the first circle

circa 2007

The eye is the first circle
I haven't stared at the sun long enough to know its shape
the ripple of a raindrop
perfect circles falling like fallout
I could feel them on my skin as I walked slowly through the trees breaking the sonic mesh of cicadas, silent as I passed.

Earlier that evening two guys jumped me
demanded my empty wallet.
With the first punch a poem appeared fully formed in my mind,
like it had been transferred from the fist.
Not a very good poem but then it wasn't a very hard punch.

fallen from your mind
wrapped like presents
under the trees

I felt strangely calm.
I got away okay.
Apparently sudden poems about forgetfulness are one of the first signs of early­-onset alzheimers.

On the road ahead a truck was engulfed in flames.
I could hear the metal contorting in the heat and I hoped noone was inside.
An old man stood, his weight on his walking stick, listening to the fire, his eyes blurred with cataracts.
“¿Por que?”
I asked him
“Cocaina” he said without a glance.
The fire danced in his heavy ­rimmed glasses and for a moment I thought maybe he had started it.
I watched his hand shaking like paper, his fist clench and unclench, and then slowly walked away.
I thought about a video I'd watched that day
a ten ­year­ old Iraqi boy, his hands blown off by a cluster bomb saying
“someone give me some hands, if I have no hands I'll kill myself”
I wondered how he could kill himself with no hands, and then thought,
of course,
he could find a way
and I felt guilty at how cynical,
how jaded I had become

is the first qualification
of the revolutionary
Something that children have but so often adults have lost,
somewhere along the way,
like the ability to draw with crayons.
the love of money is a haemorrhage of the human spirit
and war is a failure of the imagination
to make the same mistake
is negligence
to make the same mistake
is insanity
or worse.
only two weeks of holiday
should be plenty enough reason for
and time to
plan a revolution

4 in the morning and I was stumbling alone through London. my brain had arrived under heavy anaesthetic, ready for re­transplant. I met some friends, left them in a club and went out for air. somehow I couldn't retrace my steps. I followed my mental map of the monopoly board through the
square mile of the City, that insane, inhumane concentration of wealth. With the clarity that only whisky, over lesser spirits, can bring, I could hear the money, buzzing, inside the walls. East through Whitechapel. Outside the mosque there were maybe 200 people, all men, all in white. it was Ramadan
and they were breaking the fast before dawn. I walked slowly through the crowd and I could feel the energy of these people, all their minds aligned toward Mecca. It was pure and it was good. It was the same thing I sensed in an old wooden church at my brother's wedding and while dancing, with 20,000 other humans on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere for the millennium.
There's something that happens when humans are together
some greater sense
time is a veil
something Einstein also understood experientially
how we are energy swimming in energy
from Miradór you can see a slowly falling star, the sun
melt behind the hills
and the moon rise
its heavy smiling eye
smothering the city with light
make every day new
never forget
how precious this life is
an ever­deepening
of what being
on this planet means
communication and co-creation
make at the very least
a minor contribution
to the greater good
laugh more,
worry less
remember to breathe
close your eyes
patterns pulse
quick and kinaesthetic
they hypnotise
the disparate moments of the day become
sleeping pixels in the white noise of your unconscious

Somewhere a black moth with crepe paper wings circles a streetlight
a billion raindrops fall to the sea
and so
the little lines
between everyone you have seen
every place you have ever been

This work by Hamish Low is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 For any other usage of this work, please get in contact.