the bomb-hill poets


chapter 1: bomb-hill farm


it's a rock and roll world. underneath a rock and roll sky. or is it? everybody over the age of 18 should be banned from rock and roll - too old. and everybody under 18 should be banned too. after more than 60 years of rock, kids should by now be finding something more radical to do with their time. rock in this day and age - man they might as well be dentists or accountants. cos that's what they sound like.

the bomb-hill poets lived on the coast in the north of england. and they didn't care about rock and roll. even when it was new. they liked poetry. and living on the coast in the north of england. they didn't care about paris or milan or chicago or new york. they liked poetry. and each other. and they all lived together in some old farm buildings on the coast in the north of england.

the founder member of the group was billy bomb-hill. his father and his father's father had worked the land at bomb-hill farm for more than a hundred years. crops were now no longer the main priority at bomb-hill farm. now poets lived there. and they wrote poems. and novels. and plays. and a variety of other bits and bobs.

billy had worked the land alone for some years but working the land was not his thing. words were his thing. and as word spread regarding his work with words, as word spread regarding the measure and merits of his writing, other poets and writers came to learn and to help him work the land. and they came to write. and thus the bomb-hill poets were born.

billy had worked the land alone and had written alone for some years but now, almost suddenly, there were five or six poets living together, writing together and working the land together. the farm flourished. sometimes they wrote collectively. and sometimes they worked on individual projects. and the bomb-hill poets were popular, well liked and well respected throughout the county. and all along that particular stretch of coast. apple pie and ice cream. straw hats and trumpets. cakes and ale. and wall to wall rainbows.

bomb-hill farm had become a house of poetry, an earthly paradise, a virtual heaven on earth. one can't say bomb-hill farm had become a magic place. bomb-hill farm had always been a magic place.

billy bomb-hill was the leader. but not according to billy. according to billy the least, the most modest and humble amongst them was the leader. it wasn't that billy was built that way. he'd worked for it and at it. worked his way towards it, thru' its centre and out the far end. he was no stranger to hard work. billy was a nice guy. and nice guys don't always finish last. just ask jesus. or a poet. or doc holliday if you can find him.

second hand bones. and ping-pong balls. and now we're talking. yup - billy wrote well. better than well. but the the other guys wrote crap. real crap. and nice guy that he was, billy just didn't have the heart to tell them. man - they wrote crap. as magical mystical and magnificent as billy's writing often was, it had one flaw, it only attracted idiots and dead-beats and loose screws who couldn't write to save themselves. yeah they were nice enough, pleasant guys and gals but they just couldn't write to save themselves. and no matter what he tried billy couldn't teach them. yeah the other boys and girls loved great poetry, great writing of all sorts, but they just couldn't write it. not in a million years.

he wasn't born to teach. he was born to write. screw around, drink a lotta wine and swim in the ocean. he didn't give a toss about teaching. teaching was not his meat and bones. billy liked the guys and the guys liked billy. they pretty much worshipped him. but his writing was great and their writing was crap. he couldn't teach them and he couldn't tell them. the farm flourished. it was a happy place. but its one flaw was billy's writing only attracted guys who couldn't write to save their lives.

time moved gently around them and revealed the truth to the bomb-hill boys. only billy could write well. it was plain enough. the other guys loved poetry. but they couldn't write it. what they could do was rob banks. and so they did. and they did it well. and they made poetry of it. and they never did get caught. they went about their work quietly poetically and effectively. little banks here, little banks there. and nobody ever got hurt. and being a bomb-hill poet was a brilliant disguise.

but who was gonna tell billy? and tell him what? and thus pretence and deception entered bomb-hill farm. the bank robbers pretended to be poets and billy pretended to be deceived.

there was only one bomb-hill poet - billy. the others were bank robbers pretending to be poets. and billy pretended not to notice. and the bank robbers pretended not to notice billy pretending not to notice. billy's family had come from the ancient kingdom of swabia. they could trace their line back thru' the dukes of swabia all the way to the 15th century and the dark and infamous swabian poets of that time. billy came from a long ancient noble line of drunken swabian poets. the other bomb-hill poets were simply bank robbers with no relationship with nobility and no understanding of ancient lines.

billy liked a drink. the other bomb-hill poets liked a drink. they worked the farm together and in the evenings the bomb-hill poets pretended to write and for a while billy pretended to teach them. and at weekends the bomb-hill poets robbed banks. and billy pretended not to notice.

they robbed banks quietly cleanly cleverly and poetically. they robbed banks elegantly and with composure and the poet in billy admired their style. and he turned a blind eye to the ever increasing amount of bags of cash stashed in the barn. what business of it was his?

most weekends 3 or 4 bomb-hill poets would disappear and then return with bags of cash. and the barn was filling up and filling up like nobody's business. nobody spoke about the cash. nobody spoke about the barn. sometimes the barn was locked. sometimes not.

and life rolled along pleasantly at bomb-hill farm. straw hats, wild horses and stolen trombones. and a barn slowly filling up with an apparently never ending supply of cash. yup - straw hats, wild mushrooms and steamed fish. they had it all. and nobody giving a toss about the ever increasing stash of cash in the barn.

but in ancient mid-15th century swabia dark storm clouds were gathering. the king was being plagued by a band of poet brigands. they consistently and repeatedly stole his grain and his cattle and robbed his treasury and counting houses of silver and gold. these poet brigands were somehow invisible. one minute the grain, the cattle, the silver and gold were there. the next minute they were gone. nobody ever saw the poet brigands but at the scene of each robbery they always left a calling card with a short poem on it or a cryptic or torpid remark such as seize the day or don't let the sun catch you crying. they liked a good laugh did the brigand poets but needless to say the king of swabia was not laughing. king rudolpho was sick to his bones regarding the brigand poets. his mind was in shreds and copious tears he shed.

to make matters worse in the wonderful world of time there was a fault line between mid-15th century swabia and present day bomb-hill farm. bits and pieces of mid-15th century swabia would somehow make their way to present day bomb-hill farm and bits and bobs of our bomb-hill farm and our bomb-hill poets would somehow stumble and make their way and put in an appearance in mid-15th century swabia.

yes dark storm clouds were indeed gathering in mid-15th century swabia. and the name of the leader of the brigand poets was wilhelm von bum-hole.

and he looked a lot like billy.