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Posts Tagged ‘Ray Templeton’

In Nihilo

May 6, 2010 2 comments

by Ray Templeton

When all the creation stories tripped into reverse
the turning point was palpable —
here a red moon, there a tremor in the earth,
as, remote-controlled and speeding,
the original shocks ran backwards.

All shapes and sizes, dozens of them —
retired demiurges, dazed and blinking,
checked each other’s alibis,
their fingernails for blood. And in the south
the forests drifting into smoke.

Sun on a dimmer-switch, soundtrack slurring,
old words lapsed to opposites, as tricksters
revelled in the glossaries of chaos,
smirked as one more creature disappeared.
In the north, the ice melting.

One last person, fully-ribbed,
gathered to a senseless pile of dust.
A thought in a god’s head
slipped his mind:
now a symptom of the amnesia.


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Ray Templeton is a Scottish writer and musician living in St. Albans, England. His poetry and short fiction has appeared widely on the web as well as in print, most recently in Eclectica, nthposition and qarrtsiluni. His e-chapbook The Act Of Finding was published in 2009 by Right Hand Pointing. He is a regular contributor to Musical Traditions and a member of the editorial board of Blues & Rhythm magazine.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

A Different Planet

August 11, 2009 1 comment
Categories: Economy Tags:

The New Poetry

June 2, 2009 1 comment

He wrote his verse in smileys:
expressive punctuation, soul laid bare
in variations on the colon and parenthesis,

a kiss to make up with an asterisk,
collusion in a semi-colon wink,
sleep with one stroke, sickness with another,

death dealt with his two fingers —
the keyboard skull and crossbones,
using eight and X.

He excelled at concrete imagery:
roses made from ats and brackets,
percentages for clover.

He made the most of metaphors
on cows and monkeys,
pigs and chickens.

That year he swept the board
at all the major competitions
despite complaints from purists,

and the old guard raging
that symbols couldn’t rhyme.
But others got the point:

anything to lift the art
from dusty books and droning readings
can’t be bad. His limelight period

didn’t last, though: there were queries
about his methods, he made a hash
of his defence. Quotes

in the papers spoke of scandal —
he lost the next year’s smiley slam,
and his career just…

by Ray Templeton

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Categories: Economy Tags:

At the Last Hotel

December 4, 2008 4 comments

In here, where they stop along the way,
the night porter’s taking care of business —
arrivals and departures, room service,

security and welfare. He holds the keys,
manages the risks, a visible deterrent.
He checks the entryways, dark corners of reception,

the unattended spaces. He’s the one
who picks up what the travellers leave behind,
collects abandoned suitcases and bags.

He observes, arranges meetings, monitors
trespasses and transgressions, writes reports.
Left alone, he’ll clear the till

and count the day’s receipts, and then
one elbow on the desk, a little quiet music,
he reads The Guardian or the Evening Argus.

Midnight amplifies the tick of the revolving door,
footsteps in the lobby,
sudden buzz of the night-bell.

by Ray Templeton

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A Sense Of Survival

October 15, 2007 1 comment

Was he still surprised by soft sheets, the accident
of waking every morning? Was it unexamined
or without words, confronted every day?
I see now, there was a silent place,
where he knew as he signed a letter,
contract or cheque, his name wasn’t carved
in grey granite; when steel had splintered,
it had wedged in elbow and legs, not the brain.
Was it sweet, or did he taste the acid? We were kept
well out of it — hedged around with easy talk
of comradeship, courage, careless hatred.
So we threw it back at him, condescending
to supposed indifference, scornful
of his lack of curiosity. But we were
wrong; and now that place is impossible
to find. Only understand it must have been there:
and it was sore, whatever else it might have been.

by Ray Templeton

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Categories: Making Sense Tags: