> unreleased poems <


|| Robert Calvert ||

The WORDS section of the Calvert site is broken up in 4 parts:

Lyrics [parts 1-4]

Poems & Misc. Prose

Unreleased poems [see below]

Performance pieces

this division is of course a vague one -
There are several cross-references between the texts in these sections - like the poems
The Starfarer's Dispatch and The Clone's Poem that later on became the lyrics of Hawkwind's song
Spirit of the Age.
Calvert frequently used his poetry as song-lyrics and performance material - and vice versa...

Poems / lyrics & texts that appear as links are featured on separate illustrated pages -

unreleased poems


Robert Calvert considered himself first and foremost as a poet - with or without sound/music - period. His main body of work - when it comes to poetry - was released in the two volumes CENTIGRADE 232 and THE EARTH RITUAL. Several poems were released in anthologies - many surely also got lost along the way...

Quite a number were never released or in rare/obscure magazines which you'll hardly find these days. On this page you'll find those and a collection of poems from the estate of R.C. - published here for the first time. Most of these poems aren't marked with a date - most of them, however, must be from the early- to mid-eighties.

Texts that appeared in magazines are mostly taken out of Trevor Hughes's "Hawkfrendz" releases.

©opyright for all the texts: Robert Calvert / the estate of R.C.


unreleased poems

Bicyclepoem - flash-animation / released here for the first time

The Action Man Explains - flash-animation

Empty Shells

The Sad Ballad of a Soldier - flash-animation

August Stramm in a Garden

Event (for Jill)

Three Men in a Boat

Sound Poem

Photo Finish

Canal Path Travelogue

Ode To Toxteth

The Hashishins


Unreleased Poems
  Bicyclepoem - flash-animation / released here for the first time

The Action Man Explains - flash-animation

Empty Shells

If there's ever going to be a shooting war
there's going to be a lot of shells around
when the noise dies down.
Whistles made of brass they're like, ideal.
You hold them under your bottom lip. And blow
down hard. They'll be big ones, small ones,
some as big as your head, We can still get bands
together when all the electric power has fused
and the empty shells of humanity that we've all
our dues of grief for; have been replaced
by these.
Come on Reagan. Thought you were film star.

(first released in Hawkfrendz, 1988)

The Sad Ballad of a Soldier - flash animation (turn your speakers on!)


I am a poet.
(I am a garden.)
I am bushes
where songs hum.
Where dread breeds
in a pond's scum.

When sky is stretched
I fear the drought
when my gift
crawls back to its nest
of books. When streams
of greenfly
attack my tongue.

(August Stramm (1874-1915) was a German Futurist/Expressionist and member of the "Der Sturm" circle.)

(for Jill)

Tiny still, as a distant
Chink of light (your eyes have lit
Up with it and your skin has
Taken on its glow): the new
Life in you shines as if it
Were the future's torch of truth.

Marathon generations
Have handed it on since time
Began, and we are the same
Runners in the dark who ran
Against each other, entwined
And getting nowhere. No plan

To change the world, no blue-print
For perfection: all we can
Do is muddle through to win,
And check the supermarket
Prices of you latest fads --
While relations start to knit.


They say that two
Is company
And three is just a crowd
But of this crowded company
I must say that I'm proud.
To be member of a team
Which I hold in such esteem
Makes me sing out loud:

Rowing, rowing,
Going nowhere
What do we care
If we get there?
Rowing, glowing,
Showing such flair
We're three men in a boat.

Now anyone
Would envy us
If the only know
What if was like to spend wi' us
A merry day or two
Cruising through the countryside
Down the Thames without a guide
Just him and me and you:

Rowing, rowing,
Going nowhere
What do we care
If we get there?
Rowing, glowing,
Showing such flair
We're three men in a boat.

Just two would be
A double-act -
A two-part harmony.
If there's something that a couple lacked
I'd say 'twas bon homie,
For two notes do not make a chord
You must have three, so all aboard -
That's him and you and me:

Rowing, rowing,
Going nowhere
What do we care
If we get there?
Rowing, glowing,
Showing such flair
We're three men in a boat.



