For Rain/Of Air

A poem written to accompany the drawings of Ross Taylor, on the occasion of his exhibition A Foreign Affair at Sophie Gannon Gallery, July 2019.

Ross Taylor, Cosmoaxia, 2019
Pencil on Paper 


That’s where I’ll go, he said
A thin white finger tracing
A poster neatly creased
A garden of red and yellow
Misshapen symmetry
Boring a hole
Into the holiday of a life time

Waking, baking
What has happened?
Eyes opened, needles piercing
Sunlight squeezed, made flat
In violent pulses
Ricochets around my head
And drips down the lids

Rows of striped towels
Neatly laid out
Below skinny palm trees
Remind me of zebra crossings
At Piccadilly Circus
Soaking up the warm sun
On my bare head

Breakfast buffets
Of burning bacon
Brueghel’s Babel; bagels
The gift of the gab
Smart casual
And sweaty palms

From the perspective of a pineapple
The citrus drapery
Seeps slowly into the floor
All this acid
Making my stomach turn
In florescent delight

*    *    *

We stared up at the rainforest canopy
I could smell the trees, the soil
The fecundity of it all
The fervent life that sprang forth
So eagerly
From this artificial realm
Slowly fading into pale pink puffs

In the claustrophobic cabin
I see, condensed, compressed
Between two sheets of rose glass
Narrow slits
Describing a vertical plane
A sight
For sore eyes

The worn leather wallet
A foreign object
In an empty place
Edges curled; darkened at the corners
A flattened face with soft features
And tired eyes
Alive, going nowhere

Lost among the calm monotony
Of luggage carousels
Orderly queues; so systematic, so predictable
This blandness
A welcome respite
From endless apprehension
Of the unfamiliar

In the strip club, a lone disco ball
Sent small luminous wheels
Scurrying around the room
Lost clouds in a round sky
Eyes roaming; gradually, fluttering
Stretched into long, thin strips
And twisted into a vortex
Of silver light

Scan the beach
For a sign, a clue -
The field of umbrellas
Like tiny mushrooms sprouting from sandy loam
Cling to the contour of the dunes
Intent on reaching the ocean
To escape across the sea.

The deep wail of the white whale
Its sudden drowning resonance
Belies an inner peace
Spewing sickly occupants
Lurid shapes lost in an ocean of colour
Flung down dark alleys
Filled with broken lines