Hermit Celebrity

Hunkered in a coat
he flees celebrity’s never failing tail:
and for a spell walks incognito,
half disguised and almost normal,
breathing hesitantly
before his fresh air
is recognised
and wonder struck eyes
paint him all sorts
but the man he is.
They’ve believed his brand
and it burns him everywhere
but in the bejewelled cells
of gin palaces and five star hotels.
In his youth he wished for this:
to be someone famous,
hoarding furtive looks
and whispers, and awe.
But the truth is a prison
of tinted Mercedes,
bundlings from clubs
and parades of intimate questions,
like hooks barbing red carpets, searching for the gutter slugs
of secrets hidden in his closets,
behind the caging,
ever encroaching walls.
Now he wishes to be sweet nobody:
free to walk and breathe and be
without a billboard face
calling stalkers and weirdos and
beautiful women in hungry hordes.
He wishes himself
rid of the image-gloss
which knocks ordinary folks
from their confidence,
turns them nervous and skittery,
and loved up and feverish:
transforms them
into starry eyed pariahs
who scour him and search
for injurious signatures
and selfies,
both thieved
and respectfully acquired.

Copyright 2017 Ben Truesdale and ditilledvoice

Stain Of Hatred

Daubed on skin
And words alike:

All the shades
So coloured.

Hued by burning finger
And anger’s pointed flame:

Projection hurled
As flying wounds inflicted.

The stain: not on pure black skin
Or brown, or pink, or lily white

But on the eye
And on the mind,

On the filter
Through which we look

At the world
In its richness.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

Immigrant

In chill October England
the African waits incongruous
by the grey concrete divide
of a duel carriageway.

He wears a leopard skin hat
and the curly white beard of
an old man. In his hand,
a tool dangles like a nonchalant

machete. He has bare feet
and baggy shorts and has
come from the woods,
filled with cool heartbeats

of high latitudes. He hears
as he heard in his homeland:
the voices are different
but still voices, greener

and more tidal, sleeping
for half the year at least.
Yet his heart beats as full
of blood as when his calloused

feet scuffed red, dry earth,
and though all through his
eyes is a paler brother,
less rich, quelled

rather than vibrant,
the murmurings he feels
through his soles
are so similar in vibration

he cannot help but
accept the meek light
as home, and breathe in
the arrival of happiness.

 

copyright distilledvoice & Ben Truesdale

Road Towards Stasis

The old man watches
as time races:
all the young
frothing in its leading edge,
powerful on its surge,
the wave on which they surf:
confident like fearless children.

He was like them
in his unbeknownst youth,
careless with the ideas
of others: tossing them
for the new and exciting,
rubbishing the staid
and stilled establishment.

It irks him now,
not to see his work dismissed,
but that he has succumbed
to ageing’s inevitable drift
into beliefs hardening:
all of what he knows torn,
by the turn of the unconcerned,
from his grasp to hold it static.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016