My son is overseas at the moment – nineteen and “living the life”. Two years ago I wrote a poem about his history, his path, if you will. At that time he was on a collision course with Truth, though he wasn’t aware of it; nor was I aware as I wrote it, that it would only be a short time – less than a year – before that collision. I am eternally grateful that it shunted him onto the path of light and life, as is he.
The poems go together because they tell a story, but to tell too much would remove some of the mystery and open the door for preconceptions……
In the Perspective: Two Photos
By the age of ten, you had made
An artform of nonchalant formality.
In the National Gallery in DC, you stood
Smiling, Mrs Monet beside you,
Blurring her joy from the top of a hill.
Thrilled, you caressed each daub
And stroke with your unique view
Before moving on to
The Seine at Giverny, its depth
And distance drawing you in quiet
Awe to that bank, beneath that tree.
Strange, the distance that time
Creates when ingredients are recast:
Musée de L’Orangerie seven years on,
Before a wall of Water Lilies –
Nonchalant, yes, formal, yes but
Singularly without awe, the child
Assimilated into the leather, smirk
And testosterone, your unique view
Homogenised into a culture that you
Do not fit: Like a dish with a missing
Ingredient – nonchalant, formal, making
The uncertain do for displaced joy.
Ahead, does Claude fade under a graffiti-
Scrawled hoarding and you, unfocussed,
See past to the allusion of your pain?
Or do I glimpse the moment where,
Unfashionably, hope capers across your face
Surprising none more than you.
In the Perspective: Part 2
When you said that you had never felt anything,
Of course, your words were true,
Yet, less subtle shades had drawn you,
Painting scenes of Gratification Now,
And play-actor friends.
My ache was that you would feel,
Taste and touch the real, would
Know the dawn of truth upon your ravaged soul,
Its warming radiance, lighting, exposing, healing;
And the energising call of life, within its glory and sway.
Then you left, packed up nothing
But layers of self, thrown haphazardly
In shopping bags, unsure of if they were needed
Or even if they were yours. And it became
A show and tell, though what you showed and told
Blurred into a quiet pain, an invisible scene,
A silent conversation on board a ship adrift.
How often the momentous appears in an otherwise
Unremarkable day, without portent;
So you, suddenly challenged by the universe
You had shunned,
Yielded, stepped through and found yourself,
Cracking, twisting, stretching into the atmosphere
That once was oppression’s air, you felt
The buoyancy and effortless lift that liberty of spirit
Alone manifests; and though it surprised none
More than you, the feeling, intense and impassioned,
Was of coming home.