Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Meeting Geoff in the Plaza

I don't have to sit there long
Before someone I know
Stops to have a coffee with me -
It's that kind of plaza
With cafe tables and plane trees

And now Geoff swings by
And we get to talk about
His latest work, his painting
Of a suicide bombing in a cafe
In the Middle East and how people
Sat there chatting like us
And then they were just... meat,
And what was it that had gone?
I don't see how he'll get this
Question into a painting, but I'm
Sure Geoff does. There's a way
That art has of taking us
Out of ourselves and out of time,
Stopping all the clocks. But
These days, as Geoff now says,
It's frightening how little time
People spend looking at a
Painting in an art gallery,
Even a Renoir. Can a poem
Get more attention? Maybe less.
But in any case, here's Geoff, the artist,
Pulling up his chair next to mine,
Catching the waiter's eye,
Making his debut in a poem,

A poem that's like a cafe table
In a plaza, where anyone
Can hang out, take their time...
Before getting on with their day,
And not get blown away.


Geoff MacEwan's work is held in private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Ashmoleum Museum in Oxford, The National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.

He has collaborated with Paul Archer on a series of poems and illustrations entitled 'Natural Causes'. For more information, please go to Poems and Etchings - Natural Causes.

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