UKArchive ID: 35076I Awake Uncertainly by prospero
Originally published on June 26, 2015 in Poetry

This is a very old poem from my student days. Having discovered it again I feel quite pleased with the 22 year old that that wrote this. What it is about I don’t really remember, except that it was written in a house that had been turned into bedsits with other occupants upstairs and down.

I awake uncertainly
To a morning of bloated smiles.
Shattered windows stare into the sky.
Down the street swift shadows rise and fall
Deserted by the emptiness of time.
Along the mountain vales
A fierce wind blows, its icy blast
Gasping at the air,
Ricocheting from every bend
It stumbles and swirls
Finally releasing its load upon the rocks of far distant shores.
- Quick frozen minds are good to eat
If thawed before there's
Time to utter any thought.
Pre-packed in polythene bags
No foreign substance ever enters.
"Given the precept that education
Is not the means ..."
The voice trails, lost
Among words, confused by sentences.
Winter's warmth succeeds dull summer's chill;
Seagulls turn in the grey sky;
A flurry of wings and an awkward
Landing upon the stack of a chimney.
How many chimneys are there
In this winterland of wonder?
Destroy! Destroy! There is no other purpose -
Meanwhile, above the morning noises
Is a faint sound,
Far off, descending from the room above,
Chords upon a piano
Rising and falling,
Arrhythmic but sweet chords,
First soft, now crashing angrily,
Soft again
And that is all.

© prospero (corin on OLD UKA)
UKArchive ID: 35076
Archived comments for I Awake Uncertainly
gwirionedd on 26-06-2015
I Awake Uncertainly
I really like the opening two lines:

I awake uncertainly
To a morning of bloated smiles.

Where were you when you were 22, David? Is this Newcastle?

Author's Reply:
Hi - I have been meaning to ask this, I think I have remembered who you are, are you my old friend on UKA - Paul MacJoyce?

Anyway this was written in Newcastle in 1971 when I was a student teacher living on my own because my then girlfriend, now my wife Mavis, was living at home and we had not sorted out our relationship with our parents. It w as a strange time. Later I had to go to Carlisle on teaching practice, so I have studied in all four corners of the country - Essex, Exeter, Newcastle and Carlisle!

I look forward to chatting to you paul. Are you going to Bristol in September?



gwirionedd on 26-06-2015
I Awake Uncertainly
Well, I changed my name by deed poll to Archie in 2008, because I've never liked the name Paul. It's boring. But yes.

I won't be able to make Bristol this year, as I live in Berlin now. I will be busy working, as an English teacher.

I forget your exact heritage... I know you've lived in Newcastle for a long time, but when I met you, you didn't sound like a Geordie. You didn't say "Haddaway and shite, mon" once.

You're from the south originally, aren't you?

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 30-06-2015
I Awake Uncertainly
Another poem that is full of melancholic imagery and a very creative and thoughtful mind.
It is almost a journey into the actual mind and thoughts of the poet as it has a thought stream feel about it.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thank you Alison,
Yes - you are right about this Alison. It was a strange time.