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funeral poem

distracting myself with ceremony
plans and more plans for more futile future events
i mourn in january
a bleak month at the best of times
and this is not
the best of times
online is a whirl of colours
flat, seductive, dry, unyielding
you invented computers, so it seemed to me
the huge monster in the factory spewing out paper
with green lines and holes,
you showed me how to handle money, spend sensibly
while splashing out on those you loved
and always buying the best
you told me exams were fun
you never seemed to have to prove yourself
to anyone
you loved the finer things in life – good food, good whisky
and a good wife
you are not in that box
but you are in this room
in every single one of us
those whom you met, and loved and gave life to
we will not forget your tears of laughter
your joyful spirit
your madcap breakfast concoctions
marmelade on bacon
your deep sonorous voice singing Nellie Dean in the kitchen
you will not speak at my wedding
you will not meet my children, hold their hands
there will be no granddad gordon for my unborn folks
but they will find you in the way i tell jokes
play with words
flirt with waiters
raise my eyebrows
sing jazz
and as i live i will try to learn from you
how to give and give
without expecting anything in return

Wandsworth

On the eve of my big trip to the States I take a walk to my beloved common to say goodbye to the ducks, and feel genuine sad joy at leaving them, knowing that if I return there are some reliable sources of happiness awaiting me.

Back home ostensibly packing, sifting through notebooks decorated with unsent letters to old non-boyfriends, inexplicable cartoons and provocative notes from dharma talks, I find a poem I must have written by the pond in Winter.

I just keep breaking through
more walls
falling through floors
a hard no becomes
soft gel mush
weeping waterfall
proximity of dogs is bewildering
missing you
in the perfection of a duck’s beak
the cold clear evening
never to be shared
and still believing
in love like a wise warrior fool
clinging to the skimpy
edge of a crescent moon
reclining into dusk

Wandsworth Common

no struggle

trying not to think of you
is like trying not to think of a tiger
seeing an image of you is like bathing in fire and ice altogether
life continues to emerge day after day
like a persistent wildflower
neither beautiful nor ugly but in the eye of the beholder
drenched in futile plans and dreams
lost chances that were not really chances
lost hopes that evaporate into silence
trying not to love you is like trying not to love the ocean
empty hours filled with waves of longing
work is done or not done and nothing changes
moments of joy punctured by the memory of loss
trying not to miss you is like trying not to miss what is missing
drawing a neat fabric over the cracks left by your absence
doing a fine job of it whatever it is
and sometimes breaking into wet folds like a deep egg
coming together again for the sake of continuity

let me explain

let me explain
i’m a warrior
non-violent
bleeding in all the right places
heart, womb, mouth
heavy and light
i like the warm days
and the cool nights
sweat on your back like daisies
smile of a dragon
don’t believe in nothing
for a reason
everything happens
or doesn’t
but i’m a warrior
still and moving
forward and back
hot train on a spiral track
can’t be found underground
but flying
open and wide
free as a moon
balancing on the dark tide
i’m a warrior
woman all over
brighter than pools
of rock faced sea
just being what it fits me to be

Hope

Hope is lonely

Tastes toxic

Dirty and wise

Brilliant mind trodden in the wild

Burnt embers of desire

Pursuing past bliss like a rampant

Cockroach

Persecuting itself for being

So easy to crush

Spring Haiku

The smell of the rain

April brings you back to me

In ways I cannot

Heart Break Gap

 

Heart Break Gap from Annalie Wilson on Vimeo.

 

