A Roman boy at The British museum.

A Roman boy at The British museum.

A thousand stone heads are stuck in glass cases,

Their blank almond eyes and broken stone faces,

Stare me down as I stand here,

On my plastic plinth,

No bigger than the human hand that made me.

 

A Halo of rusted curls, frame my tiny face,

A beatific smile is etched upon my lips,

Lips that never breathed the air, nor kissed another.

Snake hips that never slunk, 

Iron brown skin that never felt a touch,

A lean and languid body, that never grew old, 

Head thrown back in thoughts that never came.

 

An altar boy to a crumbled god.

A votive offering, 

A pocket trinket,

A smugglers ransom,

An art dealers pride,

A museum piece,

I have passed from hand to hand,

In the blink of the universes’ eye,

For two thousand years

Stood Iron and strong

Through every passing moment

And felt none.

What it feels like to be me

What it feels like to be me

Every morning eyes open and I appear, slowly awakening from the blackness and somehow there is continuity. The story of me, being told and lived, simultaneously.

Every cell is different from seven years ago so how can I be the same, or even know I am? How can past worries be consigned to memory when the ones here now seem so real?

 How do l I own some actions: the prizes and the pratfalls, but not others: the walking or the sitting? Am I only the ‘decided’ or also the ‘involuntary’? Is there a distinction?

 Do I own my thoughts or are they pounding on my head like raindrops? Do I own my feelings or are they wafting through my consciousness like smells?

 Am I the stillness or the movement, or am I both? Am I the face in the mirror or the openness inside? Where’s the dividing line, the edge of my body, or the edge of my view? 

 Am I everything or nothing? What if me is just the story? The story used to function. What if there’s only this: happening, and then: that, and then: something else.

 Sometimes I see motes of light, floating in the corner of my view.  They remind me that strange things happen that anything is possible.

George Melies 1929

George Melies 1929
George Melies at his toy stall in Montparnasse Station
George Melies at his toy stall in Montparnasse Station

Everyday at seven,

I open up my wooden shack.

To sell my wooden toys and games

to the loud lousy children of Montparnasse.

Why all of life seems wooden to me now,

A broken old man, on a broken old stool,

with barely two brass pennys to rub together.

And yet it wasnʼt always so.

Once, I was the master of this universe,

The greatest magician in all of Paris,

with a hundred men at my command

And robots too, clockwork automotons,

that danced like oiled marionettes,

in the foyer of my gold leafed theater.

Then there was the magic box,

the clicking-clacking lantern,

Eating silver strips of celuloid

And beaming out smokey moonlight.

Chopping up time into frames, train windows.

My ghost on a light and silver screen.

I danced in black and white.

And did amazing things,

turned marble statues into women

and women into skeletons,

and I juggled with my severed head,

and crashed into the moon’s right eye.

I tunnelled throught the earth hot core

and fought and beat the devil.

Or so it seemed,

for all of that is long gone now,

Just faded and forgotten,

like the brittle nitrate film,

on which it sits,

and here I sit,

waiting for my wife to come,

and bring some bread and cheese for lunch.

 

Freedom

Peter

Is this him now?

No right-hand rules,

We could all be present

Sit ourselves in silence,

While living in the light

Sautéed on dance

Talk of lists and beginnings.

Write a major hypnotic fright symphony.

Or buy and drink canastas of rum.

 

Freedom,

Is it a declaration of independence

Or the manner you carry your hair?

Is it free will or predetermination?

Or is it that we have an agreement,

To sit and write poetry.

When we could be learning French?

 

(The poem was written in English put through google translator into French and then put back into English again.)

Driving

Driving

Hanni you are being hugged,

huddling happily on the back seat.

On the soft, leather, squeaky springed,

rolling, beeping, clanking, street

and your laughing at the games of hide and seek

and your head leans back, resting on his cheek,

and your soft blonde hair, is lying there, a touch static.

His eyes are closed, his mouth it smiles, he’s lost in traffic.

 

And your friends are leaning into you,

squashed in like glued sardines,

under coats, cosey-like, a bunch of laughing teens.

And your driving, somewhere, anywhere,

where the light is liquid black

and white and silver-hazey-brown,

the kind that’s owned by movie stars.

like Summer days burnt down.

 

And the window is a halo,

That is filled with empty space.

and the infinite flat paper,

illuminates your face,

and the road is driving onwards,

and you don’t care where it ends,

cause your frozen in the moment

and your laughing with your friends.

As I walked out one morning (after W H Auden)

As I walked out one morning,

 Walking cross Union Square,

The dogs lurked round the bushes

And the wind tousled my hair.

 

And down by the dead canalside

I heard the endless moan,

Of a distracted wandering woman,

Talking on a mobile phone.

 

‘Love, I’ve got to get it sorted,

Beaten into shape,

How, oh how, 

Will I ever escape?

 

I wrote him a list,

He put things in boxes,

He cleaned every surface,

I wound all the watches.

 

He watered the garden,

I read all his mail,

I baked him a cake

As large as a whale.

 

He swept off the doorstep,

Washed up the plates,

I hoovered the carpet,

He cleaned all the grates.

 

But somethings not right,

It’s the dot on the i,

It’s the clouds in the sink,

It’s the cracks in the sky.

 

 

It’s the dirty brown mark,

Where the teacup sat,

It’s the mold on the window,

The stain on the matt.

 

He speaks in a language,

I can’t understand,

He walks in the sea,

And I swim on the land.

 

He answers to no one,

He keeps his own time,

He lives with no logic 

He speaks with no rhyme.

 

And what is the point 

of moving today?

When our love’s in the process,

Of fading away?

Love, here now.

Peter

I didn’t write this poem, you did,

it’s writing itself, as you hear it,

and here’s what it sounds like,

right now:

 

Waaah-waah-waah-blaah-blaah-blaah.

And these noise, cut with silence, come to you as words,

beautiful phrases or gobbledy-gook, and they do so,

right now.

 

Or maybe other thoughts appear, 

of holidays, or what to have for tea, or how to fix the toaster

and these words and thoughts are mingling, together,

right now.

 

And all of this is happening in a tiny hanging moment,

and the past never happened, and the future never comes,

and the words and language don’t exist, all there is, 

is right now.

 

And there is no you or me, no us or them, no here,

no there, no outside, no inside, no upside, no downside,

no atoms, no particles, no space in between, 

and yet there’s still colliding, 

right now.

 

And everything is love, 

(or whatever-you-call-it.)

The voices

the spaces,

the people,

the places,

the trees, 

the flowers, 

the hamburgers,

the dog shit,

the gas bill,

the toll booth,

the mustard,

the traffic jam,

the television.

And the planet.

All a shared dream, 

happening right now.