Slowly But Surely

The mostly lyrical musings of Kevin Mitchell, 29 March— 15 September 1991.


A Month Of Sundays
A Sorry State Of Affairs
A Year Past
An Attempted Suicide Writes...


Come On In (The Water's Lovely)
Crammin' For Life
Crime And Admonishment

Dead At Twenty-One
Delete As Applicable \ Two For The Price Of None
Don't They Just
Dull (And In Part, Not Very Original)

From Beginning To End (Complete Nonsense?)

Great Balls Of Confusion

Hard Times

If Only

No Place Like Home
Not Really A Politically Biased Statement At All

Poetry At Two O'Clock

Sad Times
Sat In The Sun All Day

The Choice Is Yours
The Person I Shall Always Remember
The Visitor
Things I Like (I-III)

Under Duress

Wot No Third Verse


Come On In (The Water's Lovely)

Well I was just a young boy
Playing rock 'n' roll
Didn't know I needed anything to save my soul
'Til one fine day a voice called to me,
It said: "Come on in, don't you know it's for free?"

I couldn't make it out at first
For sure. And it would've been wiser to ignore
Then clear as day, it called out again:
"My son, hop on board this gravy train

"Come on in, the water's lovely
Feel the sands of time
Between your toes
Under your feet the grass is growing
But where it's greenest
No one knows."

So I took a dive
Into the pool of darkness
Not knowing what was on the other side
Like a fool, I took their word for it
And when I got there
I could have cried

"Come on into the sea of cliches
Fortune awaits all those within
You're free to condemn
Cast the first stone
Those of you who are without sin"

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If Only

I used to drink to forget
A long time ago

Because now I can't remember
As the last glowing embers fade and die
Before my eyes

My sorrows drowned for another night
And go home

If only I had a place to go
If only trudging in the snow
Were just another trivial past time
Not the game plan of my life
Searching for a not-too-soggy box
Before they come to wash us away
And change the locks

I used to wander lonely as a cloud
But no daffodils ever lined
The paths I trod
The spring in my step; forever autumn
Cordoned off from your reality
Except when you endulge
Self-consciencely, bringing little cheer
But once a year
With your own edifying brand of charity

If only it were like that all the time
If only we weren't cut down in our prime
Fighting for justice on the front at home
Blunted every which way in the struggle
For a decent life isn't too much
To ask, though isn't to get
So don't think of holding your breath just yet

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A Month Of Sundays

Ending never
Somewhere I bet that weekend is still going on
And on, and on...

As one day drifts into another and another
Another, hapless, answers the call
Until the chain is complete
Bonded never to be broken
Unlike the promises we vowed to keep

Only bones dragged over the stone
Will snap and splinter
There shall be no winners
When the winter, discontented turns
Yea unrelents
'Til we are all six feet under

Drifted far and wide
With your conscience as our guide
We left our troubles on their doorstep
Bundled up with joy
Slipped our shackles, rang the bell
And ran away

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Hard Times

I am so annoyed
I travelled there and back again
Electric circuit training
There was a short
And I was cut off in my prime

All that passed was immemorial
Curiously reminiscent of that which has never been
At the same time and place
As things for ever seen

The block mentally placed
Within the sphere of trust
Decomposed the tune
The supposedly incorruptible corpse of sensibility
Made to sing for its supper, au naturel
And lead the minions of task
A merry dance

The pie-eyed pipers, bald, irregular
Caress with gay abandon the wry
Caught up in the miseries of those less fortunate
Than being given to receive
The humble gesturing of others

Never, when we are in the slant
Condone the passing before dark
Any more than extenuating confessions
Of Edwardian disloyalty

These times
Hard by one and all
Regret not the new dawn
‘Til mourning comes to call

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Great Balls Of Confusion

Don’t confuse the issue
What you want vs. what you need
You are one, of that I’m sure
But which? I have no clue
And to purport as one
At the expense of the other
Is a luxury I can no longer afford

Too rare a bird to cage
Yet too precious a beauty to lose
Transient of my humane condition, that is you in a nutshell
Kernel-in-chief on the emotional front
Waging war on the blues
That scream at me their murderous intent
In my slumber each and every night

The hardest of my life
To make or break
That is another question
Though in some respects the same

For now and always
The paths we choose to take
Effect our future generations
Yet unconceived

Goodness gracious!

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The Choice Is Yours

A waste of space
Lacking adequate metre
Going nowhere at a pace
Defeating all objections raised
Causing wrong targets to be fazed

A specialist in nothing, that is I
Savaging all and sundry
Without ever asking why
The rabid rottweiler of rhetoric
Or the toothless terrier of task?

