Poetry


STREETWISE POEMS

PERRY GAMSBY


Gutter Angel, Five Years Old.

Copyright P.Gamsby 2004

Scabs and snot and grubby faces, hands imploring, traffic chasers

dirt and grime and filth abound, babies racking sobs of sound

heart strings pulled and throats caught lumping

sweaty. flesh. sheen and humping

more and more their loins spew life

no share their own of rich man’s tithe

no future theirs but graves so early

damn you Lord why won’t you do?

Smite them now their misery ended

to my eyes their plight offended

surely I don’t deserve this guilt

I pray to you in the house you built

I erase my shame with my buck in the collection

why should I suffer some peasants erection?

why give me shame and conscience too

Oh Lord what is it for me to do?

Keep my brother I don’t want him

Wash your own feet, my faith died

in the gutter of some Manila sidestreet

yet your love still burns inside

drag me up I sold my bootstraps

to feed the hunger in my soul

now I know what life’s like for them

gutter angel, five years old.

OUT OF STOCK SIR!

2005

The other day I went to play at the Gaisano House of Fakes

Watches, shoes, shirts and trews and purple iced sponge cakes

Spills on floor beside the door are fanned to make them dry

But ask for something particular and the girl will make you cry!

I’m sorry sir we’re out of stock, of that there is no more

Perhaps next week we’ll have what you seek

Please sir, don’t be sore!

A week does pass and back your arse does go to the Gaisano place

All agog with joy they’ll have your toy down the center aisle you race

The sweet girl sees you coming and knows her days are few

For foreigners don’t understand the reality like Flips do

Out of stock does not always mean that none of them is here

It’s an easy out to avoid the shout, Incompetence! My dear!

You can’t blame the Dong whose six month long, tenure is all he’s got

Why should he try harder, or risk his brain will rot?

Forgive them their trespasses, in their heads are more than rocks

But take it not so personally, when they say they’re out of stocks!

By thinking hard for others he may use up all his clues

By saying out of stock sir, he just gives us all the poos!


Helping Hands

2003

A Poem For The Philippines

A Peso buys your guilt a rest, from the kids that work the street,

Selling candles to the traffic, in their rags and naked feet.

You can reach the stars for two dollars, if you pretend that he’s a she,

The real thing doesn’t cost much more, but nothing here is free.

If innocence was ever here it’s now trampled in the dust,

From diesel’s screams and hollow dreams, hot bodies chilling lust.

As darkness falls and nature calls and decency’s cut asunder,

Their commerce done, their thoughts are one, for now there’ll be no hunger.

His inner beast has had its’ feast, for him a weekly treat,

For her and her kin it’s a nightly sin, but at least it lets them eat.

In a country where, Christ’s everywhere and Jeepneys quote the Psalms,

The people weep and life is cheap and helping hands?

Greased palms.

SONG FOR AMELITA

“A LIFETIME IN YOUR SMILE”

Copyright P. Gamsby 14/3/02

If I said I only loved you for a while,

Would you know I live a lifetime in your smile?

I look into your eyes-it’s like your soul it has no end,

There’s room in there for lover, for mother, and for friend.

And space for something more that words can’t name,

But I feel it when you’re with me all the same.

As if you’re there to defend me, in the courtroom of love’s trial

And sentence me to a lifetime,

Of living in your smile.

CHORUS

And distance works it’s tyranny,

Like a gambler plays his hand.

One choice is all I have to make,

Like a line drawn in the sand.

I either step across the line

Bewitched by your sweet guile.

Or waste life’s most precious gift,

Of living in your smile.

The first time that I saw you, I could not believe my eyes,

At last the true love of my life, after oh so many lies.

Forever might not have an end, but I had found its start

Your smile shone like a host of sunrays, lighting up my heart

I knew at once, without a doubt, my soul had met its mate,

You and me, same time, same space, it only could be fate.

Your presence held for me the same as finding the last tile,

To finish off life’s rich mosaic,

By living in your smile.

