Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

HATS

by TIM SANSOM

The bigot needs to move indelicately.

The image keeps his secrets safe, though he himself forgets them.

His slovenly gait and his expletives are his fan of feathers, his shiny badge.

He sees being contrary as charismatic? Give me strength!

Another hat along the journey ay?………There are people and there are hats!

Hats will never be tilted much less taken off.


 
But any kind regard I have of myself must miss my failings.

I see that I have them but if I see those which others see I’m unique then?

I ‘m NOT one jot, for ignorance neither sees nor believes it doesn’t see.

So then, I wonder of myself what are the traits that my kind friends conceal in diplomacy
and that incense those with ill regard of me.

Am I seen as a hat? I see myself as one who has tried many on for experiment and fancy but
who in the light of day dons none.

But if the bigot has forgot his secrets, why not I mine?

What’s the use in conjecture for what is forgotten?

The developing child often believes that he composes a unique and original question when he
asks if other people see what he sees when he sees the colour blue. On the contrary, the
question appears often enough for one to suppose it to be an inevitable query of the
exploration of existence and of the human condition..

The joy, mirth, feeling and sensation of running faster than your legs can carry you down a
steep hill or dune in high summer.

The smell of a brand new leather football.

The expectant air during a pause amidst pupils names called out from the class register.

A punch in the kidneys.

The taste and texture of cough medicine.

The rhythmic and hypnotic drone of the racing results on Saturday afternoons.

The hot facial flush when realising you have forgotten your plimsolls.

The pleasing pop and piercing of the silver foil top of a milk bottle from a rigid plastic straw.

The hilarity of flatulence.

The reassuring sound of cutlery and crockery coming from downstairs when you are in bed
upstairs with the flu. Are these things one thing to one man and something else to another?

And if they are then is that why one would chose to ware hats and others not?


 
Considering what we have said of perception, might it not be, that the decision and pleasure
not to ware a hat is in itself a hat?………I believe so.

Added: 21.12.2010

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