I

Fromward sat the urns made with grey clay, looking out of place.

Occultist ceramics, alter 

egos in various gender. 

Seraphim and premonition all riding 

motorcycles with their tongues 

hanging out and they’ll only wind them back in when he goes to psychotherapy. 

I would love some of these to put on my kitchen table for dinners,

especially the plate with the protruding nose and a pearl nose ring hanging from the septum.

 

II

Ignoring your own reflection in the glass to see the winter rose of Essex -

Or was it the winter rose of the house of?

The priest of?

The eunuch of?

Any of these would fit.

Though in the width of the circle, I see the winter rose of the book of hours,

made of clay.

The maiden,

the woman

and the hag

three headed, three pronged.

A relative praying on her knees,

head turned towards a lady immersed in brightest blue, smiling crucified

with her family motif hanging behind.

 

Swinging to the side is a locket,

Containing the severe face of a man. 

It lacks one sentimental strand of hair.

A decorative collar starched and separated.

Just a country man, with a burgundy cheese cloth ribbon,

Tied at the top of his portrait. 

 

It holds together both the original unity,

And the ultimate chaos,

Of a facet of the myth maker,

Who is asking to be paid. 

 

 

 

III

The Gainsborough families are hanging over there so large, an infant’s face takes up the entire surface of the north-eastern wall.

I want to break in at night and steal the vases and the valises

The solid investments with their funny little Count of Verona faces,

The lovely bronze devils,

I could never sell them, even if I stole them

Even if these alter egos are so cynical, and so hard to live with.

Their illuminations are not sympathetic,

They are cold, and their tools displayed

Without instruction via metaphor

Are less fork and spoon, more lead and cloth and napkin.

 

IV

One last image

Spread out over a glossed plate.

The figures, one clothed, one unclothed, kneeling in the snow.

One has a shopping bag,

And to their left 

Are ornate crosses, strung with rosaries,

Strung into the dark, thin

Fields of dirt.

 

I move out of the low-lit room 

And remember riverside factories,

Filled with heavy marble and masks

And sculptures of The Mouth of Truth. 

 

I would never go on a Sunday

For that's my day of rest.

There would be one, two, three, four seagulls

Over the River Fleet,

Running under theatre, train and track,

Buried under the torso of St Pancras,

Which is heavy with footfall

And portico. 

 

At previous showcases,

Students would have grey stone heads on, three smaller heads attached.

One would hold a golden orb.

Is it heavy?

And behind her performance,

A curtain, pure cerulean! Gold leaf picture frame spun unto E T E R N I TY 

Suspended, hanging there.

 

Not unlike the Razza lion hanging on the chest of my viewing neighbour.

It’s hollow metal mimicking a seal of Minerva

The city’s patron overseer

Symbol of the Spring water, of the ritual, rite and affluent hearth -

And then the pendant moves away into the next room. 

after the pre-therapy years at the holborne museum

tamsyn chandler

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