CHORUS

And now the years have done their deed and set us free at last

Together we can look back, at a warm and loving past

Our journey isn’t over, I’d say its just begun

Side by side forever more, we live again as one

That has been our saving grace, united did we stand,

Never once divided, we lived life hand in hand

You never left my side, walking many a hard mile,

Just so I could always;

Be living in your smile.

CHORUS

YOUR OWN BACKYARD

Perry Gamsby 1979

He surveyed the carnage with a weary eye,

The paddy where he’d seen, so many men die.

There was blood on the levees, blood on the ground

Blood on the bodies, lying around.

He heard a sound coming from the sky

And tears of rage, came to his eyes

Three choppers, just minutes late

It filled him with anger, disgust and hate.

So he walked away from the killing ground

Walked to a place, a place void of sound

And he sat for a while with his head in his hands,

The faeces of war, littered the land

He gazed at the heavens, despair on his face

And asked himself why? Why this foul place?

A voice answered his question, fast and hard

If not  Vietnam, then your own backyard.

HOORAY WORLD WAR NONE

Perry Gamsby 1979

Here’s to the dying, the dead and the living!

Here’s to old enemies, all is forgiven.

Here’s to the limbless, without legs and arms

Here’s to the children, no one they did harm.

Here’s to Korea, Vietnam World War One

A toast for the future, Hooray World War None.

THE IMJIM RIVER

Perry Gamsby 1979

The Glorious Gloucester’s was their name,

Four hundred brave men, called up again

Here they fought and here they tried.

To save us all, for this they died.

They fought at odds of ten to one

They fought for time, till we’d all gone

Their ammo low, they used their knives

And desperately fought, to save their lives.

Again and again, the enemy’d attack

By now they were fighting, back to back

But no one turned, and no one ran.

Now they were fighting, man to man.

And when they say, we will remember them.

I think of four hundred, very brave men.

And still the enemy, cower and quiver,

When they remember, The Imjim River.

The New Ayatollah!

Perry Gamsby 2003

I’d like to know, before I go

Just who gave George the urge?

To rid the world of evil scum

And hit the tit marked “PURGE”?

Was it a God given right to lead the fight

Against the men in the black berets?

Or something else, perhaps oil wealth

To make him end their days?

On whose command does he demand

They give up all their toys?

By any count he has a bigger amount

Of bombs and guns and boys!

But for those of you who’ll do the do

And end up face down dying

Don’t fret for George, the Tyrant’s scourge

He won’t be the one who’s crying.

Did I vote for him with a chad and a whim

Or his New World Govern-Ment?

But I’ll still die when he starts to fry

Those men in their desert tents.

So spare a thought for those you’ve bought

With your bad spelling and coca-cola,

We all suffer too, from what you do

George Dubbya, the New Ayatollah!

STICKY STAPLES

Sticky staples can’t be trusted,

Buy them now, before they’re rusted,

Stuck there in her chest and thighs,

Never ever between the eyes.

Shoot yer wad between the creases

(hope this gal’s not somebody’s nieces)

Sticky pages, torn and stained

Used every drop, not one remained.

Relief it came, and then the calm

Is that a hair, upon my palm?

The Anonymous Bear (Not a Poof)

Upon Her Neck A Southern Cross

Upon her neck a Southern Cross

The trademark of our local dross

And on her arms the names of cars,

Or planets, moons or distant stars.

But no, they were her kids it seems,

with names like Taisha, Jayden, Dreams

And dates of when they came to life,

Despite no man would call her wife

But who cares of these mere details

When so many marriages now’days fail?

Her mouth so foul her words are screams

At Taisha, Jayden, even Dreams

Her lack of life’s success their fault

An empty shelf in her moral vault

Where once our parents did invest

Good manners, speech, a sense of dress

She’s just the same as her own kin

You get back only what you put in

No way could she ever hope to find

More, from genes of  her sad kind

So take the path of sartorial sin

Get slag tags, tramp stamps, facial rings

Stick pins and needles with steel disgrace

And write your hate upon your face

And make it hurt the world to see

What it be like if you were she.

Copyright Perry Gamsby 15/11/2010

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