ZOOMVILLE ON SEA

More and more people work from home, this is a lyric for post covid Zoomers who’ve been lucky enough to find the escape map.

Welcome to Zoomville On Sea,
Goodbye sardine train commute,
Home office overlooks beach,
New garden is full of fruit,
Car in garage, seldom used,
Away from big smoke air is clean,
Even the kids are amused,
Happier than ever been,
We’re happy here
Zoomville On Sea
So happy here
Zoomville On Sea
Goodbye to old office stress,
Farewell politics of hate,
No more dressing to impress,
Impossible to be late,
We’ve both got a comfy chair,
With views beside the windows,
New lives, with time to care,
To see which way the wind blows.
Zoomville On Sea
We’re happy here
Zoomville On sea
So happy here.
Zoomville On Sea,
You here by me,
It’s a new life,
Could be for life,
Next to the beach.
Zoomville On Sea.

Harry Rogers, in The Yellow Room, 22nd July 2021.

LET’S GO OUT AND BOOZE!!!

Freedom’s just another word
For let’s go out and booze,
Let’s go out, get off our tits,
There’s nothing left to lose.
All the pike are smiling as
They leap upon the floor,
Next day turn into spreaders,
Minnows seen it all before.
They see themselves as martyrs,
Who deserve to go and play,
Throw caution to the four winds,
As they rave on freedom day.
Glitter balls and ticker tape,
Midnight countdowns, sweaty hugs,
Best time of their hemmed in lives,
Callow kids with shoulder shrugs.
“We’ve got our lives back again,
It’s what we have waited for.”
I watch news convulsed with shock,
Now paranoid evermore.
I do not begrudge them fun
Remember I was once young,
But how quick this recklessness,
Feeds into the greater mess.
Now, once more, I hunker down,
Scared to venture into town,
Self inflict isolation,
From younger generation.
No more ice creams on the beach,
Normality out of reach.
Don’t trust herd experiment,
Seems we don’t have any choice,
Eugenicist government,
Cares not for our elder voice.

Harry Rogers, 73 and three quarters, in The Red Bedroom, 20th July 2021

FREEDOM DAY QUIZ

Freedom Day?
Freedom from what?
Freedom to do what?
Freedom at what cost
Freedom for whom?
Freedom in where?
Return to normal?
What is normal?
When was normal?
Who was normal?
Who isn’t normal?
Who determines normal?
What is power?
Who has power?
How did they get power?
Why did they want power?
How do we remove power?
Whence came power?

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 17th July 2021.

KNITTING WITH FOG

Will we ever know their secrets?
These sly folks that rule our rulers,
The ones way back behind the scenes,
Anonymous to all but Queens,
Future kings, selected MPs,
High ranked spads and civil servants,
Cross party, beyond politics,
Above democratic control.
Part of a giant Ponzi scheme,
Designed to create illusions
Of genuine access to change.
An old friend of mine once told me
“Understanding our system is
Akin to trying to knit fog.”
Special advice from researchers
Gives documents a key word gloss,
Commons library table creaks
Under sheer weight of paper bills.
Subtle nuances abounding
A myriad of gaslighting
Phrases to aid bamboozlers,
Written under extreme pressure,
Mostly unread, then stored away,
Added to historic mountains,
Laws that await fevered usage
In debates within status quo.
Behind the veil of ignorance
Bliss fueled rhetoric purveyors
Spaff and bluster as walls crumble.
Cherry pick as midnight oils burn,
Latest wheeze, slung upon the pile,
Designed to make the people yearn
For fake impossibilities,
Squared circle hope filled elixirs,
Obfusticated essences,
Blind belief that things will improve,
We can all start levelling up.
Only some are on the level,
Mostly we’re on slippery slopes,
Horizons crooked from the start.
Watch as Atlas shrugs in the dark.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 15th July 2021.

TWIN TOSSER FIASCOS

My friend, George, said that Johnson and Patel et al are just not up to the job following the latest twin fiascos re racism and masks,tossers.
I respond as follows:-
What is the job as they see it? These Tories wheel out confidence tricksters such as Schapps to smooth over cracks with silver tongued apologies on breakfast Radio Four etc. It’s the nasty underbelly of our society that has never unpicked white chauvinism, even by non white Tories. It’s like even though we no longer have an empire we are still consumed by imperialist mores, a kind of long imperialism that is not properly understood by many. It’s heartwarming to see footballers, black and white together, taking on deep seated prejudice directly and consistently, calling out the bullies in the full glare of public scrutiny. Such bravery is rare but this feels like a turning point, bullies hate confrontation, but confront them we must. It’s time to paint racists into an ever decreasing corner and I admire the England football squad for their stand. Football isn’t coming home, it never went away, those sick fucks in the white supremacist parties who have invaded the terraces since the 1960s have to be called out, as must their fellow travellers in the Conservative party, who are, indeed, tossers.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, 14th July 2021.

TEAM LOVE

The bunting, the flags, now folded away,
Footballers live to play another day.
Next year embark on new world cup caper,
Euro defeat yesterday’s chip paper.
Meanwhile penalties humiliation
Starkly revealed the worst of a nation.
Those that point fingers and apportion blame
Do not understand this beautiful game,
What is it that fuels racism hate?
What thing can these fascists not tolerate?
They see it, writ large, in front of their face,
Team friends and humans, regardless of race,
They hugged each other with love in defeat.
Match lost but team love did bigotry beat.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 12th July 2021.

BEYOND PREVENTION

Alpha, beta, delta, lambda kebabs,
Pick and mix menus, long covid rehabs.
Atomised rules destroy kids mental health,
Midst clamour for restart of rental wealth.
On terraces fans bring back wondrous roar,
This is what bread and circuses are for.
Occupy minds with dreams of fake glory,
Media moguls control this story.
Outdoors in country gardens bucolic
Lurk pandemic hordes of alcoholics,
New victims of lack of joined up thinking,
Cheap supermarket booze fires home drinking.
Blue tits and sparrows pay no attention,
Nature continues, beyond prevention.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 11th July 2021.

HOW THE WEMBLEY WIND BLOWS.

Pale rider shifts shape, slides across borders,
Passes detection, jumps over hurdles,
Ignores vaccines, laughs at end of lock downs.
Invisible and ineluctable,
Taunts experts and opportunists alike.
Third wave breaks on freedom day in summer.
Never have so many hands dripped so red.
Prime Minister, Blondie Bombshell Boris
Poses with three lions on an England shirt,
Naked opportunism breathtaking,
Such audacity blown beyond The Pale.
The fetid reek of fake populism
Blows hard from Downing Street to Wembley Way.
Not your day, you Eton rotters, not yours.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 11th July 202.

I AM NOT A GENRE

I Am Not A Genre recorded in 2017 at the Get Off The Grid Solar Energy Festival in North Georgia, in August 2017.

I am not a genre
I am not in a bag
I am not a genre
That would be such a drag
I am not a genre
I play outside the box
I am not a genre
Nobody shot my Fox
I’m a free man
I’m a free man
Free man that rocks
I’m a free man
I’m a free man
Breaking the locks
I am not a genre
Don’t stick labels on me
I am not a genre
I won’t be what you see
I am not a genre
Conforming to your rule
I am not a genre
Ain’t gonna be your mule
I’m a free man
I’m a free man
Free man that rocks
I’m a free man
I’m a free man
Breaking the locks
I
Am
Not…..
A Genre.

Harry Rogers, In Harriboy’s Hut, Aberbanc, July 9th 2017

HERE IS THE “NEWS”

Three men in rocketships
Aim to be into space
Each before the other.
This is meant to be “news”.
An MP talks about
Indigenous people
On the Channel Four News,
Also meant to be “news”.
Elderly New Labour
Wrecking ball mega stars
Ever regurgitate
Via purported “news”.
Major-minor royals
Act out stupid events
And other cunning stunts,
Also portrayed as “news”.
Current affairs rise large
With Cabinet members
Caught polishing their desks,
Hailed as important “news”.
Yet hundreds of thousands
Demonstrate on our streets,
Silence is deafening
As they don’t make the “news”.
What is “news” all about?

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 9th July 2021.

MY GARDEN GIRL

A song for Jenny, my partner for almost 40 years, recorded in Sandy Springs in Atlanta Georgia with Steve Baird on Guitar, and later flute added by Kathie Holmes.
Jenny and I on holiday many years ago.

She’s my garden girl

She’s got pollen in her hair

She’s my garden girl

She plants smiles everywhere

Look across the valley

On a warm day

You’ll see my garden girl

On a warm day

She’ll be busy planting

On a warm day

Outside with her radio

On a warm day

She’s my garden girl

She’s got pollen in her hair

She’s my garden girl

She plants smiles everywhere

Look across the valley

On a hot day

She’ll be there again

On a hot day

Watering the vegetables

On a hot day

Outside with her radio

On a hot day

She’s my garden girl

She’s got pollen in her hair

She’s my garden girl

She plants smiles everywhere

Look across the valley

On a wet day

She’s in her greenhouse

On a wet day

Sowing seeds in compost

On a wet day

Inside with her radio

On a wet day

She’s my garden girl

She’s got pollen in her hair

She’s my garden girl

She plants smiles everywhere

Look across the valley

On a cold day

There’s my garden girl

On a cold day

Digging over fruit beds

On a cold day

Outside with her radio

On a cold day

She’s my garden girl

She’s got pollen in her hair

She’s my garden girl

She plants smiles everywhere

Copyright: Harry Rogers – 25-11-11, Recorded in 2018, Edited 6th July 2021

DANCE THE LAMBDA LAMBADA

This appetite for risk
Beyond the sour point,
Beyond immunity,
Encouraged from above.
Once more new variants
Wreak havoc where we meet,
Feed manna to the herd,
Theatre of the absurd.
Go dancing in the street,
Soon Lambda there you’ll meet,
It’s a new infection,
Bypass vaccine action,
Shapeshifting pale riders
Care not for elections,
Endless replication,
Beyond application,
Still rampant in Peru,
Danger for me and you,
Now inside our borders,
Still sing that road map tune,
Reach destination soon,
Like zombies under moon,
Heap praise on blond pultroon.
Dance Lambda Lambada
Whirligig spins faster.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 6th July 2021.

IF NOT NOW WHEN?

Today he said
“If not now when?”
If not now when?
Did he say that?
Did he really?
If not now when?
As spike rises?
Mid pandemic?
We are all now
Responsible,
Trust common sense,
Roll out road map.
Road map to where?
Randian bet
On new cult of
Post vax freedom.
So where do those
Anti vaxers
Fit into this
Chaos theatre?
What about those
Double jabbers
Downed by Delta?
Hope folks enjoy
Drinks at the bar,
Shisha pipe smoke,
Strip clubs, clip joints,
Hugs in the Park
Dances in dark.
If these take your
Fancy once more
It’s up to you,
You know the score,
Just remember
Do what thou wilt
Is not yet the
Whole of the law.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, July 5th 2021

ASTRAL SPLENDOR

My brother Bruce with his wife Brenda who died in late 2019.
I made this poem in her memory for Bruce and their children, Alison, Hayley and George. They had a star named after her and so I wrote these words.

Take time, look up into the sky,
Beyond the realm of wonder why
You’ll find that place of love and care
A galaxy beyond compare
Very special, so far out there
Focus to right above Great Bear
There has appeared a brand new star
That beams so bright from oh so far
Day time, night time, astral splendor
Marvel at that star called Brenda.

Harri Rogers
Pencnwau
12th January 2020.

BATLEY AND SPEN

Labour Roller Coaster jumps red wall rails,
Embrace nationalism when all else fails,
Wrap butchers apron around leaders waist,
Shout I’m buying British, I love the taste
Of Melton Mowbray pork pies, Bakewell Tarts,
Jellied eels, Stilton, things that make one fart,
Wear Burberry on the doorstep,
Order pre TV patriotic prep,
Be all things to all, Brexit or remain,
Ride a dozen donkeys, blame left, again.
Claim victory from nigh on disaster,
Demolish red castles ever faster,
More than half electorate stay at home,
Smells like a whiff of fall of ancient Rome.

