Wednesday 24 February 2010



"Seems, my lord? I know not seems."[1]
For nothing ever as it seems is.
You look at something, like an unknowing colour-blind,
And fail to see that which you know not is there.
You translate the confounded babble of everyday life:
You assume what is meant by trouble and strife;
Yet daily you are unaware,
The true nature thereof, the things at which you stare;
It might sound the same (to you at least),
But even when you borrow someone else's headphones,
It is still in your head the tones you hear:
You list only with your own ear.


"Seams, madam!...I know not seams."[2]
My engineered genes® curl round
                                         my leg:
Serpents of Capitalism (made by a workers' co-operative).
How it does fall apart at them [...]

When, even though they sell on High Street hell,
They do not seem to be what they are:
Seams, it seems, bind our society together,
While seaming women and children seem to live,
But rather daily seem to die, seaming well
For little, which seems more than it really is
In this, our World of Appearances, where it seems
All is not as it seems: the seams do s t r e t c h and waver.

[1] Hamlet, Act I Seam ii.
[2] Ibid., Act I Seems ii.

[23 October 2002]

Tuesday 23 February 2010

The second drawer up from the bottom

Is where all the miscellaneous items congregate;
The categorical asylum seekers,
Too diverse to find their own faith;
Their own bulging, over-filled filing folder.

Even the most organised have one.
Sanctuary for the camera-shy lottery ticket of yesteryear
(When you still clasped hopeless hope),
Random paper clips, separated and abandoned,
With rusty tips where the bright plastic coating has worn away
To reveal a harsher, cankered core,

Grains of sugar you spilt but couldn't be bothered to clean up,
That candle stub you kept from the carol service -
Now broken and useless, but you never chuck it
'Cos you think it still has the potential
To rekindle.

Other wastage too:
Half-finished compilation tape
(You never could decide what to put after "Paint It Black"),
Frayed piece of string: too short for peanuts
But you now can't remember why you laid it by
(Someone must have tidied it away),
Packet of sunflower seeds,
Free with summer special -
Must look out that issue to re-read
"Top Ten Tips to Put Your Life in Order...Number One:
Empty out that drawer you always tell yourself you'll 'do'
Next weekend."

[May 2001]

Monday 22 February 2010

The Box

The box rests solemnly
on the dusty rafters.
Musky brown sides
bound by broad tape,
with red prints of wine glasses
labelling the cardboard
and intructions of
"This way up"
so that nothing is ever broken.

Inside rest my childhood memoirs;
frozen snippets of time,
that may be momentarily forgotten
but never lost in the wilderness.
An abandoned board game,
an unloved teddy bear,
a piggy bank, a Matchbox car, a bag,
a collection of unusual stones
clustered in a wicker-woven basket,
and a shoe box full of junk,
that I just cannot bring myself
to throw away.

In future years
I hope to revisit.
To unleash the comforting smells
and fond memories
of my life as an infant.
But for now,
it shall rest there
forever overhead;
my box of childhood toys
in the loft above my bed.

[April 1999]