posted on April 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm

he came to a fertile cave

i am a beggar on a forlorn shore

wine women and song no longer my companions

an old king deposed fallen on hard times

betrayed by my sons betrayed by my sisters

my stupid old head full of the spring

cast adrift in this cosmos

i clamber up yonder distant hills

i rove the rocky beaches in thrall to their ocean

i am a fool i am a rogue

i squandered a fortune that was never mine

i conquered a deep land inside and that was enough

yes my evil twin within but tell me who really won….?

i am a monarch of starfish and briar

i am inspecting the cliffs and the weeds and the tiny spiders

an endless afternoon across the water where lies antarctic wastes

my cities have disappeared

my yoke has been cast off

tired hungry lonely loveless wanderer

i drink brackish water from shoal havens and black creek

i eat wild berries so sweet who stain lips scarlet purples

leaden footed without grace i go

trampling adders and such into the dirt and glass

someone beckons me but it is all illusion

i can almost see the truth now

but have lost the energy to fight off maya

i affirm the earth

i change into my sackcloth shirt

my crown long since melted down

i suffer insults from the wind and the stars

i talk to myself although i never listen anymore

that voice droning on in the silence of midnight

a hand on my shoulder that takes me aside

reflections mirror the face of nature

the sun the sand the clouds the waves are in my eyes

the gulls and the surf are my ears

clamour of battle faded

messenger brings defeat after defeat

herald whose shrill trumpet sped through the din

vanguard amongst the missing somewhere faraway

forgiveness is yours to grant if you should so wish

let me sup at your table tho i do not eat much

and i’ll make you laugh perhaps

when you wonder

how this beggar you see before thee

ever once lay in imperial leathers

and commanded the sky



33 Responses to “enhancer”

  1. Kraig
    Kraig | 21 April 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    cast adrift in this cosmos….THANKS

    • Kraig
      Kraig | 21 April 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      …for mentioning this…my Cat’s name is “Cosmo” and he’s near his end…we will have to put him down soon, Lymphoma Cancer, depressing, but then again like your other posts, we will see him again 🙂 I love the little guy and he’s STRONG…diagnosed a year ago or more, and still with us, but it’s time….

      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 22 April 2012 at 8:15 am #

        So sorry for you Kraig. I remember all the great stories and miles across this country that the two of you have shared. My families thoughts and prayers are going out to you. Cosmo will be a playful kitten soon romping around with our Taylor and Raz in the kitty afterworld . Those 3 kitties are gonna get themselves in some funny trouble together.

        With Sympathy,
        Darrin JK

        • Kraig
          Kraig | 23 April 2012 at 6:01 pm #

          your AWESOME Darrin! I have tears in my eyes as I think about Taylor, Raz, and Cosmo playing together 🙂 Cosmo is so friedly there’s no joke that he’ll be a HIT with the other two! Cheers my friend..I’ll pray he meets them…may they have plenty of romps together until we all meld again!

  2. avatar
    Chris | 21 April 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Gritty and visceral…good stuff.

  3. avatar
    Chris | 21 April 2012 at 11:17 pm #


    Seared shard of soil
    With green emblazoned edges
    Kissing an azure sea
    Its people are
    Of time and place
    Who wander the fringes
    Occasionally venturing in
    To find the red soil
    The weathered monolith
    The empty heart
    Filled to overflowing
    With longing and reflection
    And footprints of an older race
    More gentle with its contours
    Its history and
    Its dreams-
    And stained with their blood.

  4. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 21 April 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    There appears to be a common theme of loneliness and reflection in ur last couple poems. Are you having a difficulty adjusting to your new surroundings and finding it to be a challenge to start the next chapter in your life, your creative pathway ??? I too have been spinning lately trying to adjust my compass but there is so much interference that I am having a very difficult time finding N again.
    I wish you and everyone the very best and remember the connection stays on only if you allow it to. Otherwise the search continues and contiunes….for what exactly ??? ….I know not at this moment.

