About 30 years ago I wrote a poem entitled “Postcard From Bournemouth Park”. Very shortly I will be putting a first class stamp on it and publishing it in my collected Meister Werks. Left to myself I would plonk the whole text on this blog. My new publishing associate Rosina de Montfort , has chided me for even thinking of getting my powder wet. Huh! my powder has been wet for years Missus…ooh…don’t. (Can you tell I’ve been watching Frankie Howerd?)
So, 30 years ago I was wandering about as a poet on a wander. When you’re a poet it’s the kind of thing you have to do. I was on an angst filled wander in Bournemouth. Now, there’s nothing good or honourable about what I’m going to tell you. If you are highly righteous you would be better off getting out one of those old copies of the “News Of The World”. That particular organ stimulated my first meaningful sexual experience in 1961, but I know you do not want to hear about that.
So, in those days I was a youngish man. Let us just say that I wanted an inappropriate relationship with a highly charged female. In other words, she was Miss ion impossible. In that mood of unrequited voltage I was walking through the park and the things I saw and felt seemed charged and intense. A mood of nostalgia and sepia wistfulness formed the poem. The sentiments were genuine and heart felt and I know that I could never live them again.
By chance, this week-end I was in Bournemouth for a poetry event. Once again I wandered through the park, wondering if I could re-capture how I had felt 30 years ago. Try as I might, I could not. My life is happy now. The problem is that happiness writes white as it says in all those “How to be a Writer” books. Maybe during this final pre-publication/Audio track week I will come up with a second Bournemouth Park. To find out you’re just going to have to read the book.
Since I could not re-find my muse I went for the views and ended up with an arty photo of Boscombe Pier which I have called “Towards the Light”. In many ways I have come to see photography and visual media as the new poetry. You are there and the moment finds you.
Since I have been more aware of sculpture I have also seen poetry as the art of receiving something already written rather than the art of the thinker. As we age and the voices outside of us become fainter, it is our receptors that fail. The true poems are there in the justice, the dead fit and the smooth glow of time. A poem is true like the perfect rocket above the exact beat of the music that explodes like the lover’s kiss, as the wave falls and dies, as the cloud passes the moon. It is there to be received rather than thought. It is the statue alive in the heart of the stone. It is the surfer’s wave 50 miles from shore. Poets are often pejoratively described as dreamers. I would accept the criticism and double it. The poet is not only a dreamer, he is dreaming of the dream that once an unknown stranger dreamed as he passed by. The voice is faint and the mob is strong. If you can’t write a poem, take a photo. It is there. It is it’s own words.
I stayed in a Bournemouth hotel. I dined with a bottle of wine. A young man brought the bottle. I said “Are you the sommelier?”
He said “No, I am Latvian.”
There are only words. We are revealed in the balanced asymmetry of of the tangle.