Dan Savery Raz Writer • Journalist • Editor
More cuttings available on request…
More cuttings available on request…
|StanzAviv - Tel Aviv Creative Collective
Poems by Dan Savery Raz
(For Shiri) לשירי
Letters, words and sentences I cannot yet understand,
Television newsreaders talking but delivering no information.
Adverts, billboards and slogans selling me something,
Food in alien packaging, with clever logos lost on me.
Two for one deals and mystical menus, intriguing and confusing,
Bus stops and cafes filled with meaningless mobile chatter.
Passing road signs and neon lights, leading me to nowhere,
Even election posters and religious rhetoric cannot reach or teach me.
And finally comes the punch line of the joke I do not get,
But with every step I am closer to you and losing my headache.
In London I lost myself,
my shyness, inhibitions, the stupid
town that held me back. I lost my past,
the teeth knocked out of my mouth so fast
by bored brats who smoked too much weed,
suburban anti-artists will never succeed.
In London I lost my luggage,
that invisible weight I carried on my shoulders,
I lost the hatred that ran in my veins,
I remember reading M.K Gandhi on trains,
thinking this world’s not always insane,
suffering leads to inspiration again.
In London I found my voice,
while hundreds of people passed me by,
on the pavement outside Angel tube station,
freezing winter days were my revelation.
In London I found my song,
the African drum that goes on and on.
In London parks I walked alone,
from Oxford Street to Chalk Farm home,
I cried on a park bench in Golders Green,
my friends, my family, my life unseen.
It was all too little, it was all too much,
So long London, (I’ll be in touch).
Tel Aviv is a French film
black & white, jump cuts, edited by students
with haircuts, long brown curls, girls with flowers
in their handbags, shopping on Dizengoff
for wedding dresses to cry on.
Tel Aviv is the Café Voltaire, in Zurich,
Switzerland, where surreal Dadaists painted poetry
on pub toilet walls, forever is never the end,
cats make love below balconies, while bicycles
circle in silence.
Tel Aviv is Manhattan in the 60s, where
Bob Dylan and Ginsberg drink tea and smoke
weed, honey, lemon and speed past
the falafel stalls to be human,
once more, to the core.
Tel Aviv is and will be
a dream, unless men and women
with hindsight and insight use the light switch
to switch the tide of time, a Mediterranean mind
game that nobody can win.
World War IV
Once upon a midday waiting, by the university gating,
I was wondering and contemplating, what all man’s hating was for.
I slowly became obsessed by the raven that possessed
Poe’s poem that was caressed by his dark pen and nothing more.
As the professor was professing, the confessor was confessing
and the poem was addressing what my heart could not implore,
The winds of hate were howling, the underworld was growling
and all the wolves were drowning on the blood red shore.
The flags they were waving were pretending to be saving
all the people that were craving to be marched to another war.
The politicians were parading while all our hope was fading
fading, fading and cascading beyond the furthest shore.
The leaders were disappointing while the entire world was pointing
in blood they were anointing another declaration of war.
While governments’ corruption, leads to humankind’s destruction
you can forget your liposuction, there’ll be war and nothing more.
The TV was declaring while terrorists were scaring
and soldiers were preparing for another bloody war.
Democracy was turning. The missiles were burning
everything we had been learning throughout the days of yore.
But the bombs they kept destroying, the blasts were so annoying
and every girl and boy in the city prayed for an end to war.
Using religions and nations to legitimize annihilations
in the name of liberation is rotten to the core.
And the purpose of the killing is the oil we are drilling
and the bellies we are filling to fuel another war.
If I sound like a preacher or some peculiar teacher,
I’m sorry I’m just a seeker of some truth and nothing more.
History will be spoken, hearts and minds will be broken,
and when we have awoken, we’ll say “‘twas a war and nothing more”.
World War I was in the mud, World War II was in the thud,
World War III is in the blood and World War IV means ‘nevermore’.