    Excellent picture !!!

    Darrin JK

  5. avatar
    colette | 21 April 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Yes, who really wins? When you ‘lay in imperial leathers and commanded the sky’ you were the beggar. Now in your ‘sackcloth shirt’ it seems to me you are more than worthy. Why do I think of King Lear becoming a fool in the storm to realise how much love was offered him in plain honesty, even understatement, perhaps flawed, apparently inadequate but so raw? Even if it was the love of a seemingly disobedient daughter. I loved that poor fool more than ever in the end.

  6. avatar
    Winston | 22 April 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Always appreciate how you can make longing and sadness so beautiful. Thank you. It is medicine.

  7. avatar
    david | 22 April 2012 at 12:58 am #

    ..he came to a fertile cave…and he lit that fucker up with his radiant countenance!

  8. avatar
    david | 22 April 2012 at 1:07 am #

    …also …dont be afraid to curse , amble and spit…these are as much a part of us as the softer sides…in fact in weight , balance and reflection , equal…peace and love killer
    calling down baal and zeus(aka) david

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 22 April 2012 at 2:40 am #

    my doors will be always open for you, wandering sage
    far from the royal luxury you might still remember
    but i mean every word — and i mean it literally
    though i don’t take literally all of yours —
    still — you’re always welcome here
    steeeeeev —-
    come back to socal…

  10. avatar
    Once | 22 April 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Found a lost beggar alone in the sand
    He once was a king, and he took my hand
    Told me of life, and of fame and of death
    Told me he’d love his life until his last breath

    His children his girls
    His songs and his friends
    All his possibilities
    As they are without end

    But he’s tired, been hiking
    For so many years, echoes of music
    Ringing his ears
    He said one thing to me, and that I remember
    He said don’t take alcohol, love – turns May to December
    And this man, he was right, and he gave this to me
    A truth from one man who knows it to be

    I sing in my sleep, I have songs to give
    But I don’t have the strength to live how he lives
    Dear sweet SK, a petulant Jesus
    Sure that my God looks over you, pleased.

  11. avatar
    Anonymous | 22 April 2012 at 8:20 am #

    You could be in my arms, oh adventurer. Me and my desired loneliness in a Saturday night far from laughter and cry, only the traffic providing a siren soulful music I can’t touch. You and your undesired loneliness as a hermit who tasted almost everything and couldn’t be faithful to anything but yourself. Fucked up expectations and relationships, demanding children, stupid mouldered cities corroded by greed and cheap lust, uninventive dictionaries to shallow views and you and I remain together in this strangest fashion, in the course of the stars over a dry terrain where the cave is never open enough. And our philosophies still brilliantly match and I miss your music while on my silent mission. You, do you ever have the conscience to match your wit? Can you be so sensitive and sensible and still stay strong? You are a rock. Not a beggar or a king. We are winning, my twin. Can you see how glorious you are? You are a vision, a true vision of the most feared and embraced illusion. The vision of beauty in a salty dimension. The sea is my only boss. I can only respect the sea. Can you still feel my force? Stand Steve. And welcome the truth because you feel it and you know it.

  12. avatar
    Chris | 22 April 2012 at 9:15 am #

    @anonymous…nice…very nice.

  13. avatar
    Chris | 22 April 2012 at 10:00 am #

    @david…sometimes you need to be rock…and sometimes you need to be water…

  14. avatar
    Chris | 22 April 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Here’s a ‘rock’ one:

    Fucked-up charlatans and power junkies laying waste to my paradise. I despise their hubris and their rapacious rampage across my turf. The emperor has no clothes, and only the poets who worship sex and dreams can save us from oblivion. The balladeers invite us to wheel across the stars to other lands of bliss and insight where love is all and the Kama Sutra is our only guide. Seaspray warriors roll and foam slicing through their hypocritical idols…calves of gold and iron and stocks and shares…obliterating their feet of clay and overlaying their hoarse cries of lust and greed. Ride on in majesty man of sorrows man of truth man of honeyed words and dreaming.

