Metamorphosis

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I walk in to the garden
A man
In clothing and footsteps
And thought

And then as the banks
Of perennial leaf
Touch my check,
Reach to meet

My enquiring hand,
And as my eye,
Like foraging bee
Dips and inspects,

And my ears,
Drawn to perceive
The wood pigeons
Breathing symphonies.

And as my nose
Catches strands
Of scent upon the breeze,
I change

From the modern, disinterested man
To the lover
Of my brother the leaf
And my friends

The birds and insects,
Quick-winged under foliage
And shadow
And proud to own the branch

And scrump the flower heads.
And thus I become
The green thing,
Half man, half herb,

Wishing for the heady scents
Of earthen loam
And soil must
And coolness of the mother,

Where the flesh of my heart
Might be lain in a hollow
To absorb the deep nutrient
And feel the root of forever.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

Wizard

He spins his breath
In to a spell
Of enigma circling,
Like an auric cloak of twisting fog
Behind which he ducks
In the maintainence of mystery.

What dwells within the vortex
Behind the wall of half
Answered questions
And glimpses
Drawn away by the spell?
Is there a mystery within
Or only the wish of mystery
And its subtle trickery
Of the hidden man?

I invite you,
Wizard behind the spell of
Manipulated wonderment:
Step forward, naked and without the
Swirling clothes that hide your name
And deflect every question
To a riddle in a cul de sac.

Step out, Wizard.
Is not real magic,
To be visible, straight forward,
Unclothed and vivid as the thing
Unashamed and confident:
The mysterious wand set down,
The spell dispersed,
The conjuring acquitted,

The self beneath, unmasked.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

Magus

We are world
of lost magicians,
forgetting
the alchemy of our hands.
But look at the gardener
who with wands for fingers
summons the sweet ethers
of seasons
and coaxes lush forms
from the fine architecture
of mind, planting ideas
in soil’s enchantment
under the sun’s command.
Is he not creator above and beyond,
shaping reality to match
the deep archetypes
of his green heart’s desires:
a God, as any on high,
for in perpetuity he reins
among the beauty
of his earth bound legumes
and gifts of highfalutin flowers?

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

PerKelt

A poem inspired and written for the band Perkelt http://www.perkelt.com

Come away,
Come away with us
On wings of the whistle
And the haunting voice.
Come away,
Come away with us
On the guitar strummed
And those notes plucked.
Come away,
Come away with us
On myth’s fast gust
By drums so touched.
Come away,
Come away with us
On heart beats past
And magic not yet imagined.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

Dr Paradox

Dr Paradox lives at number 13. I don’t know what he does all day but it appears he doesn’t work. I have coffee with him every Tuesday at eleven, sharp. He is a stickler for timeliness but remarkably relaxed when I’m late.

It’s hard to tell his age: somewhere between 1 and 89. That sounds ridiculous, I know. But you’ve not seen him. He sometimes wears a white moustache and sometimes a bib. He has one enormous bushy eyebrow while the other is trimmed. His skin looks soft as a babies and wrinkled with age. Often he wears a white robe in his house though when I’ve seen him in town he wears jeans and t-shirt. I think the robe may be for my benefit. Everyone else on the street just knows him as John, but he insists I refer to him as Dr Paradox.

I usually go over accompanied by my cat. He invites me in and we sit in his lounge. He’s had an enormous bath fitted in one corner and sometimes we sit in that – but bizarrely without any water and fully clothed. He often remarks on the beautiful buoyancy of air: how warm it is, how clean it makes you feel etc. He says that he only fully appreciates it when understood through the context of an empty bath. Generally, that cats don’t join us in the bath. I forgot to mention, he has a cat too. It’s named Inverse and he’s a ginger tom. I’m not sure if our cats get on or not. They seem to spend an awful lot of time attempting to out-squint each other or they play the strange mind game that cats enjoy, where they try to make each other invisible. And it appears that sometimes it works.

Generally on my arrival, Dr Paradox will ask if I’d like a coffee. To which my answer is invariably: yes. His stock response is: yes, but do you? My answer is: yes, I’d like a coffee. He then answers: yes, but do you really want a coffee? This interplay usually results (eventually) in a coffee, though not always. To be honest, I’ve not got the slightest clue what he’s up to and while it’s unfailingly annoying, some part of me enjoys it very much. Sometimes, even though I’ve asked for coffee he brings me tea instead, which I drink without complaint lest I have to go through the whole process again.

The weird thing is: I always feel refreshed after my visits. The coffee (when I get one) is great but somehow there is more to it than that. It’s as if the air really is buoyant and cleansing and contains a warmth, just as he says it does.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015