Monday, 13 July 2020

Panty liners. A poem:

She said: write me a poem
write about panty liners
I said: Nothing rhymes with that.
She said: Nothing rhymes with shit
but you manage it.
I wiped my quill on a strange
but absorbent thing.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Scarves, Masks and Sestra Moja.

Let's face it, Coronavirus is going to be with us for some considerable time. Face masks will become automatically worn, rather like seatbelts, and accepted.

Sestra Moja normally creates wonderful dresses, I'll be buying one for the muse if she will allow me to, but is making mask/scarves in the same fabrics as her clothes. A friend showed me her green number a couple of weeks ago, I asked if I could have a blue one, It arrived a few days later.

It is wonderful, comfortable and can transform me from Lawrence of Arabia to boho poet in seconds. There is a pouch in the mask bit for extra material or small marsupials. Oh, and it is washable.

It will be my constant accessory from now on.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The Tin Lodes, Andy Brown and Marc Woodward. Oh, and the magic of poetry.

This arrived in the mail today:

Then I needed to drive a friend to her home to sort some stuff out. I took the book with me. when she saw it she said: 'Good, you have a book'. Meaning that she knew she could take her time, no pressure, I was happy sitting in the car listening to Dylan and reading something keenly anticipated.

The Tin Lodes is a delightful book, the authorship of each poem is unknown but that very quickly becomes irrelevant, here are two minds in tune, they know each other well, they must. They know their river too.

By the time I had got to page 25 I put the book down, ripped open a CD cover on which to write notes of a memory from years ago, when anchored in the lower reaches of the Deben late one moonlit night waiting for the tide to take us over the notorious bar and out to sea. The water surrounding the boat became alive with small fluorescent fireworks; ragworm dancing at the surface, something I had never seen before and have never witnessed since.

The power of good poetry to invoke memory.

A wonderful book.

Monday, 6 July 2020

The colour of her eyes.

She said: Stop it, you are staring at me.

It is creepy.

I thought: I am memorising your eyes so that when you accuse me of not knowing what colour they are

I can tell you with absolute certainty

and hope to mend whatever it is that is broken.

Bad B Bop in the hood.

Last week a group of young people arrived outside and started dancing in the street. I went out and asked them what it was all about.

I was told that they were a bunch of dancers, who, during lock-down, were putting together a video. The asked if they could film outside the house.

You bet.

I watched from the safety of the first floor balcony. I was impressed by the hand sanitiser being used constantly, the respect the showed and the burst of joy that they brought into the day.

Coronavirus tales.

This is the result:

Thursday, 25 June 2020

When PPE kills. Coronavirus.

I cannot wear a mask for any longer than a few minutes. My lungs do not have the strength to drag sufficient air through the fabric or filter. After 5 minutes in a mask I require an hour recovering my breath. The only mask I can wear long term needs oxygen piped into it.

This is why I am shielded and considered high risk.

This is why the place in which I self isolate is a sacred place. It is the only place where I can lead a normal existence whilst any trace of the virus exists in the community.

I have lived, and learned to enjoy living this precarious life for ten years and thanks to the stunning kindness and generosity of good good friends may continue do so in this Haven.

There are thousands of people in similar circumstances who do not enjoy such privilege.

Lifting shielding too soon is sentencing them to death.

Trump Loyalists, Beat the eye, bedroom ceilings.

Rusty McGlint (blog passim) writes from Lizard Bend, Idaho:

Tristan, hope you are safe, America is doomed and I'm packing a gun 24/7.

Met a woman today, said she was a Trump Loyalist, asked if I would like to look at her bedroom ceiling.

Ok. I'm a man with needs but my needs do not need that kind of need.

Just learned from a friend that she is a Tromp L'oeilist. Hot damn.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

What lifting of shielding means.

At present I am Shielded. I am shielded because I have a chronic condition which would guarantee that the virus will kill me.

As I live in a RBKC flat where it is impossible for me to be able to self isolate I am living elsewhere. My landlords are pleased that I am doing this because, under shielding, they have a duty of care and cannot carry out that duty.

When, on an arbitrary date - August 1st - with no evidence that the Virus will cease to be a danger to me, shielding is lifted, my landlords will no longer have that duty of care.

