Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Cloud


This one's not filled with dreary rain,
This one is not like cotton wool,
This one is clear, invisible
And yet can easily be seen.
It is the great collective pool
Of thinking heads, which is our tool
Of choice, the indivisible
Whole, the merged, the well combined.
It has no centre, and no means
By which to shape its whole structure,
Yet each drop of human knowledge,
Each piece of wisdom from each mind
Furthers, changes, freshens, cleans.
Whole, made from sums of parts,
No rules in this richest college,
Just ideas meeting, blending,
Seamlessly and never ending.
Specialising and refining
Legitimising and defining.
The means by which we grow and aid
The growing of our fellow men,
And yet regarded with disdain,
Contempt:  it lends itself to trade,
The great resourceful, human brain.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Spring



Today I have been mostly
Painting the coal stains on the Chinese carpet, chrome yellow.
Using Dylon fabric paint, 
But it may as well have been emulsion.

And yet this strange compulsion,
Which is part of spring cleaning and lent,
Restoration, resurrection
Is not really a sign of insanity,
It is quite artistic and intelligent
And the sort of thing Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell
Might have done, and not even needed to justify their actions
With historic argument
In favour of Chinese yellow in an 18th century, English drawing room.
And it is cheerful and looks forward to daffodils 
And sprigs of forsythia in the blue and white vases on the chimneypiece
And banishes winter gloom.

I know other people's reactions 
Might be less appreciative, and that they may think old cocoa spills
More suitable additions to the colour scheme
Than my efforts to capture something of the garishness of the carpet's pre coaly days.
And though the original shade was more subtle,
Less gorse or skip or number-plate,
Still, there is a certain authenticity
A certain realistic Chinese flavour,
A dash of visual monosodium glutamate
About this one and there's nothing wrong with a little eccentricity
If it is an act of preservation.
And besides, I have been wearing grey tweed all winter.