Harry Rogers In The Red Bedroom, 5th July 2021.

THE ROAD TO HARRIFEST

On the road to Harrifest
To catch up with all my friends
In nineteen ninety seven
When I was fifty years old
When Bill Fleming met Bob Fish,
A musical path was lit
Beneath red barn we gathered,
For more than twenty one years

At Harrifest
Where songs ran free
In the wild West
Our songs ran free
Times were the best
The beer ran free
At Harrifest
Where we ran free

Barbecues and veg curries,
Manicured garden camp site,
Poets, bands, some jugglers too,
From far and wide all did come,
Dave Sutherland missed not one,
By jingo did we have some fun,
We rocked out through setting sun,
Everyone loved everyone.

Our Harrifest
Best in the West.
How much we do remember.

Harry Rogers In The Yellow Room, 3rd July 2021.

SENEDD KINEMA

Mock up of proposed flag on Tax Office in Cardiff.

Welcome to Senedd Kinema,
Stuck in the middle of the road,
Where first minister has become
The Boris Johnson squirmy toad.
How comes blood stained butchers apron
Flies on high in our capital?
In these dog days of the empire,
A move like this has capped it all.
Ancient projectors belch dark smoke,
Mirrors reflect the worst of proof,
On days like this in Cardiff Bay,
Through blue light, Labour screens it’s truth.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, 1st July 2021.

LONG CAPITALISM

The New Normal will likely be a permanent Precariat.
The Capitalist Realism practiced by neo liberal governments and the Covid 19 pandemic are in a real sense a perfect storm for all of us.
Blairism and the stalinisation of the Public Sector left us closer to total privatisation of the NHS. That open door has allowed a section amongst Tory polititions to actively move further towards the American approach to health care over the last ten years and more.
Education, Education, Education, the slogan of Blairism has led to the implementation of a regime within Higher Education that has led to a complete and ridiculous shackling of Academia into a maelstrom of performance indicators and monitoring which in turn is now in total chaos due to Covid 19. Blairism signalled the end of opposition to capitalist exploitation. Despite the blip that was Corbynism, the Stalinist Blairites have never relinquished control of the structure of the Labour Party, and the mainstream media have conspired with this clique to bring about the destruction of the integrity of the left through the use of blatent lies.

Why do people not care about corruption? Or perhaps they do care but realise that there ain’t anything they can do about it once it becomes so all pervasive.

At this juncture we have a Government composed of the very worst political criminals who have exploited the biggest health crisis in a hundred years for personal gain. The corruption that comes from a complete disregard for tendering proceedures for procurement contracts is utterly outrageous.

Why is there a basic acceptance that politicians and senior managers in public services and state run businesses are on the take? Such fatalism comes in part from a catastrophic failure of mainstream journalism.

That corruption is now the status quo is a given amongst vast swathes of the public. There is no longer a culture of integrity, no expectation of honesty, in those who control our lives. Politics has become a term similar to crime, no-one trusts their elected officials any more, no matter what their ideological position is.

What we are now experiencing is Long Capitalism, an affliction that spreads under the guise of freedom and the future fulfillment of unattainable dreams through the giant Ponzi scheme that is thrust upon humanity by an elite cadre who believe that they are immortal, beyond control, and entitled to behave as they like, using state apparatus and the subservient media to protect and enhance their position.
We recall when Thatcher said there is no alternative to capitalism after the collapse of communism in Russia and the Eastern Bloc. The struggle to articulate an alternative in these times is harder than it was back in those tumultuous last decades of the twentieth century. Yet those of us who believe that such rottenness at the heart of our society should be cut out have to find the means to not just articulate an alternative but to convince people that there is a better way. This is the imperative that faces us as we stare into the abyss of fascism.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 1st July 2021

PICTURES OF COSMIC DAWN

Bring pictures of Cosmic Dawn
We are stardust after all,
Shame bombers aren’t butterflies,
All this time on from Woodstock.
Fill minds with infinity,
Shift thoughts to universal,
Away from minutiae.
Encourage contemplation
Of paradigms that blow minds,
Move thoughts away from mundane,
To phantasmagorical.
Do not allow focus on
Immediacy of life,
Poverty, sickness nor wealth,
Bring on artful distraction,
Flood out impenetrable,
Those artificial dream scapes
That ultimately lead to
Ultra dissatisfaction.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 28th June 2021

CRIMEAN TRAVELOGUE

War of the narrative ramps up tension,
Sabres rattle, bolt on apprehension,
Insert mainstream media upon bridge,
Issue fire proofed outfits to privileged,
Both sides revel in dark paranoia,
Ignore advice of humanist lawyers,
Leaders need threat of distant enemies,
To justify growth of their arsenals.
But is there crime here in the Crimea?
Or creation of underlying fear?
Bankrupt, this fifties ideology
Pervades highest corridors of power.
In Europe and Russia us folks buy pain,
For the bewildered across the Ukraine.

Harry Rogers, in The Yellow Room, 27th June 2021

LOVE UNITY

Hard storms rage long
Darkling flash song
Something is wrong.

Split asunder
Summer thunder
Tears up under

Where shall we go?
If we’re alone?
We need a home.

What we need
Is Unity

For today
Need Unity

All the world
Wants unity

Bring it now
Love unity

We all gots to get together
We gots to build a better place
Join up one by one by one now
Let’s unify whilst we still can

When storm rides out
Outside we shout
Put aside doubt

Hair dried in place
Smile on our face
One human race

Joined hand in hand
Nothing is planned
One happy band

What we need
Is Unity

For today
Need Unity

All the world
Wants unity

Bring it now
Love unity

Bring it now
Love unity

Bring it now
Love unity

Before it gets too late for me to see.

Harry Rogers, In the yellow room, 23rd June, 2021

RED BRICKS IN AMERSHAM

A small pile of red bricks in Amersham,
All that remains of Keith’s local party,
Where once there were hopes of building a wall,
Now there is little chance left there at all.
Mandelsonian disrupters at work,
Take us on magical mystery tour
To strange, prefigured, Orwellian place,
Where everyone has a two sided face,
Where lies are piled sky high in full out trays,
And no-one believes what anyone says.
New Labour nonces blame Corbyn, again,
Lib Dem romancers fling new austere pain.
Garden TV parties spring up in pubs,
Football means more than political subs.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 23rd June 2021.

Surfing Sargasso Hurricane Wave

I’m overcome by realisation.
By the life lived by a woman, Ella.
Known as Jean Rhys she short circuits my mind.
Brought up short in The Wide Sargasso Sea,
I am knocked off my sleek sex waxed surfboard.
A hurricane of understanding comes,
Climbing back on my board, bracing for the
Giant third age wave, rolling over weeds,
Ready to be ridden in clear sunlight,
Towards shining, swirling, vortex centre,
Where the flotsam and jetsam disappears,
Sucked into deepest blue water below,
To forever swim down amongst the eels,
Never escaping dark, tangled, green, reeds.

Harry Rogers, In Harriboy’s Hut, Aberbanc – Easter Monday 2017. Revised in the red bedroom, 23rd June 2021.

SAVIOUR

Aimee is a saviour,
She knows what is what
Knows how easy boredom comes
How strong is the game.
Easy conversation
Leads to find my needs
She uses her instinct,
Drills down instantly.
Stands her ground with a smile,
Very readily
Searches for friendship crux,
Goes straight to the point
Enables music flow,
Brings me some earphones,
I can recuperate,
Aimee you are great.
Aimee, Aimee, Aimee,
You are truly great.

Harry Rogers, In Cardiac Care Unit, Gwilli Hospital, Carmarthen, 19th June 2021.

WIRELESS WARFARE.

Spectrum warfare behind scenes,
Control airways by any means,
Tanks, trenches, no longer matter,
Troops with rifles are so old school.
Autonomous mm spectrum drones,
Robot ships, and pilotless planes,
Communicate by radio,
Seek out algorithymic targets.
Machine learned combat veterans,
Use wireless now to swell coffers,
Politicians love to see none
Of their boys flown in body bags.
Keep all collateral damage,
Overseas, out of sight and mind.
The spectrum battlefield is here,
Old warfare now can disappear,
Military industrial
Complex brings profits far more grand,
Now wireless warfare’s in the land.

Harry Rogers In Major Room One, Glangwilli A&E, 18th June, 2021

HOW WARM THE COCKLES.

One thing we can predict for sure,
This ain’t ever going away.
Not now, not ever, not no more,
It’s here forever and a day.
We will be jabbed and jabbed again,
Throughout the rest of all our lives.
Groundhogs run in and out with pain,
It’s luck that dictates who survives.
Still how much better do we feel,
Boris has ate another meal,
One more big fish inside his creel,
He’s bagged Australian trade deal.
How warm the cockles of my heart,
As propaganda games begin,
Already fizzles like long, slow fart,
Remind me how we put him in.

Harry Rogers, in the yellow room, 15th June 2021

“THIS TAKING THE KNEE THING.”

“This taking the knee thing”
That’s what Fiona said
On Question Time tonight.
Just sums up where we’re at.
Such blatent flipancy,
From this roadshow antique
Who believes it’s her right,
As a top presenter,
To set political
And social agendas.
Her denigration and
Naked belittling
Of anything vaguely
Left wing and progressive
Continues on unchecked,
Sadly, week after week.
Black Lives Matter, campaign
In English Football game,
Up for public debate,
“This taking the knee thing.”
It’s not political,
Is It?Well yes, it is,
Just not on the radar
Of Labour or Tories.

Harry Rogers, In Harriboy’s Hut, 14th June 2021

ALMOST YOUNG

Demo recorded with Andrew Howell in 2016

I see you’re still going to that cellar bar,
Still driving there in that old fifties car
Same old place where once love was begun
Desperately seeking out some long lost fun
Where everyone you see is almost young
People have I love you on the tip of their tongue

Almost young
So very nearly young
Almost young
So very nearly young

Gathered in the corners, away from the light
Touching starngers hands though till midnight
Kissing in the dark, holding on so tight,
Like finch chicks in a nesting box, out of sight
Wondering whether this really feels right.
Could it work out? Maybe it just might.

Almost young
So very nearly young
Almost young
So very nearly young

Once in a while you take a bit of a chance,
Move onto the floor for a long slow dance,
Look wistfully across where the young folk are
On the shiny bright side of the cellar bar
To that place where love was once begun
Dancing in the shadows with the almost young

Almost young
So very nearly young
Almost young
So very nearly young

Harry Rogers, In the old study, 7th July 2012

SHINING THROUGH THE TREES

After the last year and a half at last a better time is coming.
Title track from Scene Red second album SHINING THROUGH THE TREES.

Winter has been long and hard

Springtime also cold and wet

Summer’s very nearly here

You are coming home again

It’s been far far too long

Since you had to go away

See the sunshine

Shining through the trees

Shining through the trees

Shining over you and me

I’m waiting for your old white car

To come on down our lane

Can’t wait to hear your old white car

And see your smiling face again

Now the sun is back again

You brought the sun

back again

See the sunshine

Shining through the trees

Shining through the trees

Shining over you and me

Harry Rogers, In the old study, 2015

PANDEMIC PANJANDRUMS

Scientists in white lab coats,
Wheeled out, yet again,
To bale out politicians,
That bring austere pain.
Expert justification,
Old canard so sour,
Wielded, nation by nation,
Charlatan power.


Biden to Bolsanaro,
Johnson to Macron,
Will blame boffins in white coats,
When it all goes wrong.
Slowly our eyes glaze over,
Sombre songs we sing,
People flock onto beaches,
Bank holiday fling.


