Poem By Tim Cleal



My room is as temporary as a tent in Syria. These pictures are alive. But as alive maybe as mayfly are alive.

Pictures on walls, pictures in books, in files; pictures on compact discs, greetings cards, pictures in frames –

out of frame, specked with ketchup or slug's trails; pictures on pictures, pictures on photographs.

          They could be fly-blowing into the east wind at a moment's notice. Bloodless now they'll be bloodless 

then but blood-let pictures speak; they say, this is me. See? Because, you see, I cannot visualise the faces 

of those near to me; one of the saddest and most unsettling features of my condition.

           I can form the stone features of Queen Victoria and Maurice Ravel or serial killers but those close to

me escape every clutch or hook except, to capture, say, B I have first to see a Chinese face on campus,

looking a certain way, to lead me to B who has, unconfirmed by genealogy, probably unconfirmable by her or

gypsy testimony, a bit of chinese in her.

          I can have too much music, sound, smells, proximities, touches and breakfast breathing on the bus but

my room is a land of pictures. I have an overdeveloped consciousness that yet is as fragile as spindrift. For

soon in twenty years or two moments I might be bereft of the mind to perceive these faces, to enjoy them or

be disappointed by them or love them.

          My room will have no curator and sometime, even further on, my room will be brickdust and dead 

cement until some strange people live in rooms that occupy the space that my own home and garden now

occupy and             of how much importance is that which is only temporary?


Tm Cleal