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.]


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

Popular posts from this blog


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…