Make up your own minds, for once
Or for all times be at peace
With that which about you lies

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Dead At Twenty-One

Dead at twenty-one
Count them all the years gone
An end to the fun
So much amounts to nothing
What a senseless waste
Sounds of hollow mocking
Upon your door
The angels knocking me down
With a feather
I know nothing can last forever
But that does not make it right
In any way, with nothing left to say
Dead at twenty-one

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Sad Times

Sad timed indeed
Putting want before need
Like the cart before the horse
That you’re to lead
To water
Or being divorced from reality
When you really oughta
Consummate the marriage
That has figured o’er the years
Throughout muck-raked thick
And thinly veiled tears

What will it come to?
No mistake about that
Have two house points
And a pat on the back
To the wall, says it all
What more can be added?
Padding out the story
With its glorious aberrations
And premature elations
Always brought down to earth
By re-evaluation of life’s true worth

Sad times indeed.

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Wot No Third Verse

The power of thought
Strong and clear in my mind
The mistakes of al
That I must put behind me
Stretch off into the distance
The brick road I was too yellow to follow
Futures past.

At least I can reassure myself
That it won’t last
I can see a herald bright
Coming fast
To announce my rebirth
And damn and curse
All those who held me back
Highlighted all I lack

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Dull (And In Part, Not Very Original)

Duller than the dullest thing
Blacker that the night
This total lack of empathy
Compounds your blinkered sight

While all around you bud and bloom
My darling, may you learn
That some day soon
The all-consuming fires they will burn

Cha-cha-charred the dance
Pie-eyed pipers called the tune
A personality perusal revealed
More phases than the Moon

But still a jot is greater
Than all who care for you
In your squalid existence
What worth to what you do?

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Delete As Applicable \ Two For The Price Of One

Negligible \ nominal \ subliminal \ abominable

Disputed \ ill-reputed \ demonstrative \ commuted

What does it all mean?
This never-ending riddle-sphinx
Like the rat beneath your bed
That crawled under there to die
Its decomposure penetrates
Your brainwaves as you slumber
Fails to protect from the perils of the night

One it’s done it’s over with
And laid to rest as well
Anon – the feline grouch spume forth
When ever speech prevails
Over paws for thought derailed
Never again to run on time

Punctual \ non-functiony \ hominoid \ homunculi

Gravity \ lavatory \ sunken \ depravity

So some are good
Some are bad
And some completely indifferent
But I couldn’t care less about those

Diffidence has always been
A tough act to follow
Without galloping inflation
Pertaining to your ego
The one-man show
Must go on and on and on
At all cost of brevity

Inevitable \ charity \ non-existent \ reality

Sorority \ sobriety \ monogamy \ defiantly

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Crime And Admonishment

Is it a crime to want
The jewels amassed by others
For themselves?

In a more prosperous time
Before the winter came

The withering stare of Mother Nature
Whore of the cosmos
Prostitutor of the seasons
She debased our values
Without reason
Within an instant
With her power

Here we are
Well plucked but seldom stuffed
Like so many turkeys
Nothing to give thanks for

Even the most liberal mind
Should be able to see
That it was no labour of love
To commit such an act
A con trick whould be closer
To the long overstepped mark
You can accuse me of being green
But my dog still knows when to bark

This unhealthy distribution
Breeds contempt
Like rabbits from a magic hat
Abracadaver – dead loss
Arguing the toss
Over what’s yours is mine

The vice – subversive grip
Ensures the pipping at the post
By those who have the most
Sell whatever you can find
To purchase peace of mind
For coming round the mountain
Is the hellfire breathing fountain
Of hypocritic oafs
And blithering buffoons
With their migrations to the south
And silver spoons in mouth
To call a halt to the proceedings

So here endeth the lesson
(A paranoid depression)

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Crammin' For Life

What d’ya know?
Better get it in quick
‘Fore it’s time to go

So here you are living it
Twenty-four hours a day
And still you feel that
You’re throwing something away
What is it with you?
How much more can you take?
I know that total commitment
It cannot be faked

Do you think I cannot see?
What are you trying to prove?
You can only triumph for so long
Then it’s your time to lose
Take a step back from it all
You’ll be no use to any one
When you’re dead and gone
And I know that you would want that
Least of all

This majority of humanity
Cramming for life
If you like
Is it really for the best
This testing yourself every day
And never letting it rest?

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A Sorry State Of Affairs

When you’re something less than nothing
You don’t amount to much
Believe me. I’ve been there
And back again

Once you get used to the torture
You no longer feel the pain
That doesn’t mean you don’t get hurt
But makes their efforts seem in vain

All the same
Life goes on until it ends
Who can tell what awaits us
Around the next of its bends
Is it death before dishonour
Or tools with which to make amends?

An apology to all sorts
To appease the basset hounds
Sodden liquid rich
Bankrupt of sobriety
Ill-received though your conception
Achieved that certain notoriety

Twin peaks: renown and repute
Their influence is not to be disputed
So your sentence gets commuted
And you begin again
With what little time remains
To make your mark
In contrast stark
To all previous coincidental
Monumental, transcendental
Presidential candidates
But you did nine (nein!)
Not knowing what to dial
Or where to draw the line
And if and when to cross it
To collect the parking fine

Well what did you expect?
Your just desserts
For Remaining static
In a doubly yellow state
Your cowardly cowardy custard
Proved to be less hot than mustard
And in the period, cooled off
To all our gains
But to your loss

And if this is not enough
For all that’s left
Then tough!

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Poetry At Two O'clock

Red alert!
Dive, dive, dive for cover
A previously undiscovered work of art
Is closing in
On your ever-decreasing encircled minds

Strike camp and up the banned
Run to the hills
But don’t forget to take
That little bottle of pills
With you for a bit of light relief
And some premature grief

To make you feel at home form home
On the range
Where the deer is down-right expensive
And the ants elope with termites
Not withstanding the estranged

Parent/teacher coagulated blood curdling
Screams that echo through the dreams
Of your children in their night-time pursuits
Absolving them of their cavorting
With less sentient beings that you or I

Who in our level-headed daze
Wandering lost in this great maze
That dominates existence
Endlessly stretching to the distant
Outer reaches of the mind

The gap that separates
And lifts we up on high
Plumose, Icarus like
Only to plummet
His faulty wax – more dripping
Than Borden: this busy Lizzie

Made of tin
Is as without as is within
Now trouble’s past
Yet air is thin
Like sky is blue
So be alert
Sharp as a pin
And let me leave
As I came in

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Under Duress

Deep within something stirs
The beast it is awake
Slowly, but oh so surely from day break
Life is pumped once again
Into its clotted veins
The constant snarl-ups cannot thwart
The purpose of each cell
From being carried to its end

Evolved of the urban primordial soup
Into a milliard busy bodies
Blinkered, conditioned not of want
But of inhumane greed
This, the life-blood of our nation
Part of a greater civilisation?
I do not think
Though show me another less so
And point me in the direction to go

This wild thing has long since been tamed
And no longer conforms to my aims
I set my sights a little higher
To ease the misery for all time
It may be a crime, I know
But I’ve got to kill it dead

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Things I Like (I-III)

Hot, sticky
The sultry sense that summer is here
Laying in bed
The morning sun blazing
Through the curtains
And the smell of fresh cut grass

Still air, not a sound
Then all around
The pit-a-pat
Then crashing down
It seems so fine
Viewed from the hill
A storm in the tea-cup of a valley
That once was home

A moonlit night
An open road – destination unknown
With nothing to abate
The throbbing of the engine
Except the coming of the dawn
And a dwindling of petrol

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Don't They Just

From grace, tumbling down
Three blind dice thrown
Crest fallen, into darkness

Pardonnez moi
Ich bin communicating in
The language of international bleakness
Its strengths are my weakness, you see
So I give in once again
And submit myself humbly

Back to reality (again)
Trying not to weep
At the same time as
Washing the scum off the streets
The episode, it programed me
To react

Conditioned in that peculiar way
I went about my business
‘Til not a soul remained uncleansed

If this whole sorry state of affairs
Is lending itself to something more familiar
I’ll apologise and fade and die before your…

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The Person I Shall Always Remember...

…Is sadly no longer a physical part of my life, though an image of them shall remain forever etched into my heart and mind.

The first time we met it was purely by chance. I never even knew their name, yet in an instant – the time it takes to cross a smoke-filled room – all I needed to know had been relayed to my senses.

I had never been a believer of such phenomena before, but through the eye of the hurricane that my life had become I saw deep into their soul and all those years of waiting, suddenly they had not been in vain.

So during the night we passed in the great canal of life which links the separate planes of existence; though a little piece of me jumped ship and stowed away, ensuring the bond never to be broken.

Flesh, it may rot, and bones will for all eternity crumble into dust, yet some things yield not unto the sands of time: its perception cannot confine the intangible facets of the free spirit.

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Sat In The Sun All Day

(In acknowledgement of the sky during a respite in the typical English summer.)