Governments dole out good news,
Their lips drip with cream,
Pass balls to academics,
To roll out bad dreams.
Leaders need these panjandrums,
To stand up on screen,
Throughout elite history,
Always been obscene.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 5th June 2021.

MIND VERSUS WORLD

Speculate. Where and how mind meets world,
Versus situations where world meets mind?
How easy is it to manipulate
Perception? To generate mass belief,
In resurrectional concepts as truth?
Convince multitudes there’s freedom of choice,
At same time deny alternative voice?
Perpetual reminders pumped, daily,
Through media organs, built to ensure,
We respect royalty and rule of law.
Lately disrupters gain credence anew,
Still nothing changes to overall view.
Such questions perplex as I journey on,
Towards inevitable terminus.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 3rd July 2021.

GREY ZONE NEWSPEAK

News bounces from radio against wall,
Heard new variant, flew in from Nepal.
In same way there’s a grey zone of warfare
Could it be there is a grey zone of health?
That space in between peace and declared war,
Where arms manufacturers operate,
Sales executives occupy high ground,
Set up stalls at fairs to pimp deterrence.
After all, nobody wants to start war,
This is ,they say, what weaponry is for.
Maintain status quo in honest regimes,
Shore up capitalist edifaces
Against concepts of democratic change.
Grey zone newspeak infects global research.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 3rd June, 2021

WHAT PRICE CURTAINS?

Government and media tell us each day,
Property prices are soaring away,
Now is the best time to buy a new home,
Whilst interest rates are historically low,
Lenders flood markets with easy money,
House prices rocket, supply is curtailed.
How can bubbles grow so big and not burst?
Level up red walls, put rentiers first,
Protect portfolio entrepreneurs,
Maximise right to evict poor renters.
Vaccine relief floods out from TV screens,
Unfurloughed homeless spill out onto streets.
Housing departments collapse under strain,
Remind me, what price John Lewis curtains?

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 2nd June 2021

BABY IT’S COLD INSIDE

This is a repost from 2013 with the addition of an MP3 recorded in 2016.

SHE USED TO BE ABLE
TO SPEND HALF HER DAY
SAT AT HER TABLE
OUTSIDE THE TIME CAFE
WITH A CAPPUCINO
AND A ROLL UP CIGARETTE
WATCHING THE WORLD GO
HOW MUCH BETTER CAN IT GET?

SHE’S TRAPPED NOW
BY THE WHITE COATS
SHE’S TRAPPED NOW
BY THE WHITE COATS

SHE WANTS TO GO OUT
LIKE SHE ALWAYS HAD
SHE WANTS TO GO OUT
THEY SAY SHE IS MAD
KEEP HER LOCKED AWAY
IN THAT WAY THEY CAN
LOCK HER WELL AWAY
IN COLD COMFORT LAND

SHE’S TRAPPED NOW
BY THE WHITE COATS
SHE’S TRAPPED NOW
BY THE WHITE COATS

THEY TOOK HER FREEDOM
WRAPPED IT UP IN RULES
RULES OVER FREEDOM
FROM A BUNCH OF FOOLS

SAY IT’S FOR THE BEST
FOR HER PROTECTION
IT’S THE VERY BEST
FORWARD PROJECTION

SHE’S TRAPPED NOW
BY THE WHITE COATS
SHE’S TRAPPED NOW
BY THE WHITE COATS

BABY IT’S COLD INSIDE
BABY IT’S COLD INSIDE
 
Harry Rogers, in Carmarthen 05-03-2013

GROUNDHOG PARTY ON THE BEACH

It’s the wedding of the week
A match that’s made in heaven,
They’ve already made a tweak
To flat number eleven.
Radio stations churn out
Silly love songs everyday,
This fucking covid nightmare,
Feels as if it’s here to stay,
Sun shines brightly on the beach,
People flood onto the shore,
Swim in sea, sunbathe on sand,
This is what lock down was for?
This is UK groundhog day,
It’s twenty twenty again
I watch late night TV news,
Well, at least it didn’t rain.
Even our two newly weds,
Have skipped out down to the coast,
Most of us are gate happy,
We all miss our freedom most.
Me?
I only want to live………
a little bit longer

Harry Rogers, in the Yellow Room, 1st June 2021.

CORPORATE TARANTULAS

Daylight darkens into dusk,
Zuckerberg, Bezos, and Musk,
Climb into electric cars,
Look up with greed towards stars,
Dream they will put life on Mars,
Become modern avatars.
Who are they to rip us off?
Beyond law they stand and scoff,
One hundred billion plus,
Each of them has made from us.
Tax for them? Anathema,
Each one a tarantula.
Combined power truly vast,
Control stolen super fast,
Too late to mourn distant past,
Seems as if their die is cast,
We are ruled by oligarchs,
Aided by perverted narks.
Where once internet ran free
Mine data from thee and me.
We must cauterise their lust,
Zuckerberg, Bezos, and Musk.

Harry Rogers In The Red Bedroom, 30th May 2021.

RIDE THAT OLD CYCLE

MSM push Downing Street narrative,
We can spend our way out of disaster.
Pandemic windfall savings rescue us
From collapse of retail economy.
Nevermind rampant viral variants,
Have to do our bit to save the market.
Can it work out? If we empty accounts?
I hear on Radio Four news today
Global inflation may gallop away,
Already copper, oil and lumber,
Resource prices rising beyond state control.
Create paranoia, bubbles will burst.
Wait with bated breath, boom and bust cycle,
Roars round bend, yet again poor take hit first.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 29th May 2021.

YEAH, I’M OLD, SO WHAT?

Yeah, I’m old, so what? Demo recorded in Harriboy’s Hut, 28/05/2021

Yeah, I’m old, what’s it to you?
You in your grace and favour,
Middle aged, luxury life.
Who the fuck are you to think
It’s OK to throw away
Over eighties like rubbish?
To portray Covid nineteen
As a tool for removal
Of elderly people now
Surplus to requirements?
With four hundred and twenty
Members of the House Of Lords
Over the age of Seventy,
Making the laws of the land,
You think it acceptable
To dismiss us at a stroke?
Well, Mr Spaffy Bollocks,
I have some grave news for you,
We ain’t going gracefully.
You can’t shuffle us all off
Into your herd immunity
Chicken pox party parlours,
To die, agonisingly,
We refuse to accept it.
You cannot avoid the truth.
Chickens, poxed or otherwise,
Come home to roost with vengeance.
We’re coming for you, Johnson,
It is time to call you out.
You are a selfish bastard,
With nazi proclivities,
An old school eugenicist,
Prone to racist utterance,
Populist embarrassment,
You use naked harassment
To besmirch democracy.
We are going to send you
An electoral message
That will get right up your nose,
Assuming that there is no
Rolled up fiver already there.
Now it’s time for you to take
Your fake, smirky, boyish charm,
Into has been wilderness.
We see you, you fucking crook,
See you, even though we’re old,
This time we will not forget.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 27th May 2021.

COLD TEA AND WHISKEY

Afternoon speed up of Irish bodhran
Takes me dreamily alongside fiddle
Piano laden with gentle reverb
Soft vocals roll on through the middle

Cold tea and whiskey
Soothe my blues away
Cold tea and whiskey
Soothe my blues away

All I need to transport my mind again,
Back, back, ever back, back to the Big A.
Where new world familiar friends reside.
Sandy Springs or Tucker, places to play.

Cold tea and whiskey
Soothe my blues away
Cold tea and whiskey
Back in the Big A.
Cold tea and whiskey
Soothe my blues away
Cold tea and whiskey
Wait in the Big A.

Ride Marta from airport to Candler Park,
Through Five Points my heart sings high like a lark,
Wistful I wander by Chattahoochee,
Fly me, please fly me, back over the sea.

Cold tea and whiskey
They wait for me there,
Atlanta calls me,
Cold tea and whiskey.

In bed in Aberbanc 06-11-2019. Finished in the Red Bedroom, 27th May 2021

CASHLESS IN LAMPETER

Sup pea and ham soup in Town Hall Café,
First meal out indoors since January
Twenty Twenty. Things have changed in small ways.
As ever in Lampeter soft rain falls.
Sainsbury’s car park machine now cashless.
My debit card soaked as I stand and tap.
Hardware store still haphazard as ever,
With screened social distanced one way system.
We’ve no coins for supermarket trolley,
Seems a lifetime since I spent real money.
Jolly café hubbub strangely subdued,
Reverential cappuccino coffee,
Sipped whisperly, hushed tones, as if in church.
We buy takeaway cakes to eat at home.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 24th May 2021.

CEIBWR

On the coastal path
A sunny Sunday
Walk cliffs to river,
Down to Ceibwr Bay.
Out in the water
Bottlenoses play,
Dreamy fish parade,
Dolphins dance on wave,
Swear I almost heard
Trois Gymnopedies
Bounce off rock face walls
Out across the sea.
Back upon cliff tops
On blanket we sit,
Greedy gulls hover
Whilst we eat picnic.
Sunny afternoon,
It’s a perfect day,
Late February,
Down in Ceibwr Bay.

Harry Rogers In The Yellow Room, 24th May 2021

RAIN IN THE WIND

Demo recorded by Unbroken Ponies 2016

I stand on the cliff path
Overlooking Smugglers Bay
I see the setting sun
Reflected in the waves
If I half close my eyes
I’m back down on that beach
When everything I wanted
Seemed within my reach

After skinny dipping we
Lay there on the sand
Shared our life stories,
Had the same favourite band
That was a great day when
The salt dried in our hair

Think I can smell
Rain in the wind
Rain Rain Rain
Rain in the wind.

We pooled our resources,
Decided we would share
Everything we had, started
Living our dreams large
We took off to Belgium
And bought a Dutch Barge
Sailed it to Haarlem where
We lived for seven years
Opened a piano bar
Selling Belgian beers

Think I can smell
Rain in the wind
Rain Rain Rain
Rain in the wind.

Was it cocaine Johnny
Was it Captain Jack
One those two devils
Opened up a crack
You fell in with
Both of those guys
Something had died
Behind your eyes

Think I can smell
Rain in the wind
Rain Rain Rain
Rain in the wind.

Like the dried up taste
Of dust from the plain
That advance warning
Of impending pain
This is where the start
Of the end begins
When you can smell
Rain in the wind

Rain Rain Rain
Rain in the wind.
Rain Rain Rain
Rain in the wind.

Think I can smell
Rain in the wind….

Harry Rogers, In Harriboy’s Hut, May 2016, revised May 2021.

SO MANY GHOSTS

Ghosts, wherever I turn,
Imps that pick at my brain,
Those who died pre my birth,
Modernity victims,
Twentieth century,
Sad icons of beauty,
Wrecked on fake illusions
Of civilisation.
Personal, national,
Global, familial,
Too many ghosts scream out.
Wars fought for blood and soil,
Wealth, power, kings and oil,
From Somme to Falluja
From Dachau to China,
From Dresden to Gaza,
Korea to Cuba,
Vietnam to Yemen,
This list grows endlessly,
Day in, week in, year out,
War factories churn out,
Mass destruction weapons.
Dealers meet at giant fairs
But there are no fun times,
Helter skelter joy rides,
Bumper cars nor switch backs,
Only endless ghost trains
That carry death profits
To ghoulish investors.
In nineteen ninety nine
We sang our songs of hope,
For a new sunny dawn,
Business as usual soon
Brought all humans up short.
And still ghosts keep coming.
I am sick of this farce,
This death masque rave planet.
Bring me peace and justice,
If only for one day,
I’d like to not see ghosts,
It would be a nice change.

Harry Rogers in the yellow room, 22nd May 2021.

AMBER GAMBLERS

Surf down glaciers to end of the world,
Where clouds are always a dirty yellow.
Drag lithium to surface, drive away
In electric cars, tell yourself you’re green.

