A metaphor.

We are all in a dark room.

We all have torches.

Torches are tools for seeing.


All our torches are fundamentally the same, but they have different batteries.

Batteries are tools for thinking.

Our choice of batteries affects the brightness of our torches.


The beams of our torches can be focussed or diffuse.

The more we focus our beam the brighter it becomes.

The brighter the beam, the more clearly we see what we are looking at.

The more clearly we see what we looking at, the less we see everything else.

The more diffuse our beam, the more we see.

The more we see, the less clearly we see it.


The room is crowded.

We can’t see beyond the width of our torch beam.

We can’t see anyone else’s torch beam.

We often bump into each other.

Bumping into each other is an unfortunate accident.


The room’s darkness is not absolute.

If we switch our torches off our eyes can adjust.

If we let our eyes adjust we can see everything, dimly.


Get the best batteries you can.

Vary the width of your beam constantly.

Switch off your torch for a while every single day.





Apollo’s War


The voyeur thought often of death,

enthralled as Deathless Ones are.


The face that ended a million lives,

deaths senseless and glorious (as all deaths).


Mortals dance teetering on the brink of Tartarus,

a slip from the Underworld.


Why not kill them,

who live only to die?


A gentle shove to watch them fall,

a relief he would never know.


Death blisters the heels of life,

but the God of Death does not run the race.


No light without dark,

no life without death?


He envied the certainty of their fate,

the God of Oracles can not see his own future.

Wet weekend gesamtkunstwerk


Last weekend was (like today, as it happens) cold wet and miserable. In an effort to keep the rainy day blues at bay, my wife and I decided to indulge in an impromptu improvisation uniting the visual arts, music and poetry.

It sounds a lot more high-minded than it was, actually it was just a bit of light-hearted fun – I recorded a guitar improvisation which I then immediately overdubbed with a second improvised part, creating a dense piece of “free polyphony”. I then recorded myself (using my iPhone, which, along with the rain, accounts for the fact that it sounds like I was underwater at the time) intoning Baudelaire’s The Metamorphoses of the Vampire over the top of the guitar piece whilst my wife Genevieve hastily sketched and then highlighted (in watercolour) a portrait of the poet inspired by the poem.

The reading is perhaps a bit more funereal than necessary, but I think it rather fits with the tone of the poem as well as the atmosphere created by the music. Feel free to disagree!

Here’s a link to the audio, the portrait at is at the top of the post: