Friday, 22 June 2012

Open Road

It is so easy to blame everything and everyone for our sense of unfairness whenever life goes sour on us. Taking responsibility for our own lives can be something of an epiphany.

Some readers may be interested to know that I read this poem among others on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square back in 2009 as my contribution to Antony Gormley’s ‘live sculpture’ project One and Other. (It lasts an hour.) During that summer, 2400 people from all walks of life performed their ‘own thing’ on the plinth 24/7 for 100 days; the entire web stream is now archived in the British Library.



Found myself one day
on a road I did not know;
kept walking anyway,
no place else to go

Past fields once green,
houses an ugly, silent grey;
landscape obscene,
ash on the clay

Bend after bend, afraid
of all I knew I’d surely find,
down to land mines laid
of the political kind

Sick of unholy collusion
contrived daily for His glory
(no matter our religion)
God, but history

So, no sign of salvation
or even a lifeline in prayer;
any hope of redemption
reduced to metaphor

Suddenly, I began to see
as if in a fog starting to clear,
it wasn’t the road but me
going nowhere

Woken from a nightmare,
I was just in time to discover
Apollo tugging at one ear,
a fool at the other

Sunlight, an open road,
from bedlam took me away
as I walked unafraid
into a new day

[From: Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, 2007]


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