So the summer has begun
At long last
The usual cloudy, grey expanse
Is from today a thing of the past
Now and for ever more
The beautiful blue is undisturbed
Heavenly in appearance
Except for the occasional
Soft white cotton wool ball
Undulating ‘cross the vastness
All the world’s a stage, yet beneath
Lest we forget
Life is mirrored: constant change above
Day by day, we breathe air
Always, but never look up
Yesterday, like the sky, is forgotten

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No Place Like Home

The desertion suggests, like desolation
Emphasising the point
That in spite of all our efforts
We still could not create Paradise
In the image of Eden. We toiled
In vain, only to destroy it all
Capitulating to out darker side
That which resides, dormant, within
Yet demands satisfaction at a whim

This is no place like home
Take me back, if you can
To the green belt fields, the rolling hills
Hidden now under your darkened, clouded future
A result of your lengthy acidic reign
The new wasteland stretches out endless
Like a vast soulless Sahara
Return me to Jerusalem

My heart now longs for nothing more
Than somewhere to call my own
A place to rest my weary bones
In seclusion from the endurance
That my existence has become
Oh how I search for that bed
Where at peace I can drift into eternal slumber

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The Visitor

There was a knock upon my door
Then another
Before I could investigate
Who is it who cannot wait?
I am but an only child
So It cannot be my brother

Alas, my worst suspicions are confirmed
As a person I am well learned
So now I have to remonstrate
I make excuses, claim it’s late
But still the salesman wonders why
I do not want to purchase his encyclopedia

Wait a minute, don’t I know you?
It can’t be but it’s true
Back in the old days, back in school
When I used to play the fool
You were the one they voted
The “most likely to succeed in
“Business.” Well look at you know
Your hairline is receding at a rate
Not that I’m one to intrude into others’ affairs
But where did you go wrong or I go right?
Yes I expect the story is long
Come in, sit down, I’ve got all night

A lengthy, lamentable tale then ensues
Encompassing all the misfortunes
And tragical issues
I will not bore you now with all the details
(And I find it best not to glance if you can’t afford a look)
Suffice to say I ended up with badly-bitten nails
And severely out-of-pocket
And with all his wretched books

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Blue, the cold, unofficial colour
Uniforms we must conform to
The sad, upper crust
Conservative through and through
Blue blood in royal veins –
When cut they bleed the same
The sky that brightens up the day
The words we must not say
The films we cannot see
Buzzing flies annoying me
Poetically descriptive –
The rolling ocean blue
Bluebeard, pirate of the high seas
The arch wife killer too
Little Boy Blue blowing on his horn
The blues in a smoky club ‘til dawn
Bluebird, the Campbells’ pride and joy
Hanging in the gallery proud – Blue Boy
The Danube, blue as Strauss had seen
From where I stood it looked a dirty green
The beauty of Pale Blue Eyes
The whens, the wheres, the whats, the whys

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A Year Past

A year past
So much has changed
Yet stayed the same
An ocean under the bridge has poured
But still – these stagnant waters
No ebb or flow can bring to bear

A year past
Rejoice as times anew dispose the auld
Wider and wider
Yet deeper still
The tings that came to pass

A year past
Gone in the twinkling of an eye
For better, for worse
Unrehearsed and merciless

A year past
Counting all the days spent
Cheap at any price
Paying no heed
Made for a free for all

A year past
Rub it out and start again
This is day one
The rest of life starts here!

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From Beginning To End (Complete Nonsense?)

To start, may I take this opportunity to make an inquiry
To ascertain how, when and if there is the slenderest chance of my slotting into your socially active diary
For the period beginning right this very minute and finishing just this side of never?

Would you believe it took so long and it still has ended not?
And to think I originally allowed myself the briefest of time slots
It only goes to prove that some things take longer than others
(If you cannot comprehend, go ask a selection of other creatures’ mothers!)

Still, now it’s up to you and I’d like to agree
That when one and two are locked up they never can be free
Like the rolling of an ocean or the tossing of a coin
As long as dramatics are fashion, cliché’s never far behind

So to finish, if I may, this whimsy of my wit
I must keep this verse flowing to the very lastest bit
Which is never very easy when you’ve nothing left to say
But I’ve still managed to do it anyway!

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Not A Politically Biased Statement At All

In the news
A myriad of views
Contrasting, conflicting
Occasionally interesting
The red, the white, and blue
Antagonistically counter-patriotic
Besotted amid blinkered ignorance
Of the multitudinous concept of the democratic process

In recess – lo, deeper in recession
The mire more foul than Myra
Though as unjustly unhindered
When the dirty work is to be done

The without-a-clue clucking clan
Roll their eyes in unison
As their king tut-tuts
Shedding the skin but not the guts
Beery, leery, airy-fairy the Devil may not
Caries, arch and foetid proclaim an end
Unjustified by any means
Apathetic, prophetic
Pathetic, prosthetic
Out on a false limb

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This page © Kevin Mitchell, 2010.