Monday, August 10, 2009

Gone to Shot

You can
Still find
On longwave
You can
Find him
On D
But on Radio One
They're talking bubble gum
And that's
By me

'Cos out
Of sight
Is out
Of mind
And don't
Ram it
Down my
My throat
We'll keep the wine
The Italian bread
And our options
On Noah's boat

Yeah something's missing
We threw the baby out with the wash
But time enough
For forgiveness
Now it's all
Gone to shot

So don't
Tell me
About black
And white
When you
Won't let
Me into
The light
Could I make the same
Mistake again
Oh you know
Damn well
I just might

Yeah something's missing
We threw the baby out with the wash
But time enough
For forgiveness
Now it's all
Gone to shot

Oh the journey
Is all
It will
Ever be
Yet I'm still
Hung up
On what
Have been
Oh I know full well
What I want for me
I only wish
It was what
I need

Yeah something's missing
We threw the baby out with the wash
But time enough
For forgiveness
Cos you cannot
Be hurt
By what you don't miss
And there's still something
To be said
For this old business
But it's all
Gone to shot
Yes it's all
To shot

© John Rogers 2009

Cut and Run

I couldn't sleep last night
My mind was on a girl
She could have me
Whatever way she wants me
I was careless
Downright stupid
I oughta cut and run

Jenny was a friend of mine
A quiet kind of girl
Spent too much time
Going out with the wrong guy
He has his kicks
Left her in no doubt
She shoulda cut and run

I'm not good with facts
The cold light of morn
Leaves me praying
For a different way
I still think of it
The man I am
I have to cut and run

Aha ha aha
I have to cut and run
Aha ha aha
I have to cut and run

I was getting there
Well over her
And then she walked in
To the room
Like the setting sun
Still looking like the one
I can't cut and run

© John Rogers 2009

Went Down

It's more than a difference of opinion
If she's coming at ya with the kitchen knife
It's not the best way to be living
Looking in on someone else's life
It's not the end of the story
Just 'cos you got to knock out the light

I'm not down with half of what went down today
Hey hey

Jenny's out on the warpath
She's had it up to there with the scene
Jason, he's pretty happy
Made the cover of that magazine
It was all going so smooth
If you know just what I mean

You couldn't be up with half of what went down today
Hey hey

Waiting at the back door
Know I need to give
Crazy's coming over
Crashing on the sofa
Walking on the safe side
Scared on the inside
Running all over town
Looking for some face-time

It's about now time for her wedding
She's gonna make that man a good wife
Next there'll be kids and a mortgage
A holiday home and the rest of the strife
I might make the afters
I'd be hanging on for dear life

I'm not down with half of what went down today
Hey hey
No I'm not down with half of what went down today
Hey hey

It's more than a difference of opinion....

© John Rogers 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dolan's Sheds

I walk along the closed line
I see old Dolan's Sheds
The coal floor like cracked pepper
The torn canvas bed

And this is where I saw her last
I lost her on the platform
And this is where I had her last
Our bodies broke in the storm

The radios all died at night
Down to our last bread
We walked the roads in our parents clothes
We made for Dolan's Sheds

And this is where I saw her last
I lost her on the platform
And this is where I had her last
Our bodies broke apart in the storm

© John Rogers 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Self Less

Nothing of who I am
Is for me
Nothing of what I do or say
None of which I feel
Is of me
I give all and take

© John Rogers 2009


She is a focal point
Now, a major to my underage
She replaced and
Shall be replaced
I wander that point
A locus to my
Own need
Forever in orbit of
A hallowed space

© John Rogers 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

Two tractors


Dogged John, the old blind man from Cloone, walked a slow walk into town. It was one of those rare August days. Blistering hot, no wind and hardly a sound on the heavy air.

About two miles from town, Dogged John heard a tractor start up in the meada to his left. He stopped walking and concentrated on the sound. It sounded off. The tractor growled and ground like an off-tempered pig rooting in the soil. Then the tractor coughed once and fell silent. The only sound now the hum from the overhead wires.

“Barney McLoughlin,” Dogged John called out, “your tractor sounds off.”
“Dogged John,” a reply carried from the meada, “you're dead fucking right. Find the gate, come into me.”

He found the gate and went into Barney McLoughlin.

“You're at me now,” Barney said as the blind old man approached.
“Start up the off tractor,” said Dogged John.

Barney did so. Dogged John listened. A poor sick tractor. Without help, the blind man sat into the cab. Gently he revved the engine, listening. Up the rev a little, down the rev a little, all the time listening.

