48hr Poetic Response to Shani Rhys James’ automata & paintings: ‘Cassandra’s Rant’, Ceredigion Museum, Feb 15. Photography by Keith Morris

cass 1

empty cot

when they view the rushes of life on earth
it will all pass in flashes, brushing over the detail
indivisible pain,
the suffering that is living, they will see
that we procreated, babies sometimes made it
sometimes not, but what they won’t see, those
lords of the faeries in their stellar cinema
is how thin pain cuts like barbed wire
every time I try not to look this agony in the face

casss 3


Will one part not fail?
Of her will, one particular
small circle describing,
affecting its neighbour
until they all turn
tap, tapping
‘my will be done’
can’t one small part fail
once, with grace?


the actress

one day she took a Polaroid
with her violet eyes
snapped her flawless face
and bodice, and said I’ve failed
from here on each day
counts away from now
and my beauty’s perfect power

with that, french doors slammed on every
future morning when a wrinkling face
could fall out, relax,
then wire smiles up the lines
and reel in the day


back and forth

going through the motions of caring
small piece of wool where you broke
from her decorated womb
package long since stamped and sent
made well, turned out, washed and pressed
but not squashed, pressed to a chest
rocked, mocked, loved without caring how


in the hotel again
the air makes way, deferential
so accustomed to sharing
you measuring the chair with your body
trying your size in woodwork
stealing around stairs, corners
you dreaming ghost in the quarters of others
try on their perfume of
truths speaking tensions a child won’t ignore
then wake up



provision for the body, ample
provision for the soul? draw me a map
made of scraps of the getup of time-lent afternoons
sew a square of the suit my father wore on the day
I was born, sew it to those shoes of yours
plus je change plus je viens la même rose
louie’s hat scrap, dandy’s drainpipe, sailor’s hard wool shirt
just sew me a map of tat and fabric from ancient afternoons
pin it to my chest, I might feel part of the cast

(c) Caroline Stockford 2015

as part of Scriptography Productions’ ‘Response Time’ projects, Producer:  Sandy Bendelow  Photography: Keith Morris



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