And when we die we ask inviting, “Why were we always fighting?”
We never let the light in; instead we chose to slam the door.
And if we were to awaken in green fields less forsaken
and understand innocent lives were taken – may there be war, nevermore.
Ah, these are the leaders
These are the leaders –
Madmen in suits.
Believing in numbers, percentages and sanity
Drawing bar-charts to make sense of tanks and air strikes.
Using ‘intelligence’ to fool
with White Papers and dossiers
In corridors lined with hanged faces
they meat in murder;
It is not just us and them. I want
An end to war
another world was possible
It has been said, once it was true –
Violence breeds violence.
The lunatics with their economies
Protecting. The lunatics with their rocket launchers
Projecting. Leaders are leading us
down the road
we are going going…
Birds of Pray
My outside is in, it always has been.
On the Heath I heard
A fresh and natural way,
The simple song of a bird
Taught me how to pray.
I found a quiet place
And began to look around,
I witnessed wild space
And listened to autumn sound.
Then shutting my tired eyes,
I saw thousands of dots and lines.
But like the black night skies
There was nothingness behind.
I left the chaos of thought
And abandoned my daydreams,
All the burdens I brought
Were lost in the streams.
I thanked the Lord above,
For giving me a soul,
And for sending me love,
Home, purpose, a role.
Then I said sorry
For the aggression inside,
My twisted lies and worries,
And the people I made cry.
“Help me to be good
And guide me,” I said,
Still wondering if God
Was a part of my head.
“Send love,” I prayed,
“Wherever we roam,
Send love far away
And love close to home.”
“I want to forget time
And breathe concentration,
And free my stressed mind
To speak like the ocean.”
At the end of my prayer
I finally realized
There are others that care,
If I open my eyes.
My outside is in, it always has been
inside the outsider, on the outskirts of life
drifts in and out of sleep.
His long hibernation is almost at an end,
It’s dawn, the time when all the dreams
fade into the background,
absorbed into the tissue of the cycle,
the emptiness in the fullness.
Now, in on the inside, the outsider looks out,
as the insiders look in the mirror,
and the mirror is upside down,
inside out, a reflection of a reflection.
The outsider on the inside,
looking into the interior of the exterior.
Deep down inside he still feels outside.
I think I saw an eagle soar
this morning on Alpaca Farm.
I must charge my mobile phone
and turn off the car alarm.
The shepherd dog only wanted me
to stroke his fur and smile.
I need to open my laptop,
check my emails for a while.
Last night I was scared when a
field mouse rummaged in my food.
Now I have nothing left to eat,
but I am not in a bad mood.
You see, nature can take my Bamba,
animals can steal my food.
But I cannot eat their breakfast –
because that would be too rude.
Here on this farm of harmony,
I am merely the llamas' guest.
Migrating birds sing forever,
for the Negev is their nest.
It’s not ours, or yours or mine,
the desert belongs to no-one.
Bedouin, tourist, police or army,
we are all beaten by the sun.
Hamlet on Wall St
I yield to the yeast of Nasdaq,
Thy frozen dollar hangeth from African trees,
a rate of 3.333 recurring,
recurring amidst our false economies.
I beseech thee, oh CEO of the G8,
bear witness to the CPI and GDP,
the EU, UN and thou wretched Dow Jones,
and reduce thy incestuous income tax immediately!
For what valor, a billion euros?
What separate the bank from the slaughterhouse?
A mere exchange rate, methinks,
that maketh a mockery of man and king of a mouse.
‘Tis inflation that’s to blame,
for the soul’s bloody destruction,
the merger of murderers,
the deceitful corporations.
Ay, a plague hath descended,
on Wall St’s treacherous walls.
The housing market poisoned,
by profits and by fools.
Behold! The doomsday and
the hedgefund’s funeral pyre,
thy lawless stocks and shares,
acquisitions in the fire.
in an evil covenant,
the money it doth multiply,
by 6.66 per cent.