And so fifteen, twenty minutes, a half hour went by. Barney McLoughlin attending to the acoustic treatment of a poor sick tractor by Dogged John, the blind old man from Cloone.

A different type of tractor

Skin closed the throttle and the Raven stopped accelerating.
It stopped flying altogether for a dangerous moment, a stalled target. Skin killed the engine entirely. Gravity then took over and the Raven started to fall back. Skin saw tracers fly past the cab – the attacker almost had her. Skin teased the stick a little and her Raven slowly turned on its back, tipping over. With a suddenness, the Raven flipped over and Skin was facing downwards, her attacker gunning for her, spraying rounds. The Elephantine never had the same supply of ammunition (or anything else) as their more illustrious enemy so Skin wanted her kill with as little shot as possible.
She gently played with the stick, the Raven was an unpowered glider by now, and got the enemy Punisher in her X. The Punisher escaped so Skin realigned. They were fast approaching each other now, either the enemy's fire would hit Skin or the two fighters would smash. Skin coaxed the Punisher back into her X, got him, held him and squeezed the trigger. One burst, then another. The Punisher's belly flared a little and that was enough for Skin to know she had him. For the hell of it, she dove on towards the now stricken enemy.
The Punisher exploded just before impact and Skin's Raven burst through the debris. Just as well that Skin's engine was still off or it would've chocked on the Punisher's mess. The smoke cleared as it does and again the battle below revealed itself to the flyer.
Skin's climb to evade the Punisher had taken them far above the fight below so now she had a perfect overview of what was happening. And she saw the bohemiath Battler ploughing the field of Ravens and Punishers and other small crafts and in front of the Battler was the line of pods. The precious pods were being guided towards the Gate where they, one at a time would exit out of here, ending up gods know where.
Skin's knew it was ridiculous to take on the Battler in a single Raven but the pods exit needed to be stopped. She also knew that the Battler was using three tractor lines to guide the pods; the main line was the strongest, used to drive the pods and two ancillary lines to keep them in line. Skin only had to remove one of the ancillaries to stop the pods' march to the Gate. That's all, she thought, just destroy one tractor line on a Battler.
Her Raven was slowly gliding back to the battle plain proper, building up speed as it fell. Skin slammed on her engine and opened out the throttle full. She was pushed into her seat with the sudden acceleration. Without knowing what she was doing, Skin let out a whoop. She knew that right now her Raven was moving faster than anyone else. The mass of flaming crafts and flaying shot approached her almost instantaneously, the churning Battler in the midst of it all. She needed to get under the Battler, where its defence would be weaker – here she would knock out the ancillary tractor. Her bullet speed brought her through the battle almost unnoticed. The Raven rocked a little from stray fire but Skin dove on. Within three seconds she was through it.
Just as the Battler flew past her flat line, Skin pulled back on her stick. The Raven levelled out. Skin cheered. She'd done what so few did; she'd gotten under a Battler. Now to find the nose and that tractor transmitter.
Almost leisurely, Skin flew under the Battler, heading for the front. She loaded up three Arrow missiles in the tubes; two on her port, one on starboard. As the Battler's nose approached, Skin pulled back on the stick in order to get the tractor's transmitter in her X. one more second of flight and... with an imaginary click, the Tx was the bullseye.
Skin thumbed the tubes switch on the top of her stick. Her arrows flew – port then starboard then port again.
Then the Battler lurched down. Skin had never seen one move so sudden. She swiped her stick to the left and fully down, slamming her thrust to full in a crazy attempt to get her Raven away. But the Battler kept coming down on top of her. Skin sighed, not only did the Battler's evasives mean the probable end of her but her Arrows would now miss. Fuck it, Skin thought, the Battler won't hit me, I'll hit it. So she pulled back on the stick one last time and flew her Raven into the enemy's hull.

© John Rogers 2009

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Up again. Down again.

I picked myself up off the floor.
My legs hurt the most which was strange. He was surprised that I hadn’t stayed down and, to be honest, so was I. I didn’t mean to get up, I didn’t want to get up but it’d be worse if I hadn’t. He wasn’t sure if he liked me getting back up all the time so he hit me again. There wasn’t much in his punch though; he was getting tired.

- You’re getting tired, I said. He swung at me again, a lazy haymaker. I brought my arm up to block and I did block it, the first time today. He couldn’t believe it. I mustered what little I’d left in me and pushed him hard in the chest. Lo and behold if he didn’t land on his arse. Now I couldn’t believe it. I took a step back.

