Archive for February, 2012

the first cup

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

I sip the first cup
carefully until cool,
swill and swallow,

waiting for a train in 140 characters or less

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting,waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting,waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, for a train

Modern Times – not by Charlie Chaplin

Friday, February 17th, 2012

The train runs half an hour late. Your stop is cancelled. The train crawls to a halt there anyway. The doors aren’t released. *#%TILT%#*


from an original tweet by @paul_clarke

inside the dome

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Acid rain keeps me inside the dome. Outside there is devastation and mutants prowl the denuded forest. Communications with the rest of the world stopped some time ago – can’t tell how long. I am comfortable enough. I have a table under the awning looking out onto the pavement. I sit here perpetually, it seems. Nobody asks for the bill. Nobody wants to know when I will be going. There is nowhere to go. I can’t get back to my villa. The drinks keep coming. Each one feels fresh as if it was my first. I sometimes eat and they clear the plates away.

oo la la carte

Friday, February 17th, 2012

MENU DE SOIR, Plats chauds, Cocktails, Porto, Champagne, Plats du Jour, Sorbets, Crème glaces, desserts, croques, SALADES, patissierie, café – thé

The new reality

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Fumbling to unlock my phone I stare at the icons far longer than any sane person should. The screen was about to timeout – again – as I finally focussed on the clock; clock? Clock? I have no idea what I was trying to do.

My body groaned as I moved haggardly from the dark bedroom to the shower, then back to the bedroom. Time shifted and I found myself in the kitchen, fully clothed – a good sign at least.

Recently I’ve been getting a bit more sleep than the average enlisted man under Haig during the battle of the Somme, so I should at least be thankful for small mercies.  Still, that didn’t stop me pouring boiling water into the open coffee jar I had spooned a mound of granules from thirty seconds earlier.

Shit, bugger and fuck. Well, it’s only a few quid of wasted coffee. It could have been worse; I could have poured scolding hot water down my leg – again.

I drained the jar of steaming brown sludge into the sink before filling my actual mug with water as first intended.

Startled by a piercing melody emanating from my pocket I gave a jolt, causing scolding hot water to slosh perilously close to my leg as I fumbled to silence the alarm on my phone.

Clock. Alarm clock. Why didn’t I shut that off the moment I woke up?

For the first time in a fortnight I’d managed to creep out of bed, shower and navigate the stairs without waking neither my wife nor the baby.

Now, a piercing scream fills the house, amplified by the baby monitor.  Pointless in a house this size; the sound waves from its speaker travel straight back to the little bugger’s ears, most likely scaring the crap out of him. No wonder he’s crying louder by the second.

Teething? Feeding? A filled nappy? It matters not, as I know the blame lays squarely with me.

Better luck tomorrow, maybe…

The mental shoulder shrug

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

The mental shoulder shrug
Cafe au lait in Cafe Rouge
Time passed, Parisian pavements
Lost thoughts, careless moments.

noisy bunch quiet brunch

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Cooped up, stressed, tired, argumentative, sulky, whinge, smoke alarm, trumpet practice, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise.

A bike ride brings peace. A corner of the table. A quiet brunch.  A large cup of tea.  Ahhh.

huge kids

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

they used to be small
now they are huge with attitude
i look up
from my lowly position of parent
see the results
of that investment in fruit, vegetables, protein and love
it seems to have worked
why would i ever have thought otherwise
they can be sensible
looking up again
from that feet on the ground perspective
i smile

The art of encapsulation

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

5 Es

Encasement – the wrapping in cement for purposes of hiding, disposal or strengthening of very foundations

Encapsulation – the art of concise summary; complete packaging, possibly in advance of launching into the furthest reaches of the galaxy

Enveloping – hugging from behind using strong, manly arms; mechanically inserting hundreds if not thousands of sheets of paper into hundreds if not thousands of purposely manufactured and folded outer covers, almost certainly as advanced preparation for posting

Enclosure – remote drystone square (usually) designed for herding cattle or sheep in advance of branding, shearing or other farming related tasks

Enigmatic – puzzled over this one for some time before deciding go to print

What does a pebble mean?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

My approach to art and philosophy:

1 I read in Bob Dylan’s autobiography that Woody Guthrie wrote songs about everyday things he saw in the street. This is what I do. Not songs necessarily but short reflections on everyday items. Poems maybe.  I sometimes think that some people think this can be quite boring. No dramatic emotion-filled prose, the product of a tough back street childhood or action packed near death escape from certain disaster. I am into the ordinary, the sunlit street, the view from a café table, the snippet of overheard conversation, the bird fleetingly perched on the garden chair.

2 Time plays a big part in shaping my thoughts. Because I can’t get my brain around the huge expanses of infinity going both forward and back everything for me is of the moment. A spinning coin is a work of art even though the coin will stop spinning after a very short while. The fact that it has stopped is neither here nor there – it was of its time. The act of spinning is art as is its state having stopped spinning.  Lying there motionless it also has a story to tell – not the same story perhaps as when it was spinning.

3 If I were to take a picture of a pebble I could probably invent lots of deep meaning in that image. Erosion of time. Loneliness in amongst millions of other pebbles. It’s too deep.  I leave it to others to come to their own conclusions. Many might conclude nothing. This is no different to the pile of bricks or the unmade bed.

4 I usually like to see words flow easily in the mind. On these occasions it can be almost as if the words themselves don’t matter although it is nice if they both flow and make sense. When considering a subject that is in itself an uncomfortable topic the words don’t have to flow. A hesitant stream not easy to read reflects the difficult nature of the subject. Or so it should in my mind.

Hope that helps you understand the stuff that I do.

to boldly go where no man…

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Just come back from a walk in the allotments at the back of our house. It was a privilege to have been the first human there after the snow. Not quite the same as a being the first to lay eyes on Shangrila but these days we have to be grateful for any small discoveries allowed to us.

Having recently watched the BBC series frozen planet our bit of snow does seem a little pathetic but hey, I’ll take it.

a moment in time

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

when temperatures drop

Greying sky and temperature drop. Shop girl moves pavement display inside. Few pedestrians circulate though two cyclists skid to halt by bookies. Man carries three bags for life. I feel draught and adjust shirt under coat. Baby cries outside post office. Hands in pocket dirty road home city needs a clean. Garage sells all coal. Soups stock’s out in supermarket. A nation anticipates snow.

5 boys

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

five boys, two phones

three watch, two play

three gifts, for birthdays

six parents, no choice

crowded café

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

crowded café, quiet murmur
newspapers, smartphones, bacon sandwiches
outside, bright Saturday morning
sun competes with sharp frost,
most customers sit alone
TV switches on, intrudes
nobody watches, except I watch people
and pictures on wall
murmur volume grows
competing with ignorant TV
noisy advertisments
music switches on kitchen
in preference

I notice lights, wonder if dark without
11 am in February