All posts by peterandthehare

Bus Story

by Peter Buckley

Inspired by poet Lydia Towsey’s performance of her excellent poetry on board Leicester buses tomorrow – more info here, regarding where you should be if you can be and if you’re local, and what you’re missing if you’re not.

I couldn’t read the signs as I tended to whiz by,
the dog sled track where “it snows all year!”
the car wash to make your 4×4 clean,
the green supermarket…

meanwhile
the sat-nav arrow
is pointed to opposing forces,
in your life,
at least on roads,
taking you, the automated voice, to
elsewhere but
not a place you’ll need to go.

The expensive sandwich stopped,
when lifeless bread loses the scent of home
in a service station,

then you’ll swear you followed the map,
and everyone there had their retinas scanned,
with nary a hello, nor a “nary” to-go,
a mumble of wondering
“what is a macchiato?”

And do you now care any more,
as sad as it seems now, as you did once…?
how far you have to go.

There’s a bus where I stared up at a fox fur scarf, a white fur coat
but we didn’t think to know, shockingly, if it was fake.
From this mass of fluffy fat, soft, imposing itself,
wearing a memory,
she produced a humbug mint –
she didn’t, she just gazed out of the window.

Her’s could be a bus of style dropped dead,
But like her then,
I wouldn’t know these passengers
if I saw them again.

But I said hello to a lady reading about molecules,
her son focussed intently
on a virtual penguin.

I didn’t know much about molecules
but said that science, I assume,
and the museum to which we were headed
were important
in some way I’d caught wind of –

a fart that couldn’t be helped and
can humanise your choice of transport.

I had one humbug mint, for myself.

An elderly lady had a smile
that only shifted with the inevitable bump.

A pregnant lady sat, contentedly, put-upon, lovingly rubbing her inevitable bump
like a crystal ball
when all the smoke machines are settled,
and the future comfortable, surprising,
where there’s a seat reserved for all of us,
sat upon.

Teenage friends scream for no good reason
every while, every yelp,
and eyes dart between each of them in code,
emoji of a joke I wouldn’t get.

I could counter-suggest a bald man’s wrinkled headline
that we’re both reading,
as he blusters in outrage,
and ruffles pages,
and some feathers.

and I’m afraid I have the ears of a spy
and the farts of an assassin.
I can’t ascertain who said what about cabbage.

But you are sitting in your service station,
forecasting that your satellite navigation
has queued up a you-turn, miles from your son at home,
a virtual penguin,
the dog sled snow,
the billboard you passed twice, saying
“take the bus
or know not
to ease into meditation
with people you know.”

Sheila’s eyebrows deep into a streamed documentary
saying she’ll have to miss that museum talk that
looked listen, listen
to the blameless satellite
head tied at the endless wheel,
and good night as you check in miles from everyone,
we ride sleepily home
past your small bedroom window.

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Wood

the silence I feel, the loud bark inside as I run it with a hand (mine.)
The route without leaves just now
the dog barks and is brown too,
the trees the audio tape of my walk.
Mystery because seeing the trees is all that’s needed to see the…

would
you like to arrive after this
somewhere other than a car park?

Gaps of white sometimes are clouds in some paintings, people breathe,
look at the ground pass by
but breathe fresh air and

would you like to meet someone else’s fresh air,

and say “hi” to their dogs?

Brown dog somehow you are big but small,
bark stacked and growing tight, staying tight,

the sky just white.

Blue

Blue Men grouped as aliens, Broadway.
Blu Tack stuck in stress, against the office globe.
Blue seizures, on a ward somewhere.
Blue shades
I wore indoors.

Blue seas, actually green
Blue skies, not often.
Those blue remembered Japanese
robot cartoons.

Blue feeling at a gathering.
I see a red door in another spectral instance, blue,
I need three colours including blue
to fly for me, France and America, if true.

Not bleach blue, but
fish tank with two
inside sleeping blue.

New coat of eggshell blue
and deciding to lose
a CD single – boyband Blue,
for some reason, blue. (da ba dee)

Whatever is blue to you will do.
Mirrorball blue, for a moment, alight
on jitterbugging shoe.

The boys in plume of blue,
a peacock’s room.

“Whatever”, chattering myself
out of a cold case clue,
my kind, my glue,
apathetic blue
(not, of course, true.)

Roughly all the fifty, further natures of you
in a Master Suite hotel room blue,
a mask sought online,
work ties, tight, mercilessly soon,
each twitch, raised hair and goosebump
in our pursuit,
your shock-curled toe paint

and we know we are safe

in words,
and two to each
command/react in beauty
“Blue”.