- What are you waiting for? he demanded from the floor, - get stuck in with kicks. But I just wobbled on my poor legs.
- Come on, he shouted.

I sat back down on the floor. I just wanted to breathe.
- Yer useless, he said.

I said nothing. He stood up, put his hands on his hips and studied me. I put my head down.

- You pushed me over, he said.
- Yeah.
- Why didn’t ya hit me?
- I didn’t want to.
- Useless.

Nothing from either of us for a bit then. Finally he says, - you can’t be pushing men. You’re supposed to punch or kick them or a head butt or get the knee in but not pushing-
- Why not?
- Because… because it’s not manly.
- What about elbows?
- Elbows are fine, he couldn’t help but be impressed, - fine. Look this isn’t boxing, it’s fighting. Anything goes. Fist, knees, feet, head, shoulders and, as you say, elbows.
- So everything then.
- Pretty much.
- But not pushing.
- Not pushing.
- Why again?
- Arah, come on. Stop using your head. You fight with your gut-
- How do you use your gut?
- What?
- How do you use your gut?
- How do you mean, how do you use your gut?
- Well, you punch with your fists and you kick with your legs but what do you do with your guts?

He just stared at me like I was nuts.
- Ah, come on, come on, he goes, - that’s not what I mean. I mean, that’s just stupid. I just mean, don’t think about it, get stuck in.

He sat down on the ground and thought for a moment.
- Look, he goes, - you got me on the ground and, ok, it was a push but we’ll give it to you but, come on, you stood back. Don’t ya see? You wanted to be in on me with kicks.
- Kicks.
- Yeah, kicks.
- But I pushed you over.
- Yeah, yeah but you didn’t know so we’ll give you that one.
- Thanks.

We sat like that for another bit. I obviously didn’t want us to go at it again but I knew it was only a matter of time but if I could keep us talking….
- What about slaps? I asked.
- Ha?
- Can you use slaps?
- Slaps?
- Yeah.
- Ah no, he started to get annoyed, - no.
- What? I asked.
- You know what. You can’t be going at men with slaps.
- I didn’t know that.
- Sure anyone, come on, anyone knows that.
- Can you go at girls with slaps?

And that shut him up but I shouldn’t have said it. There was a real current in the air now. I could almost smell it, almost taste it.
- No pushes, he said, breathing hard, - no pushes, no slaps.
I started shaking my head. He didn’t like that either.
- Come on, don’t be shaking your head at me. You think I want to be out here at this craic. I’m trying to toughen you up. They’re cutting you to ribbons at school. You did this to yourself.

I started to cry. He blew up.
- Come! On! Knock that on the head now. Come on! He stood up. I was trying to stop crying.
- There’s too much of your mother to you, he said.

I got up again, or tried to but he punched me in the face before I was on my feet. I landed on my back.

Before I knew it, I was up again.

© John Rogers 2007

Saturday, December 02, 2006


- Go ahead, son. Burn.
Those were his last words to me, his dying words. I couldn’t believe it. Typical of my dad; to be a complete cunt on his death bed. I sat back in my chair. Couldn’t get over it. I turned to the nurse.
- Did you hear what he said? I asked but she was crying.
- Arah, fuck this for a game of soldiers. I grabbed my coat and left.

Outside the hospital it was raining. I knew there was someone I should call but who – a priest? Or an undertaker? Or a carpenter? I stood looking at my phone. There was a world of responsibility waiting for me but I wasn’t willing to make that call. So I made up my mind not to make up my mind, put my phone in my pocket and went for a walk. Didn’t care where.
Usually when I walk in the rain, I keep my head down and scrunch my shoulders up. I try not to get wet. The tension in my neck and shoulders adds to the misery of it all. And it’s a futile exercise; you’ll get a soaking anyway.
So this time I held my head up straight and walked through the rain. The discomfort didn’t last long and I began to enjoy the sensation of the water on my bare head and down my back. I started to grin.

- Go ahead, son. Burn.
Well fuck you so.

Without meaning to, I ended up at the college. I checked my watch and laughed; just in time. I raced through the rain (it was a downpour now) to the Aula Maxima. Went straight to the hall. They were closing the doors.
- Hang on, I shouted.
- You’re cutting it close, laughed the doorman. I took out my wallet, showed him my student ID and he let me in. I had to ask the woman with the sing-on list for the loan of a pen. The look she gave me was brilliant. Grabbed a seat. The study junkies were all staring at me; dripping wet and grinning. Some of them probably even knew about the old man being on the way out. I knew what they were thinking; he’s never in, never hands up any work, didn’t sit the Christmas exam and then his father gets sick – what a bollix. Me the bollix that is.
The whole time the Arch Invigilator was giving his cheaters-will-be-taken-out-and-shot-against-a-wall routine, I was pissing myself laughing. Laughing at the lot of them and the nurse too. When Invigilator #1 finished up I let out a cheer and applauded him. Study Junky #1 – Anne Tight-Arse – gave me a look of pure poison. I licked my lips at her.
The paper came around.

