Operations Meeting, El Dorado

This project allows us
a ruler
with a bit more flexibility.

We are looking for
a firm footing
with a ruler, fully naked.

This will provide
a clear way forward – stripped of all
his clothing.

From January this year,
thanks to Johnathan,
the ruler has been on a raft.

We have been able to
cover him – our ruler – in gold dust
and send him into
the middle of the lake.

We send him out with mounds of jewels
to tip into the depths
while on the banks
the people sing and dance.

We also have operations in Cambridge, Bristol and Brazil.

We believe this expression of micro-cosmos
is a good policy tool.

Another poem in part inspired by an exhibition currently on in London – Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Columbia at the British Museum.  The museum hosts accompanying free lunch-time lectures presented by curators and experts in the field, a few of which I have attended recently.

When the lectures open, I sit up attentively relishing every new piece of information. I must remember this, remember that. But the open notebook on my lap fills with doodles and interesting snatches, not of content, but of expression that comes out of the lecture.

In part this poem consists of jottings from the BM lunch-time lecture on El Dorado that I attended. The other bits are derived from the sort of meeting jargon anybody who has worked an office job may well recognize.

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Don’t Waste Paris on a Broken Heart

A blue sky over Notre Dame

Advice for *

 

Don’t waste Paris on a broken heart

next to the Cathedral Notre Dame

where yellow-petalled violas squint

their purple eyes at you

shadowing their beds

as you turned: his hands on her,

embracing on the Seine.

 

From April 2012

Who takes the bus to Paris from London? (You didn’t know one could take a bus to Paris from London?) Well, that’s what I did one weekend in March last year. Pooling the £25 or so for the bus fare, but determined not to skint on museum entries, I made use of the last few days of a valid Schengen visa. My primary reason was to visit a friend, who happens to live a twenty-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.

It was a wonderful weekend of catching-up, art viewing and walking the pavements of a new city. This poem developed from a moment during which I stopped outside Notre Dame, near the children’s playground, to enjoy the sun. I caught sight of this scene on the other side of the river. In my pause, the violas in the flower-bed beside me were caught in my shadow.

If you enjoyed the above and would like to read more of my poetry, see my first published volume, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS.

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