UKArchive ID: 35485

Grenwegian Blues
by archiemac
Originally published on September 18, 2015 in Poetry        

Greenwich, Southeast London. 2007.

Grenwegian Blues

Greenwich, you gorgeous and big-statued suburb
of indigo, orange and furlongs of green,
where arsonists kindled a riverside hubbub
with boat-lovers stoking the billowing scene.

Who did it? Some landlubber band who’ve decided
that mankind can never do anything good
on the ocean? Oh, poor old ship cruelly ignited,
Cutty Sark, fashioned from Grenwegian wood!

Some pine like a parrot who’s missing its homeland
and though I grew up only six miles due north,
I’m pining too, under the plumes, as I roam land
with plague-pits beneath it, sauntering forth.

I saunter past violins crashing round columns
and domes from some curly-wigged century, stalls
where incense and glitter are sold in large volumes
to buxom young ladies with South London drawls.

Along Cade and Wat Tyler Roads, by the heath,
a fox-dotted Eden that blooms in my heart,
I roam around cyclists and acorns, beneath
a beaming great laser that’s possibly art.

This electric green shaft, I’ve been told, they shoot out
to mark a meridian ripe for the staring.
Why then, do they frequently shift it about?
People must lose themselves, lacking their bearing.

My home only just dwarfs a double-glazed rabbit-hutch.
Morven, my flatmate, shoots Nazis all day.
Our signing-on booklets affirm we can’t grab at much
privacy. Fag-ash spills out of the tray.

His alarm-clock wakes me at seven each morning,
so I have to stand bashing pans by his bed.
No telly or Internet offers us warning
and newspapers rarely, if ever, are read.

Over and over these floorboards I’d bellow
at cornices, “Why?” and “I don’t understand!”
as your bulwark of silence engulfed a poor fellow
who doctor and layman could not lend a hand.

I frothed at the mouth and I schemed like a blaggard,
no more my own captain and sunk by a wall,
as seven miles northwest you shrugged and you swaggered
as though I was someone you didn’t recall,

my redheaded red-flaggy poetess soulmate
you never can be, since you never can heal
from the sickness that chases you from Reason’s tollgate
and poisons the way that you grow and you feel.

Silence envelops the cause of your silence.
No-one can take in your pill-guzzling truth,
or see why my dreams lie, like dispossessed migrants,
destroyed on the floor with my vanishing youth.

And no-one can see that I can’t just pick lovers,
like everyone else seems to do, off the trees,
because I’m alone in a world full of others
who might as well speak to me in Cantonese.

And no-one considers this loneliness twisting
and burrowing year after year through my brain,
since people would rather give orders than listen
or deal with a friend’s or a half-brother’s pain.

I’m marooned in a vast, uninhabited period
in which you toppled the masts of my mind,
an echoing moment I cannot call really good,
point to or navigate or leave behind.

© Archie Macjoyce

© archiemac (gwirionedd on OLD UKA)

UKArchive ID: 35485
Archived comments for Grenwegian Blues

deadpoet on 27-09-2015
Grenwegian Blues
Wow Archie, can't believe no-one (here)has yet given you an MBE or recommended you as the new Poet Laureat (e?)

I am catching up these days and your stuff is always on my list. This is the best I've read for weeks. I won't say it's your best- it is as good as all the other stuff-which is first class excellent, though I'd tinker a bit. Add a few commas to make it flow and make it easier to read. Excuse my poor english. But I am a good reader, believe me.

Oh just noticed it IS nibbed..of course!!

Anyway nib or no nib- it gets a nib flowing with dark,delicious Quink from me.

Did someone burn down the Cutty Sark? Never heard of that. But then I am far far away sadly.

I like your questioning of moving the laser about. Yes why on earth?– ha ha lovely – I like the idea of moving it about- Not much is certain here in life is it? Sorry about the girl and her pills- I'd give her up too.

You know there is so much in this poem-

did I mention I love it ? — the rhyme appeals to me especially- being a rhyme supporter.'have a lovely week- now on to see if I can find something here that I know will only come second place, but which I may enjoy too.

best Pia xx

Ps am sharing the page you linked to on my FB – because I am addicted to FB 🙂 and think the young people's messages are vital. It is their future- liberal politicians here are pretty darn much the same.. we all need to hear other's truth's.. Thanks Archie-you really made my Sunday..

Author’s Reply:
Ha ha ha… Thanks for a very kind comment. I don't think I am likely to ever receive an MBE or be made Poet Laureate. It would be a strange day indeed if ever I did…

What's “Quink”….?

Yes, in 2007 the Cutty Sark burned, which held up its restoration for quite some time. At first, people thought it was arson, but apparently a workman had just been careless and left something on overnight. It was big news in London for a little while.

As for the girl and her pills, I have no choice but to give her up. She has refused to speak to me for the last eight years, because she would rather have Borderline Personality Disorder for her entire life and be miserable, than take therapy, get better, and let people into her life who love her and who want her to be happy.

Yes, it's very strange, what some people want out of life. But there's nothing I can do about it.