In the distance a dog is trying to hack
Through a length of quiet with a blunted saw.
A radio pips ... pips ... pips ...
And some-one retunes it so it pipes
The evening aboard.
The twittering Heath-
Robinson clockwork of birds
Shows no sings of winding down.
The bees are still blowin their didjery-doos.
A jet goes over on roller skates.
Anotehr revolves in a slowing chromium yaw
Around the horinzon's roulette wheel.

"Oooh aaarrrrgh," says the mangel-
Wurzeling traffic. It's forming a jug-band
With blown bottle-necks, paper and combs.
Somewhere a power drill is fretting. It wants
To be picked up, changed, and fed.
Faintly, an echoed flower-
Pot Man is flobbber-lobbing reggae.
An ice-cream van has just tried to juggle
With the slats of a xylophone -
It dropped the lot.
The embarrassed traffic clears its host of throats
Cast, like a salmon-fly, a motorbike unwinds
Its reel of sound. A juggernout changes gear
In a three humped, Lochness monster of noise.

A swazzleing bluebottle keeps hitting the glass
With its Mr. Punch stick: 'that's the way
To dot it. That's the way...'
'Phew,' says a gust of wind with relief
As I hawk the window up
On the medicine-man rattle of the leaves.


Say onions says
The back legs
Of a one-eyed

Monster with
The Statue
Of Liberty's torch
In it's hand ...

(Bring me
Your Brylcreamed
And your scrubbed.)
Say cheese

And watch
The Birdie. Then wipe
Its white
Droppings from

Your eyes.
All dressed up
With nowhere
To go

But the family
Album. Lured
Like a moth --
And pinned.


There are stretches of Venice
Beyond the bridge, where windows
Bulge in the flexible walls;
Where the black glass is pitted
And chipped by flies. Further on

There is a length of railway-
Siding that's the Germany
In films of war-time escape:
Its wires rigged for ricochets.
Towing our thoughts, like horses,

We walk where the anglers pitch
Their Bedouin umbrellas.
England reveals itself
In the barrelled Camelot
Of the gas-works; in the weeds,

As a marbleing of green
In the slick obsidian
Slither. The graveyard is Spain:
A carved Guernica of slabs.
France is the pale collection

Of clouds that's been tarted up
From oil-spills' prism-palettes.
The black strip of celluloid
Unwinds, with its images --
As they should be -- upside down.

Deft as a projectionist
The lock-keeper threads these frames
Into the lock's sprocket gates.

Ode To Toxteth
(A last outpost of British Civilisation)

Throw a petrol bomb and smach a few shop windows,
    Do it on a sunny day,
Throw a petrol bomb and set fire to a policeman,
    Make sure that you get away,
The Law may come and tap you on your shoulder,
    If your skin is black,
That leaves a chip that stays until you're older,
    They find a pocket full of substance,
                        pocket full of substance

(first released in Hawkfrendz, 1989)

The Hashishins

"Let he who has not been stoned
Cast the first sin."

Robert Calvert (1980 AD)

The Hashishins

In every village within each town
And city you will find them.
They stand out in colours
Conjured and combined from sales
And brightly hidden stalls
In market places

Pass them in a group
Hair flying, walking fast to score
Heads filled with dreams
They think of you as 'normal'
They think of you as 'straight'

With shades and beards
They have defaced their youth
Like posters on the underground
At night, from quietly lit rooms
Their sounds drill strangely
On the silent air.
They will live maybe like this
Until their lives are on the board

An old man, very old
(His teeth surprisingly intact)
Had the most disgusting dreams of
Erotic tigers jumping out of cages
And mooning camels midnight rages
Not quite what he seems...

(from: Hassan I Sabbah, Hawkfrendz / Zephyr Publ. 1995)


more words:

LYRICS / Poems + Prose / Performance pieces

biography           NEWS
works / part I / II / III   works / part IV / V / VI
R.C. & Hawkwind   collab-relations
the world ON Calvert   Michael Moorcock
Calv-ART   quotes
the spirit behind   the spirit's home

contact the spirit

bug me