The sleep of reason by Darren Thomas

In the hangman’s shadow of St Paul’s
I begin my journey…

Ivy serpents entice me with their ropes of emerald
by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

Charred face beneath the tree of night, dreams in whispers
The poisoned wardrobe of the king, caught in the fire of her silence.

Although the limbs, scales and heads are surface-tamed
the smile breaks through the sewers:

Penetrates the city
Rises in sulphurous vapours
The dance of the twin cockerels.

The umbilical bell calls the faithful
Ignoring the pillar of heads locked in the grey prison,
Leaving the spent ash, the tired leaves, the lugubrious excrement
To measure the years
Exchanging time.

Question – ‘Where are you drawn?’
And once more I ponder:
by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
I monsterise with the serpents
Who have trapped me
In the jaws of the circle
No end or beginning…

Behold the articulated Cerberus!
He sleeps in plain sight
Guarding the entrance to the tower,
Ferocious in his machine-armour
Unyielding in his promises of modernisation.

Now, the pods that hang precariously like diseased penises
Pointing the way to the sign that proclaims ‘DANGER OF DEATH!’

Now, the discarded hatchet that lay bleeding on Garlick Hill.

Now the temporary floor that revealed the beast in 1666.

And yet more revelations in Cloak Lane
Where the dragons gather…

…I retreat
But fall headlong into the webs of the iron spiders
Next to Skinner’s lane.

Then a sign: ‘Wardmote Noon – please go to Parish Room.’
But I take to my heels
Find solace on Huggin Hill, but alas – no hugs!
(I should know to expect delays…)

Watched over by the giant sea horse
Waiting for the cupid with no cheeks
I trace once again my steps.
As I penetrate the marvellous mysteries beneath the city
And between the cracks and recesses of my migrating self,
The love between the tears proclaims itself,
The shadow that now hangs precariously on my lips looms ominously,
Inverting my eyes
Sharing my mirror with the monsters
Reflecting my profane illumination
by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

Darren Thomas


This poem is based on a game undertaken by the group in which we went in search of monsters. The starting point happened to be St Paul’s cathedral. We were led by desire, chance, waking dreams…gathering images, words and stories as we went, which we later used to build our monsters. Mine is a poem…


~ by londonsurrealistgroup on May 29, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: