It's good to be back. My thanks to those who visited during my absence, and especially to those who left comments. I will get to all as soon as I can - inbetween catching up on a backlog of chores, of course! We did eventually escape the nice doctors with their nasty procedures and made it to Guernsey for a few (warm and sunny!) days. Whilst idling on the beach and the cliffs above, it struck me that I have my own version of the seven ages of man. The first age was characterised by building sandcastles on the beach, the second by beach cricket, the third by swimming. The fourth age was back again to building sandcastles, though now pretending that the building of them was not for myself, but for a small son or daughter. Ditto the beach cricket of the fifth age, I suppose, though a distinct lack of breath must have made it obvious that it was not my first choice of activity. The sixth age took in cliff walks. During the seventh age you write stuff like the following - though you might think it has much in common with sandcastles. How many similarities can you find?
The man in the photobooth was two,
who knew a thing or two, who said:
these pictures of me
are new of me,
Yet every hue and line is true.
You delude yourself, said the twin in his skin,
your lines and hues
come from dust in the air,
from the fog and fug and mud of the world,
the jog and the smudge,
the fudge to begrudge
the insights that you claim.
Not insights as such:
these stills of me
are as Hubble shots
of a galaxy.
They show what we always knew to be there,
but amplified and rearranged,
with emphasis and focus changed.
They resonate to strains that were laid
before the world began.
An essential part of the general me,
though a stateless me, a refugee,
at odds with the world,
they're at home in this photobooth.
There is no home in this photobooth.
It and the world are one.
It has no special measures or meanings or truths,
its rules and the world's are the same:
"Keep still, turn that,
put your coins in the slot,
do this, not that,
keep your head in the center
and all in the frame..."
It's wise in the ways of a broken world
and replicates what it knows:
so the cabinet judders, the body corrodes,
the shutter sticks and the flash explodes.
A lightball hits your eyes.
Which all translates as the power of life!
Just look at those overlapping planes!
See the broken lines and the jagged truths,
the liveliness that the booth exudes!
The energy that it gives to its art,
The meanings that come from the booth!
There are no meanings to the booth
and none that it can give.
Like the world in which we're cast to live
it's one great accident,
a mischance, an oddity, not profound,
whose images strike one as sound,
of impeccable provenance.
But art must follow intent.
An image possessing a sacred power,
has that power invested by man,
it's an image to keep pristine, not exposed
to whims of the passing hour -
or debates about what it means.
So that's that!
The world stays flat,
any roundness might strike as obscene!
The booth has been firmly put in its place
that raised its art from copying
to inventive genius,
from colouring between the lines
to a new sublimity,
from drudgery to grace.
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