Oats and Sugar Cane

Down by the river

I watched the reeds sway

The fishes kept to the shade

Tropical sun beat down and drove me insane

 

As I hid from my killer

 

I could hear his frustrated cursing

And the swish of his machete

Cutting through the glade

Breath ragged; can I escape his blade

 

My blood for this here sugarcane

Worked till I can’t no more

Came here from Donegal

Seeking a better life, found none at all

 

It certainly is

The Queens-Land

Hopes and dreams of riches

Immigration and infected stitches

 

My muscles carved to the heat

Ready to jump into the nearest creek

This old Irish dog

Is still a beast

 

The rest of my work posse grateful for the break

As they sat awaiting my capture

 

Makes me miss Ma’s gruel

Tasteless, but gave you the strength of a mule

The machete waver still nearby

Looking for me as I silently cry

 

He was once my employer

Now I am just a fugitive

Ready to become a bushman

In this strange, sun burnt land

 

Escape into the unknown

Learn to live in the wilderness

With a swaggy on my back

To be chased down by troopers and hung with the blacks

 

I slip into the fast flowing water

As the machete can still be heard

Swinging through the canes

Freedom just at hand

 

Tonight I’ll dream of green fields and Christmas time

As I drift in the current, away from my crime

Redcoats will march down the same path

Looking for my body awash with the stars

 

© Jack Nugent

 

 

 

 

 

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Going Out In November

The taxi’s full and your breath is cold

Booze is in your belly and you’re starting to feel old

Don’t matter cos you’ve got your best clothes on

Ready for the weekly demise that’s still going strong

 

Straight back into the drinks

One day you’re gunna have to see a shrink

Too many times you’ve thrown in the kitchen sink

And that’s going out in November

 

The bouncer gives you a nod

You’ve been here so many times before

The barmaid you fancied

Doesn’t work there anymore

 

Straight back into the drinks

One day you’re gunna have to see a shrink

One too many times you’ve thrown in the kitchen sink

And that’s going out in November

 

Payday was only last week

But the money’s running dry

All you wanna do is learn how to fly

Dance with that girl over there and kiss her pretty smile

 

Straight back into the drinks

One day you’re gunna have to see a shrink

One too many times you’ve thrown in the kitchen sink

And that’s going out in November

 

Your mate’s downing shots and he’s ripped his top

Things are about to get lary

However you can’t be bothered

Excitement’s gone and you’ve lost your touch

 

Straight back into the drinks

One day you’re gunna have to see a shrink

One too many times you’ve thrown in the kitchen sink

And that’s going out in November

 

Getting chips on the way home

You share a glance with sultry pair of eyes

She gives you a look that says

Boy, you best come this way

 

 

Straight back into the drinks

One day you’re gunna have to see a shrink

One too many times you’ve thrown in the kitchen sink

And that’s going out in November

 

© Jack Nugent

 

 

 

 

The Devil’s Banquet

This shiny colourful globe that rotates in space;

Who rules the roost.

Is it the knowing and the loving,

Or the greedy and the murderous?

 

The Devil’s holding a banquet

And he has got a lot of friends

There’s always the same guest list

No matter what century, the uniform’s still exist

 

Denizen’s of wealth, policy and subordination

Met at a table under a red moon

Ready to boast of their recent triumphs

Victuals laid out lavishly, more than enough

 

Its become somewhat of a tradition

This moonlight escapade

Salivating over tales of their bloody exploits

That keep their power in reign

 

The main course is lamb and cocaine

Cutlets get sliced and chewed

Lines get sorted and snorted

As the clink of cutlery secedes

 

The Devil clap’s two pale hands

To which he stands, arms spread to his lads

“Now then you fickle lot, are you have beens or have nots

Who will stand and give us talk of their most evil lot”

 

A Priest, in ceremonial garb rises with a meaty smile

He stares about the room, his cross glinting in the gloom

He clears his throat of wine, it is time

To hear tales of wickedness and deceit

 

“I have ensnared the weak and fearful, poisoned to get to this position,

Corrupted an innocent idea for my own malicious tuition

Through years of scheming and wrongful achieving

My brethren have dined out on humanity’s believing”

 

In deities that never were, these stories did never exist

Only this Devil, sitting right here before us, and the lies he did twist

Have we managed to perpetuate this, our craving for power

To lock ourselves up, with gold and wickedness, in our Ivory tower”

 

These words were greeted by respectful applause and happy eyes

Of those dining with the Devil, and all their deceit and lies.

Next stood a man with a pencil mustache and black suit, it was his time,

To tell the haughty crowd, of his most delectable crime.

 

“I have schemed and loaned to the poorest of the poor,

When they cannot pay back I have kicked them out of their own door,

Seized that which wasn’t mine, delivered misery to a gluttonous score

Dined with my treasure, kept adding to my hoard, and used many a young whore.”

 

“When my gold was enough I paid off the judges and kept politicians in my pocket,

Told lies for profit and used society’s conjunctures to strangle the single market,

Designed fiscal policy to ensnare the peasants into servitude, evil at its most darkest!

All the while I remained the coyest”

 

 

So the last man stood with a bowler hat and a smoking cigar,

While the devil looked on, ready for more.

