Tag Archives: life

Extreme of Consciousness

I wonder what will o’the wisps will

grace my last extreme of consciousness?

My mother’s breast, or the

push against for a day

playing on a birchen hill?

A first kiss? But which one?

Whose? That virginal,

immediate, desperate one or

that which reconciled life?

The first fathomless stare of a

newborn? Or the sly complicit

smile of the grown child? That

first tentative touch? The satiation of

good sex? The hand grasped in

night’s desires and terrors? That last

damnable disagreement?

Will you mind if my

mind wanders back to my

first kiss or rolling down a

birchen hill or my

mother’s breast?

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Desdemona in the Playground

Portia just farted and is

red-faced but to be fair our

Director put us through a

hard workout as he sees

“Othello” in a school playground with

Othello as the immigrant kid.

 

Does that mean we are all

child brides? “Let’s move on”.

So I am hanging upside-down on the

monkey-bars, my skirt over my face,

showing my knickers to Iago and

God knows who else.

 

He takes me aside after the rehearsal:

“Your hair…” “Oh do you want it

up or down? Top knot or perhaps a

ponytail?” “No!” he whispers, “No,

down there!” Oh, so

I am to be a child again?

 

Not a woman,

not an actress,

not a person but

just a doll with

no genitalia in the

theatre of ideas?

Anaesthesia

We so anaesthetize dying that

family and friends may as well be at a

pre-Funeral, unable to touch and

talk, reminisce and laugh through

what might be pain but may

also be love’s last kiss,

abolishing last words

famous or not.

Fear Not

We worked three days amongst the dead,
who weren’t bothered by our
bubble of busy-ness in their
acres of ash, bones, stones:
not the Chinese, sober slabs
slashed with gold logograms; nor the
Italians, severe in studio photographs,
enamelled, impervious; nor the
Hindus, bedecked with flags, beneath their
special shrines, artlessly recreated;
nor the nexus of North Londoners in
whose bosom they repose.

Sullenly swallowing delay, my eye
caught a simple plaque:
‘F.E.ARNOT’. Were his parents
sending him a message? Did he
heed it? Use it as his motto when
dealing with work, wine, women?
He doesn’t sound much loved,
memorialised sans given names,
respected at a distance, like a
Headmaster or a stern father, but
was he, at the last, able to say
“I fear not”?

Checks are called: we are
poised to shoot; Make-up
tweaks hair, powders sheen;
Costume collects enough
cover-coats to equip an
Arctic expedition; my mind
wrenched back to work,
away from my own and
only natural fears.

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