Sunday, 9 September 2012


We three boys waited that night for the stars to arrive
While our ash damped fire fizzled to a finish,
They tardily attended like reluctant pupils
Attention seeking Vega pin bright -
A hole punched in the black blue paper of the night.
Slowly the others shuffle on late for lessons
Not one then a sudden milky swirl frothing up
And over the cup like classroom hubbub.
We strain, necks cricked until we catch
Ourselves wordless all ashiver.
We stumble torchless to the tent
Only a topped pine in the distance
And the soothing hum of cars speeding late…

A father, two sons,
How many times
Has this scene been seen?
Giving nothing less
Than the universe
And our own
Wonder in it.


When the conference confetti
has been swept away
What am I left with?
Awkward interrogations:
Am I making something
Or just
Making things happen?

Trying to grasp something, to connect
My hand to the back of my head.
To inhabit another’s thoughts
making mine more than before.

Words. Words. Words…

We are hungry for sound,
Getting rough with it,
Feeling it bodily
Taking us to a dramatic
This afterlife of art
Making us adept at
Exercising otherness
Losing and finding
Our self in that 
unrepeatable moment 
Of reflection.

Culture is where we all grow
And encounter the unforeseen:
The thoughts that come up
Come out. And the edifice
We defend ourselves with
Is pared away and our souls
Boil over with the asking.

(This poem is an attempt to collect two and a half days of thoughts from the World Together Conference run by the RSC and Tate. I have used/taken appropriated the words ideas of, amongst others: Sirley Brice Heath; Cicely Berry; Jon Needlands; Carla Rinaldi; Steve Siedel, Frederick Douglass)