One Saturday lunchtime last October I went to the Suffolk Arts Club. Because that’s what I’m like. Because that’s what I do.
There was an art event going on in the tower, right up at the top in a little wooden cell you have to climb up into, literally, swinging on wooden hand-holds if you didn’t want to fall to what would very likely be your death on the concrete floor twenty feet below. Someone asked me if I was going to go and contribute something and I got it in my head that art meant painting and painting meant poster paints and probably because it was at the seaside I thought of blue paint, the childhood deep blue of the sea, the blue of the sky back then.
It was October though and the wind was gusting and the sky was grey. I was half-way coming out of a massively upsetting time of my life and trying to learn not to force my pre-conceptions onto events and people. When I swung up into the wooden tower there were no paints. But there was a notebook on a small table underneath the window. So I wrote this.
South Tower, Aldeburgh
I was to put my hand here.
The fingers, knuckles and nails
Coloured blue, poster paint
Flaking from my skin,
Sloughed off. Instead
I listen to the wind,
The sound inside my mind
And try to listen to my heart.
Blue hands. Grey sky.
No poster paints outside my expectations.
Carl Bennett 2013