  15. avatar
    andy | 22 April 2012 at 10:11 am #

    you’ll soon be canonised at this rate!

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 22 April 2012 at 10:41 am #



  16. avatar
    Lara | 22 April 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I think this Odysseus might find a few open doors. 🙂

  17. avatar
    Chris | 22 April 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Steve Kilbey

    Wild chronicler of just-fuck-it nirvana wandering herefordshire knight in paisley armour Bondi pilgrim of the sandstone abyss painting with polychrome and words and faith the sea of dreams the beard of stars the soul-maker balladeer and incisive artist he has danced with heroin and sashayed with the music moneymen and seen beyond them all into behind the cosmic dust to the exotic groovy eden of our souls longing…

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 22 April 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    I read this blog entry earlier — just got home from dinner with a friend – during… a deep conversation (I guess) we were having, his ending remark before we went off on another subject somewhere else to talk about: life is a scam but it’s unconditional. yeah, I replied; you may be right – but there’s always conditions apparent as you dream. As he was walking/delivering me home he said (exact words): I talk to myself although I never listen anymore… and then he thanked me for the evening/listening and turned to walk home. I stood there an extra second or two… a little confused not sure why/kind of feeling with his last words hanging on like an echo resounding through his steps as he was walking up the block (and the traffic noise just kinda stopped/live in a big city… and was voided out);a neighbor walks by and comments with this really odd look on her face that I look like I have a halo of light around me (my front porch light wasn’t on/it was dark outside) and her words sort of bring me back from wherever… smile and say, huh? … walked inside the door to my home and there sitting inside in the entry was some mail… of which one was a package w/a letter inside from a friend (the rest of the mail not interesting); so as I was walking up stairs, I opened the package/started reading the letter and he’d sent me a starfish necklace… last time I saw him was a couple years ago back east at the beach and I’d been looking for such a necklace but all were either too gaudy or too expensive — and this one was perfect and then as I was finishing reading the letter once I got upstairs, it was ended with: remember, life is a scam but a starfish will always be you (we used to sail together and sometimes when we’d anchor off beaches and paddle in, the tide would have brought in tons of starfish — and I’d make him help me take them all back into the water so they wouldn’t die); anyway he also sent me an autographed playbill/program cover all ripped up when he was with the WestSide Theatre Playhouse, in acting school – signed by Steve McQueen (he knows he’s one of my all time favorite actors – how thoughtful)- and it was signed, “life is a scam – S…McQ…” – so that’s where he got his last line of the letter – now I can have both of them always with the same words framed; BUT: who I had dinner with I’ve not a clue how his words earlier were those exact same I received in the mail (and) then I turn the tv on to take out a movie I have to return tmrw (Toast – really really great movie — has nothing to do with this but everybody should see it anyway)and when I take the movie out the “tv” program pops on and there is Steve McQueen (and Dustin Hoffman) – Papillon is airing… and then I start thinking about the rest of everything (and Papillon is still on in my living room in the background right now) and I check this blog for some reason and there are these same words… from my dinner companion! which is why I’d startled I guess when I heard him say them… as i’d read them here earlier — just kinda fast so it didn’t click — til re-read just now.

    and this is what the universe is and stuff that slows reality into pure light as you now realize you’ve been wading through the last hour… and you say gee, that was a fun one.

  19. avatar
    Chris | 22 April 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Fuck… ‘The Time Being’ is an oasis in a sea of mediocrity. I have to keep coming back to drink from it.Thanks Steve!

  20. avatar
    Chris | 22 April 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Love the oblique reference to King Lear in this one.