Too late, too late,
To save the world
Too late, too late,
End of the world

I thought we might just pull survival off,
Perhaps there was a chance, if we turned red,
But that was about twenty years ago,
Before politics turned bluer than blue.

Too late, too late,
To save the world,
Too late, too late,
End of the world.

Skate on ice shelves as they float away free,
Into plastic filled oceans coloured grey,
As forests burn, viruses explode,
Everywhere skies streaked blood red and orange.

Too late, too late,
To save the world,
Too late, too late,
End of the world.

Empty purple planes line up on runways,
Holiday desire sends fools to amber,
It couldn’t get any later because,
Secretly, yet openly, we know it’s

Too late, too late,
To save the world,
Too late, too late,
End of the world.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, 21st May 2021.

STOLEN CLOTHES

Spads excel at theft of Jeremy’s clothes.
Trawl through long grass where lies manifesto,
Kicked there by Sir Keir in forensic fit
Of pink, Blairite, neo liberal pique.
Almost fell out of my bed this morning,
Radio Four news reader announces,
Without a hint of jaundiced sarcasm,
That Schapps is to take railways back into
Public ownership, immediately.
Franchises have failed. Privatisation?
A gargantuan Thatcherite mistake.
Public transport now totally vital.
Expect to see more Corbyn policies,
Dragged out of ditch by bereft Tories.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 20th May 2021.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FOOTBALL

Such anxiety, I’m not used to it,
How can televised football news footage
Bring on such feelings from so far away?
A short clip of fans on their way to match,
Leaves me on the verge of panic attack.
Juxtaposed young unmasked united fans,
With Covid Indian variant stats.
I don’t begrudge these guys much needed fun,
At their age I too would go to the game.
To vent pent up lockdown testosterone,
Is so completely understandable.
Loss of freedom can only be maintained,
For so long before boiling point is reached.
So why am I in a paranoid state?

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 19th May 2021

I SAW THE SPARROWS DANCE

I saw young sparrows dance,
As I sat in my chair,
Each small, twitchy, bird glanced
At me, and everywhere. 
I too worry about
The threat of predation
They, through instinct, straight out,
Me through trepidation.
Flitter from the hedgerow,
To nut holder and back,
Each journey from get go
Fraught, like a heart attack.
Next doors cat nonchalant,
Like me, oblivious.
All that mog could e’er want
Spiralled lascivious.
I sip julep waiting
Till within grasp I fall,
Sparrow, online dating.
Dancing? No, not at all.

Harry Rogers, In the hut, Aberbanc: 4th November 2016. Edited 16th May 2021.

BENEATH THE LILY PAD

Hop toad in number ten gapes smarmily,
Smiles as he announces his road map out
Of chaotic, self spawned, pandemic mess.
His minions, corruptly mired in graft,
Continue to spin confected conceits,
At flag draped lecterns, back pockets bulging.
Media sychophants scribble it down,
Besotted public still lap it all up,
Cling on desperately to normal dreams.
Crucible, Wembley, London Marathon,
Fine dining, real ale pumped, tennis nets jumped,
Masks discarded, wide open arms hug,
Manufactured relief spreads far and wide.
Beneath the lily pad untold truth hides.

Harry Rogers In The Red Bedroom, 16th May 202.

WATCHING MY SHADOW LEAVE

Watching My Shadow Leave, by Harry Rogers – Vocals and lyrics, and Ashley Cadell – music and mix

I wrote this poem in 2015. Sent a recording of me reading it to my old friend, Ashley Cadell who lives in Melbourne, Australia. He sent me back this amazing finished mix. I post it now in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

WATCHING MY SHADOW LEAVE

I know when things are bad
When I break down and cry
Even when they’re not sad
I cry and cry and cry
The look in people’s eyes
My heart bleeds on my sleeve
Such darkness in the skies
I watch my shadow leave
What can we all do
This is nothing new
What can we all do
This is nothing new 
I want to love them all
Be right there for them
In Al Yarmouk they fall
Also in Bethlehem
I hear them when they call
So loud they need their friends
The world still does fuck all
Whilst this war never ends!
What can we all do
This is nothing new
What can we all do
This is nothing new 
The look in people’s eyes
My heart bleeds on my sleeve
Such darkness in the skies
I watch my shadow leave.

Harry Rogers – In the old study, Aberbanc – 06/04/2015

TORY CONDOR ON BRINK OF EXTINCTION

Glide like a California Condor,
Ride day after day on city thermals,
Look for stock market Covid carrion,
Feather the nest for post pandemic times,
Play on old school chums loyalty bonus,
Extort public funds for bankrupt has been,
Appear contrite in front of committee,
Admit to nothing, claim benevolence
Towards small business and entrepreneurs.
Keep cool, drip bullshit down legs at all times,
Cross winged fingers the fraud squad find nothing.
Fly off at early opportunity,
Write part two of biographical flop,
Spend rest of life looking over shoulders.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 16th May 2021

MONEY GOES TO MONEY

People say that money goes to money
With a smile on their face
But I just don’t find it all that funny,
Some things are out of place

Money goes to money
It ain’t very funny
They steal all our honey
Money goes to money

There’s a plot of land a way across town,
Some rich dude bought it up,
When property prices went down and down.
Bull run done fill his cup.

Money goes to money
It ain’t very funny
They steal all our honey
Money goes to money

There’s a brand new law, needs understanding,
Build what thou wilt it says,
People no longer shall govern planning,
Not round here anyways,

Money goes to money
It ain’t very funny
They steal all our honey
Money goes to money
Money, money,
Money, money,
Money goes to money.

Only if we let it.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, 15th May 2021.

SHADOWS

What is shadow? Light blocked out leaves darkness,
Around edge greyly forms torn penumbra,
An area of interest to painters,
Where reality begins and ends.
The Shadow, greatest comic book hero,
Paved way for Marvel in nineteen thirties.
Shadows once did dance whilst they played Apache,
On latest, modern, electric guitars.
Black shadows roared on North Circular Road,
Playing chicken on way to Ace Cafe,
Silver Shadows pulled up outside dance halls,
Where debutantes arrived to meet the Queen.
Moon shadows totally block out sun,
Eclipses, always cold, dark and quiet.
Older people are sometimes said to be,
Shadows of their former selves, rarely are.
Shadowfax gallops by, Gandalf roaring.
Some folks shadow others work, just in case,
Labour Party shadows, locked deep away,
In Chinese walled cabinet, speak only
When shadowy Mandelson signs it off.
Danger often lurks in darkest places,
Nosferatu cast shadow ten feet tall,
Like Blairite witch hunters in leaders thrall.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, 12th May 2021.

THE GIRL IN THE GARNET COLOURED DRESS

The Duke, Creek. Road, Deptford
Scene Red, L I V E @ The Duke in Creek Road, Deptford, November 2013

Such a beautiful little girl,
In her garnet coloured dress,
The perfect image of serenity,
Carrying a pile of taboon bread,
From her grandmother’s oven,
 Gold coins glinting on her cap,
Smiling at lemons in the sunshine,
With assured stillness of her head.

 She stops before
Crossing the road
She crumples to the dusty ground,
Another collateral obscenity
An Israeli ricochet
Brings her down

Are we crying yet?

Are we crying yet?

Are we crying yet?

Are we?

Harry Rogers, In the old study, Sunday 16th September 2012, updated 11th May 2021.

RESHUFFLE KERFUFFLE

Oh what a kerfuffle
Keir lays out reshuffle
Octet plays on the deck
As steamer chairs scatter
What the forensic heck,
Blairite teacups shatter.
Iceberg in Hartlepool,
Sinks Progress cruise liner,
The captain such a fool,
Shitehawk at the diner.
In newsroom studios,
Old hacks powder their nose,
Write next act of their farce,
Prepare to kick new arse.
Failure? ‘Twas ever thus,
Clapped out spads kick up fuss,
Throw tantrums under bus,
Listen not one to us.
Instal new sychophants,
Show us who wears the pants,
Prepare to fight on beaches,
Drain red blood with leeches,
Chipshop campaign prowler,
Barred from pub in howler,
In barrel it’s his turn,
He yearns to slash and burn.
Decisive? Acts too fast,
Lives mainly in the past.
Prince of darkness dictats,
Anti Leftwing brickbats,
Divide the young from old,
Don’t let the truth be told.
Time’s up, d’you remember?
You were once a member,
Dilemma arises,
Financial crisis,
That’s what makes this funny,
They need fucking money.
Yet still it’s all a game,
Corbyn the one to blame,
All of his supporters
Will be the next to go,
Backed up by reporters,
End of new Labour show.

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 11th May 2021

BLUE MOON ACTION MAN

In his conservative conservatory,
Bathed by the light of a losers blue moon,
Keith draws twisted kris ready for action,
Then plunges it into deputy’s back.
Those weasel words of so few hours ago,
Accepting full responsibility,
Leads one to Question his integrity.
Those on the soft left learn true treachery,
Not one of them are truly immune now,
Cesare Borgia’s ghost stalks Westminster,
Memories of Kinnock in eighty two,
Implosion drags Labour Party into
Pasokian wormhole with no way back.
Tony and Pete crack open the Bolly.

Harry Rogers In the Yellow Room, 9th May 2021.

NEW LABOUR MANGER DOGS

It’s not the vaccine bounce
That led to Tory trounce.
Mandelsonian ghouls
Treat activists as fools.
Nil respect for members
Centrist message benders.
PLP spin disgrace,
Talk of one party state,
Shit in their own manger,
Starmer total stranger,
Forensic grey man bore,
Who knows what he stands for?
Switch lights on, ring bells as
He’s going to tell us,
How to fix branch grassroots,
Pulls on his kicking boots,
Use old rules to remove
More problems, he must prove
How to mend things like new,
Brings policy review.
Sweep conference aside,
Take broad church for a ride,
Dump momentous motions,
Expunge leftwing notions,
New leader propulsion,
Wheel out mass expulsion.
Don red wall dancing clogs,
New Labour manger dogs,
Swerve to right direction,
His own resurrection,
He climbs down from his cross,
Public don’t give a toss,
They need more hope not fear,
Curtains drawn on Sir Keir,

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom 8th May 2021.

A DEAL IS A DEAL

A deal is a deal, so many folks say,
Except when it isn’t, like it isn’t now.
Wave faux Falklands gunboat propaganda,
Like a giant phallus, wanked into Channel,
Yet another public divertissement,
Away from the dreadful pandemic truths.
Embargoed Cygnus report still hidden,
Needless herd immunity murder tolls,
Brown paper envelopes stuffed with our cash,
Handed out in unmonitored contracts
To friends, families, donors, crook elites.
Expect haystack to pose with admirals,
Rule Britannia played by marching marines,
Blairing in Union Jack clad background,
Splashed across newsrooms of the BBC.
Still, at least people have savings to spend,
So we’re told, by treasury officials,
So perhaps that’s all right then, isnt it?

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 7th May 2021

TRUMP A L’ORANGE

It’s party time,
As votes come in,
We’ll take a swig
Of home made gin.
Bo’s Eton mess,
Keir’s pink blancmange,
UKIP serves up
Trump a l’orange.
Take down placards,
Wipe windows clean,
Burn voting cards,
Eat green ice cream.
Watch as Lib Dems
Stroll by harbour,
Chasing rainbows,
Life gets harder.
Plaid Cymru smile
As fortunes rise,
A new day dawns
For Adam Price.
Communists reach
End of tether,
Some old comrades
Blame the weather.
Vote tomorrow,
Watch it happen,
At Friday’s count,
Upticks flatten,
Swingometer
Pundits wallow,
Crap excuses
Hard to swallow,
Old guards change
At end of game,
And yet it’s strange,
Things stay the same.
Forget about
Democracy,
Focus upon
Plutocracy.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 5th May 2021.

