Category Archives: poetry

gestures: pull

This is one of a sequence of poems I’ve been working on
about feelings connected to physical gestures.
(This one is centred to avoid a spin.)

 

pull

arms waving off big
a balanced bending in
LOOK
shiny handle
SEE
fingers grasp
PULL
arms wide again
symmetry of breath
a metronome
counting
CHECK
.
my body retains
this programmed movement
unused
for over thirty years
the stroke
to quit the air
making landfall
in
good and gentle
order
.
martial choreography
civilian drill
a highly specific
whole body awake yawn
beyond any other gesture
learned
indicative of
the most firm
intent
100
%
.
time
to
live
.
.
.
.

 


Of the Marvels

This month’s prompt from Wyvern Poets was ‘a found poem’. I’d been looking at tweets by Martin O’Leary with images from HiRISE, an incredibly high resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter.

The pictures are amazing. Some of them make me think of colour field paintings by Rothko, some of lush folds of the richest silks. The titles of the images interested me too. They seem to make an accidental blend of succinct description and (at least to my ears) sensuously exotic place names.

I decided to make a piece that brought these titles and images together with some found words by another famous traveler to strange lands – Marco Polo.

The result was this found poem/video.

With special thanks to NASA/JPL/University of Arizona for the use of their fabulous images, and to Martin O’Leary for @HiRISEBot.

Of the Marvels

Best viewed with sound ON, and better yet, some nice cosy headphones…

More –

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Time is

A wee oddity written in response to a ‘reading in both directions’ prompt. It seemed appropriate to post this week.

R.I.P. Professor Stephen Hawking, 8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018.

Time is

sweet
    eternity makes a fine Dundee cake,
      and
        everything that exists at any moment
          is
            one single sampled quantum of fruit
            Buddhists say time is an illusion,
            although
                we learn how to tell time
                time always tells on us
            although
            Buddhists say time is an illusion,
            one ticky fruity nugget tasted
          is
        everything everywhere now
      and
    eternity makes a fine Dundee cake,
precious
.

Time is

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ticky: a little piece (Dundonian)


Osmosis

Un-mortar my walls.
Crumble brittle stone grit
to honest sand.
Dissolve me through skin,
whispering to skin.
Your skin.
Your warmth.

A story place made real,
substance shimmering
like mirage challenged light,
crazed to uncertain travel,
tear steps evaporated,
one world’s rumour,
diffused in another.

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Echo at DCA

AECD0E19-2AE6-435A-8722-B62A16615DEFBy sheer coincidence more than any sort of planning I’m reading with two fellow Wyvern poets at DCA’s ‘Echo’ event next Thursday. The Echo events are visitors’ responses to exhibitions at DCA.

The Echo will be at DCA on Thursday 8th February at 6 o’clock. It’s free, but you do need to order tickets in advance.

More here

 

 


un-touched

In the tradition of something a little scary near Christmas…

Christmas fright

un-touched

Sometimes it seems my existence falters, my
touch fails on phones or pads or screens, is it
only aridity, or am I momentarily – gone?

Once upon a good laugh, the world paused,
after we smiled unflinching through another
late staked old un-scary tv movie.

It can’t be easy to be a Dracula Lee so
terminally camera shy always the mirror’s absentee,
a suavely dangerous kind of unkind quantum ghost.

Back then, after vanishing spot and a long sharp tone,
analogue static shushed the speckled shades of night –
no more stars to steer by, straight on ’til morning.

Washing afterwards, it usually began as a pull,
rapidly suppressed, a twitch tap touch somewhere between
the spine and one shivered shoulder blade.

Knowing nothing’s there, but following that compulsion
to take a rapid confirming rear-view glance –
how ridiculous, to have to check.

Doubt hangs somewhere in the looking, not behind,
but returning to the mirror, from face rinsed hands,
fearing an unseen absence reflected there.

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On the wall

With plenty of help from exhibition organiser Tansy Lee Moir, my projection/montage/video piece was safely installed at St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh last night. My piece is based around readings of three short poems from Drawing Breath.

The Grown together exhibition opens on Saturday November 11th.  The exhibition (seen in preparation below) shows a marvellous and very varied collection of tree inspired artwork. Chuffed to be in the company of so many fine artists.

 

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