Metamorphosis TWENTY FOUR

Posted on 24th May, 2019

Day 24




A wisp of billion year old sky escapes

When I crack open this stone.

Smelling of rock, I breathe it in, enriching lungs,

Then out it scrolls away...


Fleet, it flies, so slight, its molecules are re-aligned.

It meets its species, reunites with air that lacquers earth,

Loose, high, free, untramelled, far from snares of thickening mud

Where metamorphic slabs compel, compress, incarcerate...


Perhaps, in gratitude, it will return one day, and I,

Sinking in final shudder, trapped in coil of death

Begging and gasping for one extra single breath,

Blood aching for oxygen, the rich raw life of its foam...


Or, something else will snuff me up,

Fold me in, squeezing, firm, 

Enveloping for an aeon,

Till the merciful crack and doom-day blow of release...







Respect : Vivien Jones


Ellisland Farm house. Dumfriesshire



Hello. Did I make you jump ? It’s all right – I’m Linda - I’m allowed to be here. It’s part of me ASBO to do projects and things. Maureen, that’s my social worker, brought me here and she’s paid and everything. She’s off getting a cup of tea and a fag. I’m up in Scotland to see me Nan and to keep out of trouble while I get used to having an ASBO. Tell you what, it’s not as bad as I thought. I had to chose two things, like at school, for me ASBO so I chose Basic IT ( I’m getting a computer once I’ve done me course)  and An Introduction to Literature ‘cos I like reading and this here Robert Burns, he was a bit of a writer so we came to have a look around ‘cos he lived here. Maureen says he was a bit of a lad with the girls and the booze as well and a farmer and a Customs man – but he’s mostly a writer, poems and songs and things. You wouldn’t have thought he’s had the time what with all those other things. 


That’s like my Mel – he’s a rapper, one of the best, been on TV and everything, dead political, he’s done three raps about Iraq this month and he’s always rattling on about freedom. That’s a funny thing – one of them boards says that Robert Burns was 29 when he come to live here and Mel’s 29 this year – he don’t like to admit it – he was in Rock Against Racism too but he says it makes him feel old thinking about it. But that Robert Burns, he was on about freedom too, wasn’t he ? Doesn’t sound like much has changed, does it ?


Mel’s trying for a record deal, bit like Robert Burns having his writing published – but I say that you gotta watch out making deals with high-ups –them celebrities, they just turn into poodles, don’t they, running around after them that pays them. That Robert Burns, he played up to the toffs’ idea that farming was romantic while he ran about after them Edinburgh high-ups. I bet he couldn’t wait to get the mud off his boots. Still, he wrote ‘A Man’s A Man For A’ That’ after he was a celebrity, so he didn’t really sell out. I read all of that one – even the Scotch bits – I like when he says ‘the man o’ independent mind. He looks an’ laughs at a’ that’ – that’s just like Mel and me. Bit ironic. Bit cheeky. 


It’s a bit parky in here, innit ? Nice though. Bit old fashioned - I like something more modern myself. Mel and me are getting one of them refurbished flats in Hackney after the baby’s born. He’s admitted paternity, that’s how we’re getting the flat off the council. That’s like Burns as well, innit ? Only Mel didn’t have to stand in no church and say it – only to the CSA. 

He was dead romantic though, eh ? ‘ O Jeany, thou hast stolen away my soul !’ – dunnit make you curl up ? Oh. I know, he put it about a bit as well ( Mel used to be a bit like that before the baby ) but he was a bit of a looker too, wasn’t he – and what with having a way with words – couldn’t help himself, I dare say. But before he earned a bit, well you can understand him taking the free pleasures when he could. Don’t we all ? He wrote a verse about that -

But pleasures are like poppies spread

You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed

Or like the snow falls in the river

A moment white, then melts for ever.’

Doesn’t that just say it – and it rhymes.

We’re ever so similar really – Burns and me and Mel – he liked to party too. That’s what I got me ASBO for – playing loud music – in a confined space – at night – all night – and he wrote hundreds of songs just like Mel. 

Maureen says that I have to learn respect to satisfy me ASBO conditions – respect for myself ( that’s what the classes are about ) and respect for other people ( that’s not playing me music loud ) He got it didn’t he, that Robert Burns. It’s what Mel goes on about – respect – this Robert Burns – after all these years, he still got respect. 





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