  21. avatar
    Chris | 22 April 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    @Anonymous above: wonderfully described synchronicity experience, man. I was there with you as I read. If I may extrapolate your ‘life is a scam’ observation: If life is a scam, then, by implication, everything The Church has ever written and composed (for example)is a scam as well, and I don’t believe that to be true. The Church’s music is authentic, resonating life and truth, and not a scam, so parts of life in this world are not a scam. Perhaps it would be better to say, ‘There are scams in life, and moments of pure truth and beauty.’ Just my 2 cents worth. Thanks for the life-giving dialogue and starfish story, man.

    • avatar
      Anonymous | 23 April 2012 at 3:32 am #

      yeah, and I agree w/your 2 cents… I can copy a Church cd and give to him next time we go out — he’s going through a tough time and (had I) remembered more quickly where I’d heard/read those same words, I could have offered already… and your insight too (had I thought of it myself)! and he could’ve been listening to something beautiful right now. the starfish: when I was younger and would swim through the waves onto the rocks/beaches when my father and I would be sailing on trips, this one trip the starfish literally attach onto me when I was sitting with them in the tide pool I’d put them in but there were no rocks in the pool so they are intelligent creatures and knew they wouldn’t survive where I’d left them/my intentions were good/but they knew more than me… (they only start turning pale colors when they’re accidentally left behind by waves during those tides and start drying out) and then as I swam back out to our boat, I stopped at a rock (that was positioned well enough I could hang onto without getting pounded) and waited for them to re-attach to the rock that was further out; but this one starfish had attached to my collar bone and didn’t unattach with the others, and it was getting too rough for me to stay in the water so I had to swim/get back to the boat with a starfish on my chest. My father was sensitive to things like that and though it was getting too rough in the water for me to hang out any longer (and they’re really strong when they’re supple/they do attach!), he tied a rope around me and before we left used our dingy to row back into the rocks with me secured by the rope so I wouldn’t get lost and was able to keep the dingy stable enough for me to float/hang on there long enough the last starfish did disattach itself/made it back to the others before that rock was covered complete… I think that last remaining star was just a lttle too shocked/not recovered enough first time through to let go – after that I always wanted a starfish (not a real starfish) necklace. I finally got it last night along with the rest of the wave (then SMcQ jumped from the cliff… “I’m still here you bastards!” ‘ lovely last line to a great movie!) It was a pretty evening – I’m going to the beach today.

  22. avatar
    Linjo | 22 April 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Fabulous picture of you Steve. Such a handsome beastie. You give most men 20 years your junior a run for their money. The good twinny obviously won. I do observe in my meetings at AA (when I go) that addicts, no matter how far they have come, never lose that feeling of loss of the ‘good times’. The only ones at peace, seem to be those that dedicate themselves to a philanthropic existence. Linda x

    • avatar
      Once | 23 April 2012 at 6:20 am #

      Linjo – you are SO right!! The only thing that keeps me from getting f**ked up, is knowing that I can help others.

      And it is seriously the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

  23. avatar
    Once | 23 April 2012 at 6:24 am #

    I think that God purposely touches the most capable of us with madness…so we can get through it and glorify Him. I’m in the Club….

  24. avatar
    CAth Meeson | 24 April 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    the pictures tell
    They hold worlds
    And wells
    Deep ,deep, deep.
    like Alladinns Cave.
    Ever so potent,
    the oceans breast rises,
    A Welcome,,,from the sea
    worthy seafarers are always spared,
    the oblivion that claims other souls
    even when it tortures them so,.
    I know,
    Like you………..the deep deep waters.

    And I so love that you open your world with a multiplity of exchanges to the people that love you. Should you ever choose to write/ improvise performance art/plays, and seek conspirators, count me in.:)

  25. avatar
    Chris | 26 April 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    I’ve read ‘enhancer’ quite a few times now. This one really resonates with me.I think I might copy it and put it on my office wall. Hope that is OK Steve!

    ‘how this beggar you see before thee
    ever once lay in imperial leathers
    and commanded the sky’

    The humility of these lines is disarming; the imagery superb.

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