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'Images of a room and its exterior'

Writing by Will Staveley. Illustration from Unsplash.

I waking up

Horizontal in a foetal bed

Blanketed as sand-time in snow;

Life geotropically planted in the yellow haze

Clawing up and out and sideways

Would sway like reeds, yet the frost conveys

No sound of wind to make it so.

II in order

Everything is placed on the table.

Wrapped in compartments of five-papered walls

Recalling a clipping of the conkers we keep

Plodding like memory in the cloisters of sleep

The surfaces clean, the wound but skin deep -

A paper peristyle lining papered halls.

III found again

Some playthings are for foraging forward;

All souvenirs, for searching back;

As if ink never faded, clarity

Never followed innocence out to sea -

There waits for us all in the unlocked quay

A foremost feeling of unfelt lack.


The books have been arranged in spiral

Words and their underlines came and went

Outwards from an unwritten start

(Meanings are half-remembered at heart)

For what is left over is only in part

And obliterates each page, blackened and spent.

V air

There is a window to an outside world

Where watercoloured sun runs always to blue;

Systolic the separation and the pane within,

It opens and closes as pores of the skin -

Sweating out smoke and swallowing sin,

Pleading and promising to make it new.

VI. empirical

On one side, history’s yellowed corners;

Desirable residencies desirably lit,

Each crossroad once a charming prospection

With streetlights smashed at the intersection.

I think we wander more into self-deception

Than memory’s map might like to admit.

VII growth

On the other the city is growing in light

Selling its symbiotes fortune and fame

‘Non-zero-sum game’, or so it was sold

Losing selves in the streets which are soon grown old

With a blanket of smog for the self left cold

And each new number the blot of each new name.

VIII encounter

Yet somewhere still out in the unseen sky

Above, or behind all this Daedaline red

The paint of consciousness, in peeling,

Shatters towards a shard of feeling

Hung in a monad of moment revealing

These are no rooms, but a system instead.

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