scene by Norman Warwick

After a time and even later with the benefit of hindsight it can be difficult to know exactly where a piece of creativity came from and how what were random thoughts jumbling and jostling for position in the creator´s mind ever became a cohesive ´truth´ in the mind of its creator. Pin-pointing  that precise moment where imagination begins is almost impossible especially if the creative process has been collaborative. Colin Lever and I wrote The Battle Of The Blues And Greys, as part of a repertoire for our performing and later recording duo Lendanear. From this distance of forty years ago, I can´t remember if the verses ´appeared´ in the order we sang them on our album and cannot even recall whether Colin´s guitar riff came before or after my first line. Come follow your art down the Sidetracks & Detours across the battlefield as a nation tore itself apart.

blues and greys scarlet and black and tan North and South of the great divide and old ladies in rocking chairs rocking with no one caring that they are just rocking to the end of their days of underground railways and emancipation per chance to dream to reach perchance the promised land of integration and indifference of race to race poverty to wealth plenty to hunger drug manufacturers to Aids a long walk to freedom a long time to dream a long stretch to Reconciliation Day in a world no longer showing black and white but broadcasting instead in high density living colour of charcoaled stumps of land-mined amputees and seeping red blood and the blue and orange flames of fires accelerating in a world in which none but God is giving a damn and blast in the underground and on the number forty three bus red and silver and chrome and multi-coloured fabric seating on which are sitting side by side Christian and Muslim Hindu and Jew not front and rear in segregation or apartheid because black and white is no longer an issue even in the tabloids with their rosy-nippled bare breasted girls posing or posed as benefactors or beneficiaries of liberation and emancipation

World Music playing in celebration or lament;

photo 2 mama don´t allow urban and ghetto and garage and house and hip hop and punk and funk and doo wop and gospel and rap and a splif and a wrap but mama don’t allow no Negro music in here no sir no way and what have blacks to sing of anyway that the whites can’t steal here in the projects in the townships where white chicks are putting out for black dudes pimping and black and white copulating in sexual healing dancing the grizzly bear rocking and rolling the bump and grind and the twist and shout brought from the new world to the docklands on black vinyl to be copied by those pretending to walk on the wild side but always walking just one step this side of the angels.

Annie working the midnite shift in graveyards haunted by black shadow and burning cross and white hood

“hoods” for the neighbourhood ghettoised and disenfranchised so that raping and mugging and beating and stealing and starving become a way of life showing the acceptable face of freedom hidden in the “hoodies” in days of even prisons overflowing

with society holding

no slaves in chains but integrating criminals in electronic ankle bracelets providing community service to a community paying lip service only to the notion of freedom unaware of the difference between licence and liberty

to let freedom ring

to cry freedom

is just another word for nothing left to lose for a prophet and a pilgrim and a pusher and the last priest in the world walking in a free world of Orwellian surveillance filming and recording for posterity whispering of conspiracy twisting of truth falsifying of fact distorting of data infecting of information more informed than ever before yet knowing less and certain of nothing except poets writing in their voice unspoken that freedom is a state of mind

a state within a state of grace shaking her long hair down and throwing colours all across those blues and greys sitting astride a punter riding him guiding him through certainties disintegrating where what once was black and white is becoming a kaleidoscopic explosion of sperm and blood and genes pooled until DNA redefines all maps drawn by Man diluting race into water colours turning and running for the borders.

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