Abshchattungen was written as lyrical content for a Patchwork Rattlebag piece. I felt that it was worth sharing here as a poem.


Pregnant lull nascent
Day sketched on sardon-
ic white ground.

Encroaching diplo-
carpon frames the
Objects posited.

Each containing the
Promise of itself:

In limpid absence
And extremities
Hatched heavy, marked by

Shadows flowing; vit-
reous flux noise, noise-
less; diluted pools of night.

“In each resides its
Own negation,” she
Told me in the sunlight.


The reverie shines
No false light upon
Its willed depiction.

In safe darkroom is
Printed out the sha-
dow’s latent image.

Its negative de-
velops out, transfigured
To the visible.

In this contingent
Form it visits us
And checks our progress

Through the pyramid’s
Opaque edifice;
But transparent is

What never sleeps, till
It meets what for its
Own sake we term ‘sleep’.


Behind the lens,
Before the focus,
Paring ‘Cartesian plane’

Bares a hyperbola;
Hooded shade faceless;
Ideal form embodied.

And its counterpart –
Negative, glowing
Shadow of a shadow

– Casts horizon hy-
perbolic into
The contested sphere.

Its tails span beyond
The vanishing points
To infinity.

Nothing promised but
The bare promise of

© John Lowndes 2017

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A Tear in the Dark Fabric Reveals Existence

Blood orange;
Bitter grapefruit
Phase artefacts on the periphery
Fits and starts
Get comfortable in the moment and…

Awake in a new scenario; adjust

Almost gliding; smooth movements as though in a harness suspended from the unknown above. Speed in trajectory seems almost to precede thought, so unaccustomed are you to this sensitivity of response. Like a spirit passing lightly through the broken borders (shattered glass) ((disturbed waters)) of the edges. The centre has a purity (limpidity) ((a hyper-real clarity)) (((distilled water))) ((((a glow)))) (((((a lustre)))))

Pantomime ghost, how do you pass through chaos with ease devoid of confidence (without belief)
With all the natural signs screaming danger? You are the stranger here; the link to the higher plane. You are the centre.

Dream protagonist
Scrambling for the essence amongst a world of his creation
Comparing planes
Doing likewise

Arising from a makeshift bed
Stale remnants
Cauterised surface
Singed hair
Cured meat
The arid talk of idlers
Dry air inaction
(Self-proclaimed insurrectionaries)
Salt from the brow of the raver’s return
Hollow heads in the glow ++ intensity ++
Crushed metal-grinding screwballs
For days on end…

Arising from a makeshift bed
Blood orange; (((((radiating aura)))))
Hyper-real depth
Ruby grapefruit; thickness
Blood orange;
Neither warm nor cold – comfort inside discomfort
Clammy awake or
Too long-since slept and fluctuating

They are gone
And… teleportation

Six-feet to the left and 45°, kitchen, tunnel-vision
Phase artefacts, limpid-dream, magic-mirror

…And lucid waters central

‘I hope the madness of these walls will not infect our children.’

The guttural sound of the throat that betrays the situation’s exceptionality;
Retro-causation undulation;
A portent of wavering;
Antecedent decay-time reverberating in a tube
Casual time-ghost
– Highly-strung people speak in highly-strung voices that emanate highly in the chest and break upon application of the lowest stress –
Constant crying-out above the dream-host
Impacting lustrous through-space-across-time-cross-section
‘I me

I me

I me

I me

I me

I me’

Trigger the memory-maker
Awaken; Rec. in progress

‘I hope the madness will pass over these walls and touch not upon our foreheads.’

Hair aflame (eyes aflame) ((sky aflame))

Emanating from the centre;
Radiating from the hub;
Upon these glimpses your truth is based:
The magical entitlement of observation –
The authority of the visionary?

Unhinged but currently untouched by moving air
– but potentiality is available to the nose immediately –
Ready to flap,
Stony gaze; rigid centre;
Action circumnavigating

No, not me!
I am a young professional and would I not die to be seen in such colour schemes (I would not!)
I am a young professional and I would not die to be seen in such colour schemes (I would!)
Ruby grapefruit; blood orange
Pale grey shadows and blackness all other elsewhere
Rainy nights; perpetual fall
At the extremities a static storm
Snaking-form chronology
Screen-shots (cross-sections) ((plates))
Lucid centre; a hole punched through a veil
At the extremities broadcast artefacts dancing
Blood rushing to –
Hold it (curtain fall) ((hold it))
With every breath a clarity of sight (unimpeded)
Awake the memory-maker…
Breathe it in…

Those that have – to all intents and purposes – drowned, report the occasioning of a unanimous calm late in the process. This moment, amongst others spent in the water, is of itself a pool (of time), and through hampered eyes that, regardless, effortlessly observe, makes an image of bold resolution.

U n d i v i d e d  p l a c i d i t y
R e a s o n a b l e
W h a t   i s   a l l   o f   t h i s   e x c i t e m e n t   ?
Y o u   m u s t   b e   a w a r e   t h a t   I   a m   c a l m
J u s t   o h   ,  s     o       v         e           r               y                 t                   i                   r                       e                         d                           !

A n d s o I r e s t , a n d h u s h n o w
Y o u h a v e t h e w r o n g i d e a
I a m p e r f e c t l y c a l m m y f r i e n d
[ m a y b e y o u s h o u l d f o l l o w s u i t . . . ]

T e m p e r y o u r e y e l i d s
[ D o n ‘ t p o i n t t h o s e t h i n g s a t m e ! ]
T h e r e i s no c a u s e f o r a l a r m , I a m c a l m
I w i s h f o r c a l m

Here is the (foundation of truth)↑

Balance well upon it

/\/\|?z\/\/ \\\|?|?/\//\|??\//\/\|?|||||?\/\\/\|?\/|/||\|?|///|/|/|/|

Close tight your eyes
The grains bloom in waves
Wipe the spittle from your mouth
Measured and apportioned rational ruler
The sweat glands call to you –
Go and fill in your tax return

Days and months and units,
Calendars and progression,
Succession and measure…

…Shrouded in such normatives
Forget the entities at the bottom of the garden

Whirligig dances under artificial lights
‘Salt of the’… days and
Dervish nights
Cold blue of light bulbs in a forest glade;–
In the van’s backside are the tools arrayed
We meet uneasy in the mud
Pale morning encroaching night-time’s rightful sod

In the pale morning, remember the preceding argument and find in it no escape from time’s prison whose affliction now oppresses you disproportionately (exceptionally), and for this reason curse it, for it is only an apology from a better state; a waking reverie; an escape for the unafflicted, but, as it can escape at will, consequently it cannot offer the same to you.

[Cold morning air,
and aroma of mud.
A young man sits on the ground with his knees raised,
ostensibly calm,
considering his palm]

Micro, beam-splitting complex colourations
Speckle and shine;
The blades carried by the clodded hills
Of livestock-land-lustrous as the pallid mist retreats
The daylight is here for real now –
Strange creatures move among it with no talk of purpose

Damp socks and trousers to the shins
Movement and colour
Slow thought of retreat
Take strain and increase
Like the first turn of a weighing anchor
Dormant morning taken wing brought with it no cessation
No termination
Move a group of separate entities with free-will affliction on forgetfulness?
Grinding out dependence on others
Nowhere to hide…

*****Curious casual culture believes itself to be the conclusion*****

Spinning-top vistas
Cold nights to reacquaint with the sky
Knowing cloud passing knowing moon
Hoary heavens horizontal negative whitewash
Broad brush-stroke arc of ether
A child’s creation

Far-flung idiot mornings only alcohol can temper
Death-mask skin drawn tightly to the eye-socket
Foolish hair-of-bed raised and
Searching wild-eyes-wild
For fun of senselessness

/\\//\\//\\//\\/Amber glow and dark mahogany flicks through a thousand pub-scenes with the bitter-sharp taste of liquor in constant accompaniment
Passing, contented and aloof yet social smiles radiate from within

Beautiful autumnal evening calm of repentance
Blood orange sun
Catch the breath as the lines all shift

To proceed to the crux (to the extremity) of the matter (beneath the visible – as all arguments are built atop foundations of metaphysics; a most alarming realisation!)…

By what agency is the blackness punctured to reveal the formation upon which you gaze?

© John Lowndes, April 2016

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Indifferent as the surface of the sea…

Indifferent as the surface of the sea
Dissolute ink clouds, residue beneath
Constant star’s gaze fixed above; cold; remote

Occasion magnitude upon survey
But sink into the dark and apathy
Still closer to the centre of your sphere

Concurrent cosmoses; plural of cosmos
The same darkness; absences of matter
Literal parallels trance; one firm; one abstract

To sit by in all; to stand for nothing
To stand for all; to sit by and nothing
To choose or not ever changing standard?

© John Lowndes 2016

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An Identical Universe

Sodden in separate puddles
A head too damp to strike and a half that cannot hope to
And, as ever, where were we
When we needed us the most?

Watching the scoreboard when the goals went in,

Suspended above
Silent sea-floor,
Mutilated, separate, open-mouthed
Swallowing the serving of the tide
To regorge

Are we separate in
Mass-produced, containerised
Absolute space?
A perfect match

An identical universe shifted two miles east
Is indistinguishable,

© John Lowndes

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Morning masquerade visions…

Morning masquerade visions of evening’s silly season, pantomime-parading clichés. Ether, phantasm elements, first-dimension, aims summed up in a paragraph, video in Braille, conjured from a wooden box. The connotative skill of a football pundit (sticking pasta on paper in an arrangement made flesh out of the most pious dream of an extinguished wick that burned in earnest eagerly, briefly and brightly before it’s appliance at paschal). O Lord! How repenteth I my exhumed religion? Whose (metaphorical) alter venerates He who cannot grasp the figurative. Ill-begotten Son of my birthing that clouded my vision to change it in the eyes of others. Overrun but never subjugated I. Now when you enter my humble house you may bear your emblems but leave your cults at the door.

