The Split

Well, National Poetry Day passed me by, as did World Mental Health Day.

In honour of forgetting both these important days I have written a blog for Under the Fable Magazine about Poetry and Mental Health. You can find it here.

Further embracing themes of split/multiple personalities in quite a blunt, uneducated way, I have written a split poem entitled ‘The Split’.

Earlier…

We had walked                 We     walked

Hand in hand

Through snow                   Through

To the patisserie

Where we bought

Oven warm bread                           warm

And salted butter

And paid in change

We waited

A little too long                 little

In the doorway                        doorway

Staring out at the cold                    S

You clung onto the bread

Like some thermal torpedo

As we raced                          we raced

Through the sumptuous blanket               Through

Of bitter sunshine                           bitter

And pillow soft snow

And when we got home

We ate the sweet bread                                         sweet

With the butter

Leaving salt crystals on our tongue

And tears in our eyes                     tears

We forgot everything                    We

And began wanting                             began

Again                               again.

©Stuart Buck

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Luke 10.25

Bit of a Bukowski love in this week.

I have written a blog for Under the Fable, fawning over the great man. It can be found here.

And here’s a bukowski-esque piece by me. All based on (sadly) true events.

To the elderly lady

Who stood in the middle of the road

Waving at each car

That passed her by

Hoping to be noticed

In her NHS gown

I am so sorry

Nobody stopped

And waved

Or maybe

Wondered

Why?

At 3pm

On a Thursday afternoon

A lady closer to one hundred

Than most

Was all alone

Waving frantically

On a busy main road

I am so sorry

That no one cared for you

I hope you found

Whatever you were looking for

But as I sped past

It was hard to tell

All I could see

Was the beautiful sun

And the face of my daughter

Reflected in the mirror

As she slept soundly

And dreamt of the stars

And the meaning of life.

Blink

Wet concrete

I spit out my tooth

Tea stained enamel

Silver filling

Blood follows

I can hear the siren

Its drawing closer

The blood mingles with the rain

The tooth is washed downstream

The ambulance is here

Its midnight

My chariot beckons

I blink

No one sees

 

He comes to my bedside

And tells me all things must die

I stare through him

At the teeth chattering on the walls

At the decaying bouquets

In the corner of the room

I took his hand

And he smiled

 

I am four years old

I slip off my stepping stool

And crack my tooth

I am thirteen years old

I kiss Mary Kitts

I feel her tongue in my mouth

I am fifteen

I fall down the stairs

The cat licks my ear

My knight in shining armour

I am eighteen

I am drunk

I fight with my dad

He swings first

I am twenty-one

She breaks my heart

I am twenty-five

The night is stained with semen and sweat

I am twenty-nine

I never saw the car coming

I never stood a chance

 

I wake up

I see dim light below

It is the birth of a galaxy

I know this

But I do not know how I know this

I blink

The light changes

Enhances

Glows fiercely

I blink

The light turns from red to green

Dozens of smaller lights circle around

I blink

The smaller lights have become sentient

I watch them watch me

They dart in and out of my vision

Some approach me

Some keep their distance

I blink

The creatures have become hostile

I blink

The creatures are gone

I see everything

I blink

A planet appears

It is blue

I move towards the surface

The clouds cushion my descent

They are comfortable

Like pillows

I blink

The impact from the vehicle

Travelling at seventy miles an hour

Flips me into the air

My head crashes first into the windshield

Then the concrete

The sounds I hear envelop me

Screaming

Horns

Whispers

The siren

The beep

The click

 

I am staring at a blank canvas

I blink

Mountain ranges burst forth from the land

Splitting the world asunder

I blink

Rivers flow

Like tears

I blink

I feel each tree

Each leaf

As it punches through the ground

I blink

I am a bird now

I am everything that ever was

I blink

I see planets

I see galaxies

I see the universe

And I see my wife

Sat by my hospital bed

In tears

Stroking my hair

Begging me

To just wake up

I am seven years old

Chris Rogers is punching me in the stomach

Everyone is cheering

I struggle to my feet

Pick up a rock

And smash it into his face

His teeth fly out

The screams part the crowd

The teacher grabs my throat

 

I wake up

My wife has gone

Her bag is on the chair next to my bed

She will return to me

As I have returned to her

I blink.

