TRUMP

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Trump

Who is the presidential candidate?

The man called Donald Trump

Is he the champion of the people?

Or is he a bully and a chump

Is he the only person?

That can save us from ourselves

Is he a snake oil salesman?

Trying to convince us that there are elves

He is a walking slogan

He is a person and he is a brand

Can we afford to take the chance?

By putting him in command

Will Donald use diplomacy?

Use graciousness or aplomb

We must remember that the president

Has the release code to the bomb

Do people really believe?

Everything that he says

Does it correlate?

To what’s going on in their heads

He says that a wall on the border

Is   an effective solution

There’s not one word about Global warming

Or reducing industrial pollution

If Donald Trump is elected

Will it trigger a violent revolution?

The people who are listening to him

Say   they are sick and they’re tired

The system is not working for them

And they want somebody fired

 

Is excluding all migrants

Really a sensible idea

Or is it simply politicised hatred

Generating resentment and fear

Is ending dialog with other nations

Really the right way to go?

When you need them and ask for their help

Don’t be surprised when they say No

He says he is the only person

That will stop Mexican migration

Are his supporters star struck by him

Or is it curious fascination

He says only he has all the answers

To the problems that don’t even exist

He has stated on many occasions

His methods are a check book or his fist

Is being forceful and uncompromising

When it comes to law and order

Really effective or even achievable

Remember streets don’t have any borders

Is Donald Trump serious?

Is Donald Trump for real?

What is he prepared to take away from us?

To make sure he seals the deal

He says that he is a winner

That he does not know how to lose

He says that he’s already got this race won

But that is your privilege to choose

 

Written by

Nick Calloway

Walk with one shoe – 3

Its dark, the roads wet, glistening a misty rain lightly coats my face as i walk the city streets. Nomads, hoods drawn wrestle with shadows known only to themselves argue with the unseen as they scurry by. Makeshift beds litter the shopfront doorways all the marks have gone. Cabs collect the suits shimmering in the headlights. I make my way home, catching sight only for a moment my reflection, eyes old. My lungs ache from too many casual life stories, it never amazes me how, given the chance a complete stranger will disperse all kinds of secret files on their mischievous relationships, I suppose I’ll never see them again anyway, well nearly all of them.

Early morning sitting by the garage door, light streams through the leaves of the old elm tree all majestic it towers over the house, the leaves lush and plentiful, children with their mothers walk past up the hill to the local school. The Indian sits in the doorway of the garage half hanging out, two years in the making it is nearly finished. I remember when i was young I would see those old movies of the 40’s and 50’s where the main guy would ride around on these big old bikes changing gears on the tank all leathered up riding down the highway. Motorcycles truly a tool for the soul, a mass of early morning coffees, long drives, secondhand parts and the amount of patience that would test any saint has finally seen the end of a vision. I sit back bellows of smoke leave my mouth like a steam train early morn, Bloomfield echoing out from the back of the garage. Grazed hands cradle a coffee, as the smell of the new day permeates air.

My phone rings, “hello”, “hey can you do a show tonight?” “sure” I say “where abouts?” “down the coast, I’ll come and pick you up about 6”, we discuss the details laughing about the slave labour pay, working musicians the most under paid professionals, I was making the same pay twenty years ago putting up with the same bullshit just from different publicans, gees if I was working in a sweat shop for the pay I get at least there would be no real overheads, punters come up and suggest how better you can perform, tell you what songs would be better the swan off to their little group all proud of themselves while we, the musicians try and be polite “Yes maybe we should try that song, (now go fuck yourself you piece of shit)”. Publicans are the same, expect a capacity crowd without advertising playing some god awful music prior to the band starting then complaining that we didn’t attract enough of a crowd while paying us fifty dollars a piece for our time getting there at 7 and finishing at 1 in the morning, that’s six hours plus travelling time for fifty dollars roll on the good times, does anybody care? no of course not the general public who go out wouldn’t have a clue but we keep on playing anyway why?, well that’s the 9 dollar an hour question.

Back home its early morning the house creeks in the silence. Its a great time of the day, I’ve always liked the crispness of the air and the quiet time where you can just sit and reflect on the previous days ups and downs, the show went well, the crowd weren’t too bad considering and my gear didn’t break down so all’s well in the land of milk and honey. The t.v evangelist, all love thy neighbour fleeces their flock of riches, their Cheshire smiles evil prey on the weak just a small donation is all we need they say while Facebook retaliations of eastern faiths declare war on the infidels. Fear mongering on both sides, doomsday prepares itself for another time in history. I drift off to a land where there are no boundaries, where no-one is persecuted because of the colour of their skin or their beliefs in what comes there after.

