This is the first posting on my blog, and left to my own devices what do I do? I write my own obituary! Well, I know I am not dead, I still have a strong yearning for tea and biscuits that would shame a member of the English Church (which is something I enjoy doing by the way, drinking lots of tea furnished with biscuits and spiced with a little 'church-bashing'!) No, I am not dead, my wife would not let me be dead, she detests dead things and scorns me for bringing bits of bone back from the cemetery which I casually find! Yes, there is something of the warrior in me; something of the pagan heart that feels the landscape speak and breathe with seasons and communicate with the spirit. I lift myself up to see these wondrous things around us before being dragged back down to the reality of mobile phones and constant noise and rubbish and pollution and bloody everything that's wrong with life and the modern age. So why am I dead? It's how I feel today; it's how I'll feel tomorrow and it's probably how I'll always feel. It's not a physical death, it's not a spiritual death, in fact it's a spiritual growth because I am leaving behind something that I am out-growing - myself, the perception of me. Of course this will not be an overnight death, it will take many months so I will have to get used to being in limbo till then. Bit awkward as I'm going to Cornwall in April! Maybe limbo is another word for London! Yes it must be! Anyway, I finished a poem this morning which declares my demise:
The death of Mr Barry Philip Van-Asten. B.A. 1969-2009
A biblical wind opened out
A trackway from the heart that passes
Through a mind mapped by science and doubt -
His life was all acids and gases,
And Dante and Chaucer and churches
And old books and nettles and thunder
And teapots and ghosts and strange forces:
Froebel fellow... laird something or other...
And numbers and hills and dark places
And rivers and Shakespeare and stone
And legs and eyelashes and faces
And death and bird-song and bone...
A man of great thought there's no doubt,
At sunset he peacocked with ease;
A mind switched by solids and salt -
A poet and painter of dreams.
But bored at the prospect of life -
He absorbed knowledge forbidden by time:
His love was a cascade of failed rites
Crucified in their prime.
And with a handful of secrets and songs
Torment was damned to his knees;
He thumbed for the meaning of love
As he unstitched his heart at the seams.
Ghost Blooms is my awakening and adventure!