Pockets Full of Wings

We stopped the car.
You smoked a cigarette and watched for a bit
the fast clouds bringing another rain to our promised land.
I went out and did not look back
to catch a dragonfly suspended by a thin thread
over the undisturbed waters.
I could not swim but
I quietly jumped in, following
the only spot of true colour
since my unfortunate birth.
I did not leave a trace as I walked the meadow.
The only memory sitting now on the empty chair,
the poem I’m writing to you
from the grave.
HAM MILL 24
Photograph: John Stadnicki

With the Risk of Repeating Myself

I haven’t finished speaking.
With the risk of yet repeating myself,
the struggle to remain a poet means nothing
in front of an empty bowl of soup.
No, the dark sky cannot disguise anymore
the dead bird on the driveway
and even though art, you say,
can hit me in the head from anywhere,
learning to sleep with an eye open
is not humanly possible.

I do not propose an alternative,
just saying…why not come
and visit the zoo at dawn,
take the cloth off the cage thirty seven and
see with your dilated pupil
my two heads resting on top of my neck
leaning forward.
I promise I will perfectly smile, be polite and well behaved
and even refund the tickets
with utmost consideration for your hurt feelings.

We are not in the same room,
nothing to each other.
My liberty is reflected in broken glass,
by the missed punctuation.
You talk, complain that the weather
in Britain is oppressive, I observe everything
through the cloth and enjoy
the crumbs of potato cake,
within the walls of another poem.

20140511-154500.jpg
Photo: Maria Butunoi

Childhood memories, identity and games – Open Studios Exhibition, May 2014, Stroud Arts Festival

The exhibition for the Open Studios, Stroud Arts Festival, May 2014 is now open to the public in Stroud (http://www.sitefestival.org.uk) and it will be open the following two weekends in Rita Fenning’s studio. (http://ritafenning13.wix.com/ritafenning-web)

The address is: Fieldside, Brimscombe GL5 2SW, Stroud.

You will see a selection of installations, collages, artist books Rita has produced inspired by my poems ‘Birthday Present’, ‘Family Photograph, ‘Lesson of Admiration’, ‘Games’ and ‘The Warm Bones’.

You can watch a video I made and listen to me reading the poems, with a selection of photographs produced by John Stadnicki (http://www.johnstadnicki.co.uk/Site/Welcome.html) for my collection ‘A Short Story about War’.

Here is a preview with some of the exhibited art work and a fragment with my reading. The video contains photographs produced by the artist John Stadnicki.

Many thanks to the sound manager Marc Fairclough from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and to the video editor, the artist Clare Bottomley. (http://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/149322)

Games The Warm Bones project-rita1

Poems: Maria Butunoi

Installations: Rita Fenning

The exhibition will be open during the Open Studios Festival, May 2014.