So farewell, all ye merchants
with your demonic financial doom.
There are more things in heaven
and earth, than your calculated gloom.
Children of Babies
Babies of the baby boomers,
of the flower children, the rock n’ rollers,
those who remember JFK,
John and Yoko, yesterday.
I’m talking ‘bout that generation,
who could not get no satisfaction,
I guess the times they were a-changin’
while in Vietnam the war was raging.
Ginsberg was howlin’, the wind was blowin’
words were flowin’ like Lenny Cohen.
2001 was a mere space odyssey,
man on the moon was satellite TV.
Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground,
Riders on the storm of a new sound.
Hendrix played Woodstock at break of dawn,
but the dream died before it was even born.
On a balcony one night stood MLK,
the cops or someone blew him away.
‘We shall overcome’ they all once sang,
but that was before they heard the bang.
Hard rain’s gonna fall and fell it did,
heroine flowed through the ghetto kids.
Marvin Gaye asked ‘what’s happening bro?’
Maybe our children will one day know.
Apocalypse Now, loathing and fear,
All you need is love and a 50K career.
Generation X and Generation Y,
travel the globe to kiss the sky.
You could call us the mobile generation.
Cyborgs with imagination.
We are the searchers surfing through time,
looking for something to mellow our minds.
Space of Waste
The Internet is a poem, a 21st century epic,
where Google is 'God', and God I'm pathetic.
The Internet is nothing but poker and porn,
there really is no reason for us being born.
The Internet began a long, long time ago
back in ancient Egypt, Wikipedia told me so.
The Internet is alive, growing bigger every day,
we crash and burn on the information superhighway.
The Internet is a business of traffic and users,
if you're not uploading you're one of the losers.
The Internet is my friend, a book of faces,
but we never 'click', we inhabit different spaces.
The Internet is a domain, a land of its own,
send me an email, but don't call me by phone.
The Internet is slow and we are children of speed,
there are millions of blogs that no-one will read.
The Internet is down, you have a System Error.
We are all components in this web of terror.
The Internet is free speech, real people power,
you can change the president, but never the hour.
The Internet is a library, infinite and wise,
we no longer need to look to the skies.
The Internet is Mom, Dad and Babysitter.
You can follow this poem on YouTube and Twitter.
To check the balance of your account, press one.
To transfer money from one account to another, press two.
For lost or stolen cards, press three.
If you would like to pay your outstanding balance, press four.
If you like the word ‘muesli’, press five.
If you get scared by thunder and lightning storms at night, press six.
If you believe in a monotheistic God, press seven.
If you are an atheist or believe in many gods, such as the sun god Helios, press eight.
For reincarnation, press nine.
To listen to some ancient Tibetan Buddhist chants, press ten.
Trotskyites, press eleven.
For information on the displacement of the Aboriginal population of Australia in the late 18th century,
If you just want to get stoned, press fourteen followed by the hash key.
If you treat your pet dog better than most human beings, press fifteen.
People that still carry some torch of hope for humanity, press sixteen followed by star.
For sarcasm or wit, don’t press seventeen whatever you do.
To speak to a customer service representative, call the premium number between 10 AM and 10.30 AM on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
To return to the main menu please text the words
‘Egyptian Mummification in the Predynastic Period’ to 666
or hold the line while we drill holes in your ear.
Thank you for banking with easyBank.com, finance at your fingertips.
For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. (Psalm 102:3)
There are no words,
in English, Hebrew or Sanskrit
that can reach your light.
Words are finite.
There are no words,
in this Oxford dictionary,
the ancient tree of knowing,
that keeps twisting and growing.
There are no words,
no name can be touched,
no adjective makes sense,
no passive verb makes amends.
There are no words,
before my tired eyes,
on this very piece of paper,
that vanishes into vapor.
© 2012 Dan Savery Raz