© John Lowndes, December 2014

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On the Nature of Inspiration II

On the Nature of Inspiration II

Prostrate, brooding on sunny and foreboding afternoon
A dog barks in the middle distance instigating a volley of indignant retort above the estate
Road-noise and the blood coursing through the channels
Blue sky touching horizon beneath casual cumulus reminds you of the sea
Emptiness and adventure

Cirrus slowly passes opposite antennae of opposite roof suggesting uniformity
Trees sway
Minding their own business
A reflection
Cries of far-off children carry with them no information
Soft-edged siren seems impudent and all carries on without you

– –

Rancorous rumblings and so begins emerge
Out of lips plumed smoke unfurls
Broadcast in 3D
Each time a new rhyme
Unique amongst a million
Each exhalation
Finding parts untouched till all
Diagram of ghost activity
Or past seconds by judged importance

Solid smoke seeming disappear never touch
Find me nowhere
Caustic attempt negation
Let free in air
Obliviousness, ether
Massage my nuance
Guide me to expiration
Dissolve and renew

Liberty on fragile breeze
– Take off the stabilizers! –
Frustrate the blockade
The world unstone unfurls outwise
Listen to now
First disregard then learn and disregard
Father’s pipe: give me a start
Mounted on a part of your experience to flail wildly in delectable directions

Bloom and curling side
Out and out and out
Pin-point process to lastest
Tree and foliage bursts unto
Capture the essence, bypass me
– Unachievable but interesting nonetheless –
Mark me, remove me,
All me
Thumps and shudders, hesitates
When I sleep and when I see
Never, never, never
Blades of grass
Why involve me?
I only wish to see the tree

Stain the air repeatedly
Wavering plume with upwards mostly
Relax, refrain identikit
Where it goes time-stamped and hurried
Inscrutable inspiration when laid out thus
Escape the sides and creeping up
Bubble in the forge and make the mark
Dilute the process and make as new
Search a foothold
Behaving only as it do
I am variable
(I am not to be trusted)
Morphology: beauty not to be described
Rules and rules avert your eyes
Major unsettling, unsettled
Never a moment
I am in a cloud

Count me a cloud

Smoke seemingly stuck to the mouthpiece judges us incapable
Out it billows small: immeasurably large

– –

Process broken

Fire garbled information, break the chain. Elicit shock in object. Biological being synthesises flavour. Sour, heat, sweet. Repeat process broken. Sn. Did you catch? Repeat, catch fire. All broken disjointed. Imagine an

irregular chain

Sculpt around it. Make the bastard
crash and catc. Fire
at will malfunction circuit. From error to harmony to cacophony. Piquant. Fire hot. Burn
me and make me circle-back. More. Repeat. Dis
jointed, shock elicit. Let me solve the pattern. Synthetic flav. Shock
I sculpt circuit. Pass it on.

– –

Take a recording on a piece of tape, cut it and splice it together in new formations. Take a recording and splice it together on a piece of tape, cut it in new formations. Together take on a piece of tape a recording and splice it, cut it in new formations. Cut a piece of tape, together take on new formations in it and splice it, a recording. A recording on new formations and splice cut a piece of tape, take it in, together it. Formations and splice on new cut of tape, a recording, a piece, it, take it in together. Splice on new recording, a piece, a cut of tape, take it in formations, together and it. It a piece, it a cut of tape, take recording splice, together in formations, new and on. New cut, piece together, take on formations,splice in and it a tape, it a recording of. Together in formations, tape it and splice it, a take on a cut, new piece of recording.

© John Lowndes, August 2015

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On the Nature of Inspiration III

On the Nature of Inspiration III

At a workspace in the reading room
Sits the youth engrossed in writing

In peripheral of mind and space
Onlook gravely the collected works
And weight of human history

Unrestrained by abstruse semiotic
Advances the uninducted
Through warnings of unheeded cipher
To pastures rarely trodden by
Adherents to the doctrine

Unheeding of imposing presence
Uninhibited by its stricture
The work of youth skips lightly on
With ease, to amass discoveries
A simple joy, not yet unlearned

Prepossessing is the clarity
Of cognition unbounded
Amazing the proclivity
Of gifted tyros,
That like bystanders
Who through disinterest can sabotage
The art of the magician,
With new eyes approach an arcane riddle
And with ease expose its heart

No years of study should dim love felt
For the abandonment to otherness of
The inductee that finds freedom in
A handful of recent rules
Nor should ever love be lost
For the thrill of the young artist
At the sheer joy of creation

© John Lowndes, April 2015

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