Karen Silkwood

This came from a workshop I took part in inspired by “underdogs” and people who might epitomise the “David v. Goliath” experience. I wasn’t fully done with it on the day, and finished it tonight and I’ve just sent it on for publication in our collection on the theme.

Karen Silkwood (Wikipedia page) was a technician at a nuclear power plant who was outspoken about health and safety standards where she worked and was heavily involved in union activity and activism. She was found to have plutonium contamination on her person and in her home and died in unclear circumstances in a car crash, when she was on her way to meet a journalist.

Karen Silkwood
by Peter Buckley

“Thinkin’ about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie”

– Neil Young, After The Gold Rush (1970)

 

I have a weapons-grade rage that started with suspicion.
I waited as time, and time again,
delivered confirmation,
believing at almost every turn
the essential Good in people
which we should fix when it disappoints,
like a routine inspection.

The relative Good of nuclear power,
when it puts food on the table,
a split apple, cheese on Rye bread.

The by-product is isolated alone and is,
like I am, safe as a collision.

I’m still driving off of
the straightest forever, road.

We met in Union,
we were tired but sensed blood, and
I carried a document
from the café where we planned.
You held an expression for a full two minutes
I could’ve kept as an alarm.

In the last steps to my car, mushroom-cloud where
the country radio – wouldn’t turn on –
was melancholy with betrayal and a noted Pastor
spoke about soluble plutonium, and
Jesus, if accepted, is the reactor shielding
who will stand taller than your playground bully,
elected or in place of power.

I dreamt of removing shelves from my refrigerator,
a hat that cast a shadow and had a grimace and a beard,
the man who had all his reasons for doing what he did,
weed-smoke and the static ‘lectricity that came off in my hand like a handle,
Sievert dosages ladled like a stew of Chernobyl,

offered by the glowing sun
like rainwater from a shower head.

And there were patterns, planned accidents,
like thick, red-green, woven strings behind my eyes;
Two baseball-white things knocked out of the park
got old and started shutting
then I nodded as if agreeing,
irresistibly towards the sedation’s pull,
up there and further away toward it,
a Better America,
with a view of
Longview, Texas.

I dosed in drowsiness
remembering you had a punchline,
and the Martin Luther Kings or JFKs,
most of all my family
who I love and who it tears me up to think of,
would fight my corner, on a round Earth
when the soil was new
and made for our children.

You best be as sad as sorry,
sorry, and raging, and
I hope you do your bit,
that’s all.

A Banana

I’ve been working with our awesome Bradgate Writers Group here in Leicester, and last night  we had a Showcase Smoothie  event to perform  work, and celebrate with other local groups the “Healthy Culture” art and sounds project and accompanying  book of art, lyrics and poetry, which is all themed around the promotion of healthy living.

With this in mind, I wrote this poem to perform there.  It’s a fun one to read out loud so I hope to record it soon.

A Banana

No oil tycoon has ever said
that the secret
to his dubious success
Was gorging upon
millionaire’s shortbread.

The artist Andy Warhol,
meanwhile,
got his factory lackies
to screen-print the hip, unzippable thing
until it ripened in the limelight
emerging
yellow and famous.

You could find life,
in all it’s lightness
by peering through a donut ring,
But there’s mystery within banana skin
In silent contemplation
between a sandwich.

Devoured nimbly in bites
left for a passerby to slip,
if you’re in the mood for passe slapstick,
choose it over a pie with cream

Don’t follow the example of Homer Simpson’s D’oh! worship,
let’s be braver, less toothless
with the dish and spoon’s next heap

The banana is for you,
it will be waiting when you’re ready
it’s inner-sanctum pale,
self-contained
and energetic

in a steady sea of porridge,
where there’s oats
there’s a new morning.

when a banana sits harmoniously,
gently rocking
backwards, forwards
in a boat of its own body.

All Day Poetry, Art and Performance and Dance Event, SPRING 2015 – This Sunday, March 8th at Embrace Arts, Leicester

If you’re not near Leicester, England this runs the risk of being even more obscure than we normally enjoy being here at P.A.T.H. (This acronym that has not been officially sanctioned by  our corporate “limb”, though – we have more than a few, if you buy a book we’ll have cause to start another limb, making corporate walking very difficult.) We do suppose, however, that you enjoy being more than a little obscure too. A lot of people keep following us wheresoever we go, which would be unnerving in other circumstances but it’s not, it’s lovely and you are absolutely the ticket, and we are very quite fond of you, golden princes and princesses that you are, myseriously clicking “like” buttons and reading even sometimes our most bonkers stuff with your two or more, or one, reading eye(s). Now I’ve buttered you up with strawberry Marmite, here’s the thing that may not be relevant to you…but WAIT! Soon, on March 8th 2015, I am working with choreographer and dancer Louise Katerega for a workshop and performance called “Throw Me A Life Line”, as just one of many brilliant workshops taking place on the day. Here’s the description of our 3pm workshop:

