Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Southbank Centre, National Poetry Library, The Presiding Spirits Project, 2000
Because everyone is
Because America does not need me
Because America has not yet Earned My Love
Because I'm fond of the decorative arts
Because I love faces
Because Hélion Before
is better after After
Because nobody is
Because I'm also as it were
an Abstract Expressionist
Because dribble's better than drivel
but still dreadfully drab
made the first moon landing
Because beach buggies
are just dinky
of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The walls are very thin up here, sky, birds -
I'd grab if I could their Norfolk idiom
stuff it in my pocket to trickle out
and listen in. The sun floods rectangles
into the room and I’m imagining
you now at the RA, your face raised
to Anish Kapor's hovering wall-full.
Think of a big yellow belly button!
I woke and heard your feet pad from Whitehall
to Picadilly. Remember? we'd glut
our eyes, then head for coffee. You'll like the blood
slugged at white space, the great rope of it circling
far into the future. Oh my darling
these birds tear heart and soul out of thin air.
The music lifts - up and up and up -my
trails his long brown fingers.
It is so particular. Doh ray me.
He sits like time held still
on the red piano stool.
Fah soh la. The scales linger on his shoulders,
circle his childhood, Te Doh,
and saunter down the hall,
to float above me
in the kitchen cooking his dinner.
The music mingles with the smells.
Biding time; holding the moment well.
In the interval, the strange space
I chop onions. I stir and wait.
Taste and pause. I grind some pepper.
Sprinkle some sea salt. He plays Friday.
And in they come, the children
from another time; lifting their skirts, running
by the dark river.
And the bells of the past, they ring and ring;
an old woman remembers how she used to dance,
waltzing, waltzing into the night air.
And the night waves rise and crash and falter.
And the rocks are always bare and glistening.
My son plays Arioso in F
away into the future.
I can hear him grow up,
up and off, off and up.
I can see us
in the space between the bars:
mother and son.
Here we come and go.
My boy will become a man.
The light will seek the dark.
The music, majestic,
sweeps and turns,
rising and falling, innocent and knowing.
Pushing out its long limbs.
The dance of the bones.
It yearns and swings,
through the heart of our home.
I hold my wooden spoon mid air,
like a proud conductor.
Tears fall down my face like notes.