THIN SKIN STINKING BLUES

How thin the skin
That keeps us in
Thrall to power
Weilded by hour.
Haystack bustles,
Money rustles,
Minor Royals
In fancy dress
Wave from carriage
Without finesse.
Families fall
Through Covid cracks,
Old folks suffer
Home heart attacks.
Worldwide collapse
Of probity,
Double death of
Democracy.
End of old world.
No more to say
Public and yours,
Dawn of winter
As services
Go corporate.
Farewell local,
Total global
Conspiracy.
Weep as social
Democrats bang
Last coffin nails,
Seal themselves off
Inside their tomb,
Creates vacuum.
Post pandemic
Fervour takes hold,
End of wartime
Party spirit,
Trestle tables,
Dusty bunting,
Wait for use in
New street parties.
Old jelly moulds
And trifle bowls,
And everywhere
Union jacks,
Big ones, small ones,
People pissed on
Spirit of the blitz,
Reimagined
By Tory shits.
Paint disaster
Opportune blue,
Pot all the reds
In snooker hall.
Soon our big break
Will be over,
Look slow around.
Who’s in clover?
Someone’s gotta
Pick up the bill,
Here it comes now,
Shiny and bright,
I bring to you
The New Normal……
It’s the same as
The Old Normal,
With more flags on.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 5th May 2021

BULLY

The Chilly Dogz,
featuring
Harry Rogers – Vocals,
Marc Gordon, guitar.

YOU GO TO WORK EVERY DAY
TO EARN JUST A LITTLE PAY.
LATELY IT’S NOT A LOT OF FUN
BECAUSE OF A CERTAIN SOMEONE.
DON’T LISTEN WHEN THEY
WHISPER IN YOUR EAR,
DON’T LISTEN AS THEY
FILL YOUR HEAD WITH FEAR,
DON’T BELIEVE THEM WHEN THEY SAY,
THEY KNOW MORE THAN YOU.
DON’T LET THE BULLY DO
WHAT THE OTHER BULLIES DO,
DON’T LET THEM EVER GET
AWAY WITH IT WITH YOU.
NEVER LET THAT BULLY DO,
WHAT ALL THE OTHER BULLIES DO.
WORKERS GATHERED IN A ROOM,
SITTING ON THEIR HANDS,
ALL OF THEM FAR TOO SCARED,
TO SAY THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND,
BUT BULLIES HAVE NO RIGHT,
TO SCREAM AND STAMP AND SHOUT,
THOSE BULLIES HAVE NO RIGHT,
TO EVER BAWL YOU OUT.
NEXT TIME THEY’RE LOSING IT,
AND STORMING OUT THE DOOR,
TELL THEM TO STOP THIS SHIT,
YOU WON’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
BEFORE I GO THERE’S ONE MORE THING,
NEVER, NEVER, EVER, LET THE BULLY WIN.

Harry Rogers, In my car, 21st May 2010

THEY CRUISE, WE LOSE

The Royal Yacht is back on the table,
We must turn Phillip into a fable,
Two hundred million, cheap at the price,
So say the royalists, quick, in a trice.
Will Yum and Katie sail off on a cruise
Back here the homeless continue to lose,
Privileged sunseekers don’t float my boat.
One thousand houses? Now that gets my vote.
They don’t need a state room to cross the pond,
Obscene luxury now one step beyond.
Don’t cry out envy, enough is enough,
They already have way far too much stuff.
I won’t wave them off, no quayside wonder,
For fuck sake let’s not give them more plunder.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 2nd May 2021.

FOOD NOT WAR

I heard some guy on the radio say
The amount of money needed to solve,
Food hunger across the whole world today
Is equivalent to twenty six hours
Of all military expenditure.

Twenty six hours of peace,
All it takes to feed the poor
Is this really all it takes?
Why ain’t we done it before?

Military industrial money
Maintains the global status quo of war,
Scientists, engineers, death designers,
Bring sophisticated bombs to market,
It’s an entrepreneurial bloodbath.

Let’s transfer our resources,
From sociopathology
Where human lives count for nought,
To social ecology.

Centre left luvies argue for armies,
As they pose laughing in theatres of war,
Sleeves rolled up with squaddies, rifles in hand,
Happy to reveal themselves on the news,
Spent uranium shells litter the land.

Millions die in terror,
Hungry, sick, and exploited,
Collateralised masses,
All for the sake of profit.

Food not guns,
Food not bombs,
Food not drones,
Food not war.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, 3rd May 2021

DANGEROUS DAYS

Stand against fascists or let them kill all.
Palestine or Kashmir, we must walk tall.
Casual murder, new normality,
This is a turning point in history.
These are most dangerous days of our lives,
Randian nazis sharpen up their knives.
We sit before screens, zoom lights aflicker,
Discuss design of new demo sticker,
Plan in detail which direction to go,
Ensure all our comrades are in the know.
These days of hyper communication,
Outreach no problem across the nation.
In darkened bunkers old bill hackers sweat,
Over all our words, we don’t get it, yet.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 2nd May 2021

LAST TRAM TO BROADWAY

Horse Drawn Tram, London Bridge via Bermondsey to Deptford High Street.
Demo recorded with Andrew Howell in Frome.
Picture by Hazel Gage.

See the last tram to Broadway
Rickety racking around the bend
Like it has for all your life
It’s become your special friend

Took you there and brought you back
You remember every rumble
Along tracks from home to town
It never ever made a stumble

Last tram to Broadway
Hear the ringing bell
Last tram to Broadway
Ding dong ding dong bell

Gliding past that old red house
Where the station master used to live
The brakes making the wheels squeal
On this last day something has to give
The driver wears a sad frown
Silent passengers looking morose
Their faces show how they  all feel
One cut too many now as it goes

Last tram to Broadway
Hear the ringing bell
Last tram to Broadway
Ding doing ding doing bell

At the stop next to red House
A harlequin dressed to the nines
Dances aboard laughing loud
Clouds clear late evening sun shines
Stop frowning it’s not too late
He sings as the sunbeams dance around
Together we’ll stop this mess
This tram will keep rolling along

Last tram to Broadway
Hear the ringing bell
Last tram to Broadway
Ding dong ding dong bell

Harry Rogers, in Harriboy’s Hut, 2016

BLOW BUBBLES AT THE MOON

Bronze frogs and dreamy fish in lily pond,
Blow bubbles in silver moonlit splendor.
Humans sleep, wrapped in viral misery,
Dreams of normalcy fill their cluttered minds.
What though is normal? Myriad thoughts abound,
No two experiences quite the same,
Each second of existence different,
Past times impossible to recreate,
At best we may sometimes approximate.
Memories fail in tandem with clapped out
Computer hard drives, piled high, awaiting
The rigours of the recycling plant.
I recall the time when I too set off,
As normal, to blow bubbles at the moon.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 29th April 2021.

YOUNG MOCKINGBIRDS ON THE BEACH

A poem about Palestine with Palestinian mockingbirds in the background.

Like mockingbirds come out to play
On sandy beach after midday
Young lads kick footballs on the strand
Like boys in any other land
Pass and shoot each one a mocker
Of their favourite stars from soccer
All day long they run and they shout
Slender bodies leaping about

When ere the moon does beam so bright
Like mockingbirds they play all night
High above a drone flew spying
Four soon lay dead, four more crying
Two missiles launched in clear sunshine
One more sad day in Palestine
Into abyss Earth on the slide
Young mockingbirds forced now to hide
Distraught parents filled with anguish
Truth lies masked whilst journos languish
Remote pilots have all saved face
Israeli judges closed the case

Justice seems so far out of reach
For young mockingbirds on the beach.

Harry Rogers , In Harriboy’s Hut, 12/08/2018

THUNDER IN THE MORNING

Demo by The Unbroken Ponies recorded in 2016.

With very little warning
You hear thunder in the morning
Then the black clouds blot out all the starlight

Living in the country 
Ain’t much fun
Ain’t got no time
For my dog and gun

Love to go out walking
In the sun
Every day with
My dog and my gun

Thunder in the morning
You gotta go to work
Thunder in the morning
Don’t wanna go to work
Thunder in the morning
You gotta go to work
Thunder in the morning
Don’t wanna go to work

And all the chickens don’t make a sound
Even the foxes hide under the ground

The raindrops start a falling
Hear a pair of sheepdogs calling
It gets darker than ten moonless midnights

Working in the country 
Ain’t much fun
Ain’t got no time
For my dog and gun

Walking in the country
In the sun
Every day with
My dog and my gun

Thunder in the morning
You gotta go to work
Thunder in the morning
Don’t wanna go to work

Thunder in the morning
You gotta go to work
Thunder in the morning
Don’t wanna go to work

Storm gets closer with each boom
Sheet lightning brightens up your room
Whiter than the dazzling midday sunlight

Working in the country 
Ain’t much fun
Ain’t got no time
For my dog and gun

Walking in the country
In the sun
Every day with
My dog and my gun

Thunder in the morning
You gotta go to work
Thunder in the morning
Don’t wanna go to work

Thunder in the morning
You gotta go to work
Thunder in the morning
Don’t wanna go to work

Cows sound like Satan’s choir
Sheep run into electric wire
A whirlwind makes the ponies start to fight

Harry Rogers, In the old study, 8th October 2014 revised Friday 4th March 2016

TOYS FOR TIN SAILORS

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH sets off on maiden voyage to China.

The embodiment of global Britain,
Thirty billion pounds worth, obselete
Before it sails single nautical mile,
Soon to plough through waves off coast of China,
Loaded to gunwales with US hardware.
Ancient sabre rattle cacophony
Echoes around corridors of power.
Health service finances wrecked across the land,
Cancer waiting lists grow ever longer,
Meanwhile Admirals play stupid war games
With toys commissioned by corrupt MPs,
Paid for by ripped off hard working classes.
We must stop rampant militarism,
The question is “How much do we want to?”.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 27th April 2021

SELF CRUCIFIXION

Cross of Saint George flies high in beer garden.
This flag, besmirched by racist history,
Beloved by English Defence League thugees,
Now adopted in sheer desperation,
By those who believe they still mean something,
To those communities so long ignored,
Whose votes, taken for granted, in Blair years,
Now needed again to bolster careers.
Mandelsonian scoundrels in their last,
London based, refuges, venture Northwards,
In a futile attempt to emulate,
A distorted vision of Englishness.
Unlike Welsh, Scottish and Irish neighbours,
There’s no English culture behind the cross.
Artificial football loyalty schemes,
Incorporated into Britannia,
Cannot be subsumed by socialism,
Without recognition of history.
Labour on the cross? Self crucifixion.
Desperation leads not to born again,
Only to irrelevant derision.
Hardie spins ever faster in his grave.

Harry Rogers, In The Red Bedroom, 26th April 2021.

DEAD MICE DOWN THE SOFA.

The ghost of the spud headed spad
Stalks the ramparts of Number Ten.
Something rotten in Albion
Stinks like dead mice down the sofa.
Populist tactics drafted in,
From those chums across the pond.
Skeletons queue up for release,
From inside Downing Street closet.
More than a whiff of change in the air,
Feels like, could be, final hurrah
For last of the Bullingdon boys.
No-one quite sure who to believe,
The how nor the why nor the what.
We wince as our cash is trousered,
By fly by night crooks via phone,
Still haystack bonce rides high with those,
Who couldn’t wait to get it done.
They made our bed with hidden tacks,
Now all of us insomniacs.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 24th April 2021.

