February 24, 2012

Writing For The New Humanity

for the indignatos (especially Emma)

If, instead of cowing and naying a sheepish congregation,
You beef so divinely it makes them feel human;

If you can tongue and bell with golden flesh a word
That tolls heaven back to earth, like the Eden in every bird;

If you can string the bow of learning to the arrow of intuition
And keep a faith that’s unafraid of critical reason

And score your heart in blood and swear it aloud
To a backwards-saddled, blinkered, farting holy-cattle crowd;

If you can shake the hand of the Am-Dram-thank-you-ham
Who lifts your tragic laurels with his prat Fall of Man;

If you’re wise to the one-book-brain of Simple Simon
Yet lost in the heart of a rose, not the tongue of a shaman;

If you can whittle your stake to an instrument that plays
A song beyond itself, not a reed that measures praise;

And forget yourself, and the long quest to get it,
In one divine delicious self-annihilating lyric;

If you can follow Hafiz, not twisting as others have
The mouth of God to a trap of lies, yet be roasted as if you had;

The hart of love will lead you tripping lamb-like to the Psalter
And, what is more, you’ll be a writer, my daughter.

February 10, 2012

Knocking on hell's door

A still from Katie Smith's film The One They Seek

The One They Seek

I travel with haste. I remain a shadow to everyone in my footsteps.

Yes it was as glamorous as it looks. And 7 hours in that snow was well worth all the attention.

February 07, 2012

Cold Moon

Coldest night of the year? And naturally shooting on location tomorrow. Wot, no caravan? Pass me the thermos, Stan.

This image taken on a temperamental Sony Mavica MC CD500. It still uses discs and because this was taken on a night setting, it took about an hour to get off the camera and onto the PC. I'm the other side of the camera tomorrow being a baddie so none of this sort of thing will bother me. All I've got to do is act hard.

February 01, 2012

Grandfather Christmas

Horse-sensible and risk-foolish,
A gold-domed Grandfather Christmas
Stocking my boyhood with footballs
While fagging yourself to untipped death,
You forged your family chain of shops
Like a rosary of straightness and self-belief
Against the odds, as true to your Book
As your working day was long.

Note: There comes a point in your life when you start to look like your grandfather. Or even your father's grandfather. I remember all these domed patriarchal heads in a permanent blue smoke of family gatherings, sounding off at the world in West country or Welsh accents, Judges and Kings. They grow more like me every day. The caption describes Wellyn, my Welsh grandfather,who was a bookmaker, in this extract from a poem called 'Llewellyn the Great'.

The painting, by Howard Hugh Scott Thomas, notices the bald dome looking out from behind a curtain too, though in a very different context. Howard did my lights up in Edinburgh last summer and watched me sweat blood onstage. He photographed me doing it and he filmed me doing it and finally he painted me doing it. That's him at my shoulder, anxiously overseeing the bard's artistic progress and/or crucifixion. Get those feet dancing, Granddad.