My neck aches as I awake another night dissolved on the couch, I’ve got to stop falling asleep in front of the TV even though it’s a futile thought. “Fall asleep on the couch again did we?” she says filling the kettle “do you want a coffee?”, her voice drifting from the kitchen, the dog looks up weary in anticipation then falls back in comfort. “How did you go last night?” “not bad” I say my throat grinding, my eyes blurry. Outside rain hard pelts the earth, the skies vengeance cleans the nights events from the holy roads. The night draws curtains on the sun as I head out, guitar slung over my shoulder back to the bar where time stands still, where the regular crew struggles to maintain perspective on the outside world. Third level safe house emits laughter as I climb the stairs, there’s a spider on the wall, the moon shining, making the tea while Frank sifts through a pile of verses. There’s a dancer all legs and smiles a parading banshee, she floats bleeding lines of adventures to no one in particular, party turns up “hey whats going on?” the banshee screams the walls rattle and bleed. The rest of the motley crew arrive we nestle around the table another family meeting entails, people come and go the phone rings Frank grumbles and heads downstairs for another foley of difficult opinions the banshee cartwheeling around the room stumbles careering into one of the chairs we all laugh uncontrollably just another night. It’s quiet on the streets in the city tonight even the street urchins have fled the scene. There’s a few buskers on the corner, bucket and pan rhythms echoing down Chinatown, me and Party share observations, drink coffee and generally just take in the nights progression the billboard across the street displays the latest designer street wear spewing on the sidewalk as the romeos hold back their hair hoping for early morning penetrations.

Walk with one shoe – Part 2.

Dean James walk with one shoe
Dean James walk with one shoe
Dean James walk with one shoe

Reason

When all else evades the honour of giving, reason prevails. Hero on the arm, tortured by faith in compassion she defies traceable actions of kindness, exhumes what little faith she has left in the day to humour discontent. The night draws closer the yellow of distant lights echo down the alley as we prepare to play. A rush of smoke exhaled upstairs as the jagged banter cuts the unweary in the room. Stragglers loud defiant display the valour of kings and queens oblivious of mere mortals, while outside the distant lands cringe under the blood of the night sky, children run like savages devoid of human touch they scream in their minds eye forever tortured by fate. “Hello ladies and gentlemen we’re the band!” grinding first world flavours of careless thighs amusing the handcuffed businessman barfly.
Traces of newborn affairs filter through the night, the air suckling the tit of anticipation raises the expectation of loose favours. Its never a winning hand of consistency however and we all just go home.

Coffee and cigars flavour the room, it’s early morning the sky clearing to the sounds of comfortable beds along the street. I already miss the low rumble of the city, forever a murmur in every dark corner wear the beats all look for a warm place to hold up until morning light. I sleep. Tortured by my dreams I awake the eyes on the wall.
They leer at my yearning, cold the just deserving nothing, no explanation to whats to come. I filter my gaze from a spiders eyes, the nest of conflict on all sides anticipates the new dawn. Clouds, still in the moment permeate the smell of morning dew. Another day exists, closer to a new world order, where the haves decree normality to those who can’t see trees in the forest, who wade the endless tide of existence, enduring the swells of day to day conditioning. The meek shall inherit the earth, the earth insistent on prenuptial clauses of limited lifespans of the naked.

The bus ride seems quiet, a handful of pressed shirts scattered amongst perfumed smiles whisk away the morning commute. A crow flies eagerly awaiting my arrival onto the windswept streets, another day in paradise. Makeshift bedrooms clutter the sidewalk, leaves dance, waltz to the lurid waves of discontented shuffling feet. I light a cigar, the sun strikes my face with a warmth then dissipates as quickly as it appears. The wind clutches my spine I shiver quickly wrapping my coat around me smoke billows. I pull the keys from my pocket and head upstairs all quiet on the western front. The stains of comic relief on the floor, wet with a desire to lose sight of the profanities of well constructed news briefs tempered by the ruling elite. Suddenly the door slams downstairs the silence broken “how ya going mate,” “fancy a cuppa,,” last night drawn on his face, he seems weary but content his shirt half tucked in “lets go upstairs”. Pictures adorn the walls all with their own story to tell. The arched door opens to the sickly smell of last nights delivery bins full, a cars horn drowns my eyes torment “good night last night” he says in passing “didn’t get out of here ‘till 4 this morning”, “oh yeah, regular crowd of misfits?” I say swallowing a small amount of vomit, “The moon and party rocked up after the shows then all these amusing types with their pre written one liners filled the room gagging on self importance came in defying all logic of what amusing entails. The moon in waning left bemused by all the left wing bin chickens while party cornered the weakest of the heard in an attempt to sway judgement. We head out for food, Florentino’s sidewalk conversations of the night before lost to the wind, customers peer out behind glass fortresses, waiters half smile, trams swallow shadows all too willing.

