Friday, 10 April 2015

AN OPEN SECRET

I think there must be an election on here in the UK. I answered a knock at the door yesterday and was asked by a canvasser if the conservative party could rely on my vote. I impressed by her optimism. You would have to be be an optimist to think that a man wearing a Marcus Garvey t-shirt would ever be considered a supporter of a party that has seen the number of food banks soar under its misgovernment of this country. No Marcus was for justice, equality and liberation for all, not just rich people. 
I was discussing poetry with the mighty Oscar Sparrow recently and we were describing our respective creative processes. I was impressed by the metaphor he used of interviewing words for their suitability. My own method seems to be linking different concepts and seeing where it takes me.
This next poem came from a song title that mention a tightrope walker. Once I had the basic idea down all I had to do was research the physics.


A tightrope walk is an open secret.
Physics explains her graceful stroll:
tight leather shoes to maximise friction;
a taut wire, secured at each end;
a bent pole held in her spread arms
to lower her centre of mass
-which at all times must be over the rope;
plus a head for heights is all.
So she places one foot after another,
and may or may not look down.
We walk a changing line,
bereft of the security fixed points grant,
few see us when we fall,
or sense the small triumph of a day gone well.
Truthfully we are the stars of the show,
but the spotlights are on her
and we applaud the steady, slow procession.
Now an older poem that I have been revising:

Selfie in Black and White

The Magpie told me,
the purpose of this life was to choose.
I want to tell her I'm in it for the poems,
but she knows that already.
So I look at some old photograph,
black and white me,
and decide it's the percentages that count.

Still a work in progress I think.
Here's Burning Spear singing Marcus Garvey.
And here's the whole classic album.

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