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CLOCK PEOPLE

Abbeyview,Dunfermline Fife Scotland UK.

Thurs 29th November @ 7pm
Abbeyview Community Centre,Dunfermline
THEME: The Importance of Time.


Co-hosting the evening with Nicola with John Cavanagh, who for the last 15 years has worked for BBC Radio Scotland and the World Service/Radio International. He currently purveys twisted pop radio programmes to listeners in Latvia and New Zealand from a cellar in Pollokshields. Nicola has worked with Nick Fells on a soundscape about time. Nick is a composer, performer and sound artist. John read stories Passing places & Soul and Cell especially written for this gathering by Philip Miller ( see below) With a discussion about time, with Nicola and Alan Grieve, an artist from Abbeyview.

PASSING PLACES


Ahead, the road ribbons through the steely hills, and behind, our taken path glitters with stars of frost, filigreed splintered puddles, snapping and creaking under our tires, black ice oceans sunk and silent between gravel and grit.


This morning our reveille was the muttering motor, as dawn melted on the sheer heights: these pink rock pyramids built brick on brick when the world was burning, its air a swirl of poison globe, the moon hidden in its churning womb and new light rained on watery white run-stone. Now that light now splashes on these rocks, the numb bones of the earth.


And now we sit, too, in a puttering metal shell, tiny on the mountainside. Ahead the road ribbons through the hills. and two dull eyes roll down. Obedient, we sidle to the passing place, wheels turn and we move without words to another faultless halt.


We sit and I watch you breathe, your white hands gripping the wheel, your brown eyes blinking up and down, up and down. A glisten of white flesh, marble pink veins, waiting. Waiting for a sign to carry on, or stay still. Every breath a choice. To relent or drive on.


Then a raised hand, a pale patch of skin, says 'after you', at the passing place. A hand beside the face, eyes hidden behind the black slash of windscreen and glinting morning light.


Nobody for days and then five slim fingers allow us a way. We move. We are dancing: one relents, one waives a bye, locked in this two-step on a single tight path, bloodless dualists eyeing and valuing, weighting and striking.
Across that unbridged divide, white bodies now passing, passing through the passing places.

SOUL AND CELL


I hold death in my arms when I hold you. Death to come and death before, and breath that breathed when you were born - loosed from air which was bound and cured when stone ran, and the moon was smooth. I felt death in my arms when I held you - death laid in my bones, bleached-bound and fastened, lines in my frame that breathed this world with you.


We create time by breathing. Moving from this to the next, and the next is the past before it is form and complete, and after us memory gathers, slide upon slide, stacked and filed and sorted. Snap shots and instant prints, they bloom and blush as our eyes move onwards. Some warp under weight, others slip from the pile, tumbling end over end and slide into wrong places, bad spaces, wrong ages. And memories slip out of kilter

-a laugh is laughed at the funeral where no one breathed. Wires are ripped from walls, not veins pulled from arms. Your face appears at my birth, before you were born. I think of you before I knew you. When I see you for the first time, I've seen you before. The life inside drives us on, and time is the shadow and sound of our movement

- and every time I think you are gone, darling, and my life is free, you ghost into a dream, or glimmer on a tunnel -train window, or appear in shadow, behind my eyes as I close them and open and close them in my waking day.


But we live between deaths: before and beyond - and even in my dreams, the past waits to bloom and set in your eyes, and rush over lips, that pass your borrowed breath, for the final time, to mine.

Philip Miller 2007

 

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