The Beckoning

detail from The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo


The Beckoning

It makes me afraid when I hear your voice,
For I cannot be sure that I hear your voice,
For what if your voice that I hear is mine
In my mind ?
And it makes me afraid when I hear your voice,
For what if it really then is your voice,
And what if the voice that is really yours
Isn’t kind ?

It makes me afraid when I hear your voice,
For I cannot be sure – should I dread or rejoice ?
If I ask for your help, will you ask for my choice ?
Please be kind.
And I get so afraid when I hear your voice,
For I know only I ever hear your voice –
But I hear, oh so clear – I’m in awe, I’m in fear
For my mind.



I originally had a middle verse, but felt it was saying too much.  Here it is below:


The Beckoning (unbeckoned)

So do I hear myself,
Or do I hear the Lord ?
Should I fear my health,
Or fear then to be cured ?
An epileptic epidemic ?,
Or a proto-schizophrenic ?,
Or a prophet proselytising an apocalypse polemic.
If this is the voice “In the Beginning was the Word”
Then how can such a voice have such a trouble being heard ?



Mist Connection

too early
Too Early by Jacques Tissot


Mist Connection

As though you came before, but unannounced,
I swear I’ve seen you somewhere else than here.
The memory exists, and waits to pounce,
And thereupon, your selfhood shall be clear.
I’ve seen you haunt another place, I’m sure,
But where, I own, has quite escaped my mind –
Yet maybe you’d accompanied a boor,
Or maybe your companion was refined.
So dare I play my hand without a trump,
And hope to win a trick before you guess ?
Perhaps I should be bold, and risk it all.
But worse, I think, if likewise I should stump,
And have to hear you bashfully confess:
“I think we may have met, yet can’t recall.”



Once Is Never Enough



Once Is Never Enough

To sharpen the spur,
To entice the remarkable
Glow that’s igniting
The will that is sparkable.
Kindle its bright’ning,
This newly-conceivable,
Sulphurous, lucif’rous, sharpening blur.

Sharpening blur,
Don’t orphan this glowing –
Don’t let it be solit’ry,
Or flirting idolatry –
Awed by the magi,
Then gone with the mayfly –
With only a lingering tingle of myrrh.

Let us confer,
Many’s the symphony
Fractured in movements
With only a common key
Stalling reprovements,
Each passage belabours
Unhelped by its neighbours –
Always ensure that your themes reoccur.

Themes reoccur,
It resonates sweetly,
This act of creation,
Its song builds discreetly
Through reiteration,
Till harmonies swelling
Enrich with each telling –
We need them again and again to bestir.

To sharpen the spur,
To heighten the senses,
And work through the pain,
Till knowledge condenses –
Then test it again,
Obtaining our mission
Through raw repetition –
We’re always the sum of whatever we were.


Tubular Belle

harry beck map
Harry Beck’s original 1933 Tube map


Tubular Belle

I happened upon her by chancery lane,
A greenford-eyed angel was riding my train.
She stood like a monument, no poplar tart,
She’s shoreditch to snaresbrook my hammersmith heart.

Her body’s a temple, all saints can’t compare,
So redbridge her lips and so blackwall her hair.
Her beauties are out of my gallions reach –
They pinner my tongue, which cockfosters my speech.

A wapping-great loughton’s west acton the fool –
He’s epping and barking, but she’s morden cool.
She’ll ruislip his grasp with her fairlop display,
And mudchute him down as she bounds green away.

I see her each mornington crescent alone,
Her marble arch skin is like cream leytonstone.
This queensway of smiling’s from upney above –
I cyprus with wonder and kilburn with love.



The Bland & The Brutal

Bricks by Carl Andre. It has a longer, poncy name – but let’s face it, it’s just bricks.

The Bland & The Brutal

This macho rejection of beauty as quaint,
We bask in the ugly in building and paint;
Those worlds of the graceful and subtle all fade,
We cannot return back because we’re afraid.

Uncle Charlie, How I Envy You

uncle charlie
Uncle Charlie (played by Joseph Cotten) in Shadow of a Doubt


Uncle Charlie, How I Envy You

To never have a camera shoved in your face
With accompanied orders to smile and pose,
With not a thought for those who lack the grace
Or the confidence to happily expose
Their gawkiness to this all-stealing eye
That no-one but no-one has the right to deny.

And so there persisted those who thought
That privacy must be trumped with the utmost ubiquity.
How dare their prey not be such a sport,
As yet another click strips yet another shred of their dignity.

I am surely so much more
Than this awkward lump you proudly snared
As you barged upon me, you shutterbugging boor,
Who ignored my gentle requests to be spared.
I am surely so much else
Than this pasty red-eyed frozen mess,
Too self-conscious, both elephant and mouse,
Who wishes to be looked upon altogether less.

And there used to be those who would claim
That every photo would thieve a sliver of their soul;
And although the sceptic inside cries shame,
A little piece within me is always left feeling less whole.



Uncle Charlie boasted that he had never had his photo taken – I guess he never noticed the film crew following him around.