WHEN YOU MEET YOUR MAKER

We spend our whole lives searching out
Reasons why and what it’s all about
Priests and teachers offer choices wide
But hardly ever do we take a look inside
When we were babies we tasted anything
Hot or cold we picked up every single thing
Tested out the world and all that was new
Somehow along the way we forget what to do
We let other people show us their way
Sometimes listen to what they got to say
Occasionally it’s more than just show
We put it on the pile with the other things we know

But when you meet your maker
You won’t know what to do
‘Cos when you meet your maker
You’ll find out it is you

We let politicians show us their way
Sometimes listen to what they got to say
Once in a while it’s more than just show
Put it on that pile with those other things we know

But when you meet your maker
You won’t know what to do
‘Cos when you meet your maker
You’ll find out it is you

We are what we do
We are what we do
Yeah when you meet your maker
You’ll find out it is you.

Harry Rogers In the old study, 2011. (Archived lyric)

BUNNY HUGGING

The Hot Club de France on Radio Three,
Listen to Cou-Cou from nineteen forty.
Whistful memory, my dad in fifties,
Plays Django classics on accordion,
I miss the news through sunshine afternoon,
Catch a quick glimpse as BJ denigrates
Climate activists as bunny huggers.
This serial adulterous liar,
Who ignores all rules, decries probity,
Claims to support football fans against greed,
Agrees special deals for tax avoiders,
Comes across on zoom more coked than his spads,
His stats based on policy not yet writ,
Spreads public funds with casual largesse.
Put aside crazy pandemic capers,
Who, despite all these shortcomings, commands
A fourteen point lead in the latest polls,
Treats future citizens with crude contempt.
Bunny Hugger?
Silly bugger,
Pension mugger,
Tory fucker.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 23rd April 2021.

POINT NEMO

Point Nemo, the most isolated place on planet earth.

Send Tony Blair to Point Nemo,
Forsaken spot in Pacific,
As far away as one can be,
From broadcasting technology.
Ensure no microphone access,
No platform to pontificate,
Nonsensical, his mass debate.
Mass murderers have not the right,
To pollute airways, day or night.
He feels need to spout on vaccine,
This jaded ghoul bobs up, obscene,
On my digital radio,
Gives support to equal pultroon.
I press off switch in red bedroom.
Each time he speaks to slimy hack,
More tears well up for dead Iraq.

Harry Rogers In the Red Bedroom, 22nd April 2021

ROBIN IN THE BIRDBATH

By Poppit Sands, hawthorne and gorse
Bloom spectacularly in April sun.
Above our garden watch a magpie
Harry, and torment, a large red kite,
From village, on, down the valley.
Tulips overtake daffodils,
Trees, well budded, ready to burst,
We tend our vegetable plot,
Spring brings new possibilities.
Far away, in palace of dreams,
Veneers peel to reveal more lies,
Spads rehearse corrupt alibis,
First lord of the treasuary,
Teflon coated in new playpen,
Rises still higher in the polls,
Super league crumbles into dust,
Working class heroes, shit or bust,
Cry out “It’s Boris wot dunnit.”
Meanwhile, in second division,
Lord labour gets barred from a pub.
I watch robin in the birdbath,
Wait for news of my second jab,
Get tools ready to build a gate,
The sun shines, blossom starts to fall.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 21st April 2021

YOU ARE STILL HERE.

You Are Still Here, words etched on glass mirror.
I stand at Fundació Joan Miró
In Barcelona, for one more birthday,
Four months before pandemic disaster.
I like his idea, reflect on being,
Whilst I look at reflection of myself.
How long ago that trip now seems to be.
I’ll go there again, when the way is clear,
When latest pale rider trots out of here.
Meanwhile, the thing that fills my heart with cheer,
More than a glass of golden foamy beer,
More than desire for gigs later this year,
Cuts through all the media induced fear,
Is the very fact that YOU are still here.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 19th April 2021.

BLEAK STREET

Exploit me, I’m young, unemployed, and scared,
No furlough, hours zero, I’m unprepared.
My parents have split up, I’m on bleak street,
My sleeping bag’s damp, no socks for my feet.
How did I get here, outside Debenhams,
With other unwashed, without any mums.
Grandparents gone, Covid took them away,
Can’t carry on, I am hungry again.
In my head I’m alone, don’t have a friend,
Nobody trusts me, it feels like the end,
Soup kitchen came here, a few days ago,
Gave me a sandwich, cheese and tomato.
In Cardiff the police made me move on,
Now I can’t stop coughing, I’ll soon be gone.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 18th April 2021

DREAMY THURSDAY AFTERNOON

Somebody To Love 1968

Dreaming of live music as I sit in my writing hut I decide to go to a gig in 1968 at The Filmore East and The Filmore West with Jefferson Airplane and this is a little taste of their iconic song Somebody To Love on their live album Bless Its Pointed Little Head, released in 1969. Halcyon days. Live music is what it’s all about.

Harry Rogers, in Harriboy’s Hut, 15th April 2021.

BURNT DOWN CHINESE WALLS

Take flamethrowers to Chinese walls,
Burn them down, break old school rules.
Barbarian civil servants
Take people for bloody fools.
Walk away from competition,
Grease paths to slide treasures out,
Blue sky thinking ramped up, insane.
Sped up Randian looters,
Carve prime cuts from service buffet,
Inner sanctum eruption,
Bullingdon brown stuff hits blue fan,
Eton mess seeds corruption,
Slowly BBC drags its heels,
Gradually revealing,
Radio and smellyvision,
News presenters rise from knees,
Manipulate podcast hubbub,
Paper over Tory sleaze.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 15th April 2021.

CHASING FIREFLIES

Track from Scene Red album Shining Through The Trees

I sit out on the deck
Watching your children play
Chasing bright red fireflies
In last rays of the day
Old knees worn out now
Else I too would chase
Pleasure comes from sunset
Lighting up your face

Spent a long long time
Chasing fireflies
Spent a real long time
Chasing fireflies
Now there is no time for
Chasing fireflies

There are things I would
Like to do on the day I die
Just for the briefest moment
Hold a bright red firefly
Listen to the nightingale
Singing as it flies up high
Know that you are smiling
As we say goodbye

Spent a long long time
Chasing fireflies
Spent a real long time
Chasing fireflies
Now there is no time for
Chasing fireflies

Harry Rogers, In the old study, Pencnwcau, 2014

PSSST

Pssst, wanna buy a service,
It’s all up for grabs today,
Don’t even have to tender,
We’re giving it all away.
Everything is on the list,
Meet us in committee room,
Or down the boozer, capiche?
Can’t make it? See you on Zoom.
Knock down prices, going cheap,
Now’s the time to flog it off,
Whilst it’s reeling on the rocks,
As it deals with virus cough.
Nobody will protest it,
Pass new laws to mask the stink,
Even let you keep the name,
National Health Service Inc.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 12th April 2021

FICTION TO REALITY

Gerard Winstanley

How scary is that moment, when fiction
Becomes reality in front of you,
Ninety nine year old anachronism
Dies and the full blown ministry of truth
Springs to action across all media.
Terrestrial tv and radio,
Drenched in long prepared film tributes,
Interviews and orchestrated faux news.
Journalism sinks to its lowest ebb,
In what can only, truly, be described,
As naked state control propaganda,
Where Patrick McGoohan meets George Orwell,
Via smart digital media platform screens.
Insidious portrayal of normal,
History of elite a straight jacket,
Tightened as anti leftism is ramped,
As black clad “news” presenters spoon feed guff,
To bolster prisoner style fallacies
That maintain the necessity to keep
The Haute Bourgeoisie in existence.
Flashy mirages of democracy
Float ghastly before the electorate.
How can such anti democratic lies
Continue? How can aristocracy
Survive? Hereditary royalty
Is ludicrous,
Our Constitution is a total sham.
The combined Royal power, Church power,
Legal power and commercial power,
Link together to keep us in our place
Through the artifice of parliament.
Gerard Winstanleys thoughts still register,
Some recognise the nature of the state,
See through games and slick modern charades,
See validity in a republic,
A land owned in common, where wealth is shared,
Knowledge is for the benefit of all,
And all our children are treated equal.
Since sixteen forty nine, the truth be known,
Only now is it so blatently shown.
Arrogance, bombast or paranoia?
Perhaps a combination of all three.
Whatever, we see your glib advisors,
Your royal correspondents on the news.
We won’t shut up, we’ll never be quiet,
We have waited long enough for justice,
It really is time for you all to go.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room,11th April 2021.

BOOMTIME IN DYSTOPIA

In November 2019 my friend from Atlanta Georgia, Chris Ricker, came to Wales for 22 hours. Whilst he was here with his buddy Sean from Florida we recorded this reworking of my lyric Boomtime In Dystopia at LTS studios in Llanon.

The ship of state lies 
Crashed upon the rocks
The rich and the famous 
Are checking their locks
One hundred starlings 
Fall from the sky
Some precious darlings say 
“We’re all gonna die!”

The world is getting dopier
We’ve emptied cornucopia
We never reached Utopia
And it’s Boom-time in Dystopia!

Whilst we lie 
Sleeping in our beds
Drones are flying 
Above our heads
The CCTV is 
Watching me and you
None of us are quite 
Sure what to do
No-one stops to think 
About the honey bee
Only the cult of 
Celebrity
Airheads all scream, 
And shout “Hooray!”
“someone’s got a new 
Pair of tits today!”

The world is getting dopier
We’ve emptied cornucopia
We never reached Utopia
And it’s Boom-time in Dystopia!

We lie around drinking 
Pomegranate smoothies
Watching brand new 
Counterfeited movies
Nobody pays for their 
Music anymore
Nobody believes that 
They’re breaking the law
And what does it matter 
Any fucking way
There aren’t enough cops 
To nick everyone today
And now the Assembly’s 
Gone extra craven
They’re gonna pour boiling water 
Into Milford Haven

The world is getting dopier
We’ve emptied cornucopia
We never reached Utopia
And it’s Boom-time in Dystopia!

Copyright: Harry Rogers, 11th March 2010, Recorded with Critter and Sean in LTS Studio Llanon, October 2019.

FOUNTAINS

For Critter.

Fountains of creativity
Spring higher from the Grateful Dead
Their legacy will keep us young,
That’s what my good friend Critter said.
On the road to Fenario,
Drive in a syncopated dream,
Ripple across the universe,
Mountain fire never gonna die,
All the time people play guitars,
Songs echo from hotel on Mars,
Get on by down by the river,
Live elixir under willow,
Gonna stay young forever more,
Truckin’ on through with dead head lore.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 10th April 2021

JAB VACCINIA

Drink coffee number one flat white,
From a paper cup,
Outside the Cardigan Guild Hall,
Christmas tree’s still up,
All of last years flowered face masks,
Look rather tardy,
I swig a nip from Easter flask,
I’m feeling mardy.
Plastic snowflakes fly forlornly,
Midst the bunting flags,
Shoppers queueing uniformly
Cling on to their bags.
Yet still some children smile gaily,
Skip along grey street,
Parents get more glum news daily,
Warily they meet,
Weary of the constant babble,
Spewed from media,
Pumped by inconsistent rabble,
Jab vaccinia.

Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 9th April 2021

WHERE THERE IS.

I sat in The William
Malcolm Hardee
buying drinks
Arlene was behind the bar
Running fingers
Through her hair
The Four Tops on the jukebox
The Same Old Song
Was playing
I asked Arlene out with me
Said there was a
film to see
She said “I’ll meet you there”
but I don’t know
Where there is.
There could be anywhere
It might be with
The Faeries
I never found there
And then she was gone.


Who Knows
Where There is?
Who Knows
Where There is?
Arlene? She was gone.

Harry Rogers, In the old study, 2011.