Back at the bar it’s a quarter to 7, its always a quarter to 7 here, it’s only when you leave that time changes. Murf rolls in, terry towelling hat adorns fine hair, a sly grin pino appears on the table “so whats with the shirt, a bit gay,” any excuse to anchor reality we all laugh not that there is anything wrong with that. Plumes of smoke inhaled, the weekend is near when all the suited barlies enter a whirlwind romance based on the affluent mixture of alcohol and cheap promises, guarded crossed legs slowly open like hibiscus on a sunny day. Scholarly bartenders quietly spoken arrive for the nights swarray. The room fills with sweaty desire, young turks work the room as the less beautiful follow the swarm, queen bee flutters her wings surrounded by her entourage the black swan hangs back ready to pounce knife ready and eager to plunge into the queen. Dapper dressed shoe salesman scotch in hand, hangs his bag and coat well worn hellos and banter quaffed hair he sits. Left wing high heels with husband in tow, a well mannered man of quiet strengths shakes my hand. Frank holds court bellowing laughter resonating self assured, greeting the ladder climbers of the night they grind and sway together animated puppetry, pinstriped pants green and white float on the dance floor with regimented grace and purpose. Its still a quarter to 7.

The Drago Tree for a travelling book junkie

The world of book blogging is an amazing place sometimes. You just never know what might be happening in that vast tribe of dedicated book lovers, who give hours of every day to supporting authors and readers alike. Where would we be if we had to rely exclusively on print media and high end literary reviews? Only the select few works, those tipped for prizes maybe, would get attention.

So it was amazing to receive a message on Facebook this morning from a dedicated book blogging soul, informing me that my novel, The Drago Tree, appears in a list of works set in the Canary Islands.

9781922200365-Cover (1)

“Sometimes, even the fictional works which loosely base a storyline on a location can inspire wanderlust in a person far more than any editorial piece could.  Perhaps it is the in-depth descriptions that entice people to book a flight – I know for a fact, that I have been known to book a trip off the back of a book I have read. ” – http://www.travellingbookjunkie.com/14-fictional-works-canary-islands/

Thank you so much for thinking of my book!!!

You can buy a copy of The Drago Tree on Amazon

A Perfect Square reviewed by Kate Braithwaite

I am delighted to share this warm, 5 star review of my novel, A Perfect Square, from Kate Braithwaite, author of Charlatan.

A perfect square

A Perfect Square is a clever, thoughtful literary novel which also manages to have a cracking plot and complex characters.

This is a book that grew and grew on me. I’ll admit to a false start the first time I picked it up. I felt there was a lot of moving around in the characters’ heads to the recent past, the far past and then back to the present. But when I sat down with a proper amount of time to dig into the story it was an absolute pleasure. Blackthorn has a great plot and lots of writing talent. Her descriptions are wonderful – both of people and places – and there was lots of fabulous language to enjoy. I loved the two parallel mother/daughter stories and was impressed by the way they intersected. It was also great to read so much about the creative process and to consider the challenges of creativity and motherhood.

I will certainly look to read Blackthorn’s other work. A Perfect Square is a clever, thoughtful literary novel which still manages to have a cracking plot and complex characters. It should appeal to lovers of psychological thrillers too – think artistic Gone Girl.” – – quoted from Goodreads

A Spanish edition of The Drago Tree is on its way!

I’m thrilled to announce I’ve just signed the contract for a Spanish edition of The Drago Tree, to be released in 2017!

¡Estoy entusiasmada de anunciar que he firmado el contrato por una edición española de la novela, El Árbol Drago!

