Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Thinness of Things

I am late this week because I have been in Dorset for a couple of days visiting friends.-more on that next time.

The photograph is from about 1960 and is me with my bother Peter-he's the tall good looking one. 

This is a poem from a few years ago. It describes a difficult time.

The Thinness of Things

1. Any Work Morning

I climb the stairs
Three floors high
Grey smooth steps
Panic kindles
I spin inside my head
Panic ignites
I see the concrete
Become quicksand
I sink
I fall in space
I keep walking to my hot desk.

2. Teaching

9.30am the time to start
So I stand and almost taste
The expectations of the group
I feel the carpet under my feet
I could fall through the weave
Through the floor
Through the job
……..through the world in free flight

Around 10am I make contact
With the truth
Of the words
Of the individuals
And give of myself for another day.

3. On The Run

Off with stress
Off in the car
Off back to Widnes.
I cross the Avon Bridge
My palms wet
In my head I describe
The space beneath the arc
My car slowly sinks through the tarmac
Panic rages
Spins through my head
Shakes my hands
I talk to myself
To ground me on solid ground
To keep from screaming
I talk to myself
To keep me moving
To cross this void.

The photograph below show my sister Dorothy with two of her dogs-there is about a ten year difference between the two. 

And here is the follow up poem to the Thinness of Things

Burnt Out

I had not even noticed
There were no flames
No fires consumed
Rather each day
Another small part of me disappeared
Then when I was hollow

I realised I could not find me anymore

This last one combines two different incidents again like the photographs of Dorothy they happened about a decade apart.

14 Lines on your Life
For J.I.

In Yorkshire on the coast
He marries for the second time
I saw the photograph
Chernobyl bloomed overhead  
They stand slightly apart
In the bright blue sky
Their dinner date is forgotten
We waited sat at the set table

I saw you in the distance
Locking that red car
I measured the space between and my options
Then walked toward you and your surprise

Tell me what have I missed?
We go to a pub
Chart our disjunction
Parallel paths of misery

Bond us again in our distress

I shall be posting on Tuesday. have a good week.


  1. Bleak poems, Paul. I wonder what brings them up at this time particularly?

  2. Very poignant & retrospective.

    1. Thank you Janet. I think they are rather of their time. Much water has gone under the bridge since then.