know

Without her hold

Over your heart, over your bed

Let her stir you in new ways, in winter, in summer

At any hour

It will come

For no sunlit day will shine out its brightest light

Without the spark of the mother you know

Without her hold

Over your heart, over your head

Let her reach you in new ways, in song

At any hour

It will come

It will come

 

In the days of an obvious love

You will mark the future with your own stride

Unravelling genius and genetic tides

You will read it

You will read it

In the days of an obvious love

You will mark the future in your own time

Unravelling genius and genetic tides

You will read it

You will read it

Read her name

Behind cloud

A language that is all light

She holds you by the brightest light

Here it comes

……mit Flustern, Versprechen, Winter, Sommer und Gesang

-Yes, whisper, promise, winter, summer and song -

Near the sea

Share in it

Every season

You will read it

You will read it

 

 

 

 

SIDNEY DAVIS - BAKER AND CONFECTIONER  (by Stephen Vaughan Williams)

 

Sidney Davis – Baker and Confectioner too

A kinder man I never knew.

Kneading dough into the baking tin,

Onto the shovel and into the red, hot oven, thrown within.

 

Cousin George, with marzipan the cake is covered,

And sprinkled over with icing sugar.

Lettie, Sidney’s wife, taking care of front of shop.

A red-haired beauty, Cousin Pam,

A place where Ringo, George, Paul and Lennon knew,

Were passing notes to Pamela the bakery through.

 

Lettie would do the sums,

As all four Beatles bought penny bran buns.

Epstein would call and talk to Cousin George,

About the Beatles’ ploys and foys.

Ken Dodd stayed not so far away,

Where Leita Rose worked and played.

George Formby’s house was open shop,

For many a being, in to drop.

 

Not far away was Lark Lane,

Which heightened the gateway to Liverpool’s fame.

But where the bakery did once stand,

On Princes Park, upon a corner lot,

Now stands a big house upon this plot.

 

These memories must be written in poetry, for history’s sake.

For many a budding artist, star, to name a few,

Came to Sidney Davis – Baker and Confectioner too

A kinder man I never knew.

 

 

CLOUD ACTIVITY ( by John Kinane)

 

Little pretty candy floss cloud

Where are you going all cuddly and proud

With your twinkly shapes and white smoke

Wandering wispy with no sound or note

 

Little pretty

Puffy cloud

Dancing through

The light so loud

Glowing in the Brightening haze

What ever happened to Our silver days

 

But I’m sure I hear you on the stratus waves

Across the wings where the alto plays

In the direction of the northern sky

Floating light with cirrus high

 

Little pretty

Puffy cloud

Dancing through

The light so loud

Glowing in the Brightening haze

What ever happened to Our silver days

 

At night do you smother up tight

And play with the moon and others bright

Or do you flatten out and become a bed

Or play with the other clouds instead

 

Little pretty

Puffy cloud

Dancing through

The light so loud

Glowing in the Brightening haze

What ever happened to Our silver days

 

And when the sun shines across your lining

Do you dance with cumulo in hi ho timing

Flirting on cloud nine with altostratus

Enchanting and billowing with nimbostratus

 

Little pretty

Puffy cloud

Dancing through

The light so loud

Glowing in the Brightening haze

What ever happened to Our silver days

 

Do you skip along the thunder clouds

Rainbow colouring for staring crowds

Kaleidescoping through the prism infraction

With water droplets in the caption

 

Little pretty

Puffy cloud

Dancing through

The light so loud

Glowing in the Brightening haze

What ever happened to Our silver days

 

Oh cloudless sky and starry night

Why is my cumulo not shining bright

Stars and moon and sun gone with her

Across the universe to dust and wither

 

 

DISMANTLE THE WALL, SILENT FRIEND  (for the National Autistic Society)

 

I took a bite out of my hand

Not before I took a bite out of you

Cause you’ve got to be in synch, silent friend

With the love and the trust that I do

 

If you can’t reach dependable, silent friend

Then you’ve got some way to go

If you can’t stretch our time out together

Then we’re unlikely to grow

 

Some cannot make that adjustment

As the world has such a hold

They shy from standing alongside our needs

That’s where a silent friend must be bold

 

It might be that we’re all somewhat autistic

I mean who doesn’t wish to foresee every twist

As life drives us forward, silent friend

With worry and with risk

 

So build me a structure, silent friend

Spend every juncture in the moment

Work beyond idle definitions

And be my greatest exponent

 

‘Man have direct contact with man’

 

…for I don’t bite out of violence

 

Take my hand

Dismantle the wall

  

Start with the glow of a silence

 

Be

 

My Silent Friend

SEED LOOKS TO SPIRIT AND SPIRIT CONFIRMS

 

I split the seed

Not the atom

And looked on the drip, drip, drip

Of true growth

Barely liquid

And barely solid

The patient pattern

Of human hope

The strain of Nature

Against the stain of Man

Like Spring in full

I glean a view

The plainest ways

Given out freely

Breaking circles

And pushing men anew

 

Wild

Wild seed

Against the vanities

That we hold and feed

I need air

The loving thing

Perhaps the thing that got me there

Like a scented trail

I send the message

That seed looks to Spirit

And Spirit confirms

All of it here

Beyond religion

 

And as our rooms fall bare

In the quiet we stumble

Towards a sort of self-birth

Not disguised by season

Love, like acid

Can detach the surface

Love, like milk

Bursts forth with reason

 

Wild

Wild seed

Against the vanities

That we hold and feed

I need air

The loving thing

Perhaps the thing that got me there

Like a scented trail

I send the message

That seed looks to Spirit

And Spirit confirms

All of it now

Beyond religion

 

Those plain ways do shimmer  

Tuned to a child’s sleep

Underneath the moment

Recall the seed

We walk in light there again

You were with me too

It was all outside of memory

Inside the shell

Barely solid

Patient pattern

Surrendering made easy

Like an opening

Hurtling into love

Our days in motion

Us spinning our world

Against the stain of Man

 

Wild

Wild seed

Against the vanities

That we hold and feed

I need air

The loving thing

Perhaps the thing that got me there

Like a scented trail

I send the message

That seed looks to Spirit

And Spirit confirms

All of it stretching

Beyond religion

 

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