9781922200365-Cover (1)

It’s an auspicious moment. I wrote the story with Pedro Almodovar’s movies running through my mind. I also had the rich history of Lanzarote and its incredible landscapes ever present inside me. I wanted to gift something to the island that had given something to me, a sense of place like no other I have experienced. The volcanos, the lava, the cuboid buildings, the sapphire ocean, the astonishing views, Lanzarote is an island to be treasured.

image

I’m not the only one to think so. Sections of the local government have pitted themselves against their Spanish counterparts on environmental issues, not least the drilling for oil off the island’s pristine coast. A David and Goliath battle, but when it came to drilling rights, the local authorities won, thanks to the efforts of activists and tourists alike, and the Spanish government backed down.

Seeing my words in another language brings a thrill of excitement. Now at last The Drago Tree will be available to a whole cohort of Spanish readers. I so hope they like it!

FOR CATHIE MANEY

Frank Howson and Cathie Maney
Frank Howson and Cathie Maney
There is a toll for every virtue
There is a tax for hearts like yours
You didn't deserve your crazy childhood
Or the loss of the brother you loved
Cut down by animals in the night
Those are scars that don't wash away
No matter how many tears you cry
When I'll think of you I'll see your smile
And think of the battles you fought to be
Let down by so many, we're only human, baby
And both had rocky roads to bear
You tried so hard to stand beside me
You tried so hard to hold me close
But you had too many ghosts to haunt you
And they all got in our path
In those hours after midnight
When I knew I couldn't stay
We were both two orphans
We used to laugh and say
But you got away, baby
But why did it have to be this way?
You were always such a loyal friend
And you loved me to a fault
Looking back you may've believed in me more than anyone
And loved me more than I deserved
But why did you have to prove your point like this?
Gone, and taking all the laughter
Gone, and taking all the kindness
Gone, and taking all tomorrows
And what may've been for you and yours
The trouble with you was you cared for everyone
Like a child in search of her own
But too many things cluttered our space
And we lost ourselves
Too many things leave us alone
Perhaps you got carried away by a foolish idea
That all romantics exit like this
But did you think of the pain you leave us? 
Did you want us to hurt so we'd understand yours?
Too many questions without answers
Just like those nights we'd argue until dawn
I tried so hard to help you
To make sense of what you'd been through
But you couldn't understand me
Your hurt was too deep to be cured
Now every evening at sunset
I'll look at that blazing sun and think of you 
It's going to take a lot to forgive
The hurt you have bestowed us with
So many took advantage
So many manipulated behind the scenes
They didn't realize how fragile you were
Or perhaps they did
And if so, they have blood on their hands
I'll remember you pretty as a picture
And a smile that'd light up a room
With the excited joy of a child
And those mad conversations that made no sense
That ended in laughter or tears
If you wanted part of my heart you have it
But this was no way to take it
It could've been yours for free



(c) Frank Howson 2017





 

IN BLOOD AND TEARS

There’s nothing more I need in a woman’s eyes
It’s a lonely, hollow, comforting feeling
Finally knowing that
I am empowered and can no longer be conned
With the promise of something wonderful
That will ultimately be paid for
In blood and tears
I now appreciate all people without any agenda
Other than to laugh and share some joy while we are still here
And at the heart of it that’s all that matters
We hide behind so many veils in our youth
Playing roles that can’t be sustained
Even the greatest actors can only summon up King Lear
Once a night
Free at last
I thought
God almighty free at last
All I wanted was peace
And some joy
And someone to share the good times with
But each candidate brought their carriage of problems
Their hurt caused by another
Their suspicions caused by another
Their jealousy caused by another
With no one to take it out on but me
So what should’ve been joyous times were ruined
Laughter replaced by tears
Kindness viewed with cynicism
Until it was turned into something nasty
That could only be understood by them
And this was called a relationship
Others would deem it a prison
Some, hell
It reduced life to a death
And made fools of those who had craved it
I still believe in some things
But less by the day
I wonder how much of us must whither
Before we pass away?
I am not a killer
And yet the faces of several people who have used me
Flash through my mind every day
I am considered a kind man
By some, a strong man
And yet I could kill a handful of people without a thought
Maybe most of us could
With a clear conscience
As we would write it off
As a public service
Our act would save other good souls
From being exploited and then
Thrown away to be useless
Having given them mansions
So that we could settle down on someone else’s couch
While they rewrote history to alienate the ones you loved
The most
Yet they weren’t charged with your murder?
But perhaps justice is yet to be served
And if we took it upon ourselves to render it
Would the government not erect statues to us?
They would’ve in bygone days
Some people don’t deserve to be called human
They don’t act it, they don’t think it, they don’t care
They love to destroy other people’s lives and values and then
leave others to deal with the mess
They are spiritual vampires
Why should they be allowed to get away scott free
Sipping their white wine
Repeating other people’s opinions
Only to laugh
And destroy another day
Another life?
I missed my calling
I should’ve been Wyatt Earp
or Bat Masterson
Riding the range
With the power to take or give life
Where and how I saw it
But instead of a badge and a revolver
I was given a suit and a tie
And an expectation of what I had to achieve
In a gentleman’s world
I failed
Because of those I let into my life
with their promises of “This will be fun” and
“I will always love you” and
“Thank you so much for your kindness, it won’t be forgotten”
But it was by the next day
Which brings me back to the gun
And why I am lost
Between the cracks of right and wrong
Watch your step
Night is falling
I’m considering becoming Jewish
Just so I’ll know where my home is

