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Listening to Radio 4

“Start the week” speaking of creativity

I listen whilst I look at the photographs now 

hanging from tiny clothes pegs

slightly askew but, for the first time

I can see them as a whole.


As I stare, patterns appear

the mystery of close up

the sexual, the erotic, connotations


still, silent objects, everyday items

waiting forever, suspended, patient

Displaying for me the myth of inductive logic

Expectation based on past experience

ended abruptly

possession now dispossessed

Their use, once integral, as dead as he who owned


A few things escape my classification

Should I modify or abandon

Sandals neither in nor out

Looking now, it seems that the fasteners are what fascinates.

Boots, waisted like a corset 

the shape distracts from laces touched, tugged,

and tied a hundred, a thousand times.


Stacked summer shirts lean for support

settling into folds as they jostle for comfort

In uniform on store hangers

winter shirts march across the frame, heads turned 

away from me


A mountain of underpants

geology of years laid down in layers 


Crushed rivulets compressed in trousers

of disturbed design.

A stack of jumpers

populated by suckered lips

like strange sea creatures, patient and watchful

Socks huddle together for comfort

a demented Freudian dream of penis loss


The tiny pegs catch my attention

yellow, blue, red – holding suspended

the source of my imaginings

and I try to level my photographic washing

tidiness becomes essential, an echo

There is an understanding that I cannot be sloppy

though I can be wrong

Colours disappear, a peg is just a peg

no longer visible

But although the images seems strong

there is fragility in this display

Curled white tails of string

Unassuming, hold all together


A heart, central to the composition

I have made

A seductive, empty void wearing protective sleeve

drawing me closer, deeper.

blacker even than the density of darkness 


below a vortex of belts, coiled 

A snake like Catherine wheel with shining buckles

burns a circle

hollowed from ritual and desire


The rhythm of the folding


stacked higher than the habits of a lifetime

in honour


And the satchel, isolated, iconic

to which, I pay homage

worn, handled, repaired, its skin

polished and curled into a shape that fitted

Purposefully, I stare

but it reveals nothing

secrets closed for ever

a shoulder strap bowed in prayer.

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