In “Throw Me A Life Line”, led by Poet Peter Buckley and renowned choreographer and dancer Louise Katerega, we will conjure magic from the mundane using energy, memory, and telephony to consider cycles of ending and beginning. We will find poetry in the conversations that might take place in times of change, and transform these into duets of movement. In keeping with the season of Spring, we will be inspired by folk traditions, ritual and rites, and will respond to moods suggested by our jumping-off point, a scene from the film “A Matter of Life and Death”. Participants are asked to bring along a round object if possible.

Here are some question-prompts we will be using for inspiration. Why not try answering one in a comment below or using one as a creative prompt for your own poem or blog? question worksheet pdf

Please do come along, if you can. It will have something to do with telephones.

Here is the schedule for SPRING this Sunday at Embrace Arts:

Here is the schedule for SPRING this Sunday at Embrace Arts – 12 noon to 8 pm

Workshops at 12.30

Alison Dunne supported by Bobba Cass in Hall: The Body – Poetic Monologues
Carol Leeming supported by Marcus Joseph in Studio 1: Dancing the South – Poetic Play of Music and Words
Liz Gray supported by Andrea Giugliano in Studio 3: Feel the Rhythm – Experience Poetry, Rhythm and Movement
Paulo Carnock in Studio 4: Drumming and Chanting

Workshops at 3 pm

Peter Buckley supported by Louise Katerega in Hall: Throw Me A Life Line
Boston supported by Rishii Chowdhury in Studio 1: Beat It with Bossman!
Rob Gee in Studio 3: Comic Term?
Momodou Sallah supported by Paulo Carnock in Studio 4: Poetry as Therapeutic and Poetry as an Instrument of Change

Installation in Cafe / Bar Area: FACT: ion

Performance in Hall at 6 pm. concluding with Mellow Baku

Workshops will last an hour and a half with plenty of time for additional practice including practice in the Hall between 5 and 6 pm

An’ this is just for fun:

A Spontanious Poem

Since we began,
the bluebells knew to be themselves
as they were gathered
in communal bunches.

After we talked,
I walked to the end of the sea.

In the woods,
I wandered,
a dress to sweep painted flowers.

It didn’t matter who I was,
it was always more about
the flowers to you.

In a wide arc,
I would learn to paint more gently,
into sleep.

The sweep of bluebells
that sprung up,
in a warm Spring.

Peter Reading “An Alabama Song”

I’ve made a recording of “An Alabama Song”, a poem that I wrote last Halloween, which is inspired by “Alabama Song” by Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht. This link seems to change as I put new stuff up but it’s  here for now and on my bandcamp:

Not so resolutely lo-fi this time, as my mobile has been jettisoned and forgotten as a recording device, but still a recording made from a new mic, from my odd-voiced home.

Enjoy what you find enjoyable.

Here’s the original poem, which is also available by clicking “lyrics” on the bandcamp playlist.

Choose Your Own Adventure

A book from 1978,
unchosen on eBay,
“Your Own Adventure”.

Time for any
unemployed spring-cleaning,
in the midwinter
experiment of my place.

Charge into battle,
make change.

Invest yet more hope
where hands quake,
to flicker dust off pages,
alight on irrelevant words.

With big tears to escape,
the drawbridge sunk,
the timely scream
hollowing a tower.

More than ever,
something needs
to hire my senses.

Opt for your own indecision;
after the last book,
you’re dead uncertain,
well done.

Choose other titles
in the series.

I thought I had something
to bring to market.
A slim mouse spat on
for the roast.
We buy £1 raffle tickets for
the broken inner
of internship
crystal ball.

With BAs, MAs can we use a computer?
Can young artists work for nothing
when the path to the webbed Arena
is littered with past names?

Brown leaves were pressed into concrete soles
of toe-crushing smart shoes.

The CV
requires imagination
to resume.

Not everyone enjoys long penpal exchanges to Canada
about inexplicable gulfs of time.

Unsure has served me well here.
years of good,
crippling unsure.
I’m glad it’s not inspiration
for a poster.

I must be better at it
than those moved to swift action,
quick decision,
jumped guns.

I took the ends of every strand
of adventure,
balled them up in my throat-song,
chose and faked my own.

I don’t know why I ever bought
this book.