Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Alive“.

After last weeks choice of “Living” Jon obviously had ideas he wanted to explore and so the week the choice was “Alive”.

From my point of view, an excellent choice as the poem below will show. A memory from an age ago pushed its way into my forebrain and before I knew it I had the shell of a poem.

I like this one. I think it has to go straight into the next book. Let me know what you think

Ed Bates provided the guitar backing, have a listen to how it went below…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


The steps, St Pauls, seventy something; a fine Spring day, mid week
The throng surged south down Swanston, peak hour still short its peak

I sat with a woman triple my age sipping whisky from a flask
Her name, the years have buried; or perhaps I didn’t ask

“Like spawning salmon” she marvelled, at the daily mass migration
As the horde swept over Flinders Street, to vanish into the station

An analogy bathed in irony, though at the time unseen
For it soon became apparent it was she who swam upstream

Spoken by one with little, yet whose needs and wants were few
Not down on her luck, not marginalised; living as she chose to do

Without a home, not homeless; a distinction keenly stressed
A nomad, not a drifter; liberated not dispossessed

No daughter of Aquarius; no tied dyed, flower powered view
A woman who questioned the way we live; with the guts to follow it through

The ways of the world concerned her not; as long as the wind kept blowing
Not a cloud, not a star, not the faintest breeze, passed without her knowing

No interest in fashion or politics or the mores of the status quo
The sun still rose, the seasons changed, the tide would ebb and flow

Placed little weight on possessions; found little reason to save
“Why waste your days?” she smiled without humour “for all is lost to the grave”

I nodded in total agreement; with no concept of what she had said
For I could afford to drink in the gutter then flee to my middle class bed

We drained the last of the whisky; she gathered her things, without rush
Buttoned her coat, positioned her cap and prepared to step into the crush

She offered a parting pearl as the hands on the clock passed five
“Sometimes we’re so busy living we forget that we’re alive”


© Copyright 2018 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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