School of Business & Inhumanities
Marketing Year 4

Q 1 (a) State the 7 principles of Market Research.

I opened my answer book, wrote Q1 (a) in the margin and began.

"Principle #1
Ms "

Shit. Jesus. I couldn’t remember the lecturer’s name. It was probably on the exam paper but to hell with it.

"Ms. Marketing Lecturer. How are you? The principles of market research, you ask. Well, that’s a good question and to be honest I haven’t got a clue of the answer. But I can tell you what I think of marketing. It’s the worst waste of time and money known to man, woman or child. Marketing is a fine example of putting the trailer in front of the Massey Ferguson. Used to be, you’d build something and then you’d tell people about it so they could buy it."

I was delighted that my ferocious scribbling was dropping jaws among my course mates. Tight-Arse was probably crying – don’t let him pass.

"But now, now you ask the public what the want and then you try and give it to them. Never, ever give people what they want. Don’t you know that’s how the gods punish us? They answer our prayers.

Marketers are responsible for how shite the Windows operating system is, for how "

My phone rang out. I sat stock still. Was that my phone? It rang again. I took it out and looked at it as it rang and rang. It was her.
- Who’s phone is that? roared Arch Duke Invigilator. I answered the call.
- Lisa.
- Oh God, she was crying, - I’m at the hospital.
Long pause.
- He’s gone, Tom, I’m sorry.
- I know.
Even longer pause.
- Ha?
- Get out of this exam hall, went Herr Exams.
- Where are you? She wasn’t crying now.
- I’m trying to sit my final year exams if you must know.
- Fuck’s sakes, Tom, what?
- Turn off that phone!
- I’ll call you back. I hung up. Sligo’s Invigilator of the Year Ten Years Running came sprinting down the desks at me.
- You are out of here, he began but I jumped out of my seat just as he got to me.
- Fuck the fuck off you hairy invigilating fuck! I roared in his face. He staggered back and knocked over someone else’s desk. His look of utter shock cracked me up. Tight-Arse was actually standing up, looking at me. What was she going to do? Help him through me out? I grabbed my answer paper, scrunched it up into a ball. I wanted to stuff it down the invigilator’s shirt. Instead, I dropped kicked it across the hall and headed for the door. I stopped at Tight-Arse.
- Tight-Arse, I’ll miss you the most. Be strong.
Nearer the door, I took my phone out to call Lisa back but I remembered something. I turned and raced back to my desk. Invigilating You backed away. I grabbed the pen. The phone rang. Lisa again.
- Just stay where you are are, I said, heading for the door again, - I’m on my way.
Passing the woman, I gave her back her pen.
- Thanks for the loan.

Burn, son. Burn.

© John Rogers 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

What's So Good About It

I just want to sleep some more
But the auld dog's howling at my door
I don't even feel that sore
I just want to sleep some more

8 am and it's dark outside
Dry eyes feel so tired
Damn alarm clock just went suicide
This bed's a good place to hide

Such a damn fine place to rest
Her sleeping breath on my chest
The warm curve of her breast
Mmm... this place is blest

Been months since I last saw the sun
It was such a damn fine, beautiful one
She left me in the mood for fun
And I blew the traps like a bullet, like a bullet from a gun

Oh I lived by day and slept by night
Rose each morn as the world grew bright
Glorious sunshine tempered my eternal fight
And I found my purpose in thunderous might

Oh it's the summer
I'm on a runner
I'm feeling just a little bit taller
Since I found the guts to call her

How I'd laugh at the smallest thing
Howl for joy at the coming of spring
In the summer, with the birds I'd sing
And never a thought for what winter might bring

Before I knew it, it was my birthday again
The shadows were reaching deeper, down into the glen
Samhain soon beckoned then
Suddenly, I could see the end

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't hate mornings
But I won't rise, for fear of the hound's growled warning
Already dark clouds are forming
I sometimes lack the most basic yearning

Don't want my feet to hit the floor
Don't want to stand under the shower's pour
Don't want to head for that door
I just want to sleep some more

© John Rogers 2006