(c) Frank Howson 2017
photograph by Vanessa Allan.

THE MAN WHO TRAVELS BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON

The Man who travels by the Light of the Moon
The Man who travels by the Light of the Moon
And so it goes
Once again I gave my all
Which wasn't enough 
When I was happy
I was too happy
When I cried
There weren't enough tears
To please everybody
When I broke
It was so quiet
No one heard
I died that night
That night you ruined my Christmas
Alone in my room
Well, what was left of me
But still I went on
Not wanting to let anyone down
I was expected at so many events
And people are so easily offended
So here we are
Going through the motions
Of an impersonation
Of a man in control
Of nothing
There were no obituaries
Only slaps on the back
Some a little too hard
And hollow
For a sensitive soul
Some hadn't been felt like this
Since the murder of unsuspecting Julius
But they got the wrong man
I didn't set out to conquer Rome
Or live for praise
Only to make my mother proud
And a safe place
Where I could do my work
In peace
And not be envied
Or pitied 
Or slandered
Or made to stand trial
Sometimes
I think of the frightened boy
I was
And lost
And shed a tear
When someone notices
I say I have something in my eye
I lie
And they believe me
I am a fugitive of your heart
Misjudged
Miscast
Misplaced
Washed ashore
Writing stories
That turn out to be premonitions
For those who have tired of happy endings
About men on the run
From a society that too readily believes
The worst in us
Cursed with too good a memory
It is impossible to forget
Every scar
Every betrayal
My face lined with lessons learned
The hard way
And there's nothing you can take to change that
As Elvis found out
Looking back
Perhaps my only lasting friend has been the night
And that glimpse of heaven 
That moment just before dawn
When the world is so silent
You can hear God's breath
If you listen close enough
That long night
When I forget to sleep
Because I'm addicted to the clarity
Of each rushing thought
That won't come again
And my job is to capture as many
As possible
Before they are gone
Like the women
Stampeding over the edge
And free falling
Into the darkness of the abyss
Joining my dreams of a happy home
And all those beautiful things
I didn't say to the right one
Who withered from waiting too long
And has now gone to Florida
To teach people how to act
So they can at least get things right in their art
And be convincing enough to pass as a human being
Without an alarm
I awaken to find
All victories shallow
All risks ill-timed
My laughter too loud to be acceptable
My critics misinformed and better suited to 
The sports page
Where the results are more easily ascertained
My women merely visions
That fade too soon
Building residue in my heart
That heart that is too strong to break
Even by experts
But weeps
For missing persons
Beneath the burden of searching for resolutions
It may never find
Not even at 3am
I too gambled for our savior's clothes
Winning only his crown of thorns
And the identity 
Of a man who travels by the light of the moon
Some say he is based on a true story


(c) 2017 Frank Howson














 

The Drago Tree by Isobel Blackthorn: review

How ever did I manage to miss this lovely review! Thank you Mark🙂

Baffled Bear Books

After the slow motion collapse of her marriage Anne seeks refuge on the jagged island of Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands off Africa.

Wounded, introspective, prickly – like the Drago tree of the title – Anne broods about her past, trying through writing in her notebook to exorcize the ghosts of her husband and troubled sister.

She meets the novelist Richard . He lives on the island seasonally, perched in his house as though at an outpost of progress, surrounded by artefacts made by the local potter Domingo. His plan to pluck bits of the islanders’ story from Domingo to use in his next book becomes, in Isobel Blackthorn’s hands, a parallel for robber cultures that plunder from others .

With Domingo and Richard, Anne explores Lanzarote, learning the unhappy story of its fragile population, the target of conquerors and pirates, and now of tourists. Anne both welcomes and…

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