PULLING UP IVY

Open up the camp sites,
Clean up your glamping gear,
Forget those foreign flights,
Perhaps until next year.
Repeat twenties Zugzwang,
We’re stuck here on board ship,
Here comes second big bang,
End of Premiership,
Mindful of the danger,
End games are hard to play,
Not over till over,
The finish? Hard to say.
I am getting weaker,
My night is drawing in.
Watch the high street open,
Drink up another gin,
Party through the summer,
The gigs, the games, the beers,
Go dance on moonlit beach,
Forget long covid fears.
Next winter get ready,
Pale rider is still here.
Test kits, trace apps, vaccines,
All of the patching up,
Not enough to stop it,
Whilst experts on TV,
Mass of contradictions,
Scare the shit out of me.
Glad I’ve got a garden,
Somewhere to escape to,
Mend the rabbit fences,
Plant beans, courgettes and fruit.
Boris launches moonshot,
We’re pulling up ivy.

Harry Rogers, In the Yellow Room, 6th April 2021.

THREE THIRDS OSCAR

A poem for Oscar Wilde.

The first Oscar is the person
That people think he is.
The smart arse homosexual,
Ready with quickest quip.
Mixing with the glitterati
Of the fin de siecle,
A dandified lecherous queen,
Sporting carnation green.

Next we spy another Oscar,
The one he really is.
Hardworking diligent artist,
Birthing art for arts sake.
Believing aesthetic beauty,
Valuable above all,
Searching so hard, trying to find
A saviour for mankind.

The final picture of Oscar,
One he wanted to be,
Forever young, in his heyday,
Living riotously,
No care about morality.
Indulging all pleasure
Plucked ripe from a nihilistic tree,
Always being set free.

Desire seldom is reality,
Poor Oscar, rarely free,
To fulfil all his fantasy,
Is two, not one, nor three.

Harry Rogers, Frog House, Deptford, 25th May 2017.

BEING WHITE

They say our institutions aren’t racist,
Special report says it’s no longer there.
It’s like Black Lives Matter does not matter.
MSM headlines gaslight all of us,
Whole country sees script writ large in whitewash,
On giant white boards, neath white fluffy clouds,
White people focus in on being black,
Asian, and minority ethnic groups.
White, skew whiff, feelgood, statistics rain down,
Spaffed from Whitehall windows by white PM,
Whose biased screeds, scrawled not unconsciously,
Point us to the essence of the matter.
In mirrors, clarity identified,
We can see our problem is being white.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, Good Friday 2021.

CLUSTERING IN CARMARTHEN

It was September 2003, I live in rural West Wales. I was a member of BEPJ (Bro Emlyn for Peace and Justice). This is an account of some NVDA (non violent direct action).

The sun shines in Newcastle Emlyn.  I  set up Bill’s wheelchair on the pavement outside the Plaid Cymru office in the disused shop at the top end of town. This is the weekly meeting of the anti war group Bro Emlyn For Peace and Justice. I don’t know how I started taking Bill to the meetings. As his independent living personal assistant I must have told him about the group during one of our frequent political discussions as I drove him around the countryside of Dyfed. He is opposed to Tony Blair’s decision to support George W Bush in the invasion of Iraq, as am I. When he asked to come along to meetings I said I’d take him. 

” There is a BEPJ meeting this Friday at 7.30pm!” I’d said.

“Great, pick me up at 7 then.” and here we are.

As Bill manoeuvres himself into his chair the Plaid full timer turns up with the key and opens the front door for us. I move Bill to a spot with his back to the shop windows because, even though he still has some vision left, his diabetes makes direct daylight uncomfortable for him. I set out fifteen stacking chairs in a circle and sit down waiting for other group members to arrive. The office had once been a confectionery shop but it has been stripped back to bare walls and floorboards and is in need of a lick of paint and a good sweep out. The local Plaid Cymru MP holds his monthly constituency meetings here and during election times it’s a campaign office but most of the time nothing happens there aside from our meetings. The Americans and British are well into Shock and Awe and cluster bombs fall all over Iraq.  A significant percentage of these are not exploding as they hit the ground. Children and adults  get maimed and killed when they move these mini bombs. The situation is, in my view, obscene. Bill and I had discussed this situation the day before as we sat on the beach at Llansteffan and I had decided that I would suggest that BEPJ might carry out some direct action in Carmarthen to highlight the plight of everyday people in Baghdad. At seven thirty  18 of us sit in a circle reporting back on what had happened the previous week. Robert, Graham, Louis, David, Hippo, Gilly, and Celia ran the weekly stall in Newcastle Emlyn handing out leaflets and getting signatures on the Campaign Against The Arms Trade petition against the manufacture of cluster bombs. Jeremy had  set up the new website. Maggie is rehearsing a show about the whole situation in the middle east to be performed in St Dogmaels. David is building the new free peace and justice library with books donated by many of the 120 members on our mailing list. I have  set up a new course on Peace Studies with Carmarthenshire Adult Education services. We are a busy group of activists with many successful meetings and events under our belt.

After reports we move on to talk about future actions. Fiona suggests we should have a social event with a local band at the Emlyn Arms to raise funds for medical aid for families in Fallujah and this is agreed. I then make my pitch for my idea for some non-violent direct action. 

“I’ve been thinking that we might raise the profile of the issue of the growing use of cluster bombs when we have our next stall in Carmarthen. Supposing we all made some replica cluster bombs, say a dozen each, and spread them all over the streets of central Carmarthen. This might make people understand what the plight of people in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq is really like.” 

Vanessa is keen, as she always is when new ideas are introduced, “How big are they?” 

“About the same size as a can of Coca Cola.” I say. 

People are enthused, we’re in total agreement that this is a brilliant idea and that everybody will make their imitation bombs in time for the next Friday’s meeting when we will finalise arrangements for the action on the Saturday. 

Celia raises an important issue, “Might it be a good idea to let the police know what we intend to do? You know how they are, better safe than sorry.” 

It’s agreed that she will telephone the local station and let them know our plan. They’re always civil to us whenever we decide to do something and always thank us for letting them know. I take on the task of contacting the local media. The meeting finishes at 9.00 pm and I drive Bill home. He’s very animated and says that he will get his wife to help him make his bomb-lets. I’m happy that we’re going to get this issue cemented into the minds of local people in a different way to the usual leafleting strategy. 

On Monday morning I get a phone call from Celia, “Hello Harry, I’ve just come off the phone with the Dyfed police and we can’t do our action on Saturday.” 

“Why not?” 

“They say that whilst they understand our concerns about the use of cluster bombs in Iraq they would rather we didn’t carpet the streets of Carmarthen with imitation bombs because there was the slim chance that someone might put a real bomb in amongst the replicas and this could be both dangerous and extremely difficult to deal with.” 

“I see. Hmmm they do have a point. I guess we will have to think of a different way of using the artificial bombs.” 

“Maggie suggested that we might do some agitprop theatre instead, give her a ring and see what you think.” 

“OK I’ll call her later, shame we can’t do it though, still it can’t be helped I suppose. See you on Friday, Celia.”

“OK, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, byeee.” 

I ring Maggie straight away and she outlines an idea for me and her to do some improvised street theatre based on the Arms Fair in London. I’ll be Flash Harry, a cockney arms trader down from the big smoke trying to drum up trade for the latest in cluster technology and Maggie will play an American dealer looking to make a few dollars. I am up for this.

On Friday everyone turns up to the meeting with their bags of cluster bombs. They vary in sophistication. Some are very crudely done, others have been designed very well.  Everyone is disappointed when I tell them that our plans have been thwarted by the rozzers. However we come up with an idea for running a lucky dip as part of the Agitprop. We decide to use a tea chest filled with wood shavings, the imitation cluster bombs and a few real prizes of cheap trinkets from Woolworths. Enthusiasm rises high and we adjourn to the Ivy Bush pub.

Next morning we set up our stall in Guildhall Square at ten o’clock and start collecting signatures for the Campaign Against  Arms Trade petition against the International Arms Fair in London. All goes well and we get a good response. At eleven thirty Hippo and Gilly arrive at our stall. They look very pleased with themselves and Hippo says, “We’ve put our bombs out.”

It is at that point that I realise they hadn’t attended the meeting last night and so didn’t know that we we weren’t spreading bombs all over Carmarthen. 

I explain the situation and then ask, “How many did you make?”

Hippo says “ Twelve.”

“Well you’d better retrace your footsteps and bloody well collect them up and bring them here.”

They set off and we continue petitioning. Half an hour later Hippo and Gilly return with a carrier bag full of bomblets.

“Did you get them all?” I ask

“We could only find ten of them, We can’t remember where the other two are.” says Gilly.

“Oh well, I don’t suppose that will make much difference, after all, we have told the police about it, so if anyone finds one they will know what it is. Don’t worry, it will be fine.”

The afternoon is a stonking success. We collect almost 400 signatures and the street theatre is a hoot. Maggie and I draw large crowds. 

We call out to people,  “Roll up, Roll up. Free lucky dip, Win a prize,……  chance your arm,….. Find out what it’s like to take pot luck just like the people of Baghdad.”.

We do an improvised sketch about the way in which Arms Companies and Governments keep the profits rolling into all kinds of nefarious pockets. We hand out masses of leaflets against the war and at five O’clock we pack up our stuff after a wonderful day of nonviolent direct action. We all hug each other and head home, a happy bunch of anti war protesters.  

On sunday morning I get a telephone call. It’s Celia.

“We’re in big trouble. The police just called me. Hippo and Gilly’s two bombs have been found.”

“So, what’s the problem? They know the bombs aren’t real, they know they’re ours.” I say

“Apparently the staff on the switchboard changed shifts this morning. Those on duty until six o’clock this morning knew about it. The new shift didn’t.”

“So what happened?”

“At half past five an early morning street cleaner found one of Hippo’s bombs and phoned the police. They told him they knew about it and to put it in with the rest of the rubbish, which he did.”

“Yeah, then what?” I say

“At seven a.m. an office cleaner found the other one in a doorway as she was about to go to work. She phones the police and the new telephonist knows nothing about it. This has triggered a full blown crisis in Carmarthen. The police have evacuated the area, closed all the shops and are awaiting the arrival of the bomb squad to get there from Wiltshire. When they arrive they are going to carry out a controlled explosion. The police are livid. I am very worried about this.”

I reflect for a few moments and then I say “It’s not our fault, they have made a procedural cock-up. We informed them of our plans. It is a shame that Hippo and Gilly couldn’t remember where they put the two missing bombs but they are getting on a bit. It’s just one of those things. Sit tight. All will be well. If they call again give them my number, I’ll talk to them.”

“Thanks Harry, I am very scared of having anything to do with the police.”

I tell her I’m not scared and we hang up.

It’s important at this point to point out that Hippo had been online and downloaded info which showed the words printed on actual cluster bomb ordnance and his replicas looked very real indeed. He used tin cans and had printed very convincing cardboard sleeves with proper serial numbers etc in the manufacturers font style.

So it was that the Bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion on a tin of Heinz Spaghetti Hoops in the centre of Carmarthen. At our meeting on the following Friday we talked about the implications of what had happened. The police said that they accepted that they had made a faux pas. 

I say to the meeting, “We could not have planned this any better if we had tried. All week long we have been contacted by the local and regional press about the story. On Thursday Bill and I and a handful of us met a journalist and photographer from the Western Mail and had our picture taken with armfuls of bombs, Bill’s wheelchair looked stunning. They have given the story massive coverage and we have a full page centre spread in Red Pepper magazine. It is my belief that we have raised people’s consciousness about carpet bombing civilian areas with these disgusting weapons.”

I also believed that the local police got some valuable experience out of the whole event as it enabled them to test out their counter terrorism procedures.

All in all a win win situation, nobody got hurt and we raised awareness. Peace and Justice for all.

Harry Rogers, posted in the Red Bedroom, 2nd April 2021

BLUES APPRECIATION SOCIETY

Blind Willie McTell

A BIOGRAPHICAL SNIPPET.