If This Were A Film

If this were a film
You would show up at my door
Sweating slightly, awkward and humble
Love in your eyes like a big panther that doesn’t know where to put its paws
You would stutter slightly and ask to come in
I would look surprised and somewhat preoccupied, with an air of suspicion
Aloof and yet totally open, like a glass lake
You would say something funny, not that funny, but funny enough to make me smile
And on seeing me smile your face would break out into its glorious grin and I would have no choice
But to just dive in
We would take a walk in Regent’s Park
No matter that it’s 40 minutes away by train with 2 changes
In films you can get from A to B without really travelling there
And so it would be with us
Talking and strolling I would soften
As it became clear how far you’d come
The trials you had endured just to be there
You would listen with curiosity and a grace that comes with almost losing everything
I would see the whole person for once, no longer blinded by fantasy
And the audience would feel gently reassured that we had earned each other
Despite our differences they could see it working out
(Whatever that means)
The film would close on a subtle shot of you looking at me
The way you sometimes do, with a kind of blissful bafflement
Content not to know
Eyes half-closed in complete surrender
The credits would roll
The crowds would leave the theatre with cheer and humour –
‘Did you see his face?’ and ‘She was mighty strange’
‘I wouldn’t have put up with that, would you?’
But deep down feeling some common glow
That for some people, somewhere, scenarios like this
Really do play out, it’s not all completely hopeless
And maybe they too could see the better parts of themselves
Unfettered by the grinds of what is considered to be reality,
Learn to forgive in public, buy oranges, tip waiters, make implausible journeys,
Love wholeheartedly
If this were a film

 

 

Image by Bruce McAdam from Reykjavik, Iceland 

Tax Return: A Spiritual Guide

Business description:

This is my favourite part, every year!

There is a limit of 42 characters.

Describe the indefensibly chaotic way you have chosen to just about survive in this world, in 42 characters…

“Pain causes art which sometimes pays bills”

“Waiting tables while dreaming of big break”

“Watching all my illusions slowly crumble”

It’s a fun game! HMRC is helping me to lighten up and enjoy life. At the same time sharpening my mental agility and integrating my heart and mind.

And not only that, it’s a profoundly spiritual exercise.

Enforced brevity is making me think long and hard about what it is I’m doing with my time.

This year I am going to come up with something really blinding and succinct that I can also use to describe myself to people at parties.

I find myself fantasising about a recognisable job title that does not provoke further questioning.

Ah the misty-eyed myth of the artist – so lucky to be doing what they love all day every day and making millions from it

Oh the dreamlife of waking at midday, lounging in cafés, sauntering round art galleries soaking up inspiration, occasionally injecting heroin into one’s eyeballs

HMRC tolerates no such frivolity!
Self-employment is a serious business. A sobering term that suggests responsibility, stability and independence.

Self-assessment is the annual retreat of the self-employed. A time for inner reflection. What’s working? What’s bringing me down? What’s totally bankrupting me?

Of course if one were to get into a true assessment of self, the ultimate end point would be utter dissolution into complete space and openness.

Only it’s hard to convey that to the tax authorities. In 42 characters. But I’m game for a try.

Describe your business:

Birth, something something something Death

Gaily wasting time in blizzard of eternity

Living, loving, learning, longing, losing.

 

Abraham Cruzvillegas’s installation at the Tate Modern – as a self-employed person I could literally stand and stare at this all day.

Abraham Cruzvillegas’s installation at the Tate Modern – as a self-employed person I could literally stand and stare at this all day.

A Beautiful Dream

Grit flying in my face and the wind in my hair
I went to dismantle the illusion that held you here
A castle on top of a hill overlooking a lake
I climbed the stairs to the place where you must have been
Only hours before
Just to feel you a little longer
Together we hauled planks of wood
Packed up condiments and cake
Stacked the remains of a beautiful dream
Until later
Dirty hot and riding in the back of a tractor
Wedged between fridges and weights and shelves
My body aching from longing and heavy lifting
I returned to my van for a lie down
To find your scent still hanging in the air
Dressing my hair
And the sheets of the bed we broke together
I lay down with you in mind
The memory of your shape against mine
The laughter and luminous joy of our last night’s play
I thought of the way you conjure words that weave magic and mystery around my mermaid smile
While mine are blunt and crude as my fear of losing you
When I awoke chilly and alone
And saw that Berlin is big and you are far
I felt disheartened and bewildered
Until I remembered
That this desolate spinning star
Revolves on the fuel of the fire we breathe
In and out of each other
Somewhat revived
I put on my oceanic beads and went out to join the dancing and goodbyes
Later as the sun failed to rise
I packed up my own illusion
Burning with the sadness of not being held
Grabbed my guitar and headed for the slippery train
So hard to hold onto anything
As the remains of summer kiss the bright sky
I watch the past unfold into the present at alarming speed
And wonder what will become of us
Now the damage is done