Alexis Rockman rocks.
My dad would have treasured his round painting.
Mark Dion, how you would like his curiosities,
Would your mum have?
Your cabinet spoke.
Pam Longobardi, swimmer of caves, he would have thought you exotic,
You are an archaeological goddess.
Andy Hughes, you presented his room.
You read her favourite, Robert Frost.
The room was silent. I think?
Do you now Martin Parr? is chimed,
The Snow Queen glides past.
Knowingly a dog stares us out,
It is a sort of fairy tale.
On the dog mush, I realise,
They needed a sustainable product designer.
Would Howard agree?
We land in a glacier.
I picture the cockpit for him.
I take a GPS grab to show 500ft.
How to describe the blue ice?
Skating on a turquoise lake.
We see Turnagain in elevation and aerial.
Seattle mountains replace the Anchorage view –
I let the battery go flat, too many photographs of cups.
The map is followed in 3D, on all 3 chairs, for hours.
The suitcase is replaced.
Dad has gone.
(Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, what would you say about the plasticity of such a brain?)
My legs go hard. Sheets of ice really go past.
My sister and I sit either side of his slippers,
Everything seems sacred she says, I haven’t touched it.
Our eyes lift from the slippers to the box collection,
To the Valentine’s envelope ready,
To the candle that quietly smokes.
I drift to his rooms of ships and mermaids.
My eyes spill over his table,
I straighten a collection of silver.
I collect printed photographs.
In the past, I’m posted in the vestry window.
I’m stood on a box in the bell tower.
(He started the bell ringing again, George’s daughter just reminded mum.)
My sister and I listen to his singing voice past the rude screen,
She studies his performance.
I try and gain confidence in Alto.
I’m walked from Mullion to Kynance (something my sister and I have continued to do).
Paul Foot, Peter Long – they walk – other vicar’s names feature thereafter, and priests, monks, old ladies,
As do Easter egg hoards,
Garden Fetes on croquet lawns.
I dress as a fox, my sister as a white rabbit.
The next year I make an Indian headdress from the goose feathers.
A Dragon fly garden,
A Tortoise garden.
We loose a roost of Guinea Fowl,
We eat supers of honey.
We are not allowed a tree house.
We climb out the small window in secret protest.
The victorian greenhouse holds the weight,
The tropical fish and banana tree look up.
I watch him paint. I listen to him tap on the typewriter.
We read his poems as requested.
We insert a celtic cross from deviant art.
Different denominations are present.
And different friends, many close.
You lay like a saint. We all see you.
We think of your hymn.
You have gone.
His hats dangle around, his clocks tick again.
The radio is back on.
The carpet pile moves,
I make porridge for one.
We miss the phone.
We miss the colour.
We miss hiding the bananas.
I read his books.
I notice the roundness,
The lack of plastic. I think, trad dancing.
I search the owls, the spiders, the big birds,
The hat pins, the fob watches, the socks,
The big boom.
The Irish travelling priest, The Snake Padre,
Dad, The King.
Old Man Yellow Beard,
Grando, Uncle Donald,
You lay like a saint.
We all see you.
We think of the hymn you wrote.
You have gone.
You stood me on a rock in Goonhilly,
Whilst looking for snakes.
A stare at that space in my daydreams.
Your smell is faint now.
You have a necklace of colour around your new neck. Your creativity still spills,
We have a new garden to tend. We feel love. We must not be lost.
You celebrated every occasion. We must.
But my pages of Chroma, still lands on pages of shadow.