Skip to main content

New Poem by Stefan Mohamed

Eyewear attended graduation ceremonies today for Kingston University's class of 2010, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  Professor Sir Peter Scott, Vice-Chancellor, spoke out powerfully and with noble clarity about the dangers of the Coalition proposals to savagely cut university budgets.

I was very proud of the students, many of whom I've tutored these past three years, as they graduated, often to the applause of friends, family and other supporters - still so young, but on their way - into an increasingly fragile and contentious socio-economic space, where the arts are less and less valued beyond their merely financial merits.  Seeing them in their gowns, tossing their caps in the air, I felt they at least had the security of their degrees, experience, and conviction, to aid them in their dealings with the "real world".

One of my former students, Stefan Mohamed, this morning graduated in Creative Writing with Film Studies BA (Hons), first class, and won the Creative Writing award.  I offer a poem by this fine young man from Mid-Wales today. [editor's note: on 3 November, Stefan was shortlisted for the Sony Reader Award, as part of the Dylan Thomas Prize.]

Garden

I planted a time tree.
Bear with me.
Many, many seeds, in a clock formation,
in deeply-dug beds.

At I, the biggest cog from an antique grandfather.
At II, one of the five hundred incisors from my dragon's mouth.
At III, a seashell with a lullaby living in it. Good fertilizer.
At IV, this morning's lucid dream.

At V, a high, clear top E from a bird-like soprano.
At VI, an unwished wishbone.
At VII, a stolen teenage summer.
At VIII, what some believe is a fallen star.

At IX, bark from the oldest tree in the forest.
At X, one xylophone key,
and at XI, its echo,
and at XIII, a brand-new timepiece that'd just learned how to tick.

All these seeds I sewed,
taking up the length and breadth
of this fairly meagre garden
and I watered them

with joyful tears, sad tears,
and the week's only raincloud.
Then I waited.
Because that's the thing about time.

poem by Stefan Mohamed

Comments

Andrew Strong said…
Beautiful. Is this poet published?

Popular posts from this blog

Review of the new Simple Minds album - Walk Between Worlds

Taste is a matter of opinion - or so goes one opinion. Aesthetics, a branch of pistols at dawn, is unlikely to become unruffled and resolved any time soon, and meantime it is possible to argue, in this post-post-modern age, an age of voter rage, that political opinion trumps taste anyway. We like what we say is art. And what we say is art is what likes us.

Simple Minds - the Scottish band founded around 1977 with the pale faces and beautiful cheekbones, and perfect indie hair cuts - comes from a time before that - from a Glasgow of poverty and working-class socialism, and religiosity, in a pre-Internet time when the heights of modernity were signalled by Kraftwerk, large synthesisers, and dancing like Bowie at 3 am in a Berlin club.

To say that early Simple Minds was mannered is like accusing Joyce of being experimental. Doh. The band sought to merge the icy innovations of German music with British and American pioneers of glam and proto-punk, like Iggy Pop; their heroes were contrived,…

THE WINNER OF THE SIXTH FORTNIGHT PRIZE IS...



Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand

JOHN ASHBERY HAS DIED

With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.