Drawn Up

June 20, 2013

The boy takes a pencil and draws the first walls
Takes time to pause, rub out, extend, corrects corners and doors.
The basement plans of a building he found
at the back of his mind.

He takes no new leaf.
There, on the same paper, he draws the next floor;
some new lines conflict whereas some agree
with what was there before.

Two storeys, empty rooms, devoid of people
No echoes of true stories of cradles, conflicts and tombs.
He does not stop, right on top, a third floor grows
over, but not up.

Yet, in his head, his neck has to crane
and a crane has to lift the men on the scaffold
to install the lift.

He stares at squares that mark where the stairwells
might well go, but he doesn’t know,
for the memory of his imagination is bleached by the sun
whenever he dares to bring it to the front of his mind
lit up in through the windows of wide eyes.

By floor twenty-four, furniture and fixtures no longer fit.
Clarity is furnished no more within these walls.
A black square hides an entire building,
no taller than a width of paper plus a thick carpet of graphite
that just might show the footprints of dust mites

The building now complete,
He takes a fresh sheet.
The outline of feet and then shins, knees, thighs,
and even inside, bones, muscle, skin,
cross-sections of ribs, arteries and veins
that flow within,
until the very last hair on his head is drawn.
A grown man, newly born.

He crumples the building into a ball
And is enthralled to find he is holding a world
Of pencil continents over a paper sea
And the man does not complain
Folded seven times to form a plane
So the boy can fly beyond the world
and see infinity

He travels through a winter blue sky
So vast the space is shared by the sun and the moon
Who both shout to the boy, “We have seen you.”
The sun with bright eyes of fire
And moon with face, old and cratered
put down their toilet roll telescopes
And bow to their creator

 

'Drawn Up' performed at Pop Up Cafe 14, Glastonbury.

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