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What the Bell Told

Posted 02-05-2014 at 05:44 AM by Steve Bucknell
Updated 02-06-2014 at 03:27 AM by Steve Bucknell
I live with a sense of given time. That gnomic phrase sits in my head . It may be a response to a rare sunny morning in February; everything has a gilded edge. I slip a blank notebook, a pen and a book called Free Logic into my bag to read on the way into Sheffield. I tell Adrienne I’m going to the “Inside the Circle of Fire” exhibition, a “Sound Map” of Sheffield. It consists of a darkened gallery where you lie on the floor immersed in the sounds of the city and the surrounding countryside. I have the first line of a poem I want to write: “This is a city grafted onto the hills”; I have the last line: “Sheffield is what I think with”, but nothing in-between, so I think I need to go and float on that map again.

I read my way into the city via bus and tram and poems. I like “Fatherhood”. It gets me thinking of Kipling’s “If”, but I don’t know what “the flehmen face” is ...flaming face maybe, like Blake’s “The Tyger”? “Free Logic” is a good title and guide to its anarchic and elegant contents.

I get off the tram on West Street and drop into Rare and Racy. Joe and Alan are deep behind the counter involved in some complicated phone negotiation and transaction. I find Under the Reservoir by Peter Redgrove and Red Doc> by Anne Carson for three pounds each. I’m happy with that, and then I’m on my way down Division Street.

I don’t get far when I hear and feel a bell tolling, vibrating in the pavement. Where does it come from? I turn right onto Carver Lane and look at the spire of St.Mathew’s where it squeezes up between blocks of grey shops and offices. I go into the alcove of the church. The bell seems to be a call to attend Low Mass. I daren’t go in, but I take out my notebook and start writing. IN HOC SIGNO VINCES is on the wall in front of me, which I don’t recognise and can’t translate. People come in saying “Hello” and “Good morning!” in a very warm and welcoming manner. I peer inside to the altar but don’t go in.

Back on Division Street I’m surprised to find myself fishing in my pocket to give a handful of change to a scruffy lad sitting outside Sainsbury’s Local. It seems to cause a chain reaction: a girl stops and gives him a lit cigarette and a woman fishes out a sandwich from her shopping bag.

I do a bit of magical thinking as I head to the Blue Moon for lunch wondering if I should start believing in God or in my own poetical powers. In the cafe a girl in a purple dress asks if she can share my table. Of course. My glance makes her dress slip off her shoulder. She repositions it and smiles. I enjoy my broccoli cheese bake and ginger beer.

After lunch I head for the Millennium Gallery and the exhibition. When I get there it’s closed because there’s a lunchtime talk in progress. The Sound Map won’t be reopened until later in the afternoon. I mooch around the gallery gift shop. On a table I find The Sheffield Anthology: Poems from the City Imagined. Smith/Doorstop 2012. It’s a beautiful book, a tribute to the creative musical/poetic hub that Sheffield has become. It’s full of people I know, people I’ve talked poetry with, drunk pints with, people I’ve loved and lost. My magical thinking seems to have reached its limit: I look for my own name among the contributors but I’m not there. Oh well, maybe next time.
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  1. Old
    Steve Bucknell's Avatar

    Given, giving, not giving

    I put "I live with a sense of given time" into Google to see if it exists elsewhere. The first five references are to Eternalism (Philosophy of Time), Time Perception, Herman Hesse, Volunteering and Personality Disorder. I make a Wikifoundpoem from the notes given under each reference:


    This view of time is given the name presentism by philosophers. ...
    Although he disagrees in a qualified sense,
    philosopher of science Dean Rickles notes .....
    But He seems to have thought that a live universe with events unexpected even by ...
    Pioneering work, emphasizing species-specific differences, was done by Karl Ernst ... William J. Friedman also contrasted two theories for a sense of time:
    ... as close to the present as possible; an animal does not want to live too far in the past.

    It matters little that you suffer, so long as you feel alive with a sense of the close ...

    I was given the freedom to discover my own inclination and talents, ...
    and emotions, and during the time it lives in you, it effaces all that is fortuitous, evil, .....
    I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self.
    hard to have a good time with ...
    lack sense of humor ...weird sense of time ....
    They live in an artificial self invented from fantasies of absolute or perfect power, ....
    seem to have to make a point of not giving what they know someone else wants.
    Posted 02-06-2014 at 04:23 AM by Steve Bucknell Steve Bucknell is offline
    Updated 02-06-2014 at 04:28 AM by Steve Bucknell
 


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