Inkblot

For instance that Rorschach test taken at university, did it really show that we were heavenly bodies, soulmates on a celestial plane, forever compatible, to our dying days

Did I let the imagery or the initiation ceremony lead me on; was it simply blue-black Pelikan ink splashed on vellum paper then folded and pressed, to give an indication of a lifelong, hop-along symmetry

Yet of course, not an exact duplication, for the forces of time and the dynamics of fluidity coupled to the symphonies of slippage all took their chance, to make minuscule though not insignificant changes.

Just as the plum tree, try as it might, cannot evenly balance its foliage, having early on in its life suffered a terrible misfortune, where its parent fell over and then died leaving the young sapling to fend for itself.

To lean away from the prevailing wind, to find the place where the sun shines the brightest for the longest hours of each and every day.

That I might understand this, from the science of horticulture, does nothing to take away from me the fascination, nor the intrigue of that first seminal inkblot moment.

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Ignored

One of the downside consequences
Of choosing to be aloof
Is that you can quite easily be ignored
Your grateful words may not be read
Or at least not read by many
Also, so very few who choose to respond

The photographs you post of YSP
May not catch another viewers eye
Or at least not spark their imagination
The extracts of your Red Telephone Box book
May not be endorsed
Even if they were read in the first place

Yes, there are consequences
Of standing apart from the crowd
For, out of the mainstream, you may well be ignored
But is it not better to be yourself
To gather your unique thoughts, in your own way
In doing so build up your own inner strength

So say, this is me, yes, here I am
You can take me, or you can leave me
But don’t expect me to do just as you do
For if everyone did that
How dull would the world soon become for you
If it was not already dull, because of you, in the first place

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Blue

Blue is such a bloody good colour
It is, isn’t it

When you read about the colour blue
In Rebecca Solnit’s book
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
You say to yourself
She is a bloody good writer
Yes, she is, isn’t she

Then, after you have photographed
All of the curators paired up pictures and sculptures
In the Longside Gallery
You again say to yourself
They have made bloody-good pairings
I should say so, don’t you think so

Such that you go outside
Purchase a black Americano
A raspberry sorbet ice-cream
Then you say to yourself
This is the life
Yes, it bloody well is, isn’t it

You sit down, look at the long field of tilled earth
With the sun, with the cloud’s shadows
Taking it in turns, to sweep towards you
Again you say to yourself
I’m so bloody well glad
That I played truant from work today, aren’t I just

So excited you almost forget to mention the breeze
Which zips into your life
Reminds you, as a teenager, how you climbed the wall
So you say to yourself
I was bloody lucky
To have been born near here, wasn’t I

To go to the Young Farmers dances
On high days, Fridays and summer holidays
Down the road, by the triangle at Cawthorne
So again you say to yourself
Isn’t it just bloody magic
To have memories to look back on, it is, isn’t it

Today singles, couples and families walk up the path
Which you often strode down
Walking here alone, walking from your mother’s house
Which makes you think to say to yourself
She was a bloody good mum
She looked really happy in that blue dress, didn’t she

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Predetermined

Pray tell me if you will, about the gossamer sheath
In your bedside drawer

It wasn’t there by chance was it, held onto
In case some passer-by should pass by

No, did I hear you say, it wasn’t
It was placed there for a purpose

In wait for the opportunity to arise
Or indeed for the situation to be developed

Which it did, mostly at my instigation I might add
Although you did play your part, thoroughly

For which I am forever grateful I have to say
Even if I don’t always let you know that

It was a conscious decision, which I made on our behalf
The only unknown, for me, was to be the exact timing

I trust that clears things up
Absolves you of any of your insecurities

Which you may have formed or developed
During the intervening twenty-seven years

They can at last, once and for all be laid to rest
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, all my love x

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Yorkshire

Sat on the real stone steps
Sheltered by the Hawthorne and by the Oak
From the prevailing wind

Or should it be
Sheltered by the Bougainvilleas
From the fragrant breeze

Either way the sun shone
The gardener mowed the grass
With his rather noisy eight-bladed machine

The children
Now, as then, then, as now
Engage with the sculptures

Perhaps see something of themselves
Reflected in the works of art
See something of the future, see something of the past

The visitors, from nearby, from far away
They jostle with a vacation’s excitement
Hold hands as they walk down the pathways home

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Elsewhere

Elsewhere is where I might have been
Or where I might have been thought to have been
Even where I might have hoped to have been

Yet I was only there for a moment
Before the vanishing trickster
Performed his vanishing trick

Moving me on to elsewhere
To where the good drummers drummed
To where the good vibrations vibrated

In doing so I seemingly caused the dogs to bark
The lawnmower engines to start
The roll-along refuse wheelie bins to be collected

I want to be elsewhere I silently chanted
To be where I might have been
Or to be where I might have been thought to have been

Even to be where I might to have hoped to have been
Where I would have hoped to stay longer
Where I would no longer have searched to be elsewhere

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Amplification

Much of my poetry is an attempt
To amplify those experiential moments
The ones which I share with myself

Those slight glimpses, of the past, or of the future
Which enter unannounced, silent
As a firm thought or indefinite as a vague fleeting image

Which require the crystal set amplifier
Of amplification to be turned up to the very top
Such as if Roger Bacon’s magnifying lens

Might be used to inspect the cell
Or the Jodrell Bank telescope might be used
To interrogate the stars or the cosmos

Imagine now, if you will, that deep meditation
Which realises itself as a visualisation
However, with no Polaroid or such at hand

It would surely fade as easily as it arose
Becoming obscured
By the mere transience of life

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