©Stuart Buck

 

I will be writing a blog for the excellent Under the Fable magazine again this weekend. Find them at http://www.underthefable.com.

 

where the wild roses grow

Dawn is the best time for roses

When the petals weep

With new beginnings

When you can sit and watch

The petals unfurl

Turning from tightly packed bud

To proud explosions of colour

When my roses bloom

I feel like taking every single person I see

And screaming

‘this is why we are here

this is beauty

why can’t you see?’

The vase on my coffee table

Is full of roses.

©Stuart Buck

red-rose-1347966359HaB

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

Sometimes I stare

At the enamelled absinthe poster

We bought from a thrift store in Montmartre

An overpriced attempt

To become more cultured

I look at the lady

In her green dress

And her green hat

Pouring green liquor

Into Emíle Cohl’s cup

And I remember

The night before we bought it

We sat up all night

In the cemetery where Dumas was buried

(I had to tell you who he was)

And we drank from a bottle

Of pale green absinthe

And convinced ourselves

We were hallucinating

(They stopped putting wormwood in years ago)

Desperate to feel

To mean

Something more

Than just bones

More than just an enamelled sign

And a return ticket home.

©Stuart Buck

Just another hashtag

As much as I enjoyed my holiday, its good to be home. Since I left, it appears we have another crisis on our hands. ISIS and Cecil the lion (remember him?) have been pushed back from the headlines, allowing refugees some time at the front of the news. I am not heartless, and I do feel for these people. I do not want to talk about refugees, rather the sad nature of what we feel requires our sympathy. The media does tend to dictate to us what we should be feeling, none more so than in the last week or so. With thousands and thousands dying every day, why give these people more attention than others. Are we morally responsible for the refugees? Or rather, as I suspect, are we purely pushing our anger and guilt at the state of the world onto the next hashtag. The next crisis.

Everyone is guilty of being manipulated by the media. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a plum. I watched Sue Perkins in Calcutta on BBC2 a few nights ago, and watched the children living under the underpass at the feet of the high rise apartment blocks. We were told of the conditions they face there, how they lay blankets on top of human waste to sleep at night. What difference them than refugees?

Its exasperating, especially because crisis after crisis nothing gets done. Lions will still be hunted, refugees will drown, wars will rage, ISIS will destroy, America will invade, China will pollute. Remember Charlie? Whats changed?

Well that’s my uninformed rant over. I should delete this and just post my poem, but I am too stubborn.

I wrote a short, snappy poem covering the above topic. You can find it here, now;

Media exposure

Should not equate

To sympathy.

Do not be told

Who to love

And who

To ignore

Again.

©Stuart Buck

Brooks Hatlen

My new blog for Under the Fable magazine will be out tomorrow. Its a (hopefully not to dull) look at the place of rhyme in poetry.

I leave this online world for five days now in order to take my mind and my family to Carmarthen Bay for a holiday.

Anyway.

Institutionalisation then.

what a subject for a poem.

so here is

one.

I used to work in a car body shop

In Holloway

We specialised in top of the range cars

Alfas

Audis

Porsche

Now anyone who knows Holloway

Will automatically know

That if you drive a nice car

In Holloway

You are a drug dealer

Or you are lost

The place I worked

Was directly opposite

The women’s prison

And the saddest thing

Was the ladies who were let out

And instead of meeting their families

Loved ones

Partners

They simply sat on the kerb

Outside the prison gates

Not knowing what to do

Waiting for someone to tell them

To eat

To sleep

To pray

To exercise

No one told them

So they just sat

Like statues

Faced with a decision

They had not had to make

For aeons

They did the only thing they could

They stood up

Screaming and kicking and biting

Until someone came out

Rescued them

Took them back

To comfort

To peace

Behind bars

Beyond hope.

Good Bye.

@stuartmbuck