SPOTLIGHT: The Round Journey by Gavin Turner

The bottle

On a good day, from this vantage point
You can see the Welsh mountains and beyond
To lonely valleys, depressions, guilt
Even through a bottles cloudy vista
They can taste your bitter contents
On the morning air

But this bottle is not a delicate smashable trinket,
Instead, imagine
A stone cairn, a legacy to a time of reform
A monolith to redivide the country
Ridding itself of the rotten parts
A resetting of the status quo
For fairness and equilibrium

Take yourself to this verdant spot
As an empty vessel of glass, translucent
Visible notes of grief etched on
a vulnerable hull

Sit in its cold shadow a while, reform
Put the old blocks back, with a solid foundation
no longer examinable
Through a refracted lens

A rampart of grainy resilience
Hard fast as a hillside thumb
Soul intact, a bold outlook
Finished with a Fresh slate
Reformed into the vessel
Mortared over the cracks
Superficially, good as new


In the gardens last decay, lay a statue of Cautopates, head missing,
Deeper down, it is thought, lies a Roman temple
the ruins of a religious ceremony
A once great civilisation deftly
Wallowing in northern musk
The statues body is battered, the head on its own path to submission
Till in the end it was completely lost

A dangerous state of affairs
Where the body, which needs and wants and takes
Gathers its army of desire, marches on
It is a living breathing beast these days
It is scared and bites, when people get too close,
Lives for today, survival instinct,
And no longer believes in tomorrow

The statues head is still, somewhere
Continue the search in the scrapings of the earth
Chinked into the crinkles of the stone walls you built
In there lies the reclamation of hope,
the regaining of a lost sentiment of strength,
Structure and order and tomorrows


The flooded cauldron quarry holds
The evenings bitter ingredients
In its tender soup
Dreamless, the physical body is
Greedily sucked down into
its cavernous mouth in
ravenous gasping gulps

By measured depths, swirling round the
Knotted thoughts of
Headless roman statues
Iron meteors
Grasping soggy branches
The watchers, those nodding horses
Sunken bottle ships
And sad eyes
Know all, see all
Hold their breath

This sunken museum
Of memories, junkyard feelings
Spiral above and beyond me
Sitting deep in the mire, the
Inadequacy, the inaction of nothingness
Looking upwards to the flashing bolides
burning up the sky on their devastating course

Despite the boiling madness
The occasional happy notes
Float with the last love letters
From a ravenous canopy of air
Sends down strands of hope that may
Net me back, a lifeboat rowing towards the
Echoes of home


But we cannot rest too long, empty spaces are filled too quick,
Onwards to the station house with a stick
The lines are drawn straight here, direct
A traveller in contemplation, mulling over
The lonely tracks of our lives,

The station house is a burned out wreck
Slates slipping away, glass petals
Drop from window frames
The door is sealed shut
To visitors, for now
Time and nature building
Their own wandering decor

From the platform edge in stony beds
The sleepers cuddle beer cans
Rusting teddy bears,
A white paint line marks the starting point
For the onward journey

Must start somewhere
The final destination is already known
One day that train will steam in
Open its doors
Take you onwards ever onwards
But not yet, not today
Home still calls you


A homecoming, as if a wake followed a dream
A house now, empty of the things that made it home
The scent has changed, I know it is not the place that was
Home meant the person who filled it with life
Stony ornaments remain, mementos for the kids
Who won’t remember you – too young for that
The familiar things are now seen for what they are
The carpet that doesn’t match, the cupboard where
You kept the chocolate and biscuits
And everything shrunken down
to fit in a memory box,
the husk of a once loved letter
becomes a reflection in passing
A house on a hill
Spied through glass
On a journey to another destination
And now
With all these places
Tied in a round journey
I am coming home


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