It was one of those typical warm September days when the memories of a washed out summer are erased from the brain by the sheer beauty of the light shining through the window of the classroom and your whole being becomes totally mesmerised as you squint your eyes and watch the myriad particles of chalk dust dancing about in the sunbeams near the blackboard.  It was the first day of a new year for me at Addey and Stanhope grammar school in New Cross Road, Deptford, SE8.  Not just any year, this was 1962, the start of the 5th year, I was almost 15, when everything is geared towards getting you ready for choosing a path for life.  I was engaged in my reverie watching the dust in the golden rays of the sun and thinking about why is it that it is always sunny when you go back to school after the soggy holidays when I became aware of my name being mentioned by our form teacher.  I turned to look at her and she said that there was a new addition to our class, his name was John Stewart and he was re-sitting the fifth year, and he would be sitting next to Howard Rogers (me).  John was a squat boy with a thick head of black curly hair, a wide face and thick black rimmed glasses.  He wore winkle picker shoes and his uniform was a bit scruffy (much like me really).  I didn’t realise it but this was the most significant event of my whole time at school, a life changing moment that set the tone for the rest of my life.  I had seen John before at break times etc but, as he was a year above me, I had never spoken with him, nor paid much attention to him.  It was John that started calling me Harry, on that first day, he said he would never remember Howard, and Harry was easier for him.  I didn’t say no to this, in fact I adopted it readily as I had always hated my name mainly because the only word that rhymes with Howard is Coward and this had caused me to have many fights as a child trying to prove I wasn’t one.  On this day things started changing, at break time I introduced John to my friends, John Radford and Paul Delroy (now sadly dead) and we became THE group of oddballs in our year.  John R and Paul were both into music by the Hollies and The Beatles, John Stewart was into Jazz and Blues, and I was into early Phil Spector and Buddy Holly stuff.  We used to go to the Café in Friendly Street at lunchtimes where we listened to pop music on the radio, drank black coffee and smoked old Holborn rollups, and talked about how shit it was at school, girls, rock and roll, films, and books.  We hit it off fantastically well and were friends for the rest of my time at school.  John and I became very good mates and I used to go back to his house after school where he showed me his drawings and paintings.  He was a great artist and had lots of nudes that he had sketched over the previous few months.  He was a beatnik really and he introduced me to Jack Kerouac through his books “On The Road” and “The Dharma Bums”.  Also he had a collection of modern jazz records that were very cool including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk, also some folk albums including one by Odetta with “The House Of The Rising Sun” on it.  I was impressed and he was always turning me on to new things.  One November lunchtime in the Friendly Cafe he asked whether I fancied going to Catford Library that evening to attend a blues appreciation society evening meeting.  I said yes and that night we arrived on the first floor of Catford Library where we found a circle of seven or eight chairs in the centre of a cold and draughty room with a Dansette record player on the lino covered floor in the middle of the circle with a few Long Playing records piled up beside it.  Sat on the chairs were John and I, a couple of men in their thirties, and a younger man who was the tutor for the group.  We spent the next two hours listening to tracks from LPs by artists such as Sleepy John Estes (Milk Cow Blues – recorded in Memphis by Victor in 1929), Robert Johnson (Crossroads), Son House (I’m Leaving You), Muddy Waters (I Can’t Be Satisfied), John Lee Hooker (Boogie Chillen), Howlin’ Wolf (Moanin’ at Midnight),  Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Memphis Slim, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Victoria Spivey, and a host of others over the next couple of months.  I was knocked sideways by this introduction to the blues, music like I’d never heard before1.  We went to these for 6 weeks.I was born on October 6th 1947 in the Bridge Hotel, Wellesley Road, West Croydon, where my father (Ken Rogers) was a musician playing piano and piano accordion and all my life I had listened to him playing popular songs from the shows and also Jazz standards by the swing bands of the thirties and forties (he could play a mean boogie woogie piano which he claimed he got from listening to his favourite piano player, Fats Waller.).  He was keen on jazz pianists such as Errol Garner, George Shearing, Oscar Petersen, Count Basie and Duke Ellington and could play in all their styles at will (no mean feat!) .  My mother (Pauline) was a singer who loved Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and my father would accompany her while she sang in the bar of the Bridge Hotel, and later at The Bricklayers Arms, Trafalgar Road, Greenwich2.  People loved them and the pub was packed out by early evening every time they played, and it was OK, many of the songs they played and sang came from the second world war, it was a right old sing along South East London pub where anyone could get up and sing, or play an instrument.  My dad seemed to know all the standards of the day and more, and if he didn’t know a song he would buy the sheet music, sit in the upstairs toilet, otherwise known as the music room, sometimes for hours at a time, and learn it in time for the next session in the saloon bar.  He was amazing really and practiced on the piano and the organ for at least two hours a day for his whole life.  Music was absolutely everything to him.  Also there were a lot of musicians who used to turn up and jam with Ken and this often led to late night lock-in sessions with a lot of torchy Jazz (Moonlight in Vermont, Autumn Leaves, On a Clear Day, which I find quite nostalgic when I hear them now) being played.  My brother Bruce and I used to serve drinks to the chosen few, (mostly local villains and their girl friends, and ageing musos) who would sit around chatting with Pauline, and joining in the music, sometimes until dawn.  Looking back at this nocturnal activity it is no wonder I flunked it at school, however I did learn a lot about people in these sessions and this served me well when I started my forays up West.  However, I didn’t dig it very much, serving booze and fags to these old timers, because I was a young boy with other things on my mind I guess, and also it all seemed a bit square to me at the time, but not so much in hindsight, age is a strange lens in the way it can change perceptions.  Once I had started listening to the Blues though I was well and truly hooked on a different form of music (and still am) and I guess I always will be.  Eventually I discovered the whole West End club culture and the vibrant music scene that was roaring along there but it was those few draughty evenings in Catford library that set me on my way and ultimately gave me the grounding that my Mod taste in music would be built on, and for that I owe a great debt to John Stewart (or Angel John as his Beatnik mates called him), I wonder where he is now, last time I saw him was in the early 1970’s he was living in Clapham and seriously strung out on smack (heroin), I hope he managed to kick his habit and is out there even now living a happy life.

1 – I heard someone on the radio say that his introduction to music written and performed by black people in the 1950’s was a shock to the system and had changed his whole life, from that moment on music really meant something and made him feel “cool” for the rest of his life and that is exactly how I feel about this experience.  As a fifteen year old know nothing kid this was mind blowing and paved the way to my life long love of Blues, Jazz, R & B and Soul.

2 – Later to become known in the 1970’s as the site of Harry’s Bar where many musicians from the Punk Rock era were to be seen and heard, most notably Jools Holland and Squeeze).

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 1st April 2021

1978 PARTY TIME

A Night At The Fountain – etching by Stew Smith

We play desperate pool in The Fountain,
While Brookmill Road runs alive with old bill,
Saturday night climb up Deptford mountain,
Via St John’s Vale, kebabs make us ill,
We sing Realist songs very loud,
As we head for that party in Brockley,
Already roaring, the usual crowd,
Once again get it on with the motley.
In the kitchen there’s politics raging,
Rock Against Racism top of the list,
In the garden, laid on crazy paving,
Last years hippy sleeping dreamily pissed,
In the rose bush a skinhead takes a slash,
I spout on impending right-wing backlash.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 30th March 2021.

FOR LOVE OF THE PEOPLE

The stimulus programme is, in itself,
Artificial sop to society,
Used to portray Tories as a party,
That gives a shit about common people.
They only care about preservation
Of their position in power.
Such a ludicrous constructed monster,
Who behaves as if he’s the very state,
Louis Quatorze minus the gilded bling,
With mock American media room,
Desperate to demonstrate worthiness,
Of national love, ego gone awry,
This greed is good joker, so dangerous,
Somehow remains popular, even now.

Harry Rogers, in the Yellow Room, 30th March 2021.

US & THEM OVER AGAIN

Separation is grim reality,
Walls, checkpoints, drones, armed guards, stolen houses,
Daily degradation is new normal.
Denied access to pandemic vaccines,
Dragooned in queues, kept for subsistance work.
The state disrespects human outsiders.
National flags fly high everywhere,
Politicians always stand next to flags.
Protesters are clubbed, tasered, gassed and killed,
News briefings tell of state security,
Rights are denied in public interest,
Society split deliberately,
Us and them, us and them, over again,
Britain, Israel, Palestine? Your call!!

Harry Rogers in the Yellow Room, 29th March 2021.

FREE TO FLY

Around ten years ago my friend Marc Gordon wrote this music based on House Martins sitting on power lines over our vegetables patch, I added this poem to it today.

We work in the garden to mend a fence,
A viciously cold gale blows from the west,
We now know what we need to renew gate,
Replace broken off poles, and chicken wire.
After an hour we head back to the house,
Black shape glides peripherally in view,
Six feet above my head red kite hovers,
Still in the teeth of this wild West Wales wind.
I see it’s head move slowly left to right,
Slightest twitch of wing lifts bird over trees,
For thirty endless majestic seconds,
It arcs across the field, loops back to me,
Soars high over our house then disappears,
Free to fly wherever the wind takes it.

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 27th March 2021.

WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO TURN

Recorded by Scene Red in 2013 at LTS Studios in Llanon, Ceredigion. Released on the album Tales From Dolwion by Deep River Records, Deptford, London, SE 8. Available from Bandcamp.

I’M SITTING IN THE ANCHOR AND HOPE
DRINKING WHITE SHIELD WORTHINGTONS
THE BOY FRANKY’S MOORED AT THE QUAY
AND I’M STARING OVER BUGSBY’S REACH
I ALREADY KNOW SHE’S LEAVING ME
GUESS THAT’S WHY I’M GETTING DRUNK
THE RIVER LOOKS A GOLDEN PICTURE
A RED SAILED BARGE HEADS INTO THE SUN

I CAN’T CRY NO MORE
I KNOW IT’S OVER
I CAN’T CRY NO MORE
I KNOW IT’S OVER

THERE IS A ONE EYED RIVER CAT
SLEEPING ON A COILED UP ROPE
JOHNNY EDGE SITS IN THE SUNSHINE
SPINNING UP MY LAST PIECE OF DOPE
OLD NORTON FROM THE BOAT YARD
TELLS US SOME CLAPPED OUT JOKE
I’M WAITING FOR THE TIDE TO TURN
BEFORE I SAIL OFF A SINGLE BLOKE

I CAN’T CRY NO MORE
I KNOW IT’S OVER
I CAN’T CRY NO MORE
I KNOW IT’S OVER

WHEN YOU CAN’T CRY NO MORE
YOU KNOW THAT IT’S OVER

Harry Rogers, written in my car, sometime in 2010.

UNPLANNED OBSELESCENCE

Virtually real nostalgia resides
In old, long lost, cobwebbed memory banks,
Below bottomless steep digital learning curves.
How many people can access archives,
On ancient pre internet floppy discs,
Locked securely in heat proof data safes.
Reports, novels, poetry, non fiction,
Social history, cultural milestones,
Sitting in lockable plastic desk files,
It’s not that the data is not wanted,
Nobody has the hardware or software,
Everyone moves on 2,3,4,5G,
Now, a CD stuck in my car player,
Still plays, good job I like John Fogerty…..

Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 26th March 2021.

NEW AUTUMN SHADE IN STOCK

Like lichen rampant on prunus hedges,
Union flags flutter from public poles.
Relentless theft of enemies clothing,
Plus non stop foment of fear and loathing,
Stream of consciousness policies spew forth,
Articulated from our leader’s cuff,
Bright blue passports for pints in British pubs,
Refugees stockaded in dank wormwood,
Children with prospects? Who the fuck are they?
Surely we should treat all kids just the same?
September, seemingly, so far away,
Pregnant with austere fiscal promises,
As next budget pushes non block chainers,
Over post furlough unfungible cliffs,
We’ll revel in long covid new normal,
Jabbed full of fake algorithmic dream memes.

Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 25th March 2021.