She asks which soup I’d like.
Decisions have been made faster.
When to ask her on a date,
when to plant a kiss,
when to ask if she’d like to live
in a flat together, to share a sofa,
a television, a bed every night.
Each thought required no thinking.
It’s the way she reads them.
The soft syllables,
a hunger in her voice.
I can’t decide.
Oxtail. Cream of mushroom.
There’s a photograph of three men stood under a tall, redwood tree.
They hold a banner above their heads. In thick, black letters,
It reads: Stop the chop! Keep the giants! Red Rex lives!
Six eyes stare deep through the lens that speak
Determination, resilience and strength.
Although the three men took on their duties,
To wars, to work, to women,
Although the three men returned together,
To friends, to family, to feed,
Although the three men succumbed and fell
To old age, to accident, to cancer,
The grainy photograph remains on my mantlepiece,
And the tree remains the king of the forest.
I’ve just finished The Doors of Perception + Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley. The book is incredibly detailed about what it means to really appreciate and understand something – anything- we come across. Huxley explored this after taking mescaline; the values and ideas presented were thought provoking and still are highly relevant, with or without being under the influence. I underlined and saved a lot of quotes from it – it’s very well written – and this one stood out the most. If you’ve thought of giving it a read, I’d recommend it. It’s heavy, it did require quite an awake and caffeinated mind to absorb but it’s short, inspiring and greatly illustrates what art does for us.
“Familiarity breeds indifference. We have seen too much pure, bright colour at Woolworth’s to find it intrinsically transporting. And here we may note that, by its amazing capacity to give us too much of the best things, modern technology has tended to devaluate the traditional vision-inducing materials. The illumination of a city, for example, was once a rare event, reserved for victories and national holidays, for the canonization of saints and the crowning of kings. Now it occurs nightly and celebrates the virtues of gin, cigarettes, and toothpaste.”
Perhaps a sombre poem for a Friday feature but it certainly got the creative juices flowing. For those staying in to write tonight, it may bring some inspiration to the evening of verse moulding. It was a first find and a first read for me and I think it’s brilliant.
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.
If a poem surprises me, that’s all it really has to do.
Apparently they’re gift cards – perfect for a poet with a sense of humour!
“When a [person] becomes a writer, I think [they] take on a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed.”
I’ve just finished Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle and it was brilliant. The quote above really stuck with me and I think, while there is irony in the context of it being said, it encompassed what the writing profession was really about.
Shall we go? – Inspired by Waiting for Godot and best read in a Welsh accent. Going for the same surrealist dark humour Beckett was famous for.