MY TOP TEN : SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES SONGS

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10. Mittageisen (METAL POSTCARD)

9. RED LIGHT

8. SUBURBAN RELAPSE

7. PLACEBO EFFECT

6. PREMATURE BURIAL

5. TENANT

4. PARADISE PLACE

3. NIGHTSHIFT

2. MELT!

1. ISRAEL

Quite arbitrary list, all songs i’ve seen performed live, which is why rhapsody and lullaby didn’t make the cut. I saw the Banshees five times between 1978 – 84. every time was awesome, some of my best experiences at gigs.

thanks for reading, and listening,

Dale

TOAD

Common toad (Bufo bufo) on mossy rock, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

when I was nine, I had a pet toad. I’d found him up in near the frog pond at the top of the lane. He had been hiding under a rock, and knowing where they hid, I found him and took him home in my pocket. I made him a home in a small goldfish bowl. It’s misunderstood by people that amphibians need to be kept in water, but they don’t. Although newts spend most of their time in ponds, frogs and toads tend not to spend all their time in water or near it, but are most commonly seen in water in the spring when they are mating. So the aquarium he lived in had a little water in the bottom but he lived in the grass and under the stones which I had placed in there for him. I fed him on earthworms and he seemed quite happy with his environs. All went well until I decided to take him to school with me for a show and tell. I took him in a cornflakes box damp at the bottom and straw with a sprinkling of mud to give him cover. Of course when I got to school the teachers were aghast. They made me take him to the far edge of the playing fields and let him go. I was enraged. Teachers! Why did they have to mess everything up?

I grumped and grumbled around all day and when the end of school bell went, I rushed off to where I’d left him and quickly re-captured him. I took him home and rather than keep him in captivity, I decided to let him loose in our back garden. He continued to live in our garden for years. He could be found under the garden shed. I don’t think he ever felt the call of the wild, or felt the urge to go and mate. I just know that he stayed in our garden for years. My mum used to despair as I would bring back all kinds of fauna and flora. I once got a moorhen egg to hatch out in our airing cupboard, I only managed to keep it alive for a couple of days, I couldn’t find out what they were supposed to eat. Bread and milk was not the answer.

The point of this little story? We used to be left to our own devices as children. We were allowed to play out and have our own adventures. We learned life lessons from this experience. Do computer games allow the same opportunities?

LITTLE THINGS (CHILDISH THINGS NEVER PUT AWAY)

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LITTLE THINGS

A jam jar with string around the top,

thirty two sticklebacks and minnows caught,

Swimming in the paddling pool in the park,

In my pants with snow falling all around.

 

The secret pond hidden in a hut,

Brick wall and tin-roof

And a special pool inside

Full of frogs and two hundred years

Beyond Erasmus Darwin’s need.

 

A tin bath used as a boat,

On a faraway pond

Long lost to school playing fields…

On the same pond : frozen,

Skating with my shiny shoes…

And where the willow wept

The ice broke, fickle as fate,

And I’m soaked and shoes sodden…

A spanking awaits… For sure.

Little things

Little oddities.

The strangeness only in their significance,

The place they occupy in my memory,

And the shelf-space they deny

Long forgotten memories…

Which may have more meaning.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018

OLD BROWN SLIP-ON SHOES

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OLD BROWN SLIP-ON SHOES

There they sit,

at the end of your bed,

As you left them.

A hodge-podge of hurry,

Quickly dispersed in the rush

to change into trainers

And quickly out to play.

 

And your bed is stripped back,

The bell-ringing blue plastic sheet,

designed to stop your bed-wetting,

is neatly stacked at the bottom of your bed…

All the detritus of you remains,

but you do not.

 

The smell of you:-

Is the smell of piss.

The memory of you…

is your hot body in my bed,

after an “accident” in yours.

And then the hot wet piss

spreading across the back of my pants, back of my legs…

And there is no-where to hide,

Even on the edge of the mattress

Your pee invades my space.

 

It disturbs me that after forty four years…

These are the memories that stick:-

A pair of broken down heels

on old brown slip-on shoes

and a bed soaked in urine;

A blue electric sheet with a bell…

Which only ever woke me and never you…

But now, nothing will ever wake you.

And memory wanes… but you will always by there…

Somewhere.

copyright Dale Beck 2018

REDEMPTION

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REDEMPTION

Minus five but the wind-chill makes it double

and the snow lies to a depth of five inches.

The doorway offers little protection…

A little protection from the wind…

But not the snow.

The snow covers half the sleeping bag

and even his woollen hat…

Has a smattering.

 

It’s only the noise of his teeth

Chattering like old fish-wives,

that alerts you to the fact:-

He’s still alive!

Alive but the cold is in his bones…

Not even old bones,

now there is the rub!

 

He is a boy despite his bristling beard,

and he owns nothing in this world…

Not a thing… but a habit!

And no-one cares, not even his parents,

He has no friends, but a dealer.

 

And this is the great new world…

the great promise of Capitalism…

I know… You may stifle a yawn,

not this old turkey…

yet another strand of socialism…

So I won’t bore you.

But it is wrong,

Horribly wrong,

and I can’t stop caring,

no I can’t stop!

copyright Dale Beck 2018

FILIGREE

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FILIGREE

Intricate filigree chased out with chisel and chimes,

Time-served and time-etched like

an illuminated manuscript.

No cistercian monk sworn to silence,

But a brash and brazier-ed metal basher,

Swearing and cursing like a costermonger…

How do such sweet works come from one so uncouth?

Even the roughest hands can meld beauty,

Even the darkest mind can form pretty thoughts…

And even the crass can gild a lily,

bye and bye,

bye and bye.

Copyright Dale Beck 2018.