Jon Doble


They have arrived in our small town,
the men, yes men, for men they are,
with darkling beards and shiny phones,
yet without an ounce of human being.
And our hairdressers are revolting.

They come, unwanted, uncalled for 
and unkempt from far away,
from places without names or nouns,
to shake the walls and break the moulds.
And our hairdressers are revolting.

They come without the decency to ask,
without their wives and kids,
abandoned now for watery ways
that risk the grave assumptions of the way.
And our hairdressers are revolting.

They come with beards and phones
replete with unseen means to harm
and we now need to cross the road
to shun and then to shame with blame.
And our hairdressers are revolting.
And in the salons of our little town,
we share the threat and stoke the fear 
and in the dark degenerated buzz of bile
the borders of our time are now closed.
And our hairdressers are revolting.
And in the blindness of our being 
without the common decency of sight
we tell ourselves we know it all 
blind to the otherness of them.
And out hairdressers are revolting.

And yet, behind the beards and phones
the fear of drowning out the human soul
bereft of being seen and left to sink alone
while waters choke the gift of hope.
Our hairdressers are revolting.


It began with a mother’s gift,
wrapped in hope and dreams
selfless seeing what could not be seen,
for in that gift, there is past living 
by those who bore it for themselves,
shaped its resonance for now, 
this moment, this beginning 
opening yet untrod paths of what will be 
lived out in the gifting of your name.

Then in the living time, the name was stretched,
belonging less and feeling more 
that what was meant to be or not,
was fuelled and fanned by baleful
lessons taut with fearful knowing
of the ways and means of your living.

Then in the fleeing time, the name was foundered
in the intensity of depth by deep despairing, 
severed from the gifting long ago, abandoned
in the floating, free at last, and in the last
the rite of passage overwhelmed the hope
then ripped apart the destination of your fleeing.

Then in the landing time, the name was othered
in the press of cuttings rich with shame and blame,
but still no name to shun the judgment of their ire
that points the barrel of dark opinion, triggering
and echoing still the frothing waves of bile,
to drown the faceless invasion of your landing.

Finally, in the banishing time, the name was smothered,
ousted out of time and mind beyond the border lines
of hopeless understanding, held vice like, fear gripped,
preying now, and staring down past condemnation
of the fallen, glittering still with doleful droplets of such
weary waters of the baptismal banishing of your name.

My name is…..
     I will not understand your name
     for it is too long and was too long in the making, 
     far from here, contriving to confuse and obfuscate
    the essence of my here and now,
    puzzling the origins of words unknown.
    I will not understand your name.

My name is…..
    I will not hear your name
    for it does not heed the subtle stress
    that shakes my world and fears my judging
    differences of hearing out the trials
    of indifference to utter helplessness. 
    I will not hear your name.

My name is…..
     I will not speak your name
     for I cannot yet articulate the strangeness
    and the incongruity of lost hope,
    and in its loss the deafness I inherit
    to all but the proclamation of me.
    I will not speak your name.

My name is…..
    I will not know your name
    for I will not, cannot fathom yet the depth 
    of all but still water shaping your knowing,
    drowning out the knowledge of your now
    in the confidence of my conviction of your guilt.
    I will not know your name.

My name is…..
    We will not recognise your past,
    nor the story of your name, 
   for there is but one mind in the absence
   held in the silence of our now
    without the presence of sister or bother.
          Your name is Other.

Flights, Issue Seven, December 2022