Strange Times At Number 3 – A Psychedelic Memory

Just playing with my recording software and this emerged after a couple of hours.  This poem refers to an acid trip in 1971 when I lived at number 3 King William Walk in Greenwich.


There were strange times at number 3

After Johnny Butt slipped me a tab

I lay there tripping in the dark

I saw trees dancing in the park

Ray stick man waving at donkeys

Bo and bob walk in through the wall

The naval college collapse into dust

The Cutty Sark shoot flames into the sky


That day i took that orange wedge

I slipped over the rainbow’s edge

Into the sunshine,

Orange sunshine

California sunshine

Owsley sunshine

All the way from Berkeley


Salmon sandwiches glow florescent pink

Took a sip from a kaleidoscopic drink

Tappy busy throwing dustbins at the queen

Audie Murphy got the red badge again

Sweetie Allen hits another ball for six

Count Waldronski leads a line of lunatics

Boris drops mandies in King William Walk

I swear I heard my dog start to talk


That day I took that orange wedge

I slipped over the rainbow’s edge

Into the sunshine,

Orange sunshine

California sunshine

Owsley sunshine

All the way from Berkeley

Very strange days at number 3

Copyright: Harry Rogers, 12-04-2012


Canary In A Bamboo Cage – Flash fiction format.


By Harry Rogers

When he was just a young man, barely twenty three, he thought he saw the whole, of human history, reflected in the clouds, as on Afton Down he lay, in August nineteen seventy, above Freshwater Bay.  Then, he carried his canary, in his bamboo cage, down the shining path, to the diamond studded beach, where the crystal waterfall, splashed on the silver rocks.  He took a shower there, in his south sea bubble loons, the spray was filled with rainbows, as he shook his yellow locks, his head still filled with last night’s Jim Morrison tunes.

Later on that evening, down near desolation row, inside the Circus tent, putting on a show, Boris, Nik and Dik Mik,  gave away free blow, he was very nearly certain he could hear the grasses grow.

The anarchists were liberating food stalls everywhere.  Bread heads and rip off merchants could only stand and stare.   French warriors gave free Mars bars to girls with flowers in their hair.  The police?  They turned a blind eye, they didn’t seem to care.

The smell of bedroom joss spilled out of 50,000 tents.  Some dealers were still cleaning up from teenage innocents, but mostly psychedelic drugs were given out for free, sugar cubes and blotters, mescaline and peyote.  Everything was going down, the fences and the sun, then Jimi hit the stage, beaming love at everyone.  As he played guitar, for the people on the hill, our hero tripped all night, badly, way outside his head.  His canary in its bamboo cage started looking ill, by morning the canary was definitely dead. 

There was no coming back from this nightmarish scene, now he was becoming, a burnt out old has been.  Most of six hundred thousand hippies on the Isle of Wight, danced ecstatic dances as they journeyed through that night.  But a few were lost there as their brains were reconfigured.  See them shambling, in the shadows, well and truly jiggered.   These casualties of Acid never knew what they were in for, as all of their canaries twitched and died upon the floor.

Some people think that this was once a truly golden age, and it was, provided that, like underground coal miners, you nurtured your canary, in its bamboo cage!