My tenancy dictates that I MUST live at my flat, failure to do so will result in my eviction.

Therefore, on the first of August, I must move back into a building that the owners feel is not safe for me to live in. I will not be able to self isolate if I so chose. If I do not I will be making myself intentionally homeless and cease to be of any interest to RBKC.

If I decide to remain away from my flat my possessions will be put into storage by RBKC at my expense.

I would be delighted if Boris Johnson, Cummins and co lift not only my shielded status but also my condition, therefore rendering me safe to go home.

The virus is still in the community, there is no cure, a second wave is expected but it is safe to leave the trenches in order to protect the economy at the expense of human lives.

I am lucky. I have somewhere safe to remain and good friends.  Millions of others are not. They are being thrown to the wolves.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Alarm in the time of Coronavirus.

I have always hated alarm clocks and would always avoid setting one if I could.

Now, even when there is no need I set one. For the joy of tomorrow, what it will bring.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Dentures. Snow. East Croydon.

Snow in East Croydon,
turns to rain by Haywards Heath,
heading down to Eastbourne
in search of second hand false teeth.
Train grinds to a halt at Lewes,
flooding on rails ahead,
now a taxi ride to the seaside
and the dentures of the dead.
There is no snow on Beachy Head
nor on the strand beneath,
just one solitary fossil
in search of fallen false front teeth.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

A law perfectly broken. Coronavirus.

I turned my computer and phone off late this afternoon. We drank cheap fizz on the naughty bench in the last of the sun.

Sudden weather change drove us in to cook and momentarily up onto the roof for herbs, I picked and gave her thyme and a strawberry in the rain, it was bitter she said, we laughed. I said it was about the giving and the eating not the taste.

The dying sun built a perfect double rainbow over Westbourne Park Road. We patted ourselves down for camera's we did not have.

She said 'We do not need to photograph it, we have seen it'. We left the roof and the perfect rainbow singing.

Downstairs we happily bickered over who should cook and then ate.

Found a fondly remembered mutual friend and more. There was no room for silence.

She left before dark after socially distanced goodnights and plans for tomorrow.

A law perfectly broken.

So shoot me. My armour is now perfectly seamless and inviolate.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

In the time of Coronavirus.

She passes the window each day
Pre-Raphaelite hair new penny bright catching the sun
catching my eye.
In this strange time of isolation
she is my only constant
when once it might have been

the morning ferry on the Dart,
the night-bus on Chepstow or church-bells.
she clicks away the days day in day out
heels, halyards tapping idle masts, on cobbles
I do not watch for her
I simply sit writing at the window that she passes
and as she passes
mark another day happy in her constancy.

I do not know her and for that reason can imagine,
invent a life and circumstances
watching her walking in the rain
talking on a hidden telephone,
(she has an American accent),
Laughing and happy

oblivious to the drenching of her hair
perhaps to a lover caught elsewhere, planning a reunion,
a parent in New York, Agent in L.A.
or a comedienne in St Louis
practising new material for want of a live audience
Maybe there is no phone at all
she is an actress learning lines for a show that may never go on
or a schizophrenic happy in her own company

I do not know her name
I shall not give her a name of my making.
In naming something a sense of ownership sets in;
I could no more name her than name
a wild palomino or the salmon that did not rise
or the raindrops on the glass

She does not notice me
I am too old to be of any interest or threat
like a piece of street furniture, or a bicycle
chained to railings slowly losing component parts.
I am invisible and benign
free to count her daily passing
marvelling at her loyalty
happy to have this constant reminder of time and place.

I will leave this place soon
and return to my home not far away
but not close enough to be on her daily route.
Perhaps I will catch sight of new penny bright hair
on Portobello Road, clumsily smile,  remember fondly,
lock-down in the time of Coronavirus.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

On living in a bubble. Lies and bliss.

Her life was a disco ball constructed from shards of shattered bliss


the blunt but self sharpening things
you brought into the bubble of bliss.

The knife you hold to your wrist
should I threaten to leave.
The new man you prefer to the last man
all forgetting to leave a forwarding address when they 
meeting cheerfully in pubs discuss

the blunt but self sharpening things
you leave lying around

Amid shards of bliss.