Richard Downes – Call The Blurred Lifeboat


Rare for me to take a blurred photo these days. Its not rare for the blur to speak louder to me than the sharp though. There’s me at the Turner Contemporary looking down from the first floor deciding i wanted to take the shot. Never knew why though.

Call The Blurred Lifeboat

Big Ted said
Sometimes in Autumn
with the sun low in the skies
burning his eyes
he can kick up leaves
like a good un

He’s not ready to bear it
The weight
Comes on

He thinks the leaves might make a blanket

Big Ted would sleep out in the gathering frost
Until the whiteness of winter brings snow
And he can stop awhile and think of Cow Eyes
And do as she said

Look for me when I’m dead

He hears the swishing of a wing
A fluttering feather floats down
White, its lost in the covered ground
But Ted knows the portent
Big Ted knows what it means

And the leaves they are as water now
Sometimes Big Ted thinks
He trudges through puddles; life’s not so bad

The water gets deeper
As Ted dreams of places
He left behind
Places he never wishes to see again
Why do these vistas constantly unfurl
And bring him down

Down deeper
Ted could drown
But for the bubble he lives in
The bubble he pushes around
Sometimes Ted goes under
Down under
Ted thinks
He might not breathe again
He goes down some more
And pops up again
Secure in the bubble

Big Ted looks out
Away from the leaves
Away from the water
There in the distance
A future
Bringing hope
In the shape of a blurred lifeboat

Ted calls the blurred lifeboat
With renewed hope
Ted swims
Thrashing about once more

Sitting on the boat
Ted considers the ripples on the waters
The sweeping up of leaves
The oscillation of his moods
Kicking, trudging, drowning
Splashing about
Ted looks out
for a blurred lifeboat


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