He was the leader of a country, voted for by its people,

War mongered and silenced the peaceful.

 

“Firstly, I would like to say to the designers of dread,

Thank you for your clever heads,

Taking us down paths that only we can tread.

I followed your lead and became a disease.”

 

“I masqueraded as hope, the savior of lives,

But all I did was take payment, authority and deprive

While my friends here, pulled the strings, and taught me how to smile

As the people succumbed to the charm, without question of my beguile”

 

And so the Devil rose, as tears rolled down his hollow cheeks,

He applauded and exclaimed at the stories so bleak,

 

“I am happy my lads, that you have kept up this charade,

It’s why I invited you to this most profane parade

To history you will not fade,

Your kin will play the same game, wickedness they will braid.”

 

“I bid you goodbye, for this is the one and only occasion,

Once a generation this here banquet will be laid.

Raise the next one as the same, otherwise your debt won’t be paid,

And to my home, you will be slain.”

 

The Devil held a banquet,

Solely the powerful came,

Until next time,

Where the wicked come to dine.

 

© Jack Nugent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forever Falling, But Never Fallen

 

Lost, cold and alone, with this depression that’s controlling my dome,

Endless suppression, the silent tears, swear I’m never feeling at home;

Running lost, sleep is coming less, my mind never stops its roam.

All I want is peace and calm, but when I close my eyes, the demons come.

 

Building walls around me, I isolated my psyche, protective yet detrimental,

Safe within these walls, keeping in my comfort zone was essential.

I cried rivers of pain, dripping into a sea of torment, every emotion substantial;

Going outside was a nightmare, the streets full of doubt and fear, caging my potential.

 

The fear was inside my heart and it gripped my brain, and did what it did best,

Suffocating and eradicating, it filled me with self hate, succumbing to its behest.

This beast that rages in my chest, like walking a tightrope while trying to rest;

My pride dented, my soul a ghost, some days couldn’t talk much, no zest.

 

Time passes and the beast sets up home right beside me, one and the same,

I could have given him a name, he came and went, playing me like a game.

How long would it remain, this beast that rages in my chest, king of my domain,

Amidst the darkness bursts of light shone through the gloom, depression in refrain.

 

I distanced myself from the beast, I observed it like it wasn’t me, a separate entity,

I became the observer and the observed, two parts to the whole, dual identity;

I ran away, looked for escapes to mask the pain, burying what was an eventuality,

I grew new insecurities, about who I was and what to do, with a toxic tempera-mentality.

 

That’s not to say the beast was here to stay, this monster could be slain

Only I could slay the demon that escaped its cage, that filled me with pain,

I was to find the rhythm and the reason that would keep it detained.

It was up to me and no one else, a fight that was mine, to fear no shame.

 

The long road, unpicking superficial complexities and delicate intricacies;

Realising that the existential weight was nothing but conditioned fallacies,

The love of humanity resided in my heart, oh little me, crying comfortably

In my precious and sensitive state, caged and alone, not aware I was running from me.

 

The beast fought and snarled, bite and scratched every step of the way,

It wasn’t a fight that would be over soon, I had to be careful of its swings and moods.

Spouting cliches of positivity that didn’t work, I was to get back to basics, be crude,

Get past that mental noise, those static thoughts, those patterns of normality, be shrewd.

 

This goes beyond any doctor or little pill, it struck a chord, that I was really ill.

Do not rely on them, rely on you, you have the solution, you have the answer;

To cement yourself against this beast, find the love that goes deep, you aren’t a cancer.

Be patient, it’s a struggle to juggle and study this persona, where you don’t get a diploma.

 

You have to change habits, drastically and rapid, know the roots and beat them back,

Try everything and nothing, sprint up some stairs, meditate to the stars, keep on track

Eat some colourful food, not the golden arches, but stuff from the fruit market;

Just try, there’s no harm in it.

 

© Jack Nugent

Day’s Gone By

I’ve been a child;

I’ve been a boy,

I’ve lied;

Cried.

 

The years never stopped going by

And I never stopped learning,

Never stopped;

Making mistakes.

 

How many times,

Have I changed;

Have I changed?

Ripples on the surface.

 

Philosophise, contemplate

Am I too late?

To understand my fate;

To finally lose myself.

 

To the beating of my heart,

My chest echoes:

The beats of my past

Of the thousands of my ancestors, that brought me here.

 

Stretching back into history;

All of humanity is in my veins

In a veiled environment,

My skin is pale, but my blood is ours.

 

However,

I am still that boy,

I thought I left behind;

Many years ago.

 

© Jack Nugent

 

 

 

Desert Night

 

Sand blows atop the dunes.

My lover’s voice is lost in the wind;

The vast stars shine above us,

A lizard scuttles by.

 

The waves of our love soak the endless sands;

A spark in the night.

 

Hand in hand we criss-crossed with nocturnal creature’s footprints.

 

We slept under rugs in a nomads tent.

Curled close,

The moon turned the sand cold;

The fire lost it’s use.

 

We searched each other’s bodies for warmth,

And found it in the desert silence.

Watching the sun return;

The morning rays shone love.

 

Years later,

In times of solace

That night keeps me warm.

 

© Jack Nugent