Posts Tagged ‘home’


what new horror lurks
in the near-total darkness
of Llandaff Road? — can
all this ignorance be mine?
— and time only compounds it

My sister commented to me yesterday that our mother has always been a drama queen. I know what she means. Yet I also suspect my dream last night took me back to Llandaff Road which was our family home for four years 1969-72, as an indication or a nudge to remember just how much drama there was back then.


me peasant

my love-hate thing with
Hampstead intellectuals
— I was one of them
no doubt — in another life — 
this time round lucky escape

Don’t know what’s got into me lately, dashing off these poems in a couple of minutes. Only retained a fragment of last night’s dreams. I was with a teacher from school, talking about my two years in sixth form. In real life his name was Joel McInnes and he taught me A Level History at William Ellis School 1973-74. I had arrived from Wales at the beginning of 1973, and was totally unable to make friends or communicate. I suffered terribly, particularly in History classes, which were conducted in a very informal way, conversations dominated by a pair of friends Mike Waldman and William Eccleshare. Hampstead intellectuals. I felt utterly alienated and unused to the competitive edge and self-conscious wit. I really suffered a lot. In general, I do have a strained relationship (i.e. in my own head) still, with the whole Hampstead intellectual vibe. Can never quite work out if it’s my natural home or not.


who cares whether in
Liverpool or Birmingham?
— me-ness is a thing
happens wherever cold sky
intersects with naked earth

Shortly after leaving university, I experienced for a couple of years what felt like my whole personality melting into the collective. I hitchhiked round the country sampling the different characters of the different cities, and feeling as though I myself had no identity at all. All identity was collective. Something of this idea returned in my dreams last night, where I was trying to choose between Birmingham and Liverpool, as though these cities had human personalities. The stuff about the naked earth and the cold sky is just what seemed to work in terms of the poem. I suppose the search for individual identity is ultimately pursued in some kind of cosmic loneliness. The human predicament is to be trapped between earth and sky, not between Liverpool and Birmingham.


my own humanity —
it’s a fact, plain and simple
— how can this given
accomplishment I’m born with
be yet so hard to attain?

In my dream, my older sister had turned into a little girl about four years old. I was charmed and delighted, but also concerned about how to reverse the spell and get her back to being an adult. I’ve got hold of a truth, I think, that the little girl represents the most human side of me. I wanted to express the paradox whereby the supreme and ultimate goal of life (for me) is to become more human — while after all I simply am human anyway. So I’m striving after a goal which is right there under my nose. Yet it refuses to give up its unattainable and mysterious and just plain difficult character.


love — the faculty
most like blindness — most like light
— in love I’m secure
at home — yet furthest travelled
from the shores of my known self

It’s very curious that I arrived at this poem via a dream of Rai Waddingham, and just goes to show, I suppose, that romantic love is only a tiniest fraction of one aspect of the totality of what the word love can mean. I am aware of nil romantic feelings towards Rai. But love, all the same, describes best how she figures in my world. I can say that now because she is no longer my boss at work! She went freelance nearly a year ago, but I have seen her from time to time since then in a work context. Anyone interested can check out her website here. In my dream, I was trying to get her attention, interrupting another colleague in order to do so — then apologising for interrupting — then launching into a demand for Rachel to share whether there was some book that had helped her through her darkest hour.

beyond definition

the Welshness of Wales
— intangible, magical
realm — home to the Grand
Illusionist desperate for
proof of his own existence

Pleased with this. It’s a bit too clever for its own good, in that I’m not really sure what it means even though I wrote it. But it successfully expresses last night’s dream, where I was luxuriating in being among the Welsh, feeling as though this was my home, and as though everything in life was going to run smoothly at last. It was such a strong feeling. It set me thinking, awake, about the quality of Welshness and what that amounts to, and how it really must be an illusion, and how it really must be real. I spent my childhood as an English child in Wales.


the world was never
going to be a place where
I felt I belonged

This self-pitying item is also possibly, I’m afraid, rather trite. I have a bit of a problem in my life, with trying to understand in retrospect how and why I made the choices in my teens which then shaped my life as a whole. Perhaps one reason this is so difficult is because I have simply lost all contact with, and empathy for, the person I was then. Broadly, last night’s dream highlighted the issue of livelihood. I felt convinced briefly, in the dream, that I could make it as a professional musician if only I dedicated enough hours to daily French horn practice. Then suddenly my true age in waking life dawned on me (59), and I realised it was quite